USIS Washington File

02 May 2000

Text: Robert Grey Statement to NPT Review Conference Panel

(U.S. envoy to CD cites goal to gain universality for NPT) (3470)

The success of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
(NPT) has helped to "make possible the dramatic progress in nuclear
disarmament since the end of the Cold War," says Ambassador Robert
Grey, U.S. representative to the Committee on Disarmament (CD).

In remarks to the NPT Review Conference Committee I on April 27, Grey
said the treaty's core provisions remain valid, and he called for
efforts to achieve universality for the NPT. As President Clinton said
on March 6, Grey recalled, "The United States remains committed to
achieving universal adherence to the NPT and will continue working to
bring all remaining countries into the Treaty."

Grey also emphasized that the United States has "made clear to India
and Pakistan that their relationships with the United States cannot
realize their full potential until our differences on nonproliferation
are narrowed."

In a wide-ranging statement on U.S. nonproliferation policy, goals,
and achievements, Grey cited what he described as two "significant
disappointments: the lack of Senate consent for CTBT (Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty) ratification and the lack of progress on a fissile
material cutoff treaty."

He noted that former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General
John Shalikashvili will "help address Senators' concerns about the
CTBT and build bipartisan support for eventual reconsideration of this
issue by the U.S. Senate."

Grey said, "We are profoundly disappointed that there are currently no
negotiations on a fissile material cutoff treaty (FMCT)." The United
States will work hard "for the expeditious negotiation of a cutoff
treaty, which is the next logical multilateral step in the nuclear
disarmament process," he added. "There is no way to get to the
ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament without it."

Following is the text of Grey's statement: 

(begin text)

Ambassador Robert Grey
Statement to NPT Review Conference Committee I

April 27, 2000

Mr. Chairman,

The allocation of items to Main Committee I includes the core
provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty: Articles I, II, and VI. I
would like to speak in detail to these Articles today.

Articles I and II

The NPT was driven by a desire to avert nuclear war and the belief
that the proliferation of nuclear weapons would seriously increase
that danger. Articles I and II reflect these concerns. The NPT, and
its core provisions, remain valid.

The NPT is nearly universal. By creating a political and legal barrier
against nuclear weapons proliferation, the NPT has promoted our
security and facilitated peaceful uses of the atom. The Treaty's
success has also helped to make possible the dramatic progress in
nuclear disarmament since the end of the Cold War.

Steady progress toward universality has been made throughout the
Treaty's lifetime -- from the 47 states who were party upon NPT entry
into force in 1970 to today's total of 187. Since 1995, when
universality was declared to be an urgent goal, additional progress
has been made with the addition of nine more countries. Only Cuba,
India, Israel, and Pakistan remain outside the Treaty.

Despite obvious difficulties, work toward the goal of universality
must continue. As President Clinton said on March 6: "The United
States remains committed to achieving universal adherence to the NPT
and will continue working to bring all remaining countries into the

The international community rallied strongly behind the NPT in the
wake of the nuclear tests in South Asia in 1998. It has strongly
endorsed the continued importance of the Treaty and affirmed that all
remaining non-parties may join the NPT only as non-nuclear-weapon
states. For its part, the United States will continue to work to
achieve the goals of UN Security Council Resolution 1172 of June 1998.
We have also made clear to India and Pakistan that their relationships
with the United States can not realize their full potential until our
differences on nonproliferation are narrowed.

Compliance with Articles I and II is essential. For its part, the
United States has laws, policies and procedures to ensure scrupulous
compliance with Article I. The United States maintains constant and
complete custody and control of its nuclear weapons and implements a
rigorous security system to protect against theft. We have also
implemented a comprehensive nuclear export control system whose
purpose is to ensure that entities under U.S. jurisdiction do not
provide assistance to non-nuclear-weapon states in the acquisition or
manufacture of nuclear explosive devices.

We are satisfied that nearly all non-nuclear weapons states parties to
the NPT honor their Article II obligations. They have not sought the
transfer or control of nuclear explosive devices, nor received
assistance in their manufacture, nor undertaken actions that are
intended to provide them with the capability to manufacture or acquire
nuclear explosives.

We remain concerned, however, that not all non-nuclear weapons states
parties to the NPT take their Article II obligations seriously. During
the last decade, NPT parties have been faced with two serious breaches
of the Treaty by non-nuclear-weapon states, which have undermined
regional and global security. The international community responded
firmly to these breaches and the nuclear programs of Iraq and North
Korea have been constrained. In both cases, questions about compliance

All NPT parties must continue to provide the IAEA, and the United
Nations with the political, technical, and financial support necessary
to enforce compliance with the NPT.

Article VI

Some have argued that Article VI is a "price the Nuclear Weapon States
have to pay" to the non-nuclear weapons states to refrain from
acquiring nuclear weapons. The United States does not look at Article
VI as a price for anything. All Parties to the NPT should make Article
VI work not because of altruism or a desire to be perceived as
virtuous, but because like us, they believe the NPT and effective
nuclear arms control measures enhance international two - one of which
is not deployed. In addition, NATO has reduced the number of its
nuclear weapons in Europe by more than 85 percent and the types
available from eleven to one. As part of these reductions, all of
NATO's ground-launched substrategic forces, including nuclear
artillery and surface-to-surface missiles, have been withdrawn to the
United States and many have been dismantled. The only remaining U.S.
nuclear weapons in Europe, air-delivered gravity bombs, have been
reduced by well over 50 percent.

Deactivation/Dealerting. The United States has removed nuclear
warheads from systems that will be eliminated under START I, taken all
of our remaining heavy bombers off alert and detargeted all of our
long-range ballistic missiles. Although the deadline for reductions
under START II is December 2007, the United States and Russia have
agreed to deactivate by the end of 2003 all strategic systems that
will be eliminated under the Treaty once it enters into force. The
strategic nuclear delivery vehicles will be placed in deactivated
status by removing their nuclear warheads or taking other jointly
agreed steps. U.S. NATO nuclear weapons are no longer routinely
deployed on aircraft and the readiness of the aircraft that could
carry them is measured in weeks and months rather than minutes.

Nuclear stockpile reductions. The U.S. is not just removing warheads
from the field but is taking thousands of them apart. We take this
step not to fulfill a legal obligation under START I but because we
believe it is in our interest to do so. It is a vivid demonstration of
our commitment to Article VI. Since the end of the Cold War, we have
dismantled more than 13,000 warheads -- a process which includes the
actual physical separation of the warhead's conventional high
explosive from its fissile material. Over 3,000 of these weapons have
been dismantled since the 1995 NPT Conference.

Changes in U.S. development, testing and production programs for
nuclear systems. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the United States
has terminated, truncated, or retired without replacement almost 20
nuclear systems. This self-imposed restraint applies to warhead
designs, the production of fissile material for new weapons, and the
launchers needed to deliver those weapons. The United States, as a
matter of policy, stopped nuclear testing and producing fissile
material for nuclear weapons more than seven years ago. We have not
produced any new nuclear warheads during this period and have no
requirements for the production of new types of warheads. All U.S.
fissile material production reactors, and plutonium separation and
uranium enrichment facilities have been permanently shutdown,
deactivated, or scheduled for deactivation in the near future, or
converted to non-weapons production use.

The United States is no longer developing or producing any new
land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. In 1998, the U.S.
stopped producing Trident submarines and no new types of ballistic
missile submarines or submarine-launched ballistic missiles are under
development. Further, the United States decided last year that it will
unilaterally remove four Trident submarines from its ballistic missile
submarine fleet over the next few years, regardless of the status of
START II. Once accomplished, this would constitute a reduction of
almost 800 deployed warheads.

We have also reduced our expenditures for strategic nuclear weapons
and nuclear forces personnel by nearly two-thirds since the end of the
Cold War.

Irreversibility. We are not just reducing and dismantling nuclear
weapons, we are also taking steps to make sure that fissile material
withdrawn from the military stockpile is never used in nuclear
weapons. Since 1993, the U.S. has unilaterally declared approximately
226 metric tons of fissile material as excess to defense needs and has
committed to make this excess fissile material available for IAEA
safeguards as soon as practicable.

With regard to fissile material removed from the military stockpile,
there are two key elements of irreversibility -- verification against
reuse of the fissile material and, ultimately, disposition to a form
unusable in nuclear weapons.

As a result of intensive work on the Trilateral Initiative -- launched
in September 1996 -- the U.S., Russia, and the IAEA are now close to
completing negotiations on a model legal agreement that would place
fissile material irreversibly removed from nuclear weapon programs
under IAEA verification.

