An official website of the United States government

P-5 Countries Reaffirm Their Unconditional Support for the NPT Treaty
May 3, 2012

Statement by the People’s Republic of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America to the 2012 Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee.

On the occasion of the first meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference (RevCon), the People’s Republic of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America reaffirm their unconditional  support for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which remains the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament, and for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.  We are pleased to provide this information on P-5 activities since the 2010 NPT RevCon to the Preparatory Committee, in addition to any national contributions.

We welcome the adoption by the NPT RevCon in May 2010 of a balanced Final Document across all three pillars of the Treaty – nonproliferation, disarmament, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.  The success of the 2010 RevCon and inclusion in the Final Document of a consensus Action Plan demonstrates the international community’s shared commitment to seeking a safer world for all and to creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons, in accordance with the goals of the NPT; in a way that promotes international stability, peace and security; based on the principle of undiminished security for all; and underlining the vital importance of nonproliferation for achieving this goal.

We reaffirm our commitment to the Action Plan adopted at the 2010 NPT RevCon, our determination to meet our commitments, and to work with all States Party to the NPT to strengthen the Treaty during the years leading up to the 2015 RevCon.  Doing so will help ensure that it can continue to protect global peace and security from the threat of the proliferation of nuclear weapons and effectively address the current and pressing challenges that we face.  Every State can and should contribute to this goal, through concerted efforts to prevent proliferation challenges and the threat of nuclear terrorism, and to achieve general and complete disarmament.  We stress the importance that all States Party fully implement and comply with the Treaty and call upon all States Party to implement the provisions of the Action Plan in all its aspects.

As nuclear-weapon States, we reaffirm our enduring commitment to the fulfillment of our obligations under Article VI of the NPT. We are pleased to recall that we met in Paris from 30 June – 1 July, 2011, for our first follow-up meeting to the 2010 NPT RevCon, with a view to considering progress on the commitments we made at this Conference, as well as to following up on the September 2009 London Conference on Confidence Building Measures towards Nuclear Disarmament.  We met with the determination to work together in pursuit of our shared goal of nuclear disarmament under Article VI, including engagement on the steps outlined in the 2010 RevCon’s Action 5, as well as other efforts called for in the Action Plan.

We continued our previous discussions on the issues of transparency, mutual confidence, and verification, and considered proposals for a standard reporting form.  We recognize the importance of establishing a firm foundation for mutual confidence and further disarmament efforts, and we will continue our discussions within the P5 with a view to reporting to the 2014 PrepCom, consistent with our commitments under Action 5 of the 2010 RevCon final document.  We decided to continue working on an agreed glossary of definitions for key nuclear terms and, to that end, we are pleased to announce that we have established a dedicated working group, to be led by China.  In this regard, enhancing our understanding of each other’s thinking about nuclear weapons is an important building block for strengthened and continuing P-5 engagement toward nuclear disarmament.  Having shared information on our respective bilateral and multilateral experiences in verification, we followed this up with an expert-level meeting in London on 4 April at which UK scientists and technical experts shared the outcomes and lessons from the UK-Norway Initiative—a research project on nuclear warhead dismantlement verification.  At the P-5 meeting P-5 experts offered comments on the Initiative.  We also stressed the need for strengthening IAEA safeguards.  As a follow-up to the 2010 NPT RevCon discussions, we shared views on how to respond to notifications of withdrawal from the Treaty, while recognizing the provisions of Article X.

At the Paris meeting, we also recalled our commitment to promote and ensure the swift entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and its universalization.  We called upon all States to uphold their national moratoria on nuclear weapons-test explosions or any other nuclear explosion, and to refrain from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the Treaty pending its entry into force.  The moratoria, though important, are not substitutes for legally binding obligations under the CTBT.  We call upon all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify this Treaty.  We reiterated our support for immediate commencement of negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament (CD), within a balanced work programme based on the CD 1864 program of work, on a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) for the purpose of banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.  We committed to renew our efforts with other relevant States toward achieving this goal.  In that context, we met again, with other relevant parties, during the United Nations General Assembly First Committee and in Geneva, and will continue to provide information on our efforts.  We will follow up on our discussions and hold a third P5 Conference in Washington on June 27-29, 2012.

