EP: Borrell on arms control

Brussels 20.10.2020 The head of the EU diplomacy Josep Borrell exchanged opinions with the Members of the European Parliament on Non-Proliferation Treaty. In his remarks Josep Borrell has reflected on the preparation of the 2020 NPT review process, arms control and nuclear disarmament options. (In light of the situation related to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, States Parties have decided to postpone the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to a later date, as soon as the circumstances permit, but no later than April 2021. Information on the new dates of the Review Conference will be posted in due course by the UN). control

“This upcoming Review Conference is the next most important event on global non-proliferation and disarmament – at least what still remains of it. Despite current uncertainty about when the conference will take place, it remains the most important event in the world of non-proliferation and disarmament.
“We are all concerned about the deteriorating security environment as well as the continued pressure on the nuclear non-proliferation architecture, illustrated by the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces in Europe Treaty. We regretted it a lot when it happened and we continue regretting it now.
It is essential that all States Parties comply with their ;Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations and fully implement all commitments under the Treaty.
Upholding and preserving the Non-Proliferation Treaty must remain a key priority for the European Union’s foreign policy. The European Union strongly supports all three pillars of the Treaty – non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy – and will continue to promote comprehensive, balanced and full implementation of the 2010 Review Conference Action Plan”.

Through intensive diplomatic engagement backed up by the [Common Foreign and Security Policy] (CFSP) funded Council Decisions we are promoting the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the preparations of negotiations for a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty. We are also proud to support regional conferences in preparation for the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.
We are going to redouble our efforts to uphold international norms, to restore dialogue and trust, and to promote transparency and confidence-building measures.
Together with Member States, we are preparing a strong and forward-looking common European Union position for the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. And I would like to stress some of the key elements of our position in the context of your Report.
First, we will continue to strongly call for the extension by the United States and Russia of the New START Treaty before February 2021 and we will encourage negotiations for a broader future agreement.
Second, we welcome the various initiatives of nuclear disarmament, including the Stockholm Initiative.
Third, we acknowledge the increased attention given to risk reduction and we hope discussions on this topic could gain broad support.
The promotion of universal adherence and the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty – as I already mentioned – remains a top priority for the European Union.
This conference will be an occasion to address non-proliferation crises as well. We continue calling on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to refrain from further provocations and to take concrete steps towards abandoning all its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.
We will also reaffirm our commitment and support for the Iran nuclear deal, the so-called JCPOA, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. We deeply regret the 2018 withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal and the subsequent re-imposition of United States sanctions on Iran. At the same time, we are gravely concerned by Iran’s activities that are inconsistent with the JCPOA and have severe proliferation implications.
Finally, let me underline that we also take due note of your proposal to encourage talks about the possibility of a multilateral ballistic missile treaty’.
The head of the EU diplomacy thanked the Members of the European Parliament who have contributed to the recommendations ahead of the 2020 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT).

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The NPT represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.

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