Global Security: Non-Proliferation - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

 Supplementary memorandum from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office


  The Foreign Affairs Committee might welcome updates on those organisations which the FCO considers to be major international organisations in the field of non-proliferation and how they relate to each other.

  This document is intended to expand on the information previously submitted to the Committee on 1 October 2008 and 27 November 2008, as requested by the Committee in their letter of 22 January 2009.



  In the area of non-proliferation the major international agreements are the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Both of which focus on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. In addition the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty's central purpose is to prohibit any nuclear weapons test explosion or any other nuclear explosion. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the major International Organisation in this area.

  There was substantial discussion at the time of the CTBT's negotiation on the merits of situating the CTBTO Preparatory Commission within the IAEA. It was broadly recognised at the time that the Secretariat for a treaty whose technical and operation functions are distinct from those of the IAEA were more appropriately housed separately. But co-location in Vienna allows for close coordination between the two organisations—and promotes efficiency in the way in which Member States/State Signatories interact with them.

The Treaty On The Non-Proliferation Of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

  The NPT is a landmark international treaty, signed and ratified by the UK in 1968, whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The Treaty represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty by the Nuclear-Weapons States to the goal of disarmament by the Nuclear-Weapons States.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

  The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was set up in 1957 as the world's "Atoms for Peace" organisation within the United Nations family. It is the international organisation that seeks to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

  Although often dubbed by the media as "the UN's nuclear watchdog", the IAEA has three main areas of work within its mission. These are:

  Safety and security: The IAEA helps countries to upgrade nuclear safety and security, and to prepare for and respond to emergencies. Work is linked to international conventions, standards and expert guidance. The main aim is to protect people and the environment from exposure to harmful radiation.

  Science and technology: The IAEA helps countries to mobilise peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology. The work contributes to goals of sustainable development in the fields of energy, environment, health, and agriculture, among others, and to cooperation in key areas of nuclear science and technology.

  Safeguards and verification: The IAEA is the world's nuclear inspectorate, with more than four decades of verification experience. Inspectors work to verify that safeguarded nuclear material and activities are not used for military purposes. The Agency is additionally responsible for the nuclear file in Iraq as mandated by the UN Security Council.

  Though established independently of the United Nations under its own international treaty (the 1956 IAEA Statute), the IAEA ("the Agency") reports to both the General Assembly and the Security Council because of their respective responsibilities in the fields of economic and social development and in international peace and security. The Agency co-ordinates its activities with those of the UN and its specialized agencies to avoid overlap and duplication (eg with the World Health Organization to expand the benefits of cancer therapy to development countries, with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) through a Joint Division established in partnership to foster the development and application of nuclear techniques in food and agriculture).

  The Agency works closely with other international organisations, including international partnerships and initiatives, which are active in the field of nuclear security and physical protection, as well as with the regional safeguards systems. In nuclear security, the IAEA has observer status in the US- and Russian-led Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) which aims, among other goals, to improve accounting, control and physical protection systems for nuclear and other radioactive materials and substances. The Agency participates in meetings of the G8 Global Partnership and periodically briefs participants on activities being carried out under the Agency's Nuclear Security Plan in order to better coordinate programmes.

  IAEA activities are funded by a regular budget and extra-budgetary funds. The IAEA Regular Budget for 2009 amounts to £262.6 million (€293.7 million).[405] The UK is the fourth largest contributor to the IAEA regular budget (6,577per cent). In 2009 the UK's contribution to the regular budget comprises separate payments of £13,912,722 (€15,554,499) and £2,658,216 ($3,837,161).[406]

  The provision of technical cooperation by the Agency to Member States is financed from its Technical Cooperation Fund (TCF), which receives its income mainly in the form of voluntary contributions (a target for which is set each year by the General Conference) and from National Participation costs paid by recipient Member States. The target for voluntary contributions to the Technical Co-operation Fund for 2009 is £58,884,247 ($85million). In 2008 UK's contribution to the Technical Cooperation Fund amounted to £3,550,789 ($5,125,600).

