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Joint statement from the Nuclear-Weapon States at the London P5 Conference

The Non-Proliferation Treaty Nuclear Weapons States (P5) met in London recently to review progress of commitments made at the NPT 2010 Conference.

Joint statement issued by the People’s Republic of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States:

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Nuclear-Weapon States (NWS), or P5, met in London, 4-5 February 2015, for the sixth P5 Conference to review progress towards fulfilling the commitments made at the 2010 NPT Review Conference and to discuss the next steps for the P5 Process. In particular the P5 considered the implementation of the 2010 Action Plan adopted by consensus as a roadmap for long term action. The P5 also considered a wide array of issues related to and steps towards making progress on all three pillars of the NPT: disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In addition, the P5 had constructive and productive discussions with a number of non-nuclear-weapon states and civil society representatives.

In reaffirming their commitment towards achieving a world without nuclear weapons in accordance with the goals of the NPT, the P5 reflected on the contribution that the P5 Process has made in developing the mutual confidence and transparency among the P5 that is essential to make progress towards multilateral nuclear disarmament. At the start of the second cycle of the process, all of the P5 noted the value of having an established dialogue, with each P5 state having now hosted a conference at least once. They welcomed how each conference had built on the success of the last and the increasing amount of intersessional work on issues such as the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the achievement of P5 consensus on a common reporting framework and the Glossary of Key Nuclear Terms, which have all contributed towards the implementation of the 2010 Action Plan.

At their 2015 Conference the P5 restated their belief that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty remains the essential cornerstone for the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament, and is an essential contribution to international security and stability. They reviewed the NPT Preparatory Committee process over the course of this Review Cycle and considered the upcoming 2015 Review Conference, where the P5 intend to make a joint statement. The P5 looked forward to working with all States Parties to the NPT to ensure a positive outcome to the Review Conference that is balanced across the three mutually reinforcing pillars.

The P5 reaffirmed that a step-by-step approach to nuclear disarmament that promotes international stability, peace and undiminished and increased security for all remains the only realistic and practical route to achieving a world without nuclear weapons. To this end, the P5 discussed issues related to international security and strategic stability and their nuclear doctrines in order to enhance mutual understanding in these areas. This included updates on New START implementation and the verification experiences of both the Russian Federation and the United States in relation to the New START Treaty. It was noted that, since the entry into force of the NPT, the step-by-step approach has already dramatically reduced the number of nuclear weapons held by the NWS from their Cold War peak. The P5 all reaffirmed 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.

The P5 stressed that addressing further prospects for nuclear disarmament would require taking into account all factors that could affect global strategic stability. In doing so they stressed the importance of engaging in frank and constructive dialogue to that end.

The P5 reiterated their shared understanding about the severe consequences of nuclear weapon use and underlined their resolve to prevent such an occurrence from happening. They also reaffirmed their commitment to existing security assurances regarding the use, or threat of use, of nuclear weapons, including, in accordance with UNSCR 984 (1995), their readiness to assist non-nuclear-weapon States Parties to the NPT that may become the victims of a nuclear attack (terrorist or otherwise).

The P5 discussed efforts to achieve entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and recalled their commitment in the 2010 NPT Review Conference Final Document to promote and take concrete steps towards early entry into force of the CTBT and its universalization. They called upon all states to uphold national moratoria on conducting any nuclear explosion. It was noted that all members of the P5 have such a voluntary moratorium in place. P5 collaboration on improving and maintaining the International Monitoring System was reviewed. The P5 intend to release a joint statement on minimizing the impact of medical isotope production on the International Monitoring System. Further, particular note was made of the successful completion of the Integrated Field Exercise 2014 in Jordan, to which all members of the P5 contributed equipment, personnel and effort. The P5 decided to continue regular technical meetings aimed at enhancing the verification regime and to hold a workshop on data quality objectives for radionuclide measurements for on-site inspections.

The P5 reiterated their full support for the United Nation’s disarmament machinery, including the Conference on Disarmament (CD), and the Disarmament Commission. Whilst there was shared disappointment over the long-standing lack of consensus on a Programme of Work in the CD, the P5 welcomed the increased activity of the CD in its 2014 session and in particular informal substantive discussions held on all CD agenda items under the Schedule of Activities and the efforts of the Informal Working Group which sought to produce a Programme of Work robust in substance and progressive over time in implementation. The P5 discussed efforts to find a way forward in the CD and reiterated their support for a comprehensive and balanced Programme of Work which includes the immediate start of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on 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)) on the basis of CD/1299 and the mandate contained therein. The P5 stressed in this regard the importance of the ongoing discussions of the Group of Governmental Experts established by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 67/53.

The P5 also decided that they should increasingly engage with the wider disarmament community. To this end, a number of non-nuclear-weapon states were invited, for the first time, to a briefing and discussion session as part of the P5 Conference. The P5 delivered a briefing on the Conference before discussing a number of NPT-related matters in greater depth and expressed their desire to continue such discussions when preparing for the important steps of the next review cycle, building on the increased engagement that has taken place in recent months with the NNWS. In addition to this an outreach event was organised in conjunction with Chatham House, providing civil society the opportunity to engage with the P5.

The P5 co-operative work featured heavily during the discussions and progress was made on the Glossary of Key Nuclear Terms. The P5 announced their intention to release the first edition for the Ninth Review Conference. The P5 intend to revise and update the Glossary as appropriate in due course.

The P5 received updates on a variety of bilateral and multilateral projects regarding disarmament verification, including from some P5 members.

The P5 reiterated the need to find peaceful and diplomatic solutions to challenges to the non-proliferation regime. The P5 welcome the ongoing diplomatic process between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the P5+1, and highlighted their continued commitment to negotiations on a comprehensive settlement that would guarantee the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s programme. Regarding the interaction between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran, they noted the urgent need for full co-operation in order to resolve all outstanding issues, including those related to possible military dimensions. Additionally, the P5 stressed their resolve for a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula so as to achieve its complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization in accordance with the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks.

The P5 stressed the importance of maintaining and strengthening the IAEA’s safeguards system. Discussions covered matters such as the universalisation of the Additional Protocol.

In discussing nuclear-weapon-free zones, the P5 welcomed the signing of the Protocol to the Treaty on the Central Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in 2014 and its subsequent ratification by France and the UK, and noted the relevant efforts by others to bring about the Protocol’s entry into force. The P5 also expressed hope that progress would be made on the signature of the Protocol to the South East Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty, and encouraged the parties to that Treaty to continue to engage constructively in order to find solutions to outstanding issues. Furthermore, the P5 reaffirmed their full support for the efforts of the facilitator and co-conveners in holding a conference on establishing a weapons of mass destruction free zone in the Middle East, and urged all states of the region to redouble their efforts to reach consensus on arrangements so that a conference could be convened.

The P5 continued their discussion on the issue of withdrawal from the NPT. Whilst noting that every State Party has the right to withdraw under the provisions of Article X.1, the P5 expressed the hope that the Review Conference would reach consensus on recommendations concerning potential abuse of the exercise of the right of withdrawal.

The P5 reviewed actions by each of the P5 to promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy by States Parties to the NPT in conformity with Articles I, II, and III of the NPT, and reaffirmed their support for the programs of the IAEA in this area, including the Technical Cooperation Programme.

The NWS looked forward to continuing their dialogue in order to make progress on NPT obligations. The P5 welcomed France’s generous offer to host the next P5 Conference. They looked forward to a consensual, balanced outcome to the 2015 Review Conference, which would do much to enhance the P5’s continuing efforts to strengthen the NPT.

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