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CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT DISCUSSES PROHIBITION OF THE PRODUCTION OF FISSILE MATERIAL FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS
31 May 2012

The Conference on Disarmament today held a thematic discussion on the cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament and prevention of nuclear war, including all related matters, with a general focus on the prohibition of the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices.

Ambassador Kari Kahiluoto of Finland, the incoming President of the Conference, said they were now half way through this year’s session of the Conference and they still did not have a programme of work.  What they did have was a schedule of activities and thus it would remain his duty during his short Presidency to direct these substantive discussions to the best of his ability.  The thematic discussions would be conducive towards eventual further steps in multilateral treaty-based disarmament and non-proliferation, but they did not replace negotiations.  The Foreign Minister of Finland, Erkki Tuomioja, would address the Conference in the concluding session of the Finnish Presidency on 19 June on the broader disarmament agenda.

In the discussion, some speakers said that the international community was ready and almost universally willing to negotiate a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) now.  Others said that if the Conference started negotiations on a convention on nuclear disarmament, then all aspects of fissile material would be tackled under it. 
Most speakers reiterated that these discussions were no substitute for a programme of work, but they saw merit in this exercise.  Concerning stockpiles, some speakers insisted that fissile material stockpiles be included under any treaty, while others said that a treaty should only deal with the future production of fissile material.  There were also diverging positions expressed on the definition of fissile material as well as the verification system such a treaty should include.  Most speakers thanked Germany and the Netherlands for hosting an FMCT experts meeting on 29 and 30 May in Geneva.

Speaking in the meeting was Pakistan, United States, Canada, Denmark on behalf of the European Union, Japan, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Poland, France, Brazil, Russian Federation, Netherlands, Turkey, Syria, India, Australia, Switzerland, China, Iran, Republic of Korea and Kazakhstan.

The next public plenary of the Conference will be on Tuesday, 5 June when it will discuss the prevention of an arms race in outer space.

Statements

Ambassador KARI KAHILUOTO of Finland, the incoming President of the Conference, said they were now half way through this year’s session of the Conference and they still did not have a programme of work.  What they did have was a schedule of activities and thus it would remain his duty during his short Presidency to direct these substantive discussions to the best of his ability.  The thematic discussions would be conducive towards eventual further steps in multilateral treaty-based disarmament and non-proliferation, but they did not replace negotiations.  The Foreign Minister of Finland, Erkki Tuomioja, would address the Conference in the concluding session of the Finnish Presidency on 19 June on the broader disarmament agenda.

Ambassador Kahiluoto said the swift resumption of negotiations would allow the Conference to regain its authority as the world’s single multilateral negotiating body in the field of disarmament.  He shared the frustration expressed towards the prolonged lack of outcome in the efforts to agree on a negotiating mandate for the Conference.  If they lost the Conference on Disarmament, they stood to lose a lot.  He had requested the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) to assist his Presidency to structure the plenary sessions and these were the abbreviated remarks as an introduction to previous discussions in the Conference on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT).  The history of fissile material in the Conference was inextricably linked in one way or another to progress on nuclear disarmament.  The challenge facing the Conference was not to determine whether one issue was riper than another but to find a way of taking both issues forward.

Pakistan thanked the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) for their input and requested it provide such useful input when they took up the other three core issues so that there was not only balance but also an informed background on those issues. 

The President said this would be the case.

The United States said the conclusion of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) remained a vital and necessary step for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.  There was no technical obstacle to the commencement of negotiations; the obstacle was political in nature.  In such a negotiation, they would need to address the definition(s), scope and verification arrangements for an FMCT.  In formulating their positions on the substance of the treaty, their shared goal was a non-discriminatory treaty that halted the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons, and was internationally verifiable.  Their suggested verification approach would be based on monitoring facilities designed or used to produce fissile material, mainly enrichment and reprocessing facilities, and accounting for any newly produced fissile material.  The verification system of an FMCT ought to be spelled out in the treaty and tied closely to the basic undertakings of the treaty.  FMCT obligations, including verification obligations, should cover only new production of fissile materials.  Existing stockpiles should be dealt with separately, through other agreements or voluntary measures.  The deliberations in the Conference, no matter how substantive, were not a substitute for negotiations.  The international community was ready and almost universally willing to negotiate an FMCT now. 

Canada said for 20 years, the General Assembly had been urging the Conference on Disarmament to negotiate a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT).  An FMCT would be a practical and concrete step which was part of an ongoing process.  There were voluntary moratoriums on the production of fissile material in most nuclear States, but they still must have a treaty.  There were countries which were producing fissile material to be used in nuclear weapons even as they discussed the issue now.  It was in the collective interest to negotiate an FMCT.  They seemed to have forgotten that negotiations requested compromise and nothing could guarantee the outcome of a treaty.  Canada was not wed to the Shannon mandate, and if any State could produce a better mandate for an FMCT, Canada would support it.  The reason for the impasse was not only the lack of political will.  Ambassador Shannon did not find consensus for the same reason they still could not do so now – this was a complex question, it was not a question of all or nothing.  There were many variants, but determining where consensus existed would require compromise and negotiations.  They should start negotiating an FMCT. 

Denmark, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that in the European Union’s opening statement of 24 January 2012, they stated that the European Union attached a clear priority to the immediate commencement and early conclusion of the negotiation in the Conference on Disarmament of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (FMCT).  For the European Union, launching these negotiations was urgent and important.  An effective FMCT would constitute a significant step in the process of nuclear disarmament, as well as strengthen nuclear non-proliferation.  The European Union considered that there were confidence-building measures that could be taken immediately, without the need to wait for the commencement of formal negotiations.  This was why the European Union called on all States possessing nuclear weapons to declare and uphold a moratorium on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices.

Japan said the issue of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty had reached a level of sufficient maturity to start formal negotiations.  While Japan believed that substantive discussions on an FMCT in the plenary could not be a substitute for the negotiations, the delegation was ready to take part in these meetings without prejudice to their national positions in actual negotiations.  Concerning core obligations, Japan noted that as a logical ban on “future production”, the entry into force of an FMCT would obligate the States possessing fissile material production facilities for nuclear weapon purposes to close down, decommission, or convert those facilities to non-nuclear-weapon purposes.  With regard to definition, they needed to make sure that no legal loopholes would be created by inadvertently choosing narrow definitions.  There were four possible categories of verification to take into consideration.  As for the issue of stocks, as there was not yet a convergence of views on this topic, it would be constructive to precisely detail what specific obligations would be envisaged in regards to existing stocks.  

Germany noted that while the thematic schedule of activities did not mean the long awaited start of substantive work, it at least enabled them to deal with the issues which were of particular interest in a systematic fashion.  Germany and the Netherlands had hosted in the last two days a meeting of scientific experts which dealt with certain technical issues related to a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty.  This was not the first time in recent years that Germany had taken the initiative on FMCT.  Germany believed that the most regrettable deadlock in the Conference should not prevent further technical work on the issues at hand and that was why they had organized the seminar.  A second meeting of this kind would probably take place towards the end of August under the lead responsibility of the Netherlands.  The seminar over the past two days had dealt with very specific and technical issues, examining ways of ensuring the principle of irreversibility in a future FMCT with regard to some specific points, namely how could facilities for the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons be decommissioned in a verifiable and transparent manner, and how to handle the transformation of military into civilian facilities. 

Germany wanted to focus on four complementary and pertinent points: the question of the relative position that an FMCT should be given in terms of the disarmament priorities; all non-nuclear weapon States under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) had for themselves an FMCT already in place as a result of their adherence to the NPT; the legal obligation of the non-nuclear weapon States under the NPT not to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons purposes and other nuclear explosive devices had been verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency for quite a long time; and the question of the treatment of stocks of fissile material for nuclear weapon purposes, which was arguably the most difficult issue in this business altogether.  Germany believed that there was no way around some inclusion of stocks at least into the broader framework of an agreement.

