EU — Speech by HR Catherine Ashton, at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

Review Con­fer­ence — New York, 3 May 2010
I have the hon­our to speak on behalf of the Euro­pean Union. The Can­di­date Coun­tries, Croa­t­ia and the for­mer Yugoslav Repub­lic of Mace­do­nia, the coun­tries of the Sta­bil­i­sa­tion and Asso­ci­a­tion Process and poten­tial can­di­dates Alba­nia, Bosnia and Herze­gov­ina and Mon­tene­gro as well as Ukraine and the Repub­lic of Moldo­va align them­selves with this dec­la­ra­tion.

I would like, first of all, to con­grat­u­late you on your appoint­ment as Pres­i­dent of this 2010 Review Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties to the Treaty on the Non-Pro­lif­er­a­tion of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). We are aware of the numer­ous infor­mal con­sul­ta­tions you have your­self under­tak­en in prepa­ra­tion for this con­fer­ence and com­mend your work in this regard. We are ready to sup­port you in all pos­si­ble ways in your efforts to achieve a sub­stan­tive and bal­anced out­come at this Review Conference.

Mr. Pres­i­dent,
The NPT, based on the three mutu­al­ly rein­forc­ing pil­lars of non-pro­lif­er­a­tion, dis­ar­ma­ment and the peace­ful uses of nuclear ener­gy, rep­re­sents a unique and irre­place­able frame­work for main­tain­ing and strength­en­ing inter­na­tion­al peace, secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty. Giv­en the cur­rent chal­lenges in the field of inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty, in par­tic­u­lar the risks of pro­lif­er­a­tion, we are con­vinced that the NPT is more impor­tant now than ever. It is our duty to main­tain and strength­en its author­i­ty and integri­ty, to con­tin­ue to advo­cate its uni­ver­sal­i­ty. To this end, the EU will con­tin­ue to pro­mote all the objec­tives con­tained in the Treaty.

We meet today amidst a renewed momen­tum in glob­al arms con­trol and dis­ar­ma­ment and an inter­na­tion­al pub­lic debate on ways to advance all the objec­tives enshrined in the Treaty. We wel­come and strong­ly sup­port the impor­tant Res­o­lu­tion 1887 adopt­ed unan­i­mous­ly at the meet­ing held by the Unit­ed Nations Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil, at the lev­el of Heads of State and Gov­ern­ment, on 24 Sep­tem­ber 2009, on nuclear non­pro­lif­er­a­tion and nuclear dis­ar­ma­ment. We also wel­come the suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion of nego­ti­a­tions and the sig­na­ture of a sig­nif­i­cant new agree­ment between the Unit­ed States and the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion on a Strate­gic Arms Reduc­tion Treaty and we look for­ward to its swift rat­i­fi­ca­tion. We encour­age both States con­cerned to work towards new agree­ments for fur­ther, com­pre­hen­sive reduc­tions of their nuclear arse­nals, includ­ing non strate­gic weapons. We appre­ci­ate their renewed engage­ment on oth­er strate­gic issues relat­ed to dis­ar­ma­ment and non-pro­lif­er­a­tion. Con­sis­tent with the long­stand­ing and sig­nif­i­cant sup­port pro­vid­ed by the EU to glob­al nuclear secu­ri­ty efforts, we have active­ly con­tributed to the suc­cess­ful out­come of the Wash­ing­ton Nuclear Secu­ri­ty Summit.

The Euro­pean Union reaf­firms its com­mit­ment to seek­ing a safer world for all and to cre­at­ing the con­di­tions for a world with­out nuclear weapons, in accor­dance with the goals of the NPT. We are con­vinced that inter­me­di­ate steps on our path towards this objec­tive can also rep­re­sent sig­nif­i­cant increas­es in secu­ri­ty for all. The EU is work­ing for gen­er­al dis­ar­ma­ment, notably nuclear dis­ar­ma­ment, and wel­comes and sup­ports the nuclear dis­ar­ma­ment mea­sures and ini­tia­tives tak­en by the two nuclear-weapon States which are mem­bers of the Euro­pean Union. We also reaf­firm our com­mit­ment to treaty-based nuclear arms con­trol and dis­ar­ma­ment and under­line the need to renew mul­ti­lat­er­al efforts and reac­ti­vate mul­ti­lat­er­al instru­ments, in par­tic­u­lar the Con­fer­ence on Disarmament.

