Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative 8th Ministerial Meeting

April 12, 2014

1. We, the Foreign Ministers of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) - Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates - gathered here in Hiroshima, where an atomic bomb was dropped for the first time in human history, and witnessed first-hand the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of an atomic bombing that last even to this present day. We were touched very deeply by the testimonies of atomic bomb survivors (Hibakushas) and reinforce our commitment to achieving the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. With this in mind, we invite the world’s political leaders to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki to also witness the consequences with their own eyes.

2. We are committed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as the essential foundation for the achievement of nuclear disarmament, as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and as the basis for the development of the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. 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 reaffirm our commitment and shared purpose as declared in our first Ministerial Statement in September 2010, which is to take forward the consensus outcome of the 2010 Review Conference (RevCon) of the Parties to the NPT and to jointly advance the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation agendas as mutually reinforcing processes. We reaffirm our commitment to actively contribute to the 2015 NPT review process, including the upcoming Third Session of the Preparatory Committee (Third PrepCom), among others, by submitting working papers to promote discussion and understanding on the following subjects: nuclear disarmament in the post-New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START Treaty) era, increased transparency in nuclear disarmament, de-alerting, nuclear security, a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction and NPT withdrawal.

4. With the 2015 NPT RevCon fast approaching, we urge all the States Parties to fully comply with the obligations and commitments, particularly with the full and prompt implementation of all the actions in the 2010 Action Plan. For its part, the NPDI has been devoting, and will continue to devote, attention to elements for consideration in a consensus outcome document for the 2015 NPT RevCon. In our view, the 2015 NPT RevCon should review the implementation of the 2010 Action Plan and, with an eye towards the next 2020 NPT review cycle, seek to strengthen all three pillars of the NPT– nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. As a diverse cross-regional group of non-nuclear-weapon States, we can play a constructive and proactive role in bridging diverse positions to help craft a successful outcome at the 2015 NPT RevCon, with progress across all the pillars of the NPT.

5. We reaffirm that the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is their total elimination. In this regard, we stress the need for a systematic and continued reduction of all types of nuclear weapons, including non-strategic and non-deployed nuclear weapons, by all States possessing nuclear weapons, in a pragmatic and step by step approach aiming at their total elimination.

6. We recall that the nuclear-weapon States made an unequivocal undertaking in the 2000 NPT RevCon to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals, and this generated a process that would lead to their elimination. At the 2010 NPT RevCon, the nuclear-weapon States reaffirmed their commitment to unequivocally accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament in accordance with ArticleVI and committed to accelerate progress on steps leading to nuclear disarmament.

7. In this regard, we welcome bilateral disarmament measures by Russia and the United States such as in their New START Treaty and encourage them to continue discussions on follow-on measures to the New START Treaty to achieve even deeper reductions in their nuclear arsenals towards achieving the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. We were encouraged by US President Obama’s proposals in his speech in Berlin in June 2013, in which he stated the US intention to seek additional negotiated cuts with Russia and move beyond Cold War nuclear postures. We expect the proposals to lead to progress in negotiations on comprehensive reductions of all types of nuclear weapons.

8. While recognizing the positive impact of unilateral and bilateral reductions, we believe that they do not replace multilateral negotiations towards the ultimate elimination of all types of nuclear weapons.

9. We are deeply concerned about the reported build-up of nuclear arsenals, against the clear intent of the international community to achieve the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. We urge those not yet engaged in nuclear disarmament efforts to reduce their arsenals with the objective of their total elimination.

10. Increasing the transparency of information about nuclear forces has also been an issue of great importance to the NPDI. Without transparency, nuclear disarmament cannot be verified nor would NPT States Parties have complete confidence that nuclear disarmament measures have been accomplished in an irreversible manner. We urge the nuclear-weapon States to use an agreed standard reporting form to meet their obligations to report their disarmament undertakings to the upcoming Third PrepCom. We urge them to build upon this effort by submitting further substantive, timely and meaningful reports at future NPT meetings on their nuclear disarmament undertakings to fulfill their NPT Article VI commitments.

