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EU at the UN

The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.


Mr Chairman,  

1.       I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Acceding country Croatia*, the candidate countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland+ and Serbia*, the countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, align themselves with this statement.

2.      We warmly welcome the progress that has been made in the field of disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation; particularly the momentum created by major events such the entry into force of New START Treaty last year, the successful NPT Review Conference in 2010 and this year’s first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 NPT Review Conference. At the same time we continue to be deeply concerned at the persistent impasse for over a decade in the Conference on Disarmament, thereby preventing it from fulfilling its mandate and in particular its failure to start negotiations on an FMCT. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and the risk that non-state actors gain access to such weapons, continues to be a major threat to international peace and security that calls for a global approach.

3.        The EU is fully committed to upholding, implementing and strengthening the treaties and agreements on disarmament and non-proliferation, while recognising that progress is needed in this field, in line with the existing relevant instruments and through the negotiation of new treaties. The European Union is actively contributing to the global efforts to seek a safer world for all and to the achievement of the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons in accordance with the objectives of the NPT.

4.      The EU emphasises the great importance of UN Security Council Resolution 1887, of the New START agreement between the United States and the Russian Federation and of the Nuclear Security Summit process, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) and looks forward to further progress in achieving highest level of nuclear security worldwide.

Mr. Chairman,

5.      The Treaty on the Non–proliferation of Nuclear Weapons remains the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation system, the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament in accordance with its Article VI and an important element in the further development of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In view of current proliferation risks, we are convinced that today the NPT is more important than ever. We must preserve and strengthen its authority and integrity.

6.       In that context, the EU welcomed the outcome of the NPT Review Conference in May 2010 and the consensus established on the Action Plan, which is our common roadmap to the 2015 Review Conference, and the other measures contained in its Final Document. The NPT States Parties thereby confirmed their shared commitment to preserving the integrity of the Treaty and reaffirmed its importance. At the same time, they adopted measures to reinforce the implementation of the NPT regime. The EU emphasises the importance of universalising the NPT and calls on States that have not yet signed or ratified it to join the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon states.

7.      We call on NPT State Parties to actively pursue, without delay and in a balanced manner, the forward-looking Action Plan set out in the Final Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, which is designed to strengthen the three pillars of the Treaty. In this regard we welcome the Nuclear Weapons States follow-up meetings to the NPT Review Conference in Paris (2011) and Washington (2012) as well as initiatives of Non-Nuclear Weapons States like the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative promoting the implementation of the 2010 Final Document. The first session of the NPT Review Conference’s Preparatory Committee, which met in Vienna in May this year, paved the way for a smooth start of the new NPT Review Cycle.

8.      The EU welcomed the reaffirmation by the 2010 NPT Review Conference of the 1995 NPT Resolution on the Middle East and the endorsement of practical steps leading to the full implementation of that resolution. In this respect, the EU is pleased to announce that a follow up event to the successful seminar held in Brussels in July 2011 will take place again in Brussels on 5 and 6 November 2012. We hope it would allow for an open exchange of views among the participants from the concerned region and beyond on all aspects related to the establishment of a WMDFZ in the Middle East. The European Union welcomed the appointment of the Under-Secretary of State Jaakko Laajava of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland as facilitator and the designation of Finland as the host government for the 2012 Conference. The EU has been in close contact with the Facilitator and had welcomed his report during the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. In the run-up to the 2012 Conference, and beyond, we look forward to continue working together with the Facilitator and all concerned and interested parties to make progress in the process, for the establishment of a zone free of all WMD and their means of delivery in the Middle East.

9.      The European Union remains committed to ensuring the best safety, security and non-proliferation conditions by countries wishing to develop in a responsible way, their capacities in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We stress the key role played by the IAEA in this regard and reaffirm our willingness to promote as a universally accepted international verification standard the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement together with the Additional Protocol. The EU also contributes to the enhancing of the IAEA’s capability of Safeguards Analytical Services in financing the new Nuclear Material Laboratory. We join the international call for elevating the safety of nuclear power plants to the highest level and strengthening nuclear safety measures worldwide. The EU also notes the importance of the work undertaken concerning multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle, and is providing financial support to the future IAEA Low-Enriched Uranium Bank.

