Nuclear Abolition Scenarios
Bruce D. Larkin
Professor of Politics
University of California at Santa Cruz
This paper is a comparison of five proposals for denuclearization. The object is to illuminate the characteristics of any nuclear abolition design: prerequisites, initiators, participants, negotiation (original and ongoing, forum and decision processes), timing (stagings and simultaneities), removals, verification, assurances, and post-ZNW security provisions. Throughout it should be borne in mind that denuclearization is a political project in which technical facts must be carefully considered, but not a technical project. Thus each of the characteristics of designs is embedded in a political context. Negotiation, dispute formulation and resolution, popular recognition and support, and politico-military security requirements will be continually central topics in ongoing politics.
The five proposals we will examine are
- Acheson-Lilienthal Report March 1946
- Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [NPT] 1968
- Gorbachev Initiative 15 January 1986
- Canberra Commission Report 14 August 1996
- NPT Review Conference Final Result May 2000
These are the five most prominent and systematic initiatives of the last 55 years, although others have been offered and could be assessed using the same methods.[Note 1] The texts of the five proposals studied here may be consulted online. [Note 2]
Origins of the Texts
Although the texts are familiar, it may be helpful to remind ourselves these proposals came forward by quite different routes:
Acheson-Lilienthal Report 
The US Secretary of State convened a panel, supported by a panel of experts, to consider the question of nuclear capabilities and US policy. It issued a Report on the International Control of Atomic Energy, popularly known as the Acheson-Lilienthal Report. The contributors included key figures from the US nuclear weapon program of WWII and industrialists. Physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer was a principal shaper of the report, which stressed the need to distinguish ‘dangerous’ activities–those which were steps to bomb manufacture–from activities in the civil–energy–sector.
This report was commmissioned by the US government, but it was advisory only. However, it formed a basis for the Baruch Plan presented a few months later by the United States to the UN Atomic Energy Commission, although the Baruch Plan departed in several significant respects from the original Report.
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [NPT] 
With the International Atomic Energy Commission’s safeguards regime, the NPT is one of the two pillars of efforts to confine nuclear weapons to a limited number of countries. It accomplishes this by offering the prospect of nuclear weapon abolition.
The NPT can be traced to a 1958 Irish initiative and the ongoing talks between US and Soviet officials in the late 1950s and 1960s. It was signed in 1968 and entered into force in 1970, with Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States among treaty members. France and China deposited ratifications in 1992. Israel, India, and Pakistan have not signed the NPT.
Gorbachev Initiative [15 January 1986]
Gorbachev’s proposal to abolish nuclear weapons by the year 2000 was made within a year of his becoming General Secretary. It remains a matter of intense curiosity exactly how the initiative came forward, and how the Soviet military would have responded if it had been taken up.
It must be understood in the context of Gorbachev’s commitment to glasnost and perestroika. A few months later, in an important speech in the Soviet Far East, Gorbachev stressed additional lines of a non-confrontational defense policy. Gorbachev’s readiness to move with respect to nuclear weapons and delivery systems was evident at Reykjavik, to which an ill-equipped Ronald Reagan had come anticipating a ‘non-summit’; but in any case Reagan rejected Gorbachev’s advances, insisting on retaining his ‘Star Wars’ fantasy. As many have pointed out, Reagan’s fascination with missile defense may have closed a real opportunity for enhanced security.
Canberra Commission Report [14 August 1996]
On 24 October 1995, at Parliament House, Canberra, the Australian Prime Minister, P., J. Keating, spoke to a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter. He described what he was to say as a “major announcement about Australia’s arms control and disarmament policy.” The recent French nuclear tests had left the public “feeling that we have been cheated–robbed of the chance of a world free of nuclear weapons.” Outrage against French and Chinese testing could be turned into “something broader and more ambitious–I mean the creation of a world totally free of nuclear weapons.” He invoked the name and purposes of Nobel Laureate Joseph Rotblat. This had “long been an aim of Australian policy” but had seemed “an unachievable ambition.” And he then said “I believe that a world free of nuclear weapons is now attainable.”
He went on to call for “action to achieve the abolition of all nuclear weapons,” by an Australia “determined to pursue the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.” And with that he announced plans to convene “a group of knowledgeable and imaginative individuals from around the world,” the group which became known as the Canberra Commission.[Note 3]
NPT Review Conference [May 2000]
The regular five-year reviews called for by the NPT continue, after agreement in 1995 to the ‘indefinite extension’ of the NPT. The participants were designated Ambassadors representing their governments. Among their decisions was Paragraph 15, titled “Programme of Action (Next Steps) on Nuclear Disarmament,” which declares that “The Conference agrees on the following practical steps.” Thus the participant States Parties–including France, Britain, China, the United States, and Russia–are committed to the measures which are then set out, including “An unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament to which all States parties are committed under Article VI.”
We have identified several characteristics common to many denuclearization proposals. These can be grouped according to the periods in time during which they are most important:
- Parallel Partial Measures
- Verification Design
- Securing Domestic Political Support
- Countering Contrary Moves2 Coming to Agreement
- Focusing Desiderata
- Timing Decisions Staging Simultaneity
- Countering Contrary Moves
- Securing Domestic Political Support
- Decision Process3 Implementation
- Resisting ‘Compensation’ in Conventional Arms
- Destroying Warheads
- Destroying Delivery Systems
- Improvising to Overcome Difficulties
- Waste Management
- Assurances4 Post-ZNW Verification
- Security Provisions
- Precautions Against Abuse
In practice, none of the texts takes up all of these questions. They also differ in their stress on defining the problem, which characterises both the Acheson-Lilienthal and Canberra Commission Reports. The two Reports are educational documents. Their authors thought it important to identify the scale and nature of the nuclear problem they perceived, as well as to set out a general line of approach. By contrast, the Gorbachev Initiative is a concise, broad esquisse; and the NPT itself and the 2000 NPT Review Conference document are efforts to put political understandings into legally-binding language, to which States could be held in the future.
The Acheson-Lilienthal Report [March 1946]
The Acheson-Lilienthatl Report importantly distinguishes ‘dangerous’ activities–those which could lead to bombs–from ‘safe’ civil nuclear activies. Having said that, it spells out a number of recommended measures, of which three are central: first, creating an Atomic Development Authority; second, putting ‘dangerous’ activities under the Authority’s control; third, destroying existing nuclear weapons–then only the United States had nuclear weapons–or placing them under international control.
The Report’s authors envisage a sequence of steps, but against a backdrop which emphasises the need for ongoing political deliberation. In that vein they say, about the Authority, that
there is an important question of timing. It would be premature now to seek definitive answers to many of the questions as to organization and policy. For in order to have validity the answers will have to be the product of international discussion and deliberation rather than any unilateral statement of a detailed plan.
These stages can be understood as consideration, culminating in adoption, and then “a necessary period of transition,”during which the plan is “put into operation.”. They suggest that this transition “may be broken down into two sub-periods,” before and after creation of the Authority. The first period would lead to a ‘charter’, creating the Authority.
It would, of course, be possible to leave the ordering and sequence of [the Authority’s tasks] to the discretion of the Authority. It seems far more likely that provisions governing the sequence of steps by which the Authority will come into full operation will be provided in the charter.[Note 4]
They note that the United States has insisted on ‘appropriate safeguards’ at each step. Of course, they are addressing a US audience, but that simply recognized that without US political support weapon denuclearization would not be possible. Therefore, to allay critics’ objections, the possibility of US withdrawal from the plan and reconsitution of its nuclear forces was acknowledged throughout:
In order to have meaning, the examination of the transition period must take account of the present position of the United States in the field of atomic energy, and that position must be compared with the one that this country would occupy during the period when the plan for international action is being adopted and executed. Today’s position must also be compared with the conditions that will prevail when the plan has finally been brought into full operation. We must also consider what our position would be some years hence if we were forced to abandon our present commitment for international action and pursue instead a purely national treatment of the problem.[Note 5]
The Report does identify a first activity for the Authority: “obtaining cognizance and control over the raw materials situation.” Then there are other things the Authority would do “at once”: establishing physics labs, initiating exchanges, making isotopes available for research. It may need to study “stockpiling, power development, [and] future plant construction.” And it envisaged what we now call ‘material control and accounting’:
[and the Authority] may need to set up a system for the interim recording and accounting of operations in the field of raw materials, and in the production plants of the United States.
