Co-chairs’ Joint Press Conference 


Japan National Press Club

Friday 16 October, 2009 - Tokyo

YORIKO KAWAGUCHI (Japanese language):

Thank you very much for your kind introduction. I am Yoriko Kawaguchi, Co-chair of ICNND. I am a member of the House of Councillors of Japan. Today I would like to speak in Japanese so please put on the earphones.

Now firstly I would like to - the [indistinct] has briefly explained the history up to this point. Exactly one year ago we had our first meeting in Sydney and the Hiroshima meeting will be the last meeting to be held before we put together a report.

Regional security issues and regional inputs are very important, therefore we have also been holding regional meetings [indistinct].

Four regional meetings were held in order to discuss regional security issues. In Latin America, in Santiago in April, North East Asia in Beijing, in May, the Middle East in Cairo, in September and South Asia in New Delhi, in October. At each meeting we had constructive discussions and received input on regional security dynamics. Also, at each regional meeting Mr Evans and I exchanged views with government officials and parliamentarians related to these issues.

This international Commission was proposed by Prime Minister Rudd when he came to Japan and discussed this idea with the then Prime Minister Fukuda. So this is a joint initiative of the Australian and Japanese government. ICNND has been conducting its activities with the support of the two governments. Although we receive government support, in terms of content, in terms of character and the characteristics of the report to come out, this is so called track-2. So this is non-governmental eminent persons group - the members present were introduced earlier. And these Commissioners are participating in the ICNND in their personal capacity so they are free to speak on their own, rather than speaking for their countries or anything else. That is what I would like to emphasise.

Firstly, the name of the Commission - this is the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament. We are seeking to establish a nuclear free world. At the end of the day we want to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons. To that end, what could we do in a concrete manner? We have been discussing what concrete steps we could take to achieve that final goal.

You have in front of you a paper we have distributed. Mr Evans is going to talk about the contents of our discussions and maybe he will refer to this paper.

But basically we are going to follow two steps or two phases in order to eliminate completely nuclear weapons: one is the minimization or reduction phase and the second is the elimination phase with the aim to achieve zero. The threshold between the two phases is 2025. And what we are trying to achieve and what we consider very important is that this report should be concrete. This report should put forward concrete recommendations. It should be a very practical and action oriented report. That is what we are trying to achieve.

So when governments look at this report they can plan specific policies towards the elimination of nuclear weapons and I hope that our report will serve as a reference for them. And then I hope that people in government will think that with these proposals and recommendations, yes, we can achieve actual zero nuclear weapons. We hope we can coax that kind of movement and sentiment among people concerned. That is indeed our aim.

But not only government but also other people's engagement is necessary to achieve a nuclear free world. We need the participation of experts in civil societies and also at the various levels of society people have to be engaged in order to coax and/or influence towards a nuclear weapons free world.

Several days ago I visited Nagasaki and from tomorrow the commissioners will be visiting Hiroshima. Hiroshima and Nagasaki have suffered pain and damages which is indescribable by words. But we cannot achieve elimination of nuclear weapons by sentiment and feelings alone.

Therefore at every level in society, everybody has to try to communicate how bad nuclear weapons are, including the idea that nuclear weapons serve a role in security. We have to change that mindset.
To that goal, to that end, we have to engage all the people at every level of the society so that they can have knowledge and put that knowledge into action. That is the underlying thought in putting together our report.
In terms of our Commission, as I said earlier, we want to achieve elimination of nuclear weapons and we want to move the world to that end. In doing so, we aim to be one or two steps ahead of governments.
Regarding nuclear problems and issues - there have been other reports published, for example, the Canberra Commission of Australia, and in Tokyo too, we had the Tokyo Forum in 1990s.

What will be the difference between our report and those reports which have been issued in the past? Let me briefly explain. Nuclear disarmament-related reports which have been published to date are basically talking about the disablement of nuclear weapons. In our case, ICNND focuses on the way of thinking regarding nuclear weapons, including no-first use and [indistinct]… sole purpose of nuclear weapons is deterrence, in order to deter other countries from using nuclear weapons.