Strength­en­ing the non-pro­lif­er­a­tion regime should be a key pri­or­i­ty for all States in order to pre­vent the pro­lif­er­a­tion of weapons of mass destruc­tion and their means of deliv­ery, which under­mines the secu­ri­ty of all nations. In that respect, the EU remains grave­ly con­cerned by the major pro­lif­er­a­tion chal­lenges posed by the Demo­c­ra­t­ic People’s Repub­lic of Korea (DPRK) and the Islam­ic Repub­lic of Iran, who have both con­tin­ued to vio­late their inter­na­tion­al oblig­a­tions in clear defi­ance of the Unit­ed Nations Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil and the IAEA, despite repeat­ed and ambi­tious offers by the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty to dis­cuss these issues, pur­sue com­pre­hen­sive and fair nego­ti­a­tions and work for a diplo­mat­ic solu­tion. All NPT States Par­ties must ensure strict com­pli­ance with non-pro­lif­er­a­tion oblig­a­tions and take res­olute action, includ­ing the enforce­ment of UN Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tions, in response to the chal­lenges posed by these coun­tries to the non-pro­lif­er­a­tion regime and to region­al and inter­na­tion­al security.

The Euro­pean Union is of the firm view that each coun­try has the right to define its own ener­gy strat­e­gy and, in this con­text, we reaf­firm the inalien­able right of all NPT States par­ties to the peace­ful uses of nuclear ener­gy, in con­for­mi­ty with all their NPT oblig­a­tions. The EU notes that a grow­ing num­ber of States Par­ties to the NPT show inter­est in devel­op­ing civ­il nuclear pro­grammes aimed at address­ing their long-term ener­gy require­ments. Con­scious of its oblig­a­tions under Arti­cle IV of the Treaty, the EU will work towards pro­mot­ing a respon­si­ble devel­op­ment of peace­ful uses of nuclear ener­gy in the best safe­ty, secu­ri­ty and non pro­lif­er­a­tion con­di­tions, in coun­tries wish­ing to devel­op their capac­i­ties in this field, with­in a frame­work ensur­ing that tech­nolo­gies and goods are not dis­sem­i­nat­ed for pur­pos­es oth­er than peace­ful uses. In this regard, the Euro­pean Union, as a major provider of inter­na­tion­al assis­tance, will con­tin­ue to coop­er­ate active­ly with third coun­tries and pro­vide its full sup­port to the IAEA, includ­ing as a major con­trib­u­tor to the IAEA’s Tech­ni­cal Coop­er­a­tion Fund, with a view to pro­mot­ing inter­na­tion­al coop­er­a­tion for the peace­ful uses of nuclear ener­gy, pro­mot­ing nuclear safe­ty and secu­ri­ty, and strength­en­ing effec­tive safe­guards to pre­vent nuclear proliferation.

The EU calls upon all States Par­ties to live up to both chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties and work con­struc­tive­ly towards reaf­firm­ing the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples under­ly­ing the Treaty, in order to rein­force this unique and irre­place­able mul­ti­lat­er­al instru­ment for main­tain­ing and rein­forc­ing inter­na­tion­al peace, secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty. At this cru­cial junc­ture, a com­bined effort by all States Par­ties is nec­es­sary to strength­en the Treaty in all its three pil­lars, which serves the secu­ri­ty inter­ests of all.

The EU stress­es the absolute neces­si­ty of full com­pli­ance with all the pro­vi­sions of the NPT by all States Par­ties. We also under­line the need for poli­cies and strate­gies of States Par­ties to be con­sis­tent with these provisions.

The Review Con­fer­ence should help us to fos­ter a sense of com­mon pur­pose among States Par­ties and cre­ate a more secure inter­na­tion­al con­text by express­ing renewed sup­port from the entire inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty for the goals and oblig­a­tions of the NPT, by address­ing the main issues at stake with­in all three pil­lars of the Treaty, and by demon­strat­ing the capac­i­ty of the review cycle to give appro­pri­ate respons­es to these chal­lenges. The Review Con­fer­ence should iden­ti­fy areas in which, and means through which, fur­ther progress should be sought in the near future.

We must seize the oppor­tu­ni­ty of this Review Con­fer­ence to move for­ward toward a safer world, one in which it is pos­si­ble to meet all the objec­tives enshrined in the NPT, whether they be dis­ar­ma­ment, non­pro­lif­er­a­tion or the peace­ful uses of nuclear ener­gy. The EU has come to this meet­ing with a firm deter­mi­na­tion to strength­en the inter­na­tion­al nuclear non-pro­lif­er­a­tion regime and to help build con­sen­sus for a suc­cess­ful out­come of the 2010 NPT Review Con­fer­ence, on the basis of two basic prin­ci­ples: — A bal­anced approach between the three pil­lars in the review of the oper­a­tion of the NPT is essential; 

- The Review Con­fer­ence should adopt a set of bal­anced, con­crete, effec­tive, prag­mat­ic and con­sen­su­al mea­sures for step­ping up inter­na­tion­al efforts against pro­lif­er­a­tion, pur­su­ing dis­ar­ma­ment and ensur­ing a respon­si­ble devel­op­ment of peace­ful uses of nuclear energy.

