Let me emphasize that our views on the specific treaty elements such as definitions, verification, and legal and institutional arrangements should be seen in the context of a Fissile material Treaty (FMT) that covers existing stocks, and not on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) that is envisaged to ban the future production only.
The Fissile Material Treaty should ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons purposes. Production for civilian peaceful purposes and non-proscribed military activities should be conducted under strict verification. At the same time, the existing stocks of fissile material should be appropriately covered by the treaty to address the regional and global asymmetries in their national holdings.
The treaty should establish an independent and dedicated organization – an FMTO –with an appropriately staffed Secretariat, a Conference of States Parties meeting annually, and an executive council that includes all the major stakeholders on a permanent basis, meeting regularly and taking all decisions by consensus.
In terms of ensuring compliance, the FMTO should first and foremost try to deal with cases of non-compliance itself through consultations and clarifications as well as through technical means including special inspections and challenge inspection under a specified and pre-agreed procedure. Those cases that cannot be suitably resolved may be referred to the United Nations General Assembly by the treaty’s executive council in a non-discriminatory manner. The referral to the United Nations Security Council would not be a feasible option as the Security Council would be unable to deal effectively with cases of non-compliance by a permanent veto-wielding member, which in the case of FMT would form the majority of fissile material producers.
The treaty must include amendment provisions to allow inter alia the possibility to keep the instrument up to date with latest technological developments. For a treaty that is negotiated and adopted under the consensus rule, its amendments should also only be agreed by consensus among all states parties.
For the treaty to enter into force, the minimum threshold should require ratification by all states that produce fissile materials, as defined in the treaty. Like all treaties impacting on national security interests, states parties must be able to withdraw from the FMT, following an appropriate notice on the grounds of their national security. However, any withdrawing state must continue to remain accountable for any violations or noncompliance with the treaty while it was still a party to it.
Issues of definitions, verification, and legal and institutional arrangements are closely linked to the treaty’s objective and scope. Without developing full clarity and a common vision on the treaty’s objective and its scope, discussion on these other inter-linked elements is premature and of little value.
TCBMs can neither be a substitute nor a condition for concluding legally binding treaties. Nor is it appropriate for the CD to consider such measures. TCBMs are voluntary, reversible and unverifiable unilateral declarations. TCBMs such as national moratorium on the production of fissile material cannot be projected as a virtue. It is indicative of nothing more than the fact that the country making the announcement has fissile material far in excess of its defence needs and does not need to produce more material. If all states supporting FMCT negotiations are ready to announce such moratoria and consider them as a substitute for a treaty, then all of them can get together to multilateralise this voluntary arrangement among themselves. Pakistan is no position to announce such a moratorium individually or in concert with other concerned States.
I thank you, Mr. Coordinator.