Allow me on behalf of the Delegation of the Republic of Belarus to congratulate you upon the election to the post of the Chairman. I am confident that under your leadership the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons will be able to conduct a comprehensive and unbiased review of the implementation of the Treaty, as well as outline possible solutions for the revealed problems and thereby contribute to further strengthening of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime based on the NPT.
You can count on full support and cooperation of the Belarusian Delegation.
Over 35 years the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons has remained the fundamental element of the international security. Regardless of all discrepancies, including those concerning the interpretation of some articles of the Treaty, the idea, which consolidates all States Parties, still exists and it is based on the general recognition of the fact that proliferation of nuclear weapons threatens international security.
Having renounced the possession of nuclear weapons and confirming it’s full adherence to the non-proliferation obligations, Belarus calls upon not to lose sight of the strategic goal of the NPT – nuclear disarmament. Being a strong supporter of the realistic approach, which assumes incremental pañå of nuclear disarmament, we believe that such an “incremental approach” should not become a formal shelter for inertness and particularly for activities that are not in line with the goals of the Treaty.
We believe that further perfection and development of new types of nuclear weapons, as well as appearance of defensive doctrines rationalizing the use of nuclear weapons are not consistent with the strategic goal of the NPT.
The lack of progress in fulfilling the so called “13 steps towards nuclear disarmament” agreed upon at the 2000 Review Conference is also a matter of serious concern.
We regret that only limited headway has been made in bringing into force the CTBT. Voluntary decisions of some Nuclear Weapon States to refrain from conducting tests of nuclear explosive devices are definitely positive developments, but they cannot serve as an adequate alternative to a legally binding instrument.
One more crucial direction for further strengthening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime is banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. The Conference on Disarmament should start without further delay negotiations on Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty as well as on the issues of nuclear disarmament, negative security assurances and preventing arms race in outer space.
The issue of universalization of the NPT is acute today as never before to a large extent due to the decision of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea to withdraw from the Treaty. Belarus deeply regrets this decision. At the same time we note that the matter of renewal of the DPRK’s participation in the NPT should be resolved solely on the principles of international law, taking into account all legible interests of the parties involved.
We also remain concerned about the futility of the attempts of the NPT States Parties aimed at promoting accession to the Treaty of the States that operate non-safeguarded nuclear facilities. In this regard we would like to stress once again the importance of providing negative security assurances to Non-Nuclear Weapon States that could be an additional incentive for accession to the Treaty.
The Republic of Belarus welcomes and highly appreciates the responsible decision of Cuba to accede to the NPT and to the Treaty of Tlatelolco. We also welcome the accession to the NPT of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.
Belarus, having made its historic choice in favour of renunciation of the military nuclear capabilities more than 10 years ago, believes that this decision serves the national security interests in the best way only on the assumption of unconditional implementation by all States Parties of the obligations under the NPT. Nothing should undermine the role of the IAEA – the Agency that ensures verification of States’ compliance with their commitments under the NPT.
Belarus strongly supports the initiatives aimed at strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime and attaches great importance to the introduction of the safeguards system based on the Additional Protocols to the Safeguards Agreements.
Belarus endorses the ongoing efforts of the Agency to promote the development of nuclear power and other peaceful nuclear technologies which are essential for sustainable development of many States of the world. In that way the IAEA supports States in exercising their inalienable right for peaceful use of nuclear energy. We consider as essential further development of the international co-operation in research activities, enhancing nuclear and radiological security, as well as radioactive waste management and development of radioactive technologies in medicine.
Belarus highly appreciates the role and positive input of the IAEA and its Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei in strengthening of non-proliferation and insuring compliance with the NPT.
The non-proliferation strategy and tactics of the NPT Member States should be modified to address new threats and challenges, and specifically growing threat of acquiring nuclear weapons by non-state actors, including international terrorist organizations, as well as emergence of “black” markets of nuclear and missile technologies. Additional measures based on consolidated efforts of the international community should be taken to control the spread of dual-use materials and technologies that can be used for nuclear weapons related purposes. Such arrangements often go beyond the legal framework of the NPT.
In this regard Belarus is ready for full-fledged cooperation with the UN Security Council Committee established in accordance with resolution 1540. We note with satisfaction the appearance and successful development of other international instruments such as the Proliferation Security Initiative and the Initiative on the Development of Nuclear Technologies Resistible to Proliferation.
Belarus recognizes the specific role of international export control regimes as an effective tool to contain the proliferation of materials, equipment and related technologies that can be used to produce nuclear weapons. Belarus as a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group fully adheres to the NSG Guidelines.
In conclusion let me express strong hope for constructive work of the Conference based on the mutual compromises of States Parties which will allow reaching a common position on controversial issues of the implementation of the Treaty and in that way contribute to the achievement of the strategic goal of the NPT.
In this regard I would like to wish every success to all participants of the Conference.