Timing of transfer of US labs, raw materials, and weapons “will have to be very carefully scheduled by international negotiation.” But even if there were a “breakdown in the plan” after transfer of the labs, for example, the plan they envisage would provide “clear danger signals”: the US could then “take over the available facilities, to prepare for atomic warfare” because “at all times during the transition period at least such facilities will continue to be located within the United States.”
Earlier in the text the Report’s authors spell out what they consider to be “dangerous activities.” Apart from building nuclear weapons and “research and development in atomic explosives”–obviously central questions–the activities concern raw materials. So it is these matters to which the Authority would give paramount priority:
(4) Prospecting, mining, and refining of uranium, and, to a lesser extent, thorium.
(5) The enrichment of the isotope 235 by any methods now known to us.
(6) The operation of the various types of reactors for making plutonium, and of separation plants for extracting the plutonium.
The Report’s authors believed that neither formal agreement nor an ‘army of inspectors’ could ensure their plan. Instead, they saw the Authority assisting in peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and foresaw that the ongoing movement of scientists and engineers among different laboratories would provide a further measure of assurance against any clandestine program.[Note 6] In effect, this is security based upon transparence:
When fully in operation the plan herein proposed can provide a great measure of security against surprise attack. It can do much more than that. It can create deterrents to the initiation of schemes of aggression, and it can establish patterns of cooperation among nations, the extension of which may even contribute to the solution of the problem of war itself. When the plan is in full operation there will no longer be secrets about atomic energy. We believe that this is the firmest basis of security; for in the long term there can be no international control and no international cooperation which does not presuppose an international community of knowledge.[Note 7]
In summary, the Report’s authors envisage [first] political negotiation of a ‘charter’ embodying the plan, [second] the newly-created Authority’s assuming prompt control of fissile materials, [third] transfer of US nuclear weapon assets–fissile material, labs, weapons–to the Authority or other international body, step by step, subject to ongoing US satisfaction with the process, and [fourth] long-term maintenance of the plan through the Authority’s monopoly on ‘dangerous’ activities, ongoing verification, and ‘organizational’ or social patterns to reassure against cheating.
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [NPT]
The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [NPT], brief and uncomplicated, is a good text with which to illustrate our method. The preambular paragraphs of the NPT stipulate that an objective is
Desiring to further the easing of international tension and the strengthening of trust between States in order to facilitate the cessation of the manufacture of nuclear weapons, the liquidation of all their existing stockpiles, and the elimination from national arsenals of nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery pursuant to a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control
which leads to the text of decisive Article VI:
Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
Although as a general practice in interpretation of international law preambular good intentions are of less weight than Treaty Articles themselves, in this case the preambular expression of ‘desire’ helps to make plain that Article VI anticipates “elimination” of nuclear weapons and “the means of their delivery.”
The NPT itself can be understood as both a ‘prerequisite’ to denuclearization and a ‘preliminary partial method.’ After all, if the number of nuclear weapon states were increasing, obstacles to denuclearization would almost certainly be greater.
Not only is there a freeze on transfer (Article I) and on acquisition or manufacture (Article II), but the NPT fully implicates its member States in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s safeguards system through Article III. Thus the NPT figures in ‘verification design’, as experience with Iraq and North Korea illustrate.
No enforcement method is specified. Moreover, states may withdraw from the Treaty on three months’ notice to the UN Security Council. The Security Council could, in exercise of its powers under the Charter, act to compel a state to conform to the NPT, even a state which had withdrawn. As with all treaties, the ‘strength’ of the Treaty depends first on the ongoing political readiness of States Parties not to violate its terms, or otherwise all ow it to wane, and only in extremis on States Parties’ readiness to use force to compel compliance.
The NPT does not spell out a plan to destroy warheads and delivery systems. It is concerned with the Preliminary period. Still, in the periods of Coming to Agreement and Implementation there would remain a need to discourage and bar other states, hitherton non-nuclear, from acquiring nuclear weapons.
The Gorbachev Initiative [15 January 1986]
Gorbachev’s proposal neatly specifies three stages–and what is to be done in each stage–to eliminate nuclear weapons by the year 2000. It is useful to examine the proposal’s elements one by one:
The Gorbachev Proposal [Comments] Stage 1 Say, by 1991 or 1994. Within the next 5 to 8 years the USSR and the USA will reduce by one half the nuclear weapons that can reach each other’s territory. As for the remaining delivery vehicles of this kind, each side will retain no more than 6000 warheads. START I is ratified and in effect. [Note, however, US retention of undeployed warheads.] It stands to reason that such a reduction is possible only if both the USSR and the USA renounce the development, testing and deployment of space-strike weapons. As the Soviet Union has repeatedly warned, the development of space-strike weapons will dash the hopes for a reduction of nuclear armaments on earth. Space-strike weapons. The first stage will include the adoption and implementation of a decision on the complete elimination of medium-range missiles of the USSR and the USA in the European zone – both ballistic and cruise missiles – as a first step towards ridding the European continent of nuclear weapons. December 1987 Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF). At the same time the United States should undertake not to transfer its strategic and medium-range missiles to other countries, while Britain and France should pledge not to build up their respective nuclear arsenals. The United States has sold Trident SLBMs to Britain; in fact, British Trident missiles are pooled with those of the United States, and serviced from the same US base on the US East Coast.Britain and France both modernized their strategic nuclear forces in the early 1990s, achieving substantially greater capability than they previously deployed. On the other hand, they have shelved plans to build even larger forces. The USSR and the USA should from the very beginning agree to stop all nuclear explosions and call upon other states to join in such a moratorium as soon as possible. First the USSR, and then the United States (1994), undertook nuclear test moratoria. In September 1996 the five ‘declared’ nuclear weapon states signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).So it is not an exaggeration to say that the First Stage of Gorbachev’s proposal was largely accomplished. The Gorbachev Proposal [Comments] Stage II From 1990, for 5-7 years. At this stage, which should start no later than 1990 and last for 5 to 7 years, the other nuclear powers will begin to join the process of nuclear disarmament. To start with, they would pledge to freeze all their nuclear arms and not to have them on the territories of other countries. There is no declared ‘freeze’. Russia continues to deploy the SS-25 as forseen in arms control agreements with the United States.The United States continues to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of other states. In this period the USSR and the USA will continue to carry out the reductions agreed upon during the first stage and also implement further measures aimed at eliminating their medium-range nuclear weapons and freezing their tactical nuclear systems. There is movement toward START II. Its conditional ratification by the Duma is, of course, part of ongoing political negotiation.A major step in withdrawal of tactical systems from Europe, and removal of nuclear systems from surface ships, was accomplished in the September-October 1991 ‘mutual unilateral reductions’ announced by George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev. Following the completion by the USSR and the USA of 50-per-cent reduction of their respective armaments at the second stage, another radical step will be taken: all nuclear powers will eliminate their tactical nuclear weapons, i.e. weapons having a range (or radius of action) of up to 1000 kilometres. [See previous box.] At this stage the Soviet-US accord on the prohibition of space-strike weapons would become multilateral, with the mandatory participation in it of the major industrial powers.All nuclear powers would stop nuclear weapon tests. Space-strike weapons.CTBT signed September 1996.
There would be a ban on the development of non-nuclear weapons based on new physical principles, whose destructive power is close to that of nuclear arms or other weapons of mass destruction. A ‘novel WMD ban.’ Interesting. As everything is in the definition, such a ban would have the single effect of focusing political negotiations if such a weapon were to come forward.
The Gorbachev Proposal [Comments] Stage III Starts no later than 1995. will begin no later than 1995. At this stage the elimination of all remaining nuclear weapons will completed. By the end of 1999 there will be no nuclear weapons on earth. A universal accord will be drawn up that such weapons should never again come into being. Abolition and prohibition. We envisage that special procedures will be worked out for the destruction of nuclear weapons as well as for the dismantling, conversion or scrapping of delivery vehicles. ln the process, agreement will be reached on the number of weapons to be scrapped at each stage, the sites of their destruction and so on. Destruction of nuclear weapons and the means to deploy them. Verification of the destruction or limitation of arms could be carried out both by national technical means and through on-site inspections. The USSR is ready to reach agreement on any other additional verification measures. Verification, including on-site inspection. Invitation to propose ‘other additional verification measures’. The programme would envisage clearly-defined routes and reference points, establish a specific timetable for achieving agreements and implementing them and would make the negotiations purposeful and task-oriented. Sequence of steps.
The proposal’s main feature is a prompt completion date; certainly ‘a time certain.’ Gorbachev identifies the proposal’s ‘timetable’ as a major feature:
The programme would envisage clearly-defined routes and reference points, establish a specific timetable for achieving agreements and implementing them and would make the negotiations purposeful and task-oriented.
Very little else is spelled out. The parties are to negotiate and achieve “mutually acceptable and strictly verifiable agreements.” It incorporates several already-mooted terms and conditions.
The Canberra Commission [14 August 1996]
The Canberra Commission was convened by the Australian government in 1995, and reported in August 1996. Its members were figures who had distinguished themselves as thoughtful critics of the nuclear status quo. They were called together to draft–with assistance–and to endorse a clear, unequivocal call for elimination of nuclear weapons. Many having held senior political and military posts, they were fully cognizant of the requirement that abolition be achieved over time and in a secure fashion, but they insisted that should not be an excuse for indefinite, or protracted, delay. Their mandate was explicit:
The Commission will develop ideas and proposals for a concrete and realistic program to achieve a world totally free of nuclear weapons.
The Report was simply organized, around arguments for abolition, responses to common defenses of retention, and steps to take for abolition. Annexes develop the discussion of verification, and the law. In skeletal form, the steps to be taken are as follows:
- nuclear weapons should be eliminated
- elimination “should be conducted as a series of phased verified reductions that allow states to satisfy themselves, at each stage of the process, that further movement toward elimination can be made safely and securely”
Commissions Report [Comments] “the five nuclear weapon states to commit themselves unequivocally” to elimination This was done in the 20 May 2000 statement at the 2000 NPT Review Conference, analyzed below. “Taking nuclear forces off alert” Nuclear forces remain on alert. “Removal of warheads from delivery vehicles” Nuclear systems remain deployed and ready. “Ending deployment of non-strategic nuclear weapons” Ground-based tactical nuclear weapons have been withdrawn, but aircraft-borne systems remain ready for use in Europe. Ending nuclear testing The five declared nuclear weapon states have declared moratoria on testing and have signed, but not all ratified, the CTBT. “Initiating negotiations to further reduce United States and Russian nuclear arsenals” The US and Russia have begun to consider a START III agreement, which might bring deployed strategic warheads down to 2000 or even lower; but approvals of START II required for ratification–which must precede START III–are not yet in place. “Agreement amongst the nuclear weapon states of reciprocal no first use undertakings, and of a non-use undertaking by them in relation to the non-nuclear weapon states.” China has long championed a broad no-first-use agreement, but neither Russia nor the United States is ready today to commit to no-first-use.
- “Action to prevent further horizontal proliferation”
- “Developing verification arrangements for a nuclear weapon free world”
- “Cessation of the production of fissile material for nuclear explosive purposes.”
Thus the report put two key subjects on the table: elimination, and transparence and verification. Its authors envision “a series of phased verified reductions” culminating in a nuclear-free world.
The Commission’s membership was extraordinary in its range of experience in nuclear policy: a former French Prime Minister, a former US Secretary of Defense, a retired general who had headed the US Strategic Command, a former Chief of the British Defence Staff.[Note 8]
2000 NPT Review Conference Report [20 May 2000]
Unlike the Canberra Commission report–drafted by a group of citizens acting as individuals–conclusions of the NPT Review Conference were those of govenments, taken by their duly authorized diplomatic representatives. The 2000 NPT Review Conference document is a joint undertaking by States. It records serious, formal commitments of the governments. Among the principles agreed is that of irreversibility, intended to fix as a norm that States would not withdraw from obligations once having made a commitment, but by the same token applying reflexively to the 2000 NPT Review Conference result itself. Thus the ‘unequivocal undertaking’ to nuclear weapon abolition, to which we shall refer below, should be understood as irreversible.
Paragraph 15[Note 9] is in roughly three parts. Sections 1-8 refer to incomplete and not-yet-undertaken negotiations, and include (§5) the “principle of irreversibility” and (§6) the “unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals.” Section 9 lists seven steps to be taken “by all the nuclear weapon States.” Sections 10-12 take up the aim of “general and complete disarmament,” benchmarking progress, and verification.
This is not just laying out a possible path to nuclear weapon abolition. These are defined as practical steps which were agreed in order “to implement Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” and decisions of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference. These steps were agreed as part of a treaty process, by a body which is a creature of the NPT, and with the participating assent of the five ‘declared’ nuclear weapon states (the ‘N5’: France, Britain, China, Russia, and the United States).
One purpose of this paper is to consider the timing of measures. Some of the steps carry explicit timing instructions; others imply them:
§ Timing §1. CTBT ratification “urgency”; “early entry into force” §2. test moratorium “pending entry into force” §3. fissile material production ban “immediate commencement” of negotiations in the CD “with a view to their conclusion within five years” §4. CD body on nuclear disarmament “necessity”, but only a [delaying] “programme of work” to include “immediate establishment of such a body,” not establishment itself §5. irreversibility [applies immediately] §6. “unequivocal undertaking” to accomplish “total elimination” [undertaking applies immediately] No timetable is set out. §7. START II and START III “early” entry into force of START II and conclusion of START III “as soon as possible” §8. US, Russian and IAEA Trilateral Initiative “urgency” § 9 Steps Timing
- unilateral reduction
- “increased transparency”
- cuts in non-strategic nuclear weapons
- reduced operational status of nuclear weapons
- “diminishing role” for nuclear weapons in security policy
- “engatgement” of “all the nuclear weapon states” in elimination process
“as soon as appropriate”
- placing unneeded fissile material under international supervision
“as soon as appropriate”
What is clear about the §9 steps is that they lie in the hands of the nuclear weapon states alone . . .which will undertake them only when they are ready, and only they are persuaded it is in their interest to do so. They are certain to discuss these steps among themselves and might not ‘go first’ without assurance–or a strong expectation–others would do so too. They must also consider–and talk with–Israel, Pakistan, and India, who must be brought into any global abolition regime and therefore must have a voice in its design. On the other hand, each of these measures could be done a little or a lot: they are amenable to tentative, partial, and stepwise-reciprocal increments at any scale. Some steps, such as placing fissile material for which there is no military use under IAEA or other supervision, offer a way to exercise or practice elimination and verification measures.
§ 10-12 Timing §10. “Reaffirmation that the ultimate objective of the efforts of States in the disarmament process is general and complete disarmament under effective international control.” [applies immediately] §11. reportage by all States Parties on “implementation of Article VI” of the NPT &c. “within the framework of the NPT strengthened review process”: therefore in accordance with the schedule of Review Conferences evert five years and their preparatory sessions. §12. “further development” of verification capabilities [ongoing]
The strength of the NPT Review Conference is also its weakness: it is a gathering of States subject to a political requirement of unanimity, or near-unanimity. On the one hand, this means that its conclusions have political and moral force. On the other hand, it must avoid provisions which one or more of the N5, or a significant number of others, would reject. These are political facts. They dictate the language of §9, which sets no timetables. The ‘dog which did not bark in the night’ is the dog of nuclear weapon abolition at a time certain: since the N5 are unwilling to set a date for weapons abolition, there is nothing about a deadline in the text. But that it goes unmentioned only underlines its importance: abolition will require fixing a date. This document has the important effect of obliging the N5 (and Israel, Pakistan, and India) to be prepared to answer whether they have taken its provisions–to which they have declared their agreement–seriously. The fact that there is no mention of abolition at a time certain does not diminish the fact that ‘total elimination’ will require, sooner or later, a date and time.
There is a Growing Body of Experience Relevant to Implementation
Of the five documents we have considered, only the Acheson-Lilienthal Report and Report of the Canberra Commission address how an abolition regime could be implemented. Why is this? First, because the N5 have not been interested in seeing abolition taken seriously. They have avoided the issue by insisting they would not talk about it. (In fact, any one of the N5–for example, a state which professed commitment to ‘complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons’–could do much more to show it was taking abolition seriously.) That is the point of §4 of the 2000 NPT Review Conference Programme of Action, calling for a body within the CD to take up nuclear disarmament. Second, because implementation seems a long way off. But third, because there already exist prototypical implementation bodies and practices: the International Atomic Energy Agency, carrying out safeguards, and [for example] the verification work done in advance of CTBT ratification, and the joint US-Russian undertakings to manage excess plutonium. A body of experience is being built.
Most Proposals Recognize that Politics–Negotiation of Interests–Will Remain Central
Both the Acheson-Lilienthal Report and the report of the Canberra Commission, which we have identified as ‘teaching’ documents, stress the central fact that the terms and conditions of weapon denuclearization can only be politically negotiated–and will require broad acceptance that they are just and serve security. The Canberra Commission states, for example, that in a post-nuclear world “A political judgement will be needed on whether the levels of assurance possible from the verification regime are sufficient.” That fundamental condition also shapes the NPT and the 2000 NPT Review Converence Programme of Action (Next Steps). The NPT is short on detail because detail would have been fractious. The Review Conference text is short on longer-term implementation because those are issues which remain to be negotiated. But throughout is the stream of non-nuclear-weapon state insistence that the N5 get down to political business: §4 calling for a CD body, §6 evoking an “unequivocal commitment”, §9 in calling for reductions, transparency, less reliance on nuclear weapons in policy, and other shifts.
The Gorbachev proposal, though it centers on prompt abolition, is strangely non-political. Neither domestic forces committed to nuclear arms, nor the practical difficulties of getting ‘from today to zero’, are acknowledged. It does not concede that the N5 (and, at that time, Israel) had devised–or come to believe that there were–multiple missions for nuclear weapons (such as defeating conventional attack, or enhancing ‘voice’, or as a guarantee against unforseeable future threats or weapons). But it also has a strong message: if you decide to do this–abolish nuclear weapons–you can.
There is Need to Picture Security in a Post-Nuclear or ‘Largely Disarmed’ World
Political choice rarely looks like rational evaluation of alternatives. Still, choice requires alternatives. There must be some basis for claims and counterclaims. Of course, it is possible that reliance on nuclear weapons would just ‘wither away’. It is more likely that they will always have advocates and that any move to abolition will be challenged: “endangering national security,” “abandoning our trump card,” “surrendering,” and so forth.
In short, those who call for nuclear abolition must be convinced in their own minds that their societies will be safer without nuclear weapons than with them. Usually this will take the form of three propositions:  having nuclear weapons is risky, even–or especially–for the country which has them,  some risk will be run in a post-nuclear world, and  there are precautions and institutional measures which can be taken to keep the risks of a post-nuclear world small–and smaller than in a world with nuclear weapons. Then they must show others, sometimes skeptical, that this is so. It will be important to be tough-minded about what security and stability–and freedom and justice and equity–will require in a post-nuclear world. Picturing how threats to stability and security would be met will be an important task. It is hinted at in the Acheson-Lilienthal Report and the Report of the Canberra Commission, but much more detailed hypothetical investigation of challenges and responses will be required to lay the basis for a radically different view of future security.
Email: email@example.com Web: http://www.learnworld.com/ This paper was prepared for presentation at the ISODARCO-Beijing Seminar, Xian, China, 8-12 October 2000.© 2000 Bruce D. Larkin. This paper is preliminary, for inclusion in the conference papers only, and is not for quotation or citation. Any other reproduction, by any means, requires the written consent of the author.
TREATY ON THE NONPROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
The States concluding this Treaty, hereinafter referred to as the “Parties to the Treaty”,
Considering the devastation that would be visited upon all mankind by a nuclear war and the consequent need to make every effort to avert the danger of such a war and to take measures to safeguard the security of peoples,
Believing that the proliferation of nuclear weapons would seriously enhance the danger of nuclear war,
In conformity with resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly calling for the conclusion of an agreement on the prevention of wider dissemination of nuclear weapons,
Undertaking to cooperate in facilitating the application of International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on peaceful nuclear activities,
Expressing their support for research, development and other efforts to further the application, within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards system, of the principle of safeguarding effectively the flow of source and special fissionable materials by use of instruments and other techniques at certain strategic points,
Affirming the principle that the benefits of peaceful applications of nuclear technology, including any technological byproducts which may be derived by nuclear-weapon States from the development of nuclear explosive devices, should be available for peaceful purposes to all Parties to the Treaty, whether nuclear-weapon or non-nuclear-weapon States,
Convinced that, in furtherance of this principle, all Parties to the Treaty are entitled to participate in the fullest possible exchange of scientific information for, and to contribute alone or in cooperation with other States to, the further development of the applications of atomic energy for peaceful purposes,
Declaring their intention to achieve at the earliest possible date the cessation of the nuclear arms race and to undertake effective measures in the direction of nuclear disarmament,
Urging the cooperation of all States in the attainment of this objective,
Recalling the determination expressed by the Parties to the 1963 Treaty banning nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water in its Preamble to seek to achieve the discontinuance of all test explosions of nuclear weapons for all time and to continue negotiations to this end,
Desiring to further the easing of international tension and the strengthening of trust between States in order to facilitate the cessation of the manufacture of nuclear weapons, the liquidation of all their existing stockpiles, and the elimination from national arsenals of nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery pursuant to a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control,
Recalling that, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, States must refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations, and that the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security are to be promoted with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources,
Have agreed as follows:
Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear-weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices.
Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
1. Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes to accept safeguards, as set forth in an agreement to be negotiated and concluded with the International Atomic Energy Agency in accordance with the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Agency’s safeguards system, for the exclusive purpose of verification of the fulfilment of its obligations assumed under this Treaty with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. Procedures for the safeguards required by this Article shall be followed with respect to source or special fissionable material whether it is being produced, processed or used in any principal nuclear facility or is outside any such facility. The safeguards required by this Article shall be applied on all source or special fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities within the territory of such State, under its jurisdiction, or carried out under its control anywhere.
2. Each State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to provide: (a) source or special fissionable material, or (b) equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material, to any non-nuclear-weapon State for peaceful purposes, unless the source or special fissionable material shall be subject to the safeguards required by this Article.
3. The safeguards required by this Article shall be implemented in a manner designed to comply with Article IV of this Treaty, and to avoid hampering the economic or technological development of the Parties or international cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities, including the international exchange of nuclear material and equipment for the processing, use or production of nuclear material for peaceful purposes in accordance with the provisions of this Article and the principle of safeguarding set forth in the Preamble of the Treaty.
4. Non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty shall conclude agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency to meet the requirements of this Article either individually or together with other States in accordance with the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Negotiation of such agreements shall commence within 180 days from the original entry into force of this Treaty. For States depositing their instruments of ratification or accession after the 180-day period, negotiation of such agreements shall commence not later than the date of such deposit. Such agreements shall enter into force not later than eighteen months after the date of initiation of negotiations.
1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.
2. All the Parties to the Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Parties to the Treaty in a position to do so shall also cooperate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world.
Each Party to the Treaty undertakes to take appropriate measures to ensure that, in accordance with this Treaty, under appropriate international observation and through appropriate international procedures, potential benefits from any peaceful applications of nuclear explosions will be made available to non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty on a nondiscriminatory basis and that the charge to such Parties for the explosive devices used will be as low as possible and exclude any charge for research and development. Non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty shall be able to obtain such benefits, pursuant to a special international agreement or agreements, through an appropriate international body with adequate representation of non-nuclear-weapon States. Negotiations on this subject shall commence as soon as possible after the Treaty enters into force. non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty so desiring may also obtain such benefits pursuant to bilateral agreements.
Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
Nothing in this Treaty affects the right of any group of States to conclude regional treaties in order to assure the total absence of nuclear weapons in their respective territories.
1. Any Party to the Treaty may propose amendments to this Treaty. The text of any proposed amendment shall be submitted to the Depositary Governments which shall circulate it to all Parties to the Treaty. Thereupon, if requested to do so by onethird or more of the Parties to the Treaty, the Depositary Governments shall convene a conference, to which they shall invite all the Parties to the Treaty, to consider such an amendment.
2. Any amendment to this Treaty must be approved by a majority of the votes of all the Parties to the Treaty, including the votes of all nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty and all other Parties which, on the date the amendment is circulated, are members of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The amendment shall enter into force for each Party that deposits its instrument of ratification of the amendment upon the deposit of such instruments of ratification by a majority of all the Parties, including the instruments of ratification of all nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty and all other Parties which, on the date the amendment is circulated, are members of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Thereafter, it shall enter into force for any other Party upon the deposit of its instrument of ratification of the amendment.
3. Five years after the entry into force of this Treaty, a conference of Parties to the Treaty shall be held in Geneva, Switzerland, in order to review the operation of this Treaty with a view to assuring that the purposes of the Preamble and the provisions of the Treaty are being realised. At intervals of five years thereafter, a majority of the Parties to the Treaty may obtain, by submitting a proposal to this effect to the Depositary Governments, the convening of further conferences with the same objective of reviewing the operation of the Treaty.
1. This Treaty shall be open to all States for signature. Any State which does not sign the Treaty before its entry into force in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Article may accede to it at any time.
2. This Treaty shall be subject to ratification by signatory States. Instruments of ratification and instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America, which are hereby designated the Depositary Governments.
3. This Treaty shall enter into force after its ratification by the States, the Governments of which are designated Depositaries of the Treaty, and forty other States signatory to this Treaty and the deposit of their instruments of ratification. For the purposes of this Treaty, a nuclear-weapon State is one which has manufactured and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive device prior to 1 January, 1967.
4. For States whose instruments of ratification or accession are deposited subsequent to the entry into force of this Treaty, it shall enter into force on the date of the deposit of their instruments of ratification or accession.
5. The Depositary Governments shall promptly inform all signatory and acceding States of the date of each signature, the date of deposit of each instrument of ratification or of accession, the date of the entry into force of this Treaty, and the date of receipt of any requests for convening a conference or other notices.
6. This Treaty shall be registered by the Depositary Governments pursuant to Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.
1. Each Party shall in exercising its national sovereignty have the right to withdraw from the Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country. It shall give notice of such withdrawal to all other Parties to the Treaty and to the United Nations Security Council three months in advance. Such notice shall include a statement of the extraordinary events it regards as having jeopardized its supreme interests.
2. Twenty-five years after the entry into force of the Treaty, a conference shall be convened to decide whether the Treaty shall continue in force indefinitely, or shall be extended for an additional fixed period or periods. This decision shall be taken by a majority of the Parties to the Treaty.
This Treaty, the English, Russian, French, Spanish and Chinese texts of which are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the Depositary Governments. Duly certified copies of this Treaty shall be transmitted by the Depositary Governments to the Governments of the signatory and acceding States.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, duly authorised, have signed this Treaty.
DONE in triplicate, at the cities of London, Moscow and Washington, the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred and sixtyeight
[Entered into force: 5 March 1970. Source: U.N.T.S. No. 10485, vol. 729, pp. 169-175.]
15 January 1986
STATEMENT BY THE GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Moscow, 15 Jan. 1986
A new year, 1986, has begun. It will be an important year, one might say a turning point in the history of the Soviet state, the year of the 27th Congress of the CPSU. The Congress will chart the guidelines for the political, social, economic and intellectual development of Soviet society in the period up to the next millennium. It will adopt a programme for accelerating our peaceful construction. All efforts of the CPSU are directed towards ensuring a further improvement of the life of the Soviet people. A turn for the better is also needed on the international scene. This is the expectation and the demand of the peoples of the Soviet Union and of the peoples throughout the world. Being aware of this, at the very start of the new year the Political Bureau of the CPSU Central Committee and the Soviet Government have adopted a decision on a number of major foreign policy measures that are of a fundamental nature. They are designed to promote to a maximum degree an improvement of the international situation. They are prompted by the need to overcome the negative confrontational tendencies that have been growing in recent years and to clear the ways towards curbing the nuclear arms race on earth and preventing it in outer space, towards an overall reduction of the war danger and towards confidence-building as an integral part of relations among states.
The most important of these measures is a concrete programme aimed at the complete elimination of nuclear weapons throughout the world within a precisely defined period of time. The Soviet Union proposes that a step-by-step, consistent process of ridding the earth of nuclear weapons be implemented and completed within the next 15 years, before the end of this century. The 20th century has given mankind the gift of the energy of the atom. However, the great achievement of the human intellect can turn into an instrument of mankind’s self-annihilation. Is it possible to resolve this contradiction? We are convinced that it is possible. Finding effective ways of eliminating nuclear weapons is a feasible task, provided it is tackled without delay. The Soviet Union proposes that a programme of ridding mankind of the fear of a nuclear catastrophe be carried out beginning in 1986. The fact that this year has been proclaimed by the United Nations the International Year of Peace provides an additional political and moral stimulus for this. What is required here is that we should rise above national selfishness, tactical considerations, differences and disputes, whose significance is nothing compared to the preservation of what is most cherished – peace and a secure future. The energy of the atom should be placed solely at the service of peace, a goal that our socialist state has consistently pursued and continues to pursue. Our country was the first to raise, back in 1946, the question of prohibiting the production and use of atomic weapons and to make nuclear energy serve peaceful purposes, for the benefit of mankind. How does the Soviet Union envisage today in practical terms the process of reducing nuclear weapons, both delivery vehicles and warheads, up to their complete elimination? Our proposals on this subject can be summarized as follows.
Within the next 5 to 8 years the USSR and the USA will reduce by one half the nuclear weapons that can reach each other’s territory. As for the remaining delivery vehicles of this kind, each side will retain no more than 6000 warheads It stands to reason that such a reduction is possible only if both the USSR and the USA renounce the development, testing and deployment of space-strike weapons. As the Soviet Union has repeatedly warned, the development of space-strike weapons will dash the hopes for a reduction of nuclear armaments on earth. The first stage will include the adoption and implementation of a decision on the complete elimination of medium-range missiles of the USSR and the USA in the European zone – both ballistic and cruise missiles – as a first step towards ridding the European continent of nuclear weapons. At the same time the United States should undertake not to transfer its strategic and medium-range missiles to other countries, while Britain and France should pledge not to build up their respective nuclear arsenals. The USSR and the USA should from the very beginning agree to stop all nuclear explosions and call upon other states to join in such a moratorium as soon as possible. The reason why the first stage of nuclear disarmament should concern the Soviet Union and the United States is that it is they who should set an example for the other nuclear powers. We said that very frankly to President Reagan of the United States during our meeting in Geneva.
At this stage, which should start no later than 1990 and last for 5 to 7 years, the other nuclear powers will begin to join the process of nuclear disarmament. To start with, they would pledge to freeze all their nuclear arms and not to have them on the territories of other countries. In this period the USSR and the USA will continue to carry out the reductions agreed upon during the first stage and also implement further measures aimed at eliminating their medium-range nuclear weapons and freezing their tactical nuclear systems. Following the completion by the USSR and the USA of 50-per-cent reduction of their respective armaments at the second stage, another radical step will be taken: all nuclear powers will eliminate their tactical nuclear weapons, i.e. weapons having a range (or radius of action) of up to 1000 kilometres. At this stage the Soviet-US accord on the prohibition of space-strike weapons would become multilateral, with the mandatory participation in it of the major industrial powers. All nuclear powers would stop nuclear weapon tests. There would be a ban on the development of non-nuclear weapons based on new physical principles, whose destructive power is close to that of nuclear arms or other weapons of mass destruction.
will begin no later than 1995. At this stage the elimination of all remaining nuclear weapons will completed. By the end of 1999 there will be no nuclear weapons on earth. A universal accord will be drawn up that such weapons should never again come into being. We envisage that special procedures will be worked out for the destruction of nuclear weapons as well as for the dismantling, conversion or scrapping of delivery vehicles. ln the process, agreement will be reached on the number of weapons to be scrapped at each stage, the sites of their destruction and so on. Verification of the destruction or limitation of arms could be carried out both by national technical means and through on-site inspections. The USSR is ready to reach agreement on any other additional verification measures. Adoption of the nuclear disarmament programme that we are proposing would unquestionably have a favourable impact on the negotiations conducted at bilateral and multilateral forums. The programme would envisage clearly-defined routes and reference points, establish a specific timetable for achieving agreements and implementing them and would make the negotiations purposeful and task-oriented. This would stop the dangerous trend whereby the momentum of the arms race is greater than the progress of negotiations. Thus, we propose that we should enter the third millennium without nuclear weapons, on the basis of mutually acceptable and strictly verifiable agreements. If the United States Administration is indeed committed to the goal of the complete elimination of nuclear weapons everywhere, as it has repeatedly stated, it now has a real opportunity to carry it out in practice. Instead of spending the next 10 to 15 years in developing new space weapons, which are extremely dangerous for mankind, weapons, allegedly designed to make nuclear arms useless, would it not be more sensible to start eliminating those weapons and finally doing away with them altogether? The Soviet Union, I repeat, proposes precisely that. The Soviet Union calls upon all peoples and states, and, naturally, above all nuclear states, to support the programme of eliminating nuclear weapons before the year 2000. It is absolutely clear to any unbiased person that if such a programme is implemented, nobody would lose and all stand to gain. This is a problem common to all mankind and it can and must be solved only through joint efforts. And the sooner this programme is translated into practical deeds, the safer life on our planet will be.
Guided by the same approach and a desire to take another practical step within the context of the nuclear disarmament programme, the Soviet Union has adopted an important decision. We are extending by three months our unilateral moratorium on all nuclear explosions, which expired on December 31, 1985. Such a moratorium will remain in force even longer if the United States for its part also stops nuclear tests. We propose once again to the United States that it join this initiative whose significance is evident practically to everyone in the world. Obviously the adoption of such a decision has by no means been simple for us. The Soviet Union cannot display unilateral restraint with regard to nuclear tests indefinitely. But the stakes are too high and the responsibility too great for us not to try every possibility of influencing the position of others by force of example. All experts, scientists, politicians and military men agree that the cessation of tests would indeed reliably block the channels of perfecting nuclear weapons. And this is a top-priority task. A reduction of nuclear arsenals alone, without a prohibition of nuclear weapon tests, does not provide a way out of the dilemma of nuclear threat, since the remaining weapons would be modernized and there would still be the possibility of developing increasingly sophisticated and lethal nuclear weapons and appraising their new types at test ranges. Therefore, the cessation of tests is a practical step towards eliminating nuclear weapons. I wish to say the following at the outset. Any references to verification as an obstacle to the establishment of a moratorium on nuclear explosions are totally groundless. We declare unequivocally that for us verification is not a problem. Should the United States agree to stop all nuclear explosions on a reciprocal basis, appropriate verification of compliance with the moratorium would be fully ensured by national technical means as well as with the help of international procedures, including on-site inspections when necessary. We invite the United States to reach agreement with us to this effect. The USSR resolutely stands for making the moratorium a bilateral, and later, a multilateral measure. We are also in favour of resuming the tripartite negotiations, involving the USSR, the USA and Great Britain, on the complete and general prohibition of nuclear weapon tests. This could be done immediately, even this month. We are also prepared to begin without delay multilateral test-ban negotiations within the framework of the Geneva Conference on Disarmament, with all nuclear powers taking part. Non-aligned countries have proposed that consultations be held with the aim of extending the 1963 Moscow Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water to cover also underground tests, whose ban is not envisaged in the Treaty. The Soviet Union agrees to this, too. Since last summer we have been calling upon the United States to follow our example and stop nuclear explosions. Washington has not yet done that despite protests and demands on the part of the public, and contrary to the will of most states in the world. By carrying out more and more nuclear explosions the US side continues to pursue its elusive dream of achieving military superiority. This policy is futile and dangerous, a policy which is not worthy of the level of civilization that modern society has attained. In the absence of a positive response from the United States, the Soviet side had every right to resume nuclear tests starting January 1, 1986. lf one were to follow the usual “logic” of the arms race, that, presumably, would have been the thing to do. But the whole point is that it is precisely such logic, if one can call it that, that has to be resolutely rejected. We are making yet another attempt in this direction. Otherwise the process of military rivalry will assume gigantic proportions and any control over the course of events would be impossible. To yield to the anarchic force of the nuclear arms race is impermissible. This would be acting against reason and the human instinct of self-preservation. What is required are new and bold approaches, fresh political thinking and a heightened sense of responsibility for the destinies of the peoples. The US Administration is once again given more time to consider our proposals on stopping nuclear explosions and to give a positive answer to them. It is this kind of response that people everywhere in the world will expect from Washington. The Soviet Union appeals to the President and Congress of the United States, to the American people: there is an opportunity to halt the process of perfecting nuclear arms and developing new weapons of that kind. The opportunity must not be missed. The Soviet proposals put the USSR and the United States in an equal position. These proposals are not an attempt to outwit or outsmart the other side. We propose embarking on a road of sensible and responsible decisions.
In order to implement the programme of reducing and eliminating nuclear arsenals, it is necessary to activate the entire existing system of negotiations and to ensure the highest possible efficiency of the disarmament mechanism. In a few days the Soviet-American talks on nuclear and space arms will be resumed in Geneva. When we met with President Reagan last November in Geneva, we had a frank discussion on the whole range of problems which are the subject of those negotiations, namely on space, strategic offensive armaments and medium-range nuclear systems. It was agreed that the negotiations should be accelerated and this agreement must not remain a mere declaration. The Soviet delegation in Geneva will be instructed to act in strict compliance with that agreement. We expect the same constructive approach from the US side, above all on the question of space. Space must remain peaceful, strike weapons must not be deployed there. Neither must they be developed. And there must also be introduced very strict control, including the opening of relevant laboratories for inspection. Mankind is at a crucial stage of the new space age. And it is time to abandon the thinking of the stone age, when the chief concern was to have a bigger stick or a heavier stone. We are against weapons in space. Our material and intellectual capabilities make it possible for the Soviet Union to develop any weapon if we are compelled to do so. But we are fully aware of our responsibility to the present and future generations. It is our profound conviction that we should approach the third millennium not with the Star Wars programme, but with large-scale projects of peaceful space exploration by all mankind. We propose to start practical work in developing and implementing such projects. This is one of the most important ways of ensuring progress on our entire planet and establishing a reliable system of security for all. To prevent the arms race from spreading to outer space means to remove the obstacle barring the way to drastic reductions in nuclear weapons. On the negotiating table in Geneva is a Soviet proposal to reduce by one half the corresponding nuclear arms of the Soviet Union and the United States, which would be an important step towards the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. To block all possibility of resolving the problem of space indicates a lack of desire to stop the arms race on earth. This should be stated in clear and straightforward terms. It is not by chance that the proponents of the nuclear arms race are also ardent supporters of the Star Wars programme. These are two sides of the same policy, hostile to the interests of people. Let me turn to the European aspect of the nuclear problem. It is a matter of extreme concern that in defiance of reason and contrary to the national interests of the European peoples, American first-strike missiles continue to be deployed in certain West European countries. This problem has been under discussion for many years now. Meanwhile the security situation in Europe continues to deteriorate. It is time to put an end to this course of events and cut this Gordian knot. The Soviet Union has long been proposing that Europe should be freed of both medium-range and tactical nuclear weapons. This proposal remains valid. As a first radical step in this direction we now propose, as I have said, that even at the first stage of our programme all medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles of the USSR and the USA in the European zone should be eliminated. The achievement of tangible practical results at the Geneva talks would give meaningful material substance to our programme to eliminate nuclear arms completely by the year 2000.
The Soviet Union considers the task of completely eliminating still in this century such barbaric weapons of mass destruction as chemical weapons fully feasible. At the talks on chemical weapons within the framework of the Geneva Conference on Disarmament certain signs of progress have recently become evident. However, these talks have been inadmissibly drawn out. We are in favour of intensifying the talks on the conclusion of an effective and verifiable international convention prohibiting chemical weapons and destroying the existing stockpiles of those weapons, as was agreed upon with US President Reagan at Geneva. In the matter of banning chemical weapons, as in other disarmament matters, all participants in the talks should take a fresh look at things. I would like to make it perfectly clear that the Soviet Union is in favour of prompt and complete elimination of those weapons and of the industrial base for their production. We are prepared to make a timely announcement of the location of enterprises producing chemical weapons and ensure the cessation of their production; we are ready to start developing procedures for destroying the corresponding industrial base and to proceed, soon after the convention enters into force, to eliminate the stockpiles of chemical weapons. All these measures would be carried out under strict control, including international on-site inspections. A radical solution to this problem would also be facilitated by certain interim steps. For example, agreement could be reached on a multilateral basis not to transfer chemical weapons to anyone and not to deploy them in the territories of other states. As for the Soviet Union, it has always strictly abided by these principles in its practical policies. We call upon other states to follow this example and exercise equal restraint.