We recall the unprecedented progress and efforts made by the nuclear-weapon States in nuclear arms reduction, disarmament, confidence-building and transparency and note with satisfaction that stocks of nuclear weapons are now at far lower levels than at any time in the past half-century.  Our individual contributions to systematic and progressive efforts in this respect have been and will be highlighted by each of us nationally.  All other States must contribute to fulfilling these disarmament goals by creating the necessary security environment, resolving regional tensions, promoting collective security, and making progress in all the areas of disarmament.

We support the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, which entered into force on 5 February 2011 and is now being implemented.  When it is fully implemented, the Treaty will result in the lowest number of deployed nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia since the 1950s.  We believe it to be a significant step in the implementation of Article VI of the NPT, and by promoting mutual trust, openness, predictability, and cooperation can help build a stronger basis for addressing the threats of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism.  We also welcome the announcement by the United Kingdom in 2010 of reductions in the numbers of warheads and missiles on board its nuclear deterrent submarines, and a reduction in its overall nuclear weapon stockpile to no more than 180, a process which began in 2011 and is due to be completed by the mid 2020s.  We also welcome the recent achievement by France of the objectives announced in 2008, resulting in the reduction by one-third of the number of nuclear weapons, missiles and aircraft of the airborne component and leading to an arsenal totalling today fewer than 300 nuclear weapons.  We also welcome China’s reaffirmation to keep its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security, and of its policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, as well as its unequivocal commitment that China will unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones.

We emphasize the importance of the prohibition of chemical, biological and toxin weapons in realizing the objective of Article VI of the NPT and urge all countries which have yet to do so to sign, ratify and bring into force the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC).  We are pleased with the outcome of the BTWC Review Conference, which was able to set out the program of work for the next five years in areas we see as high priorities – strengthening national implementation measures, identifying and responding to developments in science and technology and international cooperation and assistance.

The proliferation of nuclear weapons undermines the security of all nations.  It sets back the cause of disarmament, in particular nuclear disarmament, and imperils the prospects for strengthening international cooperation in nuclear energy, including the role we wish to see such cooperation play in combating climate change and ensuring sustainable development of peaceful nuclear energy.  We reaffirm that all States Party must ensure strict compliance with their nonproliferation obligations under the NPT and work actively to ensure that others comply with their nonproliferation obligations.   We remain deeply concerned by the challenge that non-compliance by Treaty Parties poses to the integrity of the NPT regime.

We welcome the constructive and useful discussions between the E3+3 and Iran in Istanbul April 14.  As reflected in the E3+3 statement issued there, we seek a sustained process of serious dialogue, where Iran and the E3+3 can take urgent practical steps to build confidence and lead to compliance by Iran with all its international obligations.  We will be guided in these efforts by the step-by-step approach and the principle of reciprocity.  The NPT forms a key basis for what must be serious engagement on Iran’s nuclear program, to ensure all the obligations under the Treaty are met by Iran, while fully respecting Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy in conformity with Articles I, II, and III of the Treaty.  We expect that subsequent meetings of the E3+3 and Iran will lead to concrete steps toward a comprehensive negotiated solution which restores international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program.

We remain concerned by Iran’s persistent failure to comply with its obligations under UNSC resolutions and to meet the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors Resolutions.  We stress the need and urgency for Iran to reach an agreement with the IAEA on a structured approach, including on access to relevant sites and information and based on IAEA verification practices, to resolve all outstanding issues, particularly those relating to possible military dimensions, in accordance with the resolution adopted by the IAEA Board of Governors on November 18, 2011.

We also remain concerned about the DPRK’s nuclear program, including its uranium enrichment program.  We strongly urge the DPRK to fulfill its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks, and to fully comply with all its obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, including abandoning all its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, and immediately ceasing all related activities.  We note with serious concern the 13 April launch by the DPRK and call on the DPRK to refrain from further actions which may cause grave security concerns in the region, including any nuclear tests. We reaffirm our firm support for the resumption of the Six Party Talks at an appropriate time.

