NPT Preparatory Committee, Cluster 2, U.S. Statement delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Robert Wood, U.S. Mission to International Organizations in

Statement by Chargé d’Affaires Robert A. Wood

Acting U.S. Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna, Austria

Department of State

United States of America

Cluster 2 Issues

First Session of the Preparatory Committee

2015 Review Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

May 7, 2012 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I welcome the opportunity to address the Treaty’s nonproliferation pillar by discussing what the United States has done, alone and in concert with others, to implement the Treaty and advance this element of the 2010 Action Plan.  I would also like to address the nonproliferation developments that continue to challenge the Treaty and international peace and security.  I will highlight the U.S. efforts to support International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, so vital to the NPT and nonproliferation in general, and discuss progress made since the Review Conference on nuclear weapon-free zones.  These are only a few examples of U.S. efforts to advance the Treaty’s nonproliferation pillar, and I draw your attention to the U.S. working paper on nonproliferation, PrepCom Working Paper 21, for a more detailed account.

U.S. Support for Strengthened IAEA Safeguards

Mr. Chairman, it is important to recall that the 2010 Action Plan calls on Parties “to ensure that the IAEA continues to have all political, technical, and financial support so that it is able to effectively meet its” safeguards responsibilities under the NPT’s Article III.   With a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy to purposes proscribed in the Treaty, Article III requires non-nuclear-weapon states parties to conclude a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the IAEA.  The IAEA safeguards system is fundamental to the NPT’s nonproliferation pillar and the larger nonproliferation regime, and the Action Plan recognizes this in its calls for universality of comprehensive safeguards agreements and the Additional Protocol, and for NPT Parties to support the safeguards system.

The IAEA has made clear that it cannot provide credible assurances of the absence of undeclared nuclear activities in a state through a comprehensive safeguards agreement alone.  To do so, the IAEA needs the additional authorities contained in the Additional Protocol.  The United States welcomes the fact that 115 states now have an Additional Protocol in force, signifying that this agreement has become the international safeguards standard.

The United States welcomes the fact that four states have brought their NPT-mandated comprehensive safeguards agreements into force since the 2010 Review Conference; we urge the 14 NPT Parties that have still not done so to conclude and implement such agreements.  We also encourage those states that have safeguards agreements in force with a small quantities protocol, but have not yet modified that protocol according to IAEA Board guidance, to modify these protocols as soon as possible, as urged by the 2010 Action Plan.

Fourteen states have brought an Additional Protocol into force since the 2010 Review Conference as encouraged by the Action Plan, making a concrete contribution to a stronger nonproliferation regime.  We urge the remaining states without an Additional Protocol in force to bring one into force as soon as possible.

Assistance is available for states taking these steps.  To supplement the efforts of the IAEA, we have worked with a number of states to underscore the importance of these safeguards agreements and to facilitate the full implementation of the agreements already in force.

Mr. Chairman, the United States is working with many likeminded NPT Parties in coordinating outreach to stress the importance of the Protocol for all states, even those with limited nuclear material and activities.   In addition, the United States has strongly supported IAEA efforts to help states understand the Additional Protocol’s requirements and prepare for implementation of the Protocol.  Furthermore, direct U.S. assistance in these areas is ongoing with a number of partners.  These efforts are an important part of our commitment to the nonproliferation elements of the 2010 Action Plan, and we recognize the essential contribution to the NPT being made by the Parties working to implement their new Protocols or preparing to bring an Additional Protocol into force.

I note that the IAEA is hosting a side event today on the application of safeguards in NPT Parties.  The IAEA has the principal responsibility for working with states to implement their safeguards agreement, but such help is also available from some NPT Parties.  During tomorrow’s lunch break, the U.S. Mission in Vienna will host an event in room M3 to describe the many sources of assistance that are available as they seek to implement their safeguards agreements, including the Additional Protocol.  I encourage all interested states to attend these events.

In his 2009 Prague speech, President Obama called for more resources and authority to strengthen international inspections.  The United States, along with other NPT Parties, has been working hard to respond to this call.  We strongly support the IAEA’s continuing effort to strengthen its safeguards regime by implementing IAEA verification activities based on an assessment of all nuclear activities in a state.  This evolution of the safeguards system, utilizing all the safeguards-relevant information available to the IAEA, is allowing the Agency to focus its verification efforts where they are most needed.  The goal of this effort is to provide assurances regarding the non-diversion of declared nuclear material from peaceful activities and the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities.  We will continue to provide the Agency expertise and resources in support of the continued evolution of strengthened safeguards, and urge all NPT parties to do likewise.

Budget Support

As more states conclude safeguards agreements and more facilities are placed under safeguards, the resources of the IAEA are increasingly under strain.  The United States has strongly supported increases to the IAEA regular budget in recent years.  The IAEA’s budget for 2012 represents more than a 2% increase in real terms, providing additional resources for most areas of the Agency’s work, including safeguards.  Nonetheless, more needs to be done in this area, as many of the Agency’s core activities remain unfunded in the regular budget.

The United States has long provided extra-budgetary support to the IAEA for safeguards, including by enhancing its technical capabilities, through efforts such as the U.S. Support Program for Safeguards and the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative.  A major contribution has been our extra-budgetary contribution of more than 14 million euros for the construction of a new Safeguards Analytical Laboratory and nuclear material laboratory.

