Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Trump's atomic aversion

Letter sent to The Financial Times:
Neither your news report ("Trump welcomes Iran role for Abe,") nor Demetri Sevastopolo's Tokyo Notebook, (both May 28) mentioned the striking statement made by  President Trump in his post meeting joint press conference with Japan's prime minister Abe at the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo on May 27, when he said:
“We have enough problems in this world without nuclear weapons.” (press conference

It is true that President Trump has unilaterally abrogated the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) bilateral treaty with Russia. ("US pulls out of cold war-era nuclear arms treaty, " FT February 1, 2019); that the Pentagon's Nuclear Posture Review issued in February 2018 called for significant enhancement of the  US nuclear weapons 'triad' (; and that the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has begun making a new 'lower-yield' nuclear warhead for its Trident missiles at its Pantex nuclear weapons plant in Texas(

But even the Posture Review document includes the statement "The United States desires a world in which nations no longer require nuclear weapons to maintain international peace and security."
President Trump himself, decades before he became President, when he was still a high profile real estate dealer in New York, showed a detailed interest in the global dangers of nuclear weapons. In an article in Slate on-line investigation journal ("Trump’s Nuclear Experience: In 1987, he set out to solve the world’s biggest problem; it  revealed how, 32 years ago, Trump wanted to begin a crusade to find a way to halt a national security policy based on nuclear mutually assured destruction (MAD)  “before a wild-card nuke deals death to millions.”
In March 2016, in his presidential campaign, Mr Trump told The Washington Post  "The biggest risk for this world and this country is nuclear weapons, the power of nuclear weapons." (Interview with Washington Post  Editorial board, March 16, 2016;

When President Trump visits London next week, he is due to face a significant hostile crowd of protesters, including the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).Nuclear disarmers should be seeking common cause with President Trump on nuclear weapons, not attacking him.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Challenging pro-nuclear nonsense in The Guardian

Letter to The Guardian ( unpublished):

Paul Mason, who you describe as a writer and broadcaster on social justice, makes a very cogent argument  (“Corbynism is now in crisis: the only way forward is to oppose Brexit,” 28 May; for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn revising his political policies in the wake of the Euro-election results.
But in the middle of his sensible analysis, he gratuitously throws in the line Labour “needs to forget scraping Trident.”
Mason believes in progressive restructuring of the economy, and as he argued on BBC radio’s Any Questions? over last weekend, innovative forms of public ownership such as economic mutualism.
This will need significant targeted public investment of taxpayers’s money.
How does Mason think squandering over £200 billion of scarce investment capital on Trident, which brings illusiory security as well as sending the perverse message to North Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia that nuclear WMDs are necessary for national security, would be progressive investment?
And where is its social justice?

Tom Allan's report of his holiday inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone ("Nuclear reaction," Travel, The Guardian, 25 May) was both misleading and dangerous in its assertions.
He gives the impression that the radiation dangers are minimal: "less radiation risk than on a single transatlantic flight," according to his ornithologist Belarusian guide, Valery Yurko.

But the problem around Chernobyl is not average radiation exposure, but the millions of highly radioactive hot spots of radioactive particles spewed from inside the destroyed Chernobyl reactor core. The entire exclusion zone area  has suffered from serious forest fires in the 33 years since the catastrophe, re-suspending these hot particles into the atmosphere and spreading them around.

I would recommend Mr Allan re-read the chilling warning in the incisive article by Dr Kate Brown of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology seven weeks ago ("Chernobyl’s disastrous cover-up is a warning for the next nuclear age of radioactivity," 4 April;, based on her excellent  new academic study 'Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future.'

Mr Allan also inaccurately asserts "so far, the effect (of Chernobyl) radiation on the animal population has not been visible." I suggest he consult the extensive published academic research publications of Professor Tim Mousseau of the Department of Biological Sciences, at the University of South Carolina, and his international colleagues, published across some thirty years [ many of which are included in the references to a recent paper published in the journal Oecologia ('Ecosystems effects 25 years after Chernobyl: pollinators,fruit set and recruitment;,] where  he will find extensively set out the crippling effect of the radioactive contamination on both flora and fauna.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Why do MPs display a contradictory moral compass over renewal of the Trident nuclear WMD system?

At prime minister's questions on Wednesday (22 May) -possibly Mrs May's final appearance?-  former Labour MP, now disaffected independent John Woodcock- representing Barrow-in Furness, the home of BAE Systems' Trident Submarine shipyard - asked the first question on the alleged use of chemical weapons again by Syria, describing this use as the "indiscriminate evil " of deadly weapons. (

Yet Mr Woodcock is the biggest backer in Parliament of Trident nuclear WMD replacement because of the jobs it supports in his local Barrow shipyard. 

But surely he must be aware that any use of Trident would constitute the most indiscriminate use ever of a WMD. Indeed, the day before PMQs, the United Nations' head of weapons research, Renata Dwan, as director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) said the prospective use of nuclear weapons was "at its highest since the second world war,"  and a called for politicians to take urgent action to address the threat of such a catastrophe.(

How does Mr Woodcock  justify this backing of extending the UK WMD capability another sixty years with its renewal this clear contradiction in his moral compass?

And why does Labour's shadow defence secretary, Nia Griffith,  and many other MPs too, agree with him?

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

The cross -party hypocrisy of backing nuclear WMDs

Fifty-one years ago the UK Labour government led the world in pressing for global nuclear disarmament, after several years’ negotiating at the United Nations.


On 18 January 1968, Fred Mulley MP, the then Labour Minister of State for Disarmament at the Foreign Office, told the 358th Plenary meeting of the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Committee  (ENDC) - the forerunner to the present day UN Committee on Disarmament (CD) -  in respect of the then proposed Article 6 on nuclear disarmament of the nascent nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT):


“My own Government have consistently held that the  [Nuclear Nonproliferation] Treaty should and must lead to  such [nuclear ] disarmament.” (emphasis added).


He added:” If it is fair to describe the danger of proliferation as an obstacle to disarmament, it is equally fair to say that without some progress in disarmament, the NPT will not last….As I have made clear in previous speeches my Government accepts the obligation to participate fully in the negotiations required by Article 6 and it is our desire that these negotiations should begin as soon as possible (emphasis added) and should produce speedy and successful results. There is no excuse now for allowing a long delay to follow the signing of this Treaty

Late last month, the UK presented the preparatory committee in New York for the NPT review conference in 2020 with an extraordinary self-serving draft so-called “compliance document,” replete with errors of omission, commission and downright hypocritical distortion (“National Report Pursuant to Actions 5, 20, and 21 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) 2010 Review Conference Final Document;   Report submitted by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The document states boldly in its first paragraph:” The report outlines our commitment to achieving our long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons by highlighting our efforts on disarmament, verification and safeguards.(emphasis added)

Yet on Monday, at her first defence question time, new defence secretary Penny Mordaunt told a Tory MP cheerleading for Trident nuclear WMD: “the UK’s continuous at-sea deterrence posture will remain essential to the UK’s security". (Hansard, 20 May 2019) (

Extraordinarily, Jeremy Corbyn’s own shadow  defence secretary, Nia Griffith, agrees with Mordant, as she backs Trident replacement. She should be promising to implement Labour’s  innovative nuclear disarmament policy from fifty years ago. Why doesn’t she?

Monday, 20 May 2019

Atomic Armageddon revisited: The utter hypocrisy of nuclear armed bullies


Last week the drums of war beat louder and louder as Washington and Tehran cranked up the bellicose rhetoric over Iran’s alleged atomic ambitions in the Gulf region.(Old grudges, new weapons… is the US on the brink of war with Iran?”, Observer, 19 May;; “John Bolton: the man driving the US towards war … any war,” Guardian, 17 May;; “Iran tells Middle East militias: prepare for proxy war,” Guardian 16 May;

US National Security Adviser John Bolton, widely thought to be behind the  recent mobilisation of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier to the Arabian Sea, under the control of CentCom (US Central Command in the Middle East) and the sending of  B-52 strategic bombers to  the US air base al-Udeid in the south-west of Doha, Qatar, was reported to have asserted that these deployments were  in response to “Iran’s worrying behaviours,” [with the aim of sending]  “a clear message to the Iranian regime that any attack on the interests of the United States or its allies will be met with unrelenting power.”

Even US President Trump quipped to the White House press corps on Thursday: “I actually temper John, which is pretty amazing.”

Then on Sunday  Trump himself tweeted a very bellicose warning to Iran. “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” He was repeating a warning he issued in July last year,in a Tweet in capita letters that shouted: “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”

“Trump: ‘If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran’ Politico, 19 May 2019;

Frightening times.

These developments have understandably alarmed commentators, for example in the US ‘Don’t Fight Iran,” (New York Times, 19 May;   and in the UK  Owen Jones’s regular Guardian column “With Bolton whispering in Trump’s ear, war with Iran is no longer unthinkable,” 17 May;

But Iran is not taking criticisms its international security policies quietly, and  has diplomatically fought back. Ironically the place where it has done so most forcibly  has been a diplomatic review committee  at the United Nations in New York, held over end of April and start of May.

At the Preparatory Committee for next year’s Review Conference for the 1968 Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) [for which Iran was the first state to ratify in 1970], Iranian delegate Bahram Shahaboddin said in his closing statement that nonnuclear weapon states were “completely frustrated by the 50-year lack of progress on nuclear disarmament,” and continuing delaying tactics by the nuclear powers” adding robustly “We must not allow this to happen again. In 2020, we must say loud and clear enough is enough. He singled out the United States for spending $1.2 trillion on its nuclear arsenal and “brazenly” threatening nonnuclear weapon states with nuclear weapons.” (“US says agreement will be tough at 2020 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review,” AP, 11 May 2019;

Before the PrepCom got underway, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hinted that quitting the NPT was one of Iran’s “numerous choices,” after the United States tightened sanctions on Tehran. (“Iran says leaving nuclear NPT one of many choices after U.S. sanctions move, Reuters, 28 April  2019

When the PrepCom meeting finished on 10 May, US  Ambassador Robert Wood said reaching agreement at the 2020 conference “will be an incredibly difficult task.” but was “one we cannot abandon.”

The entire two week diplomatic negotiation at the UN in New York on the most pressing security  issue of the century - extinction threat from the multiple use of nuclear WMDs- inexplicably received zero media coverage in the UK.

Malaysia’s U.N. Ambassador Syed Mohd Hasrin Tengku Hussin, chair of the PrepCom  told a news conference at the finish of the meeting that delegates “do not agree on everything but remain committed to full implementation” of the NPT, and talked about “how to accelerate measures to a nuclear-free world.”

Citing “significant challenges,” he noted that the meeting took place “at a time of increasing international tension and deteriorating relationships between those countries that possess nuclear weapons” — the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France.

Hussin also singled out differences between nuclear weapon and nonnuclear weapon states on disarmament.

Rebecca Johnson, a security analyst - and founding president of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize - observed: “The real questions for 2020 are going to be about the nuclear risks and treaties under threat from a few narcissistic leaders who are pulling out of them in order to keep proliferating and deploying nuclear weapons. Their dangerous actions undermine not only the NPT … which we need to protect humanity from nuclear war, but climate catastrophes that threaten security for all of us.”

The UK presented the PrepCom with an extraordinary self-serving draft so-called compliance document, replete with errors of omission, commission and downright hypocritical distortion (“National Report Pursuant to Actions 5, 20, and 21 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) 2010 Review Conference Final Document;   Report submitted by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

It opened with this assertion and invitation. “This is a draft document which we share with a wide audience to gather feedback on what we are doing well and what we could do differently. We will then produce a final version of the report for the Review Conference next year.”

I have thus picked out some of its more egregious errors. 

The document states boldly in its first paragraph:” The report outlines our commitment to achieving our long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons by highlighting our efforts on disarmament, verification and safeguards. We firmly believe the best way to achieve this is through gradual nuclear disarmament, negotiated using a step-by-step approach within existing international frameworks, taking into account current and future security risks.”

Since the UK negotiated the NPT text in the mid-1960s, along with the then two other permanent UN Security council members prepared to sign the treaty, the US and former Soviet Union – France and China joined later - not one UK nuclear warhead or missile has been withdrawn form service as a result of bilateral or multilateral negotiations. All removals have been unilateral. Yet Article 6 of the NPT sets out:

“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 …under strict and effective international control.”

It is obvious the UK has had no intention of fulfilling this obligation (despite early commitments prior to signing th etreaty  to do so), nor does the current Conservative Government have any plans do so either. For example, the recently sacked Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson told MPs in Defence Questions on 14 January this year  that “We constantly have discussions right across Government to make sure that our continuous at-sea nuclear deterrence can be sustained… and will continue to do so in the long term.. our nuclear deterrent has kept Britain, and also our NATO partners, safe over 50 years… We have to recognise the need to invest in a whole spectrum of different capabilities, [including] nuclear deterrence..” (

The UK Government even held a religious service at Westminster Abbey in London to mark 50 years of  nuclear –powered, nuclear weapons carrying Polaris/Trident nuclear submarines continuous-at-sea –deployment (CASD) on the middle Friday of the NPT PrepCom, as if to emphasise their complete contempt for the process underway in New York. (The Times, 3 May 2019,

Post 1968 when the UK signed the NPT, the UK possession and deployment of nuclear WMDs was no longer solely a UK national security issue, but an international legal nuclear disarmament  obligation.


