Joint Statement by Foreign Ministers on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation

New York

22 September 2010

1. We, the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, share a common purpose: to take forward the consensus outcomes of the 2010 NPT Review Conference and jointly to advance the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation agendas as mutually reinforcing processes.

2. We reaffirm our shared commitment to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as the essential foundation for the achievement of nuclear disarmament, the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and the basis for the development of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We stress the importance of universal adherence to the NPT and call on all states not party to the Treaty to accede to it immediately as non-nuclear weapon states.

3. We welcome the successful outcome of the NPT Review Conference in May 2010 and renew our determination to achieve the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. We reaffirm the fundamental importance of the unequivocal undertaking by nuclear-weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals. We also recognise the importance of full compliance with the NPT and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) obligations by all States Parties.

4. Recognizing that nuclear weapons pose a grave threat to humanity we express deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and reaffirm the need for all states at all times to fully comply with applicable international law, including international humanitarian law.

5. With a view to enhancing international peace and security, we have decided to work together on concrete and practical measures for a world of decreased nuclear risk as a milestone on our path towards realising a world without nuclear weapons.

I. Nuclear Disarmament

6. We reaffirm that the only guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is their total elimination. We agree that nuclear disarmament strengthens the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

7. We are of the view that nuclear disarmament can best be achieved by:

  1. reducing the number of both strategic and non-strategic (tactical) nuclear weapons;
  2. diminishing the role of nuclear weapons in security strategies;
  3. reducing the risk of accidental use of nuclear weapons and considering further reducing the operational status of nuclear weapon systems in ways that promote international stability and security;
  4. applying the principles of irreversibility, verifiability and transparency to the nuclear disarmament process.

8. Nuclear disarmament can be advanced effectively when these four measures are promoted in a comprehensive manner leading to a steady growth in mutual confidence among states possessing nuclear weapons.

9. We firmly believe that early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiation on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) on the basis of the Shannon Mandate are essential steps to achieve nuclear disarmament, and should be pursued with vigour and determination.

10. We urge all states possessing nuclear weapons to make an early — or, in the case of the United States and the Russian Federation, an additional — commitment to reduce their nuclear arsenals and to pursue confidence building measures such as effective verification and increased transparency, including by reporting regularly on progress in implementing their disarmament undertakings. The immediate first step for all states possessing nuclear weapons should be a commitment at least not to increase their arsenals above current levels.

11. We support the practical steps endorsed by the 2010 NPT Review Conference toward the convening of a Conference in 2012 on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction and will offer the necessary assistance for the realisation of such a Conference.

12. We note the five-point proposal for nuclear disarmament of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, which includes inter alia consideration of negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention or agreement on a framework of separate mutually reinforcing instruments, backed by a strong system of verification

II. Nuclear Non-Proliferation

13. Non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament are mutually reinforcing. We agree that an effective non-proliferation regime enhances the possibilities for nuclear disarmament.

14. We believe it is time to deepen discussions on how nuclear-weapon-free-zones serve to enhance global and regional peace and stability through reinforcing the nuclear non-proliferation regime and contributing to the achievement of nuclear disarmament, and support steps taken to establish nuclear weapon-free zones on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the states of the region concerned.

15. We underscore the importance of resolving all cases of non-compliance with safeguards obligations in full conformity with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Statute and the respective commitments and legal obligations of Member States, including relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

16. We call on all States Parties to the NPT to ensure that the IAEA continues to have all the support it needs to effectively and efficiently discharge its mandates and responsibilities. We urge all states that have not yet done so to conclude and implement a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) and an Additional Protocol (AP) as soon as possible, and stress the importance of providing developing countries with the cooperation and assistance they need to implement their IAEA safeguards obligations.

III. Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

17. Recognising the inalienable right of every State party to the NPT to the peaceful use of nuclear energy and considering the increasing demand for nuclear power as a means of addressing climate change and energy security concerns, we emphasise that cooperation to accelerate and to enlarge the contribution of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world is a core objective of the IAEA Statute. We confirm that the use of nuclear energy must be accompanied by commitments to, and on-going implementation of, safeguards as well as appropriate and effective levels of safety and security, consistent with States' national legislation and respective international obligations.

18. Recognising the serious threat of nuclear terrorism, we reaffirm our commitment to work together to strengthen nuclear security, including by fully implementing relevant international requirements such as UNSCR 1540 (2004). We will earnestly seek to fulfil the commitments we made at the 2010 Washington Nuclear Security Summit — and will take forward at the next Nuclear Security Summit in the Republic of Korea in 2012 — to work cooperatively to secure all vulnerable nuclear material within four years.

Next Steps

19. We reaffirm our commitment to the implementation of the conclusions and all 64 recommendations of the 2010 NPT Review Conference under the four sub-headings of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and the Middle East.

20. We decide to focus on efforts to further reduce the number of nuclear weapons, including tactical nuclear weapons, and to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in security strategies, concepts, doctrines and policies. In this context, we find worthy of consideration, as important steps on the path to nuclear disarmament, ideas such as enhancing the effectiveness of negative security assurances.

21. We hope to contribute to a growing consensus that any perceived security or political advantages of nuclear weapons are outweighed by the grave threat they pose to humanity.

22. We will consider how we might most effectively contribute to the development of the "standard reporting form" for use by Nuclear Weapons States in meeting their commitments to report their nuclear disarmament undertakings to the 2014 NPT Preparatory Committee meeting.

23. We will support all efforts to promote early entry into force of the CTBT, and support the development of its verification system, while emphasizing the importance of maintaining the moratorium on nuclear-weapon test explosions and any other nuclear explosions pending entry into force of the Treaty. We will also encourage the negotiation and development of a FMCT while urging all states possessing nuclear weapons to declare and maintain a moratorium on the productions of fissile material for weapons purposes. As a part of these efforts, we will help to develop approaches to issues such as verification which would support implementation of a FMCT through dialogue with others.

24. We decide also to explore ways of enhancing cooperation with the IAEA as a means of promoting the IAEA's outreach activities, particularly in those states which have yet to conclude and implement a CSA and AP with a view to contributing to the universalisation of the AP in our respective regions.

25. We encourage all states to promote to the greatest extent possible disarmament and non-proliferation education to raise public awareness in order to advance our goal of a world without nuclear weapons.