MEPs reiterate their support for Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
- Call for superpowers to resume dialogue
- Iran should ensure full compliance with its nuclear-related commitments
- North Korea urged to abandon its nuclear weapons programme
Effective multilateralism and a rules-based international order are essential to keep the world’s nuclear regime in balance, say MEPs.
The Council and the EU foreign policy chief should reaffirm the EU’s and member states’ full support to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the most important international instrument for regulating the nuclear regime in the last fifty years, said MEPs.
In a resolution adopted on Wednesday by 641 votes in favour, 5 against and 47 abstentions, MEPs briefed EU representatives on the stance to take in preparing the 2020 Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) review process, stressing the importance of the Treaty’s three central elements: non-proliferation, disarmament, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. They also point out that effective multilateralism and rules-based international order are a pre-condition for countering the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
MEPS warn that the NPT will be reviewed in a particularly challenging international security context; no progress has been made in the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula; the US has withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran; the INF Treaty has collapsed; and negotiations to extend the new START Treaty between Russia and the US have reached a deadlock.
Call on US, Russia, Iran and North Korea
With the collapse of the INF treaty last summer in mind, MEPs recommend that EU representatives call on the US and Russia to resume dialogue and move towards a new legally-binding agreement for short- and medium-range missiles.
MEPs also recommend that the EU’s continuing commitment to the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) should be reaffirmed as it represents the best possible means for obtaining assurances of an exclusively peaceful use of nuclear energy by Iran. They welcome the opposition expressed by France, Germany, and the UK (E3) at the United Nations to the US motion to reimpose sanctions on Iran, whilst at the same time calling on Iran to ensure full compliance with its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA and the NPT.
Regarding North Korea, MEPs recommend urging the country to abandon its nuclear weapons programme and return to the NPT and IAEAsafeguards. They also reiterate that North Korea continues to represent a regional and international nuclear and ballistic threat.
In force since 1970, the NPT is a multilateral treaty aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons. According to the Treaty, non-nuclear power states have committed themselves to not acquiring nuclear weapons and states with nuclear powers are obliged to pursue disarmament. All states can access nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, under certain constraints. The UN reviews the NPT every five years with the next review due at the April/May conference.
191 states are parties to the NPT. Iran ratified the treaty in 1970, but since 2005 has been under international pressure for failing to provide relevant information on its nuclear programme. North Korea ratified the NPT in 1985. In January 2003, it unilaterally withdrew and has so far conducted several increasingly sophisticated nuclear tests.