Nuclear security and non-proliferation

Greens/EFA motion for resolution

Tabled by Klaus Buchner, Bodil Valero, Ulrike Lunacek, Molly Scott Cato, Sven Giegold, Barbara Lochbihler, Bart Staes
on behalf of the Greens/EFA Group

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its resolution of 17 January 2013 on the Recommendations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference regarding the establishment of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 March 2010 on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons(2),

–  having regard to the EU seminars on non-proliferation and disarmament and to the regular meetings of the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium,

–  having regard to the EU Strategy against proliferation of WMD, adopted by the European Council on 12 December 2003,

–  having regard to the failure of the 2015 NPT review conference to agree on a final document,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the Ninth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (8079/15),

–  having regard to the documents adopted in spring 2016 at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington,

–  having regard to UN Security Council resolution 2310 (2016) on the 20th anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT),

–  having regard to the Tbilisi Declaration of 1977 adopted by consensus by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe,

–  having regard to the UN General Assembly resolution of 13 December 2011 on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East (A/RES/66/61),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2012/422/CFSP of 23 July 2012 in support of a process leading to the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East(3),

–  having regard to recent OEWG/UNGA decisions (A/RES/70/33, A/71/371) establishing an Open-Ended Working Group on taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament in Geneva during 2016, and its report to the UN General Assembly, adopted on 19 August 2016,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the EU’s security environment has deteriorated considerably, becoming more fluid, more dangerous and less predictable; whereas the threats are conventional, unconventional and hybrid, generated by both state and non-state actors;

B.  whereas international peace, security and stability are seriously challenged by various developments, including deteriorating relationships between nuclear-armed states such as the Russian Federation and the United States, and India and Pakistan, and the further development of nuclear capabilities by North Korea;

C.  whereas the proliferation of biological and chemical forms of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is being minimised and progressively halted through effective international application of the prohibition and obligations contained in the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), but the proliferation of nuclear WMD and their means of delivery represents one of the most serious threats to international peace and security; whereas it is the most pressing security priority to prevent terrorists or further states from obtaining or using nuclear weapons, to reduce and eliminate all nuclear arsenals, and to move toward a world without nuclear weapons;

D.  whereas progress was formally made in the securing of civilian fissile material via the Nuclear Security Summits, which were conducted through a complementary process outside of the NPT and contributed to strengthening the NPT by increasing the credibility of its non-proliferation component, but the deterioration of relations between the United States and Russia is jeopardising further efforts to secure and reduce fissile materials;

E.  whereas no progress has been made regarding the concrete steps towards nuclear disarmament agreed at the 2010 NPT Review Conference;

F.  whereas there is a need to further reinforce the core non-proliferation and disarmament objectives of the three pillars of the NPT, namely non-proliferation, disarmament and cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy;

G.  whereas nuclear weapon states that are signatories to the NPT are modernising and enhancing their nuclear weapon arsenals and are delaying action to reduce or eliminate their nuclear arsenals and decrease their adherence to a military doctrine of nuclear deterrence;

H.  whereas the 2010 NPT Review Conference placed a renewed focus on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, which was taken forward by the governments of Norway, Mexico and Austria via successive conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, and their respective reports, as well as by the international Humanitarian Pledge initiated by Austria and delivered at the 2015 NPT Review Conference, which has been endorsed by 127 UN Member States;

I.  whereas the renewed focus on the dangers, risks and humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons reminds us that any weapon system must always be judged in the light of its impact on humans and the environment, and that, in accordance with international humanitarian law, the minimum standard that must also be respected in times of conflict is that weapons are only permissible if their use respects the principles of proportionality to the military gains sought and discrimination between combatants and civilians, and the principle of precaution; whereas the use of nuclear weapons would furthermore constitute a gross violation of universally recognised human rights and an affront to human dignity;

J.  whereas nuclear-weapon test explosions and/or any other nuclear explosions represent a threat to international peace and security, as well as to the environment and public health, and undermine the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime; whereas the CTBT is the most effective way of prohibiting nuclear-weapon tests and any other nuclear detonations;

K.  whereas 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the opening for signature of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on 24 September 1996;

L.  whereas the Russian Federation and the United States continue to implement the New START treaty which will expire in 2021 unless extended by both parties; whereas US President Barack Obama in his 2013 speech in Berlin made a significant proposal on reducing nuclear warheads which he repeated in 2016 in Washington; whereas these overtures for the commencement of negotiations on a follow-on agreement to New START have not been reciprocated by the Russian Federation, and no follow-on to the New START Treaty has yet been negotiated to address reductions in non-strategic and strategic nuclear weapons, leading to their elimination;

M.  whereas a number of nuclear-weapons-free zone treaties already exist for other regions of the world, namely Latin America and the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Africa and Central Asia;

N.  whereas despite all efforts to convene it, the Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction by December 2012, in accordance with consensus agreements of NPT State Parties at the 2010 Review Conference, has not taken place;

O.  whereas NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept and the 2012 Deterrence and Defense Posture Review commit NATO to creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons; whereas under NATO nuclear sharing and bilateral arrangements, an estimated 150 to 200 US-owned short-range nuclear free-fall bombs, regarded as tactical or sub-strategic nuclear weapons, continue to be deployed in five NATO non-nuclear weapon states (Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey), despite concerns raised in these countries, including in some of these countries’ parliaments, about the dangers, risks and insecurity posed by such weapons where these are deployed in accordance with NATO’s current policies of maintaining the right to use nuclear weapons first, of refusing to confirm or deny their numbers or presence on the territory of NATO states, and of rescinding the NPT’s prohibition on transferring nuclear weapons in the event of a decision to use them in acts of war;

P.  whereas the safety and security of US nuclear weapons deployed in Turkey has come under increased scrutiny as a result of the armed conflict in Syria taking place close to the Incirlik air base and as a consequence of the events at and around the Incirlik airbase during and after the failed coup on 15 July 2016;

Q.  whereas 5 December 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Budapest Memorandum; whereas Ukraine has respected all of its provisions and has taken proactive positions on the issues of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, in contrast with the Russian Federation, which has violated its commitments by occupying part of Ukraine’s territory (Crimea) and by launching an armed attack in the east of Ukraine; whereas this has created a dangerous precedent since a state which had guaranteed Ukraine’s security as a response to Ukraine’s decision to join the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon state violated its sovereignty and territorial integrity and heavily damaged the instrument of negative security assurances provided by the nuclear-weapon state, as well as the NPT, and the idea of advancing global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation based on international law and multilateral treaties;

R.  whereas there are media reports that the Russian Federation is deploying, or intends to deploy, nuclear-capable Iskander short-range missiles to Kaliningrad, exercises and overflights are taking place involving nuclear-capable systems, and the Russian leadership is making statements on the importance of nuclear deterrence; whereas the Russian Federation’s decision to suspend the Plutonium Disposition and Management Agreement concluded with the United States in 2000 has increased concerns about increased reliance on nuclear weapons by Russia;

S.  whereas the EU plays an important role as a party to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed with Iran, including its position as a full member of the Joint Commission overseeing implementation of the agreement;

T.  whereas on 9 September 2016 the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) conducted its 5th nuclear test only eight months after the test of 6 January 2016, carrying out what the DPRK claimed to have been a ‘successful hydrogen bomb test’ in clear violation of its international obligations under the UN Security Council resolutions and the 1992 inter-Korean denuclearisation declaration which states that the two Koreas will not develop or hold any nuclear weapons; whereas the proliferation of any WMD, but in particular nuclear weapons and their means of delivery, represents a threat to international peace and security; whereas the DPRK announced its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 2003, has been conducting nuclear tests since 2006 and officially declared in 2009 that it had developed a nuclear weapon for deterrence, which means that its threat to its neighbours in North-East Asia, and to regional and international peace and security, has been amplified;

