1995 Review and Extension Conference
of the Parties to the Treaty on the
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
21 April 1995
New York, 17 April-12 May 1995
LETTER DATED 21 APRIL 1995 FROM THE HEAD OF THE DELEGATION
OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND
ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE 1995 REVIEW AND
EXTENSION CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE TREATY ON THE
NON-PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
I have the honour to forward to you the text of a paper providing information on the activities and views of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the three underlying objectives of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons; to provide a sound basis for international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy; and to encourage negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to disarmament.
I should be grateful if you would have the text of the present letter and its annex circulated as a document of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
(Signed) Sir Michael WESTON
Head of delegation
THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THE TREATY ON THE NON-PROLIFERATION
OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
1. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) reflects three underlying objectives: to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons; to provide a sound basis for international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy; and to encourage negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to disarmament. This paper provides information about the United Kingdom's activities and views in these three areas, and outlines the conclusions which the United Kingdom believes the Conference should reach when reviewing the Treaty's operation and taking its decision on the extension of the Treaty's duration.
A. Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons
2. Several articles of the Treaty are particularly relevant to this underlying objective. Articles I and II of the Treaty contain the basic obligations by which the nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States respectively are obligated to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. Article III obligates the non-nuclear-weapon States to accept safeguards administered by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on all nuclear material used in their peaceful nuclear activities, but in addition all the nuclear-weapon States parties have voluntarily agreed to accept safeguards administered by IAEA on some of their activities. Article VII acknowledges the right of any group of States to conclude regional treaties in order to assure the total absence of nuclear weapons in their respective territories, and article IX concerns provisions for adherence to the Treaty.
3. The United Kingdom takes its obligations under this article very seriously. It has not transferred to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices, directly or indirectly. Nor has it in any way assisted, encouraged or induced any non-nuclear-weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices.
4. The United Kingdom has in place a system of export controls designed to ensure that exports of nuclear items to non-nuclear-weapon States can be made only for legitimate non-explosive uses. These controls require exporters to obtain a licence to export certain items. The items now subject to control embrace all those items listed by the Zangger Committee in INFCIRC/209/Rev.1/Mods.1 and 2 and by the Nuclear Suppliers Group in INFCIRC/254/Rev.1/Part 1/Mods. 1, 2 and 3. In 1992 the United Kingdom supported the introduction by members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group of a list of controlled dual-use items (set out in INFCIRC/254/Rev.1/Part 2).
5. The fact that the United Kingdom, along with other suppliers, makes these items subject to control does not mean that they cannot be exported at all. Controls exist to help prevent the export of items to States that might use them in a nuclear weapons programme. This is in the interests of all parties to the Treaty. The United Kingdom remains convinced that effective export controls support the objectives of the Treaty.
6. In practice, denials of licences for the export of controlled items have been rare. From 1991 to 1994 inclusive there were 699 applications to export controlled nuclear items from the United Kingdom. Only 25 of these applications were refused, of which 21 concerned applications to export items to non-parties to the Treaty.
7. The United Kingdom has advocated and supported a number of actions taken by the international community in order to ensure compliance with this and other articles by certain States.
8. The United Kingdom helped to devise, and strongly supports, all the Security Council resolutions designed to deal with Iraq's nuclear weapons programme (and its programmes for other weapons of mass destruction and missiles). The United Kingdom has therefore been an active contributor to the work of the United Nations Special Commission and IAEA in implementing those resolutions. The United Kingdom welcomes the progress that they have now made, but continues to have doubts about the extent of Iraqi compliance with those resolutions.
9. The United Kingdom has also supported all efforts to ensure that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea honours its safeguards obligations. It has supported IAEA in its dealings with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the various actions taken by the Security Council. The United Kingdom hopes that the problems which have arisen can now be resolved as a result of the signature of the Agreed Framework in October 1994 by the United States of America and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The United Kingdom has demonstrated its willingness to make that approach work by announcing a contribution towards the funding of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization established as a result of the Agreed Framework.
10. The United Kingdom believes that the difficulties which have arisen in relation to Iraq and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea demonstrate the importance of the Security Council taking appropriate measures in respect of non-compliance by States with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations, including their safeguards obligations. In this respect the United Kingdom stresses the importance of the following key passage in the presidential statement which the Security Council authorized the British Prime Minister to make on its behalf on 31 January 1992:
"The proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The members of the Council commit themselves to working to prevent the spread of technology related to the research for or production of such weapons and to take appropriate action to that end.
"On nuclear arms proliferation, the members of the Council note the importance of the decision of many countries to adhere to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and emphasize the integral role in the implementation of that Treaty of fully effective IAEA standards, as well as the importance of effective export controls. The members of the Council will take appropriate measures in the case of any violations notified to them by the Agency."
Safeguards in non-nuclear-weapon States parties
11. Pursuant to article III, paragraph 1 of the Treaty, IAEA has concluded a series of safeguards agreements designed to verify that nuclear material in non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty is not diverted to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. A model agreement is set out in INFCIRC/153 (corrected). The United Kingdom fully supports both this safeguards system and the excellent work of IAEA in administering it.
12. The United Kingdom also recognizes that the Iraqi experience revealed certain weaknesses in this existing system of safeguards, particularly the fact that it was not really designed to root out undeclared activities related to the acquisition of nuclear material for weapons purposes. The United Kingdom fully supports the recent and continuing efforts to strengthen the system, so as to provide improved assurance about the absence of such undeclared activities.
13. A first programme of strengthening measures was proposed by the European Union in September 1991. As part of this an important step was taken when the IAEA Board of Governors reaffirmed in February 1992 the Agency's right to undertake "special inspections". Another important step was taken in December 1992 when the Board of Governors put in hand a wide-ranging review of the safeguards system (known as the "93 + 2" programme).
14. The United Kingdom has contributed actively to the discussions and studies arising from the "93 + 2" programme and welcomes the initial proposals resulting from it which the Director General presented to the Board of Governors at its meeting in March 1995. The United Kingdom was encouraged by the Board's positive response to these proposals at that meeting. It is in the interests of all NPT parties that the Agency should have the means to provide greater assurance about the absence of undeclared activities.
15. Efficiency is important as well as effectiveness. The United Kingdom welcomes the efficiency improvements already made by IAEA, as well as those proposed as part of the "93 + 2" programme. They will help to ensure that the Agency has sufficient resources to discharge its safeguards responsibilities at a time when they are being applied to increasingly complex plants and extended to a significant number of new non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty.
16. The United Kingdom, with other exporting parties, has always required recipient non-nuclear-weapon States to accept safeguards on nuclear material in accordance with article III, paragraph 2. In 1992 the Nuclear Suppliers Group agreed that, subject to limited exceptions for safety reasons, new nuclear exports should not be made to a non-nuclear-weapon State unless it has an agreement with IAEA requiring the application of safeguards on all nuclear material in its peaceful nuclear activities, a requirement long sought by many non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty.
17. As part of its wider support for the IAEA safeguards system the United Kingdom has provided the Agency with substantial assistance on a variety of topics. Examples include assistance with techniques for safeguarding reprocessing facilities and gas centrifuge plants. The United Kingdom has also been involved, both bilaterally and with others, including IAEA, in meeting requests for assistance on safeguards issues from a number of States, including some of the non-nuclear-weapon States which have recently concluded safeguards agreements with the Agency.
Safeguards in the United Kingdom
18. In addition to supporting the IAEA safeguards system as it applies to non-nuclear-weapon States parties, the United Kingdom, in fulfilment of the Voluntary Offer it made during the negotiation of the Treaty, has concluded its own safeguards agreement with IAEA and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM). This agreement is set out in INFCIRC/263.
19. Under this tripartite safeguards agreement civil nuclear material in the United Kingdom is reported to IAEA via EURATOM (which, under the 1957 EURATOM Treaty, applies a regional system of safeguards on all civil nuclear material throughout the European Union, including on all civil nuclear material in the United Kingdom). In addition, the United Kingdom provides IAEA with a list of facilities which it may choose to designate for inspection. At present IAEA has designated for inspection spent fuel storage ponds and plutonium stores at Sellafield and the gas centrifuge enrichment plant at Capenhurst. The same IAEA safeguards criteria are applied in the case of inspections in the United Kingdom as in the case of inspections elsewhere, and the United Kingdom would be ready to accept inspection by IAEA of any other facilities on the list submitted to it were the Agency to find that helpful.
20. The United Kingdom's experience, both with EURATOM and IAEA safeguards, strongly supports its belief that safeguards can be implemented, and are implemented, in conformity with the requirements of article III, paragraph 3, of the Treaty. The United Kingdom therefore believes they do "avoid hampering the economic or technological development of the parties or international cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities". Indeed, the United Kingdom firmly believes that the reassurance which safeguards provide is the essential foundation for international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
21. Article VII of the Treaty states: "Nothing in this Treaty affects the right of any group of States to conclude regional treaties in order to assure the total absence of nuclear weapons in their respective territories". There are now two treaties establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones in populated areas, the Treaty of Tlatelolco (which pre-dates NPT) and the Treaty of Rarotonga. Negotiations to establish an African nuclear-weapon-free zone are well advanced and other such zones have been proposed, for example for the Middle East.
22. The United Kingdom strongly supports the Treaty of Tlatelolco. It very much welcomes the fact that recent amendments to the Treaty have made it possible for Argentina, Brazil and Chile to bring it into force for themselves, and looks forward to the entry into force of the fullest possible zone of application in the near future. For its part the United Kingdom signed Protocols I and II to the Treaty in 1967 and ratified them in 1969. It has since signed a safeguards agreement with IAEA and EURATOM for those territories within the Tlatelolco Treaty zone for which it is de jure internationally responsible.
23. The United Kingdom gave careful consideration to the Treaty of Rarotonga, taking into account its security interests in the region and, more widely, the views of its allies and the regional States themselves, as well as the texts of the Treaty and the Protocols. Against this background the United Kingdom concluded that it would not serve its interest to become a party to the Protocols, but as a matter of policy the United Kingdom indicated that it would respect the intentions of the regional States as set out in Protocol I, reaffirmed in relation to Protocol II the negative security assurance given to non-nuclear-weapon States by the United Kingdom in 1978, and noted in connection with Protocol III that it had no intention of conducting nuclear tests in the South Pacific.
24. The United Kingdom welcomes the negotiations to establish an African nuclear-weapon-free zone, is closely engaged in contacts with the negotiators, and will determine its view of the proposed treaty once it has been finalized. The United Kingdom has also made clear its support for the establishment of both a Middle East nuclear-weapon-free zone and a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction.
25. The United Kingdom has a long-standing policy of encouraging all States to adhere to the Treaty and has actively lobbied all non-parties to do so, both in association with its European Union partners and acting on its own. It greatly welcomes the fact that since the 1990 Review Conference over 35 States have adhered to the Treaty. These accessions have greatly helped to sustain and strengthen the Treaty. They represent important steps towards the vital goal of securing universal adherence.
B. Encouraging the peaceful uses of nuclear energy
26. Two articles of the Treaty are primarily concerned with encouraging the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, articles IV and V.
27. Article IV of the Treaty recognizes "the inalienable right of all the parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with articles I and II of this Treaty". It further commits all parties to "facilitate ... the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy". Finally, article IV calls for the development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty, "with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world".
Role of the United Kingdom in the peaceful commercial uses of nuclear energy
28. The United Kingdom has been at the forefront of those States researching, producing and using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, both domestically and internationally.
