Statement by Turkey at the Third Session of the Preparatory Commitee for the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
I would like to begin by joining others in warmly congratulating you on your assumption of the chairmanship of the present session of the Preparatory Committee. We are confident that your experience and leadership will help us to make progress towards a successful review conference next year. You may rest assured of our Delegation's full support and cooperation in the performance of your duties.
Turkey advocates global, overall disarmament and supports the international efforts in the field of international security through arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament. Turkey is party to all international non-proliferation instruments and export control regimes. We are meticulous in fulfilling our commitments emanating in this context. And we wish to see the effective implementation, further strengthening and universalization of these instruments.
Turkey, like many others, regards the NPT as the fundamental instrument in our global endeavour of non-proliferation and disarmament. We remain fully committed to the implementation of the Treaty with all its three pillars, namely, non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The "grand bargain", on which the NPT regime is founded, rests upon these three equal, inseparable and mutually reinforcing pillars. Equal and balanced treatment of these three pillars lies at the heart of our approach in this context. We are pleased to observe that this approach has gained increased support. Therefore, the commitment of all nuclear or non-nuclear weapons states to the fulfillment of the respective legal and political obligations contained in the NPT should be reaffirmed.
The NPT regime may not be as perfect or universal as we may wish, but it has been instrumental in restraining nuclear proliferation, inspiring further steps for disarmament and establishing a fair system of international cooperation for peaceful use of nuclear energy. It has been operational in slowing, and in some cases reversing the spread of military nuclear capabilities. It is a unique instrument for which no viable alternative appears in sight. It should hence continue to play a vital role in addressing the security challenges in the nuclear field. From a wider perspective, the NPT and the other international legal instruments against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are complementary.
Taking this opportunity, let me reiterate that Turkey's security policy rules out production, possession or use of any kinds of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Our unwavering support in the fight against the proliferation of WMD stems from real security concerns. Located in a region of particular concern with respect to proliferation of WMD and their delivery means, Turkey takes an active part in all collective efforts aimed at devising measures to reverse this disturbing trend.
The risk of acquisition of WMD and their delivery means by terrorists should not be underestimated either. We need to remain vigilant and cooperate to avoid possible attacks involving nuclear and radiological materials. In this regard, the international community needs to redouble its efforts aimed at effective and universal implementation of all legal means available, including UNSC resolution 1540.
We are encouraged by the recent intensification of the efforts to promote the full implementation of resolution 1540. And we look forward to the process of comprehensive review on the status of implementation of all aspects of this resolution, including outreach, dialogue, assistance and cooperation.
Turkey also attaches great significance to the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Turkey signed this important Treaty as soon as it was opened to signature in 1996 and completed the ratification process in 2000. We believe that entry into force of the CTBT could be the first concrete step to overcome the present difficulties surrounding the non-proliferation and disarmament issues. All states that have not yet signed or ratified the Treaty should do so as early as possible - in particular those states whose ratification is required for its entry into force. Pending that, states should continue to abide by a moratorium and refrain from any action which would be contrary to the provisions of the CTBT.
Likewise, we support the initiation of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a fissile material cut-off treaty. This could pave the way for parallel advances in related fronts, including further progress on nuclear weapon free zones and prevention of an arms race in outer space.
The inconclusive outcome of the 2005 Review Conference should not lead us to pessimism. Indeed, past achievements, such as those of the 1995 and 2000 Review Conferences are testimonies to the expertise, knowledge and wisdom, which have always been associated with the NPT regime. It is worth recalling that nuclear disarmament measures agreed upon at the 1995 Review Conference culminated in the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference. The Thirteen Practical Steps of 2000, a significant breakthrough in nuclear disarmament, demonstrated the possibility of reaching unanimity among the States Parties even during rather tough and testing times.
Therefore, there is no reason why the international community should not be able to counter the challenges facing the NPT regime. All we need to do is to refer back and build upon these accomplishments. In this regard, reaffirmation by nuclear-weapon states of their commitment to the Thirteen Practical Steps in the upcoming Review Conference will be particularly important. Of course, no single step can suffice for global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. We should therefore demonstrate perseverance and patience in our efforts.
We are encouraged to observe that the global thinking is in favour of preservation and strengthening of the NPT. Turkey will spare no efforts to promote issues of key importance for the sustainability of the NPT in the future. We will continue to work towards universalization of the Treaty, further reduction of nuclear weapons and strenghtening of the safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). We regard these agreements and the Additional Protocols as the current IAEA verification standard.
We also highly value the establishment of zones, free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, wherever practically feasible. We particularly support the establishment of an effectively verifiable zone free of such weapons and their means of delivery in the Middle East. We encourage all efforts for developing a common regional understanding on this project, with the participation of all parties concerned.
Efforts in the pursuit of nuclear disarmament need to be gradual and realistic. These can be accomplished through incremental and complementary practical steps. We believe that all treaty-based nuclear arms control and disarmament accords play distinctive roles in meeting Article VI obligations. In this context, irreversibility and transparency should be our guiding principles. We commend the steps already taken by the NPT nuclear power states towards further reductions and transparency. This momentum needs to be preserved.
Turkey recognizes the importance of peaceful uses of nuclear energy and technology, as well as the crucial role that the IAEA plays in this regard. At the same time, we underline the delicate balance of rights and obligations enshrined in the Treaty. We also recognize the fact that any significant and risk-free increase in nuclear power would only be possible if the international community could meet certain challenges which include advancement in innovative and evolutionary technologies, and meeting concerns about waste, proliferation, safety and security.
The integrity and credibility of the NPT require the renewed commitment of all of us to its principles and objectives. It is now high time to revitalize the spirit of 1995 and 2000. Our ultimate goal should be the preservation of Treaty-based nuclear arms control. In our view, this is indispensable for active promotion of collective security and cooperation for nuclear disarmament. Irreversibility and transparency should guide us in that direction. We believe that simultaneous progress in all the three pillars of the NPT regime will revalidate the status of the NPT as the cornerstone of global nuclear non-proliferation and constitute a sound basis for the pursuit of a world free of nuclear weapons.
We will continue to work actively and constructively with a view to reaching a substantive and balanced outcome at the 2010 Review Conference.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman