Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission’s Recommendations

Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission’s Recommendations

Nuclear Weapons
Preventing the Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

1 All parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty need to revert to the fundamental and balanced non-proliferation and disarmament commitments that were made under the treaty and confirmed in 1995 when the treaty was extended indefinitely.

2 All parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty should implement the decision on principles and objectives for non-proliferation and disarmament, the decision on strengthening the Non-Proliferation Treaty review process, and the resolution on the Middle East as a zone free of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction, all adopted in 1995. They should also promote the implementation of ‘the thirteen practical steps' for nuclear disarmament that were adopted in 2000.

3 To enhance the effectiveness of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, all Non-Proliferation Treaty non-nuclear-weapon states parties should accept comprehensive safeguards as strengthened by the International Atomic Energy Agency Additional Protocol.

4 The states parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty should establish a standing secretariat to handle administrative matters for the parties to the treaty. This secretariat should organize the treaty's Review Conferences and their Preparatory Committee sessions. It should also organize other treaty-related meetings upon the request of a majority of the states parties.

5 Negotiations with North Korea should aim at a verifiable agreement including, as a principal element, North Korea's manifesting its adherence to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and accepting the 1997 Additional Protocol, as well as revival and legal confirmation of the commitments made in the 1992 Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula: notably, that neither North nor South Korea shall have nuclear weapons or nuclear reprocessing and uranium enrichment facilities. Fuel-cycle services should be assured through international arrangements. The agreement should also cover biological and chemical weapons, as well as the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, thus making the Korean peninsula a zone free of weapons of mass destruction.

6 Negotiations must be continued to induce Iran to suspend any sensitive fuel-cycle-related activities and ratify the 1997 Additional Protocol and resume full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency in order to avoid an increase in tensions and to improve the outlook for the common aim of establishing a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass
destruction. The international community and Iran should build mutual confidence through measures that should include: reliable assurance regarding the supply of fuel-cycle services; suspending or renouncing sensitive fuel-cycle activities for a prolonged period of time by all states in the Middle East; assurances against attacks and subversion aiming at regime change; and facilitation of international trade and investment.

7 The nuclear-weapon states parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty should provide legally binding negative security assurances to non-nuclear weapon states parties. The states not party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty that possess nuclear weapons should separately provide such assurances.

8 States should make active use of the IAEA as a forum for exploring various ways to reduce proliferation risks connected with the nuclear fuel cycle, such as proposals for an international fuel bank; internationally safeguarded regional centers offering fuel-cycle services, including spent-fuel repositories; and the creation of a fuel-cycle system built on the concept that a few ‘fuel-cycle states' will lease nuclear fuel to states that forgo enrichment and reprocessing activities.

9 States should develop means of using low-enriched uranium in ships and research reactors that presently require highly enriched uranium. The production of highly enriched uranium should be phased out. States that separate plutonium by reprocessing spent nuclear fuel should explore possibilities for reducing that activity.

10 All states should support the international initiatives taken to advance the global clean-out of fissile material. Such support should encompass the conversion of research reactors from highly enriched to low enriched uranium fuel, storing fissile material at centralized and secure
locations, and returning exported nuclear materials to suppliers for secure disposal or elimination.

11 All Non-Proliferation Treaty nuclear-weapon states that have not yet done so should ratify the protocols of the treaties creating regional nuclear-weapon-free zones. All states in such zones should conclude their comprehensive safeguards agreements with the IAEA and agree to ratify and implement the Additional Protocol.

12 All states should support continued efforts to establish a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East as a part of the overall peace process. Steps can be taken even now. As a confidence building measure, all states in the region, including Iran and Israel, should for a prolonged period of time commit themselves to a verified arrangement not to have any enrichment, reprocessing or other sensitive fuel-cycle activities on their territories. Such a commitment should be coupled with reliable assurances about fuel-cycle services required for peaceful nuclear activities. Egypt, Iran and Israel should join the other states in the Middle East in ratifying the CTBT.

13 India and Pakistan should both ratify the CTBT and join those other states with nuclear weapons that have declared a moratorium on the production of fissile material for weapons, pending the conclusion of a treaty. They should continue to seek bilateral détente and build confidence through political, economic and military measures, reducing the risk of armed conflict, and increasing transparency in the nuclear and missile activities of both countries. Eventually, both states should become members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile
Technology Control Regime, as well as parties to International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards agreements under the terms of the 1997 Additional Protocol.

Preventing Nuclear Terrorism

14 States must prevent terrorists from gaining access to nuclear weapons or fissile material. To achieve this, they must maintain fully effective accounting and control of all stocks of fissile and radioactive material and other radiological sources on their territories. They should ensure that there is personal legal responsibility for any acts of nuclear terrorism or activities in support of such terrorism. They must expand their cooperation through inter alia the sharing of information, including intelligence on illicit nuclear commerce. They should also promote universal adherence to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540.

Reducing the Threat and the Numbers of Existing Nuclear Weapons

15 All states possessing nuclear weapons should declare a categorical policy of no-first-use of such weapons. They should specify that this covers both pre-emptive and preventive action, as well as retaliation for attacks involving chemical, biological or conventional weapons.

16 All states possessing nuclear weapons should review their military plans and define what is needed to maintain credible non-nuclear security policies. States deploying their nuclear forces in triads, consisting of submarine-launched missiles, ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and long-range bombers, should abandon this practice in order to reduce nuclear-weapon redundancy and avoid fuelling nuclear arms races.

17 Russia and the United States should agree on reciprocal steps to take their nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert and should create a joint commission to facilitate this goal. They should undertake to eliminate the launch-on-warning option from their nuclear war plans, while implementing a controlled parallel decrease in operational readiness of a large part of their strategic forces, through:

- reducing the number of strategic submarines at sea and lowering their technical readiness to launch while in port;
- storing nuclear bombs and air-launched cruise missiles separately from relevant air fields;
- storing separately nose cones and/or warheads of most intercontinental ballistic missiles or taking other technical measures to reduce their readiness.

18 Russia and the United States should commence negotiations on a new strategic arms reduction treaty aimed at reducing their deployments of strategic forces allowed under the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty by at least half. It should include a legally binding commitment to irreversibly dismantle the weapons withdrawn under the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty. The new treaty should also include transparent counting rules, schedules and procedures for dismantling the weapons, and reciprocal measures for verification.

19 Russia and the United States, followed by other states possessing nuclear weapons, should publish their aggregate holdings of nuclear weapons on active and reserve status as a baseline for future disarmament efforts. They should also agree to include specific provisions in future disarmament agreements relating to transparency, irreversibility, verification and the physical destruction of nuclear warheads.

20 All states possessing nuclear weapons must address the issue of their continued possession of such weapons. All nuclear-weapon states parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty must take steps towards nuclear disarmament, as required by the treaty and the commitments made in connection with the treaty's indefinite extension. Russia and the United States should take the lead. Other states possessing nuclear weapons should join the process, individually or in coordinated action. While Israel, India and Pakistan are not parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, they, too, have a duty to contribute to the nuclear disarmament process.

21 Russia and the United States should proceed to implement the commitments they made in 1991 to eliminate specific types of non-strategic nuclear weapons, such as demolition munitions, artillery shells and warheads for short-range ballistic missiles. They should agree to withdraw all non-strategic nuclear weapons to central storage on national territory, pending their eventual elimination. The two countries should reinforce their 1991 unilateral reduction commitments by developing arrangements to ensure verification, transparency and irreversibility.

22 Every state that possesses nuclear weapons should make a commitment not to deploy any nuclear weapon, of any type, on foreign soil.

23 Any state contemplating replacement or modernization of its nuclear weapon systems must consider such action in the light of all relevant treaty obligations and its duty to contribute to the nuclear disarmament process. As a minimum, it must refrain from developing nuclear weapons with new military capabilities or for new missions. It must not adopt systems or doctrines that blur the distinction between nuclear and conventional weapons or lower the nuclear threshold.

24 All states possessing nuclear weapons, notably Russia and the United States, should place their excess fissile material from military programmes under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards. To facilitate the reduction of stocks of highly enriched uranium, states possessing such stocks should sell uranium blended to enrichment levels suitable for reactor fuel to other Non-Proliferation Treaty states or use it for their own peaceful nuclear energy needs.

25 All states possessing nuclear weapons should adopt strict standards for the handling of weapons-usable fissile material deemed excess to military requirements or recovered from disarmament activities, as exemplified in the US stored-weapon and spent-fuel standards.

26 The Conference on Disarmament should immediately open the delayed negotiations for a treaty on the cut-off of production of fissile material for weapons without preconditions. Before, or at least during, these negotiations, the Conference on Disarmament should establish a Group of Scientific Experts to examine technical aspects of the treaty.

27 To facilitate fissile material cut-off negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament, the five Non-Proliferation Treaty nuclear-weapon states, joined by the other states possessing nuclear weapons, should agree among themselves to cease production of fissile material for weapon purposes. They should open up their facilities for such production to International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards inspections, building on the practice of Euratom inspections in France and the UK. These eight states should also address the issue of verifiable limitations of existing stocks of weapons-usable nuclear materials.

28 All states that have not already done so should sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty unconditionally and without delay. The United States, which has not ratified the treaty, should reconsider its position and proceed to ratify the treaty, recognizing that its ratification would trigger other required ratifications and be a step towards the treaty's entry into force. Pending entry into force, all states with nuclear weapons should continue to refrain from nuclear testing. Also, the 2007 conference of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty signatories should address the possibility of a provisional entry into force of the treaty.