29. The United Kingdom opened an industrial-scale nuclear power station as early as 1956, using MAGNOX reactors. A series of MAGNOX nuclear power stations were subsequently built. They were followed by a number of nuclear power stations using advanced gas-cooled reactors. Most recently, in early 1995, the United Kingdom's latest nuclear power station began operating, using a pressurized water reactor. The United Kingdom's current nuclear power stations are owned and operated by Nuclear Electric plc in England and Wales and by Scottish Nuclear Ltd. in Scotland. Collectively they now generate over 25 per cent of the United Kingdom's electricity.
30. The United Kingdom's commitment to nuclear power has also encouraged the growth of associated industrial capabilities. British Nuclear Fuels plc is one of the world's leading nuclear fuel companies, with facilities capable of fabricating either natural or enriched uranium into fuel for a wide range of reactor types, storing spent fuel, reprocessing it, and handling waste products. It also has a one-third holding in URENCO Ltd., which has facilities for enriching uranium in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom has sophisticated engineering and construction companies capable of building nuclear facilities, and is home to one of the world's largest producers of radioisotopes for medical and other purposes (Amersham International), as well as to a dynamic research and development organization with major nuclear and non-nuclear skills (AEA Technology). In addition to these major organizations there are many other United Kingdom companies which have important interests in the nuclear sphere. Over 70 companies are members of the British Nuclear Industry Forum (BNIF), the nuclear industry's trade association in the United Kingdom.
31. Most of these organizations have important world-wide interests. Nuclear Electric is engaged with others in seeking overseas business for the construction of new nuclear power stations. British Nuclear Fuels plc has reprocessing contracts with a number of European and Japanese utilities, and is also engaged in a wide range of other foreign business. A high percentage of Amersham International's products are exported. AEA Technology is doing business with many foreign countries and hoping to expand the number further. Other companies belonging to BNIF are also very active overseas. As foreign nuclear plants mature, the United Kingdom's proven experience in plant life extension, safety, environmental management and decommissioning is expected to become even more relevant than it already is.
32. In the civil nuclear, as in other fields, the United Kingdom is therefore deeply involved in exporting its expertise and products. It strongly supports the widespread use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Role of the United Kingdom in providing technical assistance
33. The IAEA background paper on its activities in relation to article IV provides information on the transfers of nuclear technology made as a result of the promotional element in its regular budget. This element amounts to about one third of the regular budget, to which the United Kingdom is a significant contributor. In addition to funding, the United Kingdom also contributes expertise and advice on all aspects of the promotional element in the IAEA regular budget.
34. The same IAEA background paper also gives a full account of the projects supported by the technical cooperation programme, which is the main vehicle for providing technical assistance to developing countries. As a strong supporter of this programme, the United Kingdom:
(a) Has an excellent record in paying its target share to the Technical Assistance and Cooperation Fund (99.72 per cent of its target share paid over the period 1985 to 1993, amounting to $17.8 million);
(b) Has committed $7.5 million since 1985 in additional voluntary contributions to fund footnote (a) projects;
(c) Has made in-kind contributions since 1985 worth almost $1 million;
(d) Has contributed to UNDP funds, some of which also support the IAEA technical cooperation programme.
35. The United Kingdom's additional voluntary contributions to fund footnote (a) projects have supported such diverse projects as: groundwater management to improve and preserve drinking water supplies in Ghana; breeding high-yield crops to increase food supply and cash exports in Mexico and El Salvador; improved radiotherapy for cancer treatment in Jordan; and increasing food safety through irradiation in Thailand. The United Kingdom is also a major donor to a project to eradicate the tsetse fly from Zanzibar in order to improve the health and productivity of cattle, so reducing hunger and poverty. The United Kingdom will also support the spread of this sterile insect technique to mainland Africa.
36. The United Kingdom's in-kind contributions to the technical cooperation programme have taken many forms, including support to visiting fellows and scientists, the provision of experts, and the running of training courses. Support to visiting fellows and scientists usually takes the form of facilitating attendance at academic institutions, participation in research groups, on-the-job training in a specific technology, short visits to research institutes, or a combination of these. United Kingdom experts on assignment usually function as advisers, lecturers, or workshop participants in their field of expertise. Training courses cover a variety of subjects.
