1995 Review and Extension Conference
of the Parties to the Treaty on the
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
11 May 1995
VERBATIM RECORD OF THE 18th MEETING
Held at United Nations Headquarters, New York,
on Thursday, 11 May 1995, at 3.30 p.m.
President: Mr. DHANAPALA (Sri Lanka)
CONSIDERATION OF AND ACTION ON PROPOSALS BEFORE THE CONFERENCE
This record contains the original text of speeches delivered in English and interpretations of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to original speeches only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned, within 10 days of the date of the meeting, to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, Room C-178. Corrections will be issued after the end of the Conference in a consolidated corrigendum.
The meeting was called to order at 3.55 p.m.
Consideration of and action on proposals before the Conference
The President: I shall now call on those remaining representatives who wish to explain their positions.
Mr. Moubarak (Lebanon): Lebanon was among the first countries to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). We believed in the vital importance of this Treaty as a fundamental component of international peace and security as long as it would have been effectively universal.
Our Conference would have been a unique opportunity to enhance the NPT by investing the momentum created by the commitments of the States Parties to achieve its universality and to include concrete commitments by the nuclear States in the fields of security, safety and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
We believe that this Conference ended with minimal effects on the implementation of the objectives and provisions of the NPT. On this occasion, we would like to reaffirm that Lebanon fully supports the peace process in the Middle East aimed at a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the area and is committed to fulfil the terms of the Madrid peace conference based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978). The realization of peace in the Middle East remains our primary objective.
This Conference did not seriously address the Israeli nuclear programme. This programme remains outside the circle of the non-proliferation regime, and Israel's refusal to adhere to the NPT and to submit its nuclear facilities to the full-scope safeguards regime constitutes a grave threat to regional and international security. It also undermines the Treaty's credibility and universality.
Maintaining the Israeli fait accompli represents a grave imbalance that seriously threatens peace and stability in the region. The exclusion provision by which Israel is excused from adhering to the NPT is based on an unacceptable political consideration. We believe that document NPT/CONF/1995/L.8 does not suit the purpose, because Israel is not a party to the NPT and refuses to allow the appropriate international inspection of its nuclear facilities to take place.
My delegation cannot back this document as long as Israel does not accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and allow the appropriate international inspection of its nuclear facilities. We shall not accept the consecration of Israeli domination in our region by allowing it to maintain its nuclear arsenal.
Moreover, we do not accept the use of double standards in the treatment of Israel. Our insistence that Israel join the NPT and the efforts to create a nuclear-free-zone in the Middle East stems primarily from our concern over the future of the region. In addition, we do not have any guarantee of the safety of Israeli nuclear installations.
For all these reasons, Lebanon proclaims its reservation regarding the decision on the extension of the NPT as long as Israel does not accede to the NPT and does not allow the appropriate international inspection of its nuclear facilities. The extension sends the wrong signal to the nuclear States non-parties to the Treaty that they can extend the ambiguity surrounding their nuclear programmes indefinitely, regardless of the consequences.
Mr. Mwakawago (United Republic of Tanzania): My delegation joined with understandable reluctance the compromise in the just-adopted decision to extend the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) indefinitely. When we addressed this Conference during the general debate, my delegation stated, inter alia, that it was strongly of the view that to continue with the Treaty in its current form was to perpetuate the inequalities inherent in the Treaty and legitimize the existence of nuclear weapons in the hands of the few. We continue to stand by this position. The indefinite extension still does not fully meet our expectations if the past is to determine the future.
At the time of joining the NPT in 1991, Tanzania stated categorically that our accession to the Treaty did not change our long-standing position with regard to the major imbalances inherent in the Treaty. We took a long time to accede to the Treaty, not because we had any ambition of becoming a nuclear State, but because we were against the Treaty's discriminatory nature and the failure of the nuclear-weapon States to live up to their obligations under the Treaty.
