November 29, 1995


"The United States Nonproliferation Agenda After 1995"

I would like to thank Ambassador James Malone of the Monterey World Affairs Council and William Potter of the Monterey Institute for International Studies for inviting me here and making our discussion today possible.

The United States nonproliferation agenda after 1995 will be characterized by challenges and opportunities. The challenges will present themselves, but we will have to seek out the opportunities. I would like to focus today on the opportunities, as I was asked to speak to you today largely as a result of my involvement with the process which will frame our nonproliferation opportunities for the foreseeable future: the achievement of the indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) without conditions and by consensus. This decision stands as a watershed in efforts to control both horizontal and vertical proliferation and has ensured a strong and dependable basis for further efforts in the future.

Nonproliferation Works

In order to understand the opportunities created by the indefinite extension of the NPT, we should recall the world in which the NPT came into force a quarter-century ago. The Cold War struggle had created a nuclear stand-off which threatened the survival not only of the Superpowers and their allies --but that of every nation. As the historical record is sifted, we are learning more and more about the incredible danger and cost the nuclear arms race between the United States and former Soviet Union imposed on the world. When the NPT was under negotiation in the 1960s, there was no end in sight to this perilous game, and the addition of new players seemed inevitable. Predictions at that time suggested that there might be as many as thirty nuclear weapon states by the late 1970s, and who knows how many today. Worst of all, there seemed to be very little anyone could do to meaningfully lessen the danger. Thankfully, the international community resolved to address this problem.

The conclusion of the NPT in 1968 constituted a bold experiment. The world community could have embraced the inevitability of a perpetual balance of nuclear terror, but instead it decided -Enough! We will draw a line where we are; it will be agreed that no additional nation will acquire nuclear weapons; those states with nuclear weapons will pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race and to achieve nuclear disarmament; and all states will engage in efforts to achieve a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control. In 1968, the world took a chance on multilateral arms control, even though the technique was unproven. The uncertainty of the time was reflected in the debate of the negotiators over the duration of the Treaty. In 1968, most countries involved in the negotiations wanted to make the NPT permanent, like all other international arms control agreements. Several countries, however, expressed concern about whether the NPT would be effective, whether the safeguards regime would prove too costly, and whether enough countries would join the Treaty to make it meaningful. These countries were unwilling to agree to a permanent NPT. The resulting compromise is reflected in Article X.2, which gave the Treaty an initial duration of twenty-five years, after which time a majority of the states parties to the Treaty would decide whether it should be extended indefinitely or for a fixed period or periods.

In 1995, I am pleased to report that multilateral arms control continues to work, and while we still have a long way to go, we have every reason to continue to hope for a world ultimately free of nuclear weapons. Not a single state has joined the list of declared nuclear weapon states since the NPT entered into force in 1970, and the number of threshold states has declined rapidly in recent years. With the entry into force of the Treaty, a state's declaration of having created a new nuclear arsenal stopped being a point of national pride. The NPT made it tantamount to a violation of international law. The NPT has blocked nuclear proliferation and served as the foundation for all subsequent arms control agreements.

Results of the 1995 NPT Conference

The 1995 decision of the states parties to extend the NPT indefinitely and without conditions reflects the Treaty's success. Simply put, the NPT has worked. After four weeks of intense debate and discussion, 175 of the then-178 Treaty parties decided to extend the NPT indefinitely. On May 11, the NPT was made permanent, without conditions, and without a vote. The Conference decision was a collaborative victory, not a competitive one. The NPT Review and Extension Conference was not like a football game with winners and losers. Rather it was a debate among equal parties over how best to make this Treaty, the centerpiece of international peace and security, strong and durable. Suggestions that indefinite extension was achieved through "arm twisting" or other coercive measures are both untrue and unfair. This decision was one made by sovereign nations expressing their fundamental national security interests. The importance of this decision and its far-reaching consequences were well-understood by all NPT parties and the overwhelming interest of the international community in preserving and strengthening the NPT and the international security system is reflected in the final outcome. All the nations and peoples of the world are winners as a result of the decision in New York.

The 1995 NPT Conference also agreed to two other decisions on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament" and "Strengthening the Review Process for the Treaty." These two decisions establish the basis for further efforts by the parties to achieve the full implementation of the Treaty. The "Principles and Objectives" decision outlines a set of principles and objectives" in accordance with which nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear disarmament and international cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy should be vigorously pursued and progress, achievements, and shortcomings evaluated periodically within the review process provided for in Article VII (3) of the Treaty" The objectives include:

-- achieving universal adherence to the Treaty
-- promoting nuclear nonproliferation efforts
-- promoting nuclear disarmament efforts, including:

-- further efforts to enhance the ability of the IAEA to verify compliance with its safeguards agreements;
-- further efforts to enhance cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy; and
-- promotion of transparency in export controls within a framework of dialogue and cooperation among all interested parties.