  The implementation of the IAEA Nuclear Security Plan is dependent on extra-budgetary contributions from Member States and others to the Nuclear Security Fund (NSF). The NSF budget for 2007 was £15,883,643 (€17,758,000), to which the UK contributed voluntarily £2,720,022 (€3,041,000), making it the third largest state donor. The UK funding comes from the Global Threat Reduction Programme. The UK contribution to the Nuclear Security Programme has been targeted at projects to enhance security of nuclear and radiological materials held at key locations across the former Soviet Union.

  The projects are implemented in close collaboration with UK experts and the UK provides significant support to ensure effective programme management. We are considering a new tranche of projects for 2009 but no decision has yet been taken. Since 2004 the UK has also indirectly contributed to the NSF through EU Joint Actions in support of IAEA activities in the areas of nuclear security and verification and in the framework of the implementation of the EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. A fourth EU Joint Action was adopted on 14 April 2008. This foresees a European Union contribution of £6,887,265 (€ 7.7 million) to fund the IAEA's efforts to support nuclear security activities in Southeast Asia.

  In addition to financial contributions, Member States provide "in kind" contributions such as donations of equipment, cost free experts, the use of facilities and the hosting of meetings and training activities.

  The IAEA Secretariat is made up of a team of 2,200 multi-disciplinary professional and support staff from more than 90 countries.

The Preparatory Commission For The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (Prepcom)

  The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) was established on 19 November 1996 with its seat in Vienna. Its main purpose is to make the necessary preparations for effective implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

  Another duty of the Commission is to establish a global verification regime to monitor compliance with the comprehensive ban on nuclear test explosions, which must be operational when the Treaty enters into force. This involves the buildup of 321 monitoring stations and 16 radionuclide laboratories throughout the world. It also includes the provisional operation of an International Data Centre (IDC) and the preparation of on-site inspections in case of a suspected nuclear test.

  Upon signing the CTBT, a State automatically becomes a member of the Preparatory Commission. The Commission consists of two main organs: a plenary body composed of all the States signatories (also known as the Preparatory Commission); and the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) which assists the Commission in carrying out its activities. In December 2008 the PTS employed 265 staff from 75 countries.

  The PTS started its work in Vienna on 17 March 1997. The Executive Secretary is the only PTS official appointed by the Commission and reports directly to the Commission on PTS operations. The main function of the PTS is to assist the Preparatory Commission in the establishment of a global verification regime to monitor compliance with the comprehensive ban on explosive nuclear testing. This regime—sometimes referred to as a "global alarm system"—is being built up so that it will be operational as soon as the Treaty enters into force. Another PTS function is to promote the signing and ratification of the Treaty so that it enters into force as soon as possible.

  The Preparatory Commission is financed by the CTBT States signatories. It has a strong technical focus, with continued steady build-up and sustainment of the verification regime a key priority. In 2009 the Commission's budget is £79,498,376 (US$113.6million). The UK's financial contributions to the CTBTO for 2009 is £4,601,025 (€5,114,011).


Chemical Weapons Convention

  The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) bans the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and requires the destruction of existing weapons and stockpiles by fixed deadlines under strict international monitoring and verification procedures.

  The CWC entered into force on 29 April 1997 and requires the destruction of existing stockpiles of chemical weapons by no later than 29 April 2012. 186 states have acceded to the CWC, with only 9 remaining outside (Angola, Barbados, Burma, DPRK, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Israel, Somalia and Syria). The UK signed up to the CWC on 13 January 1993 when it opened for signature. The UK acceded to the Convention on 13 May 1996.

Organisation For The Prohibition Of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

  The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), based in The Hague. The OPCW's mandate is to achieve the object and purpose of the Convention, to ensure the implementation of its provisions (including those for international verification of compliance with the CWC), and to provide a forum for consultation and co-operation between States Parties. There are 186 States Party to the CWC, only 9 States remain outside the Convention. Key non-States Party include Israel, Syria, Egypt and DPRK.

