Statement by 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 the 2015 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Review Conference

April 30, 2015

1. As Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), 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 reaffirm our enduring commitment to the NPT, which remains indispensable to the maintenance of international peace and security. For forty-five years, the NPT has served as the cornerstone of the international nuclear nonproliferation regime, a conduit for expanding the peaceful uses of nuclear energy amongst Parties to the Treaty, and the foundation for the collective pursuit of nuclear disarmament.

2. Every NPT State Party benefits from a strong and effective NPT regime and each can contribute to its implementation by helping to prevent proliferation, foster the safe and secure use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and create conditions conducive to nuclear disarmament. The purposes for which the NPT was established remain valid and continue to unite efforts to address current nuclear challenges. We look forward to joining with all States Parties in pursuit of common goals and pledge our strongest efforts toward a successful outcome at this ninth NPT Review Conference (RevCon).

3. We are committed to strengthening each of the NPT’s mutually reinforcing pillars – disarmament, nonproliferation, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. These are complementary goals and should be pursued together, systematically and with equal determination across all three pillars by all States Parties. The consensus Action Plan from the 2010 RevCon was unprecedented and a result of the strengthened NPT review process adopted in 1995. We support the fullest implementation of all Action Plan recommendations and we call on all States Parties to continue working toward that end. The 2015 RevCon presents the opportunity to reaffirm that the Action Plan remains valid as a road-map, to take stock of its implementation, and to consider where consensus may be possible for further measures building upon the 2010 Action Plan.

4. As NPT nuclear-weapon States, we reaffirm the shared goal of nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament as referenced in the preamble and provided for in Article VI of the NPT. In this regard, we remain steadfast in our commitment to seeking a safer world for all and achieving a world without nuclear weapons, in accordance with the goals of the NPT. We continue to pursue progressive and concrete steps towards this end, including the relevant recommendations of the Action Plan, in a way that promotes international stability, peace and security, and based on the principle of increased and undiminished security for all. We continue to believe that an incremental, step-by-step approach is the only practical option for making progress towards nuclear disarmament, while upholding global strategic security and stability. This goal is what motivates our concerted efforts to pursue practical steps toward nuclear disarmament. All States can help fulfill this goal by creating the necessary security environment through resolving regional tensions, tackling proliferation challenges, promoting collective security, and making progress in all areas of disarmament.

5. As detailed in our respective national reports to the 2015 Review Conference, there has been very substantial progress on Article VI. The Cold War nuclear arms race has ended. Global stocks of nuclear weapons are at their lowest point in over half a century as the result of unprecedented efforts on the part of the nuclear-weapon States. When fully implemented, the New START Treaty will result in the lowest number of deployed nuclear weapons in the United States and Russia since the 1950s.

6. We underline the need to pursue further efforts in the sphere of nuclear disarmament in accordance with Article VI of the NPT and Action 3 of the 2010 Action Plan in a manner that promotes international stability and security. We stress that addressing further prospects for nuclear disarmament would require taking into account all factors that could affect global strategic stability. We also stress the importance of engaging in frank and constructive dialogue to that end, and confirm our readiness to do so. While we continue to work towards our common goal of nuclear disarmament, we affirm that our nuclear forces should be maintained at the lowest levels needed to meet national security requirements. We further reaffirm the importance of full compliance with existing, legally-binding arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements and obligations as an essential element of international peace and security.

7. We are ever cognizant of the severe consequences that would accompany the use of nuclear weapons. We affirm our resolve to prevent such an occurrence from happening. We each give the highest priority to ensuring the safety, security, and effective control over nuclear weapons, and we each implement technical and procedural measures in this area that we continually assess and improve. We further affirm that we do not target any state with nuclear weapons. We note the importance of reducing the role of nuclear weapons in national security strategies. We will continue to pursue dialogue and cooperation in support of such efforts as appropriate.

