Working Paper 00-2
April 24 – May 20, 2000
Table of Contents
2. The Opening: The NPT “Paradox”
3. The Speeches: Goliath vs. David
4. Nuclear Weapons Are “Essential”
5. The Stern Voice of India
6. Canada: Caught in the Middle
7. NAC Moves: NWS Responds
8. NWS Negotiates with NAC
9. Middle East Acrimony
10. Safeguards: Passing the Hat
11. Security Assurances: Legal or Political?
12. Nuclear Energy vs. Sustainable Development
13. Silence Over Trillions of Dollars
14. Accountability and the NGO Factor
15. The Ending: A Cheer and a Fear
16. Conclusion: Forward from the “Landmark”
Appendix “A”: Text of Non-Proliferation Treaty
Appendix “B”: UN Secretary-General Annan’s Address
Appendix “C”: Global Nuclear Stockpiles, 1945-2000
Appendix “D”: Practical Steps on Article VI
Appendix “E”: Text of UN Security Council 1172
Appendix “F”: Text of UN Security Council 984
Appendix “G”: World Military Expenditures vs. Development
Appendix “H”: Edmonton Journal Editorial May 26, 2000 (Not included)
Although nearly derailed by a lengthy stand-off between the U.S. and Iraq, the 2000 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (April 24-May 20) took a big step forward through securing from the Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) “an unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals.” For the first time in an NPT setting, nuclear disarmament has been clearly separated from general and complete disarmament. This achievement was termed by the New Agenda Coalition (NAC), whose negotiating skills brought it about, “an important landmark on which to build a nuclear weapons free world.” Since the NWS continue to modernize their nuclear arsenals, the obstacles to nuclear disarmament remain formidable. But they can no longer be considered overwhelming, because active work leading to the goal has been politically validated. The “unequivocal undertaking … to total nuclear disarmament” accepted by the NWS puts them in direct contradiction with their own nuclear deterrence doctrines. NAC has become the central force leading the abolition movement in challenging the NWS to live up to their commitment to Article VI of the NPT.
Regional issues played a dominant role in the Review Conference. Israel was named for the first time as being in non-compliance with the non-proliferation regime. Iraq was called on to implement continuous cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards systems. India and Pakistan, which successfully tested nuclear weapons in 1998, were denied nuclear-weapon status and called on to join the NPT as non-nuclear weapon states.
The IAEA does not have enough money for its verification programs; the NWS denied legal status to security assurances; the demand for nuclear energy won out over fears it is incompatible with sustainable development.
A strengthened review process will allow more intensive work and continuity from one session to the next. Fifteen NGOs made statements at an NPT plenary meeting on a wide range of issues under the NPT umbrella, including criticism of the U.S. National Missile Defence program. The hitherto informal practice of NGO speeches will be formalized at future NPT reviews and PrepComs. The conference’s progressive steps on nuclear disarmament have considerably strengthened the role of civil society leaders working to advance the nuclear disarmament agenda.
The NPT Final Document — the first to carry a genuine consensus in 25 years — has strong implications for more effective U.N. work in nuclear disarmament and NATO’s current review of nuclear weapons. The conditions are now right for a grand coalition of like-minded states and the advanced wing of civil society to work together to press the NWS to — at last — fulfill their commitments to Article VI of the NPT.
1.1 Following the indefinite extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1995, (See Appendix “A” text of the NPT) a strengthened review process was established, including two-week preparatory sessions in each of 1997, 1998 and 1999, leading to the month-long review in 2000. The 1995 extension had called for a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty by no later than 1996, the “early conclusion” of negotiations on a convention banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, and “systematic and progressive efforts globally, with the ultimate goals of eliminating those weapons, and by all states of general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
1.2 The three PrepComs revealed the depth of the nuclear disarmament crisis: the NWS continued to modernize their nuclear arsenals; the implementation of START II was blocked because the Russian Duma refused to ratify it for seven years (it was ratified by the Duma on the eve of the NPT Review Conference); overt nuclear proliferation spread to India and Pakistan; NATO reaffirmed that nuclear weapons are “essential”; the CTBT, though signed by 41 states was ratified by only 28 of the requisite 44 states (the U.S. Senate rejected it); fissile material negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva were never started and the C.D. itself became paralyzed.
1.3 At the First PrepCom in 1997, the Western NWS, insisting on regional stability as a precondition of nuclear disarmament, made clear they had no intention in the foreseeable future of negotiating nuclear disarmament. The Second PrepCom collapsed over the failure to agree on references to the Middle East resolution adopted in 1995, which called on all states in the Middle East (an indirect reference to Israel) not yet parties to the treaty to accede to it; the intransigence of four of the five NWS (China said it was willing) to enter into comprehensive negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons was at the heart of the breakdown. The Third PrepCom in 1999 ended with an agreement to disagree, so that the Chairman’s final paper, containing several progressive recommendations, was deprived of official status.
1.4 Despite the indefinite extension in 1995, the Review part of that conference could not produce a consensus document, as occurred also in 1990 and 1980. In 1985, consensus was obtained only because delegates agreed to a document that said they were not agreed. Only in 1975 was there a genuine consensus. Thus, the Sixth Review in 2000 opened with a record of only one true consensus in the previous five conferences.
2.1 The outlook was apprehensive as 155 of the 187 states parties to the NPT* gathered in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations at 11:00 a.m. on April 24. The President, Ambassador Abdallah Baali, the 45-year-old Permanent Representative of Algeria to the U.N. who was suddenly pressed into action a few months earlier when South Africa withdrew from the presidency, described the situation as “painful and delicate.” Yet his consultations, he said, had set him on a “proactive and optimistic course.” Calling on states not to denounce or condemn one another, Ambassador Baali said he would strive to “bridge the differences” to establish a consensus conclusion, a goal which, at the time, seemed unrealizable.
(* Virtually the entire world community belongs to the NPT with the significant exception of India and Pakistan, which between them successfully tested 11 times in 1998 and became overt nuclear powers; Israel, which has never admitted to the possession of nuclear weapons despite its possession of a small arsenal; and Cuba, which has no nuclear program and is a member of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which bans nuclear weapons from Latin America.)
2.2 U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan followed, calling attention to the NPT “paradox”: It has global appeal, but is not being satisfactorily implemented. “Nuclear conflict remains a very real and very terrifying possibility at the beginning of the twenty-first century.” Though the number of nuclear weapons has continued to drop since the end of the Cold War, “some 35,000 nuclear weapons remain in the arsenals of the nuclear powers, with thousands still deployed on hair-trigger alert.” Moreover, the NWS are reaffirming their nuclear weapons doctrines. He deplored the absence of nuclear weapons negotiations. “Quite frankly, much of the established multilateral disarmament machinery has started to rust.” He criticized growing pressure (i.e. in the U.S.) to deploy national missile defences. “This pressure is jeopardizing the ABM Treaty — which has been called the ‘cornerstone of a strategic stability’ — and could well lead to a new arms race, setbacks for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and create new incentives for missile proliferation.” (See text, Appendix “B”)
2.3 The importance of the role played by the International Atomic Energy Agency in the non-proliferation regime was signaled in having the IAEA Director General, Mohammed ElBaradei, speak next. The IAEA is the competent authority to verify the NPT’s safeguards obligations and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is not diverted to military use. It does this through employing increasingly modern verification technology. The IAEA is also the principal vehicle for the transfer of nuclear technology to developing countries in fulfillment of the NPT’s Article IV, which says that states have an “inalienable right” to the research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.” The IAEA has long been attacked by some environmentalists for trying to do conflicting jobs at the same time: enforce safeguards and promote transfers. The 1995 Extension Conference had stated that the IAEA’s capability should be increased. But ElBaradei complained that the agency is increasingly underfunded. Despite the increase in work, notably the obligation to ensure the safety of nuclear fissile material transferred from military use to peaceful activities, the Agency’s annual budget for safeguards has been frozen for more than a decade at $82 million. The Agency now relies on voluntary contributions to make up the shortfall for its current expenditures of $95 million per year.
2.4 Despite under-funding, the inspection of two of the most contentious countries in the world, Iraq and North Korea, is in the hands of the IAEA. ElBaradei reported that because Iraq had withdrawn its cooperation with IAEA inspection under the terms of U.N. Security Council resolution 687, the IAEA has not been in a position since December 1998 to provide assurance that Iraq is complying with the Security Council. However, in January, 2000, the IAEA carried out an inspection under the NPT safeguards agreement and “the inspectors were able to verify the presence of the nuclear material subject to safeguards… which is still in Iraq.”
2.5 With regard to North Korea, that country remains in non-compliance with its safeguards agreement, but has accepted IAEA inspectors in conformity with the bilateral agreement with the U.S., which has agreed to help North Korea obtain nuclear power in return for not proceeding with a nuclear weapons program. ElBaradei noted that North Korea must come into compliance with its safeguard agreement before the U.S.-sponsored delivery of light water reactors occurs. He called for North Korea to come into compliance with the IAEA immediately.
2.6 Turning to the Middle East issues, the ostensible reason for the 1998 PrepCom breakdown, ElBaradei said he was trying to prepare the way for the eventuality of a nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) in that region. Israel maintains that a comprehensive peace and security agreement must precede a NWFZ, of which mutual verifications and safeguards would be an integral part. On the other hand, the Arab States hold that the application of safeguards to all activities in the region (i.e. Israel should join the NPT) should not depend on the conclusion of a comprehensive peace settlement. Rather, the Arab States maintain that Israel joining the NPT and accepting safeguards would be a confidence building measure contributing to a peace settlement.
2.7 The discovery of Iraq’s clandestine nuclear weapons programme led the IAEA to strengthen its safeguards system through a 1997 “Model Protocol.” Here again, the lack of full international support for the IAEA is shown in the fact that only 44 non-nuclear weapon states have signed the protocol. However, all five NWS have signed. The scope of IAEA’s work is shown by the fact that nuclear disarmament measures already agreed to by the U.S. and Russia would involve the IAEA supervising the transfer of “hundreds of tonnes of plutonium and high enriched uranium” from military to peaceful use. If a fissile material cut-off treaty is successfully negotiated, the IAEA’s work will vastly grow.
2.8 ElBaradei reminded the delegates that the NPT regime, though not perfect, is the best we have and “should not be allowed to unravel,” which could happen through a disagreement on the continuing validity of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. He called for an “unequivocal commitment” to the basic tenets of the regime:
- Universal adherence to the NPT.
- Universal adherence to the new verification system.
- Fulfillment of the obligation to enhance peaceful nuclear cooperation and transfer of technology.
- Active negotiation towards nuclear disarmament.
2.9 He concluded: “We must — as we were recently reminded by the International Court of Justice — ‘bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects’.”
3.1 Ninety-two countries and several specialized agencies took part in the general debate over the next several days. Because the NPT Review veered to a struggle between two opposing forces, the NWS and the New Agenda Coalition (a sort of Goliath and David), I summarize below the main points made by the countries in each group.
The Nuclear Weapons States
The United States
3.2 Praising the 1995 extension as a “priceless gift to our children,” U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said the U.S. had dismantled 60 percent of its nuclear weapons and a START III process would cut U.S.-Soviet arsenals by 80 percent from Cold War peaks. “Simple math and common sense both suggest that it is folly to give up on a START process which is doing exactly what is called for in Article VI.” She added that NATO’s nuclear weapons have been cut by 85 percent since 1991. “Such weapons now play a smaller role in our defence posture than at any time since the advent of the Cold War.” The Secretary highlighted the words of President Clinton in the Foreword to a glossy publication detailing how the U.S. is living up to its commitments to Article VI: “As we enter this new Millennium, we should commit ourselves anew to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons. The United States remains committed to this goal and will work tirelessly towards its ultimate achievement.” She said she was convinced that the U.S. would ratify the CTBT.
3.3 Foreign Minister Igor S. Ivanov brought a message from Russia’s new President, Vladimir V. Putin, pledging that Russia would maintain its disarmament obligations “in the conditions of maintaining strategic stability” (a new phrase introduced into NPT discussions that would grow in importance as the conference proceeded). Noting that Russia had ratified both START II and the CTBT, Mr. Putin reported that Russia had already eliminated 2,000 ballistic missiles, 950 land and sea-based launchers, 30 nuclear submarines and 80 heavy bombers. START II would bring further cuts, and Russia was now ready to reduce its nuclear warheads to 1,500 (START III has, to date, called for 2,500 for each of Russia and the U.S.). But he immediately warned the U.S. that reduction programs will be jeopardized if the U.S. proceeds with a national missile defense (NMD) system. The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty is a cornerstone of the non-proliferation regime, he said, and cannot be tampered with. Whereas Ms. Albright said there was no good reason why the ABM Treaty could not be amended, Mr. Ivanov said plainly compliance with the ABM Treaty in its present form without any modifications is a prerequisite for further negotiations on nuclear disarmament.” He made the same point several times: “Further reductions in strategic offensive weapons can only be considered in the context of preservation of the ABM Treaty.” He called attention to Russia’s initiative to establish a Global Missile and Missile Technologies monitoring and verification system which could be an alternative to the destruction of the ABM system.
3.4 Ambassador Sha Zukang launched a sweeping attack on Western states, because of NATO’s bypassing of the U.N. Security Council in the use of force in Kosovo, and then criticized India and Pakistan for their nuclear tests. Quoting President Jiang Zemin’s condemnation of the U.S. National Missile Defence, he said it posed a “severe threat to the global strategic balance that is tantamount to a nuclear arms buildup.” He warned that the international nuclear disarmament process would come tumbling down if the U.S. proceeds with NMD. And certainly China was not disposed to accept transparency standards while the U.S. was maintaining that an NMD was necessary. He said the prevention of the weaponization of outer space is a task even more urgent than the fissile ban negotiations.
3.5 Peter Hain, Minister of State in the U.K. Foreign Office, started by saying: “We have made an unequivocal commitment to the pursuit of nuclear disarmament.” The U.K. had reduced its nuclear forces by dismantling air-delivered nuclear weapons, and reducing the submarine delivery system to only one submarine at a time, with 50 percent fewer warheads than previously announced. Expressing concern over Iraq, India, Pakistan and Israel, he also circumspectly criticized the U.S. NMD program. “Active missile defence raises complex and difficult issues,” he said. “We have made it clear to [the U.S. and Russia] that we continue to value the ABM and wish to see it preserved.”