  In terms of the OPCW's structure, the Executive Council (EC) and Conference of States Parties (CSP) are designed primarily to determine questions of policy and resolve matters arising between the States Parties on technical issues or interpretations of the CWC. The Executive Council comprises representatives of 41 Member States, elected by all other OPCW Member States to serve two-year terms. The Conference is the main policy-making organ of the OPCW, and is composed of all Member States. The Chairs of the Executive Council and the Conference are appointed by each body's members.

  The Technical Secretariat of the OPCW assists both the EC and CSP, and is responsible for the routine administration and implementation of the CWC, including conducting inspections. The Technical Secretariat is headed by the Director-General, who is appointed by the Conference on the recommendation of the Council. The current Director-General is Rogelio Pfirter, who has been in post since 2002. The Deputy Director General is John Freeman, currently on secondment to the OPCW from the FCO.

  The OPCW is an independent, autonomous international organisation, with a working relationship with the United Nations. Article VIII, paragraph 34(a), of the Convention mandates the Executive Council to conclude agreements or arrangements with States and international organisations on behalf of the OPCW, subject to prior approval by the Conference of the States Parties.

  The first such agreement, the Relationship Agreement between the United Nations and the OPCW, was concluded with the United Nations in 2000 and entered into force in 2001. The Relationship Agreement was approved by the OPCW Conference of the States Parties in decision C-VI/DEC.5 dated 17 May 2001 and by the United Nations General Assembly in resolution A/RES/55/283 dated 7 September 2001.

  The OPCW has a budget of approximately £51,610,311 (€74.5 million) for 2009. States Parties are required to pay annual assessed contributions to the OPCW. The United Kingdom's contribution for 2009 is £3.8 million, 6.7% on the UN scale of assessments. Further information relating to the OPCW and its work can be found online at


Biological And Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)

  The BTWC entered into force in 1975, and bans the development, production, stockpiling, acquisition, retention or transfer of biological and toxin weapons. The UK signed up to the BTWC on 10 April 1972, and deposited its instrument of ratification on 26 March 1975. The UK believes that international cooperation in the CWC and BTWC are key in defeating the threat of chemical and biological weapons. And by the UK working with AG partners, the export of materials which create these WMDs are monitored and better controlled.

  Although the BTWC does not have a formal secretariat comparable to other organisations, States Parties agreed at The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) Sixth Review Conference (2006) to establish an Implementation Support Unit (ISU) within the Geneva Branch of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs. The ISU is funded by the States Parties to the Convention and is staffed by three employees. The FCO considers the ISU to be the only international organisation operating under the BTWC.

  Cost of Implementation Support Unit in 2008: £280,013 ($404,201). Costs of Conference services in 2008 (eg: Meeting of Experts & States Parties Meeting): £219,950 ($317,500). UK's contribution to the ISU in 2008: £33,412 ($48,231).


Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

  The Missile Technology Control Regime was formed in 1987, and is an informal and voluntary association of countries which share the goals of non-proliferation of unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, and which seek to coordinate national export licensing efforts aimed at preventing their proliferation. The UK is one of the founder members.

  The 34 MTCR Partners agree to incorporate a common "control list" of sensitive goods into their national legislation. These control lists are designed to provide clarity to both UK industry and government officials on the exports of WMD-related goods, and are updated continually to better control emerging sensitive technologies.

  While concern has traditionally focused on state proliferators, after the tragic events of 11 September 2001 it became evident that more also has to be done to decrease the risk of WMD delivery systems falling into the hands of terrorist groups and individuals. One way to counter this threat is to maintain vigilance over the transfer of missile equipment, material, and related technologies usable for systems capable of delivering WMD.