U.S. Safeguards Agreements

Mr. Chairman, the United States offers the same transparency regarding civil nuclear facilities that non-nuclear-weapon states are asked to provide.  Our “voluntary offer” safeguards agreement with the IAEA entered into force in 1980, and our Additional Protocol came into force in 2009.  Under our voluntary offer agreement, the United States has made nearly 300 nuclear facilities eligible for IAEA safeguards.  The IAEA has carried out hundreds of inspections in U.S. facilities, many at facilities containing material removed permanently from weapon programs.  Last year, under the Additional Protocol the United States declared over 370 activities to the IAEA, and since the 2010 RevCon we have hosted two complementary access visits by IAEA inspectors under our Additional Protocol.

Securing Fissile Material

The Nuclear Security Summits of 2010 in Washington and Seoul in 2012 demonstrated the agreement among leaders of the seriousness of nuclear terrorism, the need to protect nuclear materials, and the leading role of the IAEA in this area; the importance of these issues is reflected in the 2010 Action Plan.  We will discuss U.S. efforts on nuclear security in greater detail in Cluster Three, including our commitment to carrying out the requirements of UN Security Council Resolution 1540, and our strong support to the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and the Group of Eight Global Partnership.

Nonproliferation Challenges

Mr. Chairman, President Obama made the need for compliance clear in the Prague speech when he said, “Rules must be binding.  Violations must be punished.  Words must mean something.  The world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons.”   While the 2010 Action Plan encourages NPT Parties to take all of the actions that I have discussed to strengthen the Treaty and the larger nonproliferation regime, the Action Plan also emphasizes the importance of compliance with the Treaty’s nonproliferation obligations.  The 2010 RevCon underscored the importance of “addressing all compliance matters in order to uphold the Treaty’s integrity and the authority of the safeguards system” and “resolving all cases of non-compliance with safeguards obligations.” It is vitally important that all NPT Parties support the resolution of all cases of noncompliance with IAEA safeguards, relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, and other nonproliferation requirements.  The Treaty is only as strong as the Parties’ willingness to maintain its integrity.

With very few exceptions, NPT non-nuclear weapon states have demonstrated their commitment to the NPT by complying with its provisions, and working with partners to strengthen Treaty implementation.   Unfortunately, challenges to full compliance with the nuclear nonproliferation regime remain.

We remain concerned by Iran’s persistent failure to comply with its nonproliferation obligations, including IAEA safeguards obligations and UN Security Council resolutions, and we welcome the discussions between the P5+1 and Iran in Istanbul April 14.  We seek a sustained process that produces concrete results, and call on Iran to take urgent practical steps to build confidence and lead to compliance with all its international obligations.  We will be guided in these efforts by the step-by-step approach and the principle of reciprocity.  The NPT forms a key basis, together with the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors, for what must be serious engagement on Iran’s nuclear program, to ensure that Iran meets all of its nonproliferation obligations, while respecting Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy in conformity with Articles I, II, and III of the Treaty.  Iran’s engagement with the P5+1 is separate from the equally urgent obligation for Iran to cooperate fully with the verification efforts of the IAEA.  We are concerned that Iran has not agreed to grant the IAEA access to all relevant sites, information, documents and persons necessary to resolve questions about its nuclear program, including concerns about its possible military dimensions reported by the IAEA in November 2011.  Therefore, we stress the urgent need for Iran to reach agreement with the IAEA on a structured approach, based on IAEA verification practices, to resolve all outstanding issues.

With regard to Syria, IAEA Director General Amano reported in May 2011 that the facility destroyed in 2007 at Dair Alzour was “very likely” an undeclared nuclear reactor.  In June 2011, the IAEA Board of Governors found Syria in noncompliance with its safeguards agreement and, in accordance with the IAEA Statute, referred the matter to the UN Security Council.  It remains essential that Syria fully cooperate with the IAEA to bring to closure the Dair Alzour noncompliance issue and resolve questions that remain about other sites in Syria that could possibly be related to Dair Alzour.

Turning to the DPRK, we note with serious concern its April 13 launch, in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874.   Such actions, in clear contravention of its international obligations and commitments, call into serious question the DPRK’s commitment to denuclearization.  The DPRK’s continued development of its nuclear program, including uranium enrichment, is a clear violation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874 and its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks.  These activities must cease immediately.  We strongly urge the DPRK to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and return, at an early date, to the NPT and IAEA safeguards.  We reaffirm our support for a diplomatic resolution of the DPRK’s nuclear issue.  We call on the DPRK to refrain from further provocative actions, including any nuclear tests, and take concrete and demonstrable steps to fulfill its international obligations and commitments.

U.S. Support for Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones

Mr. Chairman, nuclear-weapon-free zones provide valuable regional reinforcement to the NPT and the global nonproliferation regime.  When they are properly crafted and rigorously implemented under appropriate conditions, they can contribute to regional and international peace, security, and stability.

The United States is party to Protocols I and II of the Latin American Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone.  It is a signatory to the relevant Protocols to the South Pacific and African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone treaties, and, consistent with the commitment made by Secretary of State Clinton at the 2010 Review Conference, has submitted these Protocols to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent to ratification.  Also, as Secretary Clinton pledged at the 2010 RevCon, we have reached substantive agreement among the nuclear weapon states and Treaty Parties on issues related to the Protocol of the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty.  The United States plans to sign the Protocol in the near future.  The United States also remains prepared to continue consulting with parties to the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone.


Mr. Chairman, the 2010 Action Plan provides a way forward to fulfill our individual and collective obligations and to strengthen the Treaty and enhance the nonproliferation regime.  Doing so includes effective efforts to respond to violations of the Treaty and its required safeguards.   The past two years have seen significant progress on the Action Plan, but much work still remains to be done.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.