3.6 Maintaining that France had “committed itself unequivocally in favour of nuclear disarmament” and had cut its delivery vehicles by more than half, Ambassador M. Hubert de La Fortelle of France said France’s nuclear policy was one of “strict sufficiency.” He said his country was “anxious to avoid any challenge to the [ABM] liable to bring about a breakdown of strategic equilibrium and to restart the arms race.”
The New Agenda Coalition
3.7 The New Agenda Coalition (NAC), came into existence on June 9, 1998 when Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa and Sweden issued a Joint Declaration stating they could “no longer remain complacent” at the dangers posed by the maintenance of nuclear weapons. They proposed a practical plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons that would begin by having the NWS make an “unequivocal commitment” to complete nuclear disarmament. Their resolution to this effect at the 1998 U.N. General Assembly passed 114 for, 18 opposed, and 38 abstentions. The abstentions included 12 NATO states. At the NPT Third PrepCom, they criticized the NWS for re-rationalizing their continued possession of nuclear weapons, and called for a “clear and unequivocal commitment” to the speedy pursuit of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, “which will require a multilateral agreement.” Although Slovenia, which wants into NATO, succumbed to NATO pressure and dropped out, the NAC paper has now been co-sponsored by 60 states. The NAC 1999 resolution at the General Assembly was adopted 111-13-39. NATO abstentions grew to 14, revealing the uncertainty inside NATO about the wisdom of maintaining nuclear weapons.
3.8 Recalling the formation of NAC in 1998 with its Declaration, “Towards a Nuclear Weapon Free World: The Need for a New Agenda,” Mexico’s Foreign Minister, Rosario Green said NAC’s purpose was to put the nuclear agenda back on track and bring about a nuclear weapons free world “without further prevarication.” An unequivocal undertaking by the P5 meant “negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects,” an imperative that was the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice. She backed Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s call, in his report to the U.N. Millennium Assembly, for a major international conference to identify ways of eliminating nuclear danger. Minister Green surprised everyone by tabling immediately NAC’s Working Paper (see paragraph 7.1).
3.9 Foreign Minister Brian Cowen delivered a blistering attack on the NWS for coupling reductions with the further modernization of their nuclear forces. “How can we lift the nuclear threat when nuclear weapons are being further reaffirmed as central to strategic concepts for the indefinite future?” He excoriated the development of new types of nuclear weapons through sub-critical testing and computer simulation. “We must overcome interminable arguments about the retention of nuclear weapons to respond to every perceived threat to security.” Without a fundamental change in approach by all, “this Treaty may not survive intact for another five years.”
3.10 Abdul S. Minty, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Foreign Affairs, South Africa, said a true commitment by the NWS to elimination would have not only momentous symbolic importance but would also provide the basis for greater confidence in the non-proliferation and disarmament regimes. “If we are unable to succeed in establishing the imperative for the elimination of nuclear weapons, then we will never be liberated from the unspeakable destruction and human suffering which these weapons can cause.”
3.11 Anna Lindh, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, attacked the U.S. NMD program because it “could run counter to efforts to halt proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.” No state has the right to hold “our common security environment hostage to domestic policies,” she said, adding that the ongoing debate over NMD must not be taken as “a pretext for continued development of nuclear weapons.” “If we do not act today, we, the generation which rallied against nuclear weapons and for peace, will see our own children demonstrating against us.”
3.12 Participating for the first time in an NPT Review Conference, Brazil noted that it was no wonder many remained unimpressed with NWS reduction figures when so many nuclear weapons are kept in reserve. Ambassador Celso L.N. Amorim said: “Mutual suspicion seems now more prevalent than mutual confidence.” He called attention to the nuclear disarmament work of several governments, groups of experts, including the Canberra Commission and the Tokyo Forum, the NGO community as well as eminent civilian and ex-military authorities, and also former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. NAC would be effective, he said, because of its composition, timing, and comprehensive, balanced and achievable program.
3.13 Demanding universality for the NPT, Ambassador Ahmed Aboul Gheit of Egypt zeroed in on Israel as the only state in the Middle East outside the Treaty. “This imbalance cannot be accepted, neither can it last.” He said the message of the 2000 Review Conference must be unequivocal in its demand that Israel accede to the Treaty without delay and place all its nuclear facilities under the safeguards regime of the IAEA. “Any discrimination that favors one party at the expense of the others is untenable,” he said. “It is a question that brooks no double standards.”
3.14 New Zealand’s Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, Matt Robson, called for all five NWS to join the START negotiating process “leading to the total elimination of these weapons.” He recalled a unanimous parliamentary resolution in New Zealand February 23, 2000, calling for all states to bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament. He referred to the new Prime Minister, Helen Clark’s dedication that “New Zealand would not step back from our longstanding place in the vanguard of the nuclear disarmament movement.”
4.1 To fully understand NAC’s skepticism over NWS protestations that reductions in nuclear stocks signal their compliance with the NPT, it is necessary to examine policy statements of the NWS. (This section should be read in conjunction with Appendix “C” “Global Nuclear Stockpiles, 1945-2000,” published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March-April, 2000.)
4.2 In the case of the United States, there is a stark contrast between their reductions, and their intention to retain nuclear weapons indefinitely. In his Annual Report to the President and Congress 2000, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen put U.S. policy succinctly:
“Nuclear forces are an essential element of U.S. security, serving as a hedge against an uncertain future and as a guarantee of U.S. commitments to allies. Accordingly, the United States must maintain survival strategic nuclear forces of sufficient size and diversity as well as the deployment of theater nuclear weapons to NATO and the ability to deploy cruise missiles on submarines to deter or dissuade potentially hostile foreign leaders with access to nuclear weapons. The United States continues to work toward further agreed, stabilizing reductions in strategic nuclear arms. Once the Treaty on Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START II) has entered into force, the Department is confident that it can maintain the required deterrent at the force levels envisioned in a future treaty (START III), as agreed to in the March 1997 Helsinki Summit and reinforced at Cologne, Germany, in June 1999.”
4.3 Even while the NPT Review Conference was taking place in New York, Pentagon planners were meeting in Washington to review U.S. “requirements” in connection with forthcoming START III talks. The U.S.-based Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers reported that U.S. planners refused to consider reducing strategic deployed nuclear weapons below the 2,000-2,500 level. Russia wants to drop to 1,500, but the strategic war plan (known as Single Integrated Operational Plan) maintained by the U.S. contains so many targets in Russia and China that planners say the higher number is needed. Since the unleashing of a force of such magnitude is manifestly absurd, it is possible that presidential guidance may force the planners to accept the 1,500 number. There is no thought of going below such a number (despite the further contradiction that Russia is a “partner” of the U.S. and the U.S. is entering into a massive trade relationship with China).
4.4 The Western States Legal Foundation maintains that the evidence is overwhelming that the U.S. Stockpile Stewardship Program is a mechanism for improving nuclear weapons without explosive testing. In fact, even supporters of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty stated baldly during the Senate debate that the CTBT should be ratified because it would lock in U.S. superiority.
4.5 Further U.S. negotiating documents, arguing for Russian acceptance of changes in the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, make the point that Russia should not fear the U.S. National Missile Defence because:
“Both the United States and the Russian Federation now possess and, as before, will possess under the terms of any possible future arms agreements, large, diversified, viable arsenals of strategic offensive weapons consisting of various types of ICBM’s, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and heavy bombers.”
4.6 Defense Secretary Cohen has also emphasized that the political role of NATO nuclear deployments will continue.
“U.S. nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO provide an essential political and military link between the European and North American members of the Alliance, and permit widespread European participation in all aspects of the Alliance’s nuclear role.”
4.7 U.S. policy is clearly carried into NATO. The Alliance, holding that nuclear weapons are “essential,” published its updated Strategic Concept in April, 1999:
“To protect peace and to prevent war or any kind of coercion, the Alliance will maintain for the foreseeable future an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional forces based in Europe and kept up to date where necessary…[T]he Alliance’s conventional forces alone cannot ensure credible deterrence. Nuclear weapons make a unique contribution in rendering the risks of aggression against the Alliance incalculable and unacceptable. Thus, they remain essential to preserve peace.
4.8 These policies led to a remarkable dissent from former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who published an op-ed article in the Washington Post, February 23, 2000. He said:
“Instead of moving away from reliance on nuclear arsenals since the end of the Cold War, both the United States and NATO have sent disturbing signals to other nations by declaring that these weapons are still the cornerstone of Western security policy, and both have re-emphasized that they will not comply with a ‘no-first-use’ policy.”
President Carter added that “just as American policy is to blame for many of the problems, so can our influence help resolve the nuclear dilemma that faces the world.”
4.9 The U.S. is not alone among the NWS. When he became Acting President of Russia early in 2000, Vladimir Putin emphasized Russia’s continuing reliance on nuclear weapons.
“The Russian Federation should possess nuclear forces that are capable of guaranteeing the infliction of the desired extent of damage against any aggressor state or coalition of states in any conditions and circumstances… The Russian Federation considers the possibility of employing military force to ensure its national security based on the following principles: use of all available forces and assets, including nuclear, in the event of need to repulse armed aggression, if all other measures of resolving the crisis situation have been exhausted and have proven ineffective ….”
4.11 Although it too has slashed stocks, the United Kingdom’s Strategic Defence Review reaffirmed the government’s commitment to nuclear deterrence and the intention to retain the capability of Trident warheads for the next 20-30 years. France has stated that unless nuclear weapons are banned, it will retain them as a necessary component of its inherent right to self-defence.
5.1 As the conference moved into committee stage, yet another statement sharply revealed the essence of the NPT crisis — this one not at the conference itself but thousands of miles away in the Lok Sabh in New Delhi. Jaswant Singh, India’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, rose in Parliament (and had his statement released in New York) to make sure everyone understood that India is a nuclear weapons state and would not join the NPT as a non-nuclear weapons state. The calls made at the conference for India to roll back its nuclear programme and join the NPT as a non-nuclear state were “mere diversions” to prevent focused attention on the basic goals of the NPT.
5.2 After more than three decades, he said, the NWS remain to be persuaded to begin any kind of collective, meaningful negotiations aimed at global nuclear disarmament. Instead they have “arrogated as a permanent special right to possess nuclear weapons for their exclusive security.”
5.3 Though refusing to join the NPT because of the Treaty’s discriminatory aspects, India is conducting itself under NPT rules and, with respect to Article VI, “is the only nuclear weapon state that remains committed to commencing negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention.” Moreover, India has announced a no-first-use policy and has given unqualified negative security assurances.
“We remain committed to nuclear non-proliferation. India holds that genuine and lasting non-proliferation can only be achieved through agreements that are based upon equality and non-discrimination, for only these can contribute to global peace and stability.”
6.1 In the struggle between the reformist attitudes of the NAC and the status quo of the NWS, Canada finds itself on the fence between the two.
6.2 The policy of the government of Canada is to lower the political value of nuclear weapons and eventually get rid of them. But living under the nuclear umbrella of the U.S. and as a loyal NATO ally, Canada is constrained from any bold action in moving the nuclear disarmament agenda forward. It supports the International Court of Justice’s decision that comprehensive negotiations must be concluded to eliminate nuclear weapons, but cannot vote, logically, that negotiations must commence immediately because the U.S. is so adamantly opposed. Canada is attracted to the NAC, wants to work with the NAC, but twice has abstained on the NAC resolution lest Canada be seen as breaking NATO ranks. In fact, Canada calls itself a “conscientious abstainer.”
6.3 In this context, one would look in vain for strong leadership by Canada at the NPT Review on the Article VI issues. Foreign Minister Axworthy’s opening speech concentrated more on the processes of strengthening the NPT through universalization, expanded START negotiations, and stronger safeguards systems. He steered clear of any demand on the NWS for an “unequivocal commitment … to total elimination.” (It should be noted that the successful conclusion of the NPT Review appeared to embolden Axworthy who subsequently went to a NATO meeting in Florence Italy, with an extremely frank message.) (See Paragraph 16.9)
6.4 The Canadian Working Paper on nuclear disarmament issues was brief. It called for an expansion of the START process, de-alerting of nuclear weapons, measures to reduce the threats posed by tactical nuclear weapons, a universal moratorium on nuclear testing, the early conclusion of a fissile material ban, and “substantive discussions” in the Conference on Disarmament on nuclear disarmament issues.
6.5 Canada then joined with a number of other states in submitting Working Papers dealing with safeguards systems and cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In the latter context, Canada asserted its belief that nuclear energy is compatible with sustainable development, a point under considerable dispute today. Canada relies on this belief to justify its sale of Candu reactors to developing countries.
6.6 When the conference started focusing on Operative Paragraph 1 of the NAC Working Paper (see Paragraph 7.1), which called for an accelerated process of negotiations in the 2000-2005 period, the Canadian delegation quickly gave its assent and became one of NAC’s supporters in the conference. One could feel the evident constraints on the delegation preventing it from going further in pushing the NWS to accept the fullness of NAC’s proposal.
6.7 But another factor intervened to keep Canada from focusing fully on Article VI. In an effort to break the Middle East deadlock, Ambassador Baali, turned to Ambassador Christopher Westdal, head of the Canadian delegation, to chair Subsidiary Body II. Westdal and his assistant, David Viveash, then spent virtually their total time on the contentious Israel-Iraq issues. In the end, it was Westdal’s determined use of his negotiation skills that saved the conference from collapse (see Paragraph 9 “Middle East Acrimony”). In this sense, Canada made an outstanding contribution to the success of the NPT’s advance of the Article VI issues.
7.1 NAC, recognizing that it had strong support, seized the initiative on the opening day of the Conference. Its Working Paper, “Nuclear Disarmament,” set out in Operative Paragraph 1 the “unequivocable undertaking” demand that became the leitmotif of the conference:
“The five nuclear-weapon States make an unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals and, in the course of the forthcoming review period 2000-2005, to engage in an accelerated process of negotiations and to take steps leading to nuclear disarmament to which all States Parties are committed under Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.”
7.2 After calling for a speed up in START III negotiations, NAC called for the “integration” of all five nuclear weapons states into the process leading to total elimination and urged all five to take these steps:
a) To adapt their nuclear policies and postures so as to preclude the use of nuclear weapons;
b) To proceed to the de-alerting, to the removal of nuclear warheads from delivery vehicles and to the withdrawal of all nuclear forces from active deployment pending their complete elimination;
c) To reduce tactical nuclear weapons and to proceed to their elimination as an integral part of nuclear arms reduction;
d) To demonstrate greater transparency with regard to their nuclear arsenals and fissile material inventories;
e) To further develop the Trilateral Initiative between the United States, the Russian Federation and the IAEA so as to include all five Nuclear Weapon States in similar arrangements and to ensure the irreversible removal of fissile material from weapons programmes;
f) To apply the principle of irreversibility in all nuclear disarmament, nuclear arms reduction, and nuclear arms control measures.
