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27 July 2011 - General Assembly - Follow-up to the High Level Meeting Held on 24 September 2010: Revitalizing the Work of the Conference on Disarmament and Taking Forward Multilateral Disarmament Negotiations - Statement by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, on behalf of the P5 and on a national capacity

(in English and in French)

Monsieur le Président,

Monsieur le Secrétaire général,

Mesdames et Messieurs les Ministres,

Excellences, Mesdames et Messieurs,

Allow me, Mr. Secretary General, on behalf of the People’s Republic of China, France, the Russian Federation, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America, to thank you for convening this follow-up meeting to the High Level Meeting held on 24 September last year. We welcome the personal commitment and leadership you have shown on disarmament and non-proliferation. We fully support your continuing efforts to revitalize the work of the Conference on Disarmament. We are deeply concerned by its long-running stalemate and lack of progress since last year’s meeting. It is crucial to reaffirm the negotiating role of the CD and to allow it to resume its substantive work without delay.

Ten months after the High Level Meeting, today’s follow-up meeting is a timely opportunity to reflect on the situation of the disarmament machinery and consider ways to make further progress on disarmament, international peace and security.

We welcome the numerous positive developments in the area of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation in the recent years. In particular, the adoption of a concrete and balanced Action Plan on all 3 pillars of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) by the NPT Review Conference in 2010 has shown the international community’s firm commitment to reinforce the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and address nuclear issues with a global and pragmatic approach. Now, all State parties must work together to advance the implementation of the NPT Action Plan.

In this context, the P5 States are strongly determined to assume their responsibilities and play their part. At the High Level Meeting last year in September, France committed to organize the first P5 Follow-up Meeting to the 2010 NPT Review Conference. Accordingly, on June 30th and July 1st, the P5 met in Paris, at Directors General and expert level, with a view to consider progress on the commitments they made at the NPT Review Conference and to contribute to the preparation of the next NPT review cycle. They discussed a wide range of issues relating to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

It was the second time that the P5 got together in this format with this agenda. The first was the London Conference on Confidence-building Measures in 2009. The Paris Conference was therefore a significant and vital opportunity to further build mutual trust and confidence on nuclear matters. We’d like to share with you the general outcomes of our discussions, which were reflected in the Final Joint Press Statement issued at the end of the Conference.

As Nuclear Weapons States, we discussed how we intend to meet our disarmament obligations under the NPT, including engagement on the efforts called for in the 2010 NPT Action Plan, particularly the steps outlined in Action 5, as well as reporting and other efforts. We continued our previous discussions on the issues of transparency and mutual confidence, including nuclear doctrine and capabilities, and on verification. Such measures are important for establishing a firm foundation for further disarmament efforts.

We also shared views on measures to uphold the NPT’s non-proliferation pillar, to include how to respond to notifications of withdrawal from the NPT, while recognising the provisions of Article X, and stressed the need to strengthen IAEA safeguards, including through promoting the adoption of the Additional Protocol and the reinforcement of IAEA’s resources and capabilities for deterring and detecting non-compliance.

All States, NPT Parties and non-Parties, must contribute to fulfilling the overall objective of disarmament, by creating the necessary security environment, resolving regional tensions, promoting collective security, ensuring that the international nuclear non-proliferation regime remains robust and reliable, and making progress in all the areas of disarmament.

We are convinced that, as the sole standing multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community, the CD should maintain the primary role in substantive negotiations on priority questions of disarmament.

We urge all CD Member States to agree without delay on a comprehensive and balanced program of work allowing the CD to resume its substantive work.

We recognise that one key element in the effective implementation of Article VI of the NPT and in the prevention of nuclear proliferation is the negotiation of a Fissile-Material Cut-Off Treaty. An FMCT would help cut off the most important building blocks needed for nuclear weapons. We reiterate our support for immediate commencement of negotiations at the CD on an FMCT, including verification provisions.

In order to sustain the potential of negotiations in the CD, the P5 will, prior to the next UNGA, renew their efforts with other relevant partners to promote such negotiations.

Furthermore, the P5 recall their commitment to promote and ensure the swift entry into force of the CTBT and its universalization

*

Je souhaite à présent faire quelques brèves remarques à titre national. Je reprends bien sûr à mon compte le discours de l’Union Européenne.

La France s’attache dans tous les forums - y compris au G8 dont nous assurons la présidence - à prendre des initiatives susceptibles d’améliorer la sécurité internationale, dans tous les domaines : nucléaire, biologique, chimique, conventionnel, prolifération balistique ou espace.

Nous ne pouvons donc que partager les légitimes frustrations des uns et des autres à la suite du blocage des travaux de la CD.

Nous devons, ensemble, continuer d’insister auprès de ceux qui pensent tirer avantage de ce blocage, qu’ils vont désormais à contresens de l’Histoire. Un consensus, moins un, existe aujourd’hui pour lancer la négociation d’un traité interdisant la production de matières fissiles pour les armes nucléaires. Nous souhaitons, bien entendu, que cette négociation soit menée au sein de la CD, dont c’est la vocation. J’ajoute qu’une négociation qui n’inclurait pas tous les pays principalement concernés n’aurait pas de sens et serait même déstabilisante, puisqu’elle imposerait de nouvelles contraintes à ceux qui, comme la France, ont de fait déjà cessé de produire ces matières, tout en laissant aux autres toute latitude pour continuer à les accumuler.

D’ici le lancement des négociations, nous devons démontrer concrètement notre engagement en faveur de l’arrêt de la production de matières fissiles pour les armes nucléaires. Quatre Etats dotés ont déjà déclaré un moratoire sur la production de ces matières. Nous appelons solennellement toutes les autres puissances nucléaires à déclarer immédiatement un tel moratoire.

Et il faut aller plus loin encore, en rendant irréversible cet arrêt de la production de matières fissiles pour les armes : la France a fait œuvre de pionnier en ce domaine, en démantelant de manière irréversible ses installations de production.

Tout ceci a un coût : la France a déjà dépensé 2 milliards d’euros, et 6 milliards lui seront nécessaires au total. C’est le prix de l’engagement de mon pays dans le domaine du désarmement nucléaire.

Enfin, et j’y insiste, le désarmement doit nécessairement aller de pair avec le renforcement de la sécurité collective et la lutte contre la prolifération. Un multilatéralisme efficace doit d’abord s’attacher à résoudre les vrais problèmes de notre temps et, à cet égard, la priorité doit rester à l’apaisement des graves tensions qui affectent, de manière différente mais toujours extrêmement dangereuse, tant le Moyen-Orient que l’Asie du sud ou la péninsule coréenne. Nous devons faire porter un effort particulier sur la réduction de la prolifération nucléaire, car elle est l’un des plus graves dangers menaçant notre planète, et dont la crise nucléaire iranienne souligne chaque jour l’acuité.

Telles sont, Monsieur le Secrétaire général, Chers Collègues, quelques-unes des réflexions dont je tenais à vous faire part à titre national - en vous réaffirmant que la France sera toujours présente, disponible et active pour agir en faveur de l’efficacité des instances multilatérales, afin que progresse cette gouvernance mondiale, axée sur la paix et sur la sécurité de tous, que nous appelons de nos vœux.



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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU