Statement of the G7 Non-Proliferation Directors Group
- Strengthening the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime
- Addressing nuclear proliferation crises
- The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention at 50: Upholding the global norm against the development and use of biological weapons
- The Global Partnership at 20: Honouring its achievements, enhancing biosecurity
- The Chemical Weapons Convention at 25: Defending the norm against the use of chemical weapons and countering impunity
- Countering the proliferation of missiles and other critical technology
- Saving lives by regulating conventional weapons and ammunition
- Securing the sustainable use of outer space
1. We, the G7 Non-Proliferation Directors Group, reiterate the G7´s profound condemnation of Russia’s premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustifiable war of choice against Ukraine, enabled by the Belarusian government. We condemn in the strongest terms the numerous atrocities committed by Russian armed forces in Ukraine. We reaffirm our solidarity with the Ukrainian people and our support to the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Russia’s ongoing war of aggression is a blatant violation of international law with severe consequences for international security, including global non-proliferation efforts. We condemn Russia’s disinformation campaign and we warn against any threat or use of chemical or biological weapons. We recall Russia’s obligations under international treaties of which it is a party, and which protect us all. Any use by Russia of such a weapon would be unacceptable and result in further consequences. We condemn Russia’s unjustified use of nuclear rhetoric and signalling. We urge Russia to behave responsibly and exercise restraint.
2. Besides these deeply disturbing actions of unprecedented scale, our efforts to strengthen non-proliferation have been severely tested in past years. The increasing use of chemical weapons, rapidly evolving biological threats, destabilizing transfer and deployment of conventional weapons, and targeted appropriation of emerging technology all have a considerable impact as does the growing threat of nuclear proliferation and emerging threats to outer space security. Some states are now significantly increasing and diversifying their nuclear arsenals and investing in novel nuclear technologies and weapons systems. Against this highly challenging background, the G7 remains committed to working together, including with our partners, to defend and strengthen international law, norms and institutions and to build a more secure, more stable, and safer world.
Strengthening the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime
3. In view of the 10th Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in August 2022, we are united in our resolve to comprehensively strengthen the NPT, promote its universalisation, reinforce the importance of commitments made at past Review Conferences and advance implementation of the Treaty across all three of its mutually reinforcing pillars. We underline the authority and primacy of the NPT as the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear technology. We resolutely support the Review Conference President-designate, Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen, and commit to working with all NPT States Parties in good faith in the lead up to and during the Review Conference towards achieving a positive outcome.
4. The G7 reaffirms its commitment to the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all, achieved through concrete, practical, and purposeful steps. The overall decline in global nuclear arsenals must be sustained and not reversed. We welcome diplomatic pathways that offer real possibilities for advancing the universal disarmament goals of the NPT, as promoted through key initiatives such as the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification (IPNDV), the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative, the Stockholm Initiative on Nuclear Disarmament, and Creating an Environment for Nuclear Disarmament.
5. We welcome efforts by the G7 Nuclear Weapon States to promote effective measures, such as strategic risk reduction, transparency and confidence building measures on their postures, doctrines, and capabilities, which are critical to making progress towards disarmament under the NPT. The G7 underlines that all Nuclear Weapon States have the responsibility to engage actively and in good faith in arms control dialogues. We welcome the Joint Statement of the Leaders of the Five Nuclear-Weapon States on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races of 3 January 2022, including the important affirmation that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. However, we deplore Russia’s provocative statements about raising its nuclear alert levels, which undermines the credibility of Russia’s commitment to this Joint Statement.
6. Recalling our statements of 15 March and 7 April 2022, we condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including forcefully seizing control of nuclear facilities and other actions that pose serious threats to the safety and security of these facilities and endanger the population of Ukraine, neighbouring states, and the international community. We support the IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi’s efforts to ensure the nuclear safety and security of, and the application of safeguards to, nuclear material and facilities in Ukraine as a matter of urgency, while respecting full Ukrainian sovereignty over its territory and infrastructure. We urge Russia’s leadership to immediately withdraw its military forces from Ukraine, cease all violent actions against nuclear and radiological facilities in Ukraine and restore full control to Ukrainian authorities over all facilities within its internationally recognized borders to ensure their safe and secure operations.