Let me demonstrate, using materials extracted from British Official diplomatic papers I discovered in the British National Archives  the differences between British official disarmament promises recorded for posterity and contrast those with the subsequent belligerent nuclear practice  of development and deployment of  Polaris and its replacement Trident nuclear WMD systems, in violation of clear NPT commitments and on-the-record pledges. 

A memorandum prepared by the Foreign Office in advance of the visit to London of the then Soviet premier, Alexei Kosygin, in February 1967, included the following final paragraph:

“We assume that the Soviet Union regard, as we do, the proposed review conference (for the NPT) as being an adequate assurance  to the non-nuclears that the military nuclear powers are serious about the need for action on nuclear disarmament.”

Nearly a year later, on 18 January 1968, Fred Mulley MP, the then Labour Minister of State for Disarmament at the Foreign Office, told the 358th Plenary meeting of the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Committee  (ENDC) - the forerunner to the present day UN Committee on Disarmament (CD) -  in respect of the then proposed Article 6 of the nascent NPT:

“My own Government have consistently held that the  [Nuclear Nonproliferation] Treaty should and must lead to  such [nuclear ] disarmament.” (emphasis added).

He added:” If it is fair to describe the danger of proliferation as an obstacle to disarmament, it is equally fair to say that without some progress in disarmament, the NPT will not last….As I have made clear in previous speeches my Government accepts the obligation to participate fully in the negotiations required by Article 6 and it is our desire that these negotiations should begin as soon as possible (emphasis added) and should produce speedy and successful results. There is no excuse now for allowing a long delay to follow the signing of this Treaty, as happened after the Partial Test Ban Treaty, before further measures can be agreed and implemented.”


Mr Mulley subsequently wrote a confidential memorandum to the British Cabinet Defence and Overseas Policy Committee (OPD(68)6), on 26 January 1968, in which he set out the then policy position on NPT article 6 (which at this stage in negotiations did not yet include the clause “at an early date”):


“A number of countries may withhold their ratification of the Treaty until the nuclear weapon states show they are taking seriously the obligations which this Article imposes upon them. It will therefore be essential to follow the Treaty up quickly with further nuclear disarmament measures  (emphasis added) if it is to be brought into force and remain in force thereafter.”


The UK government’s contemporary NPT ‘compliance paper makes this self-serving assertion in favour of nuclear weapons as instruments of national defence:


“The UK independent nuclear deterrent will remain essential to our security today, and for as long as the global security situation demands. Other states continue to maintain significant nuclear arsenals and there is a continuing risk of further proliferation of nuclear weapons. Recent changes in the international security environment remind us that there remains a risk that states might use their nuclear capability to threaten the UK, or our vital interests. The existence of states who engage in provocative nuclear rhetoric; rely on doctrine that promotes the use of nuclear weapons; and develop new delivery capabilities designed to undermine strategic stability are a constant reminder that our independent nuclear deterrent remains essential to deter the most extreme threats to our national security and that of our Allies.”


In so doing it unintentionally demonstrates the illogic of decades of extreme “bad faith” – which in itself is extraordinary as the UK is a depositary state charged with protecting and promoting the furtherance of the aims of the NPT.


The paper also states this demonstrable falsehood in a section purporting to be on Reporting on national measures relating to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy:

“The UK was the first country to establish a civil nuclear industry with the opening of the Calder Hall reactor in 1956.”


This is fake news of the very worst sort, as Calder Hall was designed, developed and used as a plutonium manufacturing plant for material for the nuclear warhead stockpile. This is documented fact, of which the authors of the UK ‘compliance paper’ are, to be charitable, incompetently ignorant, or more probably, mendaciously misleading.


In fact it was clearly stated at the time of the plant’s opening, in a remarkable little book entitled Calder Hall: The Story of Britain’s First Atomic Power Station, written by Kenneth Jay, and published by the Government’s Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell to mark Calder’s commissioning in October 1956.  Mr Jay wrote:

Major plants built for military purposes such as Calder Hall are being used as prototypes for civil plants . . . the plant has been designed as a dual-purpose plant to produce plutonium for military purposes as well as electric power . . . it would be wrong to pretend that the civil programme has not benefitted from, and is not to some extent dependent upon, the military programme."

When Washington and Whitehall charge Iran with telling untruths about the real facts of its nuclear programme, they should first look at their own extremely challengeable and distorted record.

Calder Hall

Queen Elizabeth II opened Calder Hall on October 17 1956 and delegates from 48 countries gathered at the nuclear site for the ceremony.





E-News, May 2019
International peace and disarmament is arguably in crisis. Much of this can be ascribed to the United States’ reckless trashing of past arms control agreements. Earlier this month, the world learned that next to its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, the US administration announced that it will revoke its signature from the Arms Trade Treaty. This affront to multilateralism also creates space for other countries to consider their own participation in these agreements. Against this backdrop, “it becomes extremely challenging to understand how to advance peace and security,” as Ray Acheson observes in one of her editorials of the NPT News in Review during this month’s nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee. However, the challenge to multilateralism can also generate activism and diplomacy to preserve and enhance our collective security in new, creative ways. Those believing in diplomacy and cooperation seem to draw even more energy, resilience, and courage from the destructive behaviour of a few. During the NPT PrepCom, for example, many non-nuclear armed states, energised by their common achievement of the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), rallied behind each other with a fierceness rarely seen before to ensure that the draft outcome of the meeting reflected the position of the majority rather than the minority. While by no means easy to sustain, this attitude should give us hope that peace and security can be achieved, and that the tide is slowly but surely changing against the few nuclear-armed states and their nuclear-supportive allies.
NPT PrepCom: Non-nuclear armed states took a strong stance for nuclear disarmament and gender considerations have increased considerably
The Third Preparatory Committee of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) took place from 29 April to 11 May in New York. This was the last preparatory meeting before the Review Conference in 2020. The Reaching Critical Will team provided extensive coverage of the meeting, including live Tweeting and regular editions of the NPT News in Review. As usual, we made all relevant conference documents and statements available on our website. in past years, RCW coordinated the NGO presentation segment, delivered on 1 May. You can find all statements, including WILPF’s statement on gender and the NPT, on the website. Reaching Critical Will also organised morning briefings with government representatives for civil society. Prior to the conference, Reaching Critical Will published its 2019 NPT briefing book, and its 2019 edition of Assuring destruction forever.
(Picture: The Reaching Critical Will team and Alicia Sanders-Zakre from Arms Control Association who supported the team during the two weeks.)

The third PrepCom is among other things tasked with trying to adopt recommendations for the upcoming Review Conference. The Chair produced two draft texts. According to the majority of participants, the second draft better reflected the majority view in the room, particularly on issues related to nuclear disarmament. The nuclear-armed states were irate that their view, that the “security environment” is not ripe for any further action on disarmament, was not reflected in the document. Since they could not be adopted by consensus, the draft recommendations were put into a Chair’s working paper to be submitted to the RevCon. While not perfect, the second draft of the recommendations includes good language on the deep concerns over the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, on the complementarity of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) with the NPT, on the active encouragement of states parties to support gender diversity in their delegations, and on the central importance of implementing obligations and commitments to accomplish nuclear abolition.

