Cablegate: September 3 U.S.-Eu Troika Consultations On Arms

Published: Wed 29 Sep 2004 10:16 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
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1. (SBU) Summary: The U.S. and the Dutch EU presidency on
September 3 conducted semi-annual CODUN consultations in
Brussels on UN disarmament issues. Subjects covered included
U.S./EU priorities, UNFC, UNDC, CD, FMCT, landmines, CWB,
BWC, CCW, CTBT, Libya, Luxembourg,s upcoming EU presidency,
and potential changes in Dutch representation at the CD.
Participants are listed in para 23 below.
Action items:
-- Para 13: The Dutch asked whether it would be useful for
the EU to mediate U.S.-Russian differences over Aberdeen and
other CW facilities. The EU was serious about wanting to be
of assistance in breaking the deadlock. The U.S. side
undertook to report the EU,s offer to Washington and
communicate any U.S. reaction through USEU.
-- Para 20: On the U.S.-EU Summit declaration, the U.S.
promised fuller comment during September 28 CONOP
End Summary.
U.S. and EU Priorities
2. (SBU) U.S. and EU delegations met in Brussels on September
3 for semi-annual consultations on UN disarmament issues.
Reviewing EU priorities, which focused on advancing the EU's
WMD strategy paper, the EU side highlighted revitalization of
the UNGA First Committee (UNFC); promotion of multilateral
agreements, including the Comprehensive-Test-Ban Treaty
(CTBT); adoption of a work program for the Conference on
Disarmament (CD); improving control of man-portable air
defense systems (MANPADS), which was more important than
ever, due to potential use by terrorists; and encouragement
of universal acceptance of the Ottawa Convention on
anti-personnel mines. The U.S. side remarked on the improved
political atmosphere in arms control discussions in New York
and Geneva, which it hoped would prove sustainable.
Delegation members pointed to reform of the UNFC as an issue
that remained a U.S. priority, and expressed optimism about
continued cooperation to this end with the EU.
UNGA First Committee
3. (SBU) The U.S. welcomed the EU's response to last year's
First Committee resolution on improvement, noting that we
plan to follow up this year with a draft resolution
recommending specific measures to enhance the Committee's
working methods. The U.S. hoped to be able to share this
with the EU soon. The U.S. also is exploring with Russia the
possibility of introducing a joint draft resolution on
bilateral nuclear arms reductions; the Russians seem
interested, but we are still considering specific resolution
language. Elaborating on reform, the U.S. noted that changes
can take place only gradually, with leadership from key
countries on measures such as reducing the number of agenda
items. It was for this reason that the U.S. response to the
UN had cited the work of specific governments as proof that
other countries had provided contributions of merit.
4. (SBU) The EU side replied that the EU would look at the
U.S. draft resolution with great interest, and predicted that
it would be in line with EU thinking. The willingness of
national governments to merge resolutions was not something
that the EU Presidency could prescribe -- the Presidency
could encourage them to do so, but could not actually make
them. The EU presidency noted its strong interest in
coordinating in New York "at 25, " which it was finding
"quite a challenge." On some topics, EU member states would
have to work things out on their own rather than through the
EU. The EU was working toward common positions on
resolutions where there used to be split votes, although only
it was likely that the EU would only be able to agree on one
common position. The bad news was that a new resolution on
The Hague Code of Conduct (HCOC) was in the work; this would
be another draft resolution to add to the UNFC,s agenda,
despite our common efforts at reduction.
5. (SBU) The EU then sought U.S. views on the Argentine draft
resolution on Confidence and Security Building Measures
(CSBMs) and on the draft MANPADS resolution. Regarding the
Argentine CSBM draft, the U.S. side explained that the U.S.
had encouraged Argentina to table its resolution to preserve
the work on conventional CBMs that the UNDC had conducted
during 2001-03. The U.S. might co-sponsor that resolution
and the draft MANPADS resolution.
United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC)
6. (SBU) The U.S. side was not optimistic about the prospects
for the UNDC. U.S. representatives expressed their
disappointment that the EU -- despite productive discussions
with the Irish EU Presidency in January -- did not consult
with the U.S. before tabling a draft agenda last April. The
U.S. side recalled that the Non-Aligned refused to consider
the EU proposals, preferring to negotiate on the basis of the
U.S. proposals for the UNDC agenda, and that the EU had to
seek U.S. support to participate in those negotiations. The
Dutch EU presidency seemed uninformed about those events, but
accepted that U.S.-EU communications on the UNDC had broken
down at some point. The EU sought clarification of the U.S.
assertion that the future of the UNDC needed to be
reconsidered. The U.S. replied that the U.S. will propose to
the UNDC chair (Georgia) devoting one year to examining UNDC
institutional reform. If the impasse over the UNDC agenda is
not resolved during the first week of the First Committee,
the U.S. might table an alternate draft resolution. The EU
side reiterated that it continued to view the UNDC as an
important forum for allowing non-CD countries to express
their opinions, but that EU member states agreed that the
UNDC could be improved.
Conference on Disarmament (CD)
7. (SBU) The EU underscored concerns about the lack of a CD
work program for the eighth straight year. How long can a
body that does not do anything be kept alive? The U.S.
commented that the history of the "Five Ambassadors" (A-5)
proposal for a CD work program has led the U.S. to conclude
that it is unlikely to command consensus in the future.
Realistically, it also is highly unlikely that a
long-inactive CD currently could take on more than one or two
negotiations at the same time; as a result, the U.S. has been
urging the CD to agree to begin work on the U.S. proposals on
FMCT and persistent landmines -- it is an opportunity for a
fresh start. Though this year,s CD session would end on
September 10, the debate generated by the two U.S. proposals
has served as a useful platform from which the U.S. and the
EU should work in tandem to develop a consensus on a program
of work early next year. The U.S. hoped that EU governments
will instruct their delegations in Geneva to support the U.S.
proposals without linkage to other issues or within a
balancing formula.
8. (SBU) The Dutch EU Presidency noted an evolution in EU
thinking, and suggested that "packaging" might be the only
way toward establishing a program of work. Delinking, from
the EU,s perspective, would unravel the possibility of
getting anything done. The U.S. side reiterated that each
prospective CD agenda item should be considered on its own
merits, and that efforts to link them constitute a formula
for continued stalemate at the CD.
Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT)
9. (SBU) The EU side welcomed the conclusion of the U.S.
review on the FMCT, and asked for a brief readout of U.S.
briefings in Geneva earlier that week, which had focused on
verification. The U.S. side reported that consultations had
gone well and had included contacts with a broad range of
delegations, but were only the start of a long process. The
U.S. would seek early action in January at the CD for a
negotiating mandate, but would maintain that the FMCT, unlike
the NPT or other agreements, was not verifiable. If Canada
reintroduced its traditional verification resolution in the
UNFC, the U.S. would not be able to support it if its text
were similar to that of past years. The Dutch EU Presidency
then asked how the GON and/or the EU could pose FMCT
questions to the USG. The U.S. side invited the EU
Presidency to forward any questions regarding an FMCT through
either USEU or State/AC/ISN.
Persistent Landmines
10. (SBU) The EU side stated that the EU was studying the
U.S. proposal at the CD for an international agreement to ban
the sale or export of all persistent landmines, but cautioned
that most EU countries give priority to existing instruments,
especially the Ottawa Convention. The U.S. side reiterated
its hope that EU governments at the CD will be able to
support negotiations on this subject early next year,
pointing out that the U.S. had chosen the CD as the venue in
order to avoid confusion with the Ottawa Convention or other
demining issues.
Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)
11. (SBU) The U.S. side stated that this fall's Conference of
CWC States Parties would mark the mid-point of the Article II
Action Plan on national implementation of the Convention. It
is an ideal opportunity to assess progress to date and to set
the agenda for the coming year, and the U.S. sees meaningful
progress in a number of capitals on implementing measures.
The past year also has been an exercise in gathering data
about the status of implementation in various countries and
the obstacles that they face. One frequent problem is that
many countries indicate that they are having difficulty and
would welcome assistance, but appear to have only vague ideas
concerning the sort of assistance needed. Giving this issue
a high profile at the Conference will maintain pressure; it
also will let us "fine tune" the second year of the Action
12. (SBU) The EU side replied that CWC was a successful
treaty and a successful organization; under its new
leadership, it was well under way to fulfilling its mandate.
EU policies dovetailed with U.S. remarks about some countries
not having implemented all the provisions, and the EU hoped
that financial contributions would help those countries along
the way. The European Commission (EC) representative noted
that this was part of the EU's WMD strategy, and that the EU
representative for WMD nonproliferation efforts, Annalisa
Giannella, has discussed this issue with the OPCW. They were
considering three areas of effort: supporting OPCW action on
CWC universalization (conferences, etc); supporting national
implementation with technical or other assistance; and
chemical sector cooperation programs. The EC rep noted other
EC programs: with the Russians on the construction of CW
destruction facilities at Gorny; with the U.S. and the UK on
CW facilities at Shchuch,ye and Kambarka; and with the
Germans, as well as preliminary talks with Sweden. The EU's
proposed budget for 2007-2013 dedicated additional funding to
disarmament and non-proliferation, and could support chemical
weapons destruction, especially in Russia.
