Main Committee I - Subsidiary Body: Building Blocks

Remarks
Robert Wood
Special Representative to the Conference on Disarmament 
2015 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, United Nations
New York City
May 6, 2015


Mr. Chairman,

You asked us to address “building blocks” today, followed by a session this Friday that you have noted you will use to guide our deliberations under the rubric of “effective measures.” While my delegation appreciates that some delegations may distinguish between “building blocks” and “effective measures,” I would note that the U.S. delegation views these two categories as generally overlapping and mutually supporting. With reference to the Treaty text, 2010 Action Plan, and established State Party practice over decades, we underline that “effective measures” refers to a broad range of activities that includes but is not limited to ones that are legally binding, and which may be unilateral, bilateral, regional, or multilateral. Against this backdrop, I would refer to Working Paper 44, which was submitted by the United States and contains recommendations both with regard to the review of Article VI implementation and to further advancing Article VI implementation prospectively.

Specifically, as regards Principles and Objectives as well as Actions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, we believe the Conference should:

  • Welcome the ongoing and successful implementation of the New START Treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation, and continue to encourage further negotiations on reductions in all categories of nuclear weapons – strategic, non-strategic, deployed and non-deployed – recalling the U.S. offer to pursue further nuclear force reductions in negotiation with Russia.

Mr. Chairman,

With reference to Action 22, I would underline that the United States was pleased to join Japan’s important statement on disarmament and non-proliferation education.

With regard to transparency, verification, and irreversibility, and with reference to Actions 2, 5, 19, 20, 21, and 22, the Conference should:

  • Recognize the contribution toward Article VI goals through work being done on nuclear disarmament verification, including through bilateral work between the United States and the UK, between the UK and Norway, and the newly launched International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification, which brings together NWS and NNWS to develop solutions to verification challenges, and encourage further efforts in this regard.

With regard to nuclear testing, and with reference to Actions 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14, the Review Conference should:

  • Welcome the eleven new ratifications of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) since the 2010 Review Conference (Angola, Brunei Darussalam, Chad, Congo, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Iraq, and Niue), including one Annex 2 State (Indonesia), and urge all States that have not done so to sign and/or ratify the Treaty, to universalize the Treaty and bring it into force as soon as possible.
  • Welcome work of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission (PrepCom) to fully develop the verification regime of the CTBT, including the successful On-Site Inspection Integrated Field Exercise (IFE) conducted in 2014 in Austria and Jordan, which demonstrated that an on-site inspection of a suspected nuclear explosion event can be successfully carried out. Note that the International Monitoring System for the CTBT is 83% complete, and call upon all participating States to support such work, to include providing the necessary resources to expeditiously complete the CTBT verification regime.
  • Encourage all relevant states to reaffirm support for, or put into place, respective moratoria on nuclear weapon explosive tests or any other nuclear explosions, recognizing, however, that moratoria do not have the same legal force.
  • Reaffirm the commitment reflected in Action 11 of the 2010 Action Plan, to refrain from any action that would defeat the object and purpose of that Treaty.
  • Recognize the contribution of the Conferences convened in accordance with Article XIV of the CTBT on facilitating the entry into force of that Treaty and of the measures adopted by consensus at the eighth such Conference held in September 2013; look forward to the ninth such Conference to be held in New York in September 2015.

With regard to fissile materials, and with reference to Actions 15, 16, 17, and 18, the Conference should:

  • Reaffirm the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) as the next logical multilateral nuclear disarmament step and express strong disappointment that the CD has yet to initiate negotiations on an FMCT.
  • Welcome the consensus conclusion of UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on FMCT (established pursuant to UNGA A/RES/67/53) and express the hope that its report will provide impetus to the early commencement of negotiations at the CD on the basis of the Shannon Report and the mandate contained therein (CD/1299).
  • Welcome the existing moratoria on the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices and call for all who have not declared such a moratorium to do so.
  • Recognize the successful completion of the 1993 U.S.-Russia HEU Purchase Agreement, under which 500 metric tons of Russian HEU from nuclear weapons was blended down to LEU and used as fuel in U.S. nuclear power plants. Welcome the ongoing implementation of the U.S.-Russia Plutonium Production Reactor Agreement, under which all weapon-grade plutonium produced since 1995 by these now-shutdown reactors remains outside of military programs.
  • Call upon the NWS to reaffirm that fissile material designated by each of them as no longer required for nuclear weapons will not be used in nuclear weapons, and welcome further such efforts as soon as practicable.

Regarding security assurances, and with reference to Actions 7, 8, and 9, the Conference should:

  • Call upon the NWS to reaffirm that fissile material designated by each of them as no longer required for nuclear weapons will not be used in nuclear weapons, and welcome further such efforts as soon as practicable.
  • Welcome the reaffirmation by the NWS to their commitment to existing negative security assurances regarding the use, or threat of use, of nuclear weapons.
  • Welcome the reaffirmation by the NWS to their commitment to existing positive security assurances regarding the use, or threat of use, of nuclear weapons.
  • Request the NWS to consider additional steps that could be taken in accordance with the UN Charter, to come to the assistance of any non-nuclear-weapon State party to the NPT that is a victim of an act of, or an object of a threat of, aggression in which nuclear weapons are used, with a view to addressing consequences of the use of nuclear weapons.
  • Welcome continuing efforts by the NWS to conclude legally binding negative security assurances in the context of nuclear weapon free zones.

Thank you.