We underline the fundamental importance of an effective IAEA safeguards system in preventing nuclear proliferation and facilitating cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.  As agreed in the 2010 Action Plan, we call on all States that have not yet done so to bring into force IAEA Additional Protocols as soon as possible.  As also agreed in the Action Plan, we call for the application of IAEA comprehensive safeguards agreements in States Party in accordance with Article III of the Treaty, and encourage all States Party with pre-2005 small quantities protocols that have not yet done so to amend or rescind them, as appropriate, as soon as possible.  We welcome the fact that 138 States have signed an Additional Protocol and that 115 States have an Additional Protocol in force.  We note the IAEA’s view that the Protocol is of vital importance for the Agency to be able to provide credible assurance, not only that declared nuclear material is not being diverted from peaceful uses, but also that there are no undeclared nuclear material and activities in a State.  We believe that a comprehensive safeguards agreement together with an Additional Protocol should become the universally recognized standard for NPT verification, and stand ready to offer the necessary support to States wishing to bring a Protocol into force.

We remain committed to ensuring that the IAEA has sufficient technical, human, and financial resources, as well as authority to fulfill its safeguards responsibilities, including verifying non-diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful purposes to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and ensuring that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or nuclear activities.  Where non-compliance is established by the IAEA Board of Governors, the case should, in accordance with the IAEA Statute, be brought to the immediate attention of the UN Security Council to determine whether it constitutes a threat to international peace and security.  We emphasize the Security Council’s primary responsibility in addressing such threats.

We reaffirm our support of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and Zangger Committee and note the important role of these two international export control mechanisms in securing the nuclear nonproliferation regime.  In this context we welcome the NSG action to strengthen its guidelines on the transfer of sensitive enrichment and reprocessing technologies.  We urge all States to take appropriate national measures in accordance with their national authorities and legislation and consistent with international law to prevent proliferation financing and shipments, to strengthen export controls, to secure sensitive materials, and to control access to intangible transfers of technology and to information that could be used for weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.

We note the importance attached by non-nuclear weapon States to security assurances and their role in strengthening the non-proliferation regime.  In 1995, we issued separate statements on security assurances as noted in Security Council resolution 984 (1995).  Some of us have subsequently issued statements about their assurances.  We note that protocols to nuclear-weapon-free-zone treaties offer a means for codifying negative security assurances in a legal framework. We stand ready to engage in substantive discussions on security assurances in the Conference on Disarmament in the context of an agreed Program of Work.

Nuclear-weapon-free zones that are established in accordance with Article VII of the Treaty and the Guidelines from the UN Disarmament Commission’s 1999 Session and are fully complied with have made and continue to make an important contribution to the strengthening of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime in all its aspects, and to achieving nuclear disarmament and the ultimate objective of general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.  We are pleased to report on the substantive progress made in the process of moving towards signature of the Protocol to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ).  We will continue to work with the States Party to SEANWFZ further in this direction, in particular, on the earliest possible signing of the Protocol to the Treaty by the Nuclear Weapon States.  We confirm our commitment to continue working with the States Party to the treaty establishing the Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone towards resolving all the outstanding issues in relation to the Treaty and its corresponding Protocol.  

We are committed to a full implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, and we support all ongoing efforts to this end.  We welcome the steps taken by the three NPT Depositary States (the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom) and the UN Secretary General toward convening a Conference in 2012 on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means.  We welcome the announcement on October 14, 2011, by the Spokesman for the UN Secretary General on behalf of Ban Ki-moon and the three NPT Depositary States about the appointment of Jaakko Laajava, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, as facilitator and the designation of Finland as the host government for this Conference.  We note the IAEA Forum on Experience of Possible Relevance to the Creation of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East held in Vienna on November 21-22, 2011, and the joint intervention made by the representatives of the NPT Depositary States, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America at the Forum.  We express hope for a successful Conference to be attended by all the States of the Middle East.

We emphasize that the threat of the acquisition of nuclear weapons or related materials and technical expertise by non-state actors would constitute a grave threat to international peace and security.  We reaffirm the importance of full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540, as well as the international Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.  We renew our commitment made at the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit to strengthen nuclear security and reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism.   We urge States to accelerate their domestic approval of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, so that this Amendment can be quickly brought into force.  We also encourage all States Party to apply, as appropriate, the IAEA recommendations on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities (INFCIRC/225/Rev.5) and other relevant international instruments at the earliest possible date.

We recognize the inalienable right of all States Party to the NPT reflected in Article IV to the development, research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I, II, and III of the Treaty.  We underline the particular importance of international cooperation, both through the IAEA and bilaterally, for States Party new to nuclear technology.  We are ready to work actively with States Party wishing to develop nuclear energy for peaceful uses consistent with their NPT and IAEA safeguards obligations.