7. The G7 is united in its resolve to promote the goals and objectives of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). We underline the urgent need to bring this treaty into force pursuant to Article XIV of the CTBT, and we support Italy as co-coordinator of these efforts. A universal and effectively verifiable CTBT constitutes a fundamental instrument in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Pending the entry into force of the Treaty, we call on all states to declare new or maintain existing moratoriums on nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosions. We also resolutely support the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission and its important work to develop the Treaty’s verification regime.
8. The G7 is equally committed to, and underlines the importance of, immediate commencement of negotiations – based on document CD/1299 and the mandate contained therein – with the key countries on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices. We remain convinced that the Conference on Disarmament is an appropriate venue to negotiate such an instrument and we call upon countries to make innovative contributions in all appropriate forums, including the 10th Review Conference of the States Parties to the NPT, to facilitate negotiations of such a treaty. Pending those actions, we call on all states that have not yet done so to declare and maintain voluntary moratoria on the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons.
9. The G7 is committed to working towards effective measures for strategic and nuclear risk reduction that enhance mutual comprehension, increase predictability, promote confidence building and establish effective crisis management and prevention tools. We are equally engaging in the development of multilateral nuclear disarmament verification capabilities and we welcome the start of work of the Group of Governmental Experts on nuclear disarmament verification, the Franco-German exercise NuDiVe 2022 conducted in April 2022 and the continuing work of the IPNDV and the Quad Nuclear Verification Partnership by Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. All of this is essential groundwork for achieving the ultimate goal of a world free of nuclear weapons, underpinned by transparency, verification and irreversibility.
10. The G7 welcomed the extension of the New START Treaty in early 2021 and has supported the U.S.-Russian Strategic Stability Dialogue, aimed at laying the foundation for future U.S.-Russia arms control arrangements. The G7 sees the need for arms control to address all nuclear weapons, including new destabilizing weapon systems and non-strategic nuclear weapons. The G7 also supports and encourages wider efforts towards an active arms control dialogue involving China. The G7 regrets that the U.S.-Russian Strategic Stability Dialogue has come to a halt due to Russia’s brutal and unprovoked war on Ukraine.
11. The G7 also deplores Belarus’s recent referendum and amendment to its Constitution removing Article 18, which pledged to “make its territory a nuclear-free zone.” Belarus’ actions only further increase uncertainty amidst heightened tensions.
12. Nuclear-weapons-free zones (NWFZ) make important contributions to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. We see the relevant protocols to existing NWFZ treaties as the vehicle for extending to the treaty parties a legally binding negative security assurance. We remain fully committed to the creation of a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems in the Middle East. We firmly believe that this can only be achieved based on consensus arrangements freely arrived at by all states in the region. We acknowledge the efforts made during the first two sessions of the UN Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction held in 2019 and 2021. Going forward, we underscore the need for inclusive dialogue among the regional states.
13. The G7 supports universalisation of key safeguards agreements including Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements, the Additional Protocol thereto, and, where applicable, the revised Small Quantities Protocol. A Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement together with an Additional Protocol represents the de facto safeguards standard under the NPT. We echo the IAEA Director General’s call on those states that have yet to bring into force a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement or an Additional Protocol to do so as soon as possible and applaud his efforts to further strengthen the safeguards system. Recalling our strong support for the professional and impartial work of the IAEA, the G7 underscores the importance of strengthening the effectiveness and optimizing the efficiency of the international safeguards system and ensuring it remains fit for its purpose in the 21st century.
14. We reaffirm the IAEA’s central role in strengthening cooperation in nuclear security and the commitments in the Ministerial Declaration of the IAEA’s International Conference on Nuclear Security in 2020. We support the IAEA in facilitating the peaceful uses of nuclear technologies in a safe, secure, and sustainable manner. We support aiding the development of new regulatory frameworks for the deployment of next-generation technologies, including small modular reactors. We encourage all Member States, who are able to do so, to make financial and/or technical contributions to enable the IAEA to continue its work.
15. The G7 commits to promoting full implementation by all states of the highest standards of nuclear safety, security, and safeguards. This is essential to facilitate the safe and the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology consistent with the NPT, and thereby promote prosperity and address the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
16. The G7 urges States engaged in nuclear activities to become parties to and fully implement the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, and the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.
17. The G7 is resolved to increase political attention to the challenges of countering the threat of non-state actors acquiring nuclear and radioactive materials as weapons of terrorism and to accelerate national and international steps to manage the risks posed by such materials. We affirm our commitment to minimise Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) stocks globally and encourage states with civil stocks of HEU to further reduce or eliminate them where economically and technically feasible.
18. The G7 calls on all States that have not yet done so to become parties to and fully implement the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT) and the Amended Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (A/CPPNM). We welcome the positive outcome of the A/CPPNM Review Conference in March-April 2022. We remain steadfast in our support of the IAEA, the Nuclear Security Contact Group, and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism.
19. The G7 supports effective implementation of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540 (2004) and the work of the 1540 Committee and its Group of Experts. We encourage all states to fully implement the resolution and to offer assistance to interested states.
20. The G7 actively supports global efforts to enhance education and professional development in the field of non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament and is strongly committed to the integration of gender equality in this field. We are mindful that learning about the realities of any use of nuclear weapons will help strengthen global efforts towards nuclear disarmament. To raise and sustain awareness, we encourage political leaders, the young generation and others to visit the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Addressing nuclear proliferation crises
21. We renew our support for a restoration and full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. A diplomatic solution remains the best way to restrict Iran’s nuclear programme. We commend the participants of the Vienna talks as well as the EU coordinator for their tireless efforts. We urge Iran to seize the offer currently on the table to bring negotiations to a successful conclusion and to refrain from further escalation of its nuclear activities.
22. We urge Iran to uphold and fully implement all obligations under its NPT-required safeguards agreement with the IAEA. We further urge Iran to provide all required information to enable the IAEA to clarify and resolve outstanding safeguards issues without further delay. The G7 expresses strong support for the crucial verification and monitoring mandate of the IAEA, underscores the technical nature of the IAEA's independent work, and commends the Director General's continued professional and impartial efforts. Full and timely cooperation by Iran is essential for the IAEA to assure the international community that all nuclear material in Iran remains in peaceful uses and eventually reach the Broader Conclusion.
23. We recall our serious concerns about Iran’s unabated activities related to ballistic missiles “designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,” which Iran pursues in defiance of UNSCR 2231 (2015). Iran’s space programme is enabling it to test technology that is essential to the development of ballistic missiles, including future long-range delivery systems, as demonstrated again with Iran’s announcement on March 8 of a launch of a military satellite. We urge Iran to cease all these activities and fully abide by UNSCR 2231 (2015). We also remain extremely concerned about Iran’s destabilising activities in and around the Middle East, including transfers of missiles and missile technology, drones and conventional arms to state and non-state actors. Such proliferation is destabilising for the region and escalates already high tensions, as does the use of such weapons in the region, like the attack by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on Erbil on 13 March 2022. We urge Iran to stop all activities inconsistent with relevant UNSCRs and call on all parties to play a constructive role in fostering regional stability and peace.
24. The G7 strongly condemns the continued testing of ballistic missiles by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), including the recent Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) launch conducted on 24 March 2022, which are blatant violations of the DPRK’s obligations under numerous UNSCRs. Since 2021, the DPRK has conducted an unprecedented series of missile tests, including launches of alleged hypersonic weapons using ballistic missiles and a submarine-launched ballistic missile test. These tests demonstrate the DPRK’s continued efforts to expand and further develop its ballistic missile capabilities. We deeply regret that the DPRK has abandoned its self-declared moratorium on ICBM launches. In addition, nuclear activities (such as restarting nuclear reactors and behaviour consistent with fissile material production) have been observed at several nuclear sites since 2020, suggesting an ongoing nuclear program development. All these reckless actions threaten regional and international peace and security, pose a dangerous and unpredictable risk to international civil aviation and maritime navigation in the region and demand a united response by the international community, including further measures to be taken by the UN Security Council.
25. The G7 remains fully committed to the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of all its nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges, as well as related programs and facilities, consistent with UNSCRs. We strongly urge the DPRK to fully comply with all obligations arising from the relevant UNSCRs, to abandon its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner and to return at an early date to, and fully comply with, the NPT and IAEA safeguards. We call on the DPRK to accept the repeated offers of dialogue put forward by all parties concerned, including the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan.
26. The G7 is committed to working with all relevant partners towards the goal of peace on the Korean Peninsula and to upholding the rules-based international order. We call on all states to fully and effectively implement all restrictive measures relating to the DPRK imposed by the UN Security Council and to address the risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and related delivery systems, from the DPRK as an urgent priority, particularly through additional UN Security Council action. We note with concern the report by the Panel of Experts established pursuant to UNSCR 1874 (2009) that illicit ship-to-ship transfers continue to take place. We remain ready to assist in and strengthen capacities for effective sanctions implementation. We are clear that the dire humanitarian situation in the DPRK is primarily the result of the diversion of the DPRK’s resources into unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs rather than into the welfare of its people. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, we commend the work of the 1718 Committee, which has swiftly approved all Covid-19 related sanctions exemption requests for humanitarian assistance for the DPRK.
The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention at 50: Upholding the global norm against the development and use of biological weapons
27. The G7 intends to bolster efforts to counter the weaponization of biological agents and toxins. Never has it been so urgent for all states to work together to achieve universal adherence to and full compliance with the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). Good faith and engagement are essential to overcoming the longstanding stalemate of the Convention in order to meet evolving biological threats stemming from state and non-state actors and to address new developments in science and technology. We intend to work towards a successful Review Conference which would promote effective implementation, increase transparency, enhance compliance and confidence-building measures. Near-term concrete action should include the establishment of a new expert working group to examine concrete measures to strengthen the Convention.
28. We pledge our continued support to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Mechanism to investigate alleged uses of chemical, biological or toxin weapons. We will firmly resist and condemn any attempts by any state or individual seeking to undermine its integrity, independence, and impartial character and mandate. As the only established international mechanism mandated to investigate alleged uses of biological weapons, we pledge to cooperate with partners to ensure that the mechanism is properly resourced, equipped, and operationalized to conduct effective investigations when needed.
The Global Partnership at 20: Honouring its achievements, enhancing biosecurity
29. We salute the 20th anniversary of the G7-led, 31-member Global Partnership (GP) against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. With its unparalleled networks, expertise, partnerships, and collective funding, the GP has been instrumental in countering threats posed by chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons and materials. The GP’s contribution to global threat reduction has made the world a safer and more secure place. We are committed to coordinated action with the GP to provide leadership to ensure that the GP remains a key contributor to countering persistent and emerging threats.
30. The G7, as expressed in the 29 March statement of the GP on Ukraine, finds Russia’s unsubstantiated claims concerning alleged biological weapons development in Ukraine outrageous. Such allegations about legitimate biological research for civilian purposes are especially cynical, as the world has suffered a pandemic for two years during which biological laboratories have been of crucial importance to humankind. These allegations are part of Russia’s disinformation campaign against Ukraine and have undermined the subject and purpose of the BTWC and the international rules-based order. Ukraine is a respected member of the GP and the BTWC and has our full support.
31. We will dedicate further efforts to addressing biological threats in the GP framework. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the far-reaching impact of large-scale disease outbreaks and the importance of strengthening global capacity to prevent, detect and respond to all forms of biological threats, whether deliberate, accidental, or natural. Covid-19 has also accelerated the global life sciences and biotechnology revolution, including the research and development of new diagnostics, vaccines, and treatments for potentially high-consequence pathogens. Substantial improvements are needed in global biosafety, biosecurity, and oversight for dual use research, in order to prevent laboratory accidents and deliberate misuse. We commit to reinforcing existing national efforts, as well as to improving the level of biosafety and biosecurity practices globally. With this imperative, we intend to deepen our health-security cooperation with African partners and other key stakeholders to develop and implement the GP’s signature initiative aimed at mitigating biological threats in Africa. We recognize the significant contribution already made by the G7 and the EU to the GP signature initiative and encourage all GP members to actively contribute to this important initiative.
The Chemical Weapons Convention at 25: Defending the norm against the use of chemical weapons and countering impunity
32. We are determined to uphold the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons and support the full implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). As participating States of the International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons, we stand together to reaffirm that any use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances is unacceptable and contravenes international standards and norms against such use. There can be no impunity for chemical weapon use.
33. We will work towards a successful 2023 Review Conference to strengthen the Convention. We are unwavering in our support of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and its work to exclude completely the possibility of the use of chemical weapons and we applaud the OPCW’s professionalism and integrity. The G7 seeks to ensure that the OPCW is equipped to continue to fulfil its mandate, including through funding via the GP for important initiatives such as the new Centre for Chemistry and Technology.
34. We welcome the decision of the OPCW Conference of the States Parties “Understanding Regarding the Aerosolised Use of Central Nervous System-Acting Chemicals for Law Enforcement Purposes” that affirms that the aerosolized use of CNS-acting chemicals is understood to be inconsistent with law enforcement purposes as a “purpose not prohibited” under the Convention. This forward-thinking decision by CWC States Parties sends a strong signal to countries that they cannot hide work on such chemicals for offensive purposes under the guise of legitimate purposes under the Convention.
35. We condemn attempts to impede the OPCW’s vital work, including investigations, through baseless attacks and outrageous disinformation, notably Russia’s unsubstantiated claims and false allegations that Ukraine was preparing to use chemical weapons. Ukraine is in full compliance with its obligations under the CWC, in stark contrast to Russia’s continued refusal to investigate the well-documented use of a chemical weapon on its own territory, contrary to its obligations under the Convention.
36. In that context, the G7 reaffirms the statement made by Ministers on 26 January 2021 condemning in the strongest possible terms the poisoning of Alexey Navalny with a military grade chemical nerve agent of the “Novichok” group, a substance developed by the Soviet Union, and retained by Russia. There is no plausible account other than the involvement and responsibility of Russian state actors, as Russia continues to evade all appeals to launch an investigation of the case. We recall the OPCW’s conclusion that a similar nerve agent was used in Salisbury in 2018, resulting in the death of a British citizen, for which three Russian suspects have been charged.
37. We again urge the Russian authorities to investigate and credibly explain the use of a chemical weapon on its soil considering Russia’s obligations under the CWC. We recall the questions asked on 5 October 2021 by 45 States Parties, including all G7 members, to Russia under Article IX of the CWC, which were not adequately answered by the Russian Federation. We support the statement made by 56 States Parties at the November 2021 OPCW Conference of the States Parties, calling on Russia to account for the use of a chemical weapon on its territory. We welcome actions, such as sanctions, taken by G7 members in response to those individuals and entities deemed to be involved in the development and use of chemical weapons. We also condemn Russia’s attempts to shield Syria from accountability for the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons.
38. Syria’s chemical weapon use in violation of the CWC continues to be a matter of grave concern. We welcome the decision of the OPCW Conference of the States Parties to suspend Syria’s rights and privileges under the CWC, until it completes the steps set out in the OPCW Executive Council Decision of 9 July 2020. We urge the Syrian authorities to cooperate fully and comply with their obligations. We deplore disinformation about chemical weapon use in Syria and we are committed to supporting the OPCW Technical Secretariat’s work in investigating chemical weapon use in Syria, identifying those responsible, and ensuring Syria’s declaration is full and accurate. Syria will be held to account for any failures to meet its obligations. We commit to ensuring the full implementation of UNSCR 2118 (2013) and the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons programme once and for all.
Countering the proliferation of missiles and other critical technology
39. We remain gravely concerned by the accelerating proliferation of ballistic and other missile technologies, including at the hands of non-state actors, which is a threat to regional and global security. Recalling the G7 NPDG “Initiative on Countering Illicit and/or Destabilizing Missile Activities” launched by the French Presidency in 2019, we remain engaged in countering missile proliferation activities and strengthening missile governance.
40. We reaffirm our commitment to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), and we call on all states to unilaterally adhere to the MTCR guidelines and reiterate the importance of the fundamental principles underpinning ballistic missile non-proliferation including in accordance with UNSCR 1540 (2004). We are committed to further increasing the effectiveness of the MTCR.
