Press Releases

    30 May 2005


    Review Conference for Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Concludes, With Many States Expressing Deep Disappointment at Outcome

    Despite Recent Challenges to Treaty Regime, Final Document Makes No Substantive Recommendations

    NEW YORK, 27 May (UN Headquarters) -- The States parties to the Treaty aimed at ending nuclear weapon proliferation closed their month-long Review Conference at UN Headquarters today, with several delegations expressing deep disappointment at the outcome -- adoption of what amounted to a series of procedural texts, while doing little to tighten control over the spread of nuclear arms.

    A number of speakers expressed frustration that States parties had been unable to achieve a consensual final document, especially in light of the recent challenges to the non-proliferation regime. Those included non-compliance, a first-ever Treaty withdrawal, the discovery of a clandestine nuclear weapons supply network, and a host of agreed nuclear disarmament steps gone unimplemented.

    Expressing profound disappointment, Norway’s representative said that substantive deliberations had started “a lot too late”, owing to the fact that some delegations had taken an “extraordinary interest” in procedural issues, which seriously undermined the entire Conference. At a time when the integrity of the global arms control regime was under severe stress, it was disturbing that the international community had been unable to address issues like non-compliance, defection from the Treaty, and terrorists’ desire to obtain mass destruction weapons.

    Despite the “diplomatic euphemisms”, said Chile’s speaker, the Conference could only be described as a failure. Consensus existed in the room on almost all of the items under discussion, but there was too little time left for substantive debate. The positive political will of an overwhelming majority of delegations broke down in the face of the paralyzing application of the rule of consensus. The majority had been crushed by a “de facto” veto, which some had been prepared to use. “Perhaps we will remember and regret the missed opportunities to practice multilateralism”, he said.

    Asserting that the Conference had let the pursuit of short-term, parochial interests override the collective long-term interest in sustaining the Treaty’s authority and integrity, Canada’s Ambassador said that the precious time that might have been devoted to exchanges on substance had been “squandered by procedural brinkmanship”. The Conference had witnessed intransigency from more than one State on the pressing issues of the day, coupled with the hubris that demanded the priorities of the many be subordinate to the preferences of the few. It had been hampered by a lack of imagination and will to break with the status quo and adopt new ways of conducting business, he said.

    South Africa’s speaker said that the Treaty’s progress was not about tinkering with procedures, by mustering the necessary political will to build on previous undertakings and commitments. States must guard against reopening the debate on obligations and commitments, which might open the way for some to reinterpret, negate or withdraw from parts of the bargains struck. If agreements settled at one Conference were allowed to be rolled back at the next, the very premise on which the multilateral system was based would be undermined. He, therefore, called on the nuclear-weapon States to reaffirm their previous commitments to systematically and progressively eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

    Offering another view of the Conference’s outcome, the United States’ representative said that, while it had not reached consensus, it had broken new ground. The Conference had been the first to examine in detail indicators of non-compliance with article II, which concerned the obligation of non-nuclear-weapon States not to receive nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. It had explored the linkage of article IV, which concerned the right of Treaty parties to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, to the obligations contained in articles I, II, and III of the Treaty.

    (Those articles concern the obligation of non-nuclear-weapon States not to transfer or receive nuclear weapons, and to accept International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards for the exclusive purpose of verifying fulfilment of those obligations, with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.)

    She noted that views were also exchanged on the steps that States parties, the IAEA, and the Security Council should consider to hold accountable those in non-compliance with their NPT obligations. Also, for the first time, the Conference discussed seriously how States parties, the IAEA, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and the Security Council should address notifications of withdrawal. There had also been an important discussion of the grave challenges to security and to the non-proliferation regime posed by Iran’s and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s non-compliance with their non-proliferation and safeguards obligations.

    Iran’s representative, however, said that the United States wanted the Conference to fail, so that it could pursue its own unilateral initiatives through other more exclusive bodies. That should not be allowed. States Parties needed to quickly get together in informal and formal discussions to reinvigorate the ways and means to achieve the Treaty’s objectives. The three pillars of the Treaty were intertwined and needed to be followed without diminishing the significance and effectiveness of any one pillar against the others. Above all, members needed to ensure full universality of the Treaty without exception and reject any perception that nuclear weapons were a means of achieving individual and collective security.

    Conference President, Sérgio de Queiroz Duarte (Brazil) made brief closing remarks, in which he said that the last few weeks had strengthened his conviction that the Treaty enjoyed the full support of all its parties. Earlier today, in a Press Conference, he deemed it “hasty and superficial” to declare that the Conference had been a failure.

    Statements were also made by the representatives of Japan, Malaysia (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Egypt, Brazil, New Zealand, Luxembourg (on behalf of the European Union), Switzerland, Turkey, Cuba, Algeria, Russian Federation, Republic of Korea, Australia, Spain, Sierra Leone, China, Indonesia, and Ukraine.


    The Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) met this morning to hear reports of its three Main Committees on negotiations under way since 12 May. Main Committee I dealt with issues of nuclear disarmament and security assurances. Main Committee II, safeguards and regional issues, including establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East, and Main Committee III took up implementation of the Treaty’s provisions related to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

    Business of Closing Session

    Conference President, SÉRGIO DE QUEIROZ DUARTE (Brazil) said he had been advised by Conference Services that there would be no services available after 6 p.m. today. That was a general policy recently adopted by the United Nations. It meant that the Conference would not have interpretation, sound or security after 6:00 today. Delegations who wished to speak, either this morning or afternoon, should inscribe their names on a speaker’s list before noon, although the list would remain open throughout the afternoon.

    States parties then accorded observer agency status to the European Commission, in a last request of the Conference for such status.

    IVAN T. PIPERKOV (Bulgaria) introduced the report of the Credentials Committee (document NPT/CONF.2005/CC/1). The Chairmen of Main Committees I, II and III presented their reports, respectively, as follows: SUDJADNAN PARNOHADININGRAT (Indonesia); LÁSZLÓ MOLNÁR (Hungary); and ELISABET BORSIIN-BONNIER (Sweden).

