Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: threat to international peace, security and stability [fr]
Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) - Main Committee II - Statement by Mme Marion Paradas, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations and the International Organisations in Vienna - 5 May 2015
The proliferation of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery is a real threat to international and regional peace, security and stability. It compromises our ability to meet all the objectives that States have set in the framework of the Treaty. The fight against proliferation is thus a priority for all.
The French Delegation would first like to fully associate itself with the statement made by the European Union. I would also like to present few axes, on which we need to build together a strong and efficient response to proliferation. These themes are lessons learnt from our experience of proliferation crises.
The first axis is to respond firmly to proliferation crises.
First, regarding the Iranian nuclear issue, the preliminary understanding on the key parameters of an agreement, which the E3/EU+3 Group and Iran reached on 2 April in Lausanne, is an important step forward. France will be vigilant in the coming weeks to ensure that these parameters can be reflected in a robust, sustainable and verifiable agreement. We also call on Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA to settle unresolved issues regarding possible military dimensions to its nuclear programme. This is essential in order to rebuild confidence and we regret that no progress has been made on this issue. France will continue to play an integral part in the negotiations so that the agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue can make a key contribution to the international non-proliferation regime and to world peace and security.
Since the last NPT Review Conference, North Korea has carried out another nuclear test, and has prioritized the development of its ballistic and nuclear programmes, in defiance of its international obligations. Furthermore, it is continuing to develop its intercontinental-range ballistic missile programme. The international community unanimously condemned these serious threats to international peace and security and, in response, the Security Council adopted Resolutions 2087 and 2094, which the European Union strengthened through independent measures. These measures make an essential contribution to block North Korea’s proliferating activities in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. North Korea must take concrete measures to comply with its obligations under the NPT and the IAEA. Its denuclearization is non-negotiable.
I would also like to remind this committee about the case of Syria, which has still not clarified its past or present nuclear activities.
The second axis is to persevere in our efforts to strengthen the IAEA’s verification capacity.
The combined implementation of a comprehensive safeguards agreement and an additional protocol ensures compliance with the objectives of NPT Article III.1. This is why calling for the universalisation of these two legal instruments remains a priority.
The State level approach will also significantly help to strengthen the safeguards system through a better use of existing resources. We must support the implementation of this approach.
To strengthen the authority of the IAEA, we must also better deter violations of its safeguards. To do that, the Review Conference must encourage the States Parties to learn from cases in which countries have been declared in violation with their non-proliferation obligations, by suspending their civil nuclear cooperation. This is also a precautionary measure and a measure of responsibility, in order to prevent all risks of diversion.
The third axis is to increase our resources to prevent and curb proliferation.
Each proliferation crisis has revealed the existence of trafficking networks of sensitive technologies and nuclear goods.
To counter the strategies of these criminal supply networks without hindering the development of legitimate nuclear trade, stringent and universal export controls are essential. The Zangger Committee and Nuclear Suppliers Group have a key role to play in directing the efforts in that regard. We must also better implement Resolution 1540 in order to strengthen our national systems and to help countries that also need to do so.
Finally, this review cycle has highlighted two challenges which are currently not on our roadmap but to which our community must prepare to better respond:
the illegal attempts to secure useful knowledge and expertise to develop proliferation programmes. Against those illegal attempts, we must increase our vigilance in terms of access to training, to research centres and to the most sensitive information;
the fight against the transfer of proliferating goods, meaning that proliferating flows must be concretely prevented, proliferating activities must be criminalized and their financing sources must be identified and combated.
The fight against proliferation can only be completely effective if it mobilizes a collective ambition. We hope that this Review Conference, based on the axis I have mentioned, will help to promote increased international cooperation.
Mr President, I thank you.