October 19, 1993

STATEMENT BY THOMAS GRAHAM, JR., ACTING DIRECTOR
UNITED STATES ARMS CONTROL AND DISARMAMENT AGENCY
TO THE FIRST COMMITTEE OF THE 48TH SESSION OF THE
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN GENERAL DEBATE

Thank you Mr. Chairman. On behalf of the United States delegation may I congratulate you on your election, and pledge to you our full cooperation in the important work that lies ahead.

Recent speeches made by previous Directors of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency to this Committee referred to the need to adapt arms control to the momentous changes we have witnessed almost daily on television.

This year, I thought I could focus on a new theme. But the reality is I cannot. In the wake of the end of the Cold War, we continue to witness startling changes with remarkable rapidity and regularity. Some of these changes are purely positive -- such as the recent Israeli/Palestinian agreement or the transition of power in South Africa.

Some developments, however, are darkly disturbing -- North Korea's threats to withdraw from the Nuclear non proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iraq's flouting of UN Security Council resolutions and its efforts to rebuild its military capabilities, and conflicts erupting around the globe provoking untold tragedy.

The sum of these changes -- good and bad -- is the need to reassess the arms control, disarmament, and non proliferation agenda and continue to adapt arms control to the emerging international security environment. The arms control practices and agendas from the Cold War period will influence this period of change, not dominate it, as some advocate. We have made a good start in that process of adaptation. But we still have a long way to go.

We should bear in mind two important points concerning arms control. First, arms control is a policy tool available to all; it can and must be used to good effect by each of us, not only for ourselves but for the entire international community. Second, we must be constantly aware that while the currency of arms control is military capabilities, arms control transactions, by nature, are fundamentally political.

At its core, arms control is about shaping certain kinds of relationships, expectations, and behavior. As such, it can provide useful guidelines along the roads we have too infrequently traveled toward the peaceful settlement of disputes and the effective non-violent management of competing interests.

If arms control is to play this role successfully, however, we must accomplish four priority tasks:

Let me review briefly for you how my government views the progress we have made in performing these critical tasks and the challenges that lie ahead.

NONPROLIFERATION

The global nonproliferation environment has changed dramatically. However, just as the changes mentioned earlier included both positive and negative developments, the non proliferation environment is marked by both successes and signs of foreboding:

In Washington, there is a commitment to go beyond "business as usual" in the nonproliferation arena. President Clinton underscored this commitment in his recent address to the General Assembly in which he made nonproliferation "one of our nation's highest priorities. We intend to weave it more deeply into the fabric of all of our relationships with the world's nations and institutions."

On this occasion, the President also announced a comprehensive approach to nonproliferation, outlining three principles that will guide our nonproliferation and export control policies. The first -- making nonproliferation a higher priority and integrating it more deeply into our relations with other countries -- I have already mentioned.

The second principle is that the United States will actively seek expanded trade and technology exchange with nations, including former adversaries, who abide by global nonproliferation norms.

Finally, the United States will seek to build a new consensus -- both domestically and abroad -- to promote non proliferation efforts and integrate them with our economic goals.

In responding to the scourge of proliferating weapons of mass destruction, our first task is to strengthen the nonproliferation foundation. The second task is to build upon it.

NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION

With nearly 160 parties, the NPT is the cornerstone of the international nuclear non proliferation regime and the primary legal and political barrier to the further proliferation of nuclear weapons. The NPT reflects the international consensus against nuclear weapons proliferation which is one of the gravest threats to global security and stability. For more than twenty years, the NPT has provided security and economic benefits to its parties. Moreover, by successfully containing the spread of nuclear weapons, the NPT has facilitated the efforts of the United States and others to reduce their own nuclear arsenals.

The security benefits of the NPT are evident in every region of the world. For example, South Africa's adherence to the NPT in 1991 has enhanced the security of all African states and has made a concrete contribution to regional efforts to establish an African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. The NPT can make a critical contribution as well in containing possible nuclear proliferation arising from the breakup of the former Soviet Union. Adherence to the NPT by all of the states that have emerged will help eliminate the risk of dangerous nuclear proliferation and will facilitate productive relationships with their neighbors and others. Full compliance with its NPT obligations by North Korea is also essential to reducing tensions in Asia.

The NPT has also fostered wide-ranging cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy for economic and social development, particularly in the developing world.

Many states have been able to take advantage of the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology because of their membership in the NPT.

