January 25, 1994

THE HONORABLE JOHN D. HOLUM, DIRECTOR
U.S. ARMS CONTROL AND DISARMAMENT AGENCY
TO THE CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

Thank you, Mr. President. On behalf of the United States, may I first wish you every success as you guide the work of this body to begin this important year. You will have the complete cooperation of the United States Delegation. I thank your predecessor, Ambassador Zahran of Egypt, for his wise and skillful performance of the challenging duties of President. I would also like to congratulate the new personal representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Vladimir Petrovsky, and express our confidence that we will have with him the same close and productive relationship that we enjoyed with his predecessor.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen. This is my first opportunity to address a session of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) as the Director of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. This forum serves the cause of a safer and more stable world, and my presence here today reflects the commitment of the Clinton Administration to the goals of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. Upon my confirmation, the President reiterated to me the high priority he personally gives to making concrete, rapid progress on strengthening international security through multilateral cooperation. The end of the Cold War has created particular opportunities for the CD, and I am here today to pledge to you that the United States will do everything in its power to make the most of them. In this regard, I would like to read out to you a message to the Conference from President Clinton:

The CD is the only multilateral forum to address global arms control and disarmament issues on a continuing basis. Its membership covers every region of the globe and reflects a wide range of concerns and interests. We have all come to accept the CD as both a marketplace of ideas and a place where nations get down to practical business and conclude the agreements that enhance international security.

The United States recognizes the importance of the CD as a multilateral arms control body, and we have consistently supported appropriate membership expansion. We do, however, insist that it is inappropriate to elevate the status in the CD of a state whose behavior continues to be flagrantly opposed to the goals of the organization. It is our hope that CD members will continue working together to forge a consensus on an acceptable membership package.

The conclusion of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) vividly demonstrates how the constructive competition of ideas and the pursuit of diverse interests and concerns can produce achievements to benefit the entire international community. I congratulate you on that single accomplishment.

However, this is not the time for us to rest. There is much work to be done; the demands are immediate; and we have a unique opportunity to help to shape the world constructively.

The end of the Cold War actually has increased the need for arms control. There are new sources of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the missiles used to deliver them. Formerly contained ethnic tensions have emerged in areas where adversaries are all too ready to use violence as the instrument of first resort. Sadly, there is abundant evidence that we still live in a world where technology advances faster than human wisdom.

Arms control can help us meet the challenge of bringing peace and stability to a troubled new world order. We can limit and reduce destabilizing military forces. We can prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction and the missiles used to deliver them. We can contribute to confidence and trust through greater transparency about our military activities. Doing these things is not a sign of weakness or of capitulation; it is a wise investment in the future and a sure way to underwrite all of our vital national interests.

Much is underway. Less than three weeks ago, the Presidents of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the United States signed a statement that opens the way to the elimination of nuclear weapons in the Ukraine. It provides for the transfer of all nuclear weapons on Ukrainian territory to Russia for their dismantlement, while recording agreement on compensation for Ukraine, previewing the security assurances that the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom will provide Kiev once it accedes to the NPT and START I enters into force, and reiterating the U.S. commitment to assist in eliminating strategic systems on Ukrainian territory.

This trilateral statement advances the interests of all three countries and of the international community in general. It will accelerate the entry into force and implementation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), bolster the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and lead to the dismantlement of thousands of nuclear weapons. Equally important, this agreement should help establish a pattern of stable political relationships. It can contribute to an environment in which democratic reform, economic vitality, and social harmony can be pursued without dangerous distraction.

Arms control and confidence-building efforts are being seriously pursue d elsewhere at the regional level -- including the Arms Control and Regional Security (ACRS) Working Group created as part of the Middle East Peace Process, the new regional forum created by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the historic progress on arms control and non-proliferation in Latin America, and the agreement in principle between India and Pakistan to establish a multilateral dialogue on regional security and nonproliferation. Similarly, we were encouraged when CSCE Ministers decided last December in Rome to begin discussions in the forum for security cooperation of possible arms control contributions for settling the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.

Manifestly, the arms control negotiating tables are new located not only in the conference rooms of Washington and Moscow and the committee rooms here in Geneva, but also in Buenos Aires; in New Delhi and Islamabad; in Cairo and Tel Aviv; and in many other places around the globe. While the venues are varied, the objectives are closely linked. The CD has been the proving ground of new ideas and has set in motion a new dynamic and a new spirit of international negotiations.

A Challenging Agenda

With this dynamic in mind, let me turn to some of the major items of business that will occupy you in the days ahead.

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

In the short time I have been in Geneva, I have already sensed the great anticipation of our forthcoming negotiations of a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). And we should be excited. A CTBT is long overdue. We are beginning the final steps in a journey of too many years.

Let me clear at the outset: U.S. policy -- announced by President Clinton on July 3 -- is one of strong support for concluding a CTBT at the earliest possible time. Now, in the aftermath of the Cold War, a CTBT becomes even more important. A CTBT will be an important part of our efforts to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons and will place a major restraint on the nuclear-weapon states.