11. Quantitative reductions should be accompanied by steps towards reducing the role and significance of nuclear weapons in security strategies and military doctrines. These steps are important contributions towards the goal of complete nuclear disarmament and will be mutually reinforcing with further quantitative reductions. While we acknowledge steps that have been taken in this regard, we urge nuclear-weapon States to further reduce the role of nuclear weapons and urge others who have not done so to start reducing the role of nuclear weapons in their security strategies and military doctrines.

12. De-alerting nuclear forces is also important not only as a step towards a world free of nuclear weapons, but also to avoid and reduce the risk of catastrophic humanitarian consequences from any unauthorized or accidental launch of nuclear weapons. We urge all nuclear-weapon States to take concrete and meaningful steps, whether unilaterally, bilaterally or regionally, to implement Action 5(e) and 5(f) in the 2010 Action Plan, which, inter alia, call for reducing the risk of accidental use of nuclear weapons.

13. We are deeply concerned and frustrated with the continued stalemate in the Conference on Disarmament (CD). We regret that the CD has failed to fulfil its mandate as the single multilateral disarmament negotiations forum of the international community for more than 18 years. It is time for the CD’s Member States to take bold steps towards fulfilling the CD’s mandate and resume negotiations.

14. As an essential step towards a world free of nuclear weapons, the immediate commencement of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and universally and effectively verifiable treaty to ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (FMCT) that serves both disarmament and non-proliferation purposes remains a priority. We welcome and look forward to the work of the group of governmental experts (GGE) on this issue, which just ended its first session yesterday, in Geneva. We urge the CD to launch negotiations on such a treaty as soon as possible. Pending the conclusion of such negotiations, all nuclear-weapon States and other States in possession of nuclear weapons should declare and maintain a moratorium on the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons.

15. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is also an essential component for achieving nuclear disarmament. We welcome the recent ratification of the Treaty by Brunei Darussalam, Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, and Niue bringing the total number of ratifications to 162. Although the Treaty, 18 years after opening up for signatories, is yet to come into force, we believe that the prohibition of nuclear tests as envisioned by the Treaty has become a de facto international norm. However, without the legally-binding effect of entry into force of the Treaty, such a norm remains fragile. We therefore urge those States whose last remaining signatures and ratifications are necessary for the entry into force of the CTBT to sign and ratify without delay.

16. We are committed to strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the IAEA safeguards system. We consider the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, in combination with an Additional Protocol, to be the international verification standard and call upon all States that have not yet done so to conclude and implement an Additional Protocol without delay. We stand ready to share our experiences and best practices, as well as legal and practical assistance, in cooperation with the IAEA.

17. Furthermore, we underscore the crucial role of export controls to support the fulfilment of nuclear non-proliferation obligations under paragraph 2 of Article III of the NPT. We encourage all States to establish, develop, and maintain appropriate and effective national export controls for nuclear and nuclear-related dual-use goods, equipment and technology. We stand ready to share our individual experiences in the field of export control with other States.

18. Recognizing the serious threat of nuclear terrorism, we reaffirm our commitment in working together to strengthen nuclear security, including to fully implement relevant international requirements. We welcome The Hague Communiqué adopted at the third Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) held in the Netherlands, from 24th to 25th March 2014. The members of NPDI fully support the objectives of the NSS to strengthen nuclear security and reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism. We also reaffirm the essential responsibility and the central role of the IAEA in the international nuclear security architecture.

19. We strongly condemn North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs which undermine the NPT and the global nonproliferation regime as well as pose a great threat to regional and global peace and stability. We condemn and express grave concern at the ballistic missiles launches conducted by North Korea on March 26 (local time), following the launches on March 3. These launches are clear violations of relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. We strongly urge North Korea to comply with its commitments under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement and obligations under all the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and to return to compliance with its IAEA safeguards agreement and the NPT. Furthermore, we urge North Korea to refrain from further provocative actions including, among others, ballistic missile launch, nuclear test or the threat of the use of nuclear weapons. We also deplore the announcement and the efforts by North Korea to readjust and restart the nuclear facilities at Yongbyon and urge North Korea to cease all nuclear activities immediately.

