Joint Statement from the 9th Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI)
Sep 21, 2017
- We, the Foreign Ministers of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) – Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates – have met today in New York City to reiterate our political resolve to contribute to a successful conclusion of the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference as well as to assess the current challenges to nuclear disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and to reaffirm the critical importance of concerted action to work towards our shared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.
- NPDI condemns in the strongest terms the grave threat posed by North Korea’s repeated nuclear and ballistic missile tests which not only violate numerous UN Security Council resolutions but also significantly threaten both regional and international peace and security. We have had an intensive discussion on North Korea’s illegal nuclear and ballistic missile activities this morning and have stressed our views in a separate NPDI Statement on North Korea.
- We are deeply committed to our core mandate as declared in the First NPDI Ministerial Statement in September 2010 to strengthen the NPT based on the 2010 NPT Review Conference Action Plan. The current geopolitical situation underlines the need to strengthen and uphold the NPT and we highlight the need for further bold steps in this respect, including in the 2020 NPT Review Cycle. The NPDI is intent on contributing to a successful outcome of the current Review Cycle, based on the need to comprehensively address all three pillars of the NPT (peaceful uses, non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament). In this respect, we urge all States Parties to fully comply with their obligations and commitments under the NPT, particularly with the full and prompt implementation of all the actions in the 2010 Action Plan. The NPDI will continue to build on the agreed 2010 NPT Action Plan by developing new ideas and initiatives that can help build bridges between NPT member states. We reiterate our commitment to continuing our constructive dialogue with the five NPT nuclear weapon states on how to make progress on strengthening the NPT.
- The NPDI’s engagement is further reflected in the fact that its members include the Chairs of the PrepComs of 2017 and 2018. We remain united and focused on the NPT’s objective to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. In this vein, the NPDI strongly endorses the document with reflections of the PrepCom 2017 chair (NPT/CONF.2020/PC.I/14) as common ground for NPT member states and their discussions during the remainder of this Review Cycle. Those objectives include a reconfirmation of the NPT as the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, with mutually balancing and reinforcing common objectives. We would also like to highlight the need for open, inclusive and transparent dialogue at the meetings of the Review Conference and the Preparatory Committee.
- We underscore our resolve to actively work towards further progress and concrete results on nuclear disarmament. Sustained, high-level political leadership as well as unwavering commitment to the NPT as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the achievement of nuclear disarmament are needed to make concrete progress towards achieving deeper reductions in nuclear arsenals worldwide and towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
- The NPDI remains committed to the further successful implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) with Iran, which concretely demonstrates that diplomacy can successfully advance NPT objectives when supported by a broad international consensus. Continued strict implementation of the JCPoA by all sides, based on full respect for the NPT, will help to build the confidence of the international community that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful in nature. We welcome the International Atomic Energy Ageny’s (IAEA) continued activities to monitor and verify Iran’s implementation of its JCPoA commitments. We call on all Member States to consider making voluntary contributions to support the IAEA’s crucial verification role.
- Increasing the transparency of all States Parties on the implementation of NPT commitments remains one of the signature initiatives of the NPDI. The NPDI continues to underscore the need for improved transparency by the nuclear-weapon states on their disarmament undertakings, including information on the quantity, type and status of their nuclear arsenal and delivery systems, quantity of fissile material produced for military purposes, and the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines. Transparency of nuclear arsenals is a prerequisite for building confidence and thus for accomplishing nuclear disarmament in an irreversible manner, as reflected in consensus NPT outcome documents.
- NPDI members are supportive of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (IPNDV), and supportive of the Group of Governmental Experts on Nuclear Disarmament Verification established pursuant to UNGA Resolution A/RES/71/67. We welcome the participation of nuclear weapon states in these processes. The elaboration of adequate verification measures for the disarmament process is essential for building the trust and confidence required to achieve Global Zero. We continue to press for the inclusion of measures of disarmament verification into the NPT.
- The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is another essential component for achieving nuclear disarmament. The NPDI regrets that the Treaty, 21 years after its opening for signature, is yet to come into force. We therefore urge all states that have yet to ratify the CTBT to do so without delay and without conditions, in particular the remaining eight Annex 2 states whose ratification is necessary for the Treaty to enter into force, echoing yesterday’s Final Declaration of the 10th Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT. Also, pending the Treaty’s entry into force, we call upon all States to uphold and maintain a moratorium on nuclear-weapon test explosions and any other nuclear explosions and to refrain from any action that would undermine the object and purpose and the implementation of the provisions of the CTBT.
- For its part, the NPDI is actively engaged to work towards the early commencement of negotiations on a treaty to ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (FMCT). We welcome the work of the High-level FMCT expert preparatory group on this issue, which held its first session in August in Geneva. The Preparatory Group made substantive progress in developing a menu of potential treaty provisions, which bodes well for a successful outcome in 2018. A second Informal Consultative Meeting open to all UN Member States will be held in New York in February 2018, prior to the second Preparatory Group meeting in May. The NPDI commits its full support to this process and urges the CD to launch negotiations on such a treaty as soon as possible. Pending the entry into force of a FMCT, we reiterate the repeated international call for all nuclear-weapon States and non-States parties to the NPT to maintain or declare moratoria on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices which could help facilitate negotiations on, and the conclusion of a FMCT.
- We recall that this past year has marked the 50th anniversary of the opening for signature of the Tlatelolco Treaty, the 30th anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty of Rarotonga and the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Bangkok Treaty. Nuclear weapons-free zones have proven to be an effective measure for strengthening the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and promoting international peace and security, pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons. As a diverse cross-regional group of non-nuclear-weapon States, the NPDI will continue to play a constructive and proactive role in facilitating discussions on difficult issues and bridging diverse positions to help reinvigorate the NPT Review Cycle process. Noting that the 2020 Review Conference will mark the 50th anniversary of the NPT’s entry into force, the NPDI remains committed to supporting a productive outcome to mark this important occasion by progressing global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation goals.