Gender considerations received heightened attention this year throughout the PrepCom. Various states raised the disproportionate impact of nuclear weapons on women and girls, the need for increased diversity of participation in NPT discussions, and Ireland called on states parties to promote “discourse that overcomes gendered stereotypes about power and security.” Many working papers and side events addressed different aspects of gender in the NPT. RCW’s Ray Acheson participated as panellist in the side event Gender and the NPT: building momentum to 2020 and beyond, organised by Ireland, that attracted a broad and diverse audience and that sparked rich and honest discussions. 
Outside of UN conference rooms, broad public support for the abolition of nuclear weapons continues to rise
While the majority of diplomats and civil society trapped in windowless UN conference rooms stood their ground against the few nuclear-armed bullies and their allies, much has also happened meanwhile outside of UN walls!

Prior to the start of this year’s PrepCom, more than 100 Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) activists met in New York and strategised together on the way forward to ensure that the Treaty on the Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) enters into force as quickly as possible. Campaigners left the meeting energised and committed as ever to advance the nuclear ban. On Earth Day, 22 April, ICAN and others mobilised for the elimination of nuclear weapons in light of its immense destructive power it would have on life on earth. And on 10 May, great news came from Germany’s capital: Berlin has joined the ICAN cities appeal. This is especially powerful as Berlin is also a federal state. resources rallying for the nuclear ban continue to pop up everywhere. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) just published its Treaty Ratification Kit, and PAX and ICAN released their report Producing mass destruction: Private companies and the nuclear weapons industry. It finds, amongst others, that governments have more than $116 billion in contracts with private companies to make key components of nuclear weapons, and it calls out 28 companies that are heavily involved in the nuclear weapon industry. As we near the entry into force of the TPNW, these companies will move further into the spotlight, and should therefore immediately cease their involvement in the development, testing and production of nuclear weapons.

Lastly, stay tuned for the world premiere of the documentary Nuclear Weapons: the beginning of the end featuring RCW’s Ray Acheson along with many other ICAN activists and ban treaty diplomats. The film will be shown on 6 June at 7PM in Village East Cinema, New York, and registration is still open! Pressenza, that produced the documentary, encourages anybody that’s interested to organise a showing in your own city.
(Picture credits: ICAN & PAX)
Protecting civilians from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas

On 23 May, the UN Security Council will mark the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1265 (1999) with an open debate on the protection of civilians. Twenty years after the Security Council included the protection of civilians as an item in its agenda, immense work remains to be done. The original mandate was motivated, among other things, by the Council’s “deep concern” at the erosion of respect for international humanitarian law during armed conflict. This erosion has since continued. Many items will be up for discussion during the open debate. One that WILPF’s disarmament programme is focusing on is the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, which has devastating impacts on human beings and the physical and social infrastructure of cities, towns, and communities. The UN Secretary-General once again raises this issue in his protection of civilians report released on 7 May 2019. He highlights attacks on civilians and civilian objects using explosive weapons, including in Central African Republic, Syria, and Yemen. In the report, he reiterates his call on all parties to conflict to avoid the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and expresses his support for the development of a political declaration that would commit states to this. He also welcomes the decision of Austria to host an international conference in October 2019 to raise awareness of the problem of explosive weapons in populated areas and encourages UN member states to participate constructively to initiate a process to draft a declaration.

Ahead of the debate, the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW), of which WILPF is a member, released an updated briefing paper on this issue. In it, we call on states to acknowledge the humanitarian suffering caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, endorse the UN Secretary-General and International Committee of the Red Cross’ recommendation that states should “avoid the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas,” and indicate support for the development of a political instrument to stop the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and provide a framework for victim assistance.

WILPF has consistently highlighted the gendered harms and other human rights violations that can be caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. We continue to call on states to end this practice and to also end arms transfers where there is a risk of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
Upcoming events

Conference on Disarmament, Part 2
13 May—28 June 2019, Geneva
Featured news

Tensions rise amidst US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal

A year after US withdrawal from the Joint Nuclear Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran’s deputy foreign minister informed that Iran’s “patience is running out.” He called out the United States’ “bullying behavior” and its violation of UN Security Council resolution 2231, which endorsed the JCPOA. Iran’s president announced that the country would begin scaling back curbs to its nuclear programme in 60 days if countries did not shield it from US unilateral and unlawful sanctions. An Israeli cabinet minister warned of possible direct or proxy Iranian attacks on Israel should the lack of agreement between Tehran and Washington escalate. United Kingdom’s Jeremy Hunt expressed concern at an unintended escalation, and called for a “a period of calm so that everyone understands what the other side is thinking”. European signatories to the agreement reaffirmed their support for the JCPOA but rejected Iran’s two-month deadline, and urged Iran to continue implementing the agreement. In the meantime, the US has approved the deployment of Patriot missiles to the Middle East, just months after the Pentagon removed several Patriot batteries from the Middle East. The US also recently re-imposed economic sanctions on Iran targeting the country’s energy and banking sectors.

US administration proposes new arms control agreement with Russia and China but China isn’t interested

After US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), the US administration proposed a trilateral nuclear arms-control agreement that would bring Russia’s nuclear weapons unregulated by treaties under new limits, and to limit or verify China’s nuclear capabilities for the first time. However, China indicated that it has no interest in negotiating a nuclear control treaty with the United States and Russia.

New report: the UK House of Lords International Relations Committee on the rising threat of nuclear weapons use

The International Relations Committee published its report “Rising nuclear risk, disarmament and the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.” It called on the UK government to endorse the principle that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” urging the UK government to address the grave concerns about the deteriorating state of nuclear diplomacy.

US administration announces its withdrawal from the Arms Trade Treaty
The US president announced at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting that it will “revoke the effect of America’s signature from this badly misguided Treaty.” The US signed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in 2013 under President Barack Obama but has never been ratified by US lawmakers. The Treaty regulates international trade in conventional arms and seeks to prevent and eradicate illicit trade and diversion of conventional arms. The US administration has not yet decided whether it will continue to attend international conferences or contribute funds related to the Treaty.

China considers joining Arms Trade Treaty

The Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang announced that China considers joining the ATT as it supports the Treaty’s goals. After the US’ withdrawal from the ATT, China said that it hoped that relevant countries can do more to strengthen the mechanism of international arms control and safeguard international and regional peace and stability.

Lebanon becomes 102nd state party to the Arms Trade Treaty

On 9 May, Lebanon deposited its instrument of ratification with the United Nations. It is the second ATT state party in the Middle East after Palestine’s accession in 2017. Following the deposit ceremony, Ambassador Amal Mudallali of Lebanon stated that, “Lebanon, who knows too well the pain and suffering that conflict and arms bring to humanity, is proud to become the 102nd State Party to the Arms Trade Treaty today. There are millions of people suffering from the consequences of unregulated trade in conventional arms around the world, and the Arms Trade Treaty gives hope to address this.”

