Presentation and position of France [fr]

The challenges

Nuclear disarmament and the fight against proliferation are two fundamental dimensions to international peace and security. Numerous resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and different international instruments, including the well-known Non-proliferation treaty (NPT), aim at promoting concrete progresses on disarmament and containing proliferation crises.

The resolution 1887, adopted by the Security Council on the 24th of September, 2009, reaffirmed its commitment to « work for a safer world for all and create the conditions for nuclear weapon-free world”, accordingly with the objectives set in the NPT, in a way that promotes international stability, and on the basis of a principle of undiminished security for all.

Nowadays, the main challenges lie in the implementation of disarmament instruments and agreements, as well as in the fight against nuclear proliferation.

The position of France

France is resolutely committed in favour of nuclear disarmament. It is a main aspect of the efforts led in a greater extent by our country to reinforce international peace and security.

France believes it is essential to progress towards disarmament without curbing or partitioning our thinking and our ambition. It is especially important not to disconnect nuclear disarmament from collective security and the status of the strategic background. The concerns of some states do not only relate to the postures and the nuclear arsenals, but also to the anti-missile defence, the conventional capacities or outer space. Thus we have to address multiple challenges and work on improving international security conditions.

France has always ensured to maintain its nuclear arsenal to the lowest level possible, compatible with the strategic context, by applying a principle of adequacy. Simultaneously, in accordance with the NPT objectives regarding nuclear disarmament and complete and general disarmament, fundamental to us, France actively committed, concretely, in favour of disarmament on the national and international scale.

On a national scale, France has significantly led the way. Its results are exemplary – and for certain fields with no equivalent – regarding nuclear disarmament :
-  First State, with the United Kingdom, to have signed and ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) ;

-  First State to decide the closure and the dismantlement of its facilities of production of fissile material for nuclear weapons ;

-  Only nuclear-weapon state to have dismantled, in a transparent manner, its nuclear test site located in the Pacific ocean ;

-  Only State to have dismantled its ground-to-ground nuclear missiles ;

-  Only State to have dismantled its ground-to-ground nuclear missiles ;

-  Only State having voluntarily reduced by a third its number of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines ;

-  Completion of the reduction by a third of the number of nuclear weapons, missiles and the airborne component.

Of course, disarmament cannot lie only on individual or bilateral initiatives : the multilateral logic is also important and France is fully committed within the international negotiations on nuclear disarmament and the fight against nuclear proliferation. We indeed won’t be able to continue to move forward on the way of disarmament only if the will to progress is unanimously shared. As the article VI of the NPT underlines it , it is every state, and not only the nuclear-weapon states, that must contribute to nuclear disarmament and, on a larger extent, to collective security.

For the next multilateral steps regarding nuclear disarmament, the roadmap of the international community is clear and its two priorities are :

-  The implementation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

-  The launch of negotiations for a fissile material cut off treaty.

France furthermore believes that disarmament actions should not be limited to the measures of arsenal reduction, but also transparency efforts, necessary to establish trust. This is why France has been the first nuclear-weapon state to announce its total arsenal ceiling (less than 300 nuclear weapons).

Source : France Diplomatie

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publié le 04/08/2016

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