We welcome the work of the IAEA on multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle, including assurance of fuel supply and related measures, as effective means for facilitating nuclear cooperation in accordance with Article IV of the NPT and addressing the expanding need for nuclear fuel and nuclear fuel services, preserving the competitive open market, responding to the real needs of customers, and strengthening non-proliferation.  We welcome the IAEA Board of Governors’ decisions on multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle to assure IAEA Members of an adequate nuclear fuel supply, which include the establishment of the International Uranium Enrichment Center (IUEC) at Angarsk, which is now operational; the decision to establish a low-enriched uranium bank under the control of the IAEA at a location to be determined; and support for a nuclear fuel assurance mechanism that provides the option of an additional political assurance to complement commercial contracts.   We also welcome the Russian low-enriched uranium (LEU) reserve and the American Assured Fuel Supply, which is comprised of downblended uranium from weapons programs to establish a backup source of LEU, both of which are also operational.  We reaffirm our readiness to work with the IAEA and with other countries to explore and pursue approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle that will facilitate access to the benefits of nuclear energy and serve all countries’ interests in preventing proliferation to state or non-state actors.

We regard the events at Fukushima, Japan, as a sobering reminder of the need for strong international cooperation on nuclear safety and reaffirm our commitment to work closely with one another for implementation in due course of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety adopted at the Agency’s 55th General Conference and to promote the highest standards and best practices.  We recognize that we all benefit greatly from a rigorous peer review process conducted on a regular basis and that the international nuclear safety regime offers many opportunities for collaboration.

Regarding the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the cornerstone of the international safety regime, we welcome the extraordinary meeting of Contracting Parties to take place in August 2012, and we support a review that could result in measures to strengthen and improve the Convention.    We call on all countries with nuclear activities to adhere to the Convention on Nuclear Safety without further delay, so that they may benefit from the full extent of dialogue and resources available to Contracting Parties.  Regarding the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, we welcome the meeting of Competent Authorities that took place in April 2012.   We support a review that could lead to measures to strengthen and improve the effectiveness of this instrument.  Regarding the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, we support a review of measures that could lead to strengthening and improve the effectiveness of the Convention.  These measures could include updated implementation and reporting guidance so that the efficiency and substance of notifications made pursuant to the Convention will be further improved in accordance with the Nuclear Safety Action Plan.  We also call on the IAEA to consider further review of the relevant IAEA safety standards in accordance with the Nuclear Safety Action Plan to identify issues that may warrant examination and revision in light of the Fukushima accident.

We note that the importance of international nuclear safety and security cooperation extends beyond nuclear power to all non-power applications, many of which are the purpose of projects being funded under the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme with the objective of improving the health and livelihood of millions of people using nuclear technology.

We call for the development of nuclear energy in a culture of openness and transparency, one which builds confidence among neighbors and stresses the importance of promoting the sustainable development of peaceful nuclear energy within a framework that ensures effective safety, security, non-proliferation conditions, and arrangements for civil nuclear liability for the benefit of all.

We note the potential for nuclear energy to facilitate achievement of thMillennium Development Goals and sustainable development, in addressing climate change, in providing energy security, and in addressing vital non-power applications such as nuclear medicine, agriculture, water resource management, and industry.  We stress our long-standing support for the IAEA’s critical role in expanding access to these nuclear applications, together contributing more than $35 million towards the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Fund in 2011, plus further extra-budgetary contributions, including through the IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative and other programs.

States Party have the right to withdraw from the NPT under Article X.  We call for the United Nations Security Council to address without delay any State Party’s notice of withdrawal from the Treaty, including the events described in the required notice pursuant to Article X.  A State Party remains responsible under international law for violations of the NPT committed prior to its withdrawal.  We welcomed discussion of this issue at the 2010 RevCon and call for further discussion of modalities under which NPT States Party could respond collectively and individually to a notification of withdrawal, including through arrangements regarding the disposition of equipment and materials acquired or developed under safeguards during NPT membership.

As we enter the review cycle leading to the 2015 Review Conference, we reaffirm our commitment to the goal of seeking a safer world for all and creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons in accordance with the goals of the NPT.  We call on all States Party to work towards that goal by taking concrete measures to implement the Action Plan agreed to at the 2010 Review Conference, which is based on a balance across the three mutually reinforcing pillars of the Treaty.