    In each case, the Chairmen informed the Treaty’s States parties that no consensus had been achieved in the negotiations of the Main Committees, and thus, the reports were largely of a technical nature.

    The Conference then took note of the reports of the three Main Committees.

    Turning to the draft final document (document NPT/CONF.2005/DC/1), Chairman of the Drafting Committee, DORU ROMULUS COSTEA (Romania) presented an oral report. He said the Committee had held just one meeting, on 25 May, in which it considered and agreed to recommend to the Conference for adoption the draft final document.

    The Conference took note of the report of the Drafting Committee.

    It would adopt arrangements for meeting the costs of the Conference, once the addition of the European Commission, as observer, was calculated.

    Adoption of Draft Final Document

    The Conference then adopted the individual sections of the text. The text contains the following sections: introduction; organization of the Conference; officers of the three Main Committees, the Credentials Committee and the Drafting Committee; the agenda; officers of subsidiary bodies 1, 2, and 3, which had been established for the duration of the Conference under the three Main Committees; participants of the Conference; work of the Conference; documentation; and conclusions and recommendations of the Conference. The latter section, on recommendations, contained none of substance.

    The Conference President said he regretted that the Conference had been unable to achieve consensus in either the Main Committees or their subsidiary bodies and, thus, had been unable to record any recommendations in that section.

    As proposed by France’s representative, and agreed by the Conference, adoption of the Final Document as a whole would be deferred until 3 p.m. today, once it was translated in all official languages.

    Statements of States Parties

    PAUL MEYER, Ambassador for Disarmament of Canada, recalled that, four weeks ago, at the beginning of the Review Conference, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan had reminded all of the historical reality and the still present danger of a nuclear weapon explosion. He had recalled the great security benefits that the NPT had bestowed for more than 35 years, but warned against complacency in underlining the great stress the Treaty was currently under. “I fear that this Review Conference has not risen to the Secretary-General’s call”, Mr. Meyer said.

    He said that the Conference had let the pursuit of short-term, parochial interests override the collective long-term interest in sustaining the Treaty’s authority and integrity. It had seen precious time that might have been devoted to exchanges on substance and the development of common ground “squandered by procedural brinkmanship”. It had witnessed intransigency from more than one State on the pressing issues of the day, coupled with the hubris that demanded the priorities of the many be subordinate to the preferences of the few. The community had been weakened by the refusal of the delinquent to be held to account by its peers and by the defection from that community of a State, without suffering any sanction.

    The Conference had been hampered, frankly, by a lack of imagination and will to break with the status quo and adopt new ways of conducting business, he said. Despite the scenes those rooms had witnessed over the month, the Review Conference must not be reduced to a theatre where the parties played at nuclear non-proliferation or disarmament.

    He said that, if there was a silver lining in the otherwise dark cloud of this Review Conference, it lay in the hope that leaders and citizens would be so concerned by its failure that they mobilized behind prompt remedial action. In that regard, it was important to realize that what happened here reflected a larger reality. The world was confronting many of the same disarmament and non-proliferation challenges in other forums as well. If the Treaty’s authority was to be sustained, it was essential to tackle, on an urgent basis, some of those core challenges and resolve them in ways that generated real-world benefits for States and their citizens.

    To begin with, States parties must demonstrate support for, and implementation of, political commitments undertaken as part of the Treaty’s process, he said. To deny or denigrate the agreements of the past was to undermine all the political commitments made in the Treaty’s implementation and to cast doubt on the credibility of engagements entered into by governments. If governments simply ignored or discarded commitments whenever they proved inconvenient, it would never be possible to build an edifice of international cooperation and confidence in the security realm.

    In the field of nuclear disarmament, he said, his country believed that the reactivation of multilateral activity was a key priority. The impasse at the Conference on Disarmament must be overcome “in short order”, so that crucial NPT-related issues, such as the proposed fissile material cut-off treaty, could be advanced. If that proved impossible, delegations needed to consider taking forward some of their work through other multilateral institutions. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty’s (CTBT) entry into force, the top priority of successive Review Conferences, could not be denied to the international community indefinitely. He would consult with concerned States in preparation for September’s “entry-into-force” conference to ensure that that powerful instrument to counter horizontal and vertical proliferation was fully activated.

    He said that, in the realm of nuclear non-proliferation, Canada would consistently promote adoption of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) comprehensive safeguards agreement and the Additional Protocol. It would lend practical support to strengthening national export controls, especially on proliferation-sensitive technologies, and to international cooperation on ensuring their effectiveness. That would yield an environment conducive to encouraging legitimate nuclear trade among States and putting an end to clandestine supply networks. He would support the development of new multilateral nuclear fuel cycle initiatives that addressed non-proliferation concerns, while reinforcing the benefits to all States of the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

    Canada would endeavour to work with like-minded partners from all regions to come to grips with and overcome the real-world problems and crises confronting the NPT, he said. Hopefully, the other States parties would be similarly motivated by the disappointed showing of this Conference and would join in a collective effort to ensure that it could continue to avoid the apocalyptic fate that the Secretary-General reminded parties was ever latent in the nuclear threat.

    He said that the Treaty was worth fighting for, and he was not prepared to stand idly by, while its crucial supports were undermined. Towards that goal, the health and implementation of the Treaty deserved to be the focus of an authoritative meeting for at least one week each year, empowering States parties to discuss and decide on matters more frequently than allowed by the current five-year cycle. The issues that divided parties here should be addressed by the respective political leaders. One opportunity was the upcoming United Nations September summit. It was important to recognize the existence of the disarmament and non-proliferation problems and work harder to produce the necessary political will. “Rather than looking back on where we have fallen short, we must look ahead to what we can and must accomplish”, he said.

    YOSHIKI MINE (Japan) said it was extremely regrettable that the Conference had been unable to adopt a final consensus document. States Parties to the Treaty should take the undesirable result seriously and renew their determination to explore ways to maintain and strengthen the credibility and authority of the NPT regime. He was not implying, however, that the Conference had not brought about anything fruitful. High-level delegates from many States parties had gathered in New York, seriously exchanging views to address the challenges that the NPT regime was facing today. Many States Parties had taken the view that the Democratic Republic of Korea’s nuclear issue was a serious threat to international community as a whole. The validity of the NPT regime, therefore, had not decreased. The NPT regime, now more than ever, was of immense importance to international peace and security. In light of the serious challenges facing the international community, further universalizing and reinforcing the Treaty was imperative and a benefit to all States.

