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Arms Control and International Security: Joint Statement From the Nuclear-Weapons States at the 2016 Washington, DC P5 Conference

The text of the following statement was issued jointly by the Governments of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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  1. As Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the People’s Republic of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America met in Washington, D.C., 14-15 September 2016, for the seventh P5 Conference to demonstrate continued commitment to the NPT, and to review progress made on nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy including in fulfilling commitments made at the 2010 NPT Review Conference. The P5 reaffirmed the ongoing relevance of all provisions of the Action Plan adopted by consensus at the 2010 NPT Review Conference that remains an indispensable roadmap for the implementation of all the three pillars of the NPT. The P5 took stock of the 2015 NPT Review Conference and discussed ways to enhance prospects for the 2020 NPT Review Cycle. The P5 look forward to working with all States Parties to the NPT to ensure a positive outcome to the 2020 NPT Review Cycle.
  1. The P5 recognized the considerable progress made together through the P5 process since the first such conference in 2009 and reaffirmed the value of this format for fostering dialogue, transparency, and cooperation among Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) and with international partners. The development of a common reporting framework for the 2015 NPT Review cycle, the work of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) Experts Group, and the publishing of a Glossary of Key Nuclear Terms provide a sound foundation for further cooperative work. They resolved to continue working together through the P5 process to make further progress during the 2020 NPT Review Cycle.
  1. The P5 reaffirmed that the NPT remains the cornerstone of the international nuclear nonproliferation regime, a framework for expanding the peaceful uses of nuclear energy amongst States Parties to the Treaty, and the foundation for the collective pursuit of nuclear disarmament. The P5 committed to working together and with other States Parties to strengthen in a balanced and effective manner each of the NPT’s mutually reinforcing pillars – disarmament, nonproliferation, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The P5 reaffirmed that the preservation of the integrity of the NPT, achieving its universality and its strict implementation are essential to regional and international peace and security.
  1. At their 2016 Conference, the P5 reaffirmed the shared goal of and commitment to nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament, as referenced in the preamble and provided for in Article VI of the NPT. The P5 restated their steadfast commitment to seeking a safer world for all and achieving a world without nuclear weapons, in accordance with the goals of the NPT. We continue to pursue a progressive step-by-step approach towards this end, in a way that promotes international stability, peace, and security, and based on the principle of increased and undiminished security for all. We continue to believe that this approach is the only practical way to make progress toward nuclear disarmament while enhancing international peace and stability, and is the only realistic way to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. The P5 stressed that addressing further prospects for nuclear disarmament would require taking into account all factors that could affect global strategic stability. The P5 all reaffirmed the importance of full compliance with existing, legally-binding arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements and obligations as an essential element of international peace and security.
  1. The P5 expressed their deep concern with efforts to pursue approaches to nuclear disarmament that disregard the global strategic context. Such efforts will threaten the consensus-based approach that has served for decades to strengthen the NPT regime and enhance the Treaty’s contribution to international security and may negatively affect the prospects for consensus at future NPT Review Conferences. The P5 reiterated a call upon all members of the international community to engage in an open and constructive dialogue on nuclear disarmament, international security, and stability issues that is inclusive of all states and focused on practical measures leading to a world without nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
  1. The P5 reiterated their full support for the United Nations’ disarmament machinery, including the Conference on Disarmament (CD), and the Disarmament Commission. While noting their disappointment at the long-standing lack of consensus on a Program of Work in the CD, the P5 acknowledged creative efforts to find a compromise during the 2016 session and discussed a number of proposals towards that end. In this regard, the P5 reaffirm their support and readiness to explore all of the options to get the CD back to work, taking into account all previous proposals and agreements amongst themselves and bearing in mind the 2010 NPT Action Plan.
  1. The P5 reaffirmed that, as stated in UN Security Council Resolution 1887 (2009), the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery constitutes a threat to international peace and security. They reaffirmed that all NPT States Parties must ensure strict compliance with their nonproliferation obligations under the NPT. The P5 remained deeply concerned by the challenge that non-compliance by States Parties poses to the integrity of the NPT and emphasize the role of the UN Security Council in determining if such situations constitute a threat to international peace and security. The P5 emphasized the Security Council’s primary responsibility in addressing such threats. The P5 reiterated the importance of seeking peaceful and diplomatic solutions to the challenges facing the non-proliferation regime. They also noted the need to further strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards system, including the universalization of the Additional Protocol.
  1. They strongly condemned the January 6 and September 9 2016 nuclear tests, and the continued ballistic missile tests and ballistic missile launches carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in violation of its obligations pursuant to relevant UN Security Council resolutions and in contravention of its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. The P5 recalled the press statement of the UN Security Council on September 9, 2016. The P5 reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in North-East Asia at large. The P5 reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and urged the DPRK to respond to diplomatic efforts aimed at the eventual resumption of the Six-Party Talks and achieving complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner. They stressed the importance of working to reduce tensions in the Korean Peninsula.
