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Home Articles Flashpoints 'BERLIN DECLARATION' WELCOME


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PND Nuclear Flashpoints wishes to welcome the commitment to nuclear disarmament and to continuing efforts to abolish nuclear weapons  contained in the  'Berlin Declaration' released on 30th April.

The 2010 Review Conference forms a basis for a nuclear weapons - free world, and an interlocking legal framework, or Nuclear Weapons Convention, as mentioned in both the Ban Ki Moon five-point plan and in the final declaration of the 2010 Review Conference itself.

Other important points mentioned in the final declaration of the 2010 Revcon are of course, the reference to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of  nuclear weapons  use, and to the desirability of lowering the operational readiness of nuclear weapon systems. This last point was emphasised by the report of the ICNND, which devotes a great deal of attention to the problem of accidental nuclear war ought about by miscalculation and/or malfunction. It is covered to some extent by the words:
"Šthe need to further reduce the numbers of nuclear weapons as well as their role in security strategies, concepts, doctrines and policies. ".

A more specific recognition of the dangers posed by large numbers of nuclear weapons on high alert would have been welcome, as would a more specific embrace of a Nuclear Weapons Convention and/or interlocking legal framework by which a nuclear weapons - free world could be 'nailed down'.

The catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of even relatively small numbers of nuclear weapons, especially for 'city - busting' has been studied in detail by Toon and Robock amongst others, and shows that even the use of 100 nuclear warheads for the destruction of cites (for example between India and Pakistan), probably as a result of tragic miscalculation, would result not only in immediate fatalities in the tens to hundreds of millions, but in catastrophic global climatic consequences..

We therefore especially welcome the words:
Recognizing the danger to humanity posed by the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons and the necessity to address increased proliferation risks, to decrease nuclear arsenals, to strengthen nuclear security and to improve nuclear safety, we consider it urgent to reduce nuclear risks and achieve tangible progress on the path towards a world free of nuclear weapons."

Progress toward a fissile material cutoff treaty (FMCT) has been seen for years  and decades as essential for progress toward a nuclear weapons - free world, and Australia and Japan together with other governments play a praiseworthy role  on the margins of the CD in trying to break the logjam on that issue. While it is important to redouble efforts to achieve progress in that area, progress in other areas must not become hostage to progress on the FMCT. At the same time, governments need to look for other  innovative ways to achieve progress to an FMCT.

Similarly, Governments need to look for innovative and creative ways to ring about  the entry into force of the CTBT, with or without its ratification by specific countries important as that is. One possibility might  be for a group of 'Friends of the CTBT' to declare that for them, they would choose to regard the CTBT as having entered into force. Other possibilities might  be looked at.. 

The simple fact that ten influential nations such as yours have got together and pressed for progress to be made to the abolition of  nuclear weapons, whatever else the NGO community and others might ideally wish to be given attention is itself of immense importance and deserves support.


John Hallam
PND Nuclear Flashpoints Project
499 Elizabeth Street  Surry Hills NSW 2010
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fax 02-9699-9182