7.3 NAC also called for ratification of the CTBT, a fissile ban treaty, a subsidiary body at the Conference on Disarmament to “deal with” nuclear disarmament, nuclear-weapon-free zones in the Middle East and South Asia, legally binding negative security assurances, and measures to improve safeguards.
7.4 Recognizing that the NAC had stolen a march on them, the NWS, led by France, responded with a joint P5 statement which papered over their differences on NMD and tried to respond to the “unequivocal” demand.
“We reiterate our unequivocal commitment to the ultimate goals of a complete elimination of nuclear weapons and a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”
7.5 By using the word “ultimate,” and maintaining their decades-long stand that nuclear disarmament was linked to general and complete disarmament (a linkage rejected by the International Court of Justice), the NWS revealed that they saw the NPT Review as business as usual. They did declare that “none of our nuclear weapons are targeted at any State,” and called for the conclusion of START III as soon as possible “while preserving and strengthening the ABM Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability and as a basis for further reductions of strategic offensive weapons…”
7.6 The statement was widely viewed as disingenuous, since nuclear weapons can be re-targeted at a moment’s notice, and “strengthening” the ABM can mean whatever you want it to mean. It was surprising that China signed on to the statement, given its strong criticism of the U.S. NMD program. A few days later, China issued its own statement, once more stating that any amendment to the ABM would undermine it. In other moves that separated it from fellow nuclear powers, China called for a no-first-use policy, criticized the “hegmonism and power politics” of NATO, called for an end to Western policies of nuclear-sharing, and regretted that the Conference on Disarmament had not started negotiations on legally binding instruments to prevent an arms race in outer space.
7.7 NAC responded directly to the P5 statement, stating it “falls short of our expectations regarding nuclear disarmament.” NAC stressed that “the total elimination of nuclear weapons is an obligation and a priority and not an ultimate goal, and even less a goal that is linked, subject or conditioned to general and complete disarmament.”
7.8 The Non-aligned Movement (NAM) joined in the criticism of the P5 statement, drawing on the language of the NAM Working Paper, introduced early into the conference, stating that the NWS “conditionalities” on their obligations to nuclear disarmament were unacceptable. NAM insisted on its principled positions on nuclear disarmament, which included adherence to the ICJ unanimous conclusion that “there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.” The NAM repeated its familiar demand for:
“The early commencement of negotiations on a phased programme of nuclear disarmament and for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons within a specified framework of time, including a nuclear weapons convention prohibiting the development, production, testing, employment, stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination.”
7.9 Out of this round of exchanges, two main points emerged: In pulling themselves together to stave off demands for comprehensive negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons, the NWS took the NMD issue off the table, a distinct plus for the U.S. Also, in their cohesiveness and moderation, the NAC emerged as the catalytic element of the conference, eclipsing the NAM. The NWS would have to deal with the NAC.
8.1 Main Committee I, dealing with the Article VI disarmament issues,* became the centre of attention. This committee was headed by Ambassador Camillo Reyes Rodriguez of Colombia, who had chaired the Third PrepCom and produced a 61-page final paper which, while not going as far as the NAM desired, went well beyond what the Western NWS would accept.
(*It is customary for NPT conferences to break into three main committees. Main Committee II, headed by Adam Kobieracki of Poland dealt principally with safeguards issues. Main Committee III, headed by Amb. Markku Reimaa of Finland dealt with the peaceful use of nuclear energy.)
8.2 In order to break the logjam on the two thorniest issues of the conference, nuclear disarmament and the Middle East situation, the NAM, led by South Africa, had argued at the Prepcoms that subsidiary bodies be established at the review conference on these two subjects. Baali succeeded in overcoming U.S. resistance and thus Main Committee I was charged with reviewing the past performance on Article VI issues while a new Subsidiary Body I, chaired by Ambassador Clive Pearson of New Zealand, would handle the forward-minded issues of Article VI.
8.3 Pearson convened four meetings and produced a document that went through several versions. His Chairman’s Paper was a blend of NWS caution and NAC advances. For example, Pearson used the NWS formulation of concluding START III while “preserving and strengthening the ABM Treaty as a cornerstone of Strategic Stability.” But he also used the whole of NAC’s operative paragraph 1 from their Working Paper.
8.4 At first rejecting Pearson’s paper, the NWS later asked to meet with the NAC and several hours of negotiations ensued with NAC’s chief negotiators, Darach MacFhionnbhairr of Ireland, Peter Goosen of South Africa, and Amb. Antonio de Icaza of Mexico. Here NAC gave up the elements of Operative Paragraph 1 which would have the NWS engaging in an accelerated process of negotiations in the forthcoming NPT review period 2000-2005. Also, NAC agreed to put a number of NWS action steps under an umbrella heading that said these steps would be taken “in a way that promotes international stability and based on the principle of undiminished security for all.” What exactly does that phrase mean? Does it mean that a NWS would not have to take a step, e.g. the further reduction of non-strategic nuclear weapons, if it felt that the step would diminish its security? Only time will tell if the NWS inserted that umbrella to give themselves an out. NAC agreed with the criticism of some NGOs that too much dilution had occurred, but stated that it had agreed to compromises so that the conference would not fail to achieve consensus on NAC’s principal demand.
8.5 Even after protracted NWS-NAC negotiations, it appeared that Russia and France would not agree to the compromise text. Russia kept insisting it could not take any disarmament steps that threatened its “strategic stability.” It berated the NAC for holding “arrogant positions.” In the end, Russia acquiesced to the text. France, insisting that NAC did not have a monopoly on good will, said it also wanted a positive outcome and accepted the text. China held out for a further 24 hours to get a no-first-use clause inserted, but as the conference entered its final day, it too agreed. Some non-nuclear Western states were chagrined that they had been excluded from the determining NWS-NAC negotiations, so a final round of talks was held under Norway’s chairmanship. When efforts were made to make still more changes, it was agreed that to open the package would be to lose it.
8.6 By holding to a bottom-line position on “total elimination,” NAC obtained a significant advance when the NWS dropped the word “ultimate” in qualifying nuclear disarmament and agreed for the first time to de-link nuclear disarmament from general and complete disarmament. Though giving up a time period for negotiations, NAC obtained a clear-cut commitment from the NWS that “systematic and progressive efforts to implement Article VI” would include:
“An unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament to which all States parties are committed under Article VI.”
8.7 Other practical steps agreed on include:
(*See Appendix “D” for text on “Practical Steps” as agreed upon.)
- A moratorium on nuclear test explosions pending entry into force of the CTBT.
- Obtaining a negotiated fissile ban treaty within five years.
- A subsidiary body in the Conference on Disarmament with a mandate to deal with nuclear disarmament.
- The principle of irreversibility to apply to nuclear disarmament.
- The conclusion of START III “while preserving and strengthening the ABM Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability…”
Under the “undiminished security” umbrella, these further steps were agreed:
- Further unilateral disarmament.
- Increased transparency by the NWS.
- Further reduction of non-strategic nuclear weapons.
- Concrete measures to further reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons systems.
- A diminishing role for nuclear weapons in security policies.
- The engagement as soon as appropriate of all the NWS in the process leading to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons.
Finally, the forward-minded document also called for:
- All fissile material no longer required for military purposes to be placed under IAEA or other relevant international verification.
- Reaffirmation that the ultimate objective in the disarmament process is general and complete disarmament under effective international control.
- Regular reports on progress of the 1995 Principles and Objectives, and “recalling the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice of 8 July 1996.”
- Further development of verification capabilities.
8.8 The euphoria of agreeing on the forward-minded document gave way to a replay of bickering when delegates returned to the Main Committee 1 report, reviewing the past five years. Whereas Chairman Reyes had inserted a sentence in the draft calling attention to the threat to humanity posed by weapons which remain on high alert, the U.S. objected to this language and the text was diluted to express concern at the “continued risk for humanity represented by the possibility that these nuclear weapons could be used.” Reyes had inserted a section noting Secretary-General Annan’s proposal for a major international conference that would help to identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers. Mexico called this a worthy initiative and Canada recommended that the idea of the conference be considered at the Millennium Summit in September, 2000. The U.S. allowed this indirect recommendation to go forward. Again, Reyes had a section noting “the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice in its 1996 advisory opinion that there exists an obligation to pursue, in good faith and bring to a conclusion, negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.” The U.S. refused to let this description of the ICJ Opinion go forward, allowing only a reference to the title of the Advisory Opinion, “Legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons.” Malaysia was aghast that the U.S. would not even agree to descriptive language.
9.1 Intense as the discussions were on the nuclear disarmament topics, the debate over the Middle East was even more acrimonious.
9.2 Egypt served notice at the opening of the conference that it would insist that the conference state that Israel is not in compliance with the non-proliferation regime, a naming that the U.S. has consistently resisted. The furthest the U.S. would go in this respect was agreeing to the Resolution on the Middle East, which accompanied the package of agreements negotiated by Jayantha Dhanapala (now Under Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs) at the 1995 NPT Extension. This resolution “calls upon all States of the Middle East that have not yet done so, without exception, to accede to the Treaty as soon as possible and to place their nuclear facilities under full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.” But at the 1998 PrepComm, the U.S. would not allow even a repetition of this language.
9.3 A Subsidiary Body II headed by Ambassador Westdal of Canada was established at the outset of the NPT Review. Westdal, surprised at suddenly being thrust into the centre of a subject that has long proved intractable, called four meetings. His mandate, dealing with regional issues, also took in South Asia, but since India and Pakistan had no patrons at the Review, condemning their nuclear testing was not particularly difficult.
9.4 By the second last night of the conference, Westdal had a text that heavily underscored the need to make progress towards a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. The U.S. assented to the naming of Israel only on condition that Iraq also be named as not in compliance with its disarmament obligations under U.N. Security Council Resolution 687. Iraq argued that this should not be included in the NPT Conference, since Bagdad had, in fact, allowed an inspection of its nuclear material by the IAEA in January, 2000. The squabble turned on a letter that IAEA Director ElBaradei had written to the U.N. Security Council April 10, 2000 stating that the IAEA was unable to confirm that Iraq was in compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions. Iraq would not consent to being judged, in an NPT setting, on its compliance with the Security Council.
9.5 This stalemate surfaced just at the moment when the conference became aware that the NWS-NAC negotiations had produced agreement on the Article VI issues. Thus, since the NPT operates by consensus, meaning that even one state withholding agreement on only one paragraph has the capacity to stop the final document from going forward, President Baali called for more consultations. Since the U.S. and Iraq would not meet in the same room, Westdal conducted a shuttle operation, going back and forth to meet with the Iraqi delegation in the President’s office and with the Americans in Conference Room 8. Westdal gradually developed amended language.
9.6 As the hours rolled by with the delegates becoming more exasperated and frustrated at the thought of losing all the gains of the conference to an issue that is not central to the NPT, Baali suddenly convened the meeting at 11:50 p.m. only to suspend it officially so that midnight would not terminate May 19 and thus the conference could continue. At 2:00 a.m., he re-convened the meeting and all looked lost; NAC scrambled to find a way to attach the nuclear weapons section to a presidential statement. But Westdal would not give up, sensing that Bagdad would move a little and that the U.S. did not want to be blamed for losing the conference through its adamant attitude. Phone calls to Bagdad and the shuttle continued. At 5:00 a.m. Westdal had a text the Iraqis agreed to, but the U.S. delegation had to send it to Washington for approval. The delegates were still in the dark when Baali sent them home for a few hours’ sleep before re-convening at 11:00 a.m.
9.7 At 11:00 a.m. Westdal announced that “the last piece of the puzzle” was within grasp and asked for a “U.N. hour” to complete his consultations. By this time, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Einhorn had arrived from Washington and the U.S. delegation met at the U.S. Mission across from the U.N. on First Avenue. At 5:00 p.m., to loud applause, Westdal announced that the last piece of the puzzle was complete. The outcome of everyone’s work, he said, exceeded expectations and confounded many skeptics. One of the reasons for the last-hour impasse was that neither the Americans nor the Iraquis seriously considered that the conference would turn on this issue, since both expected that the real deal-breaking impasse would be over Article VI issues. When the breakthrough was made here, the weight of the conference instantly shifted.
9.8 Here is what the final text, as agreed on by the conference, said on the controversial countries of Israel, Iraq, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.
9.9 On Israel:
“The Conference recalls that operative paragraph 4 of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East “calls upon all States in the Middle East that have not yet done so, without exception, to accede to the Treaty as soon as possible and to place their nuclear facilities under full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.” The Conference notes, in this connection, that the report of the United Nations Secretariat on the implementation of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East (NPT/CONF.2000/7) states that several States have acceded to the Treaty and that, with these accessions, all States of the region of the Middle East, with the exception of Israel, are States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Conference welcomes the accession of these states and reaffirms the importance of Israel’s accession to the NPT and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards, in realizing the goal of universal adherence to the Treaty in the Middle East.”
9.10 On Iraq:
“Bearing in mind the importance of full compliance with the NPT, the Conference notes the statement of 24 April 2000 by the IAEA Director-General that, since the cessation of IAEA inspections in Iraq on 16 December 1998, the Agency has not been in a position to provide any assurance of Iraq’s compliance with its obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 687. The Conference further notes that the IAEA carried out an inspection in January 2000 pursuant to Iraq’s safeguards agreement with the IAEA during which the inspectors were able to verify the presence of the nuclear material subject to safeguards (low enriched, natural and depleted uranium). The Conference reaffirms the importance of Iraq’s full continuous cooperation with the IAEA and compliance with its obligations.”
9.11 On India and Pakistan:
“With respect to the nuclear explosions carried out by India and then by Pakistan in May 1998, the Conference recalls Security Council Resolution 1172 (1998), adopted unanimously on 6 June 1998, and calls upon both States to take all of the measures set out therein. Notwithstanding their nuclear tests, India and Pakistan do not have the status of nuclear-weapon States. (See Appendix “E” for text of Resolution 1172.)
“The Conference urges India and Pakistan to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as non-nuclear weapon States and to place all their nuclear facilities under comprehensive Agency safeguards. The Conference further urges both States to strengthen their non-proliferation export control measures over technologies, material and equipment that can be used for the production of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems.
“The Conference notes that India and Pakistan have declared moratoriums on further testing and their willingness to enter into legal commitments not to conduct any further nuclear testing by signing and ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. The Conference urges both States to sign the Treaty, in accordance with their pledges to do so.
“The Conference notes the willingness expressed by India and Pakistan to participate in the negotiation in the Conference on Disarmament of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices. Pending the conclusion of a legal instrument, the Conference urges both countries to observe a moratorium on the production of such material. The Conference also urges both States to join other countries in actively seeking an early commencement of negotiations on this issue, in a positive spot on the basis of the agreed mandate, with a view to reaching early agreement.”
9.12 On North Korea*
“The Conference notes with concern that, while the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, IAEA continues to be unable to verify the correctness and completeness of the initial declaration of nuclear material made by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and is therefore unable to conclude that there has been no diversion of nuclear material in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Conference looks forward to the fulfillment by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s of its stated intention to come into full compliance with its safeguards agreement with IAEA, which remains binding and in force. The Conference emphasizes the importance of action by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to preserve and make available to IAEA all information needed to verify its initial inventory.”
*North Korea, a member of the NPT, did not attend the conference. Three days before the end of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference ended, North Korea withdrew from the conference, insisting it would concentrate on its relationships with the U.S. A framework agreement between the two countries has been developed.
10.1 Though the issues surrounding Article VI and the Middle East dominated the conference, the traditional issues of strengthened safeguards, security assurances and peaceful use of nuclear energy were also given attention. The conference was not disposed to advance, in any significant way, these themes beyond the agreements at the 1995 Extension Conference. Though there was pressure for improvements, voluminous papers and plentiful draft reports, the final text did not reveal any major step forward in the three themes.
10.2 The conference recognized that IAEA safeguards are a “fundamental pillar” of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, play an indispensable role in the implementation of the Treaty, and help to create an environment conducive to nuclear disarmament and to nuclear cooperation. The final document noted the considerable increase in the IAEA’s safeguards responsibilities since 1995, said more States should sign the relevant protocols and tighten up their export control systems, and — in the gentlest of language — called upon all States, “noting their common but differentiated responsibilities, to continue their political, technical, and financial support of the IAEA in order to ensure that the IAEA is able to meet its safeguards responsibilities.” Not a word was said about the fact that the IAEA — the protector of the world against nuclear cheating — is forced to rely on voluntary contributions to make up the shortfall in its $95 million annual expenditure, which is roughly what the U.S. spends every day on maintaining its nuclear weapons program.
10.3 Nor did the final document deal with the controversial question of nuclear-sharing in which questions have been raised of adequate control over the 150 nuclear weapons stationed in six non-nuclear NATO states, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. These states are involved in NATO nuclear cooperation programs with the U.S. The programs include maintenance of dual capable aircraft prepared for the conduct of nuclear missions and training in nuclear weapons. The weapons cannot be armed without an order from the U.S., but in time of war, release of the weapons to the cooperating states could be authorized. NATO’s 1999 Strategic Concept affirms a continuing commitment to nuclear sharing.
10.4 The U.S. holds that NATO nuclear sharing arrangements do not violate the NPT, but at the 1995 conference many non-NATO states did not accept the U.S. position. The Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy argues that there is a prima facie case that NATO nuclear sharing violates Articles I and II of the NPT. Nuclear sharing provides a wider range of options for NATO nuclear use, and serves as a provocation to other nuclear weapons states. At the worst, this enhances the danger of nuclear war; at the least, it reinforces the political value of nuclear weapons, thereby promoting proliferation. The best way to resolve the thorny legal issues would be for the U.S. to withdraw its nuclear weapons from European countries and to terminate nuclear sharing arrangements. But the NPT conference ducked this issue.
10.5 When it came to coordinate export control policies through the IAEA, in a manner that would facilitate transparency, the non-proliferation objectives of the NPT, and the fullest exchange of technology for peaceful use of nuclear energy, the NWS balked. The conference did note approvingly of the agreement between Russia and the U.S. to convert in Russia 500 tonnes of high enriched uranium (HEW) from Russia’s nuclear weapons to low enriched uranium for use in commercial reactors. It also noted the intention of Russia and the U.S. to remove 50 tonnes of plutonium from each of their nuclear weapons and convert it so that it can never be used in nuclear weapons.
11.1 Security assurances have long been a contentious issue at NPT conferences. At the most general level, a security assurance is any type of assistance a state receives or is promised to receive from an outside source that contributes to its security. Assurances fall into two broad categories. Positive assurances are those that contribute to a state’s ability to defend itself against attack. Negative assurances are promises not to attack a state.
11.2 It is commonly held that positive assurances, such as nuclear umbrellas under alliances, and negative assurances, such as no-first-use pledges, have contributed significantly to non-proliferation. South Korea’s and Japan’s interest in nuclear weapons declined rapidly after the U.S. strengthened security commitments to those states. Members of NATO and the defunct Warsaw Pact were also the beneficiaries of nuclear umbrellas provided by the U.S. and the former Soviet Union.
11.3 On the other hand, India, Pakistan, Israel, and South Africa all sought alliance relationships with nuclear-weapon states and, after failing to receive them, proceeded to develop their own undeclared nuclear weapons capability (South Africa gave up its nuclear weapons in 1991). In the case of India, failure to obtain security assurances led to its persistent criticism of the NPT. India argued that in exchange for the promise to remain non-nuclear, the NWS either had to be prepared to defend the NNWS from nuclear attack, or had to agree not to use nuclear weapons against them. Without this, the NPT bargain was incomplete. Responding, the Security Council adopted, in 1968, Resolution 255, which promised assistance to any NNWS party to the NPT that was a victim of nuclear aggression. India (and many NNWS) regarded this assurance as too weak.
11.4 On the eve of the NPT Extension Conference, the NWS embodied a new set of assurances in Security Council Resolution 984, which articulates more clearly than ever specific actions to be taken by the Security Council in the event of a nuclear-weapons threat against a non-nuclear state. A state may request “urgent action” by the Security Council; investigation of disputes; technical, medical, or humanitarian assistance; and compensation from the aggressor for loss. The NWS considered their efforts to update assurances a great step forward. (See Appendix “F” for text of Resolution 984.)
11.5 However, since Resolution 984 is not legally binding, many NNWS proclaimed their right to receive “unconditional, universal and legally binding” security assurances. They also protested the continuing refusal of four NWS to give a no-first-use pledge (only China had done so). For varying reasons (financial, parliamentary, political), the NWS resisted the many proposals put forward by the NNWS. In the end, the 1995 conference agreed on some soft language “acknowledging the significance” of Resolution 984 and urging the Conference on Disarmament to continue efforts (under way for more than a decade) to achieve “effective international arrangements which could be included in international legally binding instruments.”
11.6 The NAM came into the 2000 Review with a renewed demand for “a legally-binding negative security assurances regime which will ensure the security of non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.” Although an ad hoc committee on this subject was established at the Conference on Disarmament in 1998, discussions have not even started. Like NATO nuclear sharing, this issue runs as a strong undercurrent through NPT talks. Some countries are concerned because of U.S. Presidential Directive 60, signed in November, 1997, which is reported to contain loopholes in its negative security assurances. For example, if a state uses such weapons of mass destruction as chemical or biological against the U.S., it may forfeit its protection from U.S. nuclear attack. The U.S. has, in fact, sent out conflicting signals concerning the possible use of nuclear weapons against a state, even though a member of the NPT (as Iraq and Libya are).
11.7 Many states pressed for action to make negative security assurances legally binding. Mexico said that the NAC wanted to obtain this soon. The NAM, led by Indonesia, proposed that a protocol be attached to the Treaty. Canada called the impasse on this issue at the Conference on Disarmament “inexcusable.” But France said that the various regional nuclear weapons free zone treaties were sufficient assurance. The U.S. maintained there is no consensus on the issue and recommended that states not “spend time trying to accomplish the unachievable.” Nonetheless, Egypt, in a Working Paper on the issue urged the NPT Conference to call upon the U.N. Security Council to address seven principles:
- Recognition of the threat nuclear weapons pose.
- A trigger mechanism to ensure Security Council response to threats or attacks.
- U.N. Security Council commitment to prevent such threats.
- Renunciation by the P5 of their veto power with regard to security assurances.
- Commencement of negotiations on a legally binding treaty.
- Unconditional commitment by the NWS not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against NNWS parties to the Treaty that do not possess nuclear weapons.
- NWS pledge not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against NNWS parties “at any time or under any circumstances.”
11.8 This was, of course, too much for the NWS to accept, but it did soften them up sufficiently to accept language submitted by the NATO 5 (Germany, Norway, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium) that legally binding security assurances would strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime. In the end:
“The Conference reaffirms that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. The Conference agrees that legally binding security assurances by the five nuclear-weapon States to the non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime. The Conference calls on the Preparatory Committee to make recommendations to the 2005 Review Conference on this issue.
“The Conference notes the reaffirmation by the nuclear-weapon States of their commitment to the United Nations Security Council resolution 984 (1995) on security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.”
11.9 The conference went on to recognize the continuing non-proliferation contribution made by the Treaties of Tlatelolco, Rarotonga, Bangkok and Pelindaba, which, along with the Antarctic Treaty, have made virtually the entire Southern Hemisphere a nuclear-weapon-free zone. But Belarus’ strong push for a “nuclear-weapon-free space in Central and Eastern Europe” was blocked by states in that region that want into NATO, which is anything but a nuclear-weapons-free-zone.
12.1 One of the most zealously guarded sections of the NPT is Article IV, which affirms the “inalienable right” of all parties to nuclear energy. The developing countries, in dire need of new sources of energy, are particularly demanding of what the Treaty has promised: “the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials, and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.”
12.2 From the dawn of the nuclear age, nuclear power has been recognized as a “dual-use” technology. The same nuclear reactors that give bombs the destructive force of many thousands of tons of high explosive can, when harnessed in a controlled fashion, produce energy for peaceful purposes. The challenge for the non-proliferation regime is to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation while at the same time permitting nuclear energy’s peaceful applications to be realized.
12.3 Today, 436 nuclear power plants generate 16 percent of the world’s electrical energy.
12.4 Nuclear energy advocates argue that the human benefits in medicine and consumer products from nuclear power are impressive. Some 6,550 centres in the world use radioactive materials to treat and diagnose illness, particularly cancer. Products not invented a few decades ago — videotapes, contact lenses, and cleaning solutions — are made safe and more effective and at a lower cost through nuclear technology. Factories worldwide use radioactive gauges to test materials for defects and ensure the safety of bridges, automobile tires, roads, and airplanes. The IAEA is heavily involved in fostering the peaceful use of nuclear energy through its Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries program, which advances projects in human health, food and agriculture, water resources management, environmental monitoring, industrial uses, and related radiation protection and safety.
12.5 The fight over the efficacy of nuclear energy is intense. The nuclear industry contends that the only way the electricity needs of the multiplying billions in the developing world over the next quarter century can be met is through nuclear power. Even conservation measures in the industrialized countries and an acceleration of renewable energy sources would not satisfy the coming demand for energy.
12.6 The opposite view is expressed by some nuclear abolitionists and environmentalists, who hold that nuclear energy creates a legacy of serious and long-lasting environmental and health problems, and enables proliferation of nuclear weapons. The 1986 accident at the Chernobyl reactor released 300 times the radiation released by the Hiroshima bomb and contaminated at least 20 countries. In addition to health hazards, the problem of safe disposal of radioactive waste for up to 250,000 years is overwhelming. Opponents also believe that the safeguards systems on civilian stocks of plutonium are insufficient to deter terrorist groups searching for the material to make small nuclear weapons. Therefore, opponents hold that states do not have an “inalienable right” to damage human health or create environment and security hazards. They hold that alternative energy sources — biomass, solar, wind, geothermal — combined with greater energy efficiency could provide for the world’s expanding energy requirements. They want an international energy agency to be established to promote energy efficiency and economic, renewable safe energy.
12.7 Since nearly all governments want either to buy or sell nuclear energy, there was little discussion of the merits of nuclear energy at the NPT Extension Conference in 1995 and not much more in 2000.
12.8 Some states at the Review Conference said that nuclear power and sustainable development were incompatible, but they were drowned out by those who argued that a country had the right to nuclear power production within the context of sustainable development. After re-affirming the “inalienable right,” the conference paid lip service to sustainable development in this paragraph:
“The Conference recognizes the importance of the concept of sustainable development as a guiding principle for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The Conference endorses the role of IAEA in assisting Member States, upon request, in formulating projects that meet the objective of protecting the global environment by applying sustainable development approaches. The Conference recommends that IAEA continue taking this objective into account when planning its future activities. It further notes that IAEA regularly reports to the General Assembly on progress made in these fields.”
12.9 The conference then devoted several paragraphs to re-affirming the need for nuclear and radiation safety procedures, the safe transport of radioactive materials, and strengthened protective handling of spent fuel and radioactive waste. Once more, a warning went out against attacks or threats of attacks on nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful purposes. Such actions, the final document said, “could warrant appropriate action in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.”
13.1 The first two weeks of the NPT Review Conference presented an anomaly: side by side in the basement conference rooms of the U.N., jostling for space in the coffee shop in the centre of the main corridor, were two groups working on the problems of human security in the post-Cold War era. The Non-Proliferation Treaty attendees rubbed shoulders constantly with the participants in the Commission for Sustainable Development. Both groups are preoccupied with human security problems, yet there were no formal exchanges and very little casual conversation because both groups, government and NGOs alike, do not even know one another. The Commission on Sustainable Development did valuable work to advance the multi-stakeholder dialogue on sustainable agriculture but said nothing about the over-arching threat to sustainable development posed by the existence of so many nuclear weapons. The NPT Review, though giving glancing attention to whether the peaceful use of nuclear energy impedes sustainable development, was devoid of any discussion about the costs of nuclear weapons and how this money, over the decades, has deprived the development process of literally trillions of dollars desperately needed to build true human security. (The chart in Appendix “G” shows graphically what even a small proportion of current world-wide military spending could provide to enhance human security.)