Spain said that on 21 June 2011, Spain had introduced on behalf of eight countries a working document on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) classified as document CD/1910.  He wanted to clarify that what he was saying today was said on behalf of Spain only.  The working document had summarized points that should be included in an FMCT.  The idea was to put the Conference at the beginning of negotiations on an FMCT, and all issues should be kept open.  They should come up with a treaty to help the world deal with the threat of the production of fissile material.  It was urgent to undertake such negotiations now.  Despite high level meetings convened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and others, the Conference was still bogged down and unable to approve a programme of work.  It was sad that the working document that Spain and the other countries presented had received no reaction at all, which strengthened Spain’s doubt about whether it should continue to contribute to discussions in the Conference on Disarmament.  The working document was now gathering dust in the archives of the Conference, but it would have been useful to discuss it.  The working document was received with a deadly silence, which Spain hoped was not a sign that the Conference on Disarmament was now lying in state, silent forever.

United Kingdom said that after what Spain had just said about the Conference lying in state, maybe they should be talking about the resurrection of the Conference, rather than its revitalization.  The United Kingdom remained absolutely committed to the long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons.  The United Kingdom had a strong record of fulfilling its disarmament commitments and of meeting its international legal obligations which flowed from their membership of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a nuclear weapons State.  Sustainable disarmament could only be achieved through a multilateral process.  The negotiation of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty in the Conference must remain the priority for the international community if they were to take forward their shared disarmament and non-proliferation agenda, and achieve their shared long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons.  An FMCT, which should verifiably ban the future production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons and other explosive devices, must include all nuclear players.  A year had gone by with the Conference still unable to start negotiations.  Continued failure to do so increasingly called into question the relevance of the Conference. 

Slovakia commended all the Presidents of the Conference on their efforts to find a consensus on a programme of work but regretted that the Conference on Disarmament had failed to commence negotiations.  Slovakia shared the frustration about the stagnation in the Conference and appreciated that the schedule of activities would allow the Conference to spend the time it had until the end of the year in a focused manner.  Since disarmament affected the vital security of all States, they must all play a role in negotiations.  Slovakia placed multilateralism at the centre of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament efforts.  It was convinced that the Conference on Disarmament was still the best place to negotiate treaties.  In order to overcome the differences, they all needed to show enough political will and flexibility.  Slovakia supported the immediate start of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty and agreed on the need to focus on the final goal of creating a world free of nuclear weapons.  The Conference on Disarmament was the best body to lead the way, but other means might be sought if the Conference failed.  A non-discriminatory verification regime for both nuclear and non-nuclear weapon States would help ensure that fissile materials did not fall in the hands of terrorists.  Transparency, irreversibility and verification should all be dealt with in the treaty, and its scope must be broad enough to ensure that all fissile material was captured under its provisions.  There should also be provisions to provide safeguards that fissile material for civilian use was not transferred to non-civilian use.  Setting strict conditions before the start of negotiations would not bring them closer to such a treaty.  Only real negotiations could do this and they needed to commence on them as soon as possible.

Poland said the Shannon mandate contained in document CD/1299 of 24 March 1995 would still be a good departure point for the process to start negotiations in the Conference on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear devices.  An FMCT would complement and reinforce the existing disarmament and non-proliferation framework.  It would also be an important contribution to global nuclear security and to the prevention of the potential use of fissile material by non-State actors.  Taking into account the importance of moving forward the Conference’s debates on the FMCT, Poland praised the efforts undertaken by Germany and the Netherlands in that regard.  Such meetings allowed experts to exchange views and discuss different, often uneasy, practical and technical issues concerning the fissile materials.  They also added to the process of building confidence and mutual understanding.