Mr Chairman,

10.  The international community continues to be faced with major proliferation challenges, which must be addressed in a resolute way. Iran’s nuclear and missile programme defying many UNSC and IAEA Board of Governors resolutions and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) testing of a nuclear explosive device and delivery mechanisms are most worrying examples in this regard. The same can be said regarding Syria’s non-compliance with its Safeguards Agreement and continued non-cooperation with the IAEA, which remains to be addressed by the UNSC. Even in the present situation the Syrian authorities remain responsible for urgently remedying their non-compliance with their Safeguards Agreement and for cooperating urgently and transparently with the Agency to clarify matters with regard to Dair Alzour and other sites and for bringing into force an Additional Protocol as soon as possible.

11.   International concerns about the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme prevail and resulted in the adoption of the most recent IAEA Board of Governors’ resolution on Iran on 13 September. It urges Iran to comply fully and without delay with all its obligations under relevant UNSC resolutions and to meet the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors, thereby deciding that Iran’s cooperation on all outstanding issues, including those pointing to possible military dimensions, is essential and urgent to restore international confidence. The EU’s objective remains to achieve a comprehensive negotiated long-term settlement. The E3+3 – China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States – led by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy – remain firm, clear and united in seeking a swift diplomatic resolution of the international community’s concerns on the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, based on the NPT, and the full implementation of UN Security Council and IAEA Board of governors resolutions. Clear and credible proposals have been laid out in recent months for an initial confidence building step which will address the immediate key concerns focussing on Iran’s 20% enrichment activities in a comprehensive manner as well as reciprocal steps that would benefit Iran. We urge Iran once again to engage seriously and to urgently take the necessary steps that will allow to restore confidence.

12.   We strongly condemn the North-Korean attempted launch conducted on 13 April, which constitutes a serious violation of the UN Security Council Resolutions 1695, 1718 and 1874. We strongly urge the DPRK to abandon all its existing nuclear and ballistic missile programs, including uranium enrichment activities, in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner and to refrain from further provocation actions. We call on the DPRK to return to full compliance with the NPT and IAEA safeguards obligations, and provide the IAEA with the requested access to individuals, documentation, equipment and facilities.

13.   The EU is very concerned by the risks caused by the proliferation of missiles that could be used to deliver weapons of mass destruction, including ballistic missiles of increasingly great range and sophisticated technologies. A number of tests of medium and intermediate-range missiles conducted over the last years outside all existing transparency and pre-notification schemes and in violation of UNSC-resolutions, especially by the DPRK and Iran, deepen our concern.

Mr Chairman,  

14.  Credible assurances that States are honouring their non–proliferation obligations are indispensable components of the non-proliferation regime. We emphasise the essential role of the IAEA in this respect. We call on all states that have not yet done so to conclude a comprehensive safeguards agreement and an additional protocol with he IAEA and put them into force as soon as possible. The EU emphasizes the IAEA’s work in the prevention of nuclear and radiological terrorism, particularly through the Nuclear Security Fund, to which the EU makes significant contributions. We also welcome the outcome of the High level meeting on countering nuclear terrorism organised during the ministerial week on 28 September 2012 by the Secretary General and the Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force.

15.  The EU supports all measures designed to prevent terrorists from acquiring chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, related materials, delivery systems and radiological material. In this context, we stress the need for compliance with obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions 1540(2004), 1887(2009) and 1977(2011) and calls for improved security of radioactive sources. By supporting the creation of regional CBRN Centres of Excellence, the EU is helping to build capacities for the mitigation of risks related to such materials.

16.  We reaffirm our support for the G8 Global Partnership, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), the Nuclear Security Summits, the Proliferation Security Initiative, the Global Threat Reduction Initiative and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

17.  The EU calls on the members of the Zangger Committee and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to continue to share their experience in export control, so that all States can draw on their work and its implementation. The EU recalls the importance of the strengthening of the NSG’s guidelines as agreed at the 2011 Plenary Meeting, and emphasises that it is important that having an Additional Protocol in force becomes a condition for nuclear supply within the NSG. The EU also welcomes the ongoing review of the NSG control lists.

Mr Chairman,  

18.  The EU attaches the greatest importance to the entry into force as soon as possible of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the completion of its verification regime. In expressing its support for the provisions in the Joint Ministerial Statement of the CTBT Ministerial Meeting on the early entry into force of the Treaty, held on 27 September 2012, the EU welcomes the continued efforts to bring about the entry into force of the CTBT, and has engaged diplomatically in this respect with countries that need to sign or ratify the Treaty. We welcome the latest ratifications by the Central African Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Ghana, Guinea, Guatemala, and Indonesia as an Annex 2 state.