20. We welcome the start of the implementation of the first-steps under the Joint Plan of Action and hope that the on-going negotiations of the E3+3 with Iran will lead to the final and comprehensive resolution of Iran’s nuclear issue. In particular, we urge Iran to swiftly and steadily implement measures, such as the ratification and implementation of its Additional Protocol, to remove international concerns regarding its nuclear activities. In addition, we urge Iran to fulfill the requirements of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and decisions by the IAEA Board of Governors. In this context, we welcome the Framework for Cooperation and the steps implemented to date and fully support the efforts by the E3 + 3 as well as the IAEA. In particular, while respecting Iran’s right to the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in conformity with the NPT and other relevant obligations, we support the IAEA’s efforts to resolve international concerns and all outstanding issues regarding Iranian nuclear activities including Possible Military Dimensions and call upon Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA also in this respect.

21. The NPDI, as a group of non-nuclear-weapon States which are committed to promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, is following with grave concern the situation in Ukraine, which has been the subject of intensive discussions amongst ourselves as well as at the UN General Assembly. The NPDI expects international obligations and commitments to be respected, including the1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

22. We emphasize that the establishment of nuclear-weapons-free zones (NWFZs) on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among States of the region concerned is an important measure in strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament process. We therefore call on all nuclear-weapons States to recognize the value of NWFZs, such as those established by the Treaties of Pelindaba, Rarotonga, Semipalatinsk and Bangkok, by securing ratifications of relevant protocols without reservations contrary to those Treaties’ object and purpose.

23. We regret that the Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, which is an essential and integral part of the final outcomes of the 1995, 2000 and 2010 NPT Review Conferences, has still not been held. We welcome the ongoing consultations among the relevant parties to address outstanding issues and call for the earliest possible convening of a successful conference with the participation of all States of the region on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at. We support the facilitator in his efforts to realize this outcome and call upon the States in the region to engage in a spirit of constructive cooperation that will lead to an inclusive, substantive and goal-oriented conference and follow-up steps.

24. The testimonies of Hibakushas serve as a reminder to us all of why a nuclear war should never be fought. The devastating impact of nuclear weapons has motivated humanity’s aspirations to achieve and sustain the goal of a nuclear weapon free world, which is reflected in the first resolution passed by the UN General Assembly in 1946. The humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons have been reflected in numerous multilaterally negotiated instruments, including the NPT, the Tlatelolco Treaty, as well as the final document of the First Special Session of the General Assembly devoted to Disarmament (SSOD-1).

25. We urge all States to reiterate their deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons, as expressed in the 2010 NPT Review Conference Final Document. In view of such consequences, it is in the interest of all nations that the nearly 69 year record of non-use of nuclear weapons be extended forever.

26. The catastrophic humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons fundamentally underpins all work to succeed in our non-proliferation efforts and to achieve nuclear disarmament in pursuit of a more secure world, particularly through the NPT. The ongoing discussion on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons should be inclusive and universal as well as a catalyst for a united global action towards the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. For this purpose, we encourage all States to contribute actively and constructively in all fora to pursue practical and effective measures that will strengthen the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime based on the NPT, while dealing with diverse nuclear risks.

27. In order to foster further momentum for achieving a world free of nuclear weapons, we stress the significance of spreading awareness of the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons across borders and generations. Through disarmament and non-proliferation education and translation of Hibakushas’ testimonies into multiple languages, messages have been sent to the world about the consequences that nuclear weapons bring. Such endeavors should continue. Efforts to further deepen our understanding of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons based on fact-based scientific studies are important. We welcome all such recent efforts, including during the Conferences on Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in Oslo in March 2013 and Nayarit in February 2014. In this regard, we take note of the offer by the Austrian Government and are looking forward to further discussions on its plans for the next Conference on this issue to be held in Vienna later this year.

28. We recognize the significant role of civil society, and accordingly, the importance of disarmament and non-proliferation education. On the margins of this Hiroshima Ministerial Meeting, we had a welcome opportunity to engage with civil society, including NGOs, students from NPDI Member States, academics and the media. We will continue our engagement with civil society in pursuit of our common objectives.

29. We call upon all NPT States Parties to take part in the Third NPT PrepCom in a spirit of cooperation and good faith, which would maintain the constructive atmosphere created at the previous PrepComs and carry forward that spirit to the Review Conference in 2015. It is the responsibility of all NPT States Parties to fulfill their commitments and obligations under the NPT regime and to work to uphold and strengthen that regime, including through achieving a successful outcome at the 2015 NPT Review Conference.

Last Updated: 29 June 2015