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FMCT: Chronology 

1978
    July - The first special session on disarmament (SSOD I) was completed at the United Nations (UN).  In the Final Document of this session, member states agreed that the “ultimate goal” for dealing with the danger of nuclear weapons was their complete elimination.  To that end, part of the consensus in the Final Document required the “urgent negotiation of agreements at appropriate stages and with adequate measures of verification satisfactory to the States concerned for… [the] cessation of the production of all types of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery, and of the production of fissionable material for weapons purposes.”


1993
    September - President Clinton gave a speech before the UN General Assembly (GA), calling for a multilateral convention banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear explosives or outside international safeguards.

    December - The GA adopted resolution 48/75L by consensus that called for the negotiation of a "non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices."

1994 
    January – The UN’s Conference on Disarmament (CD) appointed Canadian Ambassador Gerald E. Shannon as Special Co-coordinator to seek Conference members’ views on negotiating and FMCT. 

1995
    March - The CD agreed to the Shannon Mandate that would establish an ad hoc committee to begin negotiations on a “a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.”

    May – At the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review and Extension Conference, States Parties agreed to seek "the commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a nondiscriminatory and universally applicable convention banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices" in the "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament" decision document.

1998
    September – An ad hoc committee, chaired by Canadian Ambassador Mark Moher, was established in the CD to discuss the terms of an FMCT.  Little progress was made before the session ended, as the Committee met for less than three weeks.  No treaty was achieved.

2000
    May – At the NPT Review and Extension Conference a document entitled “13 Practical Steps on Nonproliferation and Disarmament” was adopted.  Step 3 obligates States Parties to recognize:

The necessity of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in accordance with the statement of the Special Coordinator in 1995 and the mandate contained therein, taking into consideration both nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation objectives. The Conference on Disarmament is urged to agree on a programme of work which includes the immediate commencement of negotiations on such a treaty with a view to their conclusion within five years.

2003
    January – In the CD, an attempt to break the five-year deadlock was tabled.  This “A-5” Proposal of five former Conference presidents (Ambassador Dembri of Algeria, Ambassador Lint of Belgium, Ambassador Vega of Chile, Ambassador Reyes of Colombia and Ambassador Salander of Sweden) was an attempt to achieve consensus so the CD could adopt a programme of work.  The A-5 called for establishing four ad hoc committees, one of which was to negotiate the terms of an FMCT.  These committees were never established due to disagreements on the scope and terms of an FMCT.

2004
    July – At the start of the 3rd session of the CD the US announced its new stance on the scope of an FMCT, saying that it no longer believed such a treaty could be effectively verified.  The US continued to express support for negotiating an FMCT without verification provisions and without preconditions, or links to other issues being negotiated in the CD such as PAROS.  The US threatened to block consensus on Canadian-sponsored resolution L.34, which called for a "non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices," a resolution that had in previous years been adopted without a vote.  The US succeeded in blocking the resolution with the only vote against – there were 147 votes in favour and 2 abstentions (Israel and the United Kingdom).

2005
    June – The 987th plenary meeting of the CD was devoted to trying to find common ground from which to negotiate an FMCT.  No ad hoc committee had been established by the CD to negotiate such a treaty since 1998.  Stalemates remained over: the inclusion of verification provisions in the treaty; preconditions, such as linking an FMCT to larger nuclear disarmament goals; and the scope of the treaty, including whether or not the treaty would cover existing stockpiles of fissile material.  No progress was made on any of these blockages despite devoting the entire plenary meeting to this goal, and no ad hoc committee was established to negotiate an FMCT.

2006
    June – At the 2nd session of the CD national experts took part in intensive debates regarding an FMCT.  At the end of the session the presidents of the Conference for 2006 (P6) submitted an informal “vision paper” with recommendations for preparing for the 2007 session from lessons learned during 2006.  This P-6 paper recommended resuming substantive work in the CD through structured and constructive debates on all issues under consideration in the Conference, including an FMCT.  No consensus was reached on a programme of work in 2006, leading the P-6 to recommend establishing subsidiary bodies other than ad hoc committees to advance the substantive work of the Conference.

    May – The US submitted a draft mandate along with a draft text to the CD from which to start negotiating an FMCT.  Reactions were mixed, with many states unhappy that language regarding verification mechanisms had been omitted and the issue of existing stocks of fissile material had not been addressed.  China was one of a few states that remained prepared to discuss an FMCT only in the context of a “balanced and comprehensive” programme of work that would include other core issues, such as PAROS and nuclear disarmament.

2007
    March – Sri Lanka, on behalf of the 6 presidents of the CD, submitted draft decision L.1 to the Conference.   The US expressed willingness to negotiate other substantive issues in the CD, such as PAROS, in the hope that this would in turn spur cooperation from China and other states in negotiating an FMCT on US-initiated terms. L.1 would appoint a Coordinator to preside over FMCT negotiations as well as Coordinators to preside over other Conference agenda items, such as negative security assurances.

    September – Despite the concessions made by key states to try and jump-start negotiations, consensus could still not be reached on the Canadian FMCT draft resolution (A/C.1/61/l.23) that simply called on the CD to “commence immediately negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons.”  The draft resolution was withdrawn and once again no committee was able to be established for negotiating an FMCT.

2008
    March - The Conference on Disarmament ends its first session without a programme of work.  No progress on FMCT negotiations  was made.

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