In addition, the United States has plans in place now to make 90 tons
of excess fissile material available for IAEA safeguards. Of this
total, 12 tons is under safeguards and another 13 tons of high
enriched uranium was made available for safeguards during a 1995-98
downblending operation which included a successful IAEA verification

In 1993 the United States signed an agreement to purchase 500 tons of
high enriched uranium from Russia to be downblended to LEU over 20
years. To date, the United States has taken delivery of LEU that has
been downblended from over 80 tons of HEU.

In 1998, the United States and Russia agreed to cooperate on the
disposition of weapon-grade plutonium withdrawn in stages from each
side's nuclear military programs and designated as no longer required
for defense purposes. After a year of intense negotiations, we have
nearly completed an agreement that will include mutual commitments
regarding the plutonium to be disposed from each side. Once the
agreement is in place, the two sides will proceed in parallel with the
disposition of 34 tons each. This task will take many years of
sustained international involvement to implement.

In 1996, the United States announced that it would eliminate its
excess high enriched uranium by blending the material to low enriched
uranium, thereby rendering it unusable in nuclear weapons. Thirteen
tons has been downblended and another 50 tons has been targeted. After
downblending, the low enriched uranium may be used as fuel for
commercial nuclear power reactors.

In 1997, the United States announced a disposition strategy for excess
U.S. plutonium. The plutonium would either be burned up in nuclear
reactors or immobilized in glass or ceramic.

Assisting Others. The United States has already provided over $5
billion for many of the costs associated with nuclear disarmament and
WMD non-proliferation in the former Soviet Union. Since 1995, the
Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program has been continued and
expanded. To date, this program has provided assistance in the
elimination of about 1,000 ballistic missile launchers, missiles and
bombers in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. Other programs are
directed at securing some 650 tons of weapon grade fissile material
and peacefully employing former weapon scientists.

Early Warning. We are addressing the concern that nuclear war could
result from accident or miscalculation due to false missile warning.
Specifically, in 1998, the U.S. and Russian presidents agreed to an
initiative to continuously exchange information on launches of
ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles and to consider
establishing a joint center for that purpose and a multilateral
ballistic missile and space launch vehicle pre-launch notification
regime. We are well on our way to establishing a bilateral center for
the exchange of early warning information and working together
tirelessly toward fulfillment of the other goals that our Presidents
set for us to reduce nuclear dangers.

Security Assurances. We have taken further steps in the area of
legally binding security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states.
Since the last Review Conference the United States has signed the
relevant protocols to the African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone and the
South Pacific Free Nuclear Free Zone. When combined with the Latin
American Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty, this increases the number of
Non-Nuclear Weapon States eligible for legally binding negative
security assurances from all five nuclear weapon states to almost 100.
Moreover, the United States continues to place great importance on its
national declaration on the non-use of nuclear weapons against
non-nuclear-weapon states to the NPT as stated by President Clinton in

The United States reaffirms that it 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 States, its territories, its armed
forces or other troops, its allies, or on a State toward which it has
a security commitment, carried out or sustained by such a
non-nuclear-weapon State in association or alliance with a
nuclear-weapon State.

Nuclear Posture. The U.S. has also taken steps since 1995 to make its
nuclear policy reflect the changed strategic situation. In 1996,
President Clinton pledged to the international community that the
United States will work toward a century in which "the roles and risks
of nuclear weapons can be further reduced, and ultimately eliminated."
In 1997, the U.S. completed a review and issued a new Presidential
Decision Directive codifying the dramatically reduced role of nuclear
weapons in U.S. defense policy. In 1999, NATO issued its New Strategic
Concept making clear that it has dramatically reduced its reliance on
nuclear weapons. Moreover, in light of overall strategic developments
and the reduced salience of nuclear weapons, NATO has undertaken a
process to consider options for confidence and security building
measures, verification, nonproliferation and arms control and

All of these accomplishments demonstrate a positive trend and we
believe this is an impressive record. Many speakers in the plenary
debate have noted these facts beginning with the Secretary-General
Kofi Annan who called the accomplishments "an unmistakable record of
achievement and hard-won progress." Moreover, many of these positive
steps have occurred since the 1995 NPT Conference. The U.S. plans to
have senior officials from both the Departments of Defense and Energy
provide additional information on our accomplishments to NPT
Delegations over the next two weeks.

I should also note two significant disappointments: the lack of Senate
consent for CTBT ratification and the lack of progress on a fissile
material cutoff treaty.