41. We strongly support the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC) and call for its universalisation. In the 20 years since its establishment, the HCoC has proven to be an important transparency and confidence building measure that encourages responsible behaviour and restraint in the development, testing and deployment of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, and aims to curb and prevent proliferation of such ballistic missiles. We will work towards the goals of universalization and full implementation of the HCoC, notably on the occasion of its 20th anniversary.
42. The G7 reaffirms the importance of coordinated action to counter illicit intangible technology transfer and protecting academia and business sectors from hostile state exploitation. While promoting an environment in which science, technology and research collaboration can flourish, we are resolved to address the challenges posed by the misuse and illicit diversion of technology critical for the development of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and for advanced military technology programmes by state and non-state actors, as well as by dual-use research of concern, notably in the field of life sciences.
43. The G7 members commit to enhancing export controls on materials, technology and research that could be used to develop weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. We plan to strengthen controls on materials (including dual-use components), technology and research that could support the development of advanced conventional weapons, ensuring that enhancements are proportionate and avoid negatively impacting on legitimate exports.
44. The G7 is committed to acting to counter proliferation financing which, left unchecked, undermines the integrity of the global financial system and fuels threats to our common security. We therefore welcome the recent changes to the Financial Action Task Force standards regarding targeted financial sanctions on the DPRK and Iran, which, for the first time, expect all countries and regions to take concrete steps to understand the proliferation financing risks they face, and to oblige their financial sectors and designated non-financial business professions to do the same. Only by understanding the truly global reach of proliferation networks will we meet our responsibility to tackle this activity.
Saving lives by regulating conventional weapons and ammunition
45. We are determined to prevent illicit transfers and destabilizing accumulation of conventional weapons and ammunition, and to increase the safety and security of stockpiles, including by deploying our technical expertise, sharing best practices, e.g. in the framework of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), and the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines, and by adhering to international law and norms on responsible transfer.
46. The diversion of ammunition to unauthorized users, including criminals and terrorists, facilitates and fuels armed violence and armed conflict. Mindful of these implications for security and sustainable development, we strongly support the German-led initiative for a comprehensive framework to support safe, secure, and sustainable ammunition management at the national, sub-regional, regional, and global level and the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) mandated to carry out work in this regard. We encourage all states to engage constructively in the OEWG aiming at elaborating a set of political commitments as a new global framework that will address existing gaps in through-life ammunition management, including international cooperation and assistance.
47. We advocate for the reinforcement of regimes that regulate the transfer and prevent the diversion of conventional weapons and ammunition in line with international law and norms, including the Arms Trade Treaty. We commit to adapting, where necessary, relevant regimes as new technologies are developed. In dialogue with other technology leaders, we seek to shape the global debate on responsible civilian and military use of new technologies, considering security and defence considerations and securing adherence to international law, in particular International Humanitarian Law and, where applicable, International Human Rights Law. Where necessary, new international principles for responsible use should be considered.
Securing the sustainable use of outer space
48. As space activities evolve, the norms, rules and principles governing space activities should also evolve. State threats to the secure, safe, sustainable, and peaceful uses of outer space are of serious concern. Given that our societies are increasingly reliant on space systems for their security and prosperity, we are determined to reduce the risk of misperception and miscalculation and reduce space threats. We commit to engaging the international community to uphold and strengthen a rules-based international order for outer space.
49. Establishing norms, rules and principles for responsible space behaviours is a pragmatic way forward to enhance security, mitigate threats against space systems and reduce the risks of misperception, miscalculation, and escalation. We strongly support the UK-led initiative at the UN General Assembly and the resulting UN Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) on “Reducing space threats through norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours”. We encourage all states to positively engage in the OEWG that aims to build a common understanding of responsible space behaviours and consider first proposals for norms, rules, and principles in that regard.
50. We call upon all nations to refrain from conducting dangerous and irresponsible destructive direct-ascent anti-satellite missile tests like those carried out by the Russian Federation on 15 November, 2021. We welcome the US commitment not to conduct destructive direct-ascent anti-satellite missile tests. We reiterate the need to cooperate with all States and space actors to strengthen safety, security, stability, and sustainability of outer space and help all countries benefit from the peaceful exploration and use of outer space.