The United States believes that the indefinite and unconditional extension of the NPT in 1995 will provide the greatest possible assurance that the Treaty's contribution to global security will continue. It will provide the international community with a vital and dependable foundation on which further arms control and disarmament measures can be pursued. It will ensure reliable access to nuclear materials and technology for NPT parties. Consequently, the United States will make every effort to secure the indefinite and unconditional extension of the NPT in 1995.

As we strengthen the NPT, however, we must also extend our efforts beyond it to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. To this end, the United States has announced support for two initiatives in which we call on all members of the international community to join us.

The first is a multilateral convention prohibiting the production of highly enriched uranium or the separation of plutonium for nuclear explosive purposes or outside of international safeguards. Such an agreement will complement other measures we plan to pursue related to nuclear fissile material. These include:

The second major U.S. objective -- an important change in policy by the Clinton Administration -- is the rapid completion of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). We applaud the decision of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) to give its Ad Hoc Committee on a Nuclear Test Ban a mandate to negotiate a CTB, and we look forward to playing an active role in these negotiations when the CD begins its new session in January. We also hope that this year we will be able to support a First Committee test ban resolution.

The United States has believed that these objectives would also be served by a policy of observation by all the nuclear powers of the continued moratorium on nuclear testing. Unfortunately, not all states have shared this view, and the United States deeply regrets the Chinese decision to conduct an underground nuclear test. President Clinton has urged China to refrain from further testing, and to join the other nuclear powers in the global testing moratorium, a vital contribution to our goal of achieving a comprehensive test ban as soon as possible.

CHEMICAL & BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS NONPROLIFERATION

The U.S. commitment to eliminating chemical and biological weapons is no less intense than its commitment to nuclear nonproliferation. The signing of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in January of this year represented a major arms control milestone, breaking old political deadlocks and charting new procedural ground.

We are pleased that more than 150 states have thus far signed the CWC as of October 1993. But adherence should be universal. We call on all states to sign the Convention. To take such a step is not an act of magnanimity but of self-interest.

I can only reiterate President Clinton's call for all signatories, including the United States, to ratify the CWC as quickly as possible, so that it can enter into force at the earliest possible date, a mere fifteen months away. We expect to present the agreement to the United States Senate this fall, and we hope they will provide their advice and consent in early 1994.

Looking forward to entry into force, we are encouraged by the work of the CWC Preparatory Commission in The Hague. Theirs is not an easy task. The technical detail is immense and working out administrative procedures can be grueling. However, the task is critical if the Convention is to function effectively, and we will continue to take an active role in ensuring that standards are not lowered in the name of expediency. We encourage others to do the same.

The U.S. believes the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) has been strengthened since entry-into-force in several ways, including widespread and increasing membership and through the three review conferences. The U.S. supports further efforts to strengthen the BWC. More specifically, we would like to see the creation of a transparency regime that enhances the effectiveness of, and compliance with, the Convention.

We support the consensus report of the recently-concluded Ad Hoc Group of Government experts convened to identify and examine potential BWC verification measures. The report will be circulated to all States Parties for their consideration. If a majority of States Parties ask for the convening of a conference to examine the report, such a conference will be convened. The United States encourages all States Parties to give this serious consideration and we support the early convening of such a conference.

In addition to our support for the CWC and the BWC, the U.S. also participates in the 25-member Australia Group, which pursues multilateral measures -- including export controls -- to impede proliferation of chemical and biological weapons. The Australia Group has always supported universal and effective implementation of the CWC and the BWC, and will continue to work to achieve these goals through the promotion of multilateral export controls on chemical and biological weapons-related materials and equipment being sought for weapons programs. The U.S. urges all countries to consider implementing the Australia Group export control lists.

MISSILE NONPROLIFERATION

The introduction of advanced missile capabilities into the inventories of a growing number of states is transforming the geostrategic landscape into more dangerous terrain. It is creating new threats at longer distances where no threats had existed before. It fosters the specter of civilian populations far from any military confrontation held hostage to nuclear, chemical, or biological attack. It is introducing a new issue of contention and controversy in the already troubled relationships of many states.

As part of our new non proliferation initiative, the United States is committed to promoting the guidelines of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) as a global non proliferation norm and to seeking to use the MTCR as a mechanism for taking joint action to combat missile proliferation.

We must come to grips with the growing threat from more widely available missile capabilities. U.S. friends and U.S. forces are at risk from ballistic missile capabilities in volatile areas like the Gulf and the Korean peninsula. That is a development in no one's interest. We must deal with the problem from both the supply and demand sides.