  1. They also welcomed and reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Successful implementation of this JCPOA will ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is and remains exclusively peaceful and will enable Iran to fully enjoy its right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes as recognized in the relevant articles of the NPT in line with its obligations therein. They called for full implementation of all commitments pursuant to the JCPOA. They expressed their strong support for the IAEA’s essential and independent role.
  1. The P5 noted that global stocks of nuclear weapons are now at their lowest point in over half a century as the result of unprecedented efforts on the part of nuclear weapon states. They further underlined the need to pursue further efforts in the sphere of nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament in accordance with the Preamble and Article VI of the NPT and in a way that promotes international security and stability and taking into account all factors that could affect strategic stability.
  1. The P5 discussed global strategic stability and their respective nuclear doctrines. In their shared effort to strengthen international peace and security and to address further prospects for nuclear disarmament, they stressed their readiness to engage in frank and constructive dialogue that takes into account all factors that could affect global strategic stability. The P5 also decided to seek enhanced international understanding of the role of nuclear weapons in the overall international security environment.
  1. The P5 noted that 2016 marks twenty years since the opening for signature of the CTBT, and reiterated their commitment in the 2010 NPT Review Conference Final Document to promote and take concrete steps toward early entry into force and universalization of the Treaty. They called upon all states to uphold national moratoria on conducting nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion pending entry-into-force of the CTBT. The P5 reviewed efforts to build and maintain the International Monitoring System (IMS), supported by the International Data Centre (IDC), as well as a strong On-site Inspection (OSI) regime.
  1. The P5 reviewed various areas of cooperation and reaffirmed their shared commitment to broaden and deepen dialogue and cooperation. The P5 decided to undertake further activities on the Glossary of Key Nuclear Terms. The P5 also reaffirmed the value of continuing regular meetings of technical experts to promote completion of the CTBT’s verification regime and enhance its effectiveness. The P5 also decided to support and encourage dialogue among academic experts and scientists on mutually agreed issues related to international security and stability, nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The P5 decided to pursue further interaction and dialogue with non-nuclear weapon States in various multilateral formats. They shared further information on their respective bilateral and multilateral experiences in verification and resolved to continue such exchanges.
  1. The P5 reiterated their common understanding of the severe consequences of use of nuclear weapons. They underscored their resolve to prevent such an occurrence from happening. They further reaffirmed their commitment to existing security assurances regarding the use, or threat of use, of nuclear weapons and recalled their statements on negative and positive security assurances as noted in UN Security Council Resolution 984 (1995), and as revised since then. The P5 intend to continue to exchange views on the issue.
  1. The P5 reaffirmed the protocols to existing Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone treaties as an important mechanism for providing legally binding negative security assurances and recalled their signature of the Protocol to the Central Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty in 2014 and their readiness to sign the protocol to the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone at the soonest possible time. They reiterated the importance of the 1995 NPT Review Conference Resolution on the Middle East and underlined their readiness to undertake efforts, including with states in the region, aimed at its implementation. The P5 underscored the need for renewed engagement among the states in the region in order to convene an initial conference on a Middle East Zone free of all weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
  1. The P5 underscored their commitment to prevent nuclear terrorism and their support for measures to strengthen overall nuclear security. They recalled the series of Nuclear Security Summits. Welcoming the entry into force of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material in May 2016, they renewed their support to the universalization of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities as well as of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. They reaffirmed their support for relevant international organizations such as the United Nations, IAEA, and INTERPOL as well as international initiatives such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. They also further reaffirmed the central role of the IAEA in international cooperation in the area of nuclear security and expressed support for the international conference on nuclear security to be held in Vienna on December 5-9, 2016.
  1. The P5 remain steadfast in their commitment to broaden access of NPT States Parties to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and they reiterated the right of NPT States Parties to pursue the peaceful use of nuclear energy without discrimination and in conformity with their nonproliferation obligations and highest standards of nuclear safety and security. The P5 noted their extensive support for international cooperation, both bilaterally and multilaterally, on peaceful use, including the IAEA Technical Cooperation Program and multiple initiatives to strengthen IAEA programs in these areas as appropriate. They welcomed the progress in establishing the IAEA low-enriched uranium (LEU) bank in Kazakhstan and expressed their continuing support for the IAEA LEU Reserve in Angarsk (Russia), the American Assured Fuel Supply, and the UK Assurance of Supply of Enrichment Services. They affirmed that these initiatives pave the way for the assured access to nuclear fuel, which promote sustainable development and energy security and benefit all NPT States Parties.
  1. The P5 welcomed France’s plans to host the next Conference in 2017.

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