We con­tin­ue to sup­port the deci­sions and the imple­men­ta­tion of the res­o­lu­tion on the Mid­dle East adopt­ed at the 1995 NPT Review and Exten­sion Con­fer­ence as well as the Final Doc­u­ment of the 2000 NPT Review Con­fer­ence, and shall bear in mind the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. We con­tin­ue to work towards the uni­ver­sal­i­ty of the NPT and call once again on those States not yet par­ty to the NPT to join the Treaty as Non Nuclear Weapon States and, pend­ing their acces­sion to the NPT, to adhere to its terms and pledge com­mit­ments to non-pro­lif­er­a­tion and disarmament.

Mr. Pres­i­dent,
I wish to recall that the EU has elab­o­rat­ed for­ward-look­ing pro­pos­als on all three pil­lars of the NPT, intro­duced as Work­ing Paper 26 at the Third Prep­Com, which could be part of an action plan to be adopt­ed at this 2010 Review Con­fer­ence. The Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union has recent­ly adopt­ed a Deci­sion relat­ing to the posi­tion of the Euro­pean Union for the 2010 NPT Review Con­fer­ence. With­in the new EU Coun­cil Deci­sion, we have iden­ti­fied the fol­low­ing pri­or­i­ties that we con­sid­er should be addressed by States Par­ties at this 2010 Review Con­fer­ence:
— a reaf­fir­ma­tion by all States par­ties of their com­mit­ment to com­ply with their oblig­a­tions and to ful­fil the goals of the NPT and towards uni­ver­sal acces­sion to the NPT;

— strength­en­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of the Treaty through the adop­tion of a set of con­crete, effec­tive, prag­mat­ic and con­sen­su­al mea­sures for step­ping up inter­na­tion­al efforts against pro­lif­er­a­tion, pur­su­ing dis­ar­ma­ment and ensur­ing a respon­si­ble devel­op­ment of peace­ful uses of nuclear ener­gy and mak­ing progress on imple­ment­ing the NPT 1995 Mid­dle East Resolution;

— reaf­firm­ing the com­mit­ment to and stress­ing the need for con­crete advance­ments on the nuclear arms con­trol and dis­ar­ma­ment process­es, espe­cial­ly through an over­all reduc­tion in the glob­al stock­pile of nuclear weapons, in accor­dance with Arti­cle VI of the NPT, tak­ing into account the spe­cial respon­si­bil­i­ty of the States that pos­sess the largest arse­nals, and agree­ment on spe­cif­ic and ear­ly mea­sures, includ­ing achiev­ing rapid entry into force of the CTBT and the start of nego­ti­a­tions in the Con­fer­ence on Dis­ar­ma­ment on an FMCT as indis­pens­able steps towards ful­fil­ment of the oblig­a­tions and final objec­tive enshrined in Arti­cle VI of the NPT;

— strength­en­ing the effec­tive­ness and com­pre­hen­sive­ness of the non-pro­lif­er­a­tion regime through mak­ing the con­clu­sion of a Com­pre­hen­sive Safe­guards Agree­ment togeth­er with the Addi­tion­al Pro­to­col the ver­i­fi­ca­tion stan­dard, under Arti­cle III of the NPT;

— strength­en­ing the Treaty through a com­mon under­stand­ing of States par­ties on how to respond effec­tive­ly to a State’s with­draw­al from the Treaty;

— uphold­ing the Treaty, bear­ing in mind cur­rent major pro­lif­er­a­tion chal­lenges, in par­tic­u­lar in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic People’s Repub­lic of Korea and the Islam­ic Repub­lic of Iran, through a com­mon under­stand­ing of States par­ties on how to respond res­olute­ly and effec­tive­ly to cas­es of non-compliance;

— broad­en­ing accep­tance and sup­port of the con­cept of respon­si­ble devel­op­ment of the peace­ful uses of nuclear ener­gy in the best safe­ty, secu­ri­ty and non-pro­lif­er­a­tion con­di­tions and of mul­ti­lat­er­al approach­es to the nuclear fuel cycle.

Mr. Pres­i­dent,
The Euro­pean Union has come to this Review Con­fer­ence ful­ly aware of its sig­nif­i­cance and of the impor­tance of reach­ing a com­mon under­stand­ing for con­crete advances in all three pil­lars of the NPT. As we com­mence our work, let me assure you and all States par­ties to the NPT of our will­ing­ness to engage in seri­ous and prag­mat­ic dis­cus­sions and nego­ti­a­tions to achieve a bal­anced and suc­cess­ful out­come, which should chart our future course for a strength­ened non-pro­lif­er­a­tion regime.

Thank you, Mr. President 

Euro­pean Union 

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