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 organisationsand
promotes efficiency in the way in which Member States/State Signatories
interact with them.
The Treaty On The Non-Proliferation Of Nuclear
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
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).
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).
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
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 regimesometimes 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
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
Organisation For The Prohibition Of Chemical Weapons
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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"
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
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
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
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
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
More than 80 countries have
expressed their support for this statement of principles.
PSI participants undertake a range of activities:
they participate in exercisesprincipally but not exclusively
military in natureboth 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
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'
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
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
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
prevention of nuclear war, including
all related matters
prevention of an arms race in outer
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
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
Exchange rate of USD to GBP of 0.69254, as correct on 12 February