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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Hu Xiaodi on Security Assurances for Non-Nuclear-Weapon States at the Main Committee I of the 2005 NPT Review Conference
24 May 2005, New York

2005/05/25

Mr. Chairman,

“Security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states” is an important issue in the NPT regime. Non-nuclear-weapon states are entitled to security assurances by the nuclear-weapon states. Since non-nuclear states have given up the nuclear weapon choice, it is fair and reasonable for them to claim assurances that they be free from threat of nuclear weapons, and ask for a legally-binding confirmation of such assurances.

Security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states is not one-way benefit. By undertaking not to develop nuclear weapons, non-nuclear-weapon states make contributions to international nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, as well as world peace and stability at large. Security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states will enhance their sense of security and reduce their motivation to pursue nuclear weapons, hence playing a positive role in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and preserving the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, of which the NPT serves as the cornerstone.

For years, non-nuclear-weapon states have made unremitting efforts in seeking security assurances by nuclear-weapon states and been rewarded by some achievements. Through Security Council Resolutions 255 and 984, the nuclear-weapon states to some extent, provided positive and negative security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states. By signing relevant protocols to nuclear-weapon-free-zone treaties, nuclear-weapon states also extended security assurances to states parties to these treaties. However, regrettably, non-nuclear-weapon states have yet been provided with unconditional security assurances by all the nuclear-weapon states so far, and the negotiation on a legally binding international instrument on security assurance has yet begun.

The fundamental approach to addressing the issue of security assurance for non-nuclear-weapon states is complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, freeing the whole world from the threat of nuclear weapons. Pending the realization of this objective, all nuclear-weapon states should undertake not to be the first to use nuclear weapons, or use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones at any time or under any circumstances. International legal instruments should be concluded thereupon without delay.

Gradually diminishing the role of nuclear weapons in national security policy, not listing any states as targets of nuclear weapons strike, and not designing any nuclear attack plan against non-nuclear-weapon states will be conducive to making progress on security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states. We regret the setback with respect to security assurances, since it will inevitably bring about negative impact on international non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament process.

Mr. Chairman,

China has all along committed not to be the first to use nuclear weapons at no time or under no circumstances, nor use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-weapon-free zones, thus providing unconditional negative security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon states. In 1995, the Chinese Government reaffirmed once again the above position and undertook to provide positive security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states. China and Russia have concluded an agreement on mutual no-first-use of nuclear weapons. China has also initiated that nuclear-weapon states should conclude a treaty on no-first-use of nuclear weapons and undertake unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states. China actively supports the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to re-establish an ad hoc committee on negative security assurances and start substantive work and negotiations without delay. China also supports negotiating a protocol on security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states within the NPT framework.

China has signed all relevant protocols to nuclear-weapon-free-zone treaties that are open for signature, and undertaken corresponding obligations. China and ASEAN have reached agreement on Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty and its protocol. China hopes that ASEAN and the other four nuclear-weapon States can reach agreements on the unresolved issues related to the Treaty and its Protocol as soon as possible, so that the protocol can be open for signature at an early date. China also takes a positive and open attitude towards the draft Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty and its Protocol. We have no difficulty in the current draft presented by the five Central Asian countries, and hope that agreement could be reached between the five countries and relevant nuclear-weapon States at an early date.

China supports establishing a subsidiary body and allocating special time at the Review Conference to discuss the issue of Security Assurances for non-nuclear states.

The Chinese Delegation has submitted a working paper on Security Assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states, as contained in document NPT/CONF.2005/WP.7, and hopes the elements contained therein will be included in the report of Main Committee I and the final document of the Review Conference.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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