    Each State Party should redouble its efforts to strengthen the NPT regimes, so that the lack of an agreed document would not erode the Treaty’s authority and credibility, he said. The period leading up to the next Review Conference was crucial. All States Parties should fulfil their obligations under the Treaty in good faith, thereby reinforcing the NPT regime. For its part, Japan would intensify its efforts towards that end and would take, among other things, several measures leading up the next Regime Conference. The Democratic Republic of Korea’s nuclear issue posed a serious threat to the Treaty regime’s authority and credibility. Japan called on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to completely dismantle all of its nuclear programmes including its uranium enrichment programmes, in a permanent, thorough and transparent manner subject to credible international verification. Japan would continue to work with other partners to peacefully resolve the issue through the six-party talks.

    Iran’s nuclear issue was no doubt a matter of concern for the international community, he added. Japan considered it extremely important that Iran, through its negotiations with the EU3/EU, agree to provide sufficient “objective guarantees” that its nuclear programme was exclusively for peaceful purposes. Japan would continue to work intensively, on a collective and individual basis, for the common goal -- the total elimination of nuclear weapons. To that end, Japan would continue to submit to the General Assembly a draft resolution, which identified practical and implemental steps for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Japan would also make utmost efforts for the early entry into force of the CTBT and the immediate commencement of negotiations on the fissile material cut-off treaty. Japan attached importance to strengthening of IAEA safeguards, particularly by promoting the universalization of the IAEA Additional Protocol, and the strengthening of export controls.  The Asian Senior-Level Talks on Non-Proliferation, ASTOP, had contributed to the strengthening of the non-proliferation regime in Asia, and Japan would continue such efforts.

    Japan would continue to promote disarmament and non-proliferation education to gain the understanding and support of young people, as well as civil society as a whole, he said. Japan would make collaborative efforts to effectively prevent nuclear terrorism by promoting full implementation of Security Council resolution 1540, by working towards strengthening the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material by amendment, and by bringing into effect the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. As for the 1995 resolution on the Middle East, Japan would actively engage in dialogue and cooperation with the countries in the region in order to promote its implementation. In that regard, Japan would work toward further universalization of the NPT. Japan, again, called upon India, Pakistan and Israel to accede to the NPT as non-nuclear States promptly and without conditions. He hoped that as many countries as possible would join the endeavour, thereby overcoming difference for the sake of the greater common goal of achieving a peaceful and safe world free from nuclear weapons.

    RASTAM MOHD ISA (Malaysia), on behalf of the non-aligned movement (NAM), said that the movement had come to the Conference with a great sense of hope, although it had been fully aware of the uncertainty. It had been hopeful, however, that the Conference could reach consensus on outstanding procedural aspects emanating from the preparatory process. It had also been hopeful that the Conference could reach consensus on the outstanding issues of the Treaty’s three pillars. Today, it had become obvious that questions would continue to be raised about the NPT’s future. Those notwithstanding, the Non-Aligned Movement remained committed to the Treaty, which was a cornerstone in the global disarmament framework.

    He said that throughout the Conference, the Movement parties had acted in good faith and remained constructive and flexible. They had also been consistent in defending and advancing its long-established principles positions on all of the issues. It had maintained that nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear technology should be approached in a balanced manner, and he reiterated that position today. It had also held the importance of full and non-selective implementation of the Treaty. Lack of balance on implementation of its provisions threatened to unravel the NPT regime. It was also necessary to universalize the treaty. And, he believed in the indispensable need to preserve the decisions and resolutions of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference and the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference. Those were the fundamental and principled positions, on which the NAM had remained steadfast since the NPT’s entry into force 35 years ago.

    The Movement’s States parties had sought to defend and advance their concerns at the review and had formally presented their views in a comprehensive manner on various questions, which were contained in their five working papers and reiterated in statements delivered by his delegation, on the Movement’s behalf. The movement had worked very hard in advancing and defending its positions and concerns, just as others had. It had made concessions, compromises and it had continued to work towards consensus, consistent with its concerns and positions. It had reaffirmed its commitment to implement, in good faith, its Treaty obligations, as well as the consensual agreements of 1995 and 2000. The outcomes of those Conferences must be preserved and defended.

    He said he had also expected other States parties to implement their obligations, in good faith. Regrettably, efforts to secure a consensus outcome text had not produced the desired result. Clearly, divergent views on fundamental questions had been the cause. Hopefully, the Movement’s views would provide others, particularly the nuclear-weapon States, with a better appreciation of where the non-nuclear-weapon States stood. He continued to have faith in the NPT regime and its review process, through the Conferences. In looking ahead, States parties should begin thinking about what needed to be done before the 2010 review.

    AHMED FATHALLAH, Assistant Foreign Minister for Multilateral Relations of Egypt, stressed that it was truly regrettable that the Review Conference had been unable to achieve an agreed outcome that reflected a commitment of States parties to strengthening the Treaty’s objectives, as it represented the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for nuclear disarmament. To help achieve consensus during the Conference, Egypt had stressed at the outset the need to adopt an agenda that would constitute a road map, and, consequently, contribute to ensuring that the Conference encompassed all the issues with which it was seized in a fair, balanced and impartial manner. The accurate and balanced implementation of Treaty provisions required a proper balance of the implementation of its three pillars, as well as equality in the fulfilment of obligations and rights of States Parties to the treaty. In that connection, he had emphasized the importance of full and non-selective implementation of the Treaty in nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

    Subsequently, Egypt had called on the Conference to engage in a just, impartial yet comprehensive review of the Treaty’s operation and implementation, reiterating that the guiding principles leading its work consist of several elements, including review of the fulfilment of State parties under the Treaty and their efforts to achieve its objectives and the review of the implementation of the decisions and resolutions adopted by previous conferences, particularly the 1995 and 2000 Review Conferences. It was incumbent on States Parties to follow upon the implementation of resolutions and decisions and to find ways and means for implementation in the case of non-implementation. Adopting a decision was not an aim in itself -- implementation was the highest priority. The 2000 Conference had followed that path by taking the necessary steps to follow up on decisions and resolutions adopted by States Parties at the 1995 Review Conference. Such a Review Conference would effectively provide for the examination of new developments related directly to the Treaty’s provisions. Egypt was confident that what had happened had been a useful experience for States Parties. The Conference’s future work should be guided by an objective approach that would pave the way towards success.

