Cablegate: Nz Supports Immediate Fmct Negotiations, But...
DE RUEHWL #0504/01 1860501
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 050501Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2974
INFO RUCNDSC/DISARMAMENT CONFERENCE COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 0473
C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000504
STATE FOR EAP/FO; EAP/ANP; AND ISN/MNSA
GENEVA FOR CD
USUN FOR POL
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/03/2016
TAGS: MNUC PARM PREL KNNP CDG PGOV NZ
SUBJECT: NZ SUPPORTS IMMEDIATE FMCT NEGOTIATIONS, BUT...
REF: STATE 92033
Classified By: DCM David R. Burnett,
for Reasons 1.5 (b) and (d)
1. (C) New Zealand supports immediate negotiations on a
fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) and could accept the
US-proposed mandate as the basis for talks, according to
Caroline McDonald, Director of the Disarmament Division at
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). McDonald
told Pol-Econ Couns that GNZ believes we'd convince other CD
partners to engage in talks if 1) we engage with other
Conference on Disarmament (CD) partners on substantive
discussions (as opposed to negotiations) on the other three
core CD areas, and 2) if we reject an explicit Western Group
endorsement of the US mandate in favor of informal,
cross-regional outreach. McDonald stressed that NZ strongly
agrees with our objectives and differs only on tactics. PE
Couns reminded McDonald that the U.S. supports all CD
objectives but regard the potential for terrorist and rogue
states to acquire nuclear weapons as the most urgent threat
to world security.
2. (C) The following is a GNZ non-paper drafted by NZ's
Geneva mission that summarizes GNZ's position. McDonald
also shared notes from the recent presentation by NZ's Geneva
rep, Don MacKay, at the UNIDIR seminar, in which he made
clear that GNZ favors the destruction of all fissile
materials, not just a moratorium on production.
3. (C) Begin non-paper text:
New Zealand Non-Paper on FMCT
-- New Zealand strongly supports the immediate commencement
of negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT).
-- New Zealand could accept the US-proposed mandate as the
basis for the commencement of those negotiations. During
negotiations, New Zealand would expect to address all issues
relevant to a FMCT, including scope and verification.
-- New Zealand does not believe that explicit joint Western
Group endorsement of the US mandate at this stage would be
helpful in achieving the commencement of negotiations in the
Conference on Disarmament (CD).
-- A strong Western Group push in support of the US mandate
within the CD's current fragile negotiating environment could
be interpreted as an isolationist (FMCT-only) approach and
could further entrench regional group blockages in moving
towards the adoption of a programme of work; a prerequisite
for the commencement of negotiations.
-- We note that a large number of Western Group members share
this concern, and are similarly opposed to group endorsement
of the US mandate at this stage.
-- We see the best way to proceed as to work on a
cross-regional outreach in informal bilateral and small group
settings in order to get buy-in from all regional groups. It
is clear that a solution to the CD's deadlock will require a
mechanism that allows all four of the CD's core issues to be
dealt with in a manner appropriate to each subject.
-- We sense that there is scope for a successful resolution
of the programme of work stand-off in a formula which would
comprise negotiations on a FMCT whilst continuing focused
discussions on PAROS, nuclear disarmament, and negative
-- We share the US assessment that there is increased
flexibility and momentum amongst the CD's membership. We
need to think laterally about how best to turn that
flexibility onto concrete progress. As agreement which meets
our objectives on FMCT negotiations whilst allowing other
countries to buy in to the process by encompassing other core
issues within a discussion framework would preserve the
national security concerns of all States and has the best
potential to enable the CD to recommence substantive work.
End text of non-paper.
4. (C) Comment: GNZ's long-standing belief that we and other
nuclear states should commit now to destroy our nuclear
weapons is well known and has created some friction with us
in the NPT. But we regard GNZ's offer of support for the
FMCT and the non-paper as a genuine attempt to be
constructive, not a back-door means to get us talking on the
elimination of our nuclear stockpile and related materials.