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SANTO DOMINGO COUNCIL - At a turning point for a sustainable future - the Social Democratic Way Forward

23-24 November 2009

Building on the Council of the Socialist International Declaration “Common Security through Disarmament: 10 Point Plan for a comprehensive disarmament and arms control policy" (“Budva Declaration"), we reaffirm our strong commitment to comprehensive global disarmament.
The Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) takes place in New York in May 2010. After the collapse of the 2005 Review Conference, a successful conclusion will be imperative to strengthen the NPT as the cornerstone of the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime.
We welcome steps taken that send constructive and positive signals to the 2010 Review Conference:
  • At a historic summit meeting presided over President Barack Obama of the United States and addressed by 13 other Heads of State and Government, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1887 (2009) and pledged its backing for broad progress on long-stalled efforts to staunch the proliferation of nuclear weapons and ensure reductions in existing weapons stockpiles, as well as control of fissile material.
  • We welcome the negotiations between U.S. President Obama and Russian President Medvedev to cut the American and Russian nuclear arsenals by as much as a third, laying out a path to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that will expire in December 2009. President Obama’s decision to cancel the deployment of ABM systems in Poland and Czech Republic is a positive step but it is not clear what will be the consequences of a new system suggested by the Obama Administration. The conclusion of negotiations by the end of 2009 would send out a signal that nuclear weapon states are prepared to follow their obligations to disarm under Art VI of the NPT.
  • We seek a safer world for all and to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons, in accordance with the goals of the NPT, in a way that promotes international stability, and based on the principle of undiminished security for all - in order to enhance chances for a successful conclusion of the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
  • We call on States that are not yet signatories of the NPT, to accede to it. We also call on States parties to comply fully with their obligations and to set realistic goals to strengthen, at the 2010 Review Conference, all three of the Treaty’s pillars - disarmament of countries currently possessing nuclear weapons, non-proliferation to countries not yet in possession, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy for all.
  • We advocate the implementation of the outcome of the NPT Review 1995 and of the 13 Practical Steps programme agreed at the NPT Review in 2000. In particular we demand the development of nuclear-weapon-free zones, especially in regions of tension, such as in the Middle East, as well as the establishment of zones free of all weapons of mass destruction. We demand to continue the moratorium on nuclear testing and the urgent ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). We welcome President Obama’s statement in Prague, to “aggressively and immediately seek ratification of the CTBT” and encourage US Congress to send a signal that would open the door for new momentum in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
  • We call upon the Conference on Disarmament to quickly negotiate a treaty banning the production of fissile materials for explosive devices (FMCT). We welcome the Conference on Disarmament’s adoption by consensus of its Program of Work in 2009. We appeal to all Member States of the CD to reestablish full consensus on its Program of Work and to guide the Conference to an early commencement of substantive work.
  • We urge the nuclear weapons states to commit to a policy of no first use of nuclear weapons and demand concrete agreed measures to further reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons systems and a diminished role for nuclear weapons in security policies. This would minimize the risk that these weapons ever be used and facilitate the process of their total elimination. We welcome President Obama’s pledge in Prague to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in US national security strategy and encourage US Congress to critically review the US Nuclear Posture.
  • We recall the statements by each of the five nuclear-weapon States, noted by UNSC resolution 984 (1995), and demand binding security guarantees not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states and nuclear weapons free zones. Such security assurances strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime of the NPT.
  • We urge for the further reduction of non-strategic nuclear weapons, based on unilateral initiatives and as an integral part of the nuclear arms reduction and disarmament process.
In the long run, significant cuts in nuclear warheads and stockpiles cannot be reached without complementary conventional arms control. Further, deep strategic reductions will require agreements over missile defense. A new arms race of missile defense systems must be prevented. We urge to limit these systems in an arms control framework and call upon states to adopt a reformed ABM treaty with a global reach.