Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Non-Aligned Movement opposes new nuclear weapons, including RRW

Speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) at last month’s conference on facilitating the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in Vienna, Malaysian Ambassador Arshad M. Hussain made clear that the NAM views new nuclear weapons, particularly including the so-called “Reliable Replacement Warhead” (RRW) as inconsistent with significant commitments undertaken by the U.S. Government under the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

“In this regard, NAM wishes to emphasize that the development of new types of nuclear weapons is contrary to the guarantee given by the five nuclear weapon States at the time of the conclusion of the CTBT, namely, that the Treaty would prevent the improvement of existing nuclear weapons and the development of new types of nuclear weapons. Pending the entry into force of the Treaty, we call upon States to refrain from any actions contrary to its objectives and purpose. In this context, NAM is seriously concerned by the decision by a nuclear weapon State to reduce the time necessary to resume nuclear testing to 18 months as a setback to the 2000 NPT Review Conference agreements. The lack of progress in the early entry into force of the CTBT also remains a cause for concern. NAM also notes with concern the recent statement by this nuclear weapon State in July 2007 in which it purportedly justified on the need invest in the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) and thus modernizing its nuclear infrastructure as part of its nuclear deterrent force. This nuclear weapon State even argued that delays on RRW would raise the prospect of having to return to underground nuclear testing, which in our view goes against the spirit and letter of the CTBT. NAM is of the view that the development of new types of nuclear weapons, is in contravention not only with the undertakings provided by the nuclear weapon States at the time of the conclusion of the CTBT, but also with the Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”
This unambiguous statement should inform domestic discussion of likely international reaction to the RRW and other plans to develop new nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons production capabilities, and indefinitely maintain a nuclear arsenal numbering in the thousands of weapons. Specifically, it may be a preview of difficult discussions ahead at the 2010 NPT Review Conference.


  1. Could you link that quote to another source by chance?

  2. Thanks, Zach, for your comment. I did a little googling, but have not been able to find this quote posted anywhere else (I typed it in from a hard copy of the address).