Remarks by Mr. Fu Cong, Director General of Department of Arms Control, at the Dialogue Between the P5 Delegations and Academia
10:30 am 31st January, Legendale Hotel
Ms. Yang Yi, Secretary-General of China Arms Control and Disarmament Association,
Distinguished representatives of the P5,
Friends from the Embassies, the academia and the press,
Let me first thank the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association for organizing this event, and thank all of you for attending and for your interest in the P5 Conference held yesterday. So first please allow me to give you a short briefing on what transpired from yesterday’s Conference .
The theme of the P5 Conference was “Strengthening P5 Coordination and Safeguarding the NPT Regime”. At the Conference, the P5 had in-depth discussions on the international security environment, nuclear policies and strategic issues, explored ways to strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime, and reached broad agreements in the following areas.
First, the P5 agreed to make joint efforts to enhance mutual trust. The P5 recognized that maintaining sound relationships with each other is of crucial importance to global strategic issues, and expressed readiness to work together to maintain the international peace and global stability. The P5 agreed to have an objective assessment of each other’s strategic intentions, and to take steps to enhance mutual trust and maintain common security, and to make utmost efforts to prevent nuclear risks, in particular resulting from miscalculation and misinterpretation.
Secondly, the P5 agreed to make concerted efforts to safeguard the integrity and effectiveness of the NPT regime. The P5 reiterated that the NPT constitutes the cornerstone of the existing nuclear non-proliferation regime as part of the international security architecture, and committed themselves to strengthening the NPT regime. As previously agreed, the P5 reiterated their commitment to submitting their respective national implementation reports by the 2020 NPT Review Conference. The P5 also reiterated their commitment to abiding by all provisions of the NPT and promoting its universality, and emphasized the need for all Parties to work together to make the 2020 NPT Review Conference a success. The P5 hold the view that the TPNW contradicts, and risks undermining, the NPT, and reaffirmed their opposition to this Treaty.
Thirdly, the P5 agreed to continue their efforts to promote international nuclear disarmament. The P5 restated their shared commitment to achieving a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all, through a gradual process. The P5 agreed to work to make the international environment more conducive to further progress on nuclear disarmament. Meanwhile, the P5 also recalled the importance of maintaining the existing international arms control architecture and stressed the importance of compliance with all international arms control agreements.
Fourthly, the P5 agreed that the legitimate security concerns of the Non-Nuclear-Weapon States need to be properly addressed. The P5 reaffirmed their commitment to existing negative and positive security assurances. The P5 reiterated their support for the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones, expressed their readiness to renew engagement with the parties to the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, and also reaffirmed their support to the establishment of a Middle East Zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at by all States of the region.
Fifthly, the P5 expressed their grave concerns on the challenge that the proliferation of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery poses to international peace and security. At the same time, the P5 undertook to make maximum efforts in seeking peaceful and diplomatic solutions to the challenges facing the nuclear non-proliferation regime, in accordance with the UN Charter and the relevant resolutions adopted by the Security Council. The P5 also commended the positive role played by the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Sixthly, the P5 reiterated their commitment to promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The P5 recognized the mutually beneficial nature of the international cooperation on peaceful use of nuclear energy and its significance to sustainable development, and are willing to enhance relevant international cooperation in this regard. Meanwhile, the P5 emphasized the need to strengthen the IAEA safeguards system, improve global nuclear security and safety, and combat nuclear terrorism.
Last but not the least, the P5 renewed their commitment to P5 solidarity and cooperation, as well as their readiness to engage constructively with Non-Nuclear-Weapon States. The P5 agreed to hold an informal meeting of P5 heads of delegations during the upcoming 3rd PrepCom for the 2020 NPT Review Conference in April. The P5 also decided to start the work of the second phase of the Working Group on the Glossary of Key Nuclear Terms under China’s chairmanship. Regarding their engagement with the Non-Nuclear-Weapon States, as the coordinator of the P5 process, China intends to give a briefing on the Beijing conference at the CD plenary in Geneva next week. The P5 are planning another round of dialogue with the NPDI countries during the 3rd PrepCom for the 2020 NPT Review Conference. The P5 also welcomed the offer by the UK to host the next P5 annual Conference in London in 2020.
These are the major points that emerged from yesterday’s Conference.
I would also like to take this opportunity to say the following. As the host and the coordinator of the P5 cooperation process, China attaches great importance to this P5 mechanism. It is our view that at a time when the international security environment is undergoing profound changes and the existing international architecture of arms control and non-proliferation is under severe stress, it is extremely important that the P5 have an opportunity and platform to sit together and engage in a serious and professional dialogue on strategic issues. We are very happy to see that yesterday’s Conference, together with bilateral meetings in the margins of the Conference, has achieved that objective. And for that, I want to express our gratitude to our P5 partners. I sincerely hope that the spirit of solidarity and professionalism demonstrated at this Conference by all the P5 delegations can be extended to other fields as well.