13.2 The relationship between disarmament and development has been considered by the U.N., particularly at the 1987 conference on this subject. But the “peace dividend,” expected at the end of the Cold War, never materialized because it got lost in the international debt crisis, national deficits, and renewed spending on arms by governments that used the new justification of “rogue states” to maintain military spending. The Copenhagen Summit on Social Development in 1996 was strangely quiet on the deleterious effects of continued high military spending on the human condition. Some countries (India and Pakistan are examples) today spend more on their military operations than on health, education and social needs.
13.3 Governments, in both developed and developing countries, do not want to talk about the fact that world military spending at $780 billion a year is only 34 percent less than the peak Cold War years. Thus, at the NPT Review, hardly anyone mentioned that among all the reasons to get rid of nuclear weapons is their cost (for weapons that cannot be used), which is an economically unnecessary and wasteful diversion of funds.
13.4 Since they were invented, nuclear weapons have used up more than $8 trillion. The U.S. has accounted for $5.5 trillion of this, an amount roughly equal to the U.S. national debt. Stephen Schwartz, in his book, Atomic Audit, The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940 (Brookings), has written:
- From 1940 through 1996, expenditures for nuclear weapons exceeded the combined total federal spending on education, training, employment, and social services; agriculture; natural resources and the environment; general science and space research; community and regional development (including disaster relief); law enforcement; and energy production and regulation.
- Eighty-six percent of U.S. nuclear weapons expenditures went toward deploying offensive and defensive weapons and building and maintaining command, control, communications, and intelligence systems to facilitate their use. Only seven percent of the total went toward developing and manufacturing the actual nuclear explosives — more than 70,000 nuclear warheads in all.
- Although the Cold War has ended, U.S. nuclear weapons expenditures remain significant. The United States currently spends $35 billion a year, or 14 percent of the defence budget, on these efforts. This amounts to more than $96 million a day. About $25 billion of the total goes toward operating and maintaining the nuclear arsenal, with the remainder used for managing and cleaning up nuclear waste, verifying arms control agreements, and conducting research into ballistic missile defences.
13.5 The costs of U.S. nuclear weapons are measured in more than just dollars. For decades, U.S. officials ignored or downplayed the serious health and environmental costs of producing and testing nuclear weapons. By one measure, an estimated 700,000 to 800,000 people worldwide have died or will die prematurely from a fatal cancer attributable to fallout from U.S. atmospheric testing. A comparable number would be attributable to the Soviet testing program.
13.6 The former Soviet Union spent money in enormous amounts on a military build-up. Russia inherited so much combat material that it had to junk much of it, while pleading for economic assistance to carry out disarmament programs. Mikhail Gorbachev, conscious of both the economic drain and the threat to security, announced a plan to eliminate the world’s nuclear arsenals. But the plan vanished when the Soviet Union crumbled.
13.7 Now, the U.S., despite being in a declared partnership with Russia, is maintaining a high military budget that the presidential candidates are pledging to sustain if not increase. The Clinton proposal to again increase the defence budget has had even Republican leaders in Congress, who have been urging a major military build-up, pleasantly surprised by the large size of this year’s request. At $305 billion, the proposed defence budget for fiscal year 2001 is more than the combined total of its NATO allies, plus Russia and China.
13.8 On February 7, 2000, the Department of Energy (DOE) budget request for the fiscal year 2001 was transmitted to Congress. The funding requested for nuclear weapons activities (i.e. the Stockpile Stewardship program) is $4.594 billion, which is an increase over comparable activities in the current fiscal year. Looking further into the budget, one finds an aggressive program of research, design, development, engineering and production for major upgrades or replacements for weapons systems in the United States’ arsenal. In particular, the 2001 budget proposes that the DOE begin full-scale engineering development of new warheads (W76 and W80), and to design other components of the B61 bomb. DOE also has a major development program to manufacture new pits for the W88 warhead.
13.9 At the root of military spending is the incessant demand of the military-industrial complex. This powerful force is increasingly independent of government control while remaining dependent on government support.
14.1 In 1995, the NPT Extension Conference established a strengthened review process, consisting mainly of three preparatory meetings of 10 days’ duration in each of the three years leading up to the next Review Conference. In the 1995-2000 period, this process worked somewhat haphazardly with little, if any, continuity. In 2000, the delegates decided that henceforth each session of the Preparatory Committee should be factually summarized and its results transmitted in a report to the next session for further discussion. This means that the NPT process will be able to comment on ongoing events (such as India and Pakistan’s tests in 1998 which could not be commented on until 2000). At the Third Session (or a fourth if needed), every effort is to be made to produce a consensus report containing recommendations to the Review Conference. Subsidiary bodies, which were such a struggle to obtain for the 2000 Review, will now be regularized.
14.2 This enhanced process will strengthen the accountability of the NWS that so many states have been seeking. The principle is now firmly embedded that at both the PrepComs and the Review Conference, states can look back to measure progress and look forward to set new targets. While this form of accountability cannot force the NWS to do what they are not prepared to do, the consolidation of world opinion can push hard against the doors of the NWS in ways that never occurred before. Thus the slogan of “permanence with accountability,” used so effectively by the NWS in 1995 to obtain indefinite extension, may yet come to life.
14.3 In presenting Canada’s ideas for a strengthened public profile and thus more transparency in the NPT process, Tariq Rauf, an adviser on the Canadian delegation, drew to delegates’ attention the presence on the Canadian delegation of two Canadian NGOs, Ernie Regehr, Executive Director of Project Ploughshares, and Dr. Jennifer Simons, President of the Simons Foundation, who are both experienced participants in NGO disarmament work. A few other delegations contained NGO and parliamentary figures, notably New Zealand which added the internationally known advocate, Alyn Ware.
14.4 For NGOs not on delegations, which is to say virtually all of the 141 NGOs who attended all or part of the 2000 conference, admission is on sufferance. They can attend plenary meetings, where the formal speeches are made, but are excluded from the committee and subsidiary discussions where the real work is done. Thus, they have to rely on briefings to find out what is going on. In this respect, they are well served by the Acronym Institute, which issued a daily bulletin written by two journalists, Rebecca Johnson and Jenni Rissanen, with an impressive list of contacts. But for knowledgeable and experienced NGO figures, who frequently know more about the scope of the NPT issues than the changing list of government representatives, it is an indignity to have to wait in the hallways for a morsel of news. That they do this, and even pay their own expenses while doing so, testifies to their commitment to following the NPT process closely so that they can be better conduits of information to the widespread NGO networks.
14.5 The Canadian government statement recommended that NGOs, chosen from a list provided by the U.N. Department of Disarmament Affairs, be allowed to attend most meetings other than those designated as closed consultations. But this idea was not accepted because some major countries do not want to have NGOs around. NGOs, for the most part, want change; some powerful diplomats do not.
14.6 For some time, it has been the custom for the president of an NPT meeting to permit a number of NGOs, selected by the New York-based NGO Committee on Disarmament, to address one of the sessions. The 2000 Review did take the step of regularizing this process so that henceforth at each PrepCom and Review Conference, a session will be allocated to hear the presentations of NGOs. This is a small step forward, but considerably behind the spirit and practices of the U.N. as a whole where NGOs have far more access to, and opportunity to participate in, meetings on such subjects as sustainable development and human rights. While the presence of a very few NGOs on government delegations is useful, it does not meet the need for the informed expression of views freed from government restraint. NGOs on government delegations are not free, at least publicly, to speak their minds lest they compromise their access to knowledge gained on the inside. They certainly cannot speak against their government’s position and expect to remain a member of the delegation. The movement of civil society forward, manifested by the NGO Summit which attracted 1,100 NGO delegates to the U.N. General Assembly only 36 hours after the close of the NPT Review, requires the active participation of informed NGOs to break through the status quo mentality of many governments that are responsible for the lack of implementation of the core issues of the NPT.
14.7 As a review of the speeches made by 15 NGOs at the 2000 Review reveals, NGOs have a lot to say.
14.8 Dr. Kathleen Sullivan, Engaged Democracy for the Nuclear Age: There have been some positive developments since the last Review Conference, most notably the 1996 International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion. The court found that pursuant to Article VI of the NPT, states parties to the treaty have an obligation to “pursue in good faith and to bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects.” However, the security doctrines of the nuclear weapons states, to this day, continue to re-affirm the absolute and central role of nuclear weapons in current defence policies.
For this reason and others, including the recognition of India and Pakistan as two new members of the nuclear fraternity, there can be no doubt that this Review Conference meets at a time of crisis for the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recently lamented the “discouraging list of nuclear disarmament measures in suspense, negotiations not initiated and opportunities not taken.” Occurring during a time of crisis, this Review Conference presents a unique opportunity and impetus to clear a path for forward movement on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues. In short, this Review Conference cannot afford to fail.
14.9 Iccho Itoh, Mayor of Nagasaki, Japan: In the event of war, and especially nuclear war, the first targets of attack are cities and the first victims of destruction are their residents, particularly non-combatants such as the elderly, women and children. Not only the atomic bombings but also the devastation repeated innumerable times in wars and local conflicts clearly attest to this fact.
As a result of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, more than 210,000 people were either killed instantly or died of injuries during the ensuing months. The vast majority of these people were not soldiers but non-combatant citizens. Dropped from an altitude of about 9,000 meters, the atomic bombs exploded 500 meters above the ground, causing a heat flash of several thousand degrees centigrade, showering the cities below with deadly radiation, and crushing and burning everything under the tremendous force of the blast. Even today, 55 years later, about 300,000 atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki continue to live in fear of death.
The citizens of Nagasaki and Hiroshima are not appealing for the abolition of nuclear weapons out of hatred or resentment over events of the past. Our only reason is our clear knowledge, gained from the miserable experience of the atomic bombings 55 years ago, that nuclear weapons are inhuman tools of indiscriminate, mass destruction that violate all rules of international law.
14.10 Dr. Daniel Ellsberg, policy analyst and former planner for the U.S. Department of Defence: While there have been reductions in nuclear arsenals from peaks reached subsequent to the NPT’s entry into force, they are not close, and deliberately so, to requiring qualitative changes in long-standing policies regarding possible use of nuclear weapons. The 2000 Annual Report of the U.S. Secretary of Defence describes a nuclear posture to be retained for the “foreseeable future” that serves to “deter aggression” and “deal with threats or uses of NBC [nuclear, biological, chemical] weapons”, with “nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO [that] permit widespread European participation in all aspects of the Alliance’s nuclear role”. The report also states – and this point cannot be over-emphasized – that “these goals can be achieved at lower force levels” contemplated in the START process. Twice in the past six years Russia has rewritten its strategic doctrine to widen the circumstances under which it might use nuclear weapons.
Rapid and deep cuts are possible. START negotiations must not play the perverse role of strangling disarmament. Former U.S. government officials from both parties have called for Continuous Arms Reductions Talks. By agreeing to START III levels before START II was in force, the U.S. and Russia implicitly acknowledged that one treaty need not be fulfilled before progress is made on the next. Continuous Arms Reductions Talks would be the logical extension of this trend. The U.S. and Russia must reduce and eliminate tactical forces as well as strategic forces. It is important that U.S. nuclear forces deployed in Europe be withdrawn and dismantled. Thus would be ended the controversy over “nuclear sharing” which is eroding the foundations of the NPT.
14.11 Lisbeth Gronlund, Union of Concerned Scientists: The United States maintains that new, emerging missile threats require the U.S. to deploy what it calls a “national missile defence.” These new threats, according to assessments by the U.S. intelligence community, are developing from what some in the U.S. call “rogue” states, especially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, and Iraq. Whether such threats will emerge depends in great part on the international community, regional security questions, and the health of the non-proliferation regime as a whole.
Russia and China have both been very clear in their opposition to the planned U.S. national missile defence, despite Clinton Administration claims that its proposed system is a response to potential new threats and not to existing Russian and Chinese arsenals. In fact, regardless of the real or the stated goal of U.S. missile defence plans, as long as the Nuclear Weapons States rely on deterrence, Russian and Chinese officials must consider the possible implications of the U.S. NMD for their deterrent. This means they must consider their capabilities to respond after a U.S. first strike. It is this calculation, virtually ignored in the United States, that drives much of the Russian and Chinese opposition to the program.
In fact, U.S. documents recently made public by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, including US talking points on its proposed ABM Treaty modifications, acknowledge this basic problem. Perversely, these documents show that the United States seeks to reassure Russia that its deterrent will remain credible because Russia and the United States will continue to maintain large nuclear arsenals under “any possible future arms reduction agreements” and because Russia will continue to operate its forces on launch-on-warning.
So it is clear that the security price for national missile defence deployment is very high. In fact, one possible outcome of the U.S. missile defences is the end of the current non-proliferation and arms control regime as we know it.
14.12 Achin Vanaik, Movement in India for Nuclear Disarmament: The India-Pakistan nuclear face-off is the most dangerous in the world. This is now the only part of the world where an unrelenting hot-cold war between the same two rivals has continued for over 50 years and with no signs whatsoever of tensions subsiding let alone dissolving. The Cold War between East and West is over. The long hot-cold war between Israel and the Arab countries of the region is over. Moreover, the Cold War was just that — above all an ideological conflict between two countries which were not geographically contiguous. Even then it was a close run thing (the October Cuban crisis of 1962).
The P5 response to India’s (and Pakistan’s) nuclearization needs to be clearly understood. Only China remains adamantly opposed to what has happened and demands full roll-back consistently and unequivocally. The U.S. (and the other NWS) may have this as their formal, occasionally declared position which will no doubt be repeated at the NPT review conference. But their practical relations and negotiations with India belie this. For Russia and France it is business as usual. Russia is selling VVER reactors to India that it cannot set up in its own country. France is trying to sell Mirages and other military equipment to India (and also to Pakistan), even promising to hardwire them to carry bombs if necessary. Neither of these two countries is out to put serious pressure on India and Pakistan to reverse its nuclear trajectory. Britain will simply follow the U.S. lead. The U.S. in the name of a practical realism has accepted de facto India’s (and Pakistan’s) nuclear status but wants India, particularly (since it sets the pace vis-à-vis Pakistan), to be a ‘responsible’ nuclear power.
14.13 Bahig Nassar, Arab Co-ordination Center of NGOs, (read by Richard Salvador, Pacific Islands Association of NGO’s): There is no region in the world similar to the Middle East where the lack of universality of the NPT, due to the presence of a single nuclear weapons state that is not party to the NPT, is so tightly interconnected to the potential for further proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. In the Middle East, a commitment by Israel to eliminate its nuclear weapons, to abide by all provisions of the NPT, and thus to accept the principle of its universality are essential to the prevention of proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Israel already has acquired an arsenal of nuclear weapons almost equal to that possessed by a big power, the United Kingdom. Therefore, halting further production of Israeli nuclear weapons will not be enough to ensure non-proliferation unless such a step will be part of a legally binding commitment to finally eliminate these weapons.