  The MTCR rests on adherence to common export policy guidelines applied to an integral common list of controlled items. All decisions are taken by consensus, and MTCR partners regularly exchange information about relevant national export licensing issues. National export licensing measures on these technologies make the task of countries seeking to achieve capability to acquire and produce unmanned means of WMD delivery much more difficult. As a result, many countries, including all MTCR partners, have chosen voluntarily to introduce export licensing measures on rocket and other unmanned air vehicle delivery systems or related equipment, material and technology.

  As a voluntary association of countries, the MTCR does not have a formal budget, nor does it employ permanent members of staff. The Chairmanship of the MTCR is also voluntary, and changes on an annual basis. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) acts as the MTCR's secretariat or point of contact (POC), and the Canadian MFA run the MTCR website. The UK does not formally provide funding to the MTCR. The costs for UK officials attending MTCR meetings are covered by the FCO's budget.

The Hague Code Of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC)

  The HCoC was launched in 2002. The UK is one of the original Subscribing States. HMG's objectives in HCoC are to promote the universalisation of the Code by increasing the number of subscribers, and to encourage all members to meet their commitments under the Code. As of January 2009, 130 countries had subscribed.

  The HCoC is aimed at bolstering efforts to curb ballistic missile proliferation worldwide. It is not an export control regime, but a voluntary international instrument. It consists of a set of general principles, commitments, and limited confidence-building measures (CBMs), including Annual Declarations (ADs) by each subscribing state on its space and ballistic missile policies and Pre-Launch Notifications (PLNs). It is intended to supplement, not supplant, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

  The HCoC does not formally employ staff, nor does it have a budget. However, Austria serves as the Immediate Central Contact (Executive Secretariat) and therefore coordinates the information exchange of the HCoC. The UK does not directly contribute financially to the running of the Code. The costs for UK officials attending HCoC meetings are covered by the FCO's budget. The EU recently agreed to spend £958,749 (€1,015,000) in implementing a joint action plan which outlined a number of projects and activities designed to promote and improve the Code:


Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

  The NSG is a voluntary export control regime, created in 1975 following the explosion of a nuclear device by a non-nuclear-weapon-state, which showed that nuclear technology transferred for peaceful purposes could be misused. The aim of the group is to co-ordinate national export licensing efforts to prevent the diversion of nuclear material or technology, and dual use items, to WMD programmes of concern.

  The NSG consists of 45 nuclear supplier countries, which seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of Guidelines for nuclear and nuclear-related exports. The NSG Guidelines are designed to provide clarity to exporters and government officials on the transfer of nuclear goods, and dual use items (which could have non-nuclear uses). These Guidelines are reviewed and updated regularly so as to capture new and emerging sensitive technologies.

  In order to participate in the NSG, nuclear supplier countries must:

    —  Adhere to the Guidelines and act in accordance with them,

    —  have and enforce a legally based domestic export control system,

    —  adhere to one or more international nuclear non-proliferation agreement (eg: The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT),

    —  support international efforts towards non-proliferation of WMD and their delivery vehicles.

  These requirements, combined with the robust, comprehensive Guidelines, make it more difficult for those seeking the technology to build nuclear weapons or uranium enrichment facilities to succeed. All NSG decisions are taken by consensus, and NSG Participating Governments (PGs) regularly exchange information on national export licensing issues and on export licence denials. It is also common for PGs to share best practise on export licensing systems, end use controls, and Intangible Transfer Technology. The UK has recently taken the lead on this, sharing our experiences of our automated export licensing database, and our new and improved student vetting scheme "Academic Technology Approval Scheme" (ATAS).

  The NSG is at the implementation end of nuclear non-proliferation, and complements such arrangements as the NPT by actually taking forward controls on an operational level.

  The NSG, as a voluntary regime, does not have a formal budget, nor does it employ staff. The Permanent Mission of Japan in Vienna hosts the yearly NSG Consultative Group meetings, and also provides, at its own expense, a small secretariat or point of contact (POC). The NSG Chair rotates on a yearly basis and is also voluntary. As a result the cost of running the regime is minimal, and the only costs to HMG are for UK officials attending NSG meetings. These are budgeted for by the relevant Government Departments (FCO, MOD, DECC) on a yearly basis.