Therefore, nuclear doctrine is one of the focuses we have in our work. We are also looking at the three pillars of the NPT: nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In addition to these three pillars, in April next year, President Obama is going to convene an international summit on nuclear security including terrorism - that is also included in our scope of work.
So we cover very broad ground in putting together our report. That is a difference between our report and other reports.

And one further difference I've mentioned briefly already: this is an eminent persons' commission but it is not simply an eminent persons' commission just by publishing a document and presenting it to governments. That is not the end of our work. The government, parliament and general citizens: we want to directly communicate the importance of our work to all these groups. We want to be an entity to trigger such a movement and we want to follow up the movement once it starts. So our report would have that role as well.
In that sense this is also different from other past reports. Regarding the contents of the report, Mr Evans is going to talk more about it. But using the remaining time I have I would like to talk about the situation in Japan. I would like to talk about aspects of our work pertinent to the Japanese situation.

Firstly, when I meet with the press I am often asked about the no-first use of nuclear weapons.

Maybe it would be an exaggeration to say that all the questions are focused on this issue but my impression is that media is usually interested in no-first use of nuclear weapons. In Hiroshima we are going to have discussion of various issues, including no-first use. So at this point in time I cannot say what will be our conclusion but regarding the way of thinking, regarding no-first use, I would like to briefly explain. As I said earlier, we want to eliminate nuclear capabilities. That is what we want to achieve. Therefore at some point in time we have to reduce the role of nuclear weapons. Since people think that nuclear weaponry has a security role, various countries want to possess nuclear weapons: therefore we have to eliminate the role to be played by nuclear weapons - and unless we can do that we cannot achieve actual zero nuclear weapons.

Therefore nuclear doctrine is important. We want to lead the discussion on theory of nuclear doctrine. In order to facilitate and promote nuclear disarmament we have to consider no-first use and how we are going to define the role of nuclear weapons. On these issues, we have been having very serious and earnest discussions in the Commission.

Therefore no-first use is of course an issue that would require further discussions going forward. So of course we are going to touch upon no-first use in our report. But at the same time what we have to discuss and consider simultaneously in the process up to the elimination of nuclear weapons is that of global security which has to be maintained while we reduce the number of nuclear weapons.

We should not destabilize international security when we are in the process of reducing nuclear weapons - as we try to reduce the number of nuclear weapons we have to maintain global security. We should not destabilize global security at all. So what can we do to achieve both goals at the same time is something we are discussing in concrete terms - what kind of concrete conditions would be necessary to allow no-first use? It's something we are going to discuss in Hiroshima and we want to present that idea in our report. And if we look at that issue from a different perspective, we can see the following: in reality, if nuclear disarmament is to be promoted we have to build confidence. In that regard, there are various things that have to be done.
Further, if we want to promote no-first use, then ratification of the CTBT has to be promoted and also the cut off treaty, FMCT - that is the fissile material cut-off treaty that is to be discussed going forward in the conference on disarmament in Geneva and also between the US and Russia. Discussion is also taking place on the reduction of the number of warheads. By the end of December START will expire, therefore an alternative new treaty has to be signed between the US and Russia.

So nuclear doctrines - ways of thinking - have to be changed. That is: we have to cause change in the way of thinking without destabilizing security in the role. Without minimize the security in the world.

That means, step by step disarmament would be necessary, step by step nuclear disarmament and also in the process leading up to the elimination of nuclear disarmament, to some extent nuclear deterrence would remain in place - that is not contradictory. In the process the question is, at which point in time are we going to declare the world nuclear free? – that point should come as quickly as possible.