During the 25 years of the existence of the NPT, the world has witnessed the continued development of nuclear weapons, both qualitative and quantitative. This forum had the opportunity to evaluate the progress made and to address the gaps that exist between the obligations undertaken under the Treaty by the nuclear-weapon States in particular and the current realities. While the non-nuclear-weapon States have lived up to their side of the bargain, the nuclear-weapon States have not fully carried out their obligations.
This Conference has offered us a unique opportunity to review the implementation of the Treaty in its entirety. It is regrettable that more emphasis was placed on the extension aspect than on the review process. This has left the Treaty with its inherent imbalances intact, thus allowing the provisions of the Treaty to be implemented selectively and on an indefinite basis.
The indefinite extension of the Treaty has permanently shattered our genuine hopes and aspirations to see a qualitative regime committed to halting the nuclear build-up, eliminating the current stock and bringing about the eventual banning of their production. The role of the Non-Aligned Movement, in particular the like-minded and others, in highlighting at this Conference these many concerns, must be fully recognized. It is in this regard that my delegation associates itself with the group endeavours in stating our long-standing position with regard to the operation of the Treaty.
Nuclear disarmament is too important a matter to be the permanent prerogative of only a few, however powerful. Tanzania has always believed that multilateral bodies are the best forums in which address arms control and disarmament issues.
We need not overemphasize the fact that the NPT in its broader perspective is the cornerstone of world efforts aimed at the eventual cessation of the arms race and the elimination of nuclear weapons. We sincerely hope and expect that all commitments which constitute the integral part of the Treaty will be fully respected and implemented. Let the nuclear-weapon States for once allay our fears by enhancing the credibility of the non-proliferation regime with a binding commitment to eliminate all their nuclear arsenals within an agreed time frame.
Finally, our commitment to the NPT is a firm one. We still have a vision for a stable, secure, safer world, free of all weapons of mass destruction.
Mr. Laing (Belize): Mr. President, reference has been correctly made today to your sense of humour. In that connection, I hazard a guess that you will appreciate and excuse the following brief deviation from my prepared remarks.
This delegation happily accepts the gracious explanation by the secretariat of the innocent reasons why the order of speakers was not adhered to this morning. If the reasons had not been entirely innocent, the implications for the cooperative nature of the international system would have given rise to grave concern, especially on an occasion such as this.
To return to my prepared remarks, this delegation has indicated its full support for indefinite extension of the Treaty. Not being a technologically or militarily advanced country, we must confess that much of this debate has been beyond our normal preoccupation. However, since the consequences of the explosion of any nuclear device, in peace or in war, are too awful to contemplate, Belize's decision in this matter has been made on the basis of faith, which, for us, is the safest and wisest fuel. We have therefore chosen to accept the formal assurances of the nuclear States, as incomplete as they have been. More importantly, we have decided for the foreseeable future to continue to rely on those of our allies in possession of nuclear weapons which have assured us of their absolute fealty in terms of the confidence we have all reposed in them.
It has been said that the extension of the Treaty is unconditional. That is so, but in some senses only rhetorically. Since circumstances have vouchsafed to the possessors of nuclear arms what amounts to a solid legal trusteeship of global security, we, the grantors and beneficiaries of that trust, have the right to revoke the trust if the trustees fail to keep its terms. That would happen in the most unlikely event that any of the trustees would use nuclear weapons in violation of the purposes and principles of the United Nations or the imperatives of our very civilization.
Furthermore, this delegation believes that if an authorized organ of the international community makes a binding determination regarding the illegitimacy or illegality of these frightening weapons, it may have a significant impact on the continuing validity of this trust.
I now refer to the decision in document NPT/CONF.1995/L.5 and state that failure on the part of any of the trustees to meet the separate commitments in that decision to nuclear sanity which they, and all of us, are solemnly making might also disengage this trust.
We are certain that the trust will be kept.
