USIS Washington File

25 May 2000

Text: Ambassador Robert Grey on Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

(NPT Conference document urges strengthened review process) (690)

The U.S. representative to the Conference on Disarmament says the five
nuclear weapons states agreed during the month-long Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in New York that
there is a "need for further efforts to reduce nuclear arsenals and to
work toward a world free from nuclear weapons."

Ambassador Robert Grey told conference participants May 20 that all
parties to the NPT Treaty reached agreement "to work to strengthen
further" the treaty review process.

He also said the 150 NPT parties "crafted an important consensus
document" during their deliberations from April 24 to May 20 that will
enable everyone to "discuss and debate the continued implementation of
the treaty." Grey said participating delegations left the United
Nations convinced not only that the treaty must endure, but also that
they must "work together to achieve its universality."

Following is the text of Grey's remarks:

(begin text) 

2000 NPT Review Conference
U.S. Closing Statement
May 20, 2000

Mr. President, distinguished delegates.

On behalf of my delegation, I thank you, President Baali, for your
impressive leadership of this important and challenging conference.
Your commitment, hard work, well-tested patience and good humor made a
major contribution to the successful completion of our common efforts.

Similarly, the chairs of each of the main committees and the
subsidiary bodies deserve our special thanks for their hard work and
the significant results they achieved. We also thank the secretariat,
especially Ms. Hannalore Hoppe, for impressive competence and tireless
work devoted to the conference. We thank our interpreters.

We have all come a long way together over the past month. Doubtless
there will be many different evaluations of what we have achieved. At
last check there were over 150 NPT parties participating in our
conference. It defies expectation that so many nations could reach
agreement on any one issue, let alone the number and variety of issues
we had before us.

And yet, we have agreed. First and foremost, we agreed on the critical
importance of our treaty. We reaffirmed clearly and strongly that the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is essential now, tomorrow and always
in promoting international peace and security.

We agreed not only that the treaty must continue, but also that we
must work together to achieve its universality. We have expressed
profound concern with cases of non-compliance and reaffirmed that
strict observance of the treaty remains central to achieving its

We agreed that any addition to the five nuclear weapons states is not
acceptable and would serve only to heighten instability and security
concerns among states, making our world a more dangerous, uncertain
place. Among the five nuclear weapon states, there is agreement on the
need for further efforts to reduce nuclear arsenals, and to work
toward a world free from nuclear weapons.

In many other areas we achieved full agreement. We recognized the
critical importance of nuclear safety in realizing the many peaceful
benefits of nuclear technology. Together, we strongly supported the
work of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), including its
technical cooperation program. We agreed on the importance of
addressing the needs of developing countries, with preferential
attention to the least developed states. We underscored the need for
strong, effective international safeguards and for sound physical
protection measures. We agreed to work to strengthen further the
review process for our treaty.

Finally, we agreed on the importance of cooperation, compromise and
consensus in conducting our work. This is the common ground on which
our future dialogue must rest. Together, we crafted an important
consensus document and together we will discuss and debate the
continued implementation of the treaty. As we bring our proceedings to
a close, let us together recommit to the fundamental goals of the NPT
-- to use nuclear techniques to build prosperity for our peoples in a
world made ever more secure with each step under this treaty toward
the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Thank you, Mr. President.

(end text)

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