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 Home > News & Policies > June 2003

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 25, 2003

Joint Statement on Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
Joint Statement by President George W. Bush, European Council President Konstandinos Simitis, and European Commission President Romano Prodi on the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems constitutes a major threat to international peace and security. The threat is compounded by the interest of terrorists in acquiring WMD. This would undermine the foundations of international order. We pledge to use all means available to avert WMD proliferation and the calamities that would follow.

We will work together to strengthen the international system of treaties and regimes against the spread of WMD. This implies the development of new regimes, as appropriate, and reinforcement of existing regimes. We will pursue the goal of universal membership of relevant multilateral treaties and agreements.

We will seek to ensure strict implementation and compliance. We are willing to work with all those who respect international nonproliferation norms; we are committed to dealing effectively with those who ignore them or cheat.

We will support, when necessary, non-routine inspections.

We recognize that, if necessary, other measures in accordance with international law may be needed to combat proliferation.

We will work together to deploy our combined political and diplomatic influence most effectively in support of our nonproliferation objectives.

We will work together to develop further a common assessment of global proliferation threats.

We welcome the statement on nonproliferation by European Union Heads of State and Government at Thessaloniki and the G8 Declaration of the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. We reaffirm our joint commitment to relevant treaties and agreements, in particular the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. We will work together in all areas to stop and reverse proliferation.

In particular:

We will explore ways to make the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols a standard for nuclear cooperation and nonproliferation. We urge all States with nuclear facilities or activities to ratify and implement these Agreements and Protocols without delay. Furthermore, on an urgent and exceptional basis, taking account of the increase in the Agency's workload in this area, we will support an adequate increase in the IAEA safeguards budget to ensure the credibility of the IAEA's verification system.

We will strengthen both export controls on materials and technologies related to WMD and their delivery systems as well as their enforcement and implementation. We believe that national controls should include criminal penalties for the illegal export, transshipment or brokering of weapons of mass destruction, missile delivery systems, and materials or technology for use in WMD or missile programs. We will work together with like-minded partners to tighten export controls, where necessary providing assistance to create and improve effective, enforceable national export control systems. We agree to introduce catch-all provisions, where appropriate. We will share information so as to identify new patterns of procurement by State and non-State actors. We will seek new methods to stop the proliferation trade to and from countries and entities of proliferation concern.

We will work together in the framework of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) to strengthen national control over pathogenic micro-organisms and toxins and, in the framework of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), to foster the elimination of all chemical weapons.

We will strengthen identification, control and interdiction of illegal shipments, including national criminal sanctions against those who contribute to illicit procurement efforts.

We emphasize the importance of cooperative threat reduction programs with third countries.

We will cooperate actively to address specific proliferation challenges. In particular:

We condemn North Korea's nuclear weapons program and its failure to comply with the IAEA safeguards agreement, which undermine the nonproliferation regime. We call on North Korea to refrain from any action that would further aggravate the problem. We strongly urge North Korea to visibly, verifiably, and irreversibly dismantle that program and to come into full compliance with international nonproliferation obligations, as a fundamental step to facilitate a comprehensive and peaceful solution.

We express our continuing serious concern at Iran's nuclear program, in particular as regards the pursuit of a full nuclear fuel cycle, as announced by President Khatami. We are troubled by the information in the IAEA's report detailing Iran's failures to meet its safeguards obligations, and we fully support ongoing investigation by the IAEA to answer the unresolved questions and concerns identified in that report. Iran must cooperate fully with the IAEA, remedy all failures and answer all questions. It must also sign and implement an Additional Protocol, without delay or conditions, as a significant first step towards addressing those concerns.

We remain concerned at the pursuit of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, and missiles for their delivery by a number of other States. We will continue to monitor these closely and to exchange information, including with other concerned States.

Proliferation is a threat not only to our security, but also to the wider international system. We call for a halt to proliferation activities in a way that is demonstrable and verifiable. Nonproliferation is a global challenge which requires a multifaceted solution. We need to tackle it individually and collectively -- working together and with other partners, including through relevant international institutions, in particular those of the United Nations system.

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