France confirms contested arms exports to Saudi Arabia

The French government confirmed a new shipment of weapons to Saudi Arabia, despite claims that Saudi Arabia is using French arms in the Yemen war. France’s Defence Minister Parly refused to identify the types of arms but reaffirmed France’s stance that they have been used only for defensive purposes by Saudi Arabia.

Brazil’s President signs decree easing gun imports

President Jair Bolsonaro signed a decree to ease restrictions on gun imports and increase the amount of ammunition a person can buy. The decree had initially been designed to ease restrictions for collectors, marksmen and hunters but was expanded to include other provisions. The decree raised a limit on ammunition purchases to 5,000 cartridges per year for normal guns. The previous cap was 50 cartridges per year for average citizens, with discretionary limits for soldiers, police, hunters and some other categories left to the Brazilian military.

Teachers in Florida can now arm themselves under new gun bill

Legislature in Florida passed a bill allowing teachers to carry guns in the classroom, expanding a program launched after the deadly high school shooting in Parkland with the aim of preventing another massacre. Florida’s House of Representatives voted 65 to 47 to pass the bill after hours of debate in which the Republican majority thwarted Democratic efforts to amend or stop the measure. Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law, enabling school districts wishing to take part in the voluntary Guardian program to arm teachers who pass a 144-hour training course.

Report finds that US-led coalition airstrikes in Raqqa killed at least 1,6000 civilians 

Amnesty International, along with the monitoring group Airwars, released a report on the US-led coalition’s air and artillery campaign during the four-month offensive to retake the Raqqa, Syria, in 2017. The report found that the coalition strikes killed at least 1,6000 civilians. The coalition had admitted responsibility for having killed 159 civilians in Raqqa.

World military expenditure grows to $1.8 trillion in 2018

The Stockholm International Research Institute (SIPR) released its 2018 report on world military expenditures which has risen to $1822 billion in 2018, representing an increase of 2.6 per cent from 2017.The five biggest spenders in 2018 were the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, India, and France, accounting together for 60 per cent of global military spending.

Global Campaign on Military Spending concluded successfully

The Global Day(s) of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) took place from 13 April to 9 May under the slogan Demilitarise: invest in People’s Needs!Almost 20 countries participated in this year’s campaign, with at least 60 actions. Civil society, activists, and academics from all over the world organised a wide range of different activities, from vigils, protests, conferences, online campaigns, and exhibitions, raising awareness about the counter-productive results of military expenditure.
Recommended reading
Gilbert Holleufer, “The masculine condition in contemporary warfare,” Humanitarian Law and Policy, International Committee of the Red Cross, 14 May 2019

Christine Ahn, “More US Pressure on North Korea is not the Path to Denuclearisation,” Truthout, 9 May 2019

Jon Schwarz, “How to dismantle the absurd profitability of nuclear weapons,” The Intercept, 4 May 2019

Producing mass destruction: Private companies and the nuclear weapons industry, PAX/International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), 2 May 2019

Mary Wareham, “Mary Wareham: Why NZ should ban killer robots”Radio New Zealand, 1 May 2019

Frank Slijper, Alice Beck, and Daan Kayser,“State of AI—Artificial intelligence, the military and increasingly autonomous weapons,” PAX, April 2019

Madeleine Rees, “On UN Security Council Resolution 2467,” Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 30 April 2019

Bonnie Docherty, “Clinic Reports Show Benefits of Joining the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty Outweigh Concerns,” 30 April 2019

International Peace Institute, “Policy, Promise, and Pitfalls: Women, Peace, and Security in 2020,” 18 April 2019

International Human Rights Clinic of Harvard, “Victim Assistance and Environmental Remediation in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons—Myths and Realities,” April 2019

United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs, “Civil Society and Disarmament 2018—Advocacy by Non-Governmental Organisations to Strengthen the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons,” 2018


Reflections from the Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee Meeting


Our Research Fellow in proliferation and nuclear policy has just returned from the latest meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in an optimistic mood.

Between the 29 April and 10 May, states parties to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) met for the final Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) before the treaty Review Conference (RevCon) in 2020. The atmosphere at the meeting seemed surprisingly positive, despite enduring hurdles to the adoption of a consensus document in 2020. As representatives of many states pointed out, there is increased pressure on the 2020 RevCon to produce a ‘successful’ outcome. This, in part, is a result of the slow progress on disarmament efforts by the nuclear weapons states (NWS), but also because 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the entry into force of the NPT, and 25 years since states parties agreed to its indefinite extension. There have been many debates over what a ‘successful’ RevCon might look like, often predicated on achieving a consensus document. But during the most recent PrepCom, a statement by Japan was much more poignant: ‘the world is expecting a meaningful outcome of 2020’. The common themes at the first week of the PrepCom meeting indicate four areas that can contribute to a ‘meaningful’ outcome for 2020 and that can be sustained beyond the RevCon: transparency; verification; progressing disarmament; and risk reduction.


Transparency was regularly cited by states parties as a priority action point. The UK has taken initiative in this space, publishing a draft implementation report for the PrepCom, and holding a side event during the first week to solicit feedback. The group of states that make up the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) have also championed transparency, drafting a reporting format to help guide states to produce common and comparable national implementation reports, which was submitted as a working paper to this year’s PrepCom. The format proposed by the NPDI differs slightly from that used by the UK, which follows the format agreed to by the P5 Process (the permanent, veto-power members of the UN Security Council). However, the differences in report formatting should not be a barrier; while a check-list is helpful, a written report should be viewed as the start of transparency, not the end product. Efforts to be transparent need to go beyond paper to include dialogue between the NWS and between the NWS and non-nuclear weapons states (NNWS).

At present, some states do not view transparency as a process. For example, although France referred to transparency, it was done so by highlighting the information that could be found in open sources and supported by the circulation of a document that outlines French nuclear policy and capabilities written by a non-governmental expert. This approach dismisses the purpose of transparency – not an information sharing exercises as an end in itself, but one which builds trust and confidence between all states parties.


Disarmament verification work was also a prominent feature of the NPT PrepCom. The recently concluded Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on disarmament verification seems to have made a valuable contribution, raising political awareness of this technical work. Up until 2014 when the US launched the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification, technical work on verification had been limited to a small number of states. Although the IPNDV includes around 25 participants, it still struggles to consistently included a wider range of countries: this outcome is partly due to limited resources; partly due to weak political buy-in from all states.

Although at present the verification tools required are not attached to implementing a specific treaty, technical work can make progress to ensure that when a disarmament treaty is negotiated , the technical tools to implement it are available.