And also, there is another idea to establish an East-Asia nuclear free zone. This is often discussed by DPJ and often asked by the media, so let me briefly touch on it – a nuclear free zone is an idea to eliminate nuclear weapons in a certain area and to contribute to nuclear disarmament as a whole. The countries concerned agree to abandon the use and production of nuclear weapons; that agreement is to be backed by nuclear weapon states which would guarantee not to threaten the states in the zone with nuclear attack.

So those are the prerequisites to reach agreement. Recently we went to the Middle East to hold a Regional Commission Meeting and we had various discussions there. One of the major topics in our discussion was the proposed nuclear free zone in the Middle East. For example, that idea has to be realized in order to solve nuclear problems existing in the Middle East and we believe that such a free zone should be there. But the question is, how are we going to initiate this process, how are we going to start this process? We discussed that too.

And how can we start up the negotiations - that point would be very important - but in any case, a nuclear free zone idea is feasible as long as we have the right preconditions - such a nuclear free zone would go a long way, in our view.

And, so those are the two frequently asked questions in Japan. But what would we recommend in the report is not decided yet, so I think there is only so much that Mr Evans can share with you -but I would now like to ask Mr Evans to talk about the contents of the report.

Thank you.

GARETH EVANS (English language):

Thank you very much indeed Yoriko and thank you all for being here this morning.

The Commission has set itself a very ambitious agenda. We not only want to find ways of holding the line against further proliferation of nuclear weapons but also to achieve their ultimate elimination. The guiding principles that we have adopted as the core of our approach to this were originally articulated in the Canberra Commission back in 1996 and many times since. But they remain extraordinarily pertinent today and they can be summarized in three sentences.

One, so long as any country has nuclear weapons others will want them. So long as any country retains nuclear weapons they are bound one day to be used, if not by deliberate intention then by accidents or by miscalculation. And any such use would be catastrophic for the world as we know it.

Against that background and with that approach you might reasonably ask, as sceptical members of the press often do around the world, what possible difference could another blue ribbon commission like this make. There've been many such previous reports, many such previous panels.

I think we can very quickly summarize the value that will I believe be added by our Commission. First, timeliness. With the Obama Administration's arrival and not least with the Nobel Prize now to go with it, we have seen a dramatic new momentum developing world wide and I think for the first time we feel that reports of this kind will be actually riding a wave rather than resisting a tide.

Secondly, there's the comprehensive way that we're approaching the issues. Yoriko has already spelt out that disarmament, non-proliferation, peaceful uses will all be given more or less equal attention. That's not been the case for many previous reports, the complex inter-relationship between these issues will be drawn out as it needs to be.

Thirdly, the commission itself as you heard in the introduction and in the further description is itself very representative. This is not a regional exercise, this is a global one and it has associated with it some of the best people in the world on this issue and supported by some of the strongest research teams in the world.
Fourthly, I think you'll find that the approach, and this has also been mentioned by my co-chair, will be very hard-headed. Idealistic, yes, but also realistic. Ambitious, yes, but also pragmatic because we have to confront the world as it is, not just as we would ideally like it to be.

Next point is that I think you'll find that the report is written in a way which is very accessible and hopefully readable by non-specialists. Too much of the stuff that's gone into this debate in the past has been the specialists talking to each other and a lot of the argument really going over the heads of senior policy makers and those who influence them in the present, certainly the general public. I hope we can do a little better than that.

And the final point to make in terms of value added is that this is a report which will be very action oriented. Not just producing a shopping list of recommendations, more or less in the abstract. We hope to craft a series of action agendas. As you can see from the summary bit of paper in front of you, short term, medium term, long term, which are addressed between them, working through the whole issue: first of all, holding the line and then achieving the minimization of the number of nuclear weapons, and finally their actual elimination.

In terms of the elements of that action program and the actual recommendations that we'll be making, it is a little premature for us to be holding this press conference now because we're about to have three days of detailed discussion to settle all this. But I think on the basis of the work that we've done so far, the meetings we've had so far, the discussions we've had so far, I can at least in broad outline give you an indication of the kind of things we'll be saying as to our recommendations for each of these phases.

First of all, so far as the short term is concerned, which we are defining as the next four years through to 2012, the first priority is obviously next year's non-proliferation treaty review conference in which we will be proposing a priority action agenda for that particular conference which will have essentially three elements.

First, a package of proposals about strengthening the non-proliferation part of the regime itself. Secondly, a proposed new statement on the issue of disarmament, which for the aficionados among you will pick up on the 13 practical steps that were agreed back in 2000 but which have since almost disappeared into the dustbin - I'm afraid -and we have to take them out of the dustbin and reshape them and rearticulate them as an important forward looking commitment on the disarmament part of the agenda.

And the third thing we need to do in the NPT Review Conference - and Yoriko has also mentioned this - is address the particular issue of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons in the middle east, because that is an issue which bubbles and boils away on the fringes of the NPT every five years and unless we have something substantial result on that issue in May next year it could well disrupt the overall achievement of that event.

Also in the short term however there's a number of issues which really are high priority and urgent and we cannot just wait for the next 10 or 15 years to see them implemented. And some of them have been mentioned already but let me mention the major ones.

First we want to see really substantial movement bilaterally between the United States and Russia. There are 23,000 nuclear warheads out there at the moment and something like 22,000 of them are held by those two countries. So unless they demonstrate real leadership in deep reductions, we are clearly not going to begin to make progress towards a nuclear weapons free world. That is beginning to happen with the negotiations taking place this year but that process has to continue.

Secondly, we need to see the beginnings of a serious multilateral disarmament process. We know that is going to take a very long time to get buy-in to actual disarmament from the other of the five original weapon states - China, France, the UK - not to mention from India, Pakistan and Israel, the newcomers to that status of nuclear arms states. And we know that is going to take time, but the process has to begin. There has to be serious strategic dialogues and there has to be the beginning of some roundtable process in which the issues are put out and we have the beginnings of a serious exchange.

Associated with that we would like to see some early movement on the subject of doctrine, which I'll come to again in just a moment. That's mainly a medium term objective, fundamentally changing nuclear doctrine around the world but we certainly would like to see that process started in the short term. Beyond that, of the other two really big issues in the short term over the next three to four years, once is the comprehensive test ban treaty. It is crucial, both substantively and symbolically that that treaty finally be ratified by all the necessary countries and brought into effect. There is a moratorium, voluntary moratorium still holding but that's fragile. This really does need to be brought into effect. There is a lot of politics associated with that and we can talk about in more detail if you like - but that has to be upfront.

And second is substantial movement on the other issue mentioned by my Co-chair, the negotiations which are just beginning to get off the ground now in Geneva about a fissile material production cut-off treaty - the idea being to stop the further production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium of a kind that actually could be used in weapons. Very important that we get movement on both those issues.

So that is the short term agenda. The medium term is the 15 years from next year through to 2025. 2025 is a rather arbitrary date but, we think, a realistic date for the achievement of what we believe has to be achieved if we're going to be serious about ultimate elimination. And what has to be achieved by 2025 is not only the completion of all the unfinished business that I've mentioned so far which might not be done by 2012 on the non-proliferation side, but also, we really have to see some big forward movement on disarmament.
And that means three things as summarized in the paper in front of you. Reaching a minimization point by 2025 has three dimensions to it. One is the actual numbers of nuclear weapons in existence. They have to be dramatically reduced. What the number actually should be we're still talking about in the Commission but we do want to come up with a specific target figure which is ambitious but nonetheless realistic.

Secondly, we do need to have by 2025, and hopefully much sooner than that, agreement on nuclear doctrine which really fundamentally changes the way in which nuclear armed states and everybody else thinks about the role of nuclear weapons. In that context, I think the preliminary view of the Commission is that certainly by 2025 we would want to see every nuclear armed state, everyone of them, firmly committed to a no first use doctrine, that they would never be the first to use nuclear weapons pre-emptively or in any other way. Only keeping open the retaliatory option. That's all.

Of course no first use is a very complicated issue as has already been indicated and there are many different views about how quickly achievable that might be and how desirable it would be. I think a strong view on the Commission which will need to be discussed over the next few days is that it's absolutely indispensable that we do get to no first use as a critical station on the path to final elimination. Unless you've got this you're not achieving much in terms of getting towards any kind of zero. And we do want to see clear and unequivocal declarations of that kind.

On the other hand, declarations by themselves do not necessarily amount to very much. There is a lot of scepticism about whether it actually meant anything back in the 80s when USSR had a no first use doctrine. There was a lot of scepticism about whether China's commitment to a no first use position actually means very much in practice. It has to be accompanied - and this is the third element in our minimization point as identified here - by forced deployments and launch arrangements, everything associated with a physical disposition of weapons which make the first use declaration credible.

And unless you have those arrangements in place you're not going to have any particular credibility associated with a purely declaratory doctrinal position.

Then we understand that it's going to take some considerable time for those changes to be made. We also know that there are a number of nuclear armed states which feel particularly vulnerable to conventional superiority by others, perhaps in their neighbourhood, for whom it is going to take quite a bit of persuasion to abandon the first use option. So it is going to be evolutionary - for achievement in the medium term as I've just said rather than in the short term, although we'd like to get that process started soon.

And I think the bottom line for a number of us on the Commission is we'd like very much to see the nuclear posture review in the United States moving in this direction over the next few months, at the very least to a position of the US adopting the position that the sole purpose of nuclear weapons is to deter others from using nuclear weapons against themselves or their allies.

This is not an easy or a simple issue to wrestle with. There are many different views on it and as I have said they will be debated by the Commission. But generally speaking that is the minimization concept we are looking at: very low numbers, a doctrine in which the salience or the role of nuclear weapons is universally reduced to insignificance, and force posture plus physical deployment arrangements which reflect that doctrine and make it credible.

The final stage, 2025 and beyond - the longer term - is what we're describing as the actual elimination phase when we get from very low numbers and the status I've just described to actual zero. As a commission we would like very much to actually fix a realistic target date for getting to zero. But I think we have been forced to acknowledge this is going to be very, very difficult to articulate - a credible actual date - because there are so many conditions that are going to have to be satisfied.

Finally, there is the ultimate psychological change Yoriko has mentioned, the need for a mindset change if disarmament is to start happening seriously. A big mindset - psychological shift – is needed before states are going to finally give up their little security blanket which they equate with the existence of nuclear weapons. We know that, and we know that to get to that change is going to involve some really quite fundamental changes in the geo-political conditions and in neighbourhood conditions in a number of parts of the world.

Also it is going to require absolute confidence by everyone in very strong verification arrangements, very strong measures and mechanisms in place to deal with possible breakouts - including enforcement. And we know that this is all going to be hard to achieve but we think it's doable.

That does not mean that we have suddenly ceased being ambitious or being idealistic. Absolutely not. The basic principle that I stated at the beginning, so long as any states have nuclear weapons others will want them will continue in perpetuity - and we are always going to have a problem. We are always going to have a problem of perceived double standards and perceived hypocrisy if we adopt a two tier approach to the world, that some countries are entitled to possess nuclear weapons and others are not.

So elimination of all nuclear weapons is absolutely crucial as a target and very detailed proposals to this end will be in our report. That report, I hate to tell you, will be about 200 pages long - a very substantial document but with lots of guides to the content and simplified synopses and so on so you won't be too overwhelmed by it I hope.

I hope very much that our report will be the kind of blueprint that the world really does need and decision makers need if we're going to get beyond rhetoric and really substantially moving down this path. So I'm happy, as is the Co-chair to respond to any of your questions.

MODERATOR (Japanese language):

Thank you very much. Very energetic and ambitious presentations. That is why we went over time. But we would like to entertain as many questions as possible. According to the rule of this club, please raise your hand and state your name and affiliation and please try to make your questions brief.