    Mr. PARANHOS (Brazil) said he shared with many others a “deep sense of frustration”. He would have undoubtedly preferred a different result for the Review Conference -- one that would have reaffirmed the commitments agreed in previous Conferences and which would have sent a strong message in underlining the centrality of the Treaty and the States parties determination to work towards its balanced implementation. “Unfortunately, we collectively missed a precious opportunity”, he said. Lack of political will, combined with inflexibility and selective approached, contributed to the outcome. The absence of significant results called for a thorough reflection about the collective responsibility to uphold the NPT regime. States parties must continue to reaffirm the Treaty’s validity. Only a vigorous multilateralism could enable them to deal, in a sustainable manner, with questions related to international peace and security.

    TIM CAUGHLEY (New Zealand) said the disappointment in the hall that the Conference had been beset by issues of the status of agreed outcomes was palpable. That rules of procedure were not being harnessed also required urgent attention. He was frustrated that no practical means of addressing profound proliferation concerns had been developed during the conference. He was also frustrated that efforts to build on steps taken had also reaped limited returns and he would have wished to have more to show regarding the big concerns of treaty withdrawal.

    The outcome of the Review Conference needed to be viewed in the broader context of malaise in multilateral disarmament diplomacy, he added. The Treaty would be undermined unless current circumstances were rectified. Civil society must be afforded a greater role in that regard. The outcome of the Conference should serve as an urgent wake-up call. States Parties must be challenged to re-energize efforts to get down to work in the Conference. The lost opportunity that the Conference’s outcome represented stemmed from broader circumstances for which the international community must take responsibility.

    Mr. KAYSER (Luxembourg), on behalf of the European Union, noted, that despite the efforts of the Conference President and the Union, and other States parties, the Conference had been unable to produce a consensus document on substantive questions. The Union had contributed actively to the efforts, with a view to adoption of a consensus text. The common position adopted by its foreign ministers in advance of the Conference had sought a structured and balanced review of the functioning of the NPT at the Review, including implementation of the commitments assumed by States parties in 1995 and 2000 and identification of areas and ways of seeking additional progress. The Union remained convinced that its common position was a document of substance on which consensus could have been established.

    On that basis, he said that the Union’s States parties had not only made proposals for language in the three Main Committee, but had also presented working papers on question of Treaty withdrawal and the world partnership for the reduction of the nuclear threat through cooperation. For the Union, the Treaty’s importance lay in its three pillars: nuclear non-proliferation; nuclear disarmament; and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Other vital concerns were questions concerning Iran, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, South Asia and other regional issues, including in the Middle East. Establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East, withdrawal, security assurances and the Treaty’s universalization required great attention.

    Thus, he said, the Union had been disappointed that several States parties had prevented substantive proposals of the Main Committees II and III and their subsidiary bodies from receiving the same treatment as the working papers of Main Committee I, although they had the same status as non-agreed papers. That had been particularly regrettable because, as a result, the balance between the Treaty’s three pillars was no longer properly reflected in the Conference documents. Throughout the Conference, the Union had displayed flexibility and had made a constructive contribution to all formal and informal discussions. He strongly regretted that that approach had not been more broadly shared, as that would have made it possible to resolve procedural questions more rapidly, leaving more time to produce substantive results. Nevertheless, an in-depth and comprehensive general debate had taken place, as had substantive work in the three Main Committees, on the basis of the submission of many documents.

    JURG STRENLI (Switzerland) said the stubborn defence of national interests had prevented the Review Conference from focusing on the interests of all. The dangers, as a result of the non-fulfilment of obligations under the Non-Proliferation-Treaty regime, were a threat to all. Slow progress in achieving disarmament was a risk factor not only for non-nuclear-weapon States, but also for the nuclear-weapon States. Nuclear proliferation not only affected the most ardent critics, but also constituted a global menace and weakened efforts towards multilateralism. Proliferation also thwarted efforts towards the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

    Only an approach that took into the security interests of all would make it possible for the Treaty to move forward, he said. Switzerland hoped that the Conference’s failure would provide an impetus for overcoming national views and allowing States parties to agree on the challenges facing the Conference at the global level. The upcoming negotiations for the Conference on Disarmament would constitute a first step in that direction.

    Mr. PAULSEN (Norway) regretted that the Conference President’s tireless and patient efforts had failed. He was profoundly disappointed. At a time when the integrity of the global arms control regime was under severe stress, it was indeed disturbing that the international community had been unable to address issues like non-compliance, defection from the NPT, and terrorists’ desire to obtain mass destruction weapons. He also regretted that the substantive deliberations had started “a lot too late” to allow for real negotiations on a final declaration. That had been due to the fact that some delegations had taken an “extraordinary interest” in procedural issues, which seriously delayed, and in effect, undermined, the entire Conference. His Government remained a strong advocate for multilateralism. The Conference’s failure should not discourage everyone from revisiting the serious issues it was supposed to have dealt with here in the last four weeks. The next opportunity would be at the September summit.

    JACKIE W. SANDERS (United States) said that much had changed since the States parties last gathered here, in 2000. North Korea, following numerous violations of its legal obligations, under the Agreed Framework, its IAEA safeguards agreements, and the NPT itself, summarily withdrew from the NPT and declared itself a nuclear-weapon State. Iran’s nuclear weapons programme, previously shrouded in secrecy and deceit, had been exposed, as had Iran’s violations of its IAEA obligations. Libya had pursued a clandestine nuclear programme, in violation of the NPT, until making the strategic decision in 2003 to give up its weapons ambitions.

