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Statement on behalf of the European Union at the plenary of the 2005 review conference of the parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Date of Speech : 23-05-2005

Place : New York

Speaker : Paul Kayser, Ambassador

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

On behalf of the European Union, I have the honour to introduce the working paper entitled “European Union Common Approach: Cooperative Threat Reduction-Global Partnership Initiative�?.

During the Preparatory process and the general debate of the Review Conference many delegations - including the Presidency of the European Union - have highlighted the importance of the Cooperative Threat Reduction-Global Partnership initiative and its relevance for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. This concept was also presented to the Conference on Disarmament and to the First Committee of the UN General Assembly.

The following considerations regarding the relevance of the CTR-Global Partnership for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are submitted to the Review Conference:

1) The nuclear arms reduction process which has been developed in the past decades has brought to the surface the enormous technical and financial problems connected with the actual elimination of nuclear weapons. The CTR-Global Partnership is one of the multilateral efforts aimed at addressing those problems.

2)  Canada, the European Union (and many of its member States on a national basis), Japan, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, the United States, and other Countries have worked together – in particular, under the CTR initiative - to secure and dismantle nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, materials, carriers and infrastructure. The culminating moment of these initiatives took place in Kananaskis, Canada in June 2002, when the leaders of the G8 Countries announced a "Global Partnership" against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction. Participants at the Summit pledged to raise up to 20 billion US dollars over the following ten years to address these threats.

3) At a time in which nuclear proliferation is a growing threat to international peace and security and in which the risk that terrorists may seek access to nuclear weapons or to nuclear materials adds a new dimension to this threat, the CTR-Global Partnership is a significant, additional way to accelerate the nuclear disarmament process.

4) The nuclear component of the CTR-Global Partnership initiative is relevant to the NPT review process and strengthens the Treaty both under article 6 and under article 1. In particular, the de-activation of thousands of nuclear warheads under this programme is to be considered an effective measure relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race and to nuclear disarmament.

5) Many of the measures undertaken under the CTR-Global Partnership, such as the dismantlement of nuclear submarines, efforts to convert military stockpiles into a form no longer usable in nuclear weapons, respond to the objectives laid down in articles 1 and 2 of the Treaty.

6) The CTR-Global Partnership deals with highly sensitive materials and equipments. The fact that they have now become the object of international co-operation enhances transparency and confidence. It thus strengthens trust between states and facilitates the cessation of the manufacture of nuclear weapons as foreseen in the preambular part of the Treaty.

7) The CTR-Global Partnership has facilitated the accession to the NPT by a number of countries, thus strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime. Other countries may join this initiative both as donors and as recipients.

The Review Conference is invited to recognize the importance, from the point of view of nuclear disarmament, of the programs for the destruction and the elimination of nuclear weapons and the elimination of fissile material as defined under the G8 Global Partnership.

This page was last modified on : 24-05-2005

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