QUESTION (Japanese language):

You mentioned earlier that there is a Global Zero Commission and you have your own Commission and there may be a difference in the approach: is there any difference in approaches between the two?
Approach vis-a-vis the nuclear disarmament has been explained to us but what is the difference between the two, may I ask you?

YORIKO KAWAGUCHI (Japanese language):

Mr Evans and I are members of the Global Zero Commission. Actually, the Global Zero Commission aims to achieve elimination of nuclear weapons so I think there is a synergy between the two Commissions.

There are several differences of course, one is the composition of members as you said, and the timing of achieving zero is different in the case of the Global Zero Commission. They have a specific timing in mind. In our case, as I said earlier, and also as Mr Evans mentioned earlier, the minimization point is 2025, but the elimination phase, realistically speaking and practically speaking - we want to be realistic and practical - therefore we do not set a specific end point by specific year for this phase. There are various approaches to achieve zero nuclear weapons and there are a range of groups working on that.
And those groups are moving in the same direction at least, that is my view.

GARETH EVANS (English language):

Global Zero is really a campaign organisation, it's not a commission as such, it's not producing a detailed report, and what it wants is something which will energise and excite a global constituency both of governments and the civil society, and to that extent they are keeping messages simple.

We are making things a little bit more complex, because that is a necessary corollary to a kind of active public campaign of that kind mounted by Global Zero.

The only real difference I think between us is that the Global Zero Organisation leadership genuinely believes that identifying a “date certain”, will actually help the process and give it credibility and momentum.

Our Commission is a little bit more sceptical about that. We feel that we ought to be honest about that degree of difficulty with setting a date and rather spend our time really focusing on the conditions that have to be satisfied.

At the same time, I would not want you to be left with the sense that we lack ambition or we just want to allow the process to drift into a fog after we get to the minimization point.

You will find us being quite explicit in our report about the particular conditions that will need to be satisfied. So, while we identify the mountain top we do not leave it as some others have, shrouded in mist or shrouded in fog or clouds. We actually say, that mountain top is very important to get to, and that we have got to map the way - all the way - up the path to it. We have got to identify the stages that are necessary to get there. But we just cannot be confident at this stage, in 2009, of identifying when precisely that will be achieved.

That's the only difference between us, but we are all engaged in these projects because we do share a common passionate belief in that final objective.

CHAIR (Japanese language): Next please.

QUESTION (Japanese language):

I am from [indistinct]. I have a question to Mr Evans. You talked about no first use being a medium to long-term goal - an evolving concept to be considered without delaying to a later date for discussion. So with the news that Russia is now relaxing its condition for the first use of the nuclear weapon – that is what reports said - in these circumstances, if the US would declare their no-first use, then what would happen to the relationship with Russia? Our Foreign Minister Okada, is saying that vis-à-vis the US, that he would like to ask the US to declare no-first use. But do you think it is a realistic approach or not? I think Mr Evans has a similar approach as our Foreign Minister Okada, but I would like to confirm at this point with you.

GARETH EVANS (English language):

Very simply, if everybody were to declare no first use today or tomorrow I would applaud. I think that would be a very helpful demonstration of commitment but it wouldn't mean very much unless we really believed that the country saying it actually meant it.

And we could not really believe that it meant very much unless and until the forces they were deploying, and the way in which they approached the issue of launch mechanisms and alert status and so on, were entirely consistent with that declaration.

So it is in that sense that I am saying - and this is for the Commission to finally resolve - that having meaningful no first use undertakings is probably a medium-term objective.

But I, for one, would love to see everybody, right now, moving down that path with some kind of declaratory position and I would love to see this coming out of the United States and I do not think it will be, in any way, destabilizing for this to occur. I would like the US to say that the sole purpose of nuclear weapons is to deter other people using nuclear weapons, not to deal with other kinds of threat contingencies; we have other ways of dealing with other threats. That is my position, that is where I would like us to be.