Zangger Committee (ZC)

  The ZC first started meeting in 1971 after the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into force. The ZC is not an export control regime, but instead an informal, voluntary group which currently has 37 members.

  The Committee focuses on what is meant in Article III, Paragraph 2 of the NPT by "especially designed or prepared equipment or material for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material." The ZC maintains a Trigger List (triggering IAEA safeguards as a condition of supply) of nuclear related strategic goods to assist NPT parties in identifying equipment and materials subject to export controls.

  The technical work of the ZC is entirely complementary to the NSG. It is not a political forum, and has a different membership. In addition to maintaining the Trigger List, ZC members submit a report on a yearly basis on trigger list items they have transferred to non-nuclear weapon states not party to the NPT. This is a useful information-sharing tool. ZC meetings often take place the day before NSG Consultative Group meetings, so as to reduce travel costs for members. The Czech Republic currently chairs the Committee on a voluntary and ongoing basis, and the UK acts as Secretariat. This does not have cost implications for HMG, other than supplying a small percentage of one staff member based in Vienna to circulate minutes on a yearly basis, and to circulate occasional documents from the ZC Chair.

  The ZC Chair conducts outreach activities throughout the year, which complement the work of the NSG, and are focused on the technical remit of the ZC to interpret Article III, Paragraph 2 of the NPT.

  The issue of disbanding the ZC has occasionally arisen over the past few years. Given the potential for export control regimes such as the NSG to become more politicised, it is important that the smaller technical groups such as Zangger are maintained. The ZC also adds an important layer of information sharing and control in its Annual Report system, which is beneficial to supplier countries.

Australia Group (AG)

  The Australia Group (AG) is an export control regime that aims to prevent proliferation of WMD, specifically chemical and biological agents and dual-use manufacturing equipment.

  The AG's principal objective is to use export licensing measures to ensure that exports of certain chemicals, biological agents, and dual-use chemical and biological manufacturing facilities and equipment, do not contribute to the spread of Chemical and Biological weapons (CBW).

  There are currently 41 members of the AG, including the EU. All AG members are also States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention (BTWC) and support for these conventions and their aims remains the overriding objective of AG participants. By co-ordination of export control measures, the AG participants seek to fulfil their obligations under the CWC and BTWC.

The Wassenaar Arrangement (WA)

  The WA is a global arrangement comprising 40 participating states. The WA promotes transparency, provides a forum in which to exchange views and information and provides greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies. The aim is to prevent destabilising accumulations of arms and to provide an expert technical view on which materials should be subject to export controls.

  The WA places an emphasis on the more technical aspects of export controls. Through the work of the Experts Group the Arrangement maintains lists of goods to which export controls should apply. There are separate lists for arms and dual use goods. The Dual Use lists are sub divided further into sensitive and very sensitive lists. These lists are revised on a regular basis by the expert group.

  Participating States notify each other through the Wassenaar Arrangement of denials of export licenses. This enables fellow WA participants to access information that would help with future license applications.

  The WA engages on a regular basis in outreach work. There are a number of countries outside the Arrangement which are using the WA control lists to help with their export control regimes. WA Participating States hold a number of outreach events annually in order to keep these countries up to date on changes to the control lists. Other countries have expressed interest in the work of the Arrangement and would like to develop export controls in line with WA best practice. The Arrangement conducts outreach on a regular basis with these countries as well.

  In 2009 the Arrangement will be focusing on a number of key areas:

    —  Destabilising accumulations; which is at the heart of the arrangement. This has come to the fore in the light of recent conflicts, for example in Africa.

    —  Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS); which are recognised as a serious threat if they fall into the wrong hands. The UK is playing a leading role in providing better advice on controlling the proliferation of these weapons

    —  Re-exports; the process whereby items are exported to one country for inclusion in a larger weapons system before being exported to a third country.

