G7 Statement on Non-Proliferation and Disarmament
Lübeck, April 15, 2015
1. We are committed to seeking a safer world for all and to creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons in a way that promotes international stability and stresses the vital importance of non-proliferation for achieving this goal. Preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery remains a top priority, since such proliferation poses a major threat to international peace and security. The fact that the uncontrolled proliferation of conventional arms is undermining stability in certain regions of the globe is a strong reason for the G7 to take action in this field as well.
2. We remain committed to the universalisation of all relevant multilateral treaties and agreements that contribute to preventing and combating proliferation – in particular, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). We commit to and expect full implementation of these treaties and compliance with the obligations contained therein.
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3. Regarding the upcoming ninth NPT Review Conference, which will be held in 2015, 45 years after the NPT's entry into force and 70 years after the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the end of World War II, we reaffirm our unconditional support for all three mutually reinforcing pillars of the NPT. The NPT remains the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament in accordance with Article VI and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The NPT makes a vital and enduring contribution to making the world a safer place. It benefits its members on a daily basis. We call on all parties to comply with their obligations under the Treaty. Diverse ongoing challenges to international security underline the need for a strong NPT and full commitment by all NPT members to implementing the Treaty in good faith.
4. The NPT Review Conference offers an opportunity to further strengthen the Treaty in all its aspects. We recall the successful consensus outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, including its forward-looking Action Plan. The Action Plan provides an enduring basis for making progress on our undertakings towards non-proliferation, disarmament as well as the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We remain fully committed to the implementation of all items of the Action Plan and call on all States to implement its actions and to report on their pertinent activities to the NPT community.
5. G7 partners continue to attach great importance to bringing about the entry into force of relevant legally binding protocols of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaties. These protocols enhance regional and international security by helping to build confidence between Nuclear-Weapon States and Non-Nuclear-Weapon States. We recall the signature of the protocol to the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia, and we welcome the ratification of the protocol by France and the United Kingdom. We also welcome the commitment of the P5 States to continue consultations with the States Parties to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone.
6. We reaffirm the importance of commitments and assurances given by the NPT Nuclear-Weapon States to the NPT Non-Nuclear-Weapon States. In this context, we deplore the ongoing breaches of commitments to respect Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence given by the Russian Federation to Ukraine under the Budapest Memorandum. We call on Russia to cease these breaches, which are also contrary to the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act.
7. The G7 remains committed to the objective of a Middle East free of WMD and their means of delivery. Therefore, the G7 strongly supports the goal of a zone free of nuclear weapons, as well as other WMD and their means of delivery in the Middle East. The G7 countries commend the ongoing efforts of the Facilitator and co-sponsors of the 1995 Resolution (the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States), particularly the five rounds of consultations held among the regional States. We regret that, despite these efforts, it has thus far not been possible to convene the Helsinki Conference. The regional parties must engage actively with each other in order to reach consensus on a date and an agenda for the Helsinki Conference as soon as possible. We emphasise that the Conference can only lead to a meaningful process if the interests of all participants are taken into account.
8. We acknowledge the right of withdrawal enshrined in Article X of the NPT. This notwithstanding, the Review Conference should also clarify the importance of preventing the abuse of withdrawal. We welcome the constructive proposals that have been made to address this important issue. The withdrawal of a State from the NPT erodes the Treaty's near-universality and thereby erodes the security of all other NPT Parties. In particular, we emphasise the role of the UN Security Council in promptly addressing notifications of withdrawal and consequences of withdrawal. We stress that a State Party remains responsible under international law for NPT violations committed prior to withdrawal. Nuclear transfers received prior to withdrawal should remain in peaceful uses and subject to safeguards or fall-back safeguards. We support the adoption by the NPT Review Conference of appropriate recommendations on measures addressing withdrawal. Given the negative impact of a State's withdrawal on other States' security, it is of paramount importance to find ways to encourage parties to remain in the Treaty.
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9. We reaffirm our strong commitment to a diplomatic solution with regard to the Iranian nuclear programme and welcome the political understanding that has been reached by the E3/EU+3 and Iran on 2 April in Lausanne. Between now and 30 June a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action needs to be negotiated in order to resolve the international community's concerns regarding the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme and to ensure Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons. We underline the importance of the continued effective implementation by the E3/EU+3 and Iran of the Joint Plan of Action and the essential role played by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in verifying the nuclear-related measures. We commend those states which made financial contributions in this context for the monitoring and verification work of the IAEA. We reaffirm our strong support for the IAEA's ongoing efforts to verify the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme and we call on Iran to cooperate fully and without delay with the IAEA to resolve all outstanding issues, including, critically, those relating to possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran's nuclear programme.
10. We deplore Syria's ongoing non-compliance with its nuclear safeguards obligations and call on it to cooperate fully with the IAEA by immediately providing access to the information, documentation, sites, material and personnel in Syria that the Agency has requested.
11. We condemn in the strongest possible terms North Korea's ongoing nuclear and ballistic missile programmes including the restart of the 5MWe plutonium-production reactor, the operation and expansion of the uranium-enrichment facility, and construction activities at the light-water reactor at Yongbyon as well as ballistic missile launches. North Korea must refrain from further nuclear testing, cease immediately all nuclear activities and launches using ballistic missile technology, and abandon all nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner as required by the relevant UN Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs). We do not and will not accept North Korea as a nuclear armed State. We urge North Korea to take concrete steps to honour its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, including to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes, and to return, at an early date, to the NPT and IAEA safeguards, and we call on North Korea to come into full compliance with its non-proliferation obligations. We support diplomatic efforts to bring DPRK into compliance with its obligations under UNSCRs and its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement. We urge all States to fully implement their obligations pursuant to the relevant UNSCRs and to make every effort to stop North Korea's proliferation activities and impede its continued pursuit of proscribed nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
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12. The G7 attaches the greatest importance to the faithful implementation of existing disarmament and arms control treaties. We welcome the faithful implementation by the Russian Federation and the United States of the New START Treaty, which will significantly reduce the number of deployed nuclear weapons by 2018. We emphasise that the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a landmark arms-control agreement that eliminated an entire class of weapons, including some 3000 nuclear and conventional ballistic missiles, is an important element of the post-Cold War European security architecture and international security and stability, as well as a contribution by the United States, the Russian Federation and other State Parties to the fulfilment of their obligations under Article VI of the NPT. In that context, we call on Russia to preserve the viability of the INF Treaty by ensuring full and verifiable compliance.
13. We appreciate that the offer proposed by U.S. President Obama to the Russian Federation in Berlin in June 2013 for a new round of disarmament negotiations remains valid for when circumstances are conducive to such negotiations. It is an opportunity not to be lost. We welcome the disarmament-related actions already undertaken by France and the United Kingdom, including the United Kingdom's recent reduction of the number of operationally available warheads to no more than 120, and additional transparency measures by France regarding its nuclear arsenal. We urge States that possess nuclear weapons but have so far not engaged in nuclear disarmament efforts to reduce their arsenals, regardless of size, type or location. We also welcome the recent launch of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification.
14. We welcome the successful convening of the P5 Conference in London, on 4 and 5 February, noting a substantive joint statement, engagement with some Non-Nuclear-Weapon States and movement on deliverables such as the P5 Glossary of Key Nuclear Terms. Continued dialogue among China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States aimed at building mutual trust and transparency is essential for further progress on nuclear disarmament.
15. The early entry into force and universalisation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is in the security interests of all States. States yet to sign or ratify the CTBT should do so without delay and not wait for others. While we welcome existing voluntary moratoria on nuclear explosive testing, we are reminded that a legally binding prohibition of nuclear weapon test explosions would be more effective. We call on all States to refrain from acts defeating the object and purpose of the CTBT. We welcome the efforts of the Group of Eminent Persons in advancing the CTBT's ratification and promoting the Treaty's entry into force. The successful Integrated Field Exercise in Jordan illustrated how well the Treaty's on-site inspection capability has already developed. In addition, the International Monitoring System (IMS) has already proven its effectiveness by detecting nuclear tests, tracking radioactivity from reactor accidents and providing information for tsunami early-warning. In conjunction, this already demonstrates how effective the Treaty's verification regime will be when it enters into force. States Signatories must increase the political will and provide adequate resources to complete the verification regime.
16. We share the impatience of many with the impasse at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and are committed to continuing our efforts to overcome it. We believe the next logical step to advance the multilateral nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation agenda is the negotiation of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (FMCT) on the basis of document CD/1299 and the mandate contained therein. We welcome the substantive discussions and look forward to the report of the Group of Governmental Experts on an FMCT. We note the intention of France to circulate a draft FMCT.
17. The approaching anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are stern reminders of the devastating consequences of nuclear weapons use. We welcome in this regard the 70-year record of non-use and we are convinced that all States share the responsibility to prevent such an occurrence from happening again. We underscore the importance of concerted and renewed efforts towards non-proliferation and disarmament. But there are no shortcuts to a world without nuclear weapons. We consider persistent incremental steps towards nuclear disarmament as the realistic way of reaching the goal of a world without nuclear weapons in accordance with the NPT. Over the past 25 years, this approach has yielded substantial progress.
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18. We actively support the central role of the IAEA and its safeguards system, whose effective implementation is of paramount importance to the nuclear non-proliferation regime. The IAEA must have adequate resources and political support to fulfil its safeguards mandates. We intend to continue promoting an IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement together with an Additional Protocol as the universally accepted international verification standard, which should be considered when deciding on the supply of nuclear fuel, equipment or technology. We call on all States who have not yet done so to sign and bring into force an Additional Protocol and, where relevant, adopt the modified Small Quantities Protocols. We support the evolution of IAEA safeguards at the State level in close consultation with states concerned and emphasise the importance of maintaining the credibility, effectiveness and integrity of the IAEA safeguards system.
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19. All States Parties to the NPT have an inalienable right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in conformity with their international obligations under Articles I, II and III of the NPT. We reiterate our willingness to cooperate with States that meet their nuclear non-proliferation obligations and that wish to develop a peaceful civil nuclear programme with full transparency that meets the highest standards of safety, security, non-proliferation and respect for the environment. We encourage all States to work towards enhancing international cooperation in the field of education and training, which is of the utmost importance to the responsible development of nuclear energy. We also affirm our support for the IAEA's Technical Cooperation Programme and Peaceful Uses Initiative as effective means to promote the benefits of nuclear technology in areas such as human health, agriculture, water management and industrial applications as well as energy to meet the development needs of IAEA Member States.
20. We urge all States to support the implementation of the IAEA's Action Plan on Nuclear Safety including working towards establishing a global nuclear liability regime. We also welcome the progress in enhancing the implementation of the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS), including the February 2015 Vienna Declaration on Nuclear Safety by CNS Contracting Parties, and the entry into force of the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC). We emphasise the importance of the establishment, implementation and continuous improvement of national emergency preparedness and response measures.
21. Multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle contribute to nuclear energy programmes. We actively support this concept, since it can benefit energy security and non-proliferation without distorting the existing well-functioning market. We support the IAEA's work to establish a bank of Low-Enriched Uranium (LEU) in Kazakhstan and urge the conclusion of a Host State Agreement at an early date.
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22. In the area of nuclear security, substantial progress has been achieved. We support the preparatory process of the next Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) hosted by the United States in 2016 and the IAEA Ministerial Conference to be held in the same year. It is crucial to reduce further the threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism by minimising stocks of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and keeping stockpiles of separated plutonium to the minimum level, consistent with national requirements, and by adequately securing vulnerable nuclear and other dangerous radioactive materials around the globe. Acknowledging the fundamental responsibility of States in this field, we reaffirm our commitment to further strengthening and coordinating international cooperation to foster nuclear security. We reiterate the need for a robust and comprehensive international nuclear security architecture. We will strive to draw on the NSS momentum to achieve sustainability of results and ideas created, developed and implemented during the NSS process. We continue to encourage nations to join existing relevant international initiatives that support the Summit goals.
23. We urge all States to ratify, accept or approve the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) as soon as possible. We encourage all Parties to the Convention to act in accordance with the objectives and purposes of the Amendment until such time as it enters into force.
24. The G7 countries commend the work of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) and other international efforts to counter nuclear smuggling and combat nuclear terrorism. We look forward to the upcoming GICNT plenary meeting in Helsinki in June 2015. The ongoing occurrence for more than 20 years of illicit trafficking in nuclear and other radioactive materials highlights the threat of terrorists or malicious actors acquiring these dangerous materials and requires vigilance by the international community. Against this backdrop, we underline the importance of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and encourage all States to become parties to this convention. We stress the need for all contracting Parties to comply fully with all its provisions. We support efforts to strengthen the international cooperation and coordination on efforts to counter the illicit trafficking of these materials, including the IAEA's Incident and Trafficking Database (ITDB) and Interpol's Operation Fail Safe, which tracks the transnational movements of known traffickers.
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25. We welcome the NSG calling on all States to exercise vigilance to ensure the supply of nuclear-related technologies and materials for peaceful purposes only and to expend their best efforts to ensure that transfers of such items do not contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. NSG Guidelines and the Zangger Trigger List should serve as the standard for nuclear and nuclear-related dual use exports. We call on all States participating in the NSG to strictly observe NSG Guidelines and encourage supplier States outside of the NSG to adhere to the NSG Guidelines. We also support discussions on the IAEA Additional Protocol as a condition of supply. We welcome the progress being made by the Technical Experts Group to ensure that control lists remain up-to-date, and we welcome the Group's outreach efforts to enhance non-proliferation.
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26. We reaffirm our unconditional support for the CWC and the work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). We continue our efforts to achieve universalisation and effective implementation of the CWC as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first massive use of chemical weapons during World War I. In this regard we strongly welcome recent steps by Burma/Myanmar to complete the CWC ratification process. We strongly encourage all five States not yet party to the CWC to join it now. We call on all possessor States to take every measure necessary to complete their destruction processes as soon as possible in a transparent manner. We reiterate the importance of effective verification and support improved efforts to prevent the re-acquisition of chemical weapons.
27. We note the positive developments and extraordinary effort of the international community to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons programme over the past twelve months, including the removal and destruction of the chemical weapons declared by Syria. We express deep appreciation to the State Parties that have contributed either financially or in kind to the successful outcome of this operation. The dedication and commitment of the Director-General and the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW, the UN Special Coordinator, and the OPCW-UN Joint Mission staff deserve our full recognition.
28. We share the deep concern expressed in the reports of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission providing compelling confirmation that a toxic chemical, chlorine, was used as a chemical weapon systematically and repeatedly from April to August 2014 in three opposition-controlled villages in Northern Syria. The evidence collected and reported by the Fact-Finding Mission invariably links such attacks to the presence of helicopters, a capability possessed solely by the Syrian military and no other party to the conflict. Moreover, we are deeply disturbed by new allegations of chlorine gas attacks in Syria recently reported. We call for the continuation of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission and efforts to look into all credible allegations not included in the reports thus far. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of chlorine gas as a chemical weapon by the Assad regime and underscore that such chemical weapons attacks are a violation of Syria's obligations under the CWC and of UNSCR 2118. We underline the need for the international community to take collective steps to deter future chemical weapons attacks and protect the people of Syria. We remain united in our determination to hold accountable those responsible for these horrific acts. We therefore welcome the recent decision of the OPCW Executive Council to that effect and the subsequent UNSCR 2209, which made clear that in the event of future non-compliance with UNSCR 2118, measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter would be imposed.
29. We are also deeply concerned that Syria has failed to fully declare and destroy its chemical weapons programme as obligated by the Chemical Weapons Convention and UNSCR 2118. We stress that Syria has not provided any historical records to clarify ambiguities and contradictions in its declaration and subsequently submitted information, has attempted to conceal the offensive nature of its ricin programme, continues to deny the central role the Scientific Studies and Research Centre and its Barzah and Jamraya facilities played in its chemical weapons programme, and has failed to declare the weapons systems it used in the 21 August 2013 chemical weapons attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. We call upon Syria to rectify the inaccuracies and omissions in its CWC declaration and fully declare and destroy its chemical weapons programme. Further, we call upon Syria to expedite the destruction of its remaining chemical weapons production facilities in accordance with the decisions of the OPCW Executive Council.