However, because of the relatively exclusive nature of this work and its technical focus, verification has not earned the attention it deserves. The GGE, tasked with advancing political discussions not technical progress, has helped to improve this. During the PrepCom a Norwegian statement, informed by the GGE, proposed setting up a trust fund under the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs: a pot of money that lower-resourced states could use to support their regular engagement with technical verification work to strengthen inclusivity and improve the relationships between NWS and NNWS within the NPT. The ongoing challenge here will be China's and Russia’s lacking participation. During the PrepCom Russia stated that without a negotiated treaty to underpin this work, technical work on verification is premature.

Progressing Disarmament

In debating how to progress disarmament, the PrepCom meeting re-highlighted the question of prioritising the implementation of previously agreed actions over new initiatives. Many states called on the NWS to fully implement the 13 Steps and the 2010 Action Plan which call for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, as well as a reduction in stockpiles and in the prominence of nuclear weapons in security doctrines. Alternatively, some states have proposed new initiatives for progress in disarmament, such as the US’s Creating the Environment for Nuclear Disarmament, and the announcement of the Swedish initiative to support implementation of Article 6 of the NPT, both of which will formally kick off this summer.

Reducing Nuclear Risks

The debate on progressing disarmament was also coupled with a discussion on the efforts to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles relative to the value of policy changes to support disarmament. However, this conversation was made increasingly difficult by the US statement declaring that numerical reductions have ‘gone as far as [they] can’ in the current environment. Still, the US did also note that space for dialogue remains, complementing a growing conversation on nuclear risk reduction. This discussion also reflects the multi-faceted nature of disarmament, recognising that it is not just about numerical reductions but changes to nuclear weapons policies which are likely to reduce the NWS’ reliance on these capabilities.

Towards 2020 and Beyond

Efforts to promote transparency are not a one-time offering and must be thought of as part of an ongoing dialogue. A key part of this will be ensuring that the NWS are able to engage with each other and with the NNWS actively. The opportunity created by the UK provides a great example of how to action this, which will hopefully be carried beyond this review cycle. Given that transparency did feature frequently in PrepCom discussions, the NWS should be encouraged to follow the UK’s lead here.

Of course, technical work on disarmament verification will not be sufficient to fulfil disarmament commitments, but it should be an enduring key component. At a minimum, the current level of technical work should be maintained, and the efforts of the GGE to broaden political engagement should be bolstered. Ways to take this forward will hopefully be clearer once the GGE report is published.

Engaging in dialogue on risk reduction should be prioritised. It provides an opportunity to reconsider the conversation on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons and reaffirm negative security assurances – two issues raised by many in the PrepCom. At a minimum all states parties, but especially the NWS, should restate in 2020 that ‘nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought’. Although China did re-state this at the PrepCom, widespread reaffirmation was lacking.

The PrepCom demonstrated that states parties are willing to work hard to maintain the NPT process. Although a consensus outcome for the 2020 RevCon remains far from assured, the 2019 PrepCom has laid the foundations to a more positive outlook. And it has spurred creative thinking.

Cristina Varriale is a Research Fellow in the Proliferation and Nuclear Policy group at RUSI.

BANNER IMAGE: Opening remarks by the US delegation at the 2018 PrepCom. Courtesy of US Mission to Geneva/Eric Bridie

The views expressed in this Commentary are the author’s, and do not necessarily reflect those of RUSI or any other institution.



 NPT/CONF.2020/PC.III/CRP.4/Rev.1 Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons 9 May 2019 English only



 Third session

New York, 29 April–10 May 2019

Recommendations to the 2020 Review Conference

The Preparatory Committee reaffirms the need to continue to move with determination towards the

full implementation of the provisions of the Treaty and realisation of its objectives, and accordingly conveys to the 2020 Review Conference the following recommendations for consideration, without prejudice to the work of the Review Conference:

1. Reaffirm commitment to the Treaty, and its full and urgent implementation, and the continued validity of the commitments and undertakings of past review conferences, bearing in mind, inter alia, the 50th Anniversary of its entry into force, and the 25th Anniversary of its indefinite extension.

2. Reaffirm the conviction that the Treaty is the cornerstone of the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, is integral to international peace and security and facilitates international cooperation on peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

3. Reaffirm that the full, non-discriminatory and balanced implementation of the three pillars of the Treaty remains essential for promoting its credibility and effectiveness and in realizing its objectives.

4. Reaffirm commitment to the full implementation of the provisions of the Treaty and realisation of its objectives, as well as the reaffirmation of the previous commitments made within the NPT framework, including the 1995 Review and Extension Conference, the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference and the conclusions and recommendations for follow-on action of the 2010 Review Conference.

5. Reaffirm the responsibility of all States parties to the full implementation of the Treaty and the importance of open, inclusive and transparent dialogue to achieve this end.

6. Express concern at the erosion of the treaty-based disarmament architecture and underscore the mutually reinforcing relationship of its relevant treaties. NPT/CONF.2020/PC.III/ CRP.4/Rev.1



I. Nuclear Disarmament

7. Reaffirm the commitment by all States parties to the full and effective implementation of Article VI of the Treaty, and the unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament, to which all States parties are committed under article VI of the Treaty and call for immediate action by the nuclear-weapon States to comply with their relevant obligations.

8. Reaffirm the commitment by all States parties, especially the nuclear-weapon States, to pursue policies that are fully compatible with the Treaty and the objective of achieving a world without nuclear weapons.

9. Call for accelerated actions by the nuclear-weapon States in accomplishing the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals, in an irreversible, transparent and verifiable manner.

10. Reaffirm the importance of the preservation and continued implementation of bilateral arms control agreements between the Russian Federation and the United States, and the need for urgent progress in this regard, including the extension of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty) and the negotiation of a successor agreement leading to further reductions.

11. Reaffirm the essential contribution of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation to international peace and security.

12. Call for concrete and measureable steps to reduce the alert status of nuclear weapon systems in a way that promotes international stability and security, with a view to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

13. Call for the elaboration of measures that can contribute to building confidence and to reduce the risk of the use of nuclear weapons, either intentionally, by miscalculation, or by accident, in the context of achieving nuclear disarmament.

14. Encourage States parties to report to the 2020 Review Conference and the next review cycle on their implementation of the Treaty, including commitments undertaken during previous review cycles, and to agree to make future regular national reports at specified frequencies to enhance transparency; call on nuclear-weapon States to agree on a standard reporting form, and also call on all States parties to use a reporting form that ensures national reports provide accurate, up-to-date, complete and comparable information; and encourage sufficient time to be allocated at the 2020 Review Conference and during the next review cycle for interactive discussions on the substance of national reports.

15. Call on nuclear-weapon States to cease the development of new types of nuclear weapons, and refrain from qualitative improvements to existing nuclear weapons, and further minimize the role and significance of nuclear weapons in all military and security concepts, doctrines and policies, with a view to their total elimination.