Berlin Statement by Foreign Ministers on nuclear disarmament and



30 April 2011

   1. We, the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany,
Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab
Emirates reaffirm our joint intention to work towards achieving
nuclear disarmament and a strengthening of the international
non-proliferation regime, as set out in the joint statement adopted at
our first meeting in New York on September 22, 2010. Recognizing the
danger to humanity posed by the possibility of the use of nuclear
weapons and the necessity to address increased proliferation risks, to
decrease nuclear arsenals, to strengthen nuclear security and to
improve nuclear safety, we consider it urgent to reduce nuclear risks
and achieve tangible progress on the path towards a world free of
nuclear weapons.
   2. We base our efforts on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of
Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as the essential foundation for the achievement
of nuclear disarmament, the cornerstone of the global nuclear
non-proliferation regime, and the basis for the development of the
peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The consensus outcome of the NPT
Review Conference 2010 sets a practical agenda with an Action plan
covering all three pillars of the Treaty, as well as the objective of
a Middle East free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass
destruction. We are determined to promote and support implementation
of the commitments made by all NPT member states, and advocate further
progress through practical contributions and proposals.
   3. We welcome and support the renewed call for the total
elimination of nuclear weapons as the only guarantee against their use
or threat of use, and consequently see the need to further reduce the
numbers of nuclear weapons as well as their role in security
strategies, concepts, doctrines and policies. We are encouraged by
recent developments, in particular the entry-into-force of the
US-Russian New START Treaty and the stated intention of both parties
to continue the process of reductions, stressing the need to include
all categories of nuclear weapons. We strongly hope that all other
states possessing nuclear weapons will follow suit, while applying the
principles of irreversibility, verifiability and transparency to the
nuclear disarmament process.
   4. We recognize States parties' right to develop and use nuclear
energy for peaceful purposes as embodied in the NPT. We join the
international call for elevating the safety of nuclear power plants to
the highest level and strengthening nuclear safety measures worldwide
in view of the recent events at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power
Plant. We support the discussions which have begun already at national
and regional levels as well as at international fora and
organizations, in particular the IAEA. We welcome the invitation by
IAEA Director General Amano to a Ministerial Conference on Nuclear
Safety to be held in Vienna from June 20 to 24, 2011.
   5. Now is the time to revitalize and reinforce multilateral
efforts, recognizing that today's global security problems more than
ever require co-operative and multilateral solutions. Many items of
the agenda laid out in the Action plan of the 2010 NPT Review
Conference can only be implemented through a successful multilateral
effort. For more than a decade, the multilateral disarmament machinery
has not lived up to the expectations of the international community in
addressing pressing security challenges through effective multilateral
arms control and disarmament, foregoing enormous possibilities to
promote international stability, facilitate development and increase
security for all. The message from the high-level-meeting convened by
the UN Secretary General on 24 September 2010 in New York is clear:
the international community will not accept more time being lost. We
are united in the demand to revitalize the multilateral disarmament
   6. The consensus reached last year by the NPT Review Conference on
the forward-looking Action plan proves that co-operative, multilateral
disarmament and non-proliferation efforts can work if there is the
necessary political will. Our objective is to maintain the momentum of
that successful outcome and to expedite its implementation. With that
purpose we have adopted the following concrete proposals for action on
key elements of the Action plan.
          * Proposal I: There is consensus among NPT member states
that the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons must be
stopped. A Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) would curb the risk
of future nuclear arms races and reduce the danger of non-state actors
getting such material into their hands. Such a treaty would complement
ongoing efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear material across the
globe. It is an indispensable step on the way towards a nuclear weapon
free world. We are deeply disappointed that one year after the NPT
Review Conference, which called in its Action plan for the immediate
negotiation of an FMCT in the Conference on Disarmament, this has not
been implemented. While acknowledging that the security requirements
of all states must be addressed in the course of negotiations, we
underline that there is no reason and no excuse for further delay.

            On 26 January, United Nations Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon called for the establishment of informal processes to help
build confidence for an FMCT and return the CD to its program of work.
We have initiated intensive efforts to overcome the current deadlock.
In Geneva, in the margins of the CD, Australia and Japan are
co-hosting a series of discussions among experts to examine technical
aspects of an FMCT in order to build momentum towards negotiations.
Working in Vienna, in an effort led by Germany, we have developed a
paper on the effective verification of an FMCT, which lists questions
to be addressed by scientific experts and contains input for their
deliberations. We consider that the establishment of a group of
scientific experts with the assignment to examine technical aspects of
an FMCT could facilitate and contribute to the start of negotiations.

            Building on those initiatives we will continue to press
for the immediate commencement of negotiations. Our preference remains
to negotiate an FMCT within the CD. However, if the CD, in its 2011
substantive session, remains unable to find agreement on launching
FMCT negotiations, we will ask the UN General Assembly, which is
already seized of the matter under agenda item 162 entitled "Follow-up
to the high-level meeting held on 24 September 2010: Revitalizing the
work of the Conference on Disarmament and taking forward multilateral
disarmament negotiations", to address the issue and consider ways to
proceed with the aim of beginning negotiations.
          * Proposal II: Entry-into-force of the Comprehensive Nuclear
Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is another major objective on the multilateral
agenda. We call on all States which have not yet done so to sign and
ratify the CTBT. We are encouraged by the commitment expressed by the
United States and by Indonesia to ensure ratification of the Treaty.
We believe that an effective end to nuclear testing will enhance and
not weaken our national as well as global security and would
significantly bolster the global non-proliferation and disarmament
regime. 15 years ago the Treaty was opened for signature, and the
number of signatories and ratifications has steadily increased. We are
committed to universalizing the Treaty and to promoting its early
entry-into-force. Utilizing various diplomatic opportunities we will
urge states that have not done so to sign and ratify the Treaty and
promptly complete the steps necessary to bring it into force. We are
committed to support the Preparatory Commission of the
CTBT-Organization in setting up an effective monitoring and
verification system and commend the work already accomplished.
          * Proposal III: At the 2010 NPT Review Conference, the
nuclear weapon states committed themselves to accelerate progress on
concrete steps leading to nuclear disarmament, and to report back to
NPT member states. Additionally, as a confidence-building measure, the
Conference encouraged the nuclear weapon states to agree as soon as
possible on a standard reporting form. We are developing a draft of a
standard reporting form which could be used by the nuclear weapon
states in meeting that commitment. We will invite the nuclear weapon
states to examine our proposal at their Paris meeting in June. It sets
out our expectations regarding information that we would like to see
all states possessing nuclear weapons provide. We believe that
reporting on the basis of a standardized format, as encouraged in the
Action plan adopted by the Review Conference, would build
international confidence and help to create a climate conducive to
further disarmament. We consider it essential to increase transparency
and accountability in the nuclear disarmament process.
          * Proposal IV: We underline that an effective
non-proliferation regime is a joint security interest of all nations.
We recognize the important role of the IAEA in verifying states'
compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations. We
highlight the fact that with the entry into force of the IAEA
Additional Protocols for the United Arab Emirates in December 2010 and
for Mexico in March 2011, all countries belonging to our
cross-regional initiative implement Comprehensive Safeguards
Agreements and Additional Protocols, which we regard as the necessary
verification standard. We call on all states, in line with the Action
Plan of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, to conclude and bring into
force Additional Protocols in order to give the IAEA the additional
authority it needs credibly to deter and detect violations of
non-proliferation obligations. We will continue to advocate
bilaterally and multilaterally for the universal application of the
Additional Protocol in our respective regions. We offer to share
experiences and best practices in the conclusion and implementation of
the Additional Protocol with all interested parties, and are ready to
provide legal, and other, assistance.
   7. We will take stock of progress on today's proposals at our next
meeting in the margins of the UN General Assembly in September. The
2012 ministerial meeting of our initiative will be hosted by Turkey.

      We will continue to work on other key items of the Action plan
adopted by the 2010 NPT Review Conference, as identified in our joint
statement of September 22, 2010. In particular, we intend to promote
the establishment of internationally recognized
nuclear-weapon-free-zones, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived
at among states of the region concerned, and in accordance with the
1999 Guidelines of the UN Disarmament Commission, convinced that such
zones strengthen global as well as regional peace and security,
reinforce the nuclear non-proliferation regime and contribute to the
achievement of nuclear disarmament. In this respect, we underline the
crucial need to promote the creation of a zone free of nuclear weapons
and all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, in line
with pending requirements for the organization in 2012 of the special
conference agreed at the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

      We will also work on specific actions aimed at reinforcing
states' export control systems which play an important
non-proliferation role.

      We will actively promote disarmament and non-proliferation
education, based on our conviction that education is a powerful tool
for mobilizing further disarmament and non-proliferation efforts
globally by enhancing awareness and understanding among our citizens.
   8. We are encouraged by the interest our initiative has met across
regions and groupings. We are grateful to all states who want to join
our efforts and support our proposals. Only such a broad effort will
succeed in building the necessary bridges and in achieving meaningful
progress towards the mutually reinforcing objectives of nuclear
disarmament and non-proliferation.
Last Updated on Sunday, 08 February 2015 22:30