19.  We reiterate our appeal to all States that have not done so, and in particular the remaining Annex II States, to sign and ratify the CTBT swiftly and unconditionally. Pending the entry into force of the CTBT, the EU calls on all States to uphold a moratorium  on nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosion, to refrain from any action contrary to the obligations and provisions of the CTBT.

20.  The EU recognises the fundamental value of the CTBT verification regime as an instrument encouraging international cooperation and the development of trust. In order to reinforce these verification capacities, the EU has been supporting the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO through specific EU funding directed at a number of projects are being carried out to strengthen the CTBTO’s verification capabilities and to facilitate the participation of developing countries in the verification regime.

Mr. Chairman,  

21.  The EU attaches great importance to the negotiation, in line with agreed documents in the Conference on Disarmament of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (FMCT), including verification provisions as a means of enhancing disarmament and non–proliferation. In the interim, the EU calls on all the States concerned that have not yet done so to declare and apply an immediate moratorium on the production of such materials, and to dismantle or convert for non-explosive use only the facilities dedicated to the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons. In this context, we welcome the actions taken by certain nuclear-weapon States, and in particular Member States of the European Union, that have declared a moratorium and dismantled installations of this kind.

22.  The European Union stresses the importance of overcoming the deadlock of the Conference on Disarmament. We call on all delegations to be flexible and begin negotiations immediately on an FMCT, and to engage in substantive discussions on all the core issues of the CD agenda. We welcome initiatives by CD member states, including EU MS, to advance the issue of FMCT. During the wider UNGA debate on 27-29 July 2011, the European Union presented a number of concrete proposals. We are ready during this session to engage with you, Mr Chairman, and with all UN member states to explore also other concrete and operational options in order to take multilateral non-proliferation and disarmament negotiations forward.

Mr Chairman,

23.  The EU continues to stress the necessity of general disarmament and progress in all fields of disarmament. Positive and negative security assurances play an important role in the non––proliferation and disarmament regime. The EU is committed to promoting further consideration of security assurances and welcomes the respective adjustments in the UK and US nuclear postures.

24.  The EU continues to attach great importance to the development of internationally recognised nuclear–weapon–free zones (NWFZs), established on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among States of the regions concerned, as provided for in the guidelines adopted by the UNDC in 1999. We hope that outstanding issues concerning nuclear–weapon–free zones can be resolved through in-depth consultations, in accordance with the UNDC guidelines and with the agreement of all parties involved. In this respect we welcome the recent progress of the negotiations between ASEAN Member States and the P5 States on the South-East Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone. The EU regards the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons as well as other weapons of mass destructions as well as their means of delivery in the Middle East, as a means of enhancing security and stability in the region.

Mr. Chairman,

25.  The EU is committed to the pursuit of nuclear disarmament, in accordance with Article VI of the NPT, and welcomes the considerable reduction in strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons and their delivery systems since the end of the Cold War, as well as the significant steps taken by two EU Member States in this connection. We stress the need to continue the overall reduction of the global stockpiles of nuclear weapons, especially by those States with the largest arsenals. In this context, we recognize the application, reaffirmed by NPT 2010 Review Conference, of the principles of irreversibility, verifiability and transparency to guide all measures in the field of nuclear disarmament and arms control, as a contribution to establishing and upholding international peace, security and stability, taking these conditions into account. We shall continue in our efforts to promote greater transparency in support of fresh progress with disarmament. The EU welcomes the increased transparency shown by some nuclear–weapon States, in particular the EU Member States, on the nuclear weapons they possess, and calls on others to do likewise.

26.  We welcome the entry into force of the New START treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation. In that respect the EU recalls the continued existence of significant deployed and stockpiled arsenals which are not covered by formal arms control agreements. We encourage the United States and the Russian Federation to continue negotiations in order to achieve greater reductions in their nuclear arsenals, including non-strategic weapons. We call on them and on all States possessing non-strategic nuclear weapons to include them in their general arms control and disarmament processes, with a view to their reduction and elimination, while agreeing to the importance of further transparency and confidence-building measures in order to advance this nuclear disarmament process.

27.  Serious challenges remain in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation and we must face them with resolve. We note with satisfaction the growing momentum for progress towards achieving the goals enshrined in the NPT. The EU calls on all States to seize this opportunity and work together to make the world a safer place.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

* Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

+ Iceland continues to be a member of EFTA and the European Economic Area.

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