16. Reiterate the deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, including any intentional or accidental nuclear explosion and call for further consideration to prevent the devastation that would be visited upon all humanity by a nuclear war and the consequent need to make every effort to avert the danger of such a war and to take measures to safeguard the security of peoples; and reaffirm the need for all States at all times to comply with applicable international law, including international humanitarian law.

17. Call for the entry into force as soon as possible of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), recalling the responsibility of all States to promote that Treaty; call for NPT/CONF.2020/PC.III/ CRP.4/Rev.1



the urgent signature and/or ratification of the CTBT by the remaining eight Annex 2 States necessary for the entry into force of the CTBT, highlighting the special responsibility of the nuclear-weapon States in this regard; reaffirm, pending the entry into force of the CTBT, the need to maintain moratoria on nuclear test explosions and to refrain from any action that could defeat the objective and purpose of the CTBT; and calls for increased support for the Provisional Technical Secretariat and the International Monitoring System.

18. Call for the immediate commencement of negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament, on a verifiable, non-discriminatory comprehensive convention banning nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices.

19. Call for the immediate commencement of negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament, on a verifiable, non-discriminatory and universal treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

20. Call for the immediate commencement of negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament, of effective international legally binding arrangements to assure non-nuclear weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.

21. Acknowledge the need for a legally-binding norm to prohibit nuclear weapons in order to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.

22. Acknowledge the support by many States parties for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and its complementarity to the NPT.

23. Reaffirm that effective and credible nuclear disarmament verification is essential to achieving and maintaining a world without nuclear weapons and welcome ongoing work in this regard aimed at promoting trust and confidence among nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear weapon States, as well as the development of appropriate multilateral technical capabilities.

24. Support the establishment of further nuclear-weapon-free zones and the entry into force of all Protocols to nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties; as well as the review of reservations and interpretive statements made by nuclear-weapon States in connection to the aforementioned Protocols; and taking into account the Fourth Conference of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Mongolia in April 2020.

II. Nuclear Non-Proliferation

25. Reaffirm that IAEA safeguards are a fundamental component of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, play an indispensable role in the implementation of the Treaty and help to create an environment conducive to nuclear cooperation.

26. Reaffirm that the IAEA is the competent authority responsible for verifying and assuring, in accordance with the Statute of IAEA and the IAEA safeguards system, compliance by States parties with the safeguards agreements undertaken in fulfilment of their obligations under Article III, paragraph 1, of the Treaty and underscore that nothing should be done to undermine the authority of the IAEA in this regard.

27. Urge States party to the Treaty that have yet to bring into force comprehensive safeguards agreements with the IAEA to do so as soon as possible and without further delay. Encourage all States parties with small quantities protocols that have not yet done so to amend or rescind them as soon as possible. Encourage also all States parties that have not yet done so to conclude and to bring into force additional protocols as soon as possible. NPT/CONF.2020/PC.III/ CRP.4/Rev.1



28. Encourage the IAEA to further facilitate and assist the States parties upon request in the conclusion, entry into force and implementation of comprehensive safeguards agreements and additional protocols. Encourage also the IAEA and States parties to consider specific measures that would promote the universalization of the comprehensive safeguards agreements, and adherence to additional protocols.

29. Recognize that comprehensive safeguards agreements have been successful in their main focus of providing assurance regarding non-diversion of declared nuclear material and have also provided a limited level of assurance regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. Note that the implementation of measures specified in the model additional protocol provides, in an effective and efficient manner, increased confidence about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in a State as a whole. Note also that numerous States are of the view that those measures have been introduced as an integral part of the IAEA safeguards system. Also note that it is the sovereign decision of any State to conclude an additional protocol, but once in force, the additional protocol is a legal obligation.

30. Note that in the case of a State party with a comprehensive safeguards agreement concluded pursuant to article III, paragraph 1, of the Treaty and supplemented by an additional protocol in force, measures contained in both instruments represent the enhanced verification standard for that State. Note that the additional protocol represents a significant confidence-building measure.

31. Call upon all States parties to ensure that the IAEA continues to have all political, technical and financial support so that it is able to effectively meet its responsibility to apply safeguards as required by Article III of the Treaty and to support and implement decisions adopted by the IAEA’s Board of Governors aimed at further strengthening the effectiveness and improving the efficiency of IAEA safeguards.

32. Emphasize the importance of maintaining the credibility, effectiveness, and integrity of IAEA safeguards, and stress that safeguards implementation should remain technically based, effective, transparent, non-discriminatory, and objective.

33. Encourage States parties that have not yet done so to establish and implement effective national rules and regulations and to make use of multilaterally negotiated and agreed guidelines and understandings in developing their own national export controls.

34. Call upon all States parties, within their responsibility, to achieve and maintain highly effective nuclear security, including physical protection, of nuclear and other radioactive material at all stages in their life cycle and protect sensitive information. Encourage all States parties, in their efforts to strengthen nuclear security, to take into account and apply the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Series publications.

35. Reaffirm the central role of the IAEA in strengthening the nuclear security framework globally and in coordinating international activities in the field of nuclear security. Emphasize the need for States parties to continue providing appropriate technical, human and financial resources, including through the Nuclear Security Fund, for the IAEA to implement its nuclear security activities and to enable the IAEA to provide the support needed by States.

36. Welcome that the IAEA organized international conferences on nuclear security and look forward to the International Conference on Nuclear Security to be held in February 2020. NPT/CONF.2020/PC.III/ CRP.4/Rev.1



37. Encourage States parties that have not yet done so to become party to Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and its Amendment as soon as possible. Welcome efforts to promote further adherence to the Amendment with the aim of its universalization. Note the preparations for convening a conference to review the implementation of the Amended CPPNM and encourage all parties to assist with preparations for such conference, which is due to take place in 2021.

38. Encourage States parties that have not yet done so to become parties to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism as soon as possible. Call upon all States parties to implement fully the Convention and relevant Security Council resolutions.

39. Call upon all States parties to improve their national capabilities to prevent, detect, deter and respond to illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive material throughout their territories, in accordance with their national legislation and relevant international obligations. Call upon the States parties in a position to do so to work to enhance international partnerships and capacity-building in this regard.

III. Peaceful uses of nuclear energy

40. Reaffirm that nothing in the Treaty should be interpreted as affecting 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 the Treaty and that States parties undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

41. Urge that in all activities designed to promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, preferential treatment should be given to the non-nuclear weapon States parties to the Treaty, taking into account in particular the needs of developing countries. Emphasize that transfers of nuclear technology and international cooperation among States parties in conformity with the Treaty should be encouraged, and that they would be facilitated by eliminating undue constraints that might impede such cooperation.

42. Note that, when developing nuclear energy, including nuclear power, the use of nuclear energy must be accompanied at all stages by commitments to, and ongoing implementation of, safeguards as well as appropriate and effective levels of safety and security, consistent with States parties’ national legislation and respective international obligations.