The United States took a leadership role in the CTBT negotiations, and
is continuing its moratorium on testing. President Clinton called for
the Treaty in 1993 and was the first to sign it in 1996. Since the
negotiations concluded and the Treaty was opened for signature -- a
truly historic achievement, none of the five nuclear weapons states
has tested. As Secretary of State Albright said in her General Debate
statement, we are convinced that the United States will ratify the
CTBT. As she noted, former Chairman of the joint Chiefs of Staff
General John Shalikashvili has been enlisted to help address Senators'
concerns and build bipartisan support for eventual reconsideration of
this issue by the U.S. Senate.

We are profoundly disappointed that there are currently no
negotiations on a fissile material cutoff treaty (FMCT). At the 1995
NPT Conference, parties supported the "immediate commencement and
early conclusion" of these negotiations. Finally, in 1998 the
Conference on Disarmament reached a consensus to establish an Ad Hoc
Committee to negotiate an FMCT. Yet, the Committee was not
re-established in 1999 nor has it been to date this year. The United
States will continue to push hard for the expeditious negotiation of a
cutoff treaty, which is the next logical multilateral step in the
nuclear disarmament process. There is no way to get to the ultimate
goal of nuclear disarmament without it.

On the question of missile defenses, I would like to reiterate
Secretary of State Albright's observations that the U.S. is not bent
on sabotaging the ABM Treaty. As she noted, the world has changed
dramatically since the NPT entered into force, and since the ABM
Treaty was signed. The Treaty has been amended before, and there is no
good reason it cannot be amended again to reflect new realities.


Perhaps the most important challenge to this conference is to chart
the way forward. We welcome discussions on this critical issue and
look forward to participating constructively in negotiations seeking
to elaborate the way ahead.

All must acknowledge that much remains to be completed -- negotiation
and conclusion of the FMCT, for example, is long overdue. CTBT has
been negotiated but achieving its entry into force must be our next
goal. Bringing START II into force remains a priority and conclusion
of a START III Treaty as soon as possible is something all support.
There have been a number of suggestions for what could be included
beyond this renewed agenda. Many of the concepts contained in these
suggestions the United States could support. For example, on the
thirtieth anniversary of the entry into force of the NPT, President
Clinton said, without equivocation, that the United States is
committed to the ultimate elimination of all nuclear weapons. We, too,
are anxious for the negotiation of the Trilateral Initiative to be
completed and for even larger quantities of excess fissile materials
to be placed under IAEA supervision -- a highly practical
implementation of the principle of irreversibility in arms control.

A healthy dose of realism is required as we look ahead. Attaching
unrealistic expectations to our future agenda risks undermining the
very regime that we seek to strengthen. For example, we cannot support
"timebound frameworks for nuclear disarmament"; the tested and
effective approach of practical, incremental steps will not be
abandoned. Arms control does not occur in a vacuum. External events
will affect the pace and timing no matter how much importance we all
attach to expediting the negotiating process. Proposals calling for
the negotiation of a global negative security assurance are not well
founded -- protocols to nuclear weapon free zones already provide the
possibility for legally binding negative security assurances to over
one hundred countries. Demating of all nuclear weapons could lead to
crisis instability and, therefore, cannot be supported.

The United States comes before this Conference ready to roll up its
sleeves and get down to work to see what we can accomplish
collectively. Our attitude is that we are engaged in a joint endeavor.
We all have a common goal -- our differences revolve around how to
achieve it. We will listen respectfully to all proposals and we will
dearly articulate our own perspective. Within our limits, we shall be
flexible. In short, we will seek to follow the advice rendered by one
of the more colorful U.S. Presidents. In a letter written to his son
in 1915 President Teddy Roosevelt said:

All my life in politics, I have striven to make the necessary working
compromise between the ideal and the practical. If a man does not have
an ideal and try to live up to it, then he becomes a mean, base and
sordid creature, no matter how successful. If, on the other hand, he
does not work practically, with the knowledge that he is in the world
of actual men and must get results, he becomes a worthless
head-in-the-air creature, a nuisance to himself and everybody else.

Teddy Roosevelt would take comfort from the fact that included in the
name of the subsidiary body established within Main Committee I, which
has many idealists, are the words, "practical steps." Our goal then is
to identify the most practical steps to achieve our shared ideal.

(end text)

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