The NPDI Joint Statement to the NPT PrepCom

May 2012

Thank you Mr Chairperson,

On behalf of the NPDI countries -Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates- I would first of like to congratulate you on your assumption of the Chairmanship of the First Preparatory Committee of the 2015 NPT RevCon and assure you of the full support of our countries for the success of your endeavours.

The Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) is a cross-regional group of ten countries, with a deep commitment to the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as the essential foundation for the achievement of nuclear disarmament, the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and the basis for the development of the peacefuluse of nuclear energy. Established in September 2010 to take forward the consensus outcomes of the 2010 NPT RevCon, we are seeking the continued and systematic reduction of nuclear weapons leading to their total elimination from our world.

The proliferation of nuclear weapons and their possible use constitute a serious threat to international peace and security, as well as to the survival of mankind. We are resolved to support efforts towards reducing nuclear proliferation risks by ensuring compliance with the international non-proliferation regime, decreasing nuclear arsenals, strengthening nuclear safety, security and safeguards and ultimately achieving a nuclear weapons free world.

Mr Chairperson,

The integrity and the credibility of the NPT regime lies with the commitment of its States parties to its universalization and effective implementation across all these three pillars.

Nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament are mutually reinforcing. The total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee against their use or threat of use. The goal of complete disarmament requires determined efforts on the part of the Nuclear Weapon States towards the full implementation of Article VI of the NPT in an irreversible and verifiable manner. The entry into force of the US-Russian Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) as well as the unilateral steps taken by the United Kingdom and France to reduce their nuclear arsenals are welcome developments. These positive steps need to be followed by continued and systematic reductions in all nuclear weapons categories, including non-strategic nuclear weapons; a diminishing of the role of nuclear weapons in security strategies; a reduction the operational status of nuclear weapon systems.

Transparency and confidence-building measures are essential building blocks for further progress on nuclear disarmament. In view of the 2010 NPT RevCon commitments of the Nuclear Weapon States to accelerate concrete progress on the steps leading to nuclear disarmament, we call upon them to agree on a standard reporting form to build international confidence as well as to increase transparency and accountability in the nuclear disarmament processes. Allow me to draw attention, in this respect, to the draft standard reporting form attached to our working paper on transparency. The NPDI shared this draft with the Nuclear Weapon States prior to their Paris meeting in June 2011, as a contribution to their discussions on meeting the objectives of Action 21 of the 2010 NPT RevCon Action Plan.

Negotiations within the Conference on Disarmament (CD) of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosives devices (FMCT) as a means to strengthen disarmament and non-proliferation remain another crucial priority. We regret that this year again, the CD has so far not been able to agree on a program of work. We should continue to make our best efforts to adopt, when the 2012 session resumes in May, a program of work that would, inter alia, enable the immediate commencement of the FMCT negotiations. Based on the UNGA Resolution 66/44, the NPDI member states are considering possible ways forward, including through organizing scientific experts' meetings as well as by consulting on options on the immediate commencement of FMCT negotiations. The working paper on FMCT submitted by the NPDI to the PrepCom identifies practical steps to implement Action 15 of the 2010 NPT RevCon Action Plan.

Almost sixteen years after it opened for signature, we note the considerable progress achieved in bringing the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) to near universal status and in building up its verification regime. We recognize the importance of the early entry into force of the CTBT as a crucial building block for both nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. We welcome, in this respect, the recent ratifications of Ghana, Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago, the Central African Republic and Guatemala, as well as the signature by Niue. We call upon all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty. We recall the particular responsibility of the remaining Annex II States, whose ratifications are required for the entry into force of the Treaty, in achieving a breakthrough in the process. In this respect, we commend the leadership demonstrated by Indonesia in its ratification of the CTBT on 6 February 2012. Pending the CTBT's entry into force, we call upon all States to uphold and maintain a moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions and any other nuclear explosions. Mindful of the need to intensify efforts to complete the outstanding ratifications, we express our intention to take initiatives both bilaterally and in relevant international organizations towards this end and support the substantial work of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO.

Mr Chairperson,

We recognize the inalienable right of States parties' to the NPT to develop and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, in full compliance with their NPT obligations, without undue restrictions. In this regard, we highlight the need for strengthening the IAEA's technical cooperation program in assisting the developing States parties. We are committed to promoting the application of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under the highest standards of safety, security and non-proliferation.