U.  whereas the 2003 European Security Strategy stated that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is potentially the greatest threat to our security, raising the possibility of a WMD arms race, and that the EU is committed to achieving universal adherence to multilateral treaty regimes, as well as to strengthening the treaties and their verification provisions; whereas the 2016 EU Global Strategy omits any language on WMDs, non-proliferation and arms control;

V.  whereas the EU has committed itself to making use of all instruments at its disposal to prevent, deter, halt and, if possible, eliminate proliferation programmes causing concern at global level, as clearly expressed in the EU strategy against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, adopted by the European Council on 12 December 2003, and whereas it has ensured the deeper cooperation of European non-proliferation think tanks as part of the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium;

W.  whereas there is a need for the EU to step up its efforts to counter proliferation flows and financing, to sanction acts of proliferation and to develop measures to prevent intangible transfers of knowledge and know-how using all means available, including multilateral treaties, bodies such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and verification mechanisms, national and internationally coordinated export controls, cooperative threat reduction programmes and political and economic levers;

X.  whereas the EU, in the run-up to the 2015 NPT review conference, was regrettably unable to agree on a joint position on nuclear disarmament, acknowledging for the first time that ‘different views’ were being expressed on the consequences of nuclear weapons; whereas the 2015 NPT review conference was unable to adopt a final document due to disagreements on pursuing regional efforts to create a zone free of WMD in the Middle East;

Y.  whereas it is possible to construct ‘simple’ nuclear bombs by using the spent fuel element of research reactors which run with highly enriched uranium (HEU);

1.  Is deeply concerned about the deterioration of regional and international security, the re-emergence of the role of nuclear weapons in that context and the lack of implementation of effective disarmament and non-proliferation steps;

2.  Calls on all nuclear-weapon states to take concrete interim measures to reduce the risk of nuclear-weapon detonations, including reducing the operational status of nuclear weapons and moving nuclear weapons away from deployment into storage, diminishing the role of nuclear weapons in military doctrines and rapidly reducing all types of nuclear weapons;

3.  Expresses deep concern at the increased nuclear threats arising from the deteriorating relationship between the Russian Federation and NATO, including potential violations of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, statements indicating an increased readiness to use nuclear weapons, and statements indicating consideration of the potential deployment of nuclear weapons to additional territories in Europe; recalls that both the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Court of Justice have concluded that they are unable to see any possibility of nuclear weapons being used without violating international humanitarian law;

4.  Supports the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit, recognising that the unauthorised trade in and use of nuclear materials is an immediate and serious threat to global security, and looks forward to achieving the complete tracking and physical securing of all weapons-grade materials;

5.  Welcomes the completion of the work of the UN Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, pursuant to UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/33;

6.  Welcomes also the recommendation to the United Nations General Assembly, contained in the final report of the OEWG (A/71/371) and adopted with widespread support on 19 August 2016, to convene a conference in 2017, open to all States, on negotiating a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination; recognises that this will reinforce the non-proliferation and disarmament objectives and obligations contained in the NPT and help to create the conditions for global security and a world without nuclear weapons;

7.  Invites the EU Member States to support the convening of such a conference in 2017 and to participate constructively in its proceedings, and invites VP/HR Federica Mogherini and the European External Action Service to contribute constructively to the proceedings of the 2017 negotiating conference;

8.  Recalls the 20th anniversary of the opening for signature of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on 23 September 1996, and underlines that a universal, internationally and effectively verifiable test-ban treaty is the most effective way of banning nuclear-weapon test explosions and any other nuclear explosions;

9.  Urges the remaining states listed in Annex II of the Treaty, whose ratification is required for its entry into force, to sign and/or ratify the Treaty with a renewed sense of urgency in order to bring this crucial international instrument into full legal effect without further delay; welcomes in this respect the adoption by the Security Council of United Nations Resolution 2310 (2016);

10.  Expresses its appreciation for the significant progress that has been achieved by the Preparatory Commission of the CTBT in completing and operating its effective International Monitoring System, which, even without the entry into force of the Treaty, contributes to regional stability as a significant confidence-building measure, strengthens the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime and brings additional scientific and civil benefits to states; expresses its conviction that for the continued operation of the monitoring system, the CTBTO Preparatory Commission will continue to rely on states’ funding contributions;

11.  Calls for a deepening of the dialogue with the US administration and all nuclear-armed states, with a view to pursuing a common agenda aimed at progressive reductions of nuclear warhead stockpiles; supports, in particular, the steps taken by the US and the Russian Federation to reduce their deployed nuclear weapons as agreed in New START;

12.  Deplores the absence, since the entry into force of New START in 2011, of further negotiations on an urgently needed reduction in deployed and non-deployed nuclear warheads, including, as formerly agreed by the US and the Russian Federation, of measures to reduce and eliminate short-range and theatre nuclear weapons regarded as sub-strategic or non-strategic nuclear weapons;

13.  Commends the establishment of nuclear-free zones as a positive step towards a nuclear-free world; takes the view, in this regard, that a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East is of fundamental importance for the achievement of lasting and comprehensive peace in the region; expresses, in this context, grave disappointment at the failure to hold the NPT-mandated 2012 conference on the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East;

14.  Recognises that the withdrawal of all short-range, theatre and designated sub-strategic nuclear weapons warheads from European territory could contribute positively to creating the conditions for the construction of further nuclear-weapon free zones, thereby helping to fulfil the non-proliferation and disarmament obligations contained in the NPT and, in the meantime, setting a precedent for further nuclear disarmament;

15.  Supports further efforts to strengthen the mandate of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), including the generalisation of the Additional Protocols to the IAEA Safeguard Agreements and other steps designed to develop confidence-building measures; seeks to ensure that sufficient resources are made available to that organisation to enable it to fulfil its vital mandate in making nuclear activities secure; calls for progress in the upcoming 2017 NPT preparatory committee and the 2018 High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament;

16.  Believes that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, was a notable achievement for multilateral diplomacy, and for European diplomacy in particular, which should not only make a substantial improvement in EU-Iran relations possible but also help to promote stability across the whole region; believes that all sides are now responsible for ensuring its strict and full implementation; welcomes the establishment of the Joint Commission comprised of representatives of Iran and the E3/EU+3; fully supports the VP/HR in her role as coordinator of the Joint Commission established under the JCPOA, and believes that strict and full implementation of the JCPOA continues to be of utmost importance;

17.  Condemns the latest nuclear tests conducted by the DPRK and the rejection by that country of the various UN Security Council resolutions, including the most recent of 2 March 2016 (2070); urges the DPRK to refrain from further provocative actions by abandoning its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, to cease all related activities and to comply immediately with all its international obligations, including the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors, as well as other international disarmament and non-proliferation norms, and to return to the negotiating table; calls on the DPRK to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty without delay;

18.  Affirms its desire to find a diplomatic and political solution to the DPRK nuclear issue; reiterates its support for the Six-Party Talks and calls for their resumption; calls on the DPRK to re-engage constructively with the international community, and in particular the members of the Six-Party Talks, in order to work towards lasting peace and security on a nuclear-free Korean peninsula as the best means of securing a more prosperous and stable future for the DPRK; urges China to exert more pressure on the DPRK;

19.  Welcomes the inclusion of non-proliferation of WMD clauses in the EU’s agreements with third countries and action plans; points out that such measures must be implemented by all the EU’s partner countries without exception;

20.  Welcomes the presentation of the EU Global Strategy and urges the EEAS, as a follow-up measure, to update and expand the 2003 EU Strategy against proliferation of WMD and the 2009 New Lines of Action, taking into account the issues and problems described above, with a view to making the EU a driving force in strengthening and taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation agreements;

21.  Welcomes regular engagements with these topics via the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium and other civil society organisations and think tanks, and invites the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium to broaden its agenda and include disarmament considerations on an equal footing;

22.  Urges the IAEA and the European Commission to stop the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in research reactors for security reasons;

23.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the UN Secretary-General, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, the Executive Secretary of the CTBTO and the Director General of the IAEA.