The trust concept underscores the inextricable interconnectedness of the phenomena of international life. Thus, this delegation perceives the existence of close connections between nuclear security and global financial security. In other words, we believe that those States that are vested with this crucial trusteeship have now also assumed a significant share of the mantle of global financial responsibility.
Another question arises. The institution of permanent membership of the Security Council was devised in an era when there was a wartime fear of "the crushing burden of armaments", to use the expression of the 1941 Atlantic Charter. At that time, there were no nuclear armaments.
If, with the indefinite extension of this Treaty, the nuclear Powers have become the indefinite and ultimate trustees of global security, has the collateral notion of permanent membership, under the United Nations Charter, lost much of its rationale? Or, does the composition of the permanent membership of the Council require radical restructuring?
Finally, the nature of many of the concepts of which I have spoken, including the changes occurring in the international system, is such as to suggest that, logically, universality is a sine qua non for global security and nuclear sanity. My delegation therefore suggests that all non-parties might consider acceding to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
The President: I am grateful to the representative of Belize for his magnanimous understanding of our organizational problems.
Mr. Wisnumurti (Indonesia): The Conference has adopted without vote, three decisions of far-reaching significance, namely, the decision on strengthening the review process for the treaty, the decision on principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and the decision on extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. These three decisions are of equal importance and constitute a package.
We continue to believe that the 25-year rolling periods along with the 5-year strengthened review process constitute the most appropriate and viable option for extending the Treaty. Such an extension, in our view, will ensure the full implementation of all the provisions of the NPT, including article VI, while maintaining its durability, continuity, stability and effectiveness. At the same time, we take note of the fact that the majority of States parties to the NPT have sought and obtained an indefinite extension of the Treaty. The positive impact of the decision to extend the Treaty indefinitely depends, however, on the full implementation of the decision on strengthening the review process for the Treaty and the decision on principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
The delegation of Indonesia wishes to stress the importance of the commitments contained in the decision on principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Of transcendental importance in this regard is the pursuit by the nuclear-weapon States of systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally, with the objective of eliminating those deadly weapons of mass destruction. Equally, the nuclear-weapon States have agreed to complete negotiations on a comprehensive test ban no later than 1996 and, pending its entry into force, the nuclear-weapon States should exercise utmost restraint. We would also like to emphasize the decision by the Conference in furthering the steps that should be taken in order to assure the non-nuclear-weapon States Parties to the Treaty against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. In this context, the conclusion of a legally-binding international instrument, an option recognized by the Conference, should be pursued in all earnest.
Furthermore, the decision also foresees the possibility of additional nuclear-weapon-free zones by the time the next Review Conference is convened, in the year 2000. As regards access to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, we have noted the reaffirmation of the inalienable right of all of the Parties to the Treaty on a non-discriminatory basis, and in this connection my delegation welcomes the provision for transparency dialogue and cooperation in nuclear-related export controls as well as the prohibition of attacks or threat of attacks on nuclear facilities devoted exclusively to civilian purposes.
At the same time, my delegation has not been oblivious to the shortcomings in the decisions that the Conference has chosen to adopt. From the outset, Indonesia's participation has been imbued and motivated by a genuine desire to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the NPT primarily through the full and expeditious implementation of its purposes and objectives. It was therefore justifiable for my delegation to expect that all States Parties would not only reaffirm their commitment but also comply fully with their obligations as stipulated in the Treaty. Despite the vastly improved international political climate since the last Review Conference of 1990, a climate that has become more conducive to the attainment of those objectives, we are dismayed at the policies and positions of some nuclear-weapon States with regard to the fulfilment of their obligations. It would seem that the maintenance of their unilateral and strategic postures as well as their status as nuclear-weapon States took precedence over the fulfilment of those obligations.
Issues long identified as critical components of the non-proliferation regime have been marginalized in the decisions that have been adopted. These are conspicuous by the lack of specific commitments concerning, in particular, the qualitative aspects of nuclear armaments, nuclear disarmament under multilateral auspices and within a time-bound framework, and the right of non-nuclear States Parties to the NPT to credible, unconditional and legally-binding security assurances. As many Member States would agree, the qualitative aspect is, together with its quantitative aspects, a matter of central and urgent concern. For Indonesia, any non-proliferation regime to be effective and credible, nuclear disarmament must have a clear perspective. Unilateral security assurances lack credibility as they have not been multilaterally negotiated and are internationally unverifiable. Hence the call for more far-reaching action in the form of an international convention.
Export controls and other unilaterally-enforced restrictive measures, other than IAEA safeguards, may hamper the promotion of international cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Furthermore, such extra-NPT mechanisms erode the right of access of developing States to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, which they require in order to meet their critical development needs. Those serious shortcomings have not been objectively reviewed, as is reflected in the document on principles and objectives, which we consider to be ambiguous and falls short of our legitimate expectations.
Finally, the decision on extension, which prolongs the Treaty indefinitely, will remove the sense of urgency from the obligations under article VI of the Treaty and will have the effect of perpetuating and legitimizing the possession of nuclear weapons. Such an adverse effect could be minimized only by the full and effective implementation of the decisions on principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and on the strengthening of the review process under the Treaty. In this regard, my delegation wishes to emphasize the fact that the Conference agreed that review conferences should look forward as well as back. They should assess the implementation of the undertakings of the States Parties under the Treaty during the period under review and identify the areas in which, and the means through which, further progress should be sought in the future. Review conferences should also consider what specifically could be done to strengthen the implementation of the Treaty and to achieve its universality.
Indonesia remains committed to the realization of the purposes and objectives of the NPT, and will continue to strive for the full and faithful implementation of all its provisions. Only history will judge the merits of the decisions taken by this Conference.
Mr. Al-Zahawi (Iraq): Allow me first, Mr. President, to commend your earnest attempts to lead this Conference to a satisfactory conclusion: no easy task, in view of the unprecedented pressure tactics used by some delegations, which we have all witnessed during the past four weeks. We do not believe that the procedure adopted to arrive at the decision on the extension of the Treaty conforms to the letter and spirit of article X.2 of the Treaty.
In the past two decades, the western group of countries, especially the United States of America, has complained about the manner in which the non-aligned countries have managed to get their resolutions adopted in the United Nations: they called it the mechanical majority. What we had this morning was not only a mechanical majority, but a demonstration of the tyranny of the majority par excellence. The decision was taken without even resorting to proper voting procedures.
It is also worth noting that the so-called mechanical majority resolutions sponsored by the non-aligned countries in the United Nations were primarily concerned with the observance of the principles of the Charter and of international law on such problems as Palestine, the rights of the Palestinian people, apartheid in South Africa, Namibia and the invasions of Lebanon, Panama and so on. The United States and its collaborators dismissed those resolutions as "shrill, anti-western rhetoric".
Be that as it may, had the question of the extension of the NPT been put to the vote this morning, my delegation would have voted against the indefinite extension of the Treaty, because such an extension procedure is unprecedented in the annals of international law. It does not serve the purposes of the Treaty, nor does it ensure its universality, its impartiality or its effectiveness in achieving nuclear disarmament.
Last but not least, the indefinite extension of the Treaty lays the ground for Israel's indefinite refusal to accede to the NPT and to subject its nuclear installations to the safeguards regime, and it enables Israel to continue to obstruct the establishment of a nuclear-free-zone in the Middle East.
The NPT has, in the past, failed to meet the aspirations, the legitimate concerns and grievances of a number of signatory, non-nuclear States. In the Middle East, only Israel, a non-signatory to the Treaty, has achieved a nuclear capability and it has done so illegally and clandestinely. It now publicly refuses to adhere to the Treaty despite the fact that it is the one member of the United Nations that has been called upon by the Security Council to subject its nuclear installations to the safeguards regime: I refer to Security Council resolution 487 (1981).
