Index

NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT / NON PROLIFERATION TREATY (NPT)

DAILY PRESS BRIEFING OF MAY 2, 2000

STATEMENT BY THE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN

As you know, the NPT review conference is continuing in New York. Yesterday, Monday, May 1, the ambassador who represents France at the Conference on Disarmament, Hubert de la Fortelle, made an important statement on behalf of five delegations (China, the U.S., the Russian Federation, France and the U.K.).

France actively contributed to the statement. The statement underlines the commitment of the five nuclear-weapon states to the complete implementation of the goals set out in the three sections of the treaty: disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of atomic energy. The statement recalls in particular the unequivocal commitment of the five to promoting the final goals--the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and a general and complete disarmament treaty under strict and effective international control.

The five urgently call on the Conference on Disarmament to agree as quickly as possible on a program of work that will lead to the immediate commencement of negotiations on a treaty to ban the production of weapons grade fissile material. It’s known as the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty. I remember accompanying the foreign minister to Geneva in 1997 when he made a speech urging the start of negotiations on a cut-off treaty. France is particularly anxious to see this. These negotiations are indeed fundamental to consolidating nuclear non-proliferation norms and moving forward towards nuclear disarmament. France hopes that the call by the five will be heeded at the NPT review conference and that the states parties will give decisive impetus to the start of work on this treaty in Geneva as they did in 1995 for the comprehensive test ban treaty.