20 January 1998
Original: ENGLISH



Canada considers that - The core mandate from the CD Special Coordinator's report of 1995 is the only broadly acceptable basis for focused CD work.

- Developments since 1995 (e.g. NPT Extension; START Process; CTBT) have, however, suggested the value of reconsidering the context in which that core mandate was put forward.

- Canada's assessment is, accordingly, that the context or presentation of the core mandate could be redefined.

- One possible way to do so would be for a CD Presidential Statement to be made in the process of a CD decision to establish an Ad Hoc Committee on a FMCT with the core mandate.

- If this is seen as useful, a suggested draft of such a Statement is set out below; Canada consider that substantive components are self-explanatory.


On the basis of a consensus reached by all members of this Conference, I have been requested to register the following points. These points are critical to the agreement of this Conference to initiate negotiations on a "non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices" on the basis of the core mandate contained in CD/1299 of 24 March 1995. In the interest of brevity I wish to refer to such an agreement by the acronym FMCT (Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty).

These points are:

1. it is agreed that an FMCT, if it is to be fully effective, must contribute to both nuclear disarmament and to nuclear non-proliferation objectives;

2. as such, and without prejudging the positions of states prior to the conclusion of the negotiations, it is recognized that the overall effectiveness and cost-benefit of an FMCT will be maximized by the participation and adherence of all nuclear-capable states;

3. it is agreed, however, that adherence to an FMCT is a prerogative of sovereign national governments and no steps will be taken in the negotiations to prejudge or require such adherence;

4. all members of the CD again acknowledge that it was recognized in CD/1299 that a variety of issues related to an FMCT have been raised by a number of delegations and these issues can be raised for consideration by the Ad Hoc Committee during the negotiations; should consensus be reached on one or more of those issues, provisions may be incorporated into the FMCT to deal appropriately with them; this, of course, does not preclude any delegation from raising any additional relevant issue as the negotiations progress; and,

5. it is recognized that many delegations consider stockpiles of fissile material resulting from production prior to the entry into force of an FMCT to be important to the future viability and effectiveness of an FMCT. While dealing with this matter is not included within the specific scope of the FMCT negotiations, states members of the CD, and most particularly the Nuclear-Weapons States members, which possess fissile material usable for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices and which material is not subject to IAEA safeguards, should pursue appropriate measures designed to reduce such stockpiles and/or to place declared excess material under IAEA safeguards. In particular transparency and other measures should be developed to ensure that such nuclear material including nuclear material from nuclear warheads destroyed under the START Process will never again be used in nuclear weapons. CD Member States, and the international community more broadly, will be kept informed of developments in this regard in the CD's Ad Hoc Committee on Nuclear Disarmament on the context of the FMCT negotiations.

As noted, these points are seen as critical by states members of this Conference to the agreement reached to establish an Ad Hoc Committee on an FMCT with the mandate to negotiate a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. On this basis, I propose that the Ad Hoc Committee be hereby established and that it will report to the Conference on the progress of its work before the conclusion of the 1998 session.

If there is no objection to this understanding, I will conclude that the Conference is in full agreement."