International Atomic Energy Agency
(Unofficial electronic edition)
27 March 2000
Attached is a communication received from the Permanent Mission of the United States of America forwarding statements by the President and the Secretary of State of the United States of America, for the information of Member States.
March 14, 2000
International Atomic Energy Agency
Dear Sir or Madam,
The Mission of the United States would appreciate your assistance in distributing to fellow member states the attached statements by President Clinton and Secretary Albright on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
|Laura E. Kennedy
Statement by President Clinton on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Time to Renew Faith in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
March 6, 2000
Thirty years ago - March 5, 1970 - the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) entered into force. The countries that negotiated the NPT had clear and important goals. They wanted a safer, more secure wrold in which states with nuclear weapons would work toward eliminating them. They wanted an effective verification system to confirm these commitments. And they wanted to ensure that countries could use the atom peacefully to improve the lives of their people without spurring nuclear weapons proliferation.
On that day in 1970, 43 countries committed themselves to the vision of the NPT. Today, there are 187 parties. Over the past 30 years, the NPT has served as an increasingly important barrier to the spread of nuclear weapons. The United States remains committed to achiving universal adherence to the NPT and will continue working to bring all remaining countries into the treaty.
The strenght and effectiveness of the NPT today are a legacy of countless individuals who crafted and promoted this irreplaceable treaty. I am proud that during my administration the parties to the NPT made a major contribution to lasting peace and security by agreeing in 1995 to make the treaty permanent.
Adherence to the NPT, together with inspections called for in the treaty by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), provide assurance to countries that their neighbours' nuclear programs are peaceful. The United States strongly supports the IAEA and calls on other NPT parties to work with us in strengthening the IAEA's ability to ensure compliance with the treaty.
Such compliance allows countries with nuclear technology to share the many peaceful benefits from the atom, reducing the risk that this cooperation will not result in weapons activities. Improved human health, increased food production, and adequate supplies of clean water are only a few of the many ways in which nuclear techniques contribute to a better world.
The NPT also calls for parties to "pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament." Remarkable progress in nuclear disarmament has occurred since the end of the cold war. Under the START process, the United States and Russia have committed to reduce deployed strategic nuclear warheads by approximately two-thirds from cold war levels. We have agreed to a START III framework that would cut these arsenals by 80% from those peaks, and we will intensify our efforts to work with Russia to bring this agreement into effect.
Already, the United States has eliminated some 59 percent of our overall nuclear weapons, and many U.S. facilities once dedicated to the production of nuclear weapons have been shut down, deactivated, or converted to other uses. Our nuclear weapons are no longer targeted against any country; our Army, Marine Corps, and surface and air Navy no longer deploy nuclear weapons; and our bomber force no longer stands on alert. NATO has reduced the number of nuclear warheads dedicated to its sub-strategic forces in Europe by 85 percent, and NATO's dual capable aircraft, the alliance's only nuclear forces, are no longer maintained on alert status, and their readiness levels have been reduced from minutes to weeks. The United States and Russia are cooperating to ensure no further production of weapons-usable material, the safe storage of existing quantities of such material, and internationally supervised elimination of surplus stocks of nuclear materials.
We will continue the U.S. moratorium on nuclear testing and work to establish a universal ban through the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The Conference on Disarmament should take the next essential step for global nuclear disarmament by negotiating a fissile material cutoff treaty now, without conditions.
The United States is committed to the ultimate elimination of all nuclear weapons. Achieving this goal will be neither easy nor rapid. Accordingly, the United States rededicates itself to work tirelessly and expeditiously to create conditions that will make possible even deeper reductions in nuclear weapons, and ultimately their elimination.
The following article first appeared in the March 7, 2000 International Herald Tribune.
WASHINGTON - Sunday was the 30th anniversary of the landmark Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, perhaps the most important multilateral arms control agreement in history. It is the bedrock of global efforts to reduce the danger of nuclear weapons.
Under the non-proliferation treaty, 182 non-nuclear-weapon states agreed to forgo any pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the five nuclear-weapon states agreed not to help others acquire nuclear arms.
All parties to the treaty agreed to facilitate peaceftil nuclear cooperation and to pursue good faith negotiations toward nuclear disarmament.
This is a treaty that by all accounts works. It has had many successes in preventing proliferation, facilitating nuclear cooperation and promoting arms control and disarmament.
In the last 10 years, Argentina, Brazil and South Africa all renounced their nuclear ambitions and joined the treaty, providing assurances that their nuclear energy programs were peaceful.
When the Soviet Union dissolved, only one nuclear-weapon state emerged, Russia. All the other newly independent states joined the treaty as non-nuclear-weapon states, and all nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan were returned to Russia.
Today all but Cuba, India, Israel and Pakistan are parties to the treaty. The past decade, however, has not been trouble-free. The most serious challenge to the regime came in 1991 with the discovery that Iraq, a party to the treaty, had a secret program to develop nuclear weapons. Just a few years later the International Atomic Energy Agency discovered that North Korea was concealing the full extent of its nuclear program.
The non-proliferation treaty weathered both those storms, including North Korea's attempt to withdraw from the treaty. Instead of abandoning the fight, member states rallied together to strengthen the system of nuclear inspections. Most importantly, treaty parties agreed in New York in 1995 to extend the treaty, without conditions, indefinitely.
Permanent extension of the treaty opened a new and more hopeful chapter in our history. It reminded us, despite our varying views on how well we have implemented our commitments, that we share a common goal - to make every effort to avert the danger of a nuclear war.
Next month the parties will meet again to review progress in achieving the goals set out by the treaty. There is likely to be much debate on the effectiveness of the nonproliferation norm and the pace of nuclear disarmament. A thorough, balanced debate can reaffirm the importance of the treaty as a whole.
We have had some setbacks since the last review in 1995- from the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests to continued Iraqi defiance of the UN Security Council and aggressive procurement efforts by some determined proliferators.On the other hand, we have made clear progress in helping to keep the ex-Soviet stockpile under control, in implement-ing modem systems of export controls, in freezing North Korean plutonium production, in strengthening compliance mechanisms, in establishing additional regional nonproliferation arrangements and in expanding adherence to the treaty. We have also made steady progress toward the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons.
In 1997, Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin agreed on the outlines of a START-3 treaty that would cut arsenals by 80 percent from their Cold War peaks. Independently of those negotiations, both countries continue to dismantle their nuclear arsenals. Since 1988, the United States has dismantled more than 13,000 nuclear warheads - more than half of the U.S. nuclear warhead stockpile. The United States is also working closely with Russia on ways to dispose of military plutonium and on the shutdown of military plutonium production reactors. The United States itself has not produced fissile material for nuclear weapons since it unilaterally halted production in 1992.
In that year, the United States also stopped testing nuclear weapons, even before negotiations began for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. And it will continue to work for negotiations on a treaty that would ban for all time the production of fissile material for nuclear explosives.
At the review conference in New York, the U.S. failure to ratify the test ban treaty will surely be held up by some states as a misstep on the road toward disarmament. The United States, however, remains committed to bringing the test ban treaty into force and to maintaining its test moratorium.
We are seeking a constructive dialogue with the U.S. Senate, which we hope will eventually lead to the treaty's ratification.
Looking forward, the nuclear danger clearly has not ended. We have a long way to go on the road to disarmament, to universal acceptance of nonproliferation norms and full compliance with nonproliferation commitments. But we cannot get there without a strong nonproliferation treaty. We urge all nations to help preserve and reinforce this important treaty.