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30. We strongly support the BTWC as a cornerstone of the international ban on biological weapons. We also strongly support the universalisation of the BTWC and encourage further efforts to maintain and strengthen compliance with the Convention. We welcome the recent ratification by Burma/Myanmar and the accession of Mauritania to the BTWC. We seek agreement at the Eighth Review Conference on a substantive agenda of measures to enhance confidence in the Convention and inject new dynamism into the BTWC process. Such an agenda should include developing practical approaches to building greater confidence in implementation and compliance, giving consideration to, inter alia, approaches that have been demonstrated on a trial basis by individual State Parties. We will work hard with partners from all regions to seek consensus among States Parties.
31. We believe in the need to maintain a high level of international coordination and cooperation in existing fora, including the BTWC, in order to promote biological and health capabilities for preventing, detecting, responding to and mitigating human, animal and plant disease outbreaks whether natural, accidental or deliberate. The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has been a stern reminder of the necessity of that endeavour. We recommit to full implementation of the World Health Organization's International Health Regulations. We welcome other initiatives to build partnerships and provide assistance to counter biological threats such as the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and the Global Partnership.
32. We reaffirm the relevance of the 1925 Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare and call for the universalisation of the Protocol, as we celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2015.
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33. Export controls related to WMD and their means of delivery put in place by members of the international non-proliferation regimes (Australia Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Nuclear Suppliers Group) and the Zangger Committee have significantly reduced the support proliferators can obtain from countries with the most advanced technology. We will continue to work through the regimes to reduce the global proliferation threat and urge all countries to unilaterally adopt and apply on a national basis the pertinent guidelines and standards of these regimes, including their increasingly important catch-all provisions. We remain ready to support the membership in these regimes of like-minded States meeting in full the regimes' requirements, in the interests of strengthening international non-proliferation efforts and effective export control of items on the control lists as well as consistent application of catch-all controls. We look forward to holding the Australia Group's 30th anniversary plenary meeting in Perth, Australia, in June and thank Australia for its committed leadership of the Group and the significant contribution that leadership has made to impeding the spread of chemical and biological weapons.
34. We also recall the concerns of the international community underlined in UNSCRs 1540, 1673, 1810, 1887 and 1977 and the May 2014 Statement by the President of the UN Security Council, and we encourage all States to cooperate actively with the Committee established pursuant to UNSCR 1540 during the forthcoming Comprehensive Review of the status of implementation of UNSCR 1540. We call for additional emphasis on outreach to industry and academia in order to raise awareness and help establish a culture of responsibility to impede efforts by proliferators to obtain sensitive technology and know-how. Further efforts to protect sensitive technology and know-how against all forms of intangible technology transfer and to adapt national legislation accordingly are necessary.
35. Proliferation of missiles, especially those capable of delivering WMD, poses a threat to international peace and security. The Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC) is of key importance in countering these threats. The G7 States are committed to the universalisation of the HCoC and to promoting transparency on ballistic missiles.
36. We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Material of Mass Destruction (Global Partnership, GP). Within the framework of the GP and together with our GP Partners we will strive to enhance coordination and collaboration on programmes and activities in the areas of nuclear and radiological security, biological security, chemical security, scientist engagement and countering knowledge proliferation, and in the context of implementing UNSCR 1540. The GP will continue to promote the goal of securing nuclear materials following the 2016 NSS. The GP has continued its valuable work on engagement with centres of excellence and the expansion of its membership. The sub-groups that focused on each of the substantive areas of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) security helped the GP improve information sharing, funding and project coordination. The GP has provided funding for combatting the Ebola crisis, particularly in the area of biosecurity, and is working to create synergies with other fora such as the GHSA. In addition, the GP has provided support to CBRN threat reduction in Ukraine.
37. We support the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which is important to counter proliferation; the list of States endorsing the Statement of Interdiction Principles continues to grow, with Vietnam recently becoming the 104th endorsing State. We are strongly committed to undertaking further measures in order to enhance the capabilities and authorities required to interdict shipments of WMD, their means of delivery and related materials to and from States and non-State actors of proliferation concern. We support outreach for enhanced participation in the PSI and continue to focus on legal and operational issues.
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38. The illicit transfer and destabilising accumulation of conventional arms, in particular small arms and light weapons, and related ammunition continue to constitute a major challenge to stability and security in many parts of the world. Africa is particularly affected by armed violence fuelled by the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons. We have witnessed with great concern that the proliferation of conventional arms stemming from the former Libyan regime's arsenals has largely contributed to the destabilisation of Mali and is threatening security in many adjacent countries in North Africa as well as the Sahel and parts of sub-Saharan Africa. We welcome the adoption of UNSCR 2195 regarding the fight against transnational threats including terrorism, organised crime and the trafficking of weapons. This objective is advanced by the adoption by the G7+ Assistance Strategy Committee under the auspices of the G7 Roma-Lyon Group on Counter Terrorism and Anti-Crime in November 2014 of a West Africa Strategic Assistance Framework (WASAF) to coordinate donor assistance against serious and organised crime. We will contribute to this endeavour in the framework of a regional conference with States and regional organisations in the Sahel and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa as well.
39. We call for greater cooperation among African States against arms trafficking and are ready to lend our support to such efforts. We consider the control of State-held weapons and ammunition central to an effective and sustained fight against armed violence in the regions concerned. We will continue to offer our cooperation to interested States, taking into consideration the role of up-to-date technology and best practices in physical security and stockpile management, as well as marking and tracing of weapons.
40. We note that the Wassenaar Arrangement contributes to international and regional security and stability by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in the transfer of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilising accumulations. We call on all participating States of the Wassenaar Arrangement to abide by its core principles and prevent illegal transfers of arms and destabilising accumulations, and we appeal to non-participating States to make every effort to apply its standards and control lists.
41. The Vienna Document and Open Skies Treaty have provided useful transparency on military activities in Ukraine and western Russia in recent months, reflecting the importance of continued implementation and the need for modernisation of these agreements and commitments.
42. We stress the importance of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which entered into force on 24 December 2014. Effective implementation of the Treaty by each State Party will contribute to saving lives and reduce illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition, while upholding the legitimate trade in arms. We recognise the importance of State Parties' efforts to broaden support for the Treaty. The First Conference of State Parties in August 2015 will be an important milestone for the international operation of the Treaty and it will call attention to the crucial role of the ATT for international security.
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43. Outer space activities continue to play a significant role in the social, economic, scientific and technological development of States, as well as in maintaining international peace and security. In this context, we reiterate our commitment to preserve a safe, secure and sustainable outer space environment and to ensure the peaceful exploration and use of outer space on an equitable and mutually acceptable basis in accordance with international law. We acknowledge the need to take collaborative, timely and pragmatic steps to enhance the long-term safety, security, sustainability and stability of the space environment. In this vein, the G7 supports and encourages constructive discussions on the development and implementation of Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures (TCBMs) to enhance stability in space. Taking into account the recommendations of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) in their report of 29 July 2013, we are strongly committed to further promoting urgently needed TCBMs in outer space by finalising an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities in 2015. We also support the efforts to complete the draft Guidelines on Long-Term Sustainability for Space Activities by the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, as well as the Committee's consideration of the GGE recommendations on TCBMs at their June 2015 meeting.
44. We recognise the need to prevent outer space from becoming an area of conflict and to avoid an arms race in outer space. We noted the submission by China and the Russian Federation in 2014 of an updated draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space and of the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects (PPWT). However, any new legally binding instrument would need to be comprehensive, precise, universal, credible and verifiable. We remain concerned at the continued development of debris-creating anti-satellite weapons and capabilities, including terrestrially based systems. We underline the importance of addressing such developments promptly and as part of international efforts to prevent an arms race in outer space.
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Source: Auswärtiges Amt, Germany
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