37. Article V is concerned with making available to non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty potential benefits from any peaceful applications of nuclear explosions. It is the United Kingdom's view that there are no useful peaceful applications of nuclear explosions, and it recalls that the NPT Review Conference in 1985 noted in its Final Declaration "that the potential benefits of the peaceful applications of nuclear explosions have not been demonstrated and that no requests for services related to the peaceful applications of nuclear explosions have been received by IAEA since the Second NPT Review Conference".
C. Pursuit of disarmament objectives
38. This article of the Treaty reads:
"Each of the parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."
39. The United Kingdom has always maintained its nuclear forces at the minimum level it judged necessary to act as a deterrent to armed aggression. This remains as true today as it did throughout the years of the cold war. But clearly, the world in 1995 is a different place from what it was in 1970. Accordingly, the United Kingdom has adjusted its nuclear forces to reflect the improvements in the international security environment.
40. The United Kingdom has:
(a) Eliminated entirely its maritime tactical nuclear capability;
(b) Reduced the total number of its air-delivered nuclear bombs by more than half;
(c) Announced that the remainder of its air-delivered nuclear bombs will be withdrawn by the end of 1998;
(d) Decided that these bombs will not be replaced by another air-delivered system;
(e) Made clear that as a result it will have only one nuclear system;
(f) Stated that the total explosive power carried on each Trident submarine will not be much changed from its Polaris predecessor.
41. As a result of these developments, by the end of the 1990s the total number of warheads in the United Kingdom's stockpile will be 21 per cent lower than in the 1970s, and the total explosive power of those warheads will be 59 per cent lower. The total number of operational warheads in the United Kingdom's stockpile will be 30 per cent less than in the 1970s, and the total explosive power of those warheads will be 63 per cent lower. Further details are given in appendix A.
42. The United Kingdom has therefore already contributed directly to reductions in nuclear forces, and is continuing to do so. It has also made clear that a world in which the nuclear forces of the Russian Federation and the United States of America were numbered in hundreds rather than thousands would be one in which the United Kingdom would respond to the challenge of multilateral talks on the global reduction of nuclear arms. The United Kingdom, with other nuclear-weapon States, has also solemnly reaffirmed its commitment, as stated in article VI, to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament, which remains the United Kingdom's ultimate goal. The full text of the Declaration by France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States in connection with the NPT has been circulated as a Conference document (NPT/CONF.1995/20).
43. The United Kingdom is also strongly in favour of concluding a comprehensive test-ban treaty. It participated in the tripartite negotiations to achieve such a treaty between 1977 and 1980, and has for many years been an active contributor to the work of the Conference on Disarmament's Ad Hoc Group of Scientific Experts which has focused on how best to verify such a treaty. It is now playing a full and active role in the negotiations for a comprehensive test-ban treaty which began in January 1994. It welcomes the good progress that has been made so far in those negotiations and seeks their early conclusion. To facilitate this, the United Kingdom has recently agreed that there should be no exemption for "tests in exceptional circumstances", the so-called "safety tests".
44. The United Kingdom has been ready since the end of 1993 to enter negotiations for a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. It welcomes the recent agreement in March 1995 to establish an Ad Hoc Committee of the Conference on Disarmament to negotiate such a cut-off convention. To remove any doubts about its commitment to this negotiation the United Kingdom has announced that it has ceased the production of fissile material for explosive purposes.
45. The United Kingdom has also recognized that States which have renounced nuclear weapons are entitled to look for assurances that nuclear weapons will not be used against them (negative security assurances) and for assurances of assistance if they are a victim of an act of aggression, or an object of a threat of aggression, in which nuclear weapons are used (positive security assurances). The United Kingdom gave a positive security assurance to non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty in 1968, which was welcomed by the Security Council in its resolution 255 (1968). In 1978 the United Kingdom also gave a negative security assurance to non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty. In response to continued concerns from non-nuclear-weapon States, and following consultations with other nuclear-weapon States, the United Kingdom made on 6 April 1995 the Declaration on security assurances attached as appendix B. The United Kingdom also played an active part in initiating and elaborating Security Council resolution 984 (1995), unanimously adopted on 11 April, in which the Council welcomed the enhanced positive security assurances given for the first time by all the nuclear-weapon States, as well as the new negative security assurances, four of which, including the United Kingdom's were given in common terms for the first time.
