Statement by Ambassador Mitsuru KITANO Representative of Japan to Main Committee III of the 2015 NPT Review Conference on Withdrawal in Subsidiary Body under Main Committee III
The 2010 NPT Review Conference was a great success and saw consensus on many issues, but unfortunately consensus was not reached on one of the most important and pressing problems facing the NPT regime: that of withdrawal from the Treaty.
The right of States Parties to withdraw from the Treaty is recognized in the NPT. However, if a State Party were to withdraw from the Treaty after having secretly acquired the ability to produce nuclear weapons, it would be a threat to regional and international security, and it would have an enormous impact on the credibility of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime which is based on the NPT and universal adherence to it.
It is therefore important to discourage States Parties from withdrawing. To this end, we should clarify beforehand the withdrawal procedure in a manner consistent with the related provisions of the Treaty, and determine how the international community should deal with a notice of withdrawal.
We should also take an approach to give incentive to States Parties to remain in the NPT. It is thus important to take a holistic approach on this issue which combines these two approaches together.
Based on this notion, the NPDI, of which Japan is a member, has proposed the following in its working paper:
- The right to withdrawal can be exercised only in the face of extraordinary events, and the withdrawing State Party must give notice of such withdrawal to all other parties in the Treaty and to the Security Council.
- This notice should include a statement of the extraordinary events which the withdrawing State regards as having jeopardized its supreme interests.
- Furthermore, a withdrawing State continues to be responsible for violations of the Treaty perpetrated prior to the notice of withdrawal.
- In addition, Depositories and other States Parties should conduct every diplomatic effort to persuade the withdrawing State to reconsider its decision.
- Nuclear materials, equipment and technology acquired by a State under Article 4 of the NPT prior to withdrawal should remain under IAEA safeguards even after withdrawal.
- In terms of giving incentive to States Parties to remain in the regime, theimportance of the integrity and universality of the NPT should be re-emphasized. In this context, tangible progress needs to be made in various issues, in particular, nuclear disarmament, peaceful uses of nuclear energy and the resolution on Middle East based on, amongst others, 2010 Action Plan.
We hope these points will be duly considered and reflected in the course of this Review Conference.
Allow me to add that Japan also supports and co-sponsors the working paper WP.47.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman