THE UN DISARMAMENT CONFERENCE IN KYOTO

7-9 August 2002, Kyoto Japan

Closing Session: General Statement

Ambassador Kuniko Inoguchi, Ph.D.

Head of the Delegation of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, allow me to express my sincere appreciation for your efforts to lead this Conference to an inspiring success at a time when the international community is deeply concerned with the challenges of terrorism, but not necessarily in conjunction with the imperatives of disarmament and arms control. In fact, it is for this very reason that I found this Conference to be so very opportune and insightful, because the UN and the City of Kyoto have successfully encouraged us to think about how these two dimensions could interact, that is, how arms control could contribute to the prevention of terrorism.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to the United Nations Department of Disarmament Affairs, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, and to Kyoto City and Kyoto International Conference Hall for enabling us to come together to share thoughts on pressing issues in the domain of international security.

  1. Arms control and terrorism: A missing link?
  2. Terrorist acts result from hatred. Hatred is rooted in various disputes and conflicts, be they territorial, religious or ethnic. In order to eradicate terrorism once and for all, it is therefore absolutely essential to tackle such root causes, and provide every opportunity to foster the process of reconciliation and dialogue. However, the road leading to reconciliation could take years, and, meanwhile, it is essential to prevent every illegal access to weapons; to prohibit the acquisition, production, storage, transfer or use of weapons by terrorists. Terrorism can be prevented if access to weapons is strictly and effectively controlled. Some may point out that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were carried out not with light weapons, but with a simple knife. But it must be remembered that the terrorists were aided by a global stretch of terrorist organizations, constructed on the basis of a long-term accumulation of masses of weapons, illegally transferred into illegal hands.

    Not all hatred results in terrorism. We should then ask - gWhat are the differentiating variables that lead some to terrorism and wars of hatred?h; gWhat is the variable that differentiates between those conflicts that do not result in terrorism and those that do?h. A rather simple and clear answer to this question is the variable concerning access to weapons of those who seek to resort to violence. Throughout the conference we have been concerned about the conceptual missing link between counter-terrorism measures and arms control. I would like to argue that arms control is the most fundamental way to counter terrorism, since it restricts the root means of terrorists, namely, illegal weapons in illegal hands.

    Small arms and light weapons continue to be the primary tools used by terrorists in various regions of the world, including Asia. There are also alarming signs that terrorists may even have the capacity to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Security Council Resolution 1373 emphasizes the need to enhance the coordination of efforts to respond to the close connection between international terrorism and illegal arms trafficking and the movement of nuclear, chemical, biological and other potentially deadly materials.

    Disarmament and arms control steps are just as effective as law enforcement measures to deal with this aspect of counter-terrorism. Given the international character of the recent terrorist attacks, multilateral disarmament is of particular importance. The consensus resolution of the UN General Assembly 56/24T affirms the necessity of multilateral cooperation in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation in order to achieve international peace and security, and to reinforce global efforts against terrorism. It cannot be over-emphasized that the existing multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation regimes, especially the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention(CWC), significantly contribute to preventing terrorists from using such weapons. It is extremely important to further strengthen these regimes, inter alia, through addressing the issues of non-compliance and non-adherence.

  3. Multilateral Arms Control
  4. (1) Nuclear

    The increased risk of terrorism makes nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation a more urgent task. Seizure or theft by terrorists of hazardous nuclear material or, though less likely, intact nuclear weapons would be the worst-case scenario that should be prevented by all means. Strengthening the NPT regime and the role of the IAEA is a fundamental prerequisite to the prevention of nuclear terrorism: the NPT is the cornerstone of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, whose importance has become greater than ever with its indefinite extension in1995 and its near-universality achieved so far.

    On the other hand, three countries have not yet ratified the NPT and continue to engage in unsafeguarded nuclear activities. The concern over the non-compliance of two States parties to the NPT and their non-cooperation with the IAEA constitutes a serious obstacle to the credibility of the NPT and its verification system. Of no less importance, nuclear disarmament efforts by the nuclear weapon States are seen by many non-nuclear-weapon States to be slow and sometimes regressive. The faithful implementation of Article VI by nuclear-weapon States is critical to the maintenance of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

    Furthermore, it is detrimental to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation as a whole that there is little prospect in the near future for the entry into force of the CTBT, adopted in 1996. The need to maintain the moratoria of nuclear test explosions should be reiterated at the highest possible level.

    Negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) are desperately overdue. This treaty is expected to significantly contribute to non-proliferation and to constitute an essential building block for nuclear disarmament. I believe that the FMCT also has a counter-terrorism dimension because it envisages a stronger control over nuclear fissile material. However, the Conference on Disarmament, the sole multilateral body for negotiating disarmament treaties, has been unable to engage in negotiations in a continuous manner since 1996, due to confrontation between China and Russia, and the United States on the prevention of an arms race in outer space.

    Against this backdrop, the Russia-U.S. Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions was signed in late May. This treaty is, in itself, a historical step for the two greatest nuclear powers in nuclear disarmament, but my hope is that it will also facilitate a resolution of the deadlock in the CD. In fact, in late June, all the major countries began to show more flexibility. Most significantly, China put forward a conciliatory proposal. The differences between standpoints have now become narrower, but more efforts are still necessary to fill in the remaining gaps.

    At the concluding stage of the current annual session of the CD, five ambassadors, those of Algeria, Belgium, Chile, Colombia and Sweden - a combination of four ambassadors with recent experience in the presidency of the CD, and the Swedish ambassador who presided over the NPT Prep. Com. this year - have developed a proposal for a programme of work which is still in an informal, evolving stage. The merit of this initiative is that it is being taken by a cross-regional group of middle power countries, strongly interested in disarmament. I believe such a group may be in a better position to identify the collective will of the international community, overarching any differences. I also believe Japan has been playing a significant role in advising the five ambassadors on amendments to their proposal, so that it can evolve into a text more likely to be acceptable to all.

    If the CD started another round of nuclear disarmament treaty negotiations, it would send a message to the entire world that multilateral arms control is back as the mainstream cause in international politics. We could then encourage all nations to address the issue of arms control as the mainstream agenda in each national setting. Many countries would discover that they needed better export and domestic transfer controls, more effective weapons-related legislations and law enforcement, and more competent border controls in general. If we could focus on the fact that arms control is the most fundamental way to counter terrorism, the area of arms could attract the best and brightest of generations to come.

    (2) Biological and Chemical

    The threat of biological terrorism, as illustrated by the recent anthrax scares in the United States, is a very apparent danger. Although not specifically designed to address the threat of biological terrorism, the BWC is one important platform for strengthening international efforts in this field. Consequently, practical and concrete methods of countering such a threat should be one of the core issues to be discussed at the resumption of the Review Conference on the BWC in December this year. The security of bio-facilities is of particular importance, in order to prevent the illicit acquisition by non-State actors of agents, substances and materials that can be developed into biological weapons. Disease control is another area whose significance on an international scale cannot be overlooked. I look forward to constructive results from this yearfs Conference.

    Another hazard which must be addressed is that of chemical weapons. The Chemical Weapons Convention, calling for a total ban on such weapons, has been making substantial progress with regard to verification. As the number of States parties to this Convention increases, it is important to have continued support for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in its efforts to improve verification methods.

    (3) Small Arms

    The disruption of arms flows and the prevention of the supply of weapons to terrorist groups are paramount to reducing the scale of terrorist violence. The UN Conference on Small Arms held last year was a significant step in this regard. The Program of Action adopted at the UN Conference marked the first international norm to restrict the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons. The Program of Action contains several paragraphs referring to terrorism. One such paragraph encourages all States to ratify, or adhere to, international legally binding instruments concerning terrorism and transnational crimes. Another paragraph stipulates that states, appropriate international organisations and regional organisations must be prepared to assist in the eradication of all aspects of illicit trafficking of small arms relevant to narco-trafficking, transnational crimes and terrorism.