46. The United Kingdom has also supported many other measures which contribute to the goal of general and complete disarmament. For example, the United Kingdom fully supports the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention concluded in 1972. It attaches great importance to States' full compliance with their obligations under that Convention and warmly welcomes the decision by States parties at the Special Conference in September 1994 to work on ways of strengthening the Convention. The United Kingdom also fully supports the Chemical Weapons Convention, which was opened for signature in 1993, and its early entry into force. It seeks universal adherence to both Conventions.
47. The United Kingdom has also been concerned about the destabilizing impact of missile proliferation and remains anxious to ensure that transfers and build-ups of conventional weaponry do not exceed levels legitimately required for self-defence. The United Kingdom therefore supports both the missile technology control regime and the various guidelines on conventional arms transfers which have been agreed by the permanent members of the Security Council, by the European Union, and by the Forum for Security and Cooperation of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), formerly the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. The United Kingdom also played a leading part in establishing the Register of Conventional Arms, which was set up with nearly unanimous support by the General Assembly in its resolution 46/36 L.
48. At a regional level, the United Kingdom has consistently sought verifiable reductions in conventional arms in Europe. It played a full part in the negotiations which led to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (the CFE Treaty). This Treaty has already led to large reductions in military equipment levels in Europe. When it is fully implemented later this year, over 50,000 weapons will have been destroyed - an overall reduction of roughly 25 per cent in such equipment. The United Kingdom has also been strongly in favour of the Open Skies Treaty, and has consistently supported the development and implementation of confidence and security building measures through OSCE.
49. The United Kingdom also recognizes that the goal of general and complete disarmament is unlikely to be attained without a concomitant strengthening of all States' security. Within Europe the United Kingdom has played a full part in ensuring that OSCE, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union and the Western European Union all adapt themselves to the end of the cold war in order to help achieve this goal. In this regard the United Kingdom notes in particular the Partnership for Peace programme initiated by NATO and the OSCE decision at its Budapest summit in December 1994 to start discussion on a model of common and comprehensive security for our region for the twenty-first century. The United Kingdom is participating fully both in the Partnership for Peace programmes and in the OSCE study. At a global level the United Kingdom has always been a strong supporter of the United Nations Organization. It welcomes the fact that since the end of the cold war the Security Council has been able to take decisions more readily and effectively on a range of global security problems.
50. In short, the United Kingdom has supported a range of practical and effective measures to further the Treaty's disarmament goals.
D. Review and extension
51. Articles VIII and X deal respectively with the review and extension of the Treaty, as well as with other matters.
52. The United Kingdom fully supports regular review conferences as provided for under article VIII. The United Kingdom recognizes the need to review implementation of the Treaty in all the three main areas discussed above.
53. At the same time the United Kingdom believes that the Treaty has substantial achievements to its credit:
(a) The Treaty has already secured the support of the greater part of the international community and continues to attract new parties, while new measures are in hand to help address compliance concerns;
(b) International cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is now extensive, and in particular large amounts of technical assistance have been provided to developing States parties to the Treaty;
(c) Enormous progress has been made towards the international community's disarmament objectives since the entry into force of the Treaty.
54. The United Kingdom believes that any fair and dispassionate review of the Treaty's operation will conclude that it has contributed fundamentally:
(a) To the security of all States, by helping to prevent the widespread proliferation of nuclear weapons;
(b) To providing the framework of reassurance that is necessary if international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is to flourish;
(c) To the pursuit of the major disarmament goals sought by the entire international community.