Aware of this critical situation, countries of the region have sought alternatives to reduce these dangers. Since 1974, the U.N. General Assembly annually has adopted resolutions, proposed by Egypt, on the dangers of nuclear proliferation and on the need for a NWFZ in the Middle East. When information about the production of chemical weapons by some Middle East states became public, Egypt called in 1990 for a Middle East free from both nuclear weapons and any other weapons of mass destruction. In this manner, the process of nuclear disarmament and the broader process of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction would be combined to achieve peace and security for all. Israel has refused to implement any of these resolutions.
14.14 William Peden, Greenpeace International: My short presentation today will not be comprehensive, but rather illustrate to you one central reality: nuclear weapons are now increasing, not decreasing, in legitimacy, sophistication, and importance in some if not all of the Nuclear Weapon States.
I would like to outline the conclusions we have drawn from our extensive research through a wide variety of corroborative official documents and other evidence.
1. Despite the NPT requirement to end the arms race, all five nuclear weapon states are engaged in programs to modernize their nuclear forces.
2. In the U.S., this process has already resulted in the development and deployment of one new nuclear weapon variant, without the need for underground tests.
3. A militarily-significant upgrade of more than 3,200 deployed submarine-launched nuclear weapons is currently underway in the U.S.
4. In the U.S. and Russia, official military doctrine has been evolving to more closely integrate nuclear with conventional military options.
5. In all of the nuclear weapon states, the development of advanced experimental and simulation capabilities for nuclear weapon design and development is corroding the “C” (Comprehensive) in the “CTBT.”
6. Some of these technologies appear to violate the letter of the CTBT.
7. An intensified schedule of subcritical nuclear tests involving explosively-driven fissile material is underway at the U.S. and Russian test sites and laboratories, including above-ground tests in tanks using new, highly-advanced diagnostic equipment.
8. The United States is developing multi-billion-dollar plans for the renewed large-scale production of nuclear weapons components.
9. In Britain, a work plan for the Atomic Weapons Establishments, recently found in a dustbin, makes quite clear that their priorities lie on the side of maintaining and improving upon the status quo rather than on disarming.
10. In France, they are more blunt about the true objective of their current nuclear weapons program.
The continued pursuit of increased nuclear weapons knowledge by one state will be matched to a greater or lesser degree by others. The longer such activity continues prior to achievement of an abolition regime, the greater and more widespread the technical capability for breakout is likely to be. Meaningful progress on nuclear disarmament will require disarming the institutions that continue to drive the arms race — in flagrant disregard for the NPT and in the face of overwhelming international demands for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
14.15 Jonathan Schell, The Nation Institute: Deterrence is illogical: It drapes a veneer of reason over sheer mayhem and horror. It rests on a basic contradiction that no amount of casuistry can conceal: it seeks to prevent nuclear annihilation by threatening that same nuclear war. It seeks at one and the same time, to be the accelerator and the brakes of the nuclear machine. Consider for one moment the transaction at the doctrine’s core. The central proposition of deterrence is that we prevent nuclear war by threatening nuclear retaliation. Let us suppose, though, that a nuclear attack has taken place. The policy of deterrence has failed. Why then retaliate? The reason for retaliating has dissolved with the arrival of the strike that was to be deterred. But if, in the event, executing the threat makes no sense, what sense can it make to announce the threat in the first place?
Let us not, by the way, confuse the doctrine of deterrence, which sanctions and even requires the building of nuclear arsenals, with the common sense proposition that once these are built, the leaders of a nuclear power, if they are sane, will probably be exceptionally cautious about getting into wars with another nuclear power. This common sense reluctance to get into a nuclear war does not by any means require nuclear arsenals, and is obviously much better served by not having nuclear arsenals in the first place.
What has not been fully appreciated — but what we are now in a position to appreciate — is that deterrence doctrine is, on the intellectual level, a prime engine of proliferation. At its core is the idea that in a nuclear-armed world, only those nations that possess nuclear weapons are safe. To the question, Why do we have nuclear weapons?, deterrence answers, Because the other fellow has them–he must be deterred. If this reasoning is not a global call to proliferation, what would be? In my country and in other nuclear powers, we hear nuclear arsenals called “our deterrent.” In current circumstances, there is much more reason to call these arsenals “our proliferant.”
14.16 Peter Weiss, International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms: The be-all and end-all of the law of treaties is expressed in the Latin phrase, “pacta sunt servanda,” promises must be kept. The Non-proliferation Treaty was a solemn pact between the states possessing nuclear weapons and those which did not. The former said to the latter: “In exchange for your agreeing not to produce or acquire these weapons, we promise to negotiate in good faith to get rid of the ones we have.” Diplomats and lawyers for the Nuclear Weapon States, as well as Russia and the members of NATO and those knocking on NATO’s door, do not deny that this promise was made and remains in effect. But when you listen to the military and national security strategists of these same countries, a very different message emerges. It may be summarized as “reduce nuclear weapons, yes; give them up altogether, never.” It is as if a slave owner were to say to an abolitionist: “Slavery is truly an evil institution, therefore I promise to provide better food and housing for my slaves.”
Both Article VI of the NPT and the holding of the World Court emphasize that negotiations leading to total nuclear disarmament are to be conducted in good faith. In this respect the following comment by Hugo Grotius, the father of modern international law, is worth considering: “Good faith should be preserved …in order that the hope of peace may not be done away with. … And this good faith the supreme rulers of men ought so much the more earnestly than others to maintain as they violate it with greater impunity; if good faith shall be done away with, they will be like wild beasts, whose violence all men fear.”
14.17 Alice Slater, Global Resource Action Center for the Environment: While there may have been some faint ray of hope thirty years ago, when the NPT bargain was made, that there was a “peaceful” benefit from the unleashing of the atom, it cannot be argued rationally today. And while the nuclear industry pushes its destructive product on developing countries, arguing that Chernobyl technology was cruder than other highly developed and “safe” reactors, what can we say about Three Mile Island, the worst accident in the history of commercial nuclear power production? The U.S. Presidential Commission in its proposals to improve nuclear safety after Three Mile Island said, “We have not found a magic formula that would guarantee that there will be no serious future nuclear accidents.” And what of Japan, yet another country with a large investment and commitment to nuclear energy, where two have died at the time of this meeting, and hundreds more have been exposed to radiation released by a nuclear chain reaction at the uranium processing facility at Tokaimura.
The NPT’s unholy bargain for nuclear power does not serve humanity. Recognize and act on the fact that ending nuclear proliferation and eliminating nuclear weapons, the two major goals of the NPT, require the end of nuclear energy. In a safe and sustainable nuclear weapon free world there is no space for the bomb or the reactor.
14.18 Prof. Alexey V. Yablokov, Co-Chairman of the Social Ecological Union:
[Risk] estimates for the global population from industrial nuclear activities, including weapons testing in the fifties, sixties and early seventies include:
500 million stillbirth and miscarriages;
5 million neonatal mortality;
376 million cancers;
235 million genetic effects;
587 million teratogenic effects;
5 million with mental retardation.
These statistics show that data from the ICRP and IAEA massively underestimate the real cost of nuclear programs.
During the last four decades, the real consequences of the nuclear industry only became worse. We do not have any sign that that tendency will change. It means that in near future we will discover much more unpleasant and disturbing information on the nuclear industry than we have today. An industry which is killing and maiming this growing number of innocent people — and all in the name of “benefiting” or “securing” society — is unacceptable.
14.19 Jacqui Katona, Executive officer for the Gundjehmi Aboriginal Corporation: There is an urgent critical dialogue in which governments, participating in the NPT, must engage with Indigenous peoples. We believe the debate cannot treat disarmament and non-proliferation separately from the mining of uranium, the testing of weapons, nuclear research and the storage of toxic waste. Some may define these activities as “peaceful uses”, however, for our peoples the outcome is genocide. Indigenous peoples bring these concerns to the attention of this forum on behalf of all living things – our families our hope and future lies with the earth and all things living.
The global community cannot aim to build a sanctuary of peace through disarmament only — uranium mining, testing and storage of toxic waste must be eliminated. These are inextricably linked to the nuclear threat, immediate dangers inherent in the development of nuclear weapons. We believe it is the elimination of these elements of the nuclear fuel cycle which must ultimately be used as the test for the success of the NPT.
14.20 Dr. Lev Feoktistov, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences: Nuclear weapons have outlived their historic mission. The sphere of application of nuclear and hydrogen bombs is unclear. National security as ensured by nuclear weapons is illusory, because the only function inherent in such a system is instilling fear.
Once Albert Einstein was asked, “Will there be a World War III?” He answered, “I cannot tell you with complete certainty whether there will be a third world war, but there will be no fourth world war – that I can tell you for sure.” Let us follow the precepts of the wise men: “The mission of science is to make the impossible possible, to make the possible a reality, and to make the reality reasonable.”
Nuclear weapons can and must be eliminated in the foreseeable future. They are immoral in essence because they are primarily directed against the civilian population and carry an inherent threat to life on Earth.
The overall current situation in Russia is such that it is not conducive to peace-promoting tendencies. Most likely, it is the opposite: a new arms build-up cycle can emerge, which will encompass, among other things, nuclear weapons.
Only international forces, and first and foremost, the United Nations, are capable of combating militarism. As for the United States, having emerged as a world leader, it must play a primary role in the peace process, and in the process of disarmament.
14.21 Dr. Andreas Toupadakis, former nuclear chemist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: More than 55 years ago a physicist, Sir Joseph Rotblat, a member of the Manhattan Project, faced the question: What should I do? The project he was working on was intended to build something new, never invented before, and it would be so powerful that it would be able to bring about unthinkable destruction and suffering. The instant killing of about 200,000 innocent people, and the suffering of even more to this day, had not taken place yet. But the question kept coming back to him. What should I do? Today we know that he resigned and he was not a part of the slaughtering and suffering of the subsequent mass murder. For his act and his tireless work for peace, he was honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995. He is the only survivor of the eleven signatories of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto of 1955. Its words are well worth recalling today:
We appeal, as human beings, to human beings: Remember your humanity and forget the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open to a new paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death.
The general public, and even many men in positions of authority, has not realized what would be involved in a war with nuclear bombs. The general public still thinks in terms of the obliteration of cities. People can scarcely bring themselves to grasp that they, individually, and those whom they love are in imminent danger of perishing agonizingly.
At the dawn of the new millennium, I myself faced the same question, as a member of what should be called the “Manhattan Project #2.” While many people were celebrating the dawn of the new millennium, I was going through the most agonizing time of my life. What should I do? I had a wife with a part-time job with no insurance, and two children. What should I do? I followed the highest call, the call of my conscience. I saw the omnicide which is about to be committed against all forms of life on our planet. On January 31 of this year, 2000, I resigned from a permanent, highly paid position in the Stockpile Stewardship Program at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, where I was working on the long-term maintenance of nuclear weapons. My act was an act of love for all humanity, all life.
14.22 Admiral L. Ramdas (Ret.), Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy: Whilst most of us present here have been fortunate and benefited from the magic of science and technology, the same science and technology – in the present context- has also demonstrated the misery it can bring to humanity and the environment. We therefore have to give expression to the need of the hour, which very simply put is to run down nuclear weapons to zero and recycle these huge budgets in the areas where it is most needed – human security.
Nuclear disarmament must not be viewed in isolation. We need to formulate an integrated strategy which addresses the core issue of nuclear disarmament, together with those concerning war and violence a strategy which extends from non first use and de-alerting at one end to that of creating a new culture of peace at the other. This indeed is the program of the Hague Appeal for Peace.
Notwithstanding how we view this challenge – politically, economically, militarily, legally, ethically or morally – “we the people” demand that the decision makers do not highjack the entire planet to meet vested interests. We must set before us a timetable to meet targets along the nuclear disarmament route to zero. The disarmament of conventional weapons including small arms must also be discussed concurrently. There may be no better opportunity than now to give expression to the many good things that we have said in the past, continue to say at the present and no doubt will do so in the future. This is the challenge before us. Hopefully all of us will have the vision, the commitment and the courage to meet it.
I would like to end by quoting Mahatma Gandhi who had this to say about the atomic bomb.
“The only moral which can be legitimately drawn from the supreme tragedy of the bomb is that it shall not be destroyed by counter bombs. Violence cannot be destroyed by counter violence.”
-Mahatma Gandhi, Pune 1946
* * *
14.23 With these words from the Mahatma Gandhi, Ambassador Baali adjourned the meeting. In thanking the representatives who shared their thoughts and experience, the Chairman assured them that” NGO’s would be listened to”, and that “their voices were heard loud and clear.”
14.24 Following the NGO presentations, members of several delegations, including the Canadian, Japanese, Russian, British, Dutch, and Australian, met with NGO members for the first of two frank and open roundtable discussions. These meeting allowed both NGOs and delegates to share views, questions, frustrations, and experiences with the progress of the conference and disarmament in general with one another. The NGOs were thankful that delegates had taken the time to attend the roundtables, which were described as “very helpful and useful” in informing the NGO community. The delegates encouraged increased NGO activity, and the NGO presence at the conference was characterized as “bridging the gap” between the human and the diplomatic dimension of disarmament in the work and minds of the delegations.
14.25 Presentation of Petitions: On April 27, the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons presented Ambassador Baali with an International Petition signed by 13,408,035 individuals from around the world. The Petition calls upon all States, particularly the NWS, to make commitments to:
- End the nuclear threat by de-alerting all nuclear weapons, withdrawing all nuclear weapons from foreign soil and international waters, separating warheads from delivery vehicles and disabling them, committing to unconditional no “first use” of nuclear weapons, and ceasing all nuclear weapons tests, including laboratory tests and “subcriticals.”
- Sign a Nuclear Weapons Convention by 2000, agreeing to the elimination of all nuclear weapons within a time-bound framework.
- Reallocate resources to ensure a sustainable global future and to redress the environmental devastation and human suffering caused by nuclear weapons production and testing, which has been disproportionately borne by the world’s indigenous peoples.
14.26 Ambassador Baali was also presented with an “Appeal to End the Nuclear Threat to Humanity” signed by more than 50 world leaders, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, The XIVth Dalai Lama, Queen Noor of Jordan, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, and Muhammad Ali. The Appeal calls for negotiations to achieve a verifiable international treaty for the phased elimination of nuclear weapons. Thirty-three signatories of the Appeal are Nobel Laureates, including 14 Nobel Peace Laureates.
15.1 When the package of agreements comprising the NPT extension was adopted without a vote in 1995, 13 states immediately denounced the action. These states, including Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia and Egypt were bitter over the results obtained in both the Article VI and Middle East issues.
15.2 The ending in 2000 was startlingly different. The 24 speeches were, for the most part, upbeat, reflecting a general recognition that the cloud of pessimism which hovered over the opening had been lifted. A sort of collective sigh of relief swept through the General Assembly hall late Saturday afternoon when Ambassador Westdal announced that “the last piece of the puzzle” had been resolved. Westdal immediately dashed to the airport to return to his post in Geneva and did not hear the ringing praise of his efforts given by many of the following speakers.
15.3 Saeed Hassan of Iraq did not applaud but neither did he object to the final language of the Iraq paragraph. Instead he filed a reservation (which did not break the consensus), insisting that Iraq was in compliance with its NPT requirements. There was no reason to include Iraq on the agenda, he said, and the only reason the U.S. had done so was to divert attention from the real dangers looming over peace and security in the Middle East, namely Israel’s nuclear weapons.
15.4 But Ambassador Ahmed Aboul Gheit of Egypt, who had taken stern positions on Israel throughout the conference, gave a positive assessment. The fact that the conference had achieved an unprecedented success in reaching consensus on all matters related to the review process sent a clear and unequivocal message to Israel, he said. Moreover, Egypt (a member of NAC) felt that the nuclear disarmament achievement at the conference was a source of optimism.
15.5 M. Khail Wehbe of Syria returned to a harsh Arab line, protesting that the language on Israel was timid and weak whereas the conference had demanded that India and Pakistan accede to the NPT. As long as Israel remained outside the NPT, it would be a source of concern for a great number of Arab countries and would continue to threaten peace and security in the region and throughout the entire world.
15.6 Most of the closing speeches concentrated on the Article VI gains. Ambassador Antonio de Icaza of Mexico, speaking on behalf of the NAC, said that when their foreign ministers launched the New Agenda Declaration in June 1998, they did so in the light of the faltering nuclear disarmament agenda and the missed opportunity of the end of the Cold War for the definitive pursuit of the total elimination of nuclear weapons. The initiative was made all the more relevant by the nuclear testing by India and Pakistan. Recent General Assembly resolutions had demonstrated that there was a new level of demand for action now by the nuclear-weapon States, which required a new and unequivocal undertaking for the total elimination of their nuclear weapons. Through the unequivocal commitment by the nuclear-weapon States to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons, what had always been implicit had now become explicit. That act both reinforced and revitalized the Treaty as the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, he said.
“The conference final report signified an important landmark on which to build a nuclear weapons-free world.”
15.7 Indonesia’s spokesman, Makmure Widodo, speaking on behalf of the NAM, said the highlight of the conference was unquestionably the adoption of practical steps for systematic and progressive efforts to implement Article VI. While the conference might have fallen short of expectations, it should not allow its determination to waiver. Malaysia’s Hussein Haniff complained that the “minority” was still holding sway over many issues and had even prevented a positive reference to the negotiations called for by the International Court of Justice. He also expressed concern over the concept of “strategic stability,” pressed by Russia, saying its implication was the retention of nuclear weapons. But Boris Kvok of Russia responded that its understanding of “strategic stability” was that it was primarily to strengthen international security and make it possible to have more substantial cuts made in nuclear and conventional arms in the future.
15.8 John Tucknott of the United Kingdom went so far as to call the conference’s achievement “historic.” Ambassador Robert Grey of the U.S., noting that there would be many different evaluations of what had been achieved, said:
“Together we crafted an important consensus document and together we will discuss and debate the continued implementation of the Treaty.”
15.9 The most substantive summing up was given by Ambassador Hu Xiaodi of China, who was already projecting the follow-up work. The final document, he said, failed to reflect fully the current international situation, nor did it call for the removal of fundamental obstacles to nuclear disarmament. In recent years, military factors had increased in international relations and military blocs had been expanded and strengthened. Armed aggression and gross interference in the internal affairs of other countries had taken place. Acts which could sabotage the global strategic stability and put the ABM Treaty under great challenge were in the making. The danger of weaponization in outer space was increasing.
He feared that the final document had failed to put enough stress on some necessary principles and measures in the field of nuclear disarmament, for example that nuclear-weapon States with the biggest stockpiles should undertake a special responsibility for nuclear disarmament. Nuclear-weapon States should abandon the policy of nuclear deterrence based on first use: all nuclear-weapon States should commit themselves unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear States or nuclear-weapon-free zones. All nuclear weapons deployed outside national borders should be withdrawn home.
Concerning specific measures to reduce the danger of nuclear warfare and the so-called intermediate measures, the most important priorities were the unconditional pledges of no first use, unconditional security assurances to all non-nuclear weapon States, the withdrawal of all nuclear weapons deployed outside the borders of nuclear-weapon States and the abolition of nuclear sharing. Transparency or confidence-building measures would remain empty talk otherwise.
15.10 The last word went to Ambassador Baali. While the final document might be viewed as inadequate to some, it was the best that could be achieved in the prevailing political climate. He proclaimed the occasion “a great day for nuclear disarmament.”
“We will adjourn for another five years — thank God!”
15.11 At 6:30 p.m. on May 20, the gavel fell to a final round of applause.
16.1 What conclusions can we draw from the remarkable Sixth NPT Review? What steps can the informed leaders of civil society now take to move forward on the long journey to the elimination of nuclear weapons?
16.2 Certainly many NGOs appear unimpressed and if one can judge early public opinion at the local level from the editorial in the Edmonton Journal (my home city), some think the NPT Review amounted to not much more than a re-arranging of words. The writer of this editorial (See Appendix “H” – not included in web edition) wanted to see a time-bound program for real nuclear disarmament — and who can blame the writer? It is not an easy task to mobilize public opinion by pointing to an “unequivocal undertaking.” The nuances of change, real but cloaked, at the NPT Review will doubtless be lost on many. Nonetheless, a new moment in nuclear disarmament has occurred.
16.3 First, we must recognize that we now have a momentous opportunity. The final document is worth far more that a grudging acknowledgment. True, it does not include the necessary steps of a no-first-use pledge, de-alerting, or a commitment to legally binding negative security assurances. It certainly does not have a time-line for nuclear disarmament nor even an explicit commitment to comprehensive negotiations. But it has something that gives the nuclear weapons abolition movement the strongest political base it has ever had: the door to the longstanding NWS doctrine of nuclear deterrence has cracked open. The total elimination of nuclear weapons is now accepted by the NWS. If total elimination, not merely reductions, is lifted off the pages of the final document to become the operative policy, then nuclear deterrence cannot remain as the permanent justification for the retention of nuclear weapons. Whether the NWS fully accept it or not, the principle of “total,” not “ultimate,” elimination is institutionally formalized. When to that is coupled the “unequivocal undertaking” to accomplish it, the dawning of a new day is achieved.
16.4 For good reason did the NWS stoutly resist the first NAC resolution at the U.N. First Committee. They saw it (as the French Ambassador openly admitted) as an unacceptable challenge to the underlying doctrine of nuclear deterrence. NAC has always realized that if the fallacy of the nuclear deterrence doctrine could be exposed as the immoral, illegal and militarily unsustainable policy it is, then the whole framework supporting nuclear weapons could crumble.
16.5 Of course, given the tenacity with which the NWS are holding onto nuclear weapons as the core of their military doctrine, it would be totally unrealistic to think that the NWS will immediately implement that to which they have signed onto. Nothing in their record over the 30-year history of the NPT could provide any confidence that they will suddenly honour their obligations. Indeed, the first signs of resistance emerged a day after the conference ended when New York Times correspondent Barbara Crossette quoted an unnamed U.S. official as saying that the agreement did not represent a significant shift in United States policy. Nonetheless, from this point forward, the NWS cannot escape the fact that they joined with the international community in a consensus statement making “an unequivocal undertaking … to total elimination.”
16.6 Two institutions are immediately affected by this commitment, the United Nations and NATO.
16.7 In recent years, the U.N. has been somewhat marginalized in nuclear disarmament work. The Final Document of the First U.N. Special Session on Disarmament (the “bible” of disarmament) has been pushed so far back on governments’ library shelves that it is scarcely referred to any longer. The U.N. First Committee annually adopts resolutions, which reflect the views of the world community, but the U.N.’s operating disarmament body, the Conference on Disarmament, has been virtually paralyzed for the past few years. But the U.N. is the repository of global security and its role in disarmament issues is foremost, the bilateral arrangements of the U.S. and Russia notwithstanding. The Non-Proliferation Treaty (which, as everyone says, is the most important disarmament treaty in the world) is a U.N. instrument. Indeed, the present Under Secretary-General for Disarmament, is Jayantha Dhanapala, who was himself President of the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference.
16.8 The time has arrived to restore the U.N. to paramountcy in disarmament work. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for a major world conference to identify ways to eliminate nuclear dangers. The active body of NGO specialists in nuclear disarmament should promote this idea with their governments so that they would respond affirmatively when this idea is discussed at the U.N. Millennium Summit in September, 2000. In fact, NGOs have an opportunity to advance such a global conference by holding seminars and workshops around the world, which could be a form of a civil society “Prepcom.” The role of the U.N. as the gathering place for the growing aspirations of the world-wide community calling for the total elimination of nuclear weapons should now be highlighted.
16.9 The second institution affected by the NPT Review is NATO. With the greatest reluctance, and dragging their feet, the NATO leadership accepted Canada’s plea that NATO’s nuclear weapons policies be reviewed. Prior to the NPT Review, practically no substantive work had been done, and, so hostile is the leadership of NATO to any change in their policies that they had begun to call Canada the “nuclear nag.” Nevertheless, four days after the NPT Review ended, Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy went to a NATO ministerial meeting in Florence and bluntly told his colleagues that they had to stop contradicting themselves on nuclear weapons policies.
“In the NPT and in the Conference on Disarmament, we are confronted regularly with the argument that if nuclear weapons are good for NATO, then they are good for others too. The contradiction in our declaration policy undermines the credibility of our non-proliferation and disarmament efforts.”
16.10 Axworthy called on NATO to make its nuclear policy “coherent” with the posture adopted at the NPT Review. He listed a number of penetrating questions NATO must explore:
- “Can we not be more transparent about how many nuclear gravity bombs we have left, and where they are located?
- “Can NATO not unilaterally reduce the number of remaining bombs further, and call for proportional parallel action by the Russian Federation.
- “Should we not prepare a new comprehensive public statement of the Alliance’s arms control and disarmament policies that is relevant to today and tomorrow, rather than for yesterday?”
16.11 In the same speech, Axworthy directly challenged the U.S. on its NMD plans. “A new arms race could be set in motion,” he said, “one that would undermine the stability that we have all come to take for granted.” He urged the U.S. to take all the time needed to assess the potential impact on the international security system.
16.12 Axworthy’s strong message gives heart to all who recognize the impediment that NATO is to genuine nuclear disarmament. But if his voice is recorded as lonely and unsupported, NATO will ride out this criticism. To date, other non-nuclear states within NATO have not been noted for their bravery in challenging the three Western NWS, their brothers at the NATO table. The active NGOs in many of these NNWS countries now have an opportunity to press their governments to demand a change in NATO’s policies consistent with the NPT Review final document.
16.13 Although not formally an institution, the New Agenda Coalition has acquired, almost overnight, the status of a powerful force. The days of the NWS either patronizingly dismissing NAC as irrelevant or trashing it because of its upstart attitude are over. The NWS themselves signaled NAC’s new status in the world community by requesting a meeting with them to negotiate the final document of the NPT Review.
16.14 But what of the future of NAC? Will the heads of government and foreign ministers of these seven countries remain strongly committed to their cause — or will they succumb to the pressure from the Western NWS to stop rocking the boat. In politics and diplomacy, leaders like to get along with one another; all sorts of pressures, subtle and otherwise, are used by the stronger on the less strong. NAC leaders may be bold but they are not supermen and superwomen. They need an immediate manifestation of support from civil society, particularly within their own countries so that they can rebuff the importuning to stop upsetting the NWS.
16.15 NAC should proceed with its annual resolution at the U.N., suitably modified to take account of the gains made. But NAC should not expect instant gains in numbers of supporting votes, particularly in the fall of 2000 when the NATO Review will not yet be complete, and NATO countries may hold to their abstention for the time being. But by planning a long-range strategy, pursued with relentless determination backed by an increasingly vocal civil society, NAC can take a commanding lead of the international community on the way into the 2005 NPT Review.
16.16 Finally, it should be obvious that the gains in nuclear disarmament, modest as they are, would not have occurred without the push exerted by civil society. Some have taken to saying that nuclear disarmament is off the radar screen, so let’s get on with something else. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The abolition of nuclear weapons is at the centre of world politics. The gathering momentum of world figures in the military, politics, religion, women’s groups and civil society have put it there. The fallacies and dangers of NWS policies are being exposed. World consciousness is growing.
16.17 These conditions make it ripe for a new grand coalition — of like-minded governments and the advanced wing of civil society — to be formed. Such a powerful combination can not only dent but pierce the NWS self-serving, protective armour. The NWS, by their actions at the NPT Review, proved they are not impervious to the organized voices of the world community. The Anti-personnel Landmines Treaty came about as the result of the “Ottawa Process,” in which like-minded governments, in this case led by Canada, and highly knowledgeable, dedicated NGOs formed a working partnership. The partnership worked because both wanted the same goal — the elimination of the pernicious evil of landmines. Such a coalition of mutual interest can work again. True, the relative weight of the armaments is different. Nuclear weapons, unlike landmines, are central to the NWS doctrines. But the strength of the world community, working together and employing all the mechanisms to build public opinion around the world, can isolate the NWS and move them forward to take active steps to implement their “unequivocal commitment … to total elimination.”
16.18 The unequivocal landmark represented by the 2000 NPT Review makes such a world-wide coalition possible.
Following is the statement of Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons:
I wish to welcome you to this important meeting. At a time of extraordinary change and challenge in the relations between and within States, we meet to seek progress on a question of vital importance to our common future: how to fulfil the promise of non-proliferation and disarmament embodied in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
In an era of new threats to peace and security, we need to focus more than ever on halting proliferation and reducing those weapons of mass destruction that still threaten the very existence of human life on our planet.
