Recognizing the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons for global safety, security, society, economy, and everyone’s survival, the United States of America today announced that it will strengthen the global non-proliferation and disarmament efforts.
In her remarks at a Security Council Briefing on Maintenance of International Peace and Security Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Disarmament and Security, Ambassador Susan E. Rice said he 2010 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) outlined US approach for reducing the role of nuclear weapons and pursuing the goal of a world without such weapons.
Through the posture review, the United States has announced it will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states that are party to the NPT and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations.
“We emphasized our collective interest in ensuring that the record of more than six decades of nuclear non-use continues forever.” -Ms. Rice
The New START Treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation, which entered into force on February 5, 2011, is being implemented successfully, Ms. Rice noted.
The treaty illustrates yet again the United States’ strong commitment to meeting its disarmament obligations, she said.
She adds that when the treaty is fully implemented, the deployed strategic nuclear forces of the United States and Russia will reach their lowest level since the 1950s.
“The rigorous provisions of the New START Treaty testify to the importance of transparency and effective verification in providing predictability and stability in international relations.” -Ms. Rice
Continuing the process of P5 engagement established through the 2009 London and 2011 Paris P5 conferences, the United States will host a P5 conference in Washington later this year to continue discussions on verification, transparency, and confidence-building measures, Ms. Rice stated.
She says the P5 process now underway expands the long-standing U.S.-Russia nuclear disarmament dialogue into an ongoing process of P5 engagement on issues related to nuclear disarmament, consistent with US obligations under Article VI of the NPT and our commitments under the 2010 NPT Action Plan.
In addition, Ms. Rice notes that the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is also an essential step toward a world without nuclear weapons, and the United States remains committed to working toward the ratification of the Treaty and its entry into force.
The United States continues to maintain its voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing, which went into effect two decades ago.
The US government calls upon all states to refrain from nuclear explosive testing.
However, Ms. Rice stresses that despite these many multilateral and national efforts, much work remains to be done.
“We must continue strengthening global nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament, and security efforts. We cannot let our guard down.” -Ms. Rice
She cites that certain countries continue to pursue nuclear-weapons capabilities in violation of Security Council resolutions and contrary to the clearly expressed will of the international community.
The dangers the world faces and the price of complacency remain much too high, she added.
The implications of any case of non-compliance, whether by North Korea or Iran, concern more than just the offending country and its neighbors, she underlined.
Every violation of the NPT has the potential, if left unchecked, to erode confidence in the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, she noted.
“We cannot and we will not let that happen.” -Ms. Rice
Beginning negotiations on a fissile material cutoff treaty is the next logical step in nuclear arms control, Ms. Rice stated.
She notes that due to one country, the Conference on Disarmament has been unable to agree to move forward.
The Conference should agree to commence negotiations without further delay, Ms. Rice added.
“We must also sharpen our commitment to nuclear safety and security.” -Ms. Rice
She notes that the terrible accident at the Fukushima plant last year was a reminder of world’s shared vulnerability as much of the world looks increasingly to nuclear power to fuel economic growth and development.
The choice safely to develop and maintain nuclear power is and should remain a national one, she stressed.
The United States believes that it has a moral responsibility to lead and act now, in cooperation with the members of this Council and the international community, to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons, Ms. Rice said.
“Today’s session and presidential statement mark a milestone on that path. As President Obama remarked in Seoul last month, “no one nation can do this alone.” -Ms. Rice
Earlier this year, as the 2012 G8 Chair, the U.S. has assumed the lead for the three nonproliferation groups that report to the G8: the Nonproliferation Directors Group (NPDG); the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction (GP), and the Nuclear Safety and Security Group (NSSG). These groups will meet throughout 2012 to help develop and implement international objectives for nonproliferation.