29 All signatories should provide financial, political and technical support for the continued development and operation of the verification regime, including the International Monitoring System, the International Data Centre and the secretariat, so that the CTBTO is ready to monitor and verify compliance with the treaty when it enters into force. They should pledge to maintain their respective stations and continue to transmit data on a national basis under all circumstances.

From Regulating Nuclear Weapons to Outlawing Them

30 All states possessing nuclear weapons should commence planning for security without nuclear weapons. They should start preparing for the outlawing of nuclear weapons through joint practical and incremental measures that include definitions, benchmarks and transparency
requirements for nuclear disarmament.

Biological and Toxin Weapons

31 All states not yet party to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention should adhere to the Convention. The states parties to the Convention should launch a campaign to achieve universal adherence by the time of the Seventh Review Conference, to be held in 2011.

32 To achieve universal adoption of national legislation and regulations to implement the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention completely and effectively, the states parties should offer technical assistance and promote best-practice models of such legislation. As a part of the confidence-building process and to promote transparency and harmonization, all states parties should make annual biological weapon-related national declarations and make them public.

33 States parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention should enhance the investigatory powers of the UN Secretary-General, ensuring that the Secretary-General's office can rely upon a regularly updated roster of experts and advice from the World Health Organization and a specialist unit, modelled on the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, to assist in investigating unusual outbreaks of disease and allegations of the use of biological weapons.

34 States parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention should establish a standing secretariat to handle organizational and administrative matters related to the treaty, such as Review Conferences and expert meetings.

35 Governments should pursue public health surveillance to ensure effective monitoring of unusual outbreaks of disease and develop practical methods of coordinating international responses to any major event that might involve bioweapons. They should strengthen cooperation between civilian health and security-oriented authorities, nationally, regionally and worldwide, including in the framework of the new International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization. Governments should also review their national biosafety and biosecurity measures to protect health and the environment from the release of biological and toxin materials. They should harmonize national biosecurity standards.

36 At the Sixth Review Conference, in 2006, the states parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention should reaffirm common understandings reached at previous review conferences and take action on all subjects addressed at Convention meetings since 2003. They should also establish a work programme on additional topics for future meetings. States parties should ensure more frequent reassessment of the implications of scientific and technological developments and reaffirm that all undertakings under Article I of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention apply to such developments. This Review Conference should reaffirm that all developments in the life sciences fall within the scope of the Convention and that all developments in the life sciences for hostile purposes are prohibited by the Convention.

37 States parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention must provide adequate resources to ensure that there are no undue delays in the agreed destruction of chemical weapon stockpiles.

38 The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and states parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention should continue their efforts to secure universal adherence to the Convention. States parties should fully implement the rules on trade and transfer of chemicals that are precursors to chemical-weapon agents. They should further develop regulations regarding the trade and transfer of chemicals that can be used to produce chemical weapons. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and states parties should continue to offer states positive incentives, including technical assistance, to join and implement the Chemical Weapons Convention. When providing such assistance or transferring relevant technologies, they should consider steps to ensure safe and responsible handling by the recipient.

39 States parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention should confirm that, like the use of riot control agents, the use of toxic chemical agents for purposes of law enforcement is banned as a method of warfare. Accordingly, each state party must declare any such agent under Article III.

40 States parties should ensure that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has the resources, experience and legal rights needed to carry out challenge inspections in a timely and effective manner, including for the taking of samples and removal of samples for testing.

41 Through their domestic laws and policies, all states should prohibit the production, possession and use of toxic chemicals and technologies for purposes that are banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention. States should ensure security in and for chemical facilities through legislation and agreement with industry. States should also develop national means to monitor that security standards are met.

42 States parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention should use the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as a coordinating centre in the development of global standards for a chemical industry security culture. The Organization should offer evaluation and security assistance at declared sites. States parties should also strengthen the capacity of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to provide practical assistance against chemical weapons, for instance detection equipment, alarm systems and medical antidotes.

WMD Delivery Means, Missile Defences, and Weapons in Space

43 MTCR member states should make new efforts to better implement and expand export controls on relevant materials and technology. States subscribing to the Hague Code of Conduct should extend its scope to include cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. They should establish a multilateral data exchange centre, based on the Russian-US initiatives for the exchange of data on missile launches from early-warning systems. Regional and international nonproliferation measures should include information exchanges, launch notification, and restrictions or bans on specific items or capabilities.

44 States should not consider the deployment or further deployment of any kind of missile defence system without first attempting to negotiate the removal of missile threats. If such negotiations fail, deployments of such systems should be accompanied by cooperative development programmes and confidence-building measures to lower the risk of adverse effects on international peace and security, including the risk of creating or aggravating arms races.

