2010 NPT Review Conference

Dr. sc. Mario Nobilo, ravnatelj Uprave za multilateralne poslove Ministarstva vanjskih poslova i europskih integracija Republike Hrvatske, održao je govor na Preglednoj konferenciji Ugovora o neširenju nuklearnog oružja.

Mr. President, Allow me to congratulate you on your election as a President of the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. I am confident that under your skilful stewardship, the work of this Conference will produce successful results. Croatia aligned itself with the statement delivered by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on behalf of the European Union. However, the importance of this event and the issues before us prompt us to share with you several points in our national capacity. Mr. President, The timing of this Review Conference is very significant for the global non-proliferation regime. In the past five years since the last Review Conference we have been witnessing many changes in the area of nuclear weapons, energy and materials. Some of these changes have made us more aware of the dangers of nuclear proliferation, especially non-state actors acquiring nuclear material and eventually being able to obtain nuclear or radiological weapons. In that respect, we note with appreciation the outcome of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C. last month, which addressed some of the key issues of nuclear security and non-proliferation. In addition, the new START agreement, signed between the United States and the Russian Federation further reducing their strategic nuclear arsenal, together with the recent transparent US announcement on the number of nuclear weapons, are welcome steps in the right direction. With all the changes there is one constant. That is the pivotal importance of the NPT in the efforts towards nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and promotion of peaceful use of nuclear energy. This Review Conference represents a unique opportunity to consolidate the global support for the NPT and its goals. A big token of the importance of the NPT can also be seen through strong involvement of civil society, which can be witnessed on the margins of this Review Conference, and which we wholeheartedly welcome. Mr. President, Croatia fully supports the NPT and all its three mutually reinforcing pillars. We believe that this Review Conference should produce a substantive and balanced outcome aimed at strengthening the implementation of all three pillars, building upon decisions and resolutions from previous conferences and on concrete progress in nuclear disarmament. But at the same time, the current proliferation threats, whether states that do not respect their obligations from Security Council or IAEA resolutions, or non-state actors trying to obtain nuclear material, should be dealt with effectively and with resolve. Furthermore, development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes should not be a privilege of the few, but a right for all countries, providing they exercise transparency and responsibility towards international non-proliferation instruments, and fully comply with the NPT and its safeguards instruments. In this respect, Croatia recognizes the importance of the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol with IAEA as a verification standard under the NPT. We strongly advocate strengthening of this system and call upon all States Parties to the NPT to conclude and bring into force Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocols with the IAEA. Croatia encourages the work of the IAEA on multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle, including assurances of nuclear supply, as effective means of addressing the expanded need for nuclear fuel service. Croatia is particularly concerned with the fact that there are still states that remain outside the NPT, and we call upon those states to consider joining the Treaty as non-nuclear weapons states. Croatia also shares the opinion of those who believe that the procedures and consequences of withdrawal under Article X of the NPT, though a sovereign right of every state, should be discussed in greater detail at this Review Conference. We also believe that suspected proliferation of nuclear weapons by some countries, regardless of their status within the NPT, is a matter of grave concern and contributes to proliferation race. We are also urging all states that have not yet done so, to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) without delay and without conditions. It especially applies to the states listed in Annex II of the CTBT. We are encouraged by the announcements by the US Administration that efforts will be made in order to secure ratification of the CTBT in US Congress, and statements by several other Annex II countries on their readiness to ratify the Treaty. Pending its entry into force, Croatia welcomes the decision of all states concerned to observe a moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosion. Allow me here to express our satisfaction with adoption of the Program of Work of the Conference on Disarmament. In that respect, we hope and call for an early conclusion of the negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty. We also welcome the steps taken to conclude nuclear weapons free zone treaties enhancing regional and global security. Croatia continues to strongly support the work of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) with the goal of curbing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-state actors. During the membership in the Security Council (2008 – 2009), Croatia tried its best to contribute to this important body, including through an active participation in the comprehensive review of the status of implementation of the resolution 1540 (2004) carried out last year. Croatia has been focusing particular efforts on combating non-proliferation and enhancing the institutional network of relevant institutions in the region of South Eastern Europe. In this context, let me inform you that Croatia will be hosting the regional Workshop on Implementation of the Resolution 1540 (2004) in June this year. Croatia continues to be active in sharing its experiences and expertise, especially in regulations regarding export controls, with the countries in the region. Finally, Mr. President, let me briefly touch upon the Croatian priorities in this field. Croatia has in place legislative and operative procedures with regard to nonproliferation, export control, nuclear safety and import and export of weapons and other military equipment. A special consideration has been given to legislation in the nuclear field. Croatian laws and regulations on nuclear safety and security are in accordance with EU legislation. Croatia also has a well functioning National Office for Nuclear Safety. Croatia is a Party to all major international nuclear non-proliferation agreements in this field - the NPT, the CTBT, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials, the Hague Code of Conduct, and it adheres to the EU Code of Conduct for Arms Exports. Croatia has signed the Additional Protocol with the IAEA for the Application of Safeguards in connection with the NPT. Furthermore, we are a member of the relevant international arms control and non-proliferation regimes and initiatives, such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Zangger Committee, and the Wassenaar Arrangement. We invite all counties that are not members of above mentioned arms control and non-proliferation regimes to use those standards and procedures. Croatia also participates in non-proliferation initiatives such as the Proliferation Security Initiative and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. Mr. President, There are opportunities before us that should not be missed, but also challenges that should not be ignored. We should all be conscious of our individual and collective responsibility in securing the world safe for all. I thank you, Mr. President.