Commenting on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference which ended yesterday, Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued the following statement today (29 May) in Berlin:
“Yesterday in New York was a very good day for disarmament and thus also for the preservation of world peace. For the first time in ten years the almost 190 NPT participant countries reached a balanced consensus in the joint final document. This is a great success for the international disarmament efforts.
The final document contains a clear commitment to strengthening all three pillars of the NPT – disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. To that end a comprehensive action plan was adopted which envisages specific obligations on the part of the States Parties regarding the three NPT pillars.
All participants expressly commit themselves to the goal of completely eliminating all nuclear weapons. The fact that almost 190 countries took that pledge is a historic step.
This means that the sub-strategic nuclear weapons, which up to now have not been subject to any kind of arms control mechanism, will also be included in the ongoing disarmament process. That is particularly important for Germany, as the German Government is working to bring about the withdrawal of the last tactical nuclear weapons stationed in Germany.
The mandate, agreed 15 years ago, to create a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, must now be implemented phase by phase. In this regard a follow-up conference, in which all countries of the region are to take part for the first time, is planned for 2012.
The success in New York shows that progress on arms control and disarmament is not only urgently needed but also possible. Difficulties and resistance can be overcome if we persevere.
The German Government sees this result as an encouragement to continue its efforts towards global disarmament. We are pleased that we were able to make a significant contribution to the conference’s success. We will now do what we can to consistently implement the New York results. What we want is greater security with fewer nuclear weapons, improved arms control and effective mechanisms to prevent the uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear weapons and weapons-grade material.
Disarmament, arms control and the peaceful use of nuclear energy are the keystones of a global security architecture. We have lost a great deal of time in the past, and we have to make up for that lost time. All of mankind has a major interest in ensuring that the new decade is a decade of disarmament rather than armament. The New York conference was a vital step in the right direction”.