    The Program of Action also refers to the tracing of small arms as an important area to promote. Tracing enables the supply lines of weapons, munitions or explosives to be followed, enabling the activities of traffickers to be more easily traced. Japan is a member of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on the issue of tracing, as well as the Core Group of the Geneva Initiative on Traceability. The main goal of this latter group is to prepare a draft gpolitical arrangementh on the traceability of SALW which aims to prevent and reduce the excessive and destabilizing accumulation and transfer of SALW. This would be done by establishing a cooperation mechanism and taking preventative measures, including marking and record keeping. Japan also supports the Geneva Forumfs initiative which aims to combine the efforts of the States and civil society to make their activities more efficient by exchanging information, experiences, and above all by mobilizing intellectual and material resources in this field.

    Thus, it is the priority of the international community to implement this Program of Action, and its experiences and lessons learned will be fed back to the biennial meetings in 2003 and 2005. I sincerely hope that the biennial meeting to be held next year, the first of its kind since the UN Conference, will offer a valuable opportunity for States to learn and exchange views on how to promote the implementation of the Program of Action. Japan has been cooperating with Colombia and South Africa to submit a draft UNGA resolution on small arms in preparation for the 2003 biennial meeting of States, and looks forward to making further contributions to this meeting.

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    4. Counter-Terrorism Efforts Complementary to Traditional Disarmament Instruments

    In order to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons licitly or illicitly, it is essential to regulate domestically the development, production, possession and trafficking of weapons and certain sensitive materials that can be used for weapons. It is also important to ensure the protection and security of such weapons and materials to prevent their theft.

    Traditional disarmament instruments play a crucial role in this respect. The Biological Weapons Convention, for example, obligates States Parties to take any necessary measures to prohibit and prevent the development, production, stockpiling, and use of related substances and weapons within their territories. The full implementation of such provisions by all States should ensure that terrorists are unable to acquire such materials.

    States parties, however, despite sharing the political will to do so, may differ in their ability to effectively and efficiently implement such provisions. Differences in capabilities and resources mean that high standards of regulations and controls are not always ensured, especially in developing countries.

    Thus, traditional disarmament regimes must be complemented by international cooperation on a practical level in order to effectively counter terrorism on a global scale. Assistance to developing countries is essential and should be further pursued in the areas of law enforcement, customs, border control and immigration, among others. In this regard, Japan fully supports the establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) by the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 in its valuable activities focussed on enhancing the capacity of countries to combat terrorism. The Japanese Government is working to see that regional organizations and other fora to which it belongs expand their cooperation with the CTC, and encourages other countries to do the same. It has also registered its technical assistance training programs and has decided to double the number of trainees it will accept for these programs in 2002.

    Finally, I would like to mention the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, agreed upon at the recent Kananaskis Summit. This is an initiative to support specific cooperation projects, particularly in Russia, for the destruction of chemical weapons, the dismantling of decommissioned nuclear submarines, the disposition of surplus plutonium no longer required for defense purposes and the employment of former weapons scientists. The countries concerned, including Japan, are committed to raising up to US$ 20 billion in support of such projects over the coming decade.

    An important question ought to be raised as to how multilateral fora could benefit from, and take advantage of, the momentum for arms control in bilateral and/or major power networks. We must try our utmost to make sure that multilateralism, as embodied by the United Nations and the Conference on Disarmament, can benefit from such momentum and foster a new round of nuclear disarmament treaty negotiations.

  5. DDDR: Disarmament, Development, Democracy, and Reconciliation

Before concluding, let us address some aspects of the root causes of terrorism. I would like to propose a new concept, DDDR (Disarmament, Development, Democracy, and Reconciliation) for post-conflict peace as a follow up to the UNfs post-conflict rehabilitation agenda, namely DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration of former commanders). In other words, DDR could be considered as a more immediate rehabilitation agenda, while DDDR could be its medium-to-longer term version. At the heart of DDDR is disarmament, since, unless the illicit possession and flow of arms are controlled, people will become more dependent on arms than on economic development. Weapons collection is essential to encourage people to work hard for economic development rather than living in fear of violence. Economic development would foster a middle class which would eventually form the social basis for democracy. Democracy and reconciliation would go hand in hand as people develop tolerance for alternative views and differences between societies.

It is essential that the process of DDDR take place with a strong emphasis on sense of ownership on the side of the people of the region, providing the maximum opportunity for indigenous efforts with non-prescriptive international support.

Thank you.