5/11/2012 - EOV Réduction du niveau de disponibilité opérationnelle des systèmes d’armes nucléaires

Explanation of vote by H.E. Joanne Adamson, Ambassador,
Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland to the Conference on Disarmament

on behalf of France, the United Kingdom and the United States

L. 28 “Decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems”

New York, 5 November 2012

Mr. Chairman,

I am speaking on behalf of France, the United Kingdom and the United States. With regards to L.28, “Decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapon systems”.

We continue to disagree with the basic premise of resolution L.28 that the current level of readiness of nuclear weapons increases the risk of the unintentional or accidental use.

We would like to restate that the operational readiness of our respective nuclear weapons systems is maintained at a level consonant with our national security requirement and our obligations to our allies, within the larger context of the current global strategic situation. In reflection thereof, we have decreased the operational readiness and alert levels of our respective forces since the early 1990s. Additionally, our respective nuclear weapons systems are no longer targeted against any state.

Collectively, those steps have reduced the value of further “de-alerting” as a priority for nuclear disarmament, in our view.

Unhelpfully, the present resolution proceeds from the presumption that lowered alert levels will automatically and in all cases lead to heightened international security. In reality, while alert levels can and have been lowered in response to an improved international security climate, the relationship between alert levels and security is complex, and not reducible to such simple formulaic responses.

We would also like to reiterate that our nuclear weapons systems are subject to the most rigorous command, control and communication systems, to ensure against the possibility of accidental or unintentional use, and to guarantee that such weapons could only be used at the sole direction of the proper national command authority and to maximise that authority’s decision time.

Thank you Mr Chairman.

publié le 13/12/2012

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