8. Since the UK initiated the P5 process in 2009, we have held six conferences to foster dialogue, transparency and common approaches to strengthening the NPT. France plans to host the seventh conference. Each conference has built on the last and helps lay the groundwork for further steps. We continue to implement Action 5 of the Action Plan to “further enhance transparency and increase mutual confidence” through P5 dialogue and action. In this regard, we agreed on a common reporting framework in 2014 under France’s leadership and completed a first edition of a Glossary of Key Nuclear Terms under China’s leadership. This edition will be released during the Review Conference and a side event will be held to introduce our efforts in this regard. The P5 intend to revise and update the Glossary as appropriate in due course. Also in this regard, we have increased our engagement with the wider disarmament community, including by meeting with non-nuclear weapon states as part of the most recent P5 Conference in London and continuing P5 engagement with civil society.

9. Our commitment to nuclear disarmament extends to efforts to bring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force at an early date. We look forward to the 9th Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT to be held in September in New York. We urge all states that have not done so to sign and ratify the Treaty as soon as possible to bring about its entry into force. We take this opportunity to reaffirm our own moratoria on nuclear weapons-test explosions or any other nuclear explosions pending the CTBT’s entry into force, and call on other states to do likewise. The CTBT constrains the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and thereby provides an effective disarmament and nonproliferation measure. We further note that nuclear stockpile maintenance programs are and will remain consistent with NPT obligations. We emphasize the very substantial efforts made in achieving the cessation of the nuclear arms race as called for in Article VI of the NPT and affirm our intention never to resume such an arms race.

10. We are working closely with the Preparatory Commission for the CTBT Organization in Vienna on the development of the Treaty’s verification regime, including its International Monitoring System, International Data Centre, and On-Site Inspection. Since the 2010 Review Conference, we have contributed extensively to the development of the Treaty’s on-site inspection element, supplying personnel, equipment, and research. This has been in addition to our long standing efforts to reinforce the organization’s detection capability through contributions in-kind and expert participation in Working Groups. Against this backdrop, we welcome the highly successful Integrated Field Exercise in Jordan late last year. We also call for all signatories to support efforts to complete the necessary preparation for the effective implementation of the CTBT’s verification regime on its entry into force. In this regard, we recall our joint statement, issued following the 2015 P5 London Conference, on minimizing the impact of medical isotope production on the global radioactive monitoring activity, while recognizing that medical isotope production is critically important.

11. In keeping with the Action Plan, we reaffirm our support and readiness immediately to negotiate a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT)) in the Conference on Disarmament on the basis of CD/1299 and the mandate contained therein, within the context of an agreed, comprehensive and balanced Program of Work. We welcome the in-depth discussions that took place in 2014 in the CD in the framework of the Schedule of Activities. We welcome the efforts undertaken by the UN Group of Governmental Experts established pursuant to UNGA Resolution 67/53 and commend the final report adopted by consensus. We are convinced that this report will facilitate future negotiations in the CD.

12. We are cognizant of the role security assurances play in strengthening the NPT regime. We reaffirm our commitment to existing security assurances regarding the use, or threat of use, of nuclear weapons and recall our statements on negative and positive security assurances as noted in UNSCR 984, and as revised since then. We stand ready to engage in substantive discussions on security assurances in the Conference on Disarmament, within the context of an agreed, comprehensive and balanced Program of Work. We also continue to regard protocols to existing Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone treaties as an appropriate mechanism for providing legally binding negative security assurances. We welcome the signing of the Protocol to the Treaty on the Central Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (CANWFZ) in May 2014 and its ratification by China, France, Russia, and the UK. We note that consultations also continue with the State Parties to the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty and encourage the Parties to that Treaty to continue to engage constructively in order to find solutions to outstanding issues. We remain ready to sign the SEANWFZ Protocol.