France said last week, France had underscored the importance of the immediate start of negotiations on a treaty to ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.  Such a treaty would be the next logical step in the field of nuclear disarmament.  Fissile materials were raw materials for nuclear weapons and a ban on their production would help stop the qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and would also be beneficial for fighting proliferation of nuclear weapons.  The time was ripe for the Conference to start negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty, as it was the logical follow-up completing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty in the field of nuclear disarmament.  The issue of fissile material had been on the floor since the start of the Cold War.  Document CD/1864 had allowed for an in-depth exchange of high quality on the issue.  None of the other four core issues on the agenda had been the subject of such in-depth exchanges.  No seminars or other meetings could replace negotiations.  Issues concerning the scope of the treaty, the crucial definition of fissile material, and verification issues and financial constraints all needed to be identified and discussed as they were sensitive in both economic and military senses.  But these questions were not ones that could not be surmounted.  In the spirit of transparency, France had related progress on the technical and financial challenges that it faced without waiting for the launch of the negotiation process.  France had ceased all production of fissile material and had dismantled facilities and its measures in this regard had no peer.  France called on all States to pursue a moratorium on the production of fissile material.  The stalemate in the Conference could not persist and they now had to start negotiations.

Brazil said that although Brazil fully shared the view of many who said that these discussions were no substitute for a programme of work, they saw merit in this exercise, not least because it may help Member States identify where common ground existed which could enable the commencement of substantive negotiations at some future point in time.  The world had always been and would always be a dangerous place.  It was in the interest of the international community, as well as the nuclear-weapon States, to commence forthwith the negotiation of a nuclear weapons convention.  Brazil did not delude itself that the process would take time, that setbacks were to be expected, and that the complexities inherent in moving toward very low numbers and eventually to zero had to be acknowledged.  Nevertheless, there must be light at the end of the tunnel.  The FMCT was a logical step forward and the negotiation of an FMCT would immediately and automatically be followed by the negotiation of a nuclear weapons convention.  An FMCT in place was a condition for the elimination of nuclear weapons, but it was not and could not be an end in itself.  Brazil was ready to engage seriously in negotiations on an FMCT without any preconditions.  It would however be adamant about including existing stocks of nuclear material in the scope of the prohibition enshrined in the treaty.  Non nuclear weapons States already had a verifiable FMCT in place so a future FMCT would not affect them in concrete terms.  

Russian Federation stressed that the Russian Federation had ceased the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons for more than 15 years and listed other steps it had taken in this field.  The Russian Federation, in cooperation with the United States, was conducting a study on the feasibility of changing six nuclear reactors from using highly enriched uranium to using low enriched uranium.  However, it understood that such steps did not take the place of negotiations.  Russia understood that such steps did not replace the need for negotiations on a treaty.  Russia would work in the Conference on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty on the basis of the Shannon mandate and an agreed programme of work.  Russia considered that the Conference on Disarmament was the only possible body to conduct such negotiations.
Action in any parallel formats would reduce the value of this important multilateral measure to strengthen the disarmament regime because they would not allow States to conclude a universal treaty which was effective and verifiable.  In recent years, States had moved toward understanding each other’s positions through seminars and technical meetings.  It was expedient to continue to hold such seminars and technical efforts, but Russia wished to underscore that such meetings could not substitute the negotiations process.  They should be realistic.  The fact that negotiations started did not predetermine their final agreement. 

Netherlands said that the Netherlands attached the utmost priority to the early start and conclusion of negotiations on a verifiable Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) as it would serve the security interests of all members of the Conference and the wider international community, both from the perspective of nuclear disarmament and for reasons of promoting nuclear non-proliferation.  The Netherlands had always been in favour of a step by step approach as the best way to achieve nuclear disarmament and negotiation of an FMCT constituted the next logical step.  An FMCT was an essential pillar to complement the existing nuclear treaty regime.   The Netherlands failed to see compelling reasons for further delay of the start of these negotiations.  A lot of groundwork for an FMCT had already been undertaken and the issue had been discussed in the Conference for years both formally and informally.  A lot of work had also been done outside the Conference.  There was wide international consensus on the need to put a cap on the production of fissile material.  For the Netherlands the flexible Shannon mandate was still a good starting point for the negotiations.  The Netherlands was flexible as far as the inclusion of pre-existing stocks of weapons grade fissile material in future negotiations was concerned.  A flexible or phased approach could also be an option.  A future FMCT should aim for maximum transparency and verifiability. 

Turkey said that Turkey’s security policy excluded the production and use of all weapons of mass destruction.  Turkey was party to all the non-proliferation instruments.  As the sole multilateral negotiating forum on disarmament affairs, the Conference on Disarmament had an important role to play and Turkey hoped that the Conference would be revitalized, the considerations of Member States would be observed, and that the Conference would regain its ability to discharge its functions.  Beginning negotiations on a Fissile Material Treaty would be a significant building block.  To ensure a good start, all nuclear weapon States should declare and uphold a moratorium on the production of fissile material.  Negotiations on a treaty should be comprehensive and non-discriminatory and should include stock piles and verification.  All issues should be brought to the table during negotiations.  Technically, the issue of fissile materials was a very complex issue.

Syria reaffirmed Syria’s commitment to the position of the Group of 21, which included 33 States, more than half the members of the Conference.  Their priority was nuclear disarmament as the nuclear threat was the most serious threat to international peace and security.  Syria reaffirmed the importance on working on both disarmament and non-proliferation equally and in all transparency.  Negotiating a treaty to prohibit the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons must be part of the process of nuclear disarmament, and not just nuclear non-proliferation, and must include stockpiles, otherwise it would be useless.  Excluding stockpiles would mean accepting the status quo.  Syria also supported the need to negotiate such a treaty in the Conference on Disarmament and nowhere else.  The Conference was the sole multilateral forum for disarmament negotiations.  This should be done through a comprehensive and balanced programme of work that put into consideration the security concerns of all States without any preference to be given to any of the four core issues on the agenda.  Syria did not agree with those who said that the issue of fissile materials was ready for negotiation.  Some were trying to market this idea after they had created stockpiles of fissile materials.  Syria believed that the issue that was ready for negotiations was nuclear disarmament.  This applied to the situation in the Middle East where Israel had preferential treatment and it continued to produce missile weapons and had a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons which threatened the whole region.

India thanked Germany and the Netherlands for organizing the expert seminar but underlined that the objective of such an exercise was solely to increase understanding.  The discussions could neither be negotiations nor pre-negotiations and could not pre-suppose national positions.  Without diminishing in any way the priority that India attached to nuclear disarmament, the delegation supported the negotiation in the Conference on Disarmament of a non-discriminatory and internationally verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices that would meet India’s national security interests.  India shared the disappointment on the continuing impasse in the Conference, and believed that this was not due to the Conference or its rules of procedure.  All Member States should cooperate to provide political impetus to the multilateral disarmament agenda, which included early commencement of negotiations on an FMCT in the Conference on the basis of the agreed mandate. 

Australia supported the immediate commencement of negotiating a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in accordance with the report of the Special Coordinator of 1995 (CD/1299) and the mandate contained therein.  Australia thanked Germany and the Netherlands for hosting in Geneva a scientific experts meeting on technical issues related to a future treaty.  For Australia, this meeting underlined that the effective verification of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices would be a complex technical task.  Such a treaty remained important because it had the potential to deliver substantial security benefits, furthering the twin goals of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.  A global moratorium on the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices would be a significant step in the right direction and Australia continued to call for it.  But irreversibility, verifiability and transparency ultimately required a treaty.  Australia did not consider a treaty banning the production of fissile material to be an end in itself.  After the conclusion and entry into force of the treaty, the work to achieve a world without nuclear weapons would continue.

Switzerland was committed to negotiating a treaty prohibiting the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons based on the 1995 mandate, a treaty that was multilateral, non-discriminatory and internationally and effectively verifiable.  The adoption of such a treaty would substantially strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime after the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.  It would allow for a more inclusive regime including Member States of the NPT as well as other States to belong to the same framework.  Such a treaty would also correct in part the discriminatory nature of the NPT by prohibiting the production and transfer of fissile material for nuclear weapons for all States.  However, Switzerland wished to stress that a treaty that dealt with production alone was not enough.  It would affect only nuclear non-proliferation and would not allow the world to overcome the challenges of today.  It was imperative for such a treaty to cover the issue of stockpiles so that it would be a very concrete step towards nuclear disarmament.  Existing military stockpiles of plutonium and highly enriched uranium were very large.  A treaty not covering stockpiles would not be capable of preventing the vertical proliferation of nuclear weapons.  Also, to ensure that the treaty could be a corner stone, it must have a strong verification procedure in place.  The question of fissile material would be the best way to access the real desire of nuclear weapons States to make progress on nuclear disarmament.  The Conference on Disarmament was the best place to conduct negotiations on nuclear disarmament, and they should not envisage taking negotiations out of it.