PROMOTING GLOBAL ARMS CONTROL NORMS

Strengthening our existing nonproliferation foundations -- the NPT, BWC, CWC, and the nonproliferation groups like the MTCR, Nuclear Suppliers Group, and Australia Group -- also helps to accomplish our second major arms control task, promoting global arms control norms.

The standards embraced by the international community are also reflected in the support given to international institutions with arms control, disarmament, and non proliferation responsibility.

For this reason, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which plays a vital role in applying international safeguards under the NPT, must be given the financial support necessary to ensure its effectiveness. The United States and others should also be willing to share information with the IAEA relevant to its safeguard responsibilities and provide it with strong political support.

Similarly, the CWC Preparatory Commission must ensure that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), created to oversee the CWC's implementation, is efficient and effective, not a bloated international bureaucracy where the bureaucrats' interests come first and those of the treaty second.

The United Nations itself embodies global arms control norms, as does the Conference on Disarmament. Individual members may not like every aspect of their work or every idea that is put forward. Yet the forums they provide, such as our meeting today, are essential in promoting the international consensus that is the essence of a global norm.

Compliance with arms control agreements is also a crucial norm. Indeed, the issue of compliance is of fundamental importance. Events such as continued violation of Security Council resolutions and the emergence of new states across the globe reemphasize the importance of universal adherence to arms control compliance for world order. The United States and other cosponsors plan to re-introduce a resolution addressing this important issue.

International norms are also manifest in our nonproliferation policies. The nature of our export control systems, for example, reflects our true attitudes toward the commitments we have assumed by adhering to multilateral agreements. Effective export controls underline our seriousness of purpose and our recognition that multilateral agreements and multilateral export controls are complementary instruments for achieving arms control and nonproliferation objectives. That is why the U.S. is harmonizing, to the greatest extent possible, its domestic controls with those agreed multilaterally. At the same time, we are eliminating unilateral controls that are not essential to our national security and foreign policy interests and working with other countries to remove outdated controls that unfairly burden legitimate commerce.

SUPPORTING REGIONAL ARMS CONTROL The third major task on the post-Cold War arms control agenda is applying arms control lessons and confidence building in the settlement of regional disputes. As with other aspects of the international arms control landscape, prospects for regional arms control provide reasons for optimism and causes for concern.

On the positive side, a number of developments reflect a growing interest among states in regional approaches to arms control and confidence building. Over the last year we have seen:

These and similar developments demonstrate that just as regions differ in their security needs and concerns, so can the states of those regions design tailored arms control efforts to enhance not only their own peace and stability, but also that of the international community as well.

On the more troublesome side, interest in regional arms control and confidence building is not shared by all. Some states must still be convinced that arms control can be a useful instrument in managing difficult relationships between and among states. Others have shirked their share of the collective responsibility to take practical, appropriate arms control steps, hiding behind the unsustainable argument that arms control is about controlling the arms of others, preferably those of the superpowers.

One vexing issue high on the regional arms control and confidence building agenda is the destabilizing impact of excessive conventional arms buildups. Frequently, responsibility for such accumulations is placed on arms supplier states. While it is true that industrialized states have defense industrial over-capacity and excess military equipment, much of this has been demand-driven. Although arms supplier states bear some responsibility for destabilizing arms transfers, it is primarily the arms buyers who must weigh the impact of arms acquisitions on the resources available for a country's socio-economic development and regional stability.

Arms transfers policies -- of both buyers and sellers -- must recognize that a balance must be maintained between the need to respond to legitimate defense needs; and the international security interest in discouraging destabilizing weapons buildups, especially in regions of tension and conflict.

To help achieve this balance, the United States believes the suggestion of the UN Secretary General for regional agreements to determine what constitutes clearly excessive or threatening military capabilities merits serious consideration. Another item on the regional arms control and confidence building agenda -- one that is often closely tied to the arms transfer problem -- is transparency and openness. If regional understandings on what constitutes excessive military buildups cannot be achieved -- and, at best, they are likely to take considerable time to secure -- an easier step to accomplish is greater openness and transparency on arms acquisitions.

From the U.S. perspective, 80 responses to the UN Register of Conventional Arms established by the 1991 Transparency in Armaments (TIA) Resolution is a good response -- but not good enough. The UN Register of Conventional Arms can clearly be strengthened, and the United States looks forward to next year's governmental experts meeting to bolster the register, including increasing the participation of member states and improving the quality of returns.