13. We continue to reiterate the importance of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East and the progress made on this issue at the 2010 RevCon. We commend the efforts of the conference facilitator, Ambassador Laajava, and note the efforts of the co-conveners to advance consultations among regional states, particularly the five rounds of consultations held among the parties, so that the Helsinki conference on a Middle East WMD free zone can be held at the soonest possible time. We also commend the contribution of regional States who demonstrated a constructive approach and readiness for certain compromises. We look forward to the convening of this conference once the states of the region reach consensus on an agenda and related arrangements. We affirm our commitment to work with all states of the region and other relevant partners to advance this important action, which would be a concrete step toward realization of the 1995 Middle East Resolution.

14. While realizing all of the objectives of Article VI of the NPT, we reaffirm that proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security. We reiterate our call for further progress on all aspects of disarmament to enhance global security. We urge all countries which have yet to do so to ratify or accede to, and implement the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

15. The 2010 Action Plan underlines the importance of compliance with nonproliferation obligations in order to uphold the integrity of the NPT and the authority of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards system. We reaffirm that all States Parties must ensure strict compliance with their nonproliferation obligations under the NPT. We remain deeply concerned by the challenge that non-compliance by States Parties poses to the integrity of the NPT and emphasize the importance of bringing it to the attention of the UN Security Council, which will determine if a situation constitutes a threat to international peace and security. We emphasize the Security Council’s primary responsibility in addressing such threats. We continue to call for prompt and diplomatic solutions to challenges to the non-proliferation regime.

16. We welcome the fact that the P5+1 and Iran have reached solutions on key parameters on 2 April in Lausanne, Switzerland laying the agreed basis for the final text, and we highlight our continued commitment to complete successfully negotiations by 30 June on a comprehensive settlement that would ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s program. Regarding the interaction between the IAEA and Iran, we note the continuing need for full cooperation in order to resolve all outstanding issues, including those related to possible military dimensions. We welcome Iran’s continuing implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) and the essential role the IAEA is playing in verifying them. Accordingly, we pledge to continue to implement our commitments under the JPOA.

17. We reaffirm our commitment to the full implementation of the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and call on the DPRK to do the same. We urge the DPRK to respond to diplomatic efforts aimed at the eventual resumption of the Six-Party Talks, and achieving complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

18. We underscore our support for actions to sustain and strengthen IAEA safeguards, which remain of fundamental importance to the NPT. We recognize that IAEA safeguards not only prevent nuclear proliferation but also facilitate cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We reiterate that the Additional Protocol, together with a comprehensive safeguards agreement, should become the universally recognized standard for international verification of safeguards obligations under the NPT. As stated in the 2010 Action Plan, we call on all States that have not yet done so to bring into force IAEA safeguards agreements in accordance with Article III of the Treaty, as well as Additional Protocols and updated Small Quantities Protocols where applicable at an early date. We have each brought into force a voluntary offer safeguards agreement with an Additional Protocol applying to peaceful nuclear activities as a demonstration of our readiness to accept safeguards on civilian nuclear activities like those in place for non-nuclear-weapon states. We remain prepared to assist any state requesting help in the implementation of its safeguards agreements, including the Additional Protocol, in particular through our national support programs to IAEA safeguards. We further stress the importance of maintaining the credibility, effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity of the IAEA safeguards system and support efforts aimed at improving them further.

19. We recognize the substantial contributions made by the IAEA in support of the NPT and urge all States Parties to provide their full support to the IAEA, including by ensuring the Agency has sufficient resources to meet its responsibilities.

20. We reaffirm the right of NPT Parties to pursue peaceful use of nuclear energy without discrimination and in conformity with their nonproliferation obligations. We are committed to continuing to broaden access of NPT Parties to peaceful uses of nuclear energy in ways that respect the highest nuclear safety, security, and nonproliferation standards. Use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes substantially contributes to the sustainable development of humanity. When used in consistency with the highest standards of safety, security, and non-proliferation, nuclear energy promotes economic development of states and represents an important element of the world energy mix that provides energy security, addresses the challenges of climate change, and ensures vital non-power applications such as nuclear medicine, agriculture, water resources management and industry. We note our long tradition of support for international cooperation on peaceful uses, both bilaterally and internationally, including the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Program and Peaceful Uses Initiative, the IAEA’s International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles, and the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation.

21. We strongly support measures to assure access to nuclear fuel, such as the IAEA Low Enriched Uranium Reserve in the Russian Federation, the American Assured Fuel Supply, and the UK Assurance of Supply of Enrichment Services. We note the importance of establishing the IAEA low-enriched uranium (LEU) bank. These contributions promote achievement of sustainable development and energy security goals and benefit all NPT States Parties.

22. We reaffirm our support of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and Zangger Committee. These two international export control mechanisms play an important role by providing the assurance that nuclear suppliers need to facilitate the greatest possible exchange of nuclear material, equipment, and technology for peaceful purposes. It is essential that export control lists and guidelines are kept up-to-date, taking into account the evolution of nuclear technology and nuclear proliferation developments. We welcome the efforts of the NSG in this regard. We encourage all States Parties to adopt export control guidelines and reiterate our readiness to provide assistance as States Parties may request.

23. Nuclear safety and security are critical to the future of nuclear energy. We reaffirm the fundamental responsibility of states in accordance with their respective obligations and the central role of the IAEA in international cooperation in these fields. We welcome the efforts to draw lessons from the tragic Fukushima accident, offer our full support to implementation of the IAEA’s Nuclear Safety Action Plan, and welcome the Vienna Declaration on Nuclear Safety, adopted 9 February 2015. We further recognize the substantial efforts undertaken to improve nuclear security, including through the Nuclear Security Summits held in Washington in 2010, in Seoul in 2012, and in The Hague in 2014, and the upcoming 2016 Summit to be hosted by the United States, as well as the IAEA Ministerial Conference for Nuclear Security in 2013 and the upcoming IAEA Ministerial Conference for Nuclear Security in 2016. We also welcome the contribution made by the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism within its respective mandate and membership. These efforts have served to accelerate work to prevent nuclear and radiological terrorism and to provide further impetus to efforts by states and the relevant international institutions and organizations to strengthen nuclear security worldwide. In particular, we underline the need for universal support for the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism as well as the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the entry into force as soon as possible of the 2005 Amendment thereto. We stress the importance of a culture of nuclear safety and nuclear security, both for States Parties with established nuclear energy programs and those developing nuclear energy programs, and encourage universal support for all relevant international conventions, institutions, and organizations. We underline the need to strengthen and optimize international cooperation, in coordination with the IAEA, to better meet the growing needs in capacity building, in particular to train the necessary skilled workforce needed to develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

24. While States Parties have the right to withdraw from the NPT, such a withdrawal must be done in accordance with Article X of the Treaty. States Parties should support recommendations to prevent abuse of the NPT withdrawal provision. We note in this regard the role of the UN Security Council in addressing without delay any state’s notice of withdrawal from the NPT, and recall that a state remains responsible under international law for violations of the NPT committed prior to its withdrawal, and such withdrawal would not affect any other legal obligation of the withdrawing state to other States Parties. At the same time, we are convinced that any decision taken by this Conference in relation to withdrawal from the NPT should not lead to the revision of Article X, re-open the text of the Treaty, or undermine the commonly recognized principles and norms of international law. P5 have agreed to make efforts to broaden consensus among NPT State Parties on issues of procedures and consequences of withdrawal at the 2015 RevCon.

25. We attach great importance to achieving the universality of the NPT. We urge those States that are not Parties to the Treaty to accede as non-nuclear-weapon States and pending accession to the NPT, to adhere to its terms. We stand ready to work with Parties to engage the non-Parties with a view to achieving this goal.

26. As we rededicate ourselves to the NPT and its three mutually reinforcing pillars – disarmament, nonproliferation, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy – we also pledge our support for efforts to ensure the Review Conference builds on the success of the 2010 Action Plan and encourages further cooperation on steps to strengthen all three pillars of the NPT.