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Statement byAmbassador Hu Xiaodi, Head of the Chinese Delegation, on Security Assurances for Non-Nuclear-Weapon States at the 3rd Session of the PrepCom for the 2005 NPT Review Conference
(30 April 2004)


Mr. Chairman,

The question of security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states has been there for decades. Even before the NPT was concluded, non-nuclear-weapon states had requested security assurances from nuclear-weapon states. In order to enhance the NPT's universality, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 225, in which nuclear-weapon states committed explicitly to providing positive security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon states, thus resolving some of their concerns. In 1995, State Parties to the NPT decided to extend the Treaty indefinitely and Security Council adopted Resolution 984, providing positive and negative security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states. Nuclear-weapon states have also provided security assurances to states parties to nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties through signing the relevant treaty protocols. Nonetheless, no progress has been made in concluding a legally-binding international instrument, on unconditional security assurances.

It must be pointed out that security assurances is a right that the non-nuclear-weapon states are entitled to. It is legitimate and reasonable for non-nuclear-weapon states to claim assurances that they be free from threat of nuclear weapons while giving up the nuclear weapon option, and that such assurances be affirmed in a legally-binding form.

Security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states are not one-way benefit. By undertaking not to develop nuclear weapons, non-nuclear-weapon states make a contribution to international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament efforts and to world peace and stability. Security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states will enhance their sense of security; hence they reduce their motivation to develop nuclear weapons and are positive for non-proliferation and the three objectives of the NPT.

The fundamental way to address the question of security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states is the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and freeing the whole world from the threat and shadow of nuclear weapons. Pending 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-weapons states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. International legal instruments should be concluded thereupon as soon as possible.

Gradually degrading the role of nuclear weapons in national security, listing no state as target of nuclear weapons, and making no nuclear weapon strike plan against non-nuclear-weapon states will contribute to progress on security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon states. We regret the retrogression of certain country's position on security assurances, since it will do no good to international non-proliferation and nuclear disar