In the first year of the new millennium, the NPT is needed more than ever. However, it stands today as a paradox. The fact that 187 States are parties to this Treaty testifies to its global appeal. And yet, no one can be satisfied with the degree of implementation so far.
Your challenge today and into the future will be to embark on a process that will ensure the full implementation of all the provisions of the Treaty by all of the States parties.
While much remains to be done, I believe there has been genuine progress over the last five years — progress that should be a source of confidence and inspiration for your efforts.
The number of nuclear weapons has continued to drop since the end of the cold war. Most nuclear-weapon States have declared that they are not producing fissile material for weapons.
Former nuclear rivals are now cooperating in reducing threats posed by their weapons. Nuclear safeguards have been enlarged. Memberships in nuclear- weapon-free zones have grown. A Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was negotiated, and though the treaty is not yet in force, a de facto moratorium on testing is continuing. And only this month, the Russian Parliament ratified the Strategic Arms Limitation and Reduction Treaty II (START II) and the CTBT.
I welcome these decisions, and hope that that they will enhance the prospects for these treaties entering into force.
This is an unmistakable record of achievement and hard-won progress. However, this is no time for complacency when it comes to the threat of nuclear war. Nuclear conflict remains a very real, and very terrifying possibility at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This is the stark reality confronting you today — a reality that imposes an obligation on all of us to use every instrument at our disposal to pursue the treaty’s non-proliferation and disarmament aims with equal and unwavering determination.
We need look no further than to the discovery of clandestine nuclear- weapons development programmes to realize the magnitude of this challenge.
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, remains a major threat to peace, and a major challenge to every Member State. The fact is that compliance with the NPT’s non-proliferation obligations remains incomplete and has not always been satisfactory. Today, I call upon all parties to redouble their efforts to combat this common threat, and to sign and bring into force the IAEA’s Protocol designed to enhance assurances about compliance. The Nuclear tests by India and Pakistan in 1998 were a serious setback against the global norms against nuclear testing and nuclear proliferation, and should make clear to all the need to fight proliferation.
We also face major challenges in fulfilling the disarmament aims of the NPT. Some 35,000 nuclear weapons remain in the arsenals of the nuclear Powers, with thousands still deployed on hair-trigger alert. There have been no nuclear disarmament negotiations for many years concerning strategic or tactical nuclear weapons. The Conference on Disarmament remains the single multilateral negotiating body for disarmament — yet its efforts to make progress on nuclear disarmament and other issues have been frustrated by a lack of consensus.
Quite frankly, much of the established multilateral disarmament machinery has started to rust — a problem due not to the machinery itself but to the apparent lack of political will to use it.
Indeed, over the last few years, we have witnessed the reaffirmation of the nuclear weapons doctrines of all the nuclear-weapon States. Some States retain first-use nuclear doctrines and some do not exclude the use of such weapons even against non-nuclear-weapon States.
And though some nuclear-weapon States have provided new information about their arsenals, the lack of transparency remains a problem with respect to the numbers of weapons, as well as to the amounts of nuclear material.
Let me turn to the most recent challenge facing us in the area of nuclear disarmament: the growing pressure to deploy national missile defences. This pressure is jeopardizing the ABM Treaty — which has been called the “cornerstone of strategic stability” — and could well lead to a new arms race, setbacks for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and create new incentives for missile proliferation.
It is my hope that all States will take great care to weigh these dangers and challenges before embarking on a process which may well reduce, rather than enhance, global security.
I have pointed to these challenges not out of despair, but out of a belief that you have it within your power to meet them successfully and build on the progress achieved over the last five years. I believe the most effective way of achieving this would be to embark on a results-based treaty review process focusing on specific benchmarks.
One benchmark would be the entry into force of the CTBT; another, deep, irreversible reductions in stocks of nuclear weapons, wherever they may be; a third would be the consolidation of existing nuclear-weapon-free zones and negotiation of new ones; a fourth would be binding security guarantees to non- nuclear-weapon States parties; and yet, another would be improvements in the transparency of nuclear-weapon arsenals and nuclear materials.
Finally, I propose that Member States reaffirm at the highest political level their commitment to reducing the dangers that arise both from existing nuclear weapons and from further proliferation.
If we can move forward on these fronts, the treaty will have a bright future indeed. If not, I regret to say that the new millennium will have started on an ominous note.
I wish you all success in your deliberations.
Appendix “C”: Global Nuclear Stockpiles, 1945-2000
Appendix “D”: Practical Steps on Article VI
The following text is excerpted from the NPT Review Conference Final Document.
The Conference agrees on the following practical steps for the systematic and progressive efforts to implement Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and paragraphs 3 and 4(c) of the1995 Decision on “Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament”:
1. The importance and urgency of signatures and ratifications, without delay and without conditions and in accordance with constitutional processes, to achieve the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
2. A moratorium on nuclear-weapon-test explosions or any other nuclear explosions pending entry into force of that Treaty.
3. The necessity of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in accordance with the statement of the Special Coordinator in 1995 and the mandate contained therein, taking into consideration both nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation objectives. The Conference on Disarmament is urged to agree on a programme of work which includes the immediate commencement of negotiations on such a treaty with a view to their conclusion within five years.
4. The necessity of establishing in the Conference on Disarmament an appropriate subsidiary body with a mandate to deal with nuclear disarmament. The Conference on Disarmament is urged to agree on a programme of work which includes the immediate establishment of such a body.
5. The principle of irreversibility to apply to nuclear disarmament, nuclearmand other related arms control and reduction measures.
6. An unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament to which all States parties are committed under Article VI.
7. The early entry into force and full implementation of START II and the conclusion of START III as soon as possible while preserving and strengthening the ABM Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability and as a basis for further reductions of strategic offensive weapons, in accordance with its provisions.
8. The completion and implementation of the Trilateral Initiative between the United States of America, the Russian Federation and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
9. Steps by all the nuclear-weapon States leading to nucleadisarmament in a way that promotes international stability, and based on the principle of undiminished security for all:
– Further efforts by the nuclear-weapon States to reduce their nuclear arsenals unilaterally.
– Increased transparency by the nuclear-weapon States with regard to the nuclear weapons capabilities and the implementation of agreements pursuant to Article VI and as a voluntary confidence-building measure to support further progress on nuclear disarmament.
– The further reduction of non-strategic nuclear weapons, based on unilateral initiatives and as an integral part of the nuclear arms reduction and disarmament process.
– Concrete agreed measures to further reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons systems.
– A diminishing role for nuclear weapons in security policies to minimize the risk that these weapons ever be used and to facilitate the process of their total elimination.
– The engagement as soon as appropriate of all the nuclear-weapon States in the process leading to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons.
10. Arrangements by all nuclear-weapon States to place, as soon as practicable, fissile material designated by each of them as no longer required for military purposes under IAEA or other relevant international verification and arrangements for the disposition of such material for peaceful purposes, to ensure that such material remains permanently outside of military programmes.
11. Reaffirmation that the ultimate objective of the efforts of States in the disarmament process is general and complete disarmament under effective international control.
12. Regular reports, within the framework of the NPT strengthened review process, by all States parties on the implementation of Article VI and paragraph 4 (c) of the 1995 Decision on “Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament”, and recalling the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice of 8 July 1996.
13. The further development of the verification capabilities that will be required to provide assurance of compliance with nuclear disarmament agreements for the achievement and maintenance of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
RESOLUTION 1172 (1998)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 3890th meeting on 6 June 1998
The Security Council,
Reaffirming the statements of its President of 14 May 1998 (S/PRST/1998/12) and of 29 May 1998 (S/PRST/1998/17),
Reiterating the statement of its President of 31 January 1992 (S/23500), which stated, inter alia, that the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction constitutes a threat to international peace and security,
Gravely concerned at the challenge that the nuclear tests conducted by India and then by Pakistan constitute to international efforts aimed at strengthening the global regime of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and also gravely concerned at the danger to peace and stability in the region,
Deeply concerned at the risk of a nuclear arms race in South Asia, and determined to prevent such a race,
Reaffirming the crucial importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty for global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament,
Recalling the Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the successful outcome of that Conference,
Affirming the need to continue to move with determination towards the full realization and effective implementation of all the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and welcoming the determination of the five nuclear-weapon States to fulfil their commitments relating to nuclear disarmament under Article VI of that Treaty,
Mindful of its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security,
1. Condemns the nuclear tests conducted by India on 11 and 13 May 1998 and by Pakistan on 28 and 30 May 1998;
2. Endorses the Joint Communique issued by the Foreign Ministers of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America at their meeting in Geneva on 4 June 1998 (S/1998/473);
3. Demands that India and Pakistan refrain from further nuclear tests and in this context calls upon all States not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion in accordance with the provisions of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty;
4. Urges India and Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid threatening military movements, cross-border violations, or other provocations in order to prevent an aggravation of the situation;
5. Urges India and Pakistan to resume the dialogue between them on all outstanding issues, particularly on all matters pertaining to peace and security, in order to remove the tensions between them, and encourages them to find mutually acceptable solutions that address the root causes of those tensions, including Kashmir;
6. Welcomes the efforts of the Secretary-General to encourage India and Pakistan to enter into dialogue;
7. Calls upon India and Pakistan immediately to stop their nuclear weapon development programmes, to refrain from weaponization or from the deployment of nuclear weapons, to cease development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and any further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, to confirm their policies not to export equipment, materials or technology that could contribute to weapons of mass destruction or missiles capable of delivering them and to undertake appropriate commitments in that regard;
8. Encourages all States to prevent the export of equipment, materials or technology that could in any way assist programmes in India or Pakistan for nuclear weapons or for ballistic missiles capable of delivering such weapons, and welcomes national policies adopted and declared in this respect;
9. Expresses its grave concern at the negative effect of the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan on peace and stability in South Asia and beyond;
10. Reaffirms its full commitment to and the crucial importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty as the cornerstones of the international regime on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and as essential foundations for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament;
11. Expresses its firm conviction that the international regime on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons should be maintained and consolidated and recalls that in accordance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons India or Pakistan cannot have the status of a nuclear-weapon State;
12. Recognizes that the tests conducted by India and Pakistan constitute a serious threat to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament;
13. Urges India and Pakistan, and all other States that have not yet done so, to become Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty without delay and without conditions;
14. Urges India and Pakistan to participate, in a positive spirit and on the basis of the agreed mandate, in negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, with a view to reaching early agreement;
15. Requests the Secretary-General to report urgently to the Council on the steps taken by India and Pakistan to implement the present resolution;
16. Expresses its readiness to consider further how best to ensure the implementation of the present resolution;
17. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
RESOLUTION 984 (1995)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 3514th meeting, on 11 April 1995
The Security Council,
Convinced that every effort must be made to avoid and avert the danger of nuclear war, to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, to facilitate international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy with particular emphasis on the needs of developing countries, and reaffirming the crucial importance of the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to these efforts,
Recognizing the legitimate interest of non- nuclear-weapon States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to receive security assurances,
Welcoming the fact that more than 170 States have become Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and stressing the desirability of universal adherence to it,
Reaffirming the need for all States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to comply fully with all their obligations,
Taking into consideration the legitimate concern of non-nuclear-weapon States that, in conjunction with their adherence to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, further appropriate measures be undertaken to safeguard their security,
Considering that the present resolution constitutes a step in this direction,
Considering further that, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, any aggression with the use of nuclear weapons would endanger international peace and security,
1. Takes note with appreciation of the statements made by each of the nuclear-weapon States (S/1995/261, S/1995/262, S/1995/263, S/1995/264, S/1995/265), in which they give security assurances against the use of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear-weapon States that are Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons;
2. Recognizes the legitimate interest of non- nuclear-weapon States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to receive assurances that the Security Council, and above all its nuclear-weapon State permanent members, will act immediately in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, in the event that such States are the victim of an act of, or object of a threat of, aggression in which nuclear weapons are used;
3. Recognizes further that, in case of aggression with nuclear weapons or the threat of such aggression against a non-nuclear- weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, any State may bring the matter immediately to the attention of the Security Council to enable the Council to take urgent action to provide assistance, in accordance with the Charter, to the State victim of an act of, or object of a threat of, such aggression; and recognizes also that the nuclear-weapon State permanent members of the Security Council will bring the matter immediately to the attention of the Council and seek Council action to provide, in accordance with the Charter, the necessary assistance to the State victim;
4. Notes the means available to it for assisting such a non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, including an investigation into the situation and appropriate measures to settle the dispute and restore international peace and security;
5. Invites Member States, individually or collectively, if any non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is a victim of an act of aggression with nuclear weapons, to take appropriate measures in response to a request from the victim for technical, medical, scientific or humanitarian assistance, and affirms its readiness to consider what measures are needed in this regard in the event of such an act of aggression;
6. Expresses its intention to recommend appropriate procedures, in response to any request from a non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons that is the victim of such an act of aggression, regarding compensation under international law from the aggressor for loss, damage or injury sustained as a result of the aggression;
7. Welcomes the intention expressed by certain States that they will provide or support immediate assistance, in accordance with the Charter, to any non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons that is a victim of an act of, or an object of a threat of, aggression in which nuclear weapons are used;
8. Urges all States, as provided for in Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control which remains a universal goal;
9. Reaffirms the inherent right, recognized under Article 51 of the Charter, of individual and collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security;
10. Underlines that the issues raised in this resolution remain of continuing concern to the Council.
Appendix “H”: Edmonton Journal Editorial May 26, 2000 (Not included)
Former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament, Senator Douglas Roche, O.C. led the Canadian delegation to the 1985 NPT Review Conference. His analysis of the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference is contained in his book,An Unacceptable Risk: Nuclear Weapons in a Volatile World. His latest book is Bread Not Bombs: A Political Agenda for Social Justice, published by the University of Alberta Press in 1999. Senator Roche served as Chairman of the U.N. First (Disarmament) Committee in 1988. He is Visiting Professor at the University of Alberta, and Chairman of the Canadian Pugwash Group. He is Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative, a network of international citizen organizations, helping to mobilize influential “middle power” nations to press the Nuclear Weapons States to commence negotiations leading to the elimination of nuclear weapons
Project Ploughshares Working Papers are published to contribute to public awareness and debate of issues of disarmament and development. The views expressed and proposals made in these papers should not be taken as necessarily reflecting the official policy of Project Ploughshares.