But I am not disagreeing with the argument that in practice this is going to have to be an evolutionary process and we may get some backsliding along the way, I do not know the truth of the report suggesting that Moscow may be moving away from restricting the role of nuclear weapons to in fact expanding it - and maybe this is just a tactic as part of the present negotiations to concentrate the minds of the US a little bit more.

The debate is going to go backwards and forwards but the important thing to appreciate is that a no-first use commitment is really more about symbolism than substance at the moment, and it is only when you have the numbers reduced, and the deployment and alert status reduced, that I think we can take such declarations really seriously. So there is no particular point in elevating this issue to the centre piece of the whole debate about moving forward on nuclear disarmament. It is just one of the elements that is going to have to fall into place sooner or later and it may be later, before we genuinely make progress on it.

QUESTION (Japanese language):

Hi I am [indistinct] from Asahi ShimbunNewspaper. You say that your Commission is being very ambitious yet being realistic at the same time which is a very wonderful approach and you name [indistinct].

I have a question, looking at India and Pakistan - they are defacto nuclear weapon states - what are the responses that the Commission will be asking from India and Pakistan. There are two issues as I see it. To start with [indistinct] the US had given the advantageous preferential treatment only to India in order to gain the cooperation for India and allow for cooperation in the nuclear energy area. [indistinct] And what about the CTBT. Of course the US and other countries are furthering their efforts at this time because momentum is rising - but what are your views. Do you think India and Pakistan need to recognize CTBT first - get on board on the CTBT first - what is the opinion of the two Co-chairs.

GARETH EVANS (English language):

Very briefly, we have to recognize the reality that India, Pakistan, and indeed Israel as well, are fully fledged nuclear armed states.

The position of North Korea is much more ambiguous and we don't want to put them in the same category. We have to also recognize the reality that as much as we would love them to join the NPT as non weapons states, that's not going to happen anytime soon because they're not going to come in on that basis and others are not going to be prepared to let them in as weapon states so what we have to do, and this is a theme running right through the report, is to recognize that reality and find ways of getting these countries signed up to the same disciplines as everybody else. When it comes to non-proliferation and to disarmament and there is many ways of doing that. The CTBT - the test ban treaty – and the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty does not depend on being a member of the NPT.

It is perfectly possible for these countries to be active participants in that process and we will be strongly recommending, as we did in Delhi and Islamabad, just a few days ago, that both those countries move down the path, right now, of signing up to both the CTBT and being actively enthusiastic supporters of the negotiation of the cut-off treaty.

I think the indications are that if the US and China, following the US, ratify the CTBT, then the CTBT is not really going to be a big problem. That might be an over-optimistic reading but I think it's do-able.

Without both the US and China moving on that path then that's going to be very, very hard indeed.

On fissile material it is going to be quite tough, particularly so far as the Pakistanis are concerned – they seem to want to keep their options open. The Indians however are being more forthcoming.

But in terms of what we are asking of them - certainly it is ratification of the Treaty. But we are also asking a bit more from them. We would very much want these countries to at least commit to no further increase in their arsenals. In fact, that is true of everybody. In a world where you want to see a decrease, where you want to see reduction, where you want to see elimination, it is not very helpful for any country to be adding to its stocks.

There seems to be a pretty rough balance between India and Pakistan at the moment. The trouble is, India says it is not just Pakistan it is worried about, it is those guys up to the north and so life is more complicated. But that is certainly what we are going to be pushing for in our report. And the general approach is, as I have described it, is to be realistic about the constraints but work very hard to bring them into the global disarmament and non-proliferation disciplines.

On the particular question of India and the US deal, that is an example of something that is possibly quite desirable; namely having a bilateral arrangement that does actually add some extra disciplines in terms of the application of safeguards to civil facilities - which were previously lacking in the case of India.