Through the decision on "Strengthening the Review Process for the Treaty" NPT parties agreed that in accordance with Article VII (3), Review Conferences should continue to be held every five years. As such, the next NPT Review Conference will take place in the year 2000. Preparatory Committee work for this Conference will begin in 1997 and there will be three or possibly four Preparatory Committee meetings of up to two weeks in length each. These Preparatory Committee meetings will "consider principles, objectives, and ways in order to promote the full implementation of the Treaty, as well as its universality, and will make recommendations thereon to the Review Conference. . . The meetings should also make the procedural preparations for the next Review Conference."

The 1995 NPT Conference also adopted without a vote a resolution on the Middle East calling for, inter alia, the establishment of a Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction and also calling for universal adherence to the Treaty.

Finally, the 1995 NPT Conference undertook an exhaustive review of the Treaty. While no final review document was possible, primarily because there was not enough time to reach consensus on all disputed points, large areas of agreement were revealed.

The United States Commitment to the NPT Conference Decisions

The United States is firmly committed to the decisions taken by the 1995 NPT Conference and to working to achieve their full implementation. Since the conclusion of the 1995 NPT Conference, the United States continues to make progress on its arms control agenda, which includes those arms control issues identified by all NPT parties as priorities in the Conference decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament." The indefinite extension of the NPT makes it possible for us to take advantage of these arms control and nonproliferation opportunities, and our efforts to do so have accelerated:

CTBT at an Early Date

United States negotiators in Geneva are making a concerted effort to speed the negotiations on a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to completion by next spring so that the Treaty can be opened for signature by next fall. The commitment of all five nuclear weapon states to the achievement of a CTBT no later than 1996 is a central element of the decisions taken at the NPT Review and Extension Conference in New York. The United States joined with all the parties to the NPT in making a commitment to this goal. Recognizing the importance of fulfilling this commitment, President Clinton has called the negotiation of a CTBT one of his Administration's "highest priorities."

On August 11, the President announced his decision to seek a "zero" yield CTBT. Specifically, a zero yield CTBT would ban any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion immediately upon entry into force. The President made this decision only after receiving assurances from the Secretary of Energy and the Directors of the nuclear weapon labs that they could meet the challenge of maintaining the U.S. nuclear deterrent in the absence of nuclear testing through a Science Based Stockpile Stewardship Program. If a high level of confidence in the safety or reliability of a nuclear weapon type which the Secretaries of Defense and Energy consider to be critical could no longer by certified, the President has stated that he would be prepared, in consultation with Congress, to exercise our "supreme national interests" rights under the CTBT (i.e., the right to withdraw from the Treaty) in order to conduct whatever testing might be required. For this reason, it is important that the Department of Energy's Science Based Stockpile Stewardship Program continue to be supported as a crucial element of the United States nonproliferation strategy. Subsequent to President Clinton's announcement, the objective of a zero yield CTBT was endorsed by both the United Kingdom and France and more recently by Russian President Yeltsin at the Hyde Park Summit.

The United States Government remains committed to the nuclear testing moratorium we imposed upon ourselves three years ago and have consistently advocated that all nuclear weapon states observe moratoria during the CTBT negotiations. We firmly believe that is the best way to create and enhance a political atmosphere conducive to rapid success in the CTBT negotiations. Accordingly, the United States has "regretted" tests conducted by both China and France.

The arms control community has sought a CTBT for four decades, but the opportunity to achieve one is now greater than ever. The United States Government remains committed to the conclusion of a CTBT at an early date and will do all it can to ensure that the negotiations on a CTBT are completed by April of 1996.

Fissile Material Production Cut-Off Treaty

The United States is continuing efforts to initiate negotiations on a fissile material production cut-off treaty (FMCT). Such a treaty would contribute substantially to U.S. and international nonproliferation and disarmament objectives by ensuring that no more fissile material is produced for nuclear weapons worldwide. The cut-off and the CTBT together would ensure that nuclear weapons programs are limited both qualitatively and quantitatively.

The United States called for a global cut-off treaty at the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 and has been working assiduously since then to get other states onboard. Since March 1995, we have had a consensus negotiating mandate and an Ad Hoc Committee on Cut-off at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva; regrettably, however, efforts to appoint a Chairman to begin work have been thwarted. FMCT negotiations have fallen prey to tactical delays pursued by a handful of states. These non-aligned states -- which historically have been the strongest proponents of a cut-off treaty -- have blocked any progress by insisting on linkage of the FMCT negotiations to other issues at the CD and specifically to the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee on nuclear disarmament and a mandate to achieve time-bound nuclear disarmament. In linking nuclear disarmament within a time-bound framework to a FMCT, such states would place the proverbial cart before the horse.

Reversing the Arms Race

Meanwhile, the United States is practicing what it preaches. The United States continues to reduce its nuclear arsenal. Warheads are being eliminated at a rate of up to 2000 per year. Reduction of nuclear-carrying strategic offensive arms under the START I Treaty are proceeding apace. In fact, the United States and the other START parties have already reduced their strategic weapons delivery vehicles to a level not required to be met until December 1999. They have reduced deployed warheads to a level not required to be met until December 1997. Moreover, the Presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation have reiterated their commitment to achieve ratification and entry into force of START II as soon as possible. START II will bring even deeper reductions in the remaining Cold War nuclear arsenals.