China said that negotiating and concluding a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) was one of the priorities of the Conference on Disarmament and the conclusion of such a treaty would contribute to nuclear non-proliferation and would be an important step towards nuclear disarmament.  China supported an effectively verifiable and comprehensive treaty.  At present, the Conference on Disarmament had yet to start negotiations on all the core issues on its agenda, including an FMCT. 
Member States had put forward various ideas, but there were still divergent views.  China still regarded the Conference as the most appropriate venue for negotiations of an FMCT.  As for how to promote such negotiations, it was important to advance the work of the Conference on Disarmament in a comprehensive manner.  The four core issues of the agenda were all of great significance to promoting the international nuclear disarmament process.  The Conference should also attach due importance and accommodate national concerns.  Attempts to promote an FMCT should not substitute negotiations and the Conference should steadily carry out preparations for negotiations.  It was also important to set reasonable and pragmatic goals for negotiations.  In order to achieve the goals of the treaty and enhance cost effectiveness, fissile material should be reasonably defined.  The principle of reasonable, effective and affordable verification should be adopted.

Iran said many members of the international community, including Iran, were repeatedly considering the threat of nuclear weapons, which were the greatest threat to the security of all nations.  What was the first best practice to reduce nuclear weapons?  Piecemeal steps were not an option and Iran supported the start of negotiations of a convention that totally prohibited nuclear weapons.  This convention should be a framework and chapeau convention and could include banning the production of all weapon grade fissile material for military purposes.  If they started negotiations on such a convention, they could be sure that all aspects of fissile materials would be tackled in a persistent manner.  The convention should concern all existing fissile material.  A Fissile Material Treaty would be a meaningful disarmament measure but a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty would only prohibit the production of fissile material and would narrow the treaty to only affecting non-proliferation.  A Fissile Material Treaty which dealt with past production, existing stockpiles and future production would be a meaningful step toward nuclear disarmament.  They were at a crucial stage in the work of the Conference and every State had a special responsibility to work towards the removal of nuclear weapons.  The best place for such negotiations on a Fissile Material Treaty was the Conference on Disarmament.  Bearing in mind the urgency of banning the threat of nuclear weapons, Iran called on the Member States of the Conference to avoid diverting the Conference and undermining its credibility.  The Conference should deal with all its core issues in accordance with its rules of procedure.

Republic of Korea said that during the first Prep Com for the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, which was held in Vienna, States parties had shared the view that nuclear disarmament was vital to international peace and security and much progress had been made by nuclear weapon States in the area of nuclear disarmament.  The negotiation of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) was indispensable not only for nuclear non-proliferation but also for nuclear disarmament.  The early commencement of negotiations on a FMCT in the Conference was the next logical step toward a world without nuclear weapons.  The Republic of Korea understood that FMCT negotiations had security implications to Member States, but it did not sympathize with an argument that security concerns could be used to prevent negotiations from being initiated.  National security interests could be reflected in the course of negotiations by addressing all related issues, including the scope of the treaty and stockpiles. 

Kazakhstan said its position on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty was well known.  When they talked of such a treaty, they had to ensure transparency in verification and ensure that the use of fissile material for peaceful purposes would not be diverted to nuclear weapon purposes.  Kazakhstan was proceeding with its application to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and it would be hosting the international bank for low enriched uranium in the east of Kazakhstan.  Now Kazakhstan was negotiating with the IAEA on the agreement.  The allocation of the international bank in Kazakhstan would guarantee the equal access for all States to nuclear fuel.  It would also be a further important step towards the constraint of nuclear weapons.


For use of information media; not an official record

DC12/018E