The United States has been working hard -- as have many of you -- to ensure a smooth start to the negotiations. We were pleased to be able to cosponsor the United Nations resolution supporting the objectives of a CTBT. Its acceptance by consensus provides a strong base from which to launch your negotiations.

The consensus at the UN shows there is now virtually universal support for a CTBT. While the issues are complex, they are not beyond our immediate reach; we should be able to work out the essential elements of a treaty expeditiously. "At the earliest possible time" means just that. Obviously, no country can unilaterally set the pace, and we should avoid arbitrary deadlines, but I assure you that, as compared to some past deliberation on this issue, the United States will be out front pulling, rather than in the back dragging our heels.

A CTBT will be fully successful only with the participation and support of the five nuclear-weapon states and with broad international adherence. The nuclear-weapon states bear a special responsibility to contribute to these negotiations, and you have our commitment that the United States will meet its responsibility. For the United States, a tangible demonstration of our commitment to the CTBT is our continuing moratorium on nuclear testing. In his message to you, which I read to you just a few moments ago, the President has again urged the other nuclear-weapon states to refrain from testing.

Strengthening the MPT Regime

With the end of the Cold War, we have moved from a bipolar world to a multipolar world. The threat of nuclear proliferation remains, and with it the need to preserve the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as the primary bulwark against the further spread of nuclear weapons. The NPT reflects a broad consensus against nuclear proliferation. The treaty also establishes a framework for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, and for facilitating and regulating cooperation among states in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. And it has proved an important instrument for enhancing the social and economic development of its members.

The U.S. welcomes the substantial progress made at the Second Meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the 1995 NPT Conference, including the decision to open its proceedings to observers from both non-party states and non-governmental organizations. The PREPCOM reaffirmed the importance of consensus as its method of decision-making, and it agreed on the background documentation the parties will need from the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and other organizations to support their work. The PREPCOM also unanimously endorsed the candidacy of Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala of Sri Lanka for the Presidency of the 1995 Conference. The work of the PREPCOM is all the more important because of the end to which it is directed. The United States is committed to make every effort to achieve the NPT's indefinite and unconditional extension in 1995. Without a stable and durable non-proliferation regime, which includes a strong NPT, further arms control methods will be jeopardized.

Indefinite extension of the NPT in 1995 will ensure that the many benefits the NPT provides to its parties will remain available. By indefinite extension, the international community will send to would-be proliferators the clearest possible signal that their activities are not acceptable.

The threat of nuclear proliferation has diminished in some regions, such as Latin America and Africa. We need to ensure that for the future such regional security benefits provided by the NPT are not mortgaged by a decision to limit its extension. The full weight of the NPT membership behind a treaty of unlimited duration would be a formidable political force for non-proliferation. Moreover, it would provide an essential foundation for building further on the historic measures already taken to limit,. reduce, and dismantle nuclear weapon systems.

Fissile Material Cut-off

Our objective of reshaping the nuclear contours of the post-Cold War security landscape does not end there. The successful implementation of the Treaty on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF), the implementation of unilateral initiatives, such as reduction and dismantling of tactical nuclear weapons, and strategic arms reduction agreements,, including START I and START IL were significant contributions to the process of halting the spread of nuclear arms. Now we can add not just the CTBT negotiations and NPT extension, but also negotiations for a global agreement to prohibit further production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for nuclear explosive purposes or outside of intemational safeguards, as President Clinton urged in his address to the United Nations last September.

Such an agreement should be formally negotiated here in the CD. We were greatly encouraged by the consensus support at the UN for such a convention. A nondiscriminatory, multilateral, and effectively verifiable fissile material production ban could bring the unsafeguarded nuclear programs of certain non-NPT states under some measure of restraint for the first time. It would also halt the production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons in the five declared nuclear-weapon states.

Negative Security Assurances

Negative security assurances are also related to the cause of non-proliferation. We adhere to a policy that has been reiterated by several previous administrations, namely:

As we have stated repeatedly in this forum, the United States is open to discussion on this issue.

We cannot disinvent nuclear weapons; but we can control them. We can limit their impact and influence. Deep reductions in nuclear weapons inventories, strengthened and extended non-proliferation norms, conclusion of a CTBT, a global ban on fissile material production, and other measures will alter fundamentally the role of nuclear weapons in the world of the twenty-first century. All these steps will contribute to the important goal we all share -- a safer and more stable world.

The Challenge of Conventional Weapons

The devastating destructive power of nuclear weapons and the dangers posed by other weapons of mass destruction demand that they remain high on our arms control agenda, but they cannot be the only items. Another crucial element of the arms control equation is conventional arms.

We are reminded daily that the end of the Cold War has not by any means removed all conflict and danger from the world. Regional arms races and destabilizing accumulations of arms well beyond those realistically needed for defense are all too common. Reversing these trends is a global responsibility. We can help reduce the sources of tension that generate such accumulations. We must continue working to discourage the use of arms in resolving disputes.

The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) is a landmark in the reduction of conventional weapons. It serves as the foundation for a post-Cold War security architecture in Europe based on cooperation rather than confrontation. We look forward to its full implementation in 1995, and note with satisfaction that tens of thousands of items of equipment have already been destroyed.