However there is a question mark. It was not a very good deal from the point of view of the rest of the world because it did not get very much in return, in terms of commitments to test bans or commitments to fissile material cut-off and so on. And if that type of arrangement is to be considered with any of these countries in the future, one would hope for a much tougher approach to conditionality.

So that's the general approach we're adopting to those countries.

YORIKO KAWAGAUCHI (Japanese language):

I would like to make two comments from my part. The other day we had a regional commission meeting in South Asia on the NPT, non-proliferation and also nuclear disarmament as well. I think the NPT is a very, very basic treaty for the world – that it is a very important treaty. How can India, Pakistan - and other non-NPT countries - as outsiders of that treaty, how can they contribute to strengthen other processes [indistinct] weakening what we are trying to achieve.

As Mr Evans mentioned we have had a lot of discussion on this issue. At the time the NPT was negotiated, India considered the treaty discriminatory and that view has not changed.

With that being the case, in view of the very important objective of preventing proliferation and achieving zero, we have to be realistic. That is why we said we are being realistic in our efforts.

Another point - there are three variables in relation to South Asian regional security - China, India, Pakistan, those are the three variables - Pakistan is looking at India, India is looking at China. So the problems cannot be solved only between India and Pakistan because there are three variable as Gareth mentioned earlier.

We have to reduce global nuclear stockpiles and that would facilitate the ratification of the CTBT and the commencement of FMCT discussions – and at the end of the day, by doing so, we will be able to achieve our final goal.

CHAIR (Japanese language): Our time is running out so it's going to be a last question please.

QUESTION (Japanese language):

I am [indistinct]. I have two last questions if I may. First, in the UN today, the US said that compared with 2001 levels its stocks of nuclear arms will be halved.

[indistinct] And also because the venue will be Hiroshima, do you think it's going to be a special factor which will have an impact on the discussions to take place at the Commission meeting? My question is addressed to both of you.

YORIKO KAWAGAUCHI (Japanese language):

At the United Nations the US Government made that announcement and we very much welcome that – it is very good news and it is consistent with our ideas. America’s actions are of close interest to the Commission and I am sure that the UN announcement will have a very positive impact on the discussions to be held. But I don't know the details about that announcement - by when and under what condition will the reductions be made?

Now, regarding the venue, Hiroshima. We are going to have the fourth meeting in Japan, the final meeting before the publication of the report, and Hiroshima was selected to be the last venue.

And tomorrow all the Commissioners are going to visit the museum in Hiroshima and at that time see what happened on the ground when the nuclear bomb was dropped. However we thought we should also listen to voices of the victims of nuclear bombs. When we had our Washington meeting in February, we invited three victims of nuclear bombs and we listened to what they had to say so that we can have a more realistic view when discussing how to ensure such things do not happen again.

GARETH EVANS (English language):

Concerning Hiroshima as a venue for our final Commission meeting for this report, it can't help but make a difference, an emotional difference to the Commission.

I first visited Japan myself 45 years ago in 1964 when I was a young student. Visiting Hiroshima just less than 20 years after the war was one of the most moving and life determining experiences that I ever had then or since.

It was impossible not to be moved by the physical memories of the place - the dome, the shadow on the ground - impossible not to be moved as the Commission has been by the testimony of the Hibakusha survivors of that terrible, terrible day. And we will listen again to Hibakusha in Hiroshima and we'll hear from some of them in Nagasaki too, I hope, before we've concluded our deliberations.

This is what we have to be constantly reminded of. This is what nuclear weapons are all about. This is not an abstract exercise in strategic calculation in moving pieces on some kind of intellectual chess board. This is about the most devastating, catastrophic weapon this world has ever seen. It was used twice. None of us ever want to see it used again. And being there in Hiroshima will, I think, concentrate our minds very much on the human dimensions that are so absolutely critical if we are to succeed in ridding the world of these very, very dangerous and really quite unnecessary weapons.

MODERATOR (Japanese language:

Thank you. That concludes the press conference.


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