    She said that lurking behind those violators was the A.Q. Khan network -- selling, buying and transferring nuclear technology around the world for profit. While that illicit network had been shut down, the North Korean and Iranian programmes continued and other sources of supply remained open for business in that deadly trade. The world was also confronting today’s pre-eminent security challenges of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists, “who will not be deterred from using them against us”, she warned.

    The NPT had given rise to a robust non-proliferation regime, which was far-reaching in scope and addressed the proliferation of all mass destruction weapons, their delivery systems and related materials, she said. Hopefully, the talks of the past four weeks would continue in other forums and make a lasting impression on the global non-proliferation regime. The United States was pursuing a robust and comprehensive approach to counter the threat of mass destruction weapons falling into the hands of the world’s most dangerous regimes or terrorists. In response to the need to build new barriers to the acquisition of “WMD” materials, technologies and expertise, President Bush announced in May 2003 the Proliferation Security Initiative to deter or impede proliferators by interdicting specific “WMD” shipments en route. On the eve of the Initiative’s second anniversary, more than 60 countries had indicated their support, which was growing.

    The United States was also fully committed to the implementation of the Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), which reflected the steady progress of national and international efforts to address the challenges of “WMD” terrorism, she said. States that had not yet done so should take seriously the requirement to submit comprehensive reports to the “1540” Committee on their efforts to comply with the resolution’s operative elements. “We must remain determined in the face of proliferators’ efforts to sell of acquire the world’s most dangerous weapons”, and resolution 1540 is one of the key non-proliferation tools in that effort.

    Iran’s single-mined pursuit of uranium enrichment capability, which was intended to underpin a nuclear weapons programme, raised a key question for NPT States parties. The fact that “ENR” -- for enrichment and reprocessing equipment and technology -- provided access to weapons-usable nuclear material meant that the unnecessary proliferation of such facilities clearly added to the danger of weapons proliferation. That danger motivated President Bush to propose, in February 2004, that States close the so-called “loophole” in the NPT, namely that a State could pursue “ENR” capacity ostensibly for peaceful purposes, while cynically planning all along to use that capacity to manufacture material for nuclear weapons. He also recognized the importance of pursuing peaceful nuclear power and States having reliable access at reasonable cost to fuel for civilian reactors, as long as those States renounced enrichment and reprocessing.

    She said that, in undertaking to reinforce the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, the United States had also called for universal adherence to the IAEA Additional Protocol and for recognition of that instrument as the new enhanced standard for nuclear safeguards and a criterion for nuclear supply. The Agency should establish a special committee of the Board of Governors to focus intensively on safeguards and prepare a comprehensive plan for strengthened safeguards and verification. Hopefully, the upcoming June IAEA Board of Governors meeting would agree to establish that special committee.

    The benefits of peaceful nuclear cooperation were important elements of the NPT, as acknowledged in article IV, she said. Through substantial funding and technical cooperation, the United States fully supported peaceful nuclear development in many States, bilaterally and through the IAEA. However, peaceful nuclear programmes pursued by NPT parties must conform to their relevant obligations under articles I, II and III. Clearly, any right to receive benefits under article IV was also conditioned upon the fulfilment of the Treaty’s non-proliferation obligations.

    She said that, while the Review Conference did not reach consensus, it did “break new ground”. The Conference had been the first to examine in detail indicators of non-compliance with article II. It had explored article IV’s linkage of the exercise of the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy to the obligations contained in articles I, II, and III of the Treaty. Views were exchanged on the steps that States parties, the IAEA, and the Security Council should consider to hold accountable those in non-compliance with their NPT obligations. Also, for the first time, the Conference discussed seriously how States parties, the IAEA, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and the Security Council should address notifications of withdrawal.

    Notwithstanding the inability of the relevant Main Committees to report specific recommendations in those areas, there was a serious consideration of, and often broad agreement on, steps to strengthen the Treaty’s implementation. There had been important discussion of the grave challenges to security and to the non-proliferation regime posed by Iran’s and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s non-compliance with their non-proliferation and safeguards obligations. Unfortunately, efforts to bring that discussion forward had been blocked, but the record of the discussion remained. The United States and many others had voiced their support for the efforts of the United Kingdom, France and Germany, with the European Union’s support, to reach a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear problem. Given the history of clandestine nuclear weapons work in Iran, that must include the permanent cessation of Iran’s enrichment-related and reprocessing efforts, as well as the dismantling of related equipment and facilities.

    Likewise, she continued, parties supported the six-party talks and efforts to convince Pyongyang that its only viable option was to make the strategic commitment to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions. She reiterated that the United States had tabled a proposal in those talks that addressed the North’s stated concerns and also provided for the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantling of North Korean nuclear programmes.

    Concerning article VI, she said that the Conference had not neglected that important topic. Her country had welcomed the opportunity, over the past four weeks, to make clear its abiding commitment to fulfil its obligations under article VI and its strong record on nuclear disarmament. The United States had reduced the role of nuclear weapons in its deterrence strategy, and it was cutting its nuclear stockpile almost in half, to the lowest level in decades. The Conference might not have succeeded in reaching consensus, but it did discuss those challenges and began the process of addressing them. Building political consensus took time, and that process remained far from complete today. She was convinced, however, that the parties to the NPT had taken important steps here, which needed to continue. The United States would cooperate with all parties committed to strengthening the Treaty and the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

    Mr. MERIC (Turkey) said it was a source of great disappointment that the Conference had been unable to produce a substantial outcome and had missed the opportunity to restore the Treaty’s relevance to current world realities. He hoped the experience in the last month would not be a precedent for upcoming review conferences and their preparatory meetings. The NPT was an irreplaceable multilateral instrument, which continued to play a vital role. States Parties must continue to exert every effort to protect the credibility of the NPT regime. His Government would spare no effort in that regard.

