The United States participated in the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meeting of Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) held in New York, April 28 - May 9. The U.S. Delegation was led by Thomas Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation; Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller provided the opening statement for the United States.
Under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Enrique Roman-Morey of Peru, the PrepCom accomplished all of its procedural tasks ahead of the 2015 NPT Review Conference and provided for a substantive, detailed exchange on the three NPT pillars: disarmament, nonproliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The United States emphasized the central role of the NPT in addressing the profound challenges that nuclear weapons pose to the security and survival of nations. In a comprehensive report presented to the PrepCom, the United States highlighted the significant progress underway to reduce the number and role of nuclear weapons and to ensure compliance with the Treaty’s nonproliferation goals. As a transparency step, the United States also released a newly declassified nuclear weapon stockpile fact sheet that shows more than 1,200 nuclear weapons dismantled since 2009. Highlighting the PrepCom, the United States and the other nuclear weapon states (China, France, Russia and the UK), signed the Protocol to the Central Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty. The Protocol, once in force, provides legal assurances against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons to the five Central Asian states.
“The NPT remains the cornerstone of global nonproliferation efforts and all Parties share in the responsibility to uphold it,” said Assistant Secretary Countryman. “I was pleased to sign the Central Asia Treaty Protocol, a step that benefits the security of states that are parties to the NPT and meet their nonproliferation obligations.” In remarks to the PrepCom, Assistant Secretary Countryman also highlighted progress underway to convene a conference on a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction that has the full support of all regional states. “The United States remains committed to the goal of convening a conference once the regional states reach consensus on an agenda and related documents,” said Assistant Secretary Countryman.
The United States will continue to pursue steps that contribute to nuclear disarmament, while addressing the serious challenge of cases of noncompliance with Treaty obligations, including that posed by North Korea, and continuing to support access to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in areas such as human health, water resources, agriculture, and food security. The United States is the largest single contributor to IAEA peaceful uses programs, and has pledged $50 million to the IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative over a period of five years beginning in 2010. In parallel, the United States is seeking to build support for this initiative by inviting contributions from other states, with a goal of bringing the total support for this initiative to $100 million.
For more information on U.S. activities during the PrepCom, please visit http://www.state.gov/t/isn/npt/