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Nuclear weapon states discuss nuclear disarmament obligations

The UK, US, France, Russia and China (P5) agreed to work together on new confidence building disarmament initiatives when they met in Paris on 30 June- 1 July.

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The initiatives include a working group on nuclear weapons terminology and a UK-hosted P5 expert-level meeting to discuss lessons learned from the UK’s work with Norway on the verification of nuclear warhead dismantlement.

The P5 issued the following statement after the meeting:

“The P5 met in Paris on 30 June - 1 July for their first follow-up meeting to the NPT Review Conference, with a view to consider progress on the commitments they made at this Conference, as well as to following on the London Conference on Confidence Building Measures towards Nuclear Disarmament in September 2009.

They reaffirmed their unconditional support for the NPT, which remains the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament, and for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. They also reaffirmed the recommendations set out in the balanced Action Plan agreed in the Final Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, and called on all States Parties to the NPT to work together to advance its implementation.

They met with the determination to work together in pursuit of their shared goal of nuclear disarmament under article VI of the NPT, including engagement on the steps outlined in Action 5, as well as reporting and other efforts called for in the 2010 Review Conference Action Plan. They called on all States, both States Parties and Non Parties, to contribute to this nuclear disarmament objective, including by ensuring that the international nuclear non-proliferation regime remains robust and reliable.

The P5 continued their previous discussions on the issues of transparency and mutual confidence, including nuclear doctrine and capabilities, and of verification, recognizing such measures are important for establishing a firm foundation for further disarmament efforts. In order to increase efficiency of P5 nuclear consultation, they approved to continue working on an agreed glossary of definitions for key nuclear terms and established a dedicated working group.

The P5 discussed the particular political and technical challenges associated with verification in achieving further progress towards disarmament and ensuring non-proliferation. They shared information on their respective bilateral and multilateral experiences in verification. They will continue their discussion of this issue later this year at an expert-level meeting in London.

As a follow-up to the 2010 NPT RevCon discussions, the P5 shared their views on how to respond to notifications of withdrawal from the Treaty, while recognising the provisions of article X. They also stressed the need for strengthening 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.

The P5 States recalled their commitment to promote and ensure the swift entry into force of the CTBT and its universalization. They called upon all States to uphold the moratorium on nuclear weapons-test explosions or any other nuclear explosion, and to refrain from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the treaty pending its entry into force. They reiterated their support for immediate commencement of negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) on fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, 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.

The P5 welcomed the steps taken by the US, Russia and UK towards holding a Conference on a Middle East WMD Free Zone (MEWMDFZ) in 2012.

The P5 will follow on their discussions and hold a third P5 Conference in the context of the next NPT Preparatory Committee.”

The meeting was a follow up to the first ever P5 Conference hosted at the Foreign Office in 2009.

Published 6 July 2011