Speech by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on the opening of the meeting of the international group Friends of the Non-Proliferation

30.04.2011 - Speech

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Today, we meet to achieve highly ambitious goals. We expect the nuclear weapon states to honour the commitments they entered into at the NPT conference last May.

We would welcome a faster pace in nuclear disarmament and a reduced role of nuclear weapons in military doctrines. The world must not lose the momentum that has carried disarmament since President Barack Obama’s speech in Prague.

I applaud Russia and the United States for returning to the negotiating table. This is good news for all of us.

Bilaterally, the process seems well on track. Multilaterally, we seem closer to derailing. In the weeks and months to come, our initiative can be instrumental to restart multilateral negotiations. Together we can better overcome entrenched positions, especially at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

Today’s meeting will be focused on four main goals.

Our first goal is the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Without the ratification by the United States and Indonesia, it cannot enter into force. We need to redouble our efforts in the dialogue with both governments and parliaments to effectively lobby for ratification.

Our second goal is a complete ban on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. If the Conference on Disarmament remains unable to do the job, we are willing to ask the UN General Assembly to consider alternative ways to move forward.

Our third goal regards improved transparency of nuclear arsenals. We have formulated clear expectations not to provoke, but to promote the dialogue with nuclear weapon states. In this regard, our Japanese and Australian colleagues have done remarkable work, and we are very grateful for this contribution.

Our fourth goal is a universal monitoring role for the International Atomic Energy Agency. This has been accepted by all countries represented at this table. I commend Mexico and the United Arab Emirates for having taken the appropriate steps during the past months. This has greatly improved our group’s legitimacy and leverage.

I look very much forward to our discussions today. Accelerating nuclear disarmament and preventing proliferation are matters of urgency. If we continue to stand united, we can reach all our goals.

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