Nuclear-Weapon States Meet in Paris

Daryl G. Kimball

Senior officials from the five original nuclear-weapon states—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—reaffirmed their commitment to the 64-point action plan agreed at the 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference and “called on all States Parties to the NPT to work together to advance its implementation,” according to a July 1 joint press statement at the end of a two-day meeting in Paris.

The meeting follows the five countries’ initial September 2009 session on confidence-building measures on disarmament.

The July 1 statement reported that they “continued their previous discussions on the issues of transparency and mutual confidence, including nuclear doctrine and capabilities, and of verification, recognizing such measures are important for establishing a firm foundation for further disarmament efforts.” They also said they would “continue working on an agreed glossary of definitions for key nuclear terms and established a dedicated working group.”

According to the statement, they “shared information on their respective bilateral and multilateral experiences in verification…[and] will continue their discussion of this issue later this year at an expert-level meeting in London.”

The joint statement calls for the “swift entry into force” of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and its “universalization.” All five states have signed the treaty; the United States and China have not yet ratified it.

The countries reiterated their support for immediate commencement of negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) on a verifiable fissile material cutoff treaty. They pledged to “renew their efforts with other relevant partners to promote such negotiations.” Pakistan has blocked negotiations at the CD on the issue.

The statement said the group would meet for a third time in the context of the next NPT Preparatory Committee meeting in 2012.