As for further steps beyond START II, at the September 1994 United States-Russian summit, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin ordered their experts "to intensify their dialogue to compare conceptual approaches and to develop concrete steps to adapt the nuclear forces and practices on both sides to the changed international security situation and to the current spirit of U.S.-Russian partnership, including the possibility, after ratification of START II, of further reductions of, and limitations on, remaining nuclear forces..." The Clinton Administration is currently studying the question of what further strategic arms control measures could contribute to strategic stability and enhance United States security overall after START II is ratified. This internal U.S. review will lead to decisions that will enable the United States to consider next steps after START II is ratified.

Nuclear Weapon Free Zones

The Latin American Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which established the first nuclear weapon free zone in a populated region, is nearing full implementation. All Latin American countries are signatories to the Treaty and only four states have yet to bring the Treaty into force. The United States supports the full implementation and strengthening of the Tlatelolco regime and looks favorably on the positive developments which have recently taken place with regard to the establishment of other nuclear weapon free zones around the world.

On October 20 of this year, the Governments of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States announced that they would sign the protocols to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Raratonga, in the first half of 1996. We were able to reach this decision as a result of recent positive arms control developments. All countries eligible to become parties to the Treaty of Rarotonga have now joined the NPT. The indefinite extension of the NPT and progress toward a CTBT also facilitated this decision.

The Organization of African Unity has formally supported the establishment of a nuclear weapon free zone in Africa since 1964. Following South Africa's accession to the NPT in 1991, real progress toward this goal was possible and in 1993 a UN/OAU experts group was convened to draft a treaty. The United States followed the negotiating process and provided views on the text as it evolved. The final version was adopted at an OAU Summit in June of this year and was endorsed at the UN last week. A signing ceremony is tentatively set for February 1996 in Cairo. The United States has strongly supported the African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Pelindaba. We are in the process of reviewing the final version of the Treaty and Protocols.

The draft text of a Treaty which would establish a Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) is moving rapidly towards completion. When I last went to Jakarta, I carried a letter addressed to President Soeharto from President Clinton indicating that the United States is prepared to consider positively a Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone, provided it conforms to our long-standing criteria for supporting such zones. The U.S. has been studying the draft SEANWFZ Treaty and Protocol being considered by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). At the request of the United States Government, the ASEAN Working Group developing the SEANWFZ Treaty text invited the nuclear weapon states to make presentations expressing their concerns about the draft Treaty. The week before last, I led a U.S. delegation to Jakarta, Indonesia and made the United States presentation in an all day session on November 16th. Other nuclear weapon states made their presentations over the following two days. The discussion was productive and the ASEAN Working Group indicated that it would take the concerns of the United States seriously. The United States welcomes the opportunity to participate in this process and hopes that the resultant text will be responsive to U.S. concerns.

Universality of NPT Membership

Universal adherence to the NPT remains a goal of the United States. Since the conclusion of the 1995 NPT Conference, four more countries have joined the Treaty: Chile, Vanuatu, the United Arab Emirates, and the Comoros. The United States welcomes these new members into the NPT.

With these new adherents, there are now only nine non-NPT countries worldwide (i.e., Andorra, Angola, Brazil, Cuba, Djibouti, India, Israel, Pakistan, and Oman). The U.S. is hopeful that some of these remaining non-parties will join the Treaty soon. Our objective is to reduce as significantly as possible the number of non-parties before the first meeting in 1997 of the Preparatory Committee for the 2000 NPT Review Conference and then to work together with other countries to help create the conditions conducive to reaching universality.

Other issues

The United States has also moved forward on other issues mentioned in the 1995 Conference decisions, such as working to implement the IAEA's 93+2 programme and considering what additional measures might be needed to further enhance the ability of the IAEA to detect clandestine nuclear activities. We are also considering ways to enhance transparency in export controls and to promote expanded cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Future Opportunities

Looking to the future, the evolution of the NPT extension process suggests that just as the Cold War is part of the past, so is the narrow bloc politics in multilateral arms control negotiations.

The reflexive antagonism between East and West and North and South has been overtaken by history and by concrete and irreversible arms control progress. In preparation for the NPT extension decision, states of all sizes and compositions all over the world took a serious look at where their true interests lay and chose to put their security, and the security of the world, over "traditional" bloc interests. Today, there is far more that joins states in this vital area of arms control than divides them. The new arena of multilateral diplomacy is characterized by sovereign states voting their interests both individually and as part of regional groupings. In my travels in preparation for the 1995 Conference, I learned that there are individuals all over the world concerned with, and strongly committed to, the success of the NPT and the international nonproliferation system. The extension decision demonstrated the depth of this commitment and brought the vast majority of the world together to re-affirm its support for the norm of nonproliferation. It built bridges among equal partners in humanity's effort to eliminate nuclear weapons. It opened up opportunities for progress toward our immediate goals and reaffirmed all states' commitment to the ultimate objective of a nuclear weapon free world.