43. Recognize the indispensable role of science and technology, including nuclear science and technology, in achieving social and economic development for all States parties, as reaffirmed in the Ministerial Declaration adopted at the 2018 IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology. Underline the need for enhanced international cooperation, including through the efforts of the IAEA, to expand the extent that nuclear sciences and applications are utilized to improve the quality of life and the well-being of the peoples of the world including the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (A/RES/70/1), as well as the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Call on the United Nations development system to work closely with the IAEA to maximize the potential role of nuclear science and technology for development. NPT/CONF.2020/PC.III/ CRP.4/Rev.1



44. Commend the IAEA’s contribution to peace and development under the motto “Atoms for Peace and Development”. Underline the role of IAEA in assisting developing States parties in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy through the development and delivery of effective and efficient programmes in areas such as health and nutrition, food and agriculture, water and environment, industrial applications and cultural heritage. Note with appreciation the IAEA’s preparedness to respond to emergencies such as zoonotic disease outbreaks as well as natural disasters.

45. Acknowledge the development of competent human resources as a key component for the sustainable use of nuclear energy and underline the importance of collaboration with the IAEA, as well as among States parties, in that regard.

46. Acknowledge the central role of the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) in enhancing the application of nuclear science and technology in many States parties, in particular, in developing countries, and recognizes the Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF) as the most important mechanism for the implementation of the IAEA TCP. Stress the need to make every effort and to take practical steps to ensure that IAEA resources for technical cooperation activities are sufficient, assured and predictable to meet the objectives set out in the IAEA’s Statute.

47. Stress that the IAEA TCP, as the main vehicles for the transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, should continue to be formulated and implemented in accordance with the IAEA’s Statute and the guiding principles, as contained in INFCIRC/267, and in accordance with relevant directives of IAEA Policy-making Organs.

48. Welcome the completion of major construction under both Renovation of the Nuclear Applications Laboratories (ReNuAL) and ReNuAL+ projects. Welcome the contributions made by countries to this project and call upon States parties in a position to do so to make appropriate contributions to support the completion of the renovation of these Laboratories in Seibersdorf.

49. Acknowledge that the IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI) has become instrumental in mobilizing extrabudgetary contributions to support technical cooperation and other unfunded projects of the IAEA aimed at promoting broad development goals in Member States. Welcome the contributions made by countries to the PUI and encourage States parties in a position to do so to make additional contributions

50. Acknowledge that each State party has the right to define its national energy policy and that nuclear power is expected to continue playing an important role in the energy mix of many countries. Welcome IAEA support to interested Member States building their national capacities in the operation of nuclear power plants and those embarking on new nuclear power programmes.

51. Note developments on further minimization of highly enriched uranium in civilian stocks and the use of low enriched uranium. Encourage States parties concerned, on a voluntary basis, to continue these efforts, where technically and economically feasible.

52. Note the significant progress made on the establishment of the IAEA Low Enriched Uranium Bank in Kazakhstan. Note also that the creation of mechanisms for assurance of nuclear fuel supply should not affect State parties’ rights under the Treaty and should be without prejudice to their national fuel cycle policies, while tackling the technical, legal and economic complexities surrounding these issues, including, in this regard, the requirement of IAEA full scope safeguards. NPT/CONF.2020/PC.III/ CRP.4/Rev.1



53. Reaffirm the central role of the IAEA in promoting international cooperation on nuclear safety-related matters, including through the establishment of nuclear safety standards. Welcome the work of the IAEA to support regulatory bodies and other relevant areas of the nuclear infrastructure of Member States, including through peer review services, training and education programmes.

54. Call upon States parties that had not yet done so to become party to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency, and the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.

55. Encourage States parties to put in place a civil nuclear liability regime becoming party to relevant international instruments or adopting suitable national legislation, based on the principles established by the main pertinent international instruments.

56. Underline the importance to transport radioactive materials consistent with relevant international standards of safety, security and the environment protection, and encourage continued efforts to improve communication between shipping and coastal States for the purpose of confidence-building and addressing concerns regarding transport safety, security and emergency preparedness.

57. Recall that all States should abide by the decision adopted by consensus at the IAEA General Conference on 18 September 2009 on prohibition of armed attack or threat of attack against nuclear installations, during operation or under construction.

IV. Regional Issues

58. Continue efforts towards the full implementation and the realisation of the objectives of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East and take into account the conference for the negotiation of a binding treaty on the creation of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East to be held in 2019.

59. Note the strong support for the continued implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as endorsed by United Nations Security Council resolution 2231. Stress the need for all parties concerned to maintain their constructive engagement so as to ensure that progress was made towards the full implementation of the Plan.

60. Stress the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, as well as of the peaceful and diplomatic resolution of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea nuclear issue, and encourage efforts towards continuing dialogue and engagement for the full denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. Stress that all States must fully implement the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. Urge the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, as required by relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. Reaffirm that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea cannot have the status of a nuclear-weapon State in accordance with the Treaty. Urge the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to return, at an early date, to the Treaty and IAEA safeguards. Also urge the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. NPT/CONF.2020/PC.III/ CRP.4/Rev.1



V. Universality and other provisions of the Treaty

61. Call upon India, Israel and Pakistan to accede to the Treaty as non-nuclear weapon States promptly and without conditions, and to bring into force comprehensive safeguards agreements as required by the Treaty.

62. Call upon South Sudan to accede, as soon as possible, to the Treaty.

63. Encourage States parties to be represented at a high level at the 2020 NPT Review Conference.

64. Without supplanting substantive discussion, allocate time for discussion at the 2020 NPT Review Conference with a view to adopting recommendations designed to strengthen the review process, note the various proposals made throughout the sessions of the Preparatory Committee in this regard, and continue to improve the effectiveness of the review process of the Treaty, inter alia through the establishment of a working group that would explore these issues throughout the next review cycle, and through implementing measures aimed at reducing costs and increasing the efficiency of the review process; reaffirm the continued implementation of Decision 1 adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference and “Improving the effectiveness of the strengthened review process for the Treaty” agreed at the 2000 NPT Review Conference.

65. Support initiatives in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation education and reaffirm that the overall objective of disarmament and non-proliferation education is to impart knowledge and skills to individuals to empower them to make their contribution to the achievement of concrete disarmament and non-proliferation measures, with a view to achieving a world without nuclear weapon.

66. Endorse the fundamental importance of promoting the equal, full and effective participation and leadership of both women and men in nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Encourage States Parties, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, to actively support gender diversity in their NPT delegations and through support for sponsorship programmes. Recognise the disproportionate impact of ionizing radiation on women and girls.

67. Promote 26 September as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in order to mobilize international efforts towards achieving the common goal of a nuclear-weapons-free world.