President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Ladies and gentlemen,
I expect this session of the Security Council, invoked through an initiative by President of the United States Barack Obama, to contribute to resolving a variety of international problems, first and foremost in nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.
I believe it is evident to everyone today that security is an indivisible concept. Security is influenced not only by tension in conflict areas around the globe, but also by instability within some nations. If we want the global community’s joint efforts to be effective, we must discuss the problems that have accumulated, openly, thoroughly, and profoundly; we must analyse their every aspect and offer well-balanced common decisions. That is precisely the purpose of the Security Council resolution that we have just approved. The measures contained therein make up a realistic action plan for the international community to respond effectively to nuclear threats of general concern.
Russia has always been a reliable and predictable partner in promoting nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Russia and the United States have undertaken an unprecedented reduction in strategic nuclear arsenals within the framework of Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty [START]. At the same time, we have repeatedly stated that we are ready to go even further, to reduce our arsenals of strategic offensive arms carriers more than three-fold. I now again confirm such an intention. At the moment, this proposal is under discussion and is being negotiated between us and our American partners. As we have agreed with the President of the United States, we are also ready to jointly address the challenges of missile proliferation. We expect that all interested states will get involved with the matter as well.
Today’s session is the prologue to large-scale, serious work, which should have a major effect on improving the global situation. It will involve a summit on nuclear security that is scheduled for next year, as well as a conference where we will look into the performance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and sign a new, legally-binding Russian-American Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. We are doing everything possible to be ready to sign this document by December.
Our common goal is to resolve problems of non-proliferation and disarmament. Clearly, this cannot be done instantaneously as there is too high a level of distrust between states. However, it must be done.
I particularly want to emphasise that the non-proliferation situation is improving less rapidly than we would like. We see that the long-standing, traditional threats have not gone, while new threats are arising. As the other national leaders who have already addressed this session mentioned, one of the most dangerous potential threats is the threat of nuclear components falling into the hands of terrorists. I think you would all agree that the current system of security in this field needs modernisation, and we must brainstorm together on ways to make it updated and effective.
We also need to give some serious attention to the issue of peaceful nuclear energy. No doubt, new nuclear power plants are critical to the resolution of many problems, first and foremost in developing nations; they can stimulate economic growth in entire regions and improve living standards for millions of people all over the world. But nations implementing such programmes must strictly observe non-proliferation agreements. I am specifically emphasising this issue here, at the Security Council.
I would like to talk about what we perceive to be the priorities for international cooperation in this very important area. There are several. First, it is imperative to continue improving and strengthening the global regulations on non-proliferation and disarmament. They should be based on international mechanisms and, most importantly, on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. We should also improve the International Atomic Energy Agency’s system of safeguards and ensure its universal application.
Second, we must strive to urgently sign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and see it ratified by the major nations, which would finally allow for it to go into effect. This is a task of top priority.
Third, we must be more active in employing new non-proliferation mechanisms. I refer to, first and foremost, the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, both proposed by Russia and the United States.
And finally, it is clear that the adequate resolution of many of the above problems depends on the active and constructive participation of all parties.
We count on the Russian-American efforts in this area to be supported by all nuclear states. Non-nuclear states must continue performing their non-proliferation obligations, thus contributing to making the international situation favourable for practical nuclear disarmament.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasise that Russia is ready to continue its energetic efforts in the interests of peace on earth and in the interests of our civilisation’s future.