  The Wassenaar Arrangement is based in Vienna with a small secretariat headed by an Ambassador (the current head is Ambassador Sune Danielsson of Sweden). This secretariat is funded by voluntary funding provided by Participating States. The total budget for 2009 is £1,524,177, of which £113,549 was provided by the UK. The specialist working groups of the organisation meet on a regular basis. A plenary session held in December is the decision-making body of the Arrangement.


  As well as taking an active part in Counter-Proliferation regimes such as the MTCR and Wassenaar Arrangement, the UK is also a partner nation in several more informal groupings such as the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT). These do not have any official secretariat or subscriptions, but do offer a useful forum in which to work with other partner nations on capacity building. We are keen to ensure that each of these initiatives is focussed on specific areas of work where they can add most value.

Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)

  The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) was launched by President Bush in Krakow in May 2003 as a way to bring together the international community's efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems and related materials. PSI seeks to involve all countries that have the ability and willingness to take an active role in stopping the trafficking of such items by sea, air and land. All actions taken in support of PSI are consistent with national legal authorities and relevant international law and frameworks, including the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540.

  PSI builds on wider efforts by the international community to prevent the proliferation of WMD, including through existing treaties and regimes. However, the increasing efforts by proliferators to stand outside or to circumvent existing non-proliferation norms, and to profit from such trade, requires ever newer and stronger actions by the international community.

  The PSI is not a formal institution, nor is it a treaty organisation and there is no administrative secretariat or country subscriptions. PSI participants are committed to a set of interdiction principles to improve their efforts to impede and stop shipments of WMD, delivery systems, and related materials flowing to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern. The Statement of Interdiction Principles, agreed in Paris in September 2003, calls on all nations concerned with WMD trafficking to:

    —  Undertake effective measures, either alone or in concert with other states, for interdicting the transfer or transport of WMD-related cargo.

    —  Adopt streamlined procedures for rapid exchange of relevant information.

    —  Work to strengthen their relevant national legal authorities to accomplish these objectives and work to strengthen them international law and frameworks.

    —  Board and search suspect vessels flying their flags, and consent under appropriate circumstances to the boarding and searching of their own flag vessels by other states.

    —  Require suspect aircraft that are transiting their airspace to land for inspection, and deny aircraft transit rights through their airspace.

    —  Prevent their ports, airfields, or other facilities from being used as transshipment points for WMD-related cargo.

    —  More than 80 countries have expressed their support for this statement of principles.

  PSI participants undertake a range of activities: they participate in exercises—principally but not exclusively military in nature—both to demonstrate the collective will to undertake interdictions and to develop their own capabilities to conduct the full range of activities associated with interdictions. Workshops which cover core issues of industry-outreach, legal, intelligence and law enforcement are also conducted regularly and overseen by the PSI Operational Experts Group (OEG).

Global Initiative To Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT)

  The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) is a joint US-Russia initiative announced by Presidents Bush and Putin on 15 July 2006 in advance of the St Petersburg G8 meeting. GICNT brings together like-minded countries to expand and accelerate efforts to combat nuclear terrorism. The founding principles of GICNT include steps to improve partners' capabilities to:

    —  Ensure accounting, control and physical protection of nuclear material and radioactive substances, as well as security of civilian nuclear facilities;

    —  Detect and suppress illicit trafficking or other activities involving such materials (especially their acquisition and use by terrorists);

    —  Respond to and mitigate the consequences of acts of nuclear terrorism;

    —  Co-operate in the development of technical means to combat nuclear terrorism;

    —  Ensure that law enforcement takes all necessary measures to deny safe haven to terrorists seeking to acquire or use nuclear materials;

    —  Strengthen national legal frameworks to ensure the effective prosecution and punishment of terrorists and those who facilitate acts of nuclear terrorism.

  GICNT is not a formal institution, nor is it a treaty organisation, and there is no administrative secretariat or country subscriptions. GICNT does not exist in isolation but aims to build on wider efforts by the international community to meet the threat of nuclear terrorism. The International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism is an important, although not the exclusive, legal basis for the work of the Initiative. Other important legal bases include the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities, and UN Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1540, as well as national legal authorities.

  GICNT welcomes all states who share the common goals of the initiative and are actively committed to combating nuclear terrorism. The initiative has now grown to 75 partner nations (the IAEA and EU are observers). Following Director-level meetings in Ankara (February 2007) and Astana (June 2007), it was agreed that the initiative would focus on a substantive exercise planning programme, which would include a range of capacity-building workshops hosted by partner nations. As part of this programme the UK hosted an Anti-Nuclear Smuggling Assistance workshop in London on 5-6 September 2007 and a Knowledge Proliferation workshop on 24 October 2008. A joint US/UK workshop on the detection of radiological and nuclear materials is being planned for 2009-10. The next Exercise Planning Group will take place in Korea on 16 April 2009. The next high level political meeting of the GICNT will be hosted by the Netherlands on 16-17 June 2009.


Conference on Disarmament (CD)

  The CD is the negotiating forum of the international community as a result of the first Special Session on Disarmament of the United Nations General Assembly held in 1978. It succeeded earlier Geneva-based negotiating fora, which include the Ten-Nation Committee on Disarmament (1960), the Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament (1962-68), and the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (1969-78). The Conference on Disarmament (CD) was established in 1979 as the sole multilateral disarmament

  The CD and its predecessors have negotiated such major multilateral arms limitation and disarmament agreements as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, the seabed treaties, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction and Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

  The terms of reference of the CD include practically all multilateral arms control and disarmament problems. Currently the CD primarily focuses its attention on the following issues:

    —  cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament (including an Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty)

    —  prevention of nuclear war, including all related matters

    —  prevention of an arms race in outer space

    —  effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons

    —  new types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons including radiological weapons

    —  comprehensive programme of disarmament and transparency in armaments.

  There is no fixed budget specifically for the functioning of the CD. Instead, its budget is included in that of the United Nations. Staff members of the Geneva Branch of the Department for Disarmament Affairs service the meetings of the CD and are paid on the Regular Budget through each department.

  The total budget for the Office of Disarmament Affairs during 2008-2009 currently stands at £14,257,400 ($20,580,700). The UK pays its share according to the UN scale of assessment which currently stands at 6.642%

United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC)

  The United Nations Disarmament Commission is a UN body that is mandated by the General Assembly and operates on the basis of consensus. Beginning in 2000, the United Nations Disarmament Commission has chosen to limit its agenda to two items over a three-year session. This was to allow the Commission to allow maximum consideration on those items.

  Over the previous sessions the two items for consideration have been "Ways and Means to Achieve Nuclear Disarmament" (nuclear disarmament working group) and "Practical Confidence Building Measures in the Field of Conventional Arms" (conventional weapons working group), neither of which made any substantive progress. The next round of its three- year session is due to start in 2009 with Poland presiding. No agreement has yet been found on the issues to be addressed at its forthcoming session.

United Nations General Assembly First Committee

  The United Nations General Assembly First Committee is one of six main committees and it deals specifically with issues relating to international peace and security. Throughout its five weeks duration, time is devoted to statements from States and thematic debate on Nuclear and Conventional weapon issues as well as the associated Disarmament machinery. Draft resolutions on arms control and disarmament issues originating at the UN First Special Session on Disarmament in 1978 but updated to take into account subsequent developments and concerns, are tabled by Members States for consideration and support.

  At the time of writing, there are approximately 60 resolutions that are submitted and are ultimately voted on at the First Committee and then again in the main body of the UN General Assembly. Whilst the decisions of the Assembly have no legally binding force for Governments, they carry the weight of world opinion on major international issues, as well as the moral authority of the world community.

16 February 2009

405   Exchange rate of Euro to GBP of 0.89404, as correct on 12 February 2009. Back

406   Exchange rate of USD to GBP of 0.69254, as correct on 12 February 2009. Back

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