45 All states should renounce the deployment of weapons in outer space. They should promote universal adherence to the Outer Space Treaty and expand its scope through a protocol to prohibit all weapons in space. Pending the conclusion of such a protocol, they should refrain from activities inconsistent with its aims, including any tests against space objects or targets on earth from a space platform. States should adapt the international regimes and institutions for space issues so that both military and civilian aspects can be dealt with in the same context. States should also set up a group of experts to develop options for monitoring and verifying various components of a space security regime and a code of conduct, designed inter alia to prohibit the testing or deployment of space weapons.

46 A Review Conference of the Outer Space Treaty to mark its 40th year in force should be held in 2007. It should address the need to strengthen the treaty and extend its scope. A Special Coordinator should be appointed to facilitate ratifications and liaise with nonparties about the reinforcement of the treaty-based space security regime.

Export Controls, International Assistance, and Non-Governmental Actors

47 All states should conduct audits of their export control enforcement agencies (customs, police, coastguard, border control and military) to ensure that they can carry out their tasks effectively. States should seek to establish a universal system of export controls providing harmonized standards, enhanced transparency, and practical support for implementation. Members of the five export control regimes should promote a widening of their membership and improve implementation in view of current security challenges, without impeding legitimate trade and economic development.

48 The G8 Global Partnership should expand the geographical and functional scope of its non-proliferation assistance. The G8 should guarantee full funding for the Elimination of Weapons-Grade Plutonium Production (EWGPP) programme. Potential donors should consider how technical assistance, training, equipment and financing could be brought to bear to help states of all regions implement UN Security Council Resolution 1540.

49 Companies engaged in activities relevant to weapons of mass destruction have the ability and responsibility to help prevent the proliferation of such weapons and an interest in demonstrating that they are fulfilling that responsibility, including full compliance with national and international obligations and public transparency. Trade associations should promote such objectives.

50 States, international organizations and professional associations should encourage the appropriate academic and industrial associations to adopt and effectively implement codes of practice and codes of conduct for science and research in weapons of mass destruction relevant fields.

51 Governments possessing any weapons of mass destruction should keep their parliaments fully and currently informed of their holdings of such weapons and their activities to reduce and eliminate them. Parliaments should actively seek such information and recognize their responsibility in formulating policies relevant to weapons of mass destruction issues. Greater inter-parliamentary cooperation on weapons of mass destruction issues is needed.

52 States should assist Non-Governmental Organizations to actively participate in international meetings and conferences, and to inform and campaign in the weapons of mass destruction field. Private foundations should substantially increase their support for such organizations that are working to eliminate global weapons of mass destruction threats.

53 Organizations with security-relevant agendas should re-examine the 2002 United Nations Study on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education, and should consider ways in which they could foster and support such education and an informed public debate. Governments
should fund student internships at multilateral institutions working on weapons of mass destruction issues.

Compliance, Verification, Enforcement and the Role of the United Nations

54 As the strengthened safeguards system adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency through the Additional Protocol should become standard for parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, supplier states should make acceptance of this standard by recipient parties a condition for contracts involving nuclear items.

55 Governments should instruct their intelligence authorities to assist international inspection agencies by providing relevant information without compromising the independence of the inspection systems.

56 The UN Security Council should establish a small subsidiary unit that could provide professional technical information and advice on matters relating to weapons of mass destruction. At the request of the Council or the Secretary-General, it should organize ad hoc inspections and monitoring in the field, using a roster of well-trained inspectors that should be kept up-to-date.

57 International legal obligations regarding weapons of mass destruction must be enforced. International enforcement action should be taken only after credible investigation and authoritative finding of noncompliance with legal obligations.

58 In order for the Conference on Disarmament to function, it should be able to adopt its Programme of Work by a qualified majority of two thirds of the members present and voting. It should also take its other administrative and procedural decisions with the same requirements.

59 The United Nations General Assembly should convene a World Summit on disarmament, non-proliferation and terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction, to meet after thorough preparations. This World Summit should also discuss and decide on reforms to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the UN disarmament machinery.

60 The United Nations Security Council should make greater use of its potential to reduce and eliminate threats of weapons of mass destruction - whether they are linked to existing arsenals, proliferation or terrorists. It should take up for consideration any withdrawal from or breach of an obligation not to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Making use of its authority under the Charter to take decisions with binding effect for all members, the Council may, inter alia:

- require individual states to accept effective and comprehensive monitoring, inspection and verification;
- require member states to enact legislation to secure global implementation of specific rules or measures; and
- decide, as instance of last resort, on the use of economic or military enforcement measures.

Before UN reform has made the Security Council more representative of the UN membership, it is especially important that binding decisions should be preceded by effective consultation to ensure that they are supported by the membership of the UN and will be accepted and respected.

Source: Weapons of Terror. Freeing the World of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Arms. Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission’s Recommendations (Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission: Stockholm, 2006),