We welcome, in this respect, the successful convening of the Second Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Seoul on 26-27 March 2012 on strengthening nuclear security and reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism. There is a growing need for cooperation among States to increase the safety and security of nuclear materials and facilities, as well as to effectively prevent and respond to illicit trafficking in nuclear materials. We encourage efforts towards achieving further progress particularly in areas identified in the Seoul Communiqué and the Washington Work Plan. The NPDI member States fully support the objectives of the NSS and work towards the successful conclusion of the 2014 Summit in the Netherlands.

Regarding nuclear safety, we support efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to strengthen the international nuclear safety framework, including through the implementation of the IAEA Nuclear Safety Action Plan. We should collectively work towards the success of the Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety to be held in December 2012 for further progress in international nuclear safety.

The IAEA safeguards system constitutes a key component of the global non-proliferation regime. We must collectively strive to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of this system. The NPDI continues to actively promote adherence to the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, together with an Additional Protocol, as the universal verification standard. Recognizing the particular role of the Additional Protocol as an effective confidence building measure, as well as an early warning mechanism, we call upon all States that have not yet concluded an Additional Protocol to do so without delay and implement its provisions pending its entry into force. In November 2011, we indicated in a letter to the IAEA Director General our willingness to share our experiences and best practices in the conclusion and implementation of the Additional Protocol with interested countries. We are prepared to provide them with legal and practical assistance to complete their national processes. The NPDI highly values the efforts made by the IAEA to promote the conclusion of the Additional Protocol and continues to cooperate with the IAEA towards the universalization of the Additioanl Protocol. We have submitted a joint working paper on the Additional Protocol to this PrepCom.

We must seek to ensure that the IAEA continues to have the expertise, authority and resources needed to fulfill its statutory functions, particularly through establishing standards, organizing meetings to produce practical recommendations and assisting requesting states in improving their legal, regulatory and implementation structures.

The role of export controls is crucial to achieving nuclear non-proliferation obligations under paragraph 2 of Article III of the NPT. We urge all states to establish and implement effective export controls to prevent the illicit transfer of nuclear and nuclear-related dual-use materials, equipment and technologies. While making use of best practices and existing international guidelines on the export controls, we will share our experience and information in this field.

Pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, we encourage and support the establishment of internationally recognized and effectively verifiable nuclear-weapon-free-zones, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among states of the regions concerned, and in accordance with the 1999 Guidelines of the UN Disarmament Commission. We urge the Nuclear Weapon States to support existing nuclear-weapons-free zones, take the necessary steps to ratify the relevant protocols of nuclear-weapons-free zone treaties if they have not yet done so and to support the development of new zones. We recognize that the conferences of States parties to nuclear weapon free zones are an important mechanism in the promotion of a nuclear weapons free world and constitute a relevant contribution to the NPT review process.

We are committed to the full implementation of the 1995 NPT RevCon Resolution on the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East (MEWMDFZ). We welcome the appointment of Ambassador Jaakko Laajava, Finland's Undersecretary of State for Foreign and Security Policy, as the Facilitator to support the implementation of the 1995 Resolution and the decision to convene the 2012 Conference on the establishment of a MEWMDFZ as called for in the Final Document of the 2010 RevCon. We express our full support for the efforts of the Facilitator and stand ready to assist him in his efforts. We call upon all parties in the Middle East to participate in the Conference in the spirit of a genuine and constructive engagement.

In order to raise greater awareness about our policies with a deep commitment to the NPT as the essential foundation for the achievement of nuclear disarmament, the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and the basis for the development of the peacefuluse of nuclear energy; and to ensure broad support for these principles, at national, regional and global levels, we are resolved to intensify efforts to promote and maintain a culture of peace in our societies. We are further resolved to ensure that members of our societies are empowered with the necessary knowledge and skills to make their own contribution, as national and world citizens, to the achievement of the global disarmament and non-proliferation objectives, as building blocks for the attainment of the goal of a nuclear weapons free world. We, therefore, recognize the importance of disarmament and non-proliferation education as an integral part of our joint work. We have also submitted a working paper to the PrepCom on this issue.

Mr Chairperson,

The tragic consequences of the use of nuclear weapons are still fresh on our memories. We are committed to pursue determined efforts to ensure that these bitter experiences will not be repeated and that the atomic energy will be utilized for the development and prosperity of the mankind. On the new review cycle that starts with this First PrepCom of the 2015 RevCon, we would like to encourage the Governments and the civil society to work closely together to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. We also invite participant to the NPDI outreach event on Wednesday.

Thank you.

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