The United States has already provided some of its ideas regarding enhancing transparency and openness. During the deliberations of the CD's Ad Hoc Committee on Transparency in Armaments (TIA), for example, we proposed that states exchange information on military holdings and procurement through national production. We look forward to next year's work at the CD on this proposal and a number of others that are now on the table.

The creation and work of the TIA Ad Hoc Committee, the first new committee established by the CD in several years and the only conventional arms item, was an important, positive development. We were disappointed, however, that only some countries were willing to discuss important questions that hit close to home, such as transparency in conventional arms transfers. We are also disappointed that some CD members attempted to expand the TIA focus to include weapons of mass destruction to try to redirect the discussion away from conventional arms issues which have a more direct bearing on their own security policies.

Before moving on, I would like to mention another important transparency measure. On August 6 of this year, the U.S. Senate gave its advice and consent to ratification of the Open Skies Treaty, the most wide-ranging international effort to date to promote openness and transparency on military forces and their activities. The Treaty establishes a confidence building regime of reciprocal aerial observation flights over the entire territory of all its signatories, an enormous geographic sweep.

The Open Skies Treaty, signed by 25 states in Helsinki on March 24, 1992, will enter into force after the deposit of twenty instruments of ratification, including all states with a passive quota of eight or more flights. We encourage all signatories to proceed promptly with ratification of the Treaty.

The potential scope of Open Skies extends well beyond the borders of its initial signatories. The Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union are considered initial participants and may join at any time. Other members of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) are expected to apply for participation soon after entry into force. Six months after entry into force, the Treaty will be open to any interested state, subject to agreement by all original signatories.

The Open Skies Treaty will contribute to greater openness and transparency about military matters throughout Europe. Today, it may also have a much greater impact, either by virtue of expanded participation in the regime or as a powerful model for other regions.

MOVING BEYOND THE COLD WAR

The final major task on the arms control agenda is eliminating the shadow cast by the remaining vestiges of the Cold War, including both overarmament at the nuclear and conventional level, and excess defense industry capacity.

SECURING START RATIFICATION

On January 3, 1993 the United States and Russia signed the second Strategic Arms Reduction Agreement. This agreement, commonly referred to as START II, continues the process of stabilizing reductions in the nuclear weapons inventories of the United States and Russia initiated by the first START agreement. It goes beyond START I, however, in dramatically increasing the stability of remaining arsenals by reducing inventories to the level of 3,000 to 3,500 weapons by the year 2003 if not sooner. It also prohibits heavy and multiple warhead intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), those weapons traditionally considered to be the most destabilizing.

START II is a bilateral treaty between the United States and Russia. In contrast, START I is a multilateral treaty among the United States, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. They are independent agreements that will be in force simultaneously. START II, however, relies on START I definitions and verification procedures. By its own terms, START II cannot be implemented until START I enters into force.

Bringing both of these agreements into force as quickly as possible is a major goal of the United States.

SAFETY SECURITY, DISMANTLEMENT

While we believe nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union are under reliable control, the breakup of the Soviet Union created new concerns about the security of those nuclear systems. Over the last two years, the U.S. Congress has authorized almost $1 billion and plans to authorize an additional $400 million for next year, to assist in the safe and secure dismantlement of weapons of mass destruction and to help prevent the proliferation of such weapons.

Our activities in this arena complement, but are not directly linked to, implementation of arms control agreements. A number of arrangements are already in place, including ten agreements with Russia addressing such issues as assistance in the design of facilities to store fissile material, fissile material control and accounting, and in dismantling strategic offensive arms. Six agreements with Belarus have been concluded and we are currently negotiating umbrella agreements with Kazakhstan and Ukraine, with additional implementing agreements to follow.

CFE IMPLEMENTATION AND THE FUTURE OF SECURITY COOPERATION

The military shadow cast by the Cold War was not limited to nuclear weapons. In terms of conventional weapons, Europe was the most heavily armed region of the world. This problem began to be addressed through the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) even before the Berlin Wall crumbled. Today, CFE is almost one year into its three-year phase for reducing major amounts of conventional armaments.

I am pleased to let you know that, thus far, CFE parties have notified reduction--usually by destruction -- of over 13,900 tanks, ACVs, pieces of artillery, combat aircraft, and attack helicopters, a significant decrease by anyone's standards. Moreover, we still have two years to go in the reduction phase, until 1995.