During this Conference, we have been subjected to the spectacle of one nuclear power the United States protecting the interests of Israel a non-signatory at the expense of the interests and security of other States in the region which are party to the NPT. The United States has prevented any specific reference to Israel in the decision contained in document NPT/CONF.1995/L.8 unless Djibouti, Oman and the United Arab Emirates are also mentioned. To equate those three States with Israel and its nuclear arsenal is, to say the least, utterly bizarre and risible.
We also see no reason why the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East should be tied to the so-called peace process. The establishment of such a zone, for which the United Nations has been calling in the past two decades, is now made contingent upon efforts in a process that Israel itself continually violates. Neither is it within the purview of this Conference to comment on a process on which it has no say whatsoever, to say nothing of the fact that it is a highly controversial matter.
I should like to end my remarks by quoting the considered opinion of an outstanding American investigative reporter. In the very last paragraph of his book "The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy", Seymour M. Hersch wrote in September 1992:
"The nuclear threshold States and there are as many 40 other nations that could go nuclear in the next generation are watching America's treatment of Israel with interest. If there is no significant effort in the coming years to resolve the nuclear issue in the Middle East, Washington will have seriously diminished its ability to limit the emergence of independent nuclear powers. The result will be a post-cold war peace populated by an ever growing number of nations anxiously arming themselves with nuclear weapons as they grimly take the measure of one another."
Mr. González Gálvez (Mexico): First, the Mexican delegation would like to put on record its appreciation of the efforts made by you, Mr. President, to arrive at an agreement incorporating the different currents of opinion of this Conference on the subject under consideration.
The Mexican delegation's satisfaction is even greater since the decisions that we have just taken incorporate elements of draft resolution NPT/CONF.1995/L.1/Rev. 1 presented by Mexico.
That is why we welcome your appeal, Mr. President, not to insist on voting on the various proposals, including our own. We take this opportunity to reiterate our determination to continue working on this subject, as we have done since 1962 when Mexico became a member of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva with a view to achieving general and complete disarmament under effective international control. This, without a doubt, is one of the highest-priority issues on the international community's agenda, together with the challenge of achieving world economic development on a just basis.
Ernesto Zedillo, President of Mexico, said on 26 June last year, during his electoral campaign, that the scant effect that the end of the cold war has had on the universal aspiration to general and complete disarmament is discouraging, and that today the world is experiencing tension because of the proliferation of nuclear weapons in areas where there were none before. Similarly, in his speech at this Conference on 18 April, my country's Secretary of Foreign Relations indicated our support for extending the Treaty, which we view not as an end in itself but as a means of facilitating the adoption of effective measures for genuine nuclear disarmament as well as of maintaining or re-establishing, as the case may be, an acceptable balance of responsibilities and mutual obligations between the nuclear and the non-nuclear States.
In deciding to extend the Treaty's validity indefinitely, we have not perpetuated the dichotomy between States with nuclear weapons and States without since this Conference has reaffirmed that in this context the Treaty's ultimate objective is the total elimination of all nuclear weapons. For this reason, we wish to stress the importance of the commitment that the States Parties undertook this morning to redouble their efforts to reach that goal the total elimination of nuclear weapons through systematic and progressive reductions and of their formal agreement to conclude negotiations on a treaty for a complete ban in 1996, with no exceptions whatsoever, on nuclear tests. In this regard, Mexico respectfully but firmly urges all nuclear Powers to refrain, as of now, from conducting nuclear tests, with a view to bringing that agreement into force.
We note also that the idea of a programme of action in the field of nuclear disarmament has been accepted, an idea that Mexico has fought for in Geneva for many years. The abolition of nuclear weapons should from now on be one of the main raisons d'être of our meetings. The five-year review mechanism that we approved today, which Mexico proposed on 21 April on the basis of an idea from Canada, will provide an opportunity for the nuclear Powers to report to the international community on their compliance with the solemn commitments undertaken today.