    YURI ARIEL GALA LOPEZ (Cuba) said his country attached great priority to the question of nuclear non-proliferation and the only way to avoid the proliferation of nuclear weapons was through their total elimination. The question of non-proliferation, in all its aspects, was not an end in itself, but rather a step towards achieving nuclear disarmament. Concerns related to such proliferation should be resolved through political and diplomatic means in the context of international law, including the United Nations Charter. Noting the selective implementation of the NPT, he repeated that it was based on three fundamental pillars, namely non-proliferation, disarmament and cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Cuba had actively participated in the Conferences’ work, by seeking to reach agreement on a final document today, which would have enhanced the commitment of the nuclear-weapon States to transparency of their nuclear arsenals. A strange Review Conference was concluding today, having dedicated a large part of its time on procedural matters.

    In the context of debate on agenda item 16, it was clear that the main nuclear Power was questioning the reference to the consensus agreement at the review conferences in 1995 and 2000, he said. That had been a discouraging element in the discussions, revealing the complexity of the current unipolar world. What had happened was part of a regrettable trend in other disarmament forums, which had also been affected by the hegemony of the main nuclear Power, which used manipulation to disguise its lack of political will to achieve complete disarmament. Given the situation, it was necessary to preserve multilateralism in negotiations, based on strict respect for the principles of international law and the United Nations Charter.

    ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) said he noted with deep regret that, given the numerous challenges and threats facing the Treaty and, despite the efforts of all participants, the Conference had been unable to meet expectations. He would have wished to see the Conference reach a more substantive outcome allowing States parties to carry forward and effective review and providing them with the necessary framework and tools to face the threats and challenges and to pursue the cause of nuclear disarmament. Algeria had taken part with an open and constructive spirit, and with the ambition to contribute to a determined outcome. It had been guided by its long-standing commitment to the NPT as the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and to the achievements of the 1995 and 2000 reviews.

    He reiterated his country’s full commitment to the Treaty and its determination to spare no efforts with all States parties to preserve that essential instrument. The only way to preserve the Treaty’s authority and credibility was to pursue the full implementation of all of its provisions and to ensure its effective universality. He remained hopeful that States parties would continue to show the necessary political will to allow better prospects and conditions for concrete progress in the review process. He looked forward to the 2010 review and its preparatory process, due to start in 2007. Nuclear weapons remained the most dangerous threat to humankind; their elimination, therefore, must remain the main objective.

    Mr. ANTONOV (Russian Federation) said the Conference had not been successful in producing a consensus final document, which could have been possible, regardless of the serious problems encountered during the Conference. The Russian Federation had done everything it could to resolve substantive problems. The work of the Conference had been useful, however. Members’ statements and the numerous working documents submitted had revealed a tremendous spread of views on how to implement obligations under the Treaty. That was natural, as serious changes had taken place in the realm of international security. Several matters of principle had united all participants, including the fact that no one had raised the possibility of producing a document to replace the NPT. On the contrary, everyone had stressed its value.

    Continuing, he noted that all States parties had confirmed their commitment to strict compliance with the NPT. Recently, there had been new threats to the NPT regime, which must be eliminated. There was also a need to strengthen the IAEA guarantee system to ensure confidence in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Members had been united in the wish to further promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. For the Russian Federation, the document was an important element in the system of international security. It had proved its worth, particularly in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. The President of the Russian Federation had pointed out that the country strictly complied with all its obligations in the disarmament field. The Russian Federation was ready to continue to take steps and had presented the Conference concrete evidence in that regard. The Russian Federation would continue to work together in an effort to fulfil the obligations of the NPT regime.

    PARK IN-KOOK (Republic of Korea) said that, regrettably, he had been an eyewitness to the underlying fundamental gap in perception and approach on substantive matters. The lack of consensus had led the Conference to not properly address the serious and urgent matters before it, such as North Korean nuclear issue. He stressed the importance of the six-party talks as a most suitable and practical means to resolve the nuclear issue, and he called on North Korea to return to the talks without further delay. Also regrettable had been that procedural matters, aimed at facilitating the Conference, had become stumbling blocks. He did not believe, however, that the failure of having a final document was a failure of the NPT itself.

    In fact, he noted, the NPT’s role had increased in recent decades, and he reaffirmed its importance as a cornerstone of the non-proliferation regime. The Conference had provided a good opportunity to hear divergent views of States parties on substantive issues through general statements and the limited, but active, discussions in the Main Committees, as well as the submission of working papers. Partial progress had been made in the debates of the subsidiary bodies on article X, concerning withdrawal. Hopefully, the record of discussion on substantive matters could be constructively utilized for the new review process.

    Mr. SMITH (Australia) was deeply disappointed that delegates had been unable to reach consensus on a substantive outcome to the Review Conference. It was most regrettable that the Conference had been prevented from commencing substantive discussion by lengthy debate on procedural issues and that, once substantive debate had begun, there had been insufficient time, or in some cases, will to effectively deal with key issues of interest to all States parties. It was truly frustrating that States parties had been denied any opportunity to deal more effectively with the grave proliferation threats facing the world. States parties had also been denied an opportunity to advance nuclear disarmament through such measures as support to the CTBT and a fissile material cut-off treaty.

    Australia, as informal chair of the Vienna Group of 10, which had submitted six working papers to the Conference, was particularly disappointed that the considerable effort the Group had put into developing what should have been broadly acceptable language on non-proliferation and peaceful use issues had been thwarted. At the same time, it was important to underline that the failure to agree on a substantive outcome did not touch the continuing fundamental value of the NPT to international peace and security. With 189 States Parties, the NPT continued to be the most widely supported multilateral arms control treaty in existence. And it had established an international norm that outlawed the spread of nuclear weapons and provided a framework for their eventual disappearance entirely. Notwithstanding its disappointment at the meeting’s outcome, Australia stood ready to redouble its efforts with other States parties to tackle ongoing proliferation challenges, both within associated forums and organizations, such as the IAEA and the United Nations, and in the preparation process for the next Review Conference in 2010.

    Adoption of Final Document

    Before turning to adoption of the draft Final Document this afternoon, the Conference decided to honour the requests of the delegations of Angola, Uruguay and Zambia in the list of States parties participating in the Conference.

    Next, the Conference adopted the schedule of division of costs (document NPT/CONF.2005/51).

    As the draft Final Document was now available in all official languages, the Conference finalized its adoption of the whole text (document NPT/CONF.2005/DC/1).