The immediate challenge to this forum is to promote greater transparency about security matters. Transparency in tum fosters the greater confidence and trust upon which stable political relationships can rest.

Last year the CD created the Ad Hoc Committee on Transparency in Armaments (TIA). As the first new committee established by the CD in a number of years, it demonstrated the CD's ability to adapt to the challenges of the post-Cold War era. It is important as well because it is the only item on your agenda that addresses the conventional arms challenge. I strongly encourage you to build on the very useful work begun in the TIA Ad Hoc Committee last year. I also recommend the ideas put forward last year by the United States to promote transparency regarding conventional arms.

Some object that we should instead pay even more attention to weapons of mass destruction and the missiles used to deliver them. Let us discuss those concerns seriously, but let us not create yet another setting where we repeat ourselves endlessly to the point where other important business is neglected. If we slacken in our willingness to address the conventional weapons problems that first gave rise to the TIA Initiative, we will not make much progress, and we will begin to slide away from our global conventional arms control objectives.

just as in the nuclear area, the work done here in Geneva on conventional arms will have a significant impact on related efforts elsewhere. We share your pride in the successful initiation of the UN Register of Conventional Arms. The first year's experience with the register was good -- but not good enough. Eighty-two responses represent answers from less than half the UN's membership. We must do better; our goal should be universal participation, which your work here at the CD can encourage.

The United States also looks forward to the experts' meeting on these issues in New York next month. We will play an active part in moving their efforts to a successful conclusion.

Another conventional arms issue on which we have taken a first step relates to land mines. These weapons continue to wreak havoc on civilian populations whether or not they are any longer in an active war zone. The UN has supported by consensus the U.S. - initiated resolution calling for a moratorium on the export of anti-personnel land mines. We must now take the next step and make the global moratorium a reality. In doing so, we not only protect the futures of many innocent civilians, but we also draw attention to a range of problems long thought too difficult for arms control to solve.

This process will also be fortified by this year's experts' deliberations leading to a review conference on the convention on weapons that may be deemed to be excessively injurious or have indiscriminate effects. Although not presently a party to this convention, the United States will closely follow the progress of the conference as an observer, and the President intends to submit the convention to the United States Senate this year for advice and consent to ratification.

These positive developments can mutually reinforce one another, forming a tide that can break down resistance to progress on the conventional arms control agenda. The CD should help swell that tide.

An Extensive Agenda Remains

In my closing minutes, Mr. President, let me briefly touch on the other developments and other issues that are part of U.S. arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation efforts.

Despite the fact that the Chemical Weapons Convention has now passed beyond the CD's purview, I know that many of you remain keenly interested in its fate. In Washington this past November, President Clinton submitted the CWC to the United States Senate for advice and consent, and will push for ratification early this year. The United States urges every other signatory to do the same, so that the convention will enter into force for the critical parties at the earliest possible date.

The United States has also been pleased by the progress made by the Preparatory Commission in The Hague on elaborating the complex procedures that will guarantee the convention's smooth and effective functioning.

The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) has been strengthened since its entry into force by the increased membership and by the confidence-building measures developed by successive review conferences. We believe the world can go further. President Clinton has announced that the United States will promote new measures to increase transparency of activities and facilities that could have biological and toxin weapons applications. The United States also supports the work of the Ad Hoc Group of Government Experts convened to identify and examine potential BWC verification measures from a scientific and technical standpoint. We support an early conference to consider the report and to discuss the next steps to strengthen the international norm against a scourg e that could well become the next weapon of mass destruction of choice.

The Clinton Administration's non-proliferation policy also attempts to find solutions where non-proliferation norms have not taken hold. The United States has taken a strong stand against any North Korean nuclear weapon ambitions. In coordination with many other countries, we have made it clear to North Korea that, to resolve the nuclear issue, it will have to provide the international community with assurance that it does not possess nuclear weapons and it will not build them in the future. This means that North Korea must remain a full party to the NPT, fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), including accepting regular and special inspections, and fully implementing the denuclearization agreement reached by North and South Korea. Our position remains unchanged: North Korea will have to meet these obligations aimed at ensuring a nuclear weapon-free Korean Peninsula and a strong international non-proliferation regime.

Proliferation threats are acute in South Asia and the Middle East. The United States is encouraging India and Pakistan to join in a multilateral effort to examine regional security and arms control issues. We continue to support the activities of the Middle East Arms Control and Regional Security Working Group.

The diffusion of missile technology makes the world a more dangerous place for all of us. The United States wants to strengthen the Missile Technology Control Regime to ensure that it continues to be an effective vehicle to combat missile proliferation.

Conclusion

Mr. President, the Conference on Disarmament is strengthened by its success with the Chemical Weapons Convention negotiations. It is energized by the prospect of the negotiations on a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It is challenged by the demands of enhancing transparency in armaments. It is bolstered by important arms control developments beyond these halls.

Our responsibility now is to make the most of the opportunity before us. The task is immediate; but our results will be long-lasting. The challenges are enormous; but they are matched by the promise of profound results. The path will be difficult; but it will be worth every effort when we arrive at our destination. Let us get down to work.

Thank you.