For decades now, Mexico has been advocating nuclear disarmament. There is no doubt that this Conference has helped us make progress in that direction. None the less, the road to a world free of nuclear weapons will be a long one. That is why Mexico will continue to contribute actively and vigorously to the attainment of our common goal. We have led by example: Mexico unilaterally renounced the acquisition of nuclear weapons and later, together with other countries, proposed the Treaty of Tlatelolco. Mexico has fought for over three decades to put an end to nuclear tests and this has included making proposals to amend the 1963 Treaty. We have worked through the so-called Group of Six and other international and regional bodies, while also submitting and negotiating a number of initiatives in conventional-arms control. Our actions are proof of our conviction.
In conclusion, I should like to reaffirm Mexico's determination to continue to formulate proposals aimed at accelerating the nuclear-disarmament process with a view to abolishing these weapons of mass destruction as a matter of urgency.
Mr. Rahman (Bangladesh): Bangladesh welcomes the decision for an indefinite extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Several factors have contributed to firming up our own position in support.
Firstly an obvious point there is our constitutional commitment to strive for the renunciation of the use of force in international relations and for general and complete disarmament. We remain convinced that the NPT remains the most viable multilateral instrument towards this end.
Secondly, we firmly believe that maintaining the validity of the NPT not only best serves our own national security interests but is also essential for enhancing international peace and security.
Thirdly, from the outset we have held that continuance of the Treaty was never at stake, nor were its provisions or objectives under challenge. At issue was the question of compliance and effective implementation by all Parties. The Treaty was not an end in itself, but a means towards an end, as many States have underscored.
Fourthly, it was recognized that the Treaty was the negotiated product of finely tuned compromises, an acceptable balance of mutual responsibilities and obligations between nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States. At the core of the issue of indefinite extension was the degree to which the accountability of all Parties could be measured, monitored, encouraged and strengthened to advance the goals of the NPT through specific objectives, time-frames and a defined programme of intensified negotiations and verifiable action. A reinforced review process was a sine qua non entailed in the Treaty. We believe that considerable progress has been made in underpinning this process, though some limitations are still palpable.
Fifthly, perhaps the most telling argument influencing our decision is that an indefinite extension of the Treaty also means an indefinite extension of the legal obligations contained therein. In short, it constitutes a permanent gage of accountability. Much has been made of the factor of leverage in promoting the accountability and compliance of all parties. This should not be lightly discounted: the fact remains that the Treaty can be diminished if even a very few countries feel that it has failed to live up to its purpose. The strength of the Treaty lies in its universality and in the common will to move forward together or not at all.
Finally, uncertainty to even a minimal degree about the durability of the Treaty will inevitably weaken its credibility and harden the stance of those outside the Treaty to justify their non-accession. Our goal must remain that of urging and encouraging universal adherence.
My delegation is deeply appreciative of the concerted efforts made by you, Mr. President, and by a great variety of member States, individually and collectively, to reach an agreed outcome without a vote. Key to this process was the establishment of linkages between the principles of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, a strengthened review process and the issue of extension, all of which constituted an integral whole. It is this combined, concerted and continuous push on all fronts that can make this Treaty credible and durable. By its decision, Bangladesh has endorsed its faith in this process.
Mr. Azwai (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) (interpretation from Arabic): The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya wishes to announce that it is completely and absolutely opposed to the extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) for one or more periods, let alone an indefinite extension. The first reason is that the purpose and objectives of this Treaty have not been fulfilled even though the Treaty has been in existence for twenty-five years. In particular, the principle of universality has not been respected. Second, the nuclear-weapon States Parties to the Treaty have not fulfilled their commitments. They operate according to double standards in so far as they help certain States to build up their nuclear arsenals but object to the construction of a small pharmaceutical plant elsewhere.
