USA — More Nuke Treaties Remain on Agenda, Official Says

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2011 — With one major arms reduc­tion treaty near­ly to the enforce­ment stage, more work lies ahead to advance the nation’s nuclear secu­ri­ty, a senior State Depart­ment offi­cial said yes­ter­day.

Rose Gote­moeller, the State Department’s assis­tant sec­re­tary for the Bureau of Arms Con­trol, Ver­i­fi­ca­tion and Com­pli­ance, spoke about that work at the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences and U.S. Insti­tute of Peace Symposium. 

The Sen­ate rat­i­fied the New Strate­gic Arms Reduc­tion Treaty on Dec. 20, and the treaty will be in force after the Russ­ian Duma and Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil approve the treaty and the two nations for­mal­ly exchange instru­ments of ratification. 

“New START is the most sig­nif­i­cant nuclear arms con­trol agree­ment in near­ly two decades,” Gote­moeller said. 

The treaty lim­its the num­ber of strate­gic nuclear weapons and launch­ers that the Unit­ed States and Rus­sia can deploy, she said, while main­tain­ing the effec­tive­ness of the U.S. nuclear deterrent. 

After New START comes into force, Gote­moeller said, an ini­tial exchange of data on mis­siles, launch­ers, heavy bombers and war­heads sub­ject to the treaty is required with­in 45 days. The right to con­duct on-site inspec­tions begins after 60 days. 

The new treaty sets the stage for progress in oth­er crit­i­cal areas on the nuclear arms con­trol agen­da, she said: fur­ther nuclear weapons reduc­tions, the Fis­sile Mate­r­i­al Cut­off Treaty, and the Com­pre­hen­sive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. 

The Sen­ate passed a res­o­lu­tion of advice and con­sent in rat­i­fy­ing New START that calls for the Unit­ed States to ini­ti­ate nego­ti­a­tions with Rus­sia on non­strate­gic nuclear weapons with­in the treaty’s first year, she said. Work to pre­pare for that dia­logue is under way and inten­si­fy­ing, she added. 

More progress occurred last week, Gote­moeller said, when John R. Beyr­le, U.S. ambas­sador to the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion, and Russ­ian Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Sergey Ryabkov exchanged diplo­mat­ic notes to for­mal­ize the so-called “123 Agreement.” 

“This is an agree­ment for nuclear coop­er­a­tion which both sides have been intent on bring­ing into force for some time,” she said. The agree­ment, for­mal­ly called the Agree­ment for Coop­er­a­tion in the Field of Peace­ful Uses of Nuclear Ener­gy, enhances coop­er­a­tion on glob­al non­pro­lif­er­a­tion goals, Gote­moeller said. 

“The 123 Agree­ment will cre­ate the con­di­tions for improved coop­er­a­tion on joint tech­nol­o­gy devel­op­ment to sup­port arms con­trol and non­pro­lif­er­a­tion activ­i­ties,” she said. Gote­moeller said the agree­ment will advance joint efforts to con­vert research reac­tors from high­ly-enriched ura­ni­um to low enriched ura­ni­um fuel; aid coop­er­a­tion on foren­sic analy­sis, allow­ing bet­ter iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of nuclear mate­r­i­al and pre­vent­ing that mate­r­i­al from reach­ing ter­ror­ists; and set the stage for expand­ed joint tech­ni­cal coop­er­a­tion on next-gen­er­a­tion inter­na­tion­al safeguards. 

There are two oth­er crit­i­cal ele­ments to Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s arms con­trol agen­da, she said: the Fis­sile Mate­r­i­al Cut­off Treaty and the Com­pre­hen­sive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Rod­ham Clin­ton has empha­sized, Gote­moeller said, that the Unit­ed States stands ready to begin mul­ti­lat­er­al nego­ti­a­tions imme­di­ate­ly on a fis­sile mate­r­i­al treaty at the Con­fer­ence on Dis­ar­ma­ment in Geneva. 

Such a treaty would pro­hib­it pro­duc­tion of fis­sile mate­r­i­al for use in nuclear weapons. 

“This set of treaty nego­ti­a­tions is long over­due, and it is an impor­tant step on the inter­na­tion­al arms con­trol agen­da,” Gote­moeller said. “The Unit­ed States is deeply dis­ap­point­ed over the Con­fer­ence on Disarmament’s fail­ure to begin negotiations.” 

The conference’s next ses­sion will start this month, she said, and she and oth­er U.S. rep­re­sen­ta­tives will work with oth­er inter­est­ed states on ways to move the fis­sile mate­ri­als treaty agen­da forward. 

Final­ly, the test-ban treaty remains an impor­tant ele­ment of the president’s strat­e­gy to strength­en the nuclear non­pro­lif­er­a­tion regime and cre­ate the con­di­tions for a nuclear free world, she said. 

The Sen­ate declined to rat­i­fy the test-ban treaty in 1999, based on con­cerns about its ver­i­fi­a­bil­i­ty and the reli­a­bil­i­ty of America’s nuclear deter­rent with­out nuclear test­ing, Gote­moeller said. Over the last decade, the U.S. has made strides in meet­ing both con­cerns, she added. 

“The Inter­na­tion­al Mon­i­tor­ing Sys­tem is now more than 80 per­cent com­plete. At the time of the ini­tial Sen­ate vote on the Treaty in 1999, none of the IMS sta­tions had been cer­ti­fied as meet­ing approved tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions and oper­a­tional require­ments,” she said. 

The nation can also now ensure the reli­a­bil­i­ty of its nuclear weapons with­out resort­ing to explo­sive test­ing, Gote­moeller said. 

“After an absence of eight years, U.S. experts are ful­ly engaged in prepara­to­ry work to estab­lish the on-site inspec­tion ele­ment of the ver­i­fi­ca­tion regime, as part of the U.S. con­tri­bu­tion to the work of the Com­pre­hen­sive Test Ban Treaty Orga­ni­za­tion,” she said. 

“These actions demon­strate the com­mit­ment of the Unit­ed States to pre­pare for the entry into force of this treaty,” she con­tin­ued. “We will con­tin­ue to take addi­tion­al steps to rein­force the norm against nuclear test­ing in the months ahead.” 

The nuclear arms con­trol agenda’s “mon­i­tor­ing, trans­paren­cy, and ver­i­fi­ca­tion chal­lenges alone are daunt­ing,” she acknowledged. 

“We have tal­ent avail­able to address those chal­lenges that is also quite for­mi­da­ble,” Gote­moeller said, “and a wel­come part­ner­ship with the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty in the U.S., Rus­sia and else­where to tack­le these challenges.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →