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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

24 January 2002

Text: Bolton Calls for Stronger Curbs on Weapons of Mass Destruction

(Spread of nuclear weapons threatens international security, he says)
(2850)
Under Secretary of State John Bolton called on the 66-nation
Conference on Disarmament to approve stricter controls on the spread
of weapons of mass destruction because of the threat they pose to
international security.
"The United States regards the proliferation of nuclear weapons
technology as a direct threat to international security, and will
treat it accordingly. The same holds true for nations that traffic in
deadly chemical and biological weapons technology, and missile
systems," Bolton said January 24, in a prepared speech for the
Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
Bolton, who is under secretary for arms control and international
security, said that for the Conference on Disarmament to be productive
and contribute to international security, it must focus on new
threats, such as efforts by terrorist groups to acquire weapons of
mass destruction.
The Conference must accept that there is a serious problem of
violations of weapons of mass destruction nonproliferation regimes and
treaties, and then must put aside irreconcilable differences and work
on issues ready for negotiation, such as a Fissile Material Cutoff
Treaty, he said.
"The September 11 terrorist attacks have made all too clear the grave
threats to civilized nations that come from terrorists who strike
without warning, their state sponsors, and rogue states that seek
weapons of mass destruction," he said. "We must insist on holding
accountable states that violate their nonproliferation commitments."
Bolton said the main emphasis of the Bush administration's arms
control policy is to enforce existing treaties, and to seek treaties
and arrangements that meet today's threats to peace and stability, not
yesterday's. "Fundamental to the Bush Administration's policy is the
commitment to honor our arms control agreements, and to insist that
other nations live up to them as well. Now is the time for the CD to
build on its achievements to forge additional restraints against the
spread of weapons of mass destruction," he said.
The Conference on Disarmament (CD), which holds three sessions a year
and was established in 1979 as the single multilateral disarmament
negotiating forum of the international community, was a result of the
first Special Session on Disarmament of the United Nations General
Assembly held in 1978. It succeeded other Geneva-based negotiating
forums, which include the 10-nation Committee on Disarmament (1960),
the 18-nation Committee on Disarmament (1962-68), and the Conference
of the Committee on Disarmament (1969-78). As originally constituted,
the CD had 40 members, but subsequently the membership was expanded to
66 countries.
Following are terms and abbreviations used in the text:
-- NPT: Non-Proliferation Treaty.
-- CFE: Conventional Forces in Europe.
-- CWC: Chemical Weapons Convention.
-- BWC: Biological Weapons Convention.
-- LTBT: Limited Test Ban Treaty.
-- PNET: Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty.
-- TTBT: Threshold Test Ban Treaty.
-- NSG: Nuclear Suppliers Group.
-- MTCR: Missile Technology Control Regime.
Following is the text of Bolton's remarks, as prepared for delivery:
(begin text)
January 24
Statement of the Honorable John R. Bolton
Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security,
United States Department of State
to the Conference on Disarmament
Mister President and distinguished delegates, It is an honor for me to
address the Conference on Disarmament at the beginning of its 2002
session. At the outset, let me congratulate you, Mister President, on
assuming your office. I can assure you of the full support of the
United States in carrying out your duties. I would also like to
recognize the outstanding CD Secretary General, a counterpart of mine
on U.N. matters during the first Bush Administration.
It is a particular honor for me today to be able to introduce the new
U.S. ambassador to the Conference, Eric Javits, who comes to you after
a long career specializing in what he characterizes as "difficult
negotiations." He clearly has the proper background for the CD and has
the full support of the Bush Administration as he strives in this
distinguished Conference to advance international peace and security.
Permit me to outline to this body, the world's oldest multilateral
arms control negotiating forum, the fundamental elements of the Bush
Administration's security policy. Our timing is particularly
opportune. The September 11 terrorist attacks have made all too clear
the grave threats to civilized nations that come from terrorists who
strike without warning, their state sponsors, and rogue states that
seek weapons of mass destruction. We must defend our homelands, our
forces, and our friends and allies against these threats. And we must
insist on holding accountable states that violate their
nonproliferation commitments.
The fight against terrorism will remain a top international security
priority. As President Bush said: "Our lives, our way of life, and our
every hope for the world depend on a single commitment: The authors of
mass murder must be defeated, and never allowed to gain or use the
weapons of mass destruction." The United States and its partners in
this fight will meet this threat with every method at our disposal.
Above all, we are acting to end state sponsorship of terror. The
United States believes that with very few exceptions, terrorist groups
have not acquired and cannot acquire weapons of mass destruction
without the support of nation-states. This support might be technical
assistance. It might be funding. Perhaps such assistance has taken the
form of simply turning a blind eye to terrorist camps within one's
borders. But the fact that governments, which sponsor terrorist
groups, also are pursuing chemical, biological, nuclear, and missile
programs is alarming, and cannot be ignored.