Third, Israel has not acceded to the Treaty. As everybody here is aware, Israel has a nuclear arsenal and delivery systems capable of hitting Arab capitals from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf. Because of this situation, the establishment of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, the goal of all the countries of this region, with the exception of Israel, is being impeded, as are attempts to reach a comprehensive and just peace. In fact, some nuclear-weapon States have helped the Israelis to build up their nuclear arsenal. These States are exerting extraordinary pressure on many countries of the region, in an attempt to force them to accept a fait accompli and agree to peace under the threat of Israeli nuclear arms. We would like the whole world to know that this situation is not acceptable to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. We therefore reject any extension of the NPT as long as the situation I have just described continues, as long as Israel fails to accede to the Treaty and open its nuclear installations to the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and as long as there is no practical plan to destroy this nuclear arsenal which threatens peace and security in the Middle East and throughout the world.
The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya opposes resolution NPT/CONF.1995/L.8 because it does not explicitly call upon Israel to accede to the Treaty. As we have said before, Israel is the only nuclear-weapon State in the Middle East. We also object to this resolution's reference to the ongoing peace process, which my country does not believe will lead to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East owing to the intransigence of Israel, whose independent nuclear arsenal may be targeted directly at any Arab country. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya believes that a just, comprehensive and genuine peace in the region can be achieved only through the establishment of a democratic, non-racist and non-nuclear Palestinian State in which Palestinians and Jews live side by side in the framework of a solution mirroring that found in the Republic of South Africa.
The position of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya does not mean that we do not uphold the noble objectives of the NPT and I hope that this will be reflected in the records of this Conference.
Mr. Kittikhoun (Lao People's Democratic Republic) (interpretation from French): After much work and effort, the moment of truth has finally arrived. In our view, the adoption without a vote, and I emphasize, without a vote, of this package of three decisions the first on the indefinite extension of the NPT, the second on strengthening the review process and the third and last on principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, all equally valuable and significant is a major historic event. The delegation of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, which has unswervingly tried to promote international understanding on this delicate issue can but applaud this event.
The three decisions we have just adopted, which are part of a package, deserve our full support because they provide a suitable platform which can further implementation by all States Parties to the NPT, and I mean, all States Parties without exception. In our view, given the Treaty's vital importance for the world, it should not be put to a vote. Wisdom and reason have prevailed and with the adoption of these three decisions without a vote, the international community is thus joining together to work towards a world free of nuclear weapons. The road is long and arduous, but, if we work together and are united and sincere, we believe we can reach the ultimate goal as set out in the Treaty.
Mr. Diaz Paniagua (Costa Rica) (interpretation from Spanish): I should like, in accordance with the instructions of my Government, to ask that my statement be faithfully incorporated in the final document that sets out the decisions that have been adopted.
Costa Rica is pleased to associate itself with the consensus relating to those decisions. However, its Government considers that, since the use or the threat of the use of nuclear weapons represents a violation of international law and in particular of the jus cogens human rights norms none of the provisions or recommendations in the decisions just adopted, nor the extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), or continuing to be Parties to the Treaty should be interpreted as recognizing, directly or indirectly, the legality of the use, the threat of the use, or the possession of weapons of this type.
These decisions and provisions do not imply in any way whatever a renunciation of our sovereign right to insist on the development of stricter rules to prohibit the use, the threat of the use, the possession and the development of nuclear weapons. Costa Rica's position on these principles is immutable.
Mr. Owade (Kenya): I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate you, Mr. President, on your tremendous and untiring efforts to enable this Conference to reach the very important decision we have made today. This occasion will no doubt mark a significant epoch in the history of mankind in pursuit of peace. That you, Sir, have been able to steer the Conference to reach a decision on such a delicate issue without resort to a vote is indeed a demonstration of your skills as a negotiator and your devotion to nuclear disarmament. We applaud you for this noble achievement.
Kenya is committed to the principles of nuclear disarmament as enshrined in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). As a State Party, we have fulfilled our obligations under the Treaty and have always been convinced that the NPT forms the very cornerstone of disarmament. We therefore took the position that the decision regarding extension should be taken by consensus. Accordingly, we are delighted that a decision has been made without a vote thanks to your efforts, Mr. President.