    JUAN ANTONIO YÁÑEZ-BARNUEVO (Spain), fully associating himself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union, added his expression of appreciation to all who had participated constructively in the Conference. He paid special tribute to the President.

    SYLVESTER EKUNDAYO ROWE (Sierra Leone), associating himself with the statement of Malaysia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said the Movement had, in the spirit of multilateralism, conceded far more than was necessary under the circumstances, to ensure that the Conference produced not a perfect document, but a realistic, balanced and forward-looking strategy to advance the safety of all. Each State party would assess the Conference from the perspective of its own national, regional and subregional perspectives. Given the gravity of the threat of nuclear weapons, it was absolutely necessary to assess the Conference’s work from a global perspective. Until all States, in particular those who possessed weapons, worked towards both complete disarmament and non-proliferation, no one should be surprised if future review conferences ended in the same manner, he said. Perhaps the Treaty should be renamed the “Treaty on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons”. That could serve to remind members of the three interrelated pillars of the Treaty.

    While his delegation had not spoken during the general debate, it had listened to every State party and the voice of the people, the potential victims of nuclear weapons, he said. States parties could not escape the subtle, but resolute pleas of civil society and individuals, including one expressed in verse by a survivor of Hiroshima. In his view, those were among the highlights of the 2005 Review Conference. He paid tribute to civil society representatives who reminded delegates not just what the Conference was about, but more importantly about the moral obligation to rid mankind of the threat of nuclear weapons.  

    HU XIAODI (China) said that the Review had been held under a complex security situation, affected by many factors, including that multilateral arms control was at “low tide”. The emergence of new situations had posed new challenges to the non-proliferation regime. Nuclear disarmament “still has a long way to go”, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy had also been challenged.  During the Conference, States parties exchanged their views on all of the issues; however, after four weeks of great efforts, the Conference had not worked out a substantive final document, which was regrettable.

    At the same time, he said, the exchanges had reflected the high importance the parties attached to the NPT. Those talks had also reflected the political determination of Member States to maintain and strengthen the Treaty. Like other States parties, China firmly believed that the NPT, once universalized, would continue to play a crucial role in maintaining the non-proliferation regime, reducing the nuclear threat and maintaining international peace and security. The Treaty remained a safeguard of world peace and security and a model for the international community to solve security concerns through multilateralism. China, as always, would continue to implement its Treaty obligations and was committed to that instrument’s universality.

    Mr. PARNOHADININGRAT (Indonesia) said people around the world had looked to the Conference to deal with the challenges facing the NPT regime. He noted with regret that the Conference had spent too much time on procedural matters, while derogating substantial matters to the margins of the deliberations. The Conference had, moreover, veered away from its solemn responsibilities and commitments. The adoption of a substantive document had proven elusive. It was a stark reality that much remained to be done in the future. In the interim, States parties had to send a clear message that they remained committed to the Treaty. Renewed commitment was needed to fulfil the high aims of the Treaty.

    He noted that a summit meeting of the leaders of Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and African countries, held in Jakarta last month, had adopted a declaration on the new ASEAN-African strategic partnership which addressed, among other things, the issue of weapons of mass destruction. He reaffirmed his country’s commitment to the Treaty as the cornerstone and as the essential foundation of disarmament. Indonesia would hold fast to its conviction that, as the world continued to be threatened by weapons of mass destruction, strengthening the Treaty was vital to peace and security.

    Joining other delegations in expressing his sincere appreciation for the President’s untiring efforts to forge consensus, ABDUL SAMAD MINTY (South Africa) said his delegation had been actively working for a positive action, which would build on and strengthen the results of previous reviews. It also had sought to address the important developments and serious challenges to the Treaty that had arisen since 2000, including the illicit Khan network, proposals by the IAEA Expert Group on the fuel cycle and the strengthening of safeguards and export controls. He hoped for a positive outcome of negotiations between the three European Union countries and Iran in the context of the Paris Agreement.

    He said that, notwithstanding the setback of a failed preparatory process for the Review Conference, the continued vitality and effectiveness of the NPT was dependent on the implementation of the Treaty regime as a whole. He urged States parties to guard against the continual reopening of the debate on obligations, commitments and undertakings, which might also provide the logical foundation for others to also reinterpret, negate or withdraw from other parts of the bargains struck. If agreements arrived at one Conference were allowed to be rolled back at the next, that would undermine the very premise on which the multilateral system was based. He, therefore, called on the nuclear-weapon States to reaffirm their commitments and unequivocal undertakings made at the previous reviews to systematically and progressively eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

    ANATOLIY SCHERBA (Ukraine) said the Conference was concluding with modest results and without any breakthrough. The debates had demonstrated that States parties were far from a common understanding of today’s threats and challenges to the NPT regime and the concrete steps and decisions needed to strengthen its credibility. States Parties should today feel an even stronger sense of urgency about the substantive measures needed to strike a balance between different interests, with the aim of preserving the integrity of the Treaty and to meet the commitments made at the 1995 and 2000 Review Conferences.

    Ukraine would remain firmly committed to the NPT and would continue to undertake all necessary efforts to strengthen it, he said. Erosion of the NPT would have serious repercussions on the world’s security and stability.

    The case for non-proliferation rested on the primary objective of the NPT to eliminate all nuclear weapons and, hence, the central importance of article VI. It required from those who did not possess, not to acquire, and for those who possessed, to eliminate. Regrettably, the Conference had lost the opportunity to make realistic progress on the most pertinent challenges facing the Treaty. It should make progress, not simply by tinkering with procedures, but by mustering the necessary political will to build on previous undertakings and commitments, which reinforced the NPT, so as to continue on an irreversible path towards achievement of the Treaty’s purposes and objectives.