Nations that assist terror are playing a dangerous game. As President
Bush stated to a joint session of the U.S. Congress last fall: "We
will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every
nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are
with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any
nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded
by the United States as a hostile regime."
If the September 11 terrorist attacks taught the United States nothing
else, it taught us not to underestimate the intentions and
capabilities of rogue states and terrorist groups. We will not be
complacent to the threat of any kind of attack on the United States,
especially from weapons of mass destruction, whether chemical,
biological, nuclear, or from missiles.
Chemical Weapons
On chemical weapons, the United States is alarmed by the continuing
spread of dangerous technology to countries pursuing illegal programs.
The United States is a strong proponent of the Chemical Weapons
Convention, which provides several useful tools to combat chemical
warfare programs. The United States has made effective use of the
consultation provision of Article IX of the Convention to address our
questions and compliance concerns. To date, we have conducted several
visits at the invitation of other States Parties in a cooperative
effort to resolve these questions and compliance concerns. In many
cases, this has proven to be highly successful.
The United States will continue to use such consultation mechanisms to
enhance verification and promote full compliance with the provisions
of the Convention. Although bilateral consultations are not a
prerequisite for launching a challenge inspection, the United States
believes that challenge inspections may in some cases be the most
appropriate mechanism for resolving compliance concerns.
Some States Parties have sought erroneously to characterize the
challenge inspection process as tantamount to an abuse of political
power. On the contrary, challenge inspections were included as a
fundamental component of the CWC verification regime that benefits all
States Parties, both as a deterrent to would-be violators and as a
fact-finding tool to address compliance concerns. They are a flexible
and indispensable tool that, if viewed realistically and used
judiciously, can be instrumental in achieving the goals of the
Chemical Weapons Convention. I caution those nations that are
violating the Chemical Weapons Convention: You should not be smug in
the assumption that your chemical warfare program will never be
uncovered and exposed to the international community.
Biological Weapons
On biological weapons, the United States made its position crystal
clear at the Fifth Review Conference of the Biological Weapons
Convention late last year: we will not condone violation of the BWC.
We flatly oppose flawed diplomatic arrangements that purport to
strengthen the BWC but actually increase the specter of biological
warfare by not effectively confronting the serious problem of BWC
noncompliance. It is for this reason that the United States rejected
the draft protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention and the
continuance of the BWC Ad Hoc Group and its mandate, and offered an
alternate way ahead.
Regarding the BWC protocol, the United States was urged to go along
with this proposal because it was "flawed, but better than nothing."
After an exhaustive evaluation within the U.S. Government, we decided
that the protocol was actually counterproductive. New approaches and
new ways of thinking are needed to prevent the proliferation of
biological weapons.
The United States presented a number of new proposals to do just this,
including tightened national export controls, fully implementing the
BWC by nationally criminalizing activity that violates it, intensified
non-proliferation activities, increased domestic preparedness and
controls, enhanced biodefense and counter-bioterrorism capabilities,
and innovative measures against disease outbreaks. Many, if not all of
these measures can begin to be implemented now. We look forward to
discussing and refining them with all of you and hope that you will
join us in endorsing and beginning to implement them as we prepare for
the resumption of the BWC Review Conference next November.
Nuclear Weapons
On nuclear weapons, the United States recently completed a Nuclear
Posture Review, the basic conclusions of which have recently been made
public. Fundamental to this review is the assumption that the United
States and Russia are no longer adversaries, and, therefore, that such
Cold War notions as mutual assured destruction are no longer
appropriate as the defining characteristic of our strategic
relationship. Accordingly, President Bush has announced that the
United States will reduce its strategic nuclear force to a total of
between 1,700 and 2,200 operationally deployed strategic warheads over
the next ten years. President Putin has made a similarly bold and
historic decision with respect to Russian strategic nuclear forces.
Given the new relationship between Moscow and Washington, the specter
of nuclear war between the United States and the Russian Federation is
now a comfortingly remote possibility. More likely is the possibility
of the use of nuclear or radiological weapons by rogue states or
terrorist groups. We are also currently faced with dangerously-high
tensions in south Asia between India and Pakistan, both of which have
nuclear explosive devices.
The proliferation of nuclear materials and technology is a serious
threat to international security. The International Atomic Energy
Agency's nuclear inspection system must be reinforced, as we press
others to adopt strengthened IAEA safeguards designed to detect
clandestine nuclear activities. The United States continues to
emphasize the importance of universal adherence to, as well as full
compliance with and implementation of, the NPT and comprehensive
safeguards. Countries such as North Korea and Iraq must cease their
violations of the NPT and allow the IAEA to do its work. Further, I
caution those who think that they can pursue nuclear weapons without
detection: the United States and its allies will prove you wrong.
And let me reiterate U.S. policy on nuclear weapons proliferation: the
United States regards the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology
as a direct threat to international security, and will treat it
accordingly. The same holds true for nations that traffic in deadly
chemical and biological weapons technology, and missile systems.
Missiles
Almost every state that actively sponsors terror is known to be
seeking weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them
at longer and longer ranges. Their hope is to blackmail the civilized
world into abandoning the war on terror. They want the United States
and others to forsake their friends and allies and security
commitments around the world. September 11 reinforced our resolve to
build a limited missile defense shield to defend our nation, friends,
forces and interests against missile attacks from rogue states and
terrorist organizations who wish to destroy civilized society.
It is an undeniable fact that the United States simply has no defense
against a missile attack on our homeland. While we do have defenses
against shorter-range missiles, we have none against even a single
missile launched against our cities. We must fill this void in our
defenses. As a result, we announced last month our decision to
withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. This was an important
decision for the Bush Administration and was made in close
consultations with Moscow. Although our Russian friends did not agree
with our withdrawal decision, the world is aware of the close and
growing relationship between our two nations. Our new strategic
relationship is much broader than the ABM Treaty, as evidenced by the
announcement by both the United States and Russia that we will reduce
our offensive nuclear arsenals to the lowest levels in decades.
We are also concerned about the spread of missile technology that may
not threaten the United States at this time, but poses serious threats
to our friends and allies, as well as to deployed U.S. forces. Too
many nations are remiss in not controlling their involvement in the
proliferation of missile technology. We are aware of a long list of
missile proliferation activities by enterprises from at least a dozen
nations. Most of these transactions are serious, and could result in
U.S. sanctions, as has been done several times over the past year. The
United States calls on all countries to control missile-related
transfers and ensure that private companies operating within their
borders cease illegal missile transactions.
President Bush has made clear the imperative of restructuring
deterrence and defense capabilities to formulate a comprehensive
strategy to enhance our security. This strategy must include
strengthening nonproliferation measures (prevention), more robust
counter-proliferation capabilities (protection), and a new concept of
deterrence, relying more on missile defense and less on offensive
nuclear forces.
In this context, the security and well being of the United States and
its allies depend on the ability to operate in space. America is
committed to the exploration and use of outer space by all nations for
peaceful purposes for the benefit of humanity -- purposes that allow
defense and intelligence-related activities in pursuit of national
security goals. We remain firmly committed to the Outer Space Treaty,
and we believe that the current international regime regulating the
use of space meets all our purposes. We see no need for new
agreements.
Future of the Conference on Disarmament
This point leads me to touch briefly on the future of this body, the
Conference on Disarmament. If it remains deadlocked in futility, it
will continue to lose credibility and the attention of the world. To
be productive and contribute to international security, the CD must
change the way it does business. It must focus on new threats, such as
efforts by terrorist groups to acquire weapons of mass destruction. It
must squarely face the serious problem of violations of weapons of
mass destruction nonproliferation regimes and treaties. Finally, in
order to perform a useful function, the CD must put aside
irreconcilable differences and work on issues that are ready for
negotiation, such as a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty.
I know of no one more qualified to help lead a new approach here in
the CD than Eric Javits, who has already begun working with delegates
to find ways to move this body forward in 2002. I have one personal
favor to ask the distinguished delegates in this room. It has become
fashionable to characterize my country as "unilateralist" and against
all arms control agreements. Nonetheless, our commitment to
multilateral regimes to promote nonproliferation and international
security never has been as strong as it is today, through numerous
arms control treaties and nonproliferation arrangements, including the
NPT, CFE, CWC, BWC, LTBT, PNET, and the TTBT, as well as to
nonproliferation regimes like the Zangger Committee, the NSG, MTCR,
the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group. In fact, trying to
characterize our policy as "unilateralist" or "multilateralist" is a
futile exercise. Our policy is, quite simply, pro-American, as you
would expect.
The main emphasis of the Bush Administration's arms control policy is
the determination to enforce existing treaties, and to seek treaties
and arrangements that meet today's threats to peace and stability, not
yesterday's. Fundamental to the Bush Administration's policy is the
commitment to honor our arms control agreements, and to insist that
other nations live up to them as well. Now is the time for the CD to
build on its achievements to forge additional restraints against the
spread of weapons of mass destruction. This is Ambassador Javits'
mission here, for which he has my full support and that of my
government.
Thank you.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
      



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