Statement by the Delegation of Turkey on "Cluster I" of the Third Session of the Preparatory Commitee for the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Having presented our views on the NPT in our general statement delivered on May 6, I would now like to elaborate our position with regard to the Cluster I issues.
Like many other delegations who have taken part in the general debate, we have emphasized in our statement of May 6 that the three pillars of the NPT regime were of equal importance and are interrelated. We wish to register once again that the issues of disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use need to be addressed in a holistic approach.
Let me explain how we could work towards achieving the objectives enshrined in Article VI of the Treaty. Our conviction is that nuclear disarmament should be irreversible, transparent and verifiable. The approach should be gradual and realistic, comprising of incremental and complementary practical steps. We do not have to re-invent the wheel; we may begin by consolidating and building on the previous accomplishments of the NPT process.
In this context, "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament" of 1995 and the "Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference, particularly to the "13 Practical Steps" contained therein can provide the necessary guidance. Indeed, all Treaty-based nuclear arms control and disarmament accords play their distinctive roles in meeting Article VI obligations.
There have been accomplishments in nuclear disarmament. Since the end of the Cold War, significant positive changes have taken place with regard to the role of nuclear forces in international security environment. Most important, in our view, is the change of paradigm in nuclear thinking. The predominant role of nuclear weapons in the security and defence policies of nuclear-weapon states has been declining. The NPT nuclear powers have carried out important nuclear force reductions. The high readiness and alert levels of these weapons have been reduced significantly. Planning and targeting related to nuclear weapons have been eased. We are encouraged by these developments. And we insist that this momentum should be preserved.
In this context, Turkey welcomes the joint statement issued by the President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitriy Medvedev on 1 April 2009 regarding negotiations on further reductions in strategic offensive arms. We will continue to encourage all such positive steps to be taken by the United States and the Russian Federation aimed at enhancing global security.
Of course, no single step can suffice in our global efforts for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. We hold the view that this endeavour consists of several inter-related building blocks: For instance, the early into force of the CTBT will be a vital building block. Turkey signed this important Treaty as soon as it was opened to signature in 1996. We are heartened to see that the Treaty has been ratified by 35 of the 44 "Annex II" countries. Yet, more needs to be done.
Turkey has been actively participating in Article XIV Conferences since 1999. In the wake of the next "Article XIV Conference" to be held in September 2009, we shall continue to promote and work for the entry into force of the CTBT. Actually, my country assumed key responsibility within the verification system. We host one of the 50 primary seismic stations of the "International Monitoring System". This is among the already certified 37 stations. We see the CTBT as instrumental in restraining vertical proliferation. Accordingly, we call upon all states that have not yet signed and ratified the Treaty, to do so; in particular, the states whose ratification is required for its entry into force. Pending that, all states should continue to abide by a moratorium and refrain from any action, which would be contrary to the provisions of the CTBT.
On the eve of the NPT Preparatory Committee and the Review Conference, the Conference on Disarmament (CD) has more responsibility than ever. If we were able to overcome the long stalemate in the CD, possible achievements such as entry into force of the CTBT may create synergy. As part of our efforts to ensure the early entry into force of the Treaty, Turkey on 1-2 July 2008 hosted a cross-regional workshop on "Twelve Years of the CTBT: Achievements and Perspectives" that brought together representatives from Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Another building block could be a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). Indeed, if we are to resume the substantive work in the CD, FMCT seems to be the most appropriate topic for commencing negotiations. Such a treaty should place a quantitative cap on the fissile material that is designed for use in nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices. Banning these materials would strengthen both non-proliferation and disarmament. We believe that a comprehensive and non-discriminatory approach to FMCT negotiations should include the issue of stockpiles and effective verification as well.
We believe that, in the future, the CD may also take up new initiatives on such issues as nuclear-weapon free zones, prevention of an arms race in outer space and additional measures to strengthen negative security assurances.
We value such possible steps as complementary and mutually-reinforcing means within our toolbox.
The integrity and credibility of the NPT require the renewed commitment of all of us to its principles and objectives. We will continue to work actively and constructively with a view to reaching a substantive and balanced outcome at the 2010 Review Conference.