    Mr. LABBE (Chile) said he, too, felt a sense of frustration and disappointment at the outcome, which, despite the “diplomatic euphemisms”, could only be described as a failure. Consensus existed in this room on almost all of the items under discussion, but there was too short a period of time left for substantive debate after the procedural moves. The positive political will of an overwhelming majority of delegations broke down in the face of the paralyzing application of the rule of consensus. Consensus was a general sense of agreement of States parties, and not necessarily unanimity. But, what had happened at the Conference had shown that, despite the rules of procedure, there existed a

    ”de facto” veto and delegations were prepared to use it. As a result, an overwhelming majority of delegations had been crushed and deemed unimportant. He asked, rhetorically, whether it was not possible to have democratic practices in multilateral organs.

    He said that, despite the lack of a final document, some delegations had said that discussions in the failed Conference had been useful, in that those had made it possible to verify the commitment of States parties and identify the main currents of thought. “Perhaps we will remember and regret the missed opportunities to practice multilateralism”, he said. All in all, that “exercise in frustrated multilateral diplomacy” would be useful if delegations were to firmly inscribe it in their professional conscience and extrapolate it to the multilateral universe as a whole, in particular to the United Nations system, which was undergoing reform. He would remember the grave risk represented by the veto. He would also remember that the multilateral mission was not verified in speeches, but in actions and in the generosity to look at the hopes and needs of all nations and adopt them as one’s own.

    JAVAD ZARIF (Iran) said that in 1995, when a consensus had been achieved around the principles and objectives governing the Treaty’s indefinite extension, it had been based, among other things, on a solemn undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States to pursue systematic efforts to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons. The States parties had been assured that, from thereon, accountability would become the cornerstone of the NPT. The 2000 Review Conference, in spite of indications to the contrary, had taken a historic step forward. The 13 distinct demands from non-nuclear weapon States and unequivocal undertaking by nuclear-weapons States had mapped the road towards nuclear disarmament. The expectation, reasonably drawn, had been that come the 50th anniversary of the Treaty, nuclear weapons and stockpiles would only be a part of history. 2005 could, and should, have been a turning point towards a world free from the scourge of nuclear threat.

    That the 2005 Conference had ended without result, despite the sincere efforts and good intentions of a great majority of States parties, was not by itself detrimental, he continued. The intentions and actions pursued by the presumed remaining super Power, without the slightest regard for the concerns of the rest of the international community, were serious. Policies and practices pursued by the United States in the last five years clearly indicated what lay ahead if they remained unchecked. The United States had adopted its Nuclear Posture Review, incorporating the breach of the obligations on “irreversibility”, “diminished role of nuclear weapons” and “lowering the operational status of nuclear weapons” by stressing the essential role of nuclear weapons as an effective tool for achieving security ends and foreign policy objectives; developing new nuclear weapon systems, and constructing new facilities for producing nuclear weapons; resuming efforts to develop and deploy tactical nuclear weapons, despite the commitment to reverse the process and reduce them; and targeting non-nuclear weapon States parties to the Treaty and planning to attack those States.

    Continuing, he said the United States had replaced the principle of destruction, perceived as the most fundamental element in the process of nuclear disarmament, with a policy of decommissioning. The United States had abrogated the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, recognized by the international community as the cornerstone of global strategic stability, through its unilateral withdrawal from the Treaty, creating a strategic and security gap within the overall global nuclear posture, with grave and long-term consequences for the whole world. The United States had continued the deployment of nuclear forces in other territories, raising serious concerns over the command and control of such weapons. It had continued to provide a nuclear umbrella for non-nuclear weapon States parties to the Treaty, in flagrant violation of articles I and II of the Treaty by the United States and countries hosting such weaponry.

    He said the United States had also signed an agreement of nuclear cooperation with Israel, whose nuclear arsenal presented the gravest danger to the peace and stability of the Middle East, providing Israeli scientists access to its nuclear facilities, thereby demonstrating its total disregard for its obligations under article I of the Treaty. The United States had rejected the CTBT, not only damaging the prospect for the Treaty’s entry into force, but also undermining its promotion in international fora. The United States had also rejected the inclusion of the element of “verifiability” in a future cut-off treaty, thereby breaking a long-standing position of the international community on a consensus over the negotiating mandate in the Conference on Disarmament.

    The extremist attitude reflected in those documents and practices seemed to have learned no lessons from the nightmare of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If history was any guide, nuclear arms were in the most dangerous hands. It was imperative, therefore, to move now with a concerned and firm resolve to stop and reverse the fast-paced drive. Nuclear weapons should not imply political clout and the capability to shape and influence world events. Holding on and expanding nuclear arsenals should be condemned, rather than condoned or tolerated. Any increase in nuclear capability should equal a reduction in political credibility. The abysmal record, achieved unilaterally by the United States in the short span of five years, testified to a mentality which sought solutions solely through demonstration of power. It was no wonder the United States had tried to create smokescreens in the Conference to deflect attention from its abysmal record.

    The NPT remained the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the ability to develop and pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, he said. The United States wanted the Conference to fail, so that it could pursue its own unilateral initiatives through other more exclusive bodies. That should not be allowed. States parties needed to quickly get together, in informal and formal discussions, to reinvigorate the ways and means to achieve the Treaty’s objectives. The three pillars of the Treaty were intertwined and needed to be followed, without diminishing the significance and effectiveness of any one pillar against the others. Above all, members needed to ensure full universality of the Treaty without exception; reject any perception which permitted nuclear weapons as a means of achieving individual and collective security; strengthen collective efforts to check proliferation and improve safeguards; and support the IAEA in utilizing advances in technology for better supervision of nuclear activities and enhancing its ability to provide credible guarantees against proliferation.

    It was also important to emphasize security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon States and thereby remove the concerns of nuclear threats, he said. States parties must be enabled to exercise their full rights for developing and producing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under appropriate international monitoring and supervision. The NPT must be preserved and strengthened and its longevity guaranteed. No consideration was worth undermining the Treaty. Iran was committed to the NPT and the non-proliferation regime and would spare no effort in that regard.

    In concluding remarks, Conference President, Mr. DUARTE (Brazil) said he was proud to have been nominated by Brazil for the post of President and even prouder, in the twilight of his diplomatic career, to have been elected to it by States parties. The last few weeks had strengthened his conviction that the Treaty enjoyed the full support of all its parties. He expressed gratitude for the support of members and the Conference secretariat in the discharge of his duties.

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