On balance, CFE implementation has gone remarkably well. The CFE Treaty is very complex and its implementation has not been flawless. Some problems remain to be worked out in Vienna by the Treaty's oversight body, the Joint Consultative Group.

We hope and expect that this positive state of affairs will continue. Attempting to reopen the Treaty's provisions is in no one's interest. Such an effort would threaten the delicate compromises that made CFE possible. Even in these changed times, CFE remains a fundamental element of Europe's post-Cold War security system. It must be allowed to work effectively and achieve its goals of major conventional reductions before further steps can be considered.

This is not to argue, however, that some thinking should not be done about additional arms control and confidence building contributions to European security. This is, indeed, the function of the CSCE's Forum on Security Cooperation. Reaching its first-year anniversary just last month, the FSC has already made progress on a number of items on its action plan. These include a code of conduct in the field of security relations, exchange of information, defense planning, development of principles for nonproliferation and conventional arms transfer, military-to-military contacts, and work on confidence and security building measures.

The work of the FSC is pointing to the December 1994 CSCE Budapest Follow-Up Meeting. We hope to complete in time for Budapest a number of items related to these and other issue areas.

DEFENSE CONVERSION

A major legacy of the Cold War was not only weapons, but also the industries capable of producing them. The competitors in that confrontation now face enormous overcapacity in the defense industrial sector. Conversion of that capability to peaceful commercial uses that contribute to economic growth is a high priority. The problem is especially acute in the former Soviet Union, since it is attempting to transform itself from a command economy dominated by the defense sector to a market system.

We all have a stake in successful defense conversion, not only because economic growth should foster greater stability, but also because it will serve other important arms control goals such as nonproliferation. Alternative employment for weapons scientists in the former Soviet Union, for example, has emerged as a vitally important concern. Short-term civil research and development projects for these scientists will be funded through the new International Science and Technology Centers in Moscow and Kiev. In addition, there is a potential for these scientists to create long-term high-technology civilian enterprises that can be commercially viable. To evaluate this concept, my Agency, together with the U.S. Department of Energy and Russia's Ministry of Atomic Energy, has co-sponsored entrepreneurial workshops in Moscow involving a number of Russian nuclear weapon scientists.

The problem, of course, is not Russia's or Ukraine's alone. The other states of the former Soviet Union, the former members of the Warsaw Pact as well as NATO, and the United States itself all face the defense conversion challenges of varying degrees of severity. In a world where economic security is foremost in the minds of the public, we cannot afford to let the technology and talent associated with defense industrial capabilities go unused.

OTHER CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS ISSUES

The United States is introducing a resolution this year that addresses a major source of both regional instability and simple human tragedy. The U.S. Government estimates that there are more than 85 million uncleared landmines scattered in 62 countries around the world. More are being laid each day. About 150 people -- most of them civilians -- are killed or injured each week by landmines. Landmines are a regional destabilizing force in that they hinder economic reconstruction and development, inhibit the repatriation of refugees, and provide a continuing element of chaos in countries striving for political stability.

We believe it is time to address this problem at its source. Last year, the U.S. Government began a one-year unilateral moratorium on the export of anti-personnel landmines. The U.S. Senate recently passed unanimously a three-year extension of that moratorium. We expect the House of Representatives to vote on the issue shortly. I ask that you join my Government in support of our efforts to rid the world of landmines, by regulating their export.

CONCLUSION

I have spoken at some length today on the arms control and nonproliferafion tasks before us, because it is important to recognize what can be done, and what must still be done. As this review suggests, we have made major progress on several issues, in a number of regions, with a number of arms control tools.

We have made progress but we still have a long way to go. As I mentioned earlier, our task is to think about how we can use arms control and confidence building to promote the expectations, relationships and behavior that foster a more stable and peaceful world. We will not reach our objectives if we cannot reverse the dangerous trend of proliferating weapons of mass destruction; if we cannot establish and sustain strong international nonproliferation norms; if we cannot contribute to the resolution of disputes in those regions of the world most prone to violence and conflict; and if we cannot manage the elimination of Cold War vestiges in a safe, stable and secure manner.

Changes in the world situation, while potentially dangerous and certainly challenging, offer the hope of replacing Cold War antagonism with cooperation, creating a progressively more stable strategic balance, preventing proliferation, and dampening regional conflicts. We will help to realize these hopes if we -- all of us -- continue to pursue together sound arms control and confidence building measures.