55. Article X, paragraph 2, of the Treaty provides:
"Twenty-five years after the entry into force of the Treaty, a conference shall be convened to decide whether the Treaty shall continue in force indefinitely, or shall be extended for an additional fixed period or periods. This decision shall be taken by a majority of the parties to the Treaty".
56. The United Kingdom has carefully considered the options provided for in the Treaty. It has come to the conclusion that anything less than indefinite extension would not serve the interests of the international community. It would create a climate of uncertainty in an area of major importance for international security.
57. The United Kingdom therefore fully supports indefinite extension. This would:
(a) Send the strongest possible signal to the few remaining non-parties that the international community is determined to contain the spread of nuclear weapons;
(b) Entrench the framework of assurance which is necessary if international cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy is to be maintained and developed;
(c) Create the best possible framework for further progress towards the disarmament goals of the Treaty .
SIZE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM'S NUCLEAR FORCES
Reductions comparing the end of the
1990s with the 1970s
Warhead numbers Explosive power
Stockpile a/ 21 59
Operational b/ 30 63
a/ Including all warheads except those awaiting dismantlement.
b/ All warheads in the stockpile except those held as a necessary margin for maintenance and refurbishment work and for safety and reliability monitoring.
UNITED KINGDOM DECLARATION ON SECURITY ASSURANCES
(Made on 6 April 1995 by the Permanent Representative of
the United Kingdom to the Conference on Disarmament)
The Government of the United Kingdom believes that universal adherence to and compliance with international agreements seeking to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are vital to the maintenance of world security. We note with appreciation that 175 States have become parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
We believe that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime which has made an invaluable contribution to international peace and security. We are convinced that the Treaty should be extended indefinitely and without conditions.
We will continue to urge all States that have not done so to become parties to the Treaty.
The Government of the United Kingdom recognizes that States which have renounced nuclear weapons are entitled to look for assurances that nuclear weapons will not be used against them. In 1978 we gave such an assurance. Assurances have also been given by the other nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Recognizing the continued concern of non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons that the assurances given by nuclear-weapon States should be in similar terms, and following consultation with the other nuclear-weapon States, I accordingly give the following undertaking on behalf of my Government:
The United Kingdom will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons except in the case of an invasion or any other attack on the United Kingdom, its dependent territories, its armed forces or other troops, its allies or on a State towards which it has a security commitment, carried out or sustained by such non-nuclear-weapon State in association or alliance with a nuclear-weapon State.
In giving this assurance the United Kingdom emphasizes the need not only for universal adherence to, but also for compliance with, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In this context I wish to make clear that Her Majesty's Government does not regard its assurance as applicable if any beneficiary is in material breach of its own non-proliferation obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
In 1968 the United Kingdom declared that aggression with nuclear weapons, or the threat of such aggression, against a non-nuclear-weapon State would create a qualitatively new situation in which the nuclear-weapon States which are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council would have to act immediately through the Security Council to take the measures necessary to counter such aggression or to remove the threat of aggression in accordance with the United Nations Charter, which calls for taking "effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace". Therefore, any State which commits aggression accompanied by the use of nuclear weapons or which threatens such aggression must be aware that its actions are to be countered effectively by measures to be taken in accordance with the United Nations Charter to suppress the aggression or remove the threat of aggression.
I, therefore, recall and reaffirm the intention of the United Kingdom, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, to seek immediate Security Council action to provide assistance, in accordance with the Charter, to any non-nuclear-weapon State, party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, that is a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used.
This Security Council assistance could include measures to settle the dispute and restore international peace and security, and appropriate procedures, in response to any request from the victim of such an act of aggression, regarding compensation under international law from the aggressor for loss, damage or injury sustained as a result of the aggression.
If a non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is a victim of an act of aggression with nuclear weapons, the United Kingdom would also be prepared to take appropriate measures in response to a request from the victim for technical, medical, scientific or humanitarian assistance.
The United Kingdom reaffirms in particular the inherent right, recognised under Article 51 of the Charter, of individual and collective self-defence if an armed attack, including a nuclear attack, occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.