My delegation did not sign any of the draft resolutions that were submitted to the Conference last Friday. We took this course in the hope that the Conference would be able to reach consensus, thereby avoiding the acrimonious end to this vital event that would have been inevitable had we resorted to a vote.
We are convinced that an indefinite extension, taken together with the other two decisions those regarding the strengthening of the review process and the principles and objectives addressing, inter alia, such issues as universality, nuclear disarmament, security assurances and safeguards is the best way forward. Had this Conference been approached from the perspective of a package along the lines taken today, Kenya would not have had any hesitation in cosponsoring the indefinite-extension draft resolution.
We want to take this opportunity to put on record our conviction that the NPT is a central Treaty for the cause of international peace and security. With its indefinite extension, we can now face the future with confidence and courage, reassured that the international community is committed to the cause of nuclear disarmament.
My delegation had hoped that it would be possible to reach consensus on a 25-year rolled-over Treaty. The majority of States Parties, however, joined the momentum for indefinite extension. We join that decision in the hope and belief that the international community in particular, the nuclear-weapon States will leave this Conference with a clear message: that indefinite extension is supposed to augment international confidence towards disarmament and total nuclear elimination. Any contrary interpretation cannot stand. This message must not be lost. The nuclear-weapon States must now take concrete steps towards fulfilment of the principles and objectives of disarmament and total nuclear non-proliferation.
We owe it to our children and to our children's children to leave this world a better place than we found it. We should bequeath to them a nuclear-free world. We therefore call upon all States to implement faithfully, without any reservations, the four resolutions that were adopted this morning so that we may realize a nuclear-free world at the earliest opportunity.
We also hope that the principle of universality will soon be achieved.
Finally, I wish to reassure the Conference that Kenya will work assiduously with the rest of the international community for the early realization of a nuclear-free world. Once again, we hope that indefinite extension of the Treaty will not lead to any complacency on the part of the nuclear-weapon States. We have heard many voices and many concerns. We cannot and must not let them down.
Mr. Arcilla (Philippines): The Philippine delegation congratulates you warmly, Mr. President, on your success, after long and difficult consultations, in forging the three documents that have been adopted relating to the question of extension namely, draft decisions NPT/CONF.1995/L.4, NPT/CONF.1995/L.5 and NPT/CONF.1995/L.6. We are as conscious as many others of the fact that draft decision NPT/CONF.1995/L.4 and NPT/CONF.1995/L.5 were sugar-coating mechanisms to make draft decision NPT/CONF.1995/L.6 more palatable for adoption without a vote.
My delegation has from the start made very clear its position that an indefinite extension of the Treaty is the best option but not at any price. In our view, the price that we have just paid for indefinite extension is a bit high. We therefore wish to take this opportunity to register our lament, in the manner of a poet who once wrote that of all the sad words the world can say, the saddest are "It could have been."
Yes, the Conference could have been more specific in stating how, when and under what implementation framework the undertakings in article VI are to be put into effect. The Conference could have been a little more forward-looking than merely stating that these undertakings should be fulfilled with determination and that the nuclear-weapon States reaffirmed their commitment to pursue the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons. The Conference could have been a better forum for generating among us more trust in each other so that we could agree on more concrete steps to move the world closer to freedom from nuclear weapons.
Our greatest fear, contrary to the perception of others who spoke before me, is that, because of the less-than-universal acceptance of the decisions we have just taken, the end result will be our failure to encourage those who have not yet adhered to the Treaty to do so soon, if at all. That would, in effect, be a serious blow to the very purpose of the Treaty, which is non-proliferation.
None the less, I end this brief intervention by expressing the hope that, the next time we meet, the States Parties to the Treaty, in particular the nuclear-weapon States, can and will do better in realizing our common vision.
The meeting rose at 5.05 p.m.