In addition to eliminating weapons of mass destruction from the arsenals of states, the Soviet Union proposes that conventional weapons and armed forces become subject to agreed-upon reductions. Reaching an agreement at the Vienna negotiations could signal the beginning of progress in this direction. It now appears that an outline is discernable of a possible decision to reduce Soviet and US troops and subsequently freeze the level of armed forces of the opposing sides in Central Europe. The Soviet Union and our Warsaw Treaty allies are determined to achieve success at the Vienna talks. If the other side also truly wants this, 1986 could become a landmark for the Vienna talks too. We proceed from the understanding that a possible agreement on troop reductions would naturally require reasonable verification. We are prepared for this. As for observing the commitment to freeze the number of troops, in addition to national technical means permanent verification posts could be established to monitor any military contingents entering the reduction zone. Let me now mention such an important forum as the Stockholm Conference on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe. It is called upon to create barriers against the use of force or covert preparations for war, whether on land, at sea or in the air. The possibilities for this have now become evident. In our view, especially in the current situation, it is essential to reduce the number of troops participating in major military manoeuvres which are notifiable under the Helsinki Final Act. It is time to begin dealing effectively with the problems still outstanding at the Conference. The bottleneck there, as we know, is the issue of notifications regarding major ground force, naval and air force exercises. Of course, these are serious problems and they must be addressed in a serious manner in the interests of building confidence in Europe. However, if their comprehensive solution cannot be achieved at this time, why not explore ways for partial solution, for instance reach an agreement now about notifications of major ground force and air force exercises, postponing the question of naval activities until the next stage of the Conference. It is not by chance that a significant part of the new Soviet initiatives is addressed directly to Europe. Europe could play a special role in bringing about a radical turn towards the policy of peace. That role is to erect a new edifice of detente [détente?]. For this Europe has a necessary, often unique historical experience. Suffice it to recall that the joint efforts of the Europeans, the United States and Canada produced the Helsinki Final Act. If there is a need for a specific and vivid example of new thinking and political psychology in approaching the problems of peace, cooperation and international trust, that historic document could in many ways serve as such an example.
Ensuring security in Asia is of vital importance to the Soviet Union, a major Asian power. The Soviet programme for eliminating nuclear and chemical weapons by the end of the current century is harmonious with the sentiments of the peoples of the Asian continent, for whom the problems of peace and security are no less urgent than for the peoples of Europe. In this context one cannot fail to recall that Japan and its cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki became the victims of the nuclear bomb and Vietnam – a target for chemical weapons. We highly appreciate the constructive initiatives put forward by the socialist countries of Asia, by India and other members of the non-aligned movement. We view as very important the fact that the two Asian nuclear powers, the USSR and the People’s Republic of China, have undertaken a pledge not to be the first to use nuclear weapons. The implementation of our programme would fundamentally change the situation in Asia, rid the nations in that part of the globe as well of the fear of nuclear and chemical warfare, bring security in that region to a qualitatively new level. We see our programme as a contribution to a search, together with all the Asian countries, for an overall comprehensive approach to establishing a system of secure and lasting peace on this continent.
Our new proposals are addressed to the entire world. Initiating active steps to halt the arms race and reduce weapons is a necessary prerequisite for coping with increasingly acute global problems – those of the deteriorating state of man’s environment and of the need to find new energy sources and combat economic backwardness, hunger and disease. The pattern imposed by militarism – arms in place of development – must be replaced by the reverse order of things – disarmament for development. The noose of the trillion-dollar foreign debt, currently strangling dozens of countries and entire continents, is a direct consequence of the arms race. The more than 250 000 million dollars annually siphoned out of the developing countries is practically equal to the size of the mammoth US military budget. Indeed, this is no chance coincidence. The Soviet Union wants each measure limiting and reducing arms and each step towards eliminating nuclear weapons not only to bring nations greater security but also to make it possible to allocate more funds for improving people’s life. It is natural that the peoples seeking to put an end to backwardness and rise to the level of industrially developed countries associate the prospects of freeing themselves from the burden of foreign debt to imperialism, which is draining their economies, with limiting and eliminating weapons, reducing military expenditures and transferring resources to the goals of social and economic development. This subject will undoubtedly figure most prominently at the international conference on disarmament and development to be held in Paris next summer. The Soviet Union is opposed to making the implementation of disarmament measures dependent on so-called regional conflicts. Behind this lie both an unwillingness to follow the path of disarmament and a desire to impose upon sovereign nations what is alien to them and a system that would make it possible to maintain profoundly unfair conditions whereby some countries live at the expense of others, exploiting their natural, human and intellectual resources for the selfish imperial purposes of individual states or aggressive alliances. The Soviet Union will continue as before to oppose this. It will continue consistently to advocate freedom for the peoples, peace, security, and a stronger international legal order. The Soviet Union’s goal is not to whip up regional conflicts but to eliminate on a just basis, and the sooner the better. There is no shortage today of statements professing commitment to peace. What is in short supply are concrete actions to strengthen foundations of peace. All too often peaceful words conceal war preparations and power politics. Moreover, some statements made from high rostrums are in fact intended to eliminate any trace of that new “spirit of Geneva” which is having a salutary effect on international relations today. It is not only a matter of statements. There are also actions clearly designed to incite animosity and mistrust, to revive confrontation, the antithesis of detente. We reject such a way of acting and thinking. We want 1986 to be not just a peaceful year but one that will enable us to reach the end of the 20th century under the sign of peace and nuclear disarmament. The set of new foreign policy initiatives we are proposing is intended to make it possible for mankind to approach the year 2000 under peaceful skies and with a peaceful outer space, without fear of nuclear, chemical or any other threat of annihilation and fully confident of its own survival and of the continuation of the human race. The new resolute measures being taken by the Soviet Union to defend peace and improve the overall international situation give expression to the substance and the spirit of our internal and foreign policies and their organic unity. They reflect the fundamental historic law which was emphasized by Vladimir Lenin. The whole world sees that our country is holding high the banner of peace, freedom and humanism which was raised over our planet by the Great October Revolution. In questions of preserving peace and saving mankind from the threat of nuclear war, let no one remain indifferent or stand aloof. This concerns all and everyone. Each state, large or small, socialist or capitalist, has an important contribution to make. Every responsible political party, every public organization and every person can also make an important contribution. No task is more urgent, more noble or humane, than that of uniting all efforts to achieve this lofty goal. This task must be accomplished by our generation, not shifted onto the shoulders of those who will succeed us. This is the imperative of our time. This, I would say, is the burden of historic responsibility for our decisions and actions in the time remaining until the beginning of the third millennium. The course of peace and disarmament will continue to be pivotal in the foreign policy of the CPSU and the Soviet state. In actively pursuing this course, the Soviet Union is prepared to engage in wide-ranging cooperation with all those who proceed from positions of reason, good will and an awareness of the responsibility to ensure mankind’s future – a future without wars or weapons.
Source: Gorbachev, M., For a Nuclear-Free World (Novosti Press Agency Publishing House: Moscow, 1987), pp. 9-22.
MEMBERS OF THE CANBERRA COMMISSION
Brief biographic sketches of the Commissioners, from the Report:
Celso Amorim. Ambassador Amorim was Brazilian Foreign Minister from 1993-1994, and Lecturer, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Brasilia. He was Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, 1991-1993. He is currently Brazil’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York.
Lee Butler. General (Ret.) Butler was Commander in Chief of the US Strategic Air Command (1991-1992) and subsequently the US Strategic Command (1992-1994) with responsibility for all US Air Force and Navy nuclear deterrent forces. He was closely involved in the development of US nuclear doctrine.
Richard Butler (Convenor). Ambassador Butler was Australia’s Ambassador for Disarmament from 1983-1988 and led the Australian Delegation to the Conference on Disarmament. He is now Australia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York.
Michael Carver. Field Marshal Lord Carver was Commander in Chief Far East of the British Army (1967-1969), Chief of General Staff (1971-1973), and Chief of Defence Staff (1973-1976). He is author of A Policy for Peace (1982), on nuclear policy, and numerous other works on military history.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Captain Cousteau, writer, film producer and former naval officer, has been for many years a leading international campaigner on environmental and global survival issues. He is a former President of the French Council for the Rights of Future Generations established by President Mitterrand in 1993.
Jayantha Dhanapala. Ambassador Dhanapala chaired the 1995 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review and Extension Conference, represented his country in the Conference on Disarmament as Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Geneva (1984-1987), and is a former Director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). He is a prominent figure in international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament issues and is currently Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States.
Rolf Ekeus. Ambassador Ekeus is Executive Chairman, United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), whose mandate is to identify and eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. He is a former Swedish Ambassador for Disarmament and Ambassador to the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE).
Nabil Elaraby. Ambassador Elaraby is a specialist international lawyer and a member of the International Law Commission. He has been a key figure in nuclear non-proliferation matters for many years, and was formerly Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations, Geneva (1987-1991). He is currently Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations, New York.
Ryukichi Imai. Professor Imai is a Counsellor to the Atomic Energy Commission of Japan and a Professor at Kyorin University. He is a former Ambassador of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament (1982-1987), to Kuwait and to Mexico. He has been a Distinguished Scholar and a member of the Board of the Institute for International Policy Studies. Professor Imai is an author of numerous books and articles mainly on nuclear energy, non-proliferation and disarmament matters. He received a Dr. Eng in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Tokyo. He is a member of the International Governing Board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Ronald McCoy. Datuk McCoy is Vice President of the Asia Pacific Region and Chairman of the Malaysian Chapter of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. This organisation won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. He is currently President of the Malaysian Medical Association.
Robert McNamara. Mr McNamara was Secretary of Defense under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. He is a former President of the Ford Motor Company and the World Bank. Since leaving the World Bank he has been active in economic and development efforts across the globe and in the areas of arms control and nuclear non-proliferation.
Robert O’Neill. Professor O’Neill is Chichele Professor of the History of War, All Souls College, Oxford University and was formerly Director, International Institute of Strategic Studies, London.
Qian Jiadong. Ambassador Qian is a member of the National Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Previously, he was Deputy Director-General of the China Centre for International Studies, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador for Disarmanent Affairs and Representative to the Conference on Disarmament.
Michel Rocard. M. Rocard was Prime Minister of France 1988-1991. He is now a member of the European Parliament and the French Senate, and a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Commission in each.
Joseph Rotblat. Professor Rotblat, winner of the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize, is President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs and a long standing activist and writer on nuclear disarmament. He worked on the atom bomb during World War II in Liverpool and Los Alamos and was a signatory of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto. He is Emeritus Professor of Physics at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, University of London.
Roald Sagdeev. Professor Sagdeev is Distinguished Professor, Department of Physics, University of Maryland and Director of the East-West Space Science Centre. He has held the post of Director of the Space Research Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences and was former President Gorbachev’s science adviser. From 1987-1988 Professor Sagdeev was Chairman of the Committee of Soviet Scientists for Global Security.
Maj Britt Theorin. Dr Theorin has been a Member of the European Parliament since 1995 and is a former Member of Parliament in Sweden (1971-1995). She is a former Swedish Ambassador for Disarmament, in charge of Swedish disarmament policy (1982-1991). She is President of the International Peace Bureau and President of Parliamentarians for Global Action. She was Chairman of the UN Commission of Experts on Nuclear Weapons (1989-1990), Chairman of the UN Study on Military and the Environment (1990-1991) and Chairman of the UN Expert Group on Women and the Agenda for Peace 1994.
DECISIONS OF THE 2000 NPT REVIEW CONFERENCE
Excerpt [Complete Paragraph 15].
Programme of Action (Next Steps) on Nuclear Disarmament
15. The Conference agrees on the following practical steps for the systematic and progressive efforts to implement Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and paragraphs 3 and 4 (c) of the 1995 Decision on “Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament”:
1. The importance and urgency of signatures and ratifications, without delay and without conditions and in accordance with constitutional processes, to achieve the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
2. A moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions pending entry into force of that Treaty.
3. The necessity of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices in accordance with the statement of the Special Coordinator in 1995 and the mandate contained therein, taking into consideration both nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation objectives. The Conference on Disarmament is urged to agree on a programme of work which includes the immediate commencement of negotiations on such a treaty with a view to their conclusion within five years.
4. The necessity of establishing in the Conference on Disarmament an appropriate subsidiary body with a mandate to deal with nuclear disarmament. The Conference on Disarmament is urged to agree on a programme of work which includes the immediate establishment of such a body.
5. The principle of irreversibility to apply to nuclear disarmament, nuclear and other related arms control and reduction measures.
6. An unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear weapon states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament to which all States parties are committed under Article VI.
7. The early entry into force and full implementation of START II and the conclusion of START III as soon as possible while preserving and strengthening the ABM Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability and as a basis for further reductions of strategic offensive weapons, in accordance with its provisions.
8. The completion and implementation of the Trilateral Initiative between the United States of America, the Russian Federation and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
9. Steps by all the nuclear weapon States leading to nuclear disarmament in a way that promotes international stability, and based on the principle of undiminished security for all:
Further efforts by the nuclear weapon States to reduce their nuclear arsenals unilaterally.
Increased transparency by the nuclear weapon States with regard to their nuclear weapons capabilities and the implementation of agreements pursuant to Article VI and as a voluntary confidence-building measure to support further progress on nuclear disarmament.
The further reduction of non-strategic nuclear weapons, based on unilateral initiatives and as an integral part of the nuclear arms reduction and disarmament process.
Concrete agreed measures to further reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons systems.
A diminishing role for nuclear weapons in security policies to minimise the risk that these weapons ever be used and to facilitate the process of their total elimination.
The engagement as soon as appropriate of all the nuclear weapon States in the process leading to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons.
Arrangements by all nuclear weapon States to place, as soon as practicable, fissile material designated by each of them as no longer required for military purposes under IAEA or other relevant international verification and arrangements for the disposition of such material for peaceful purposes, to ensure that such material remains permanently outside of military programmes.
10. Reaffirmation that the ultimate objective of the efforts of States in the disarmament process is general and complete disarmament under effective international control.
11. Regular reports, within the framework of the NPT strengthened review process, by all States parties on the implementation of Article VI and paragraph 4 (c) of the 1995 Decision on “Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament”, and recalling the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice of 8 July 1996.
12. The further development of the verification capabilities that will be required to provide assurance of compliance with nuclear disarmament agreements for the achievement and maintenance of a nuclear weapon free world.
[Text as supplied by ACRONYM.]
[Note 1] Among other proposals are those by governments, such as the US Baruch Plan (based on the Acheson-Lilienthal Report) and the corresponding Soviet proposal to the UN Atomic Energy Commission; by government-supported public appeals, such as the relatively superficial Stockholm Peace Petition (15 March 1950); and the ongoing position of the Pugwash Movement, which is strongly reflected in the Canberra Commission report.
 Acheson-Lilienthal Report: http://www learnworld.com/ZNW/LWTexts. Acheson-Lilienthal.html
 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [NPT]: http://www.unog.ch/frames/disarm/distreat/npt.pdf
 Gorbachev 15 January 1986 Proposal (“Statement by the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Moscow, 15 January 1986, Mikhail Gorbachev”): http://www.sipri.se/projects/SAC/860115.html
 Canberra Commission Report: http://www.dfat.gov.au/dfat/cc/cchome.html
 NPT Review Conference  Final Result(Paragraph 15): http://www.acronym.org.uk/ npt18.htm
[Note 3] The members of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nucler Weapons, apparently selected because of prominence, prior government office, and readiness to support weapon abolition, are listed at the Canberra Commission web site. They included Lee Butler, who had been Commander in Chief of the US Stategic Command; Michael Carver, former Chief of the British General Staff; Jacques-Yves Cousteau; Rolf Ekeus; Robert McNamara, onetime US Secretary of Defense and former head of the World Bank; Qian Jiadong, former Chinese Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament (Geneva); and Michel Rocard, former French Prime Minister.
[Note 4] pp. 51-52.
[Note 5] p. 52.
[Note 6] p. 41:
We do not wish to overemphasize the advantages that may arise from the free association of the Authority’s scientists and experts with those engaged in private or national undertakings, but we believe that if a serious effort is made to cultivate this association it will greatly reduce the chance of evasive national or private action, or of the existence, unknown to the Authority, of technical developments which might constitute a potential danger.
[Note 7] p. 61.
[Note 8] Brief biographic sketches of the Commissioners, from the Report, appear in Appendix C.
[Note 9] Reproduced below as Appendix D.
©2000 Bruce D. Larkin. Not for reproduction or citation without written permission of the author.