13. (SBU) Looking at the OPCW,s draft budget for 2005, the
U.S. side pointed to the proposed 4.8 percent increase,
remarking that, although the U.S. has not finalized its
position on this proposal, it is inconsistent with overall
U.S. budget policy in favor of zero-nominal-growth budgets in
international organizations. The U.S. and EU members should
work hard for a budget agreement at the October Executive
Council session; budget negotiations at the Conference
usually are an opportunity for Non-Aligned "crisis" tactics
to increase funding. The EU side replied that the EU had
discussed the 4.8 percent funding increase the previous day.
Some member states felt that the increase would be hard to
agree to, but saw value in extra funding for OPCW for
additional inspections. The EU would review this again in
The Hague on September 9. On challenge inspections, the EU
now was developing a draft OPCW action plan that it hoped to
discuss with key WEOG partners, including the U.S. The EU
side also asked about Aberdeen, inquiring whether it would be
useful for U.S.-Russian discussions to be opened to others.
The U.S. side undertook to report the EU interest to
Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)
14. (SBU) Reviewing the July experts' meeting on disease
surveillance, suspicious outbreaks, and alleged use of BW,
the U.S. side described the gathering as very successful,
providing a useful opportunity to exchange information and
enhance international contacts. The U.S. believed that this
and other meetings encourage BWC States Parties to implement
the BWC, and hoped that all States Parties would be able to
report by 2006 that they have fully implemented the
Convention -- an imperative reinforced by UN Security Council
Resolution 1540. This year's meetings already have made
progress, but an Annual Meeting document drafted by Chairman
Goosen would need to highlight strengthening public health
networks and mechanisms for disease surveillance; increasing
support for the World Health Organization and other
international bodies; agreement for prompt notification of an
outbreak; and improved coordination and assistance among
States Parties on public health and disease surveillance.
The EU side agreed with the overall positive assessment of
the experts' meeting in Geneva, particularly the constructive
participation, including by NAM countries, and little
politicization, other than Iranian efforts. The EU side
added that both sides needed to collaborate on keeping
politicization out and enforcing discipline on the NAM in
steering the agenda for the Meeting of States Parties in
December. The EU will coordinate with the U.S. on this in
--------------------------------------------- ---
Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)
--------------------------------------------- ---
15. (SBU) The EU side affirmed that, regarding mines other
than anti-personnel mines (MOTAPM), it was too early to find
a common denominator between a total ban and unconstrained
use. The EU wished to integrate the Irish proposal with
other parameters for mine use. On Explosive Remnants of War
(ERW), the EU highlighted the successful adoption of Protocol
V and said that it would push for rapid entry into force.
The EU envisioned a two-stage approach to compliance,
beginning with a consultation process, followed by the
subscription by States Parties to more stringent regulations.
These would include the referral of violations to a
committee of experts, followed by a fact-finding mission.
(COMMENT: The latter stage is one that the EU would like to
add to current procedure. END COMMENT) This would require
either creating a new protocol, or amending/adding on a less
formal agreement that would be faster, yet politically (vice
legally) binding. The EU may call for consultations on this
subject under Article 13.
16. (SBU) The U.S. side stated that Washington was prepared
to continue the discussions of measures to prevent munitions
from becoming ERW. The U.S. supported calls by several
states, including The Netherlands, to focus on implementation
of existing best practices and safeguards, including the
implementation of the new ERW protocol by states in a
position to do so. The international community should
evaluate the implementation of the ERW protocol that was just
negotiated before any consideration is given to starting a
new negotiation on this subject. The U.S. Administration
currently is reviewing the protocol to determine whether to
submit it to the Senate to seek its advice and consent to
ratification. In any case, the U.S. could not support a
moratorium or ban on the use of cluster munitions, as some
NGOs are advocating. Such munitions have a legitimate role
in military operations, and do not necessarily create greater
humanitarian problems than other munitions.
17. (SBU) The U.S. side observed that the U.S. and the EU are
generally on the same track regarding MOTAPM. The U.S, which
plans to get rid of all its persistent landmines, could
support the Irish proposal. We are urging fellow co-sponsors
of the 30-nation proposal to take it on board, and have found
encouraging the apparent movement of India towards the
approach set forth in this proposal. However, China, Russia,
and Pakistan still reject the need for a MOTAPM protocol,
arguing that the detectability and
self-destruct/self-deactivate requirements could create
military problems or be too expensive to implement. The U.S.
intended to approach those governments bilaterally during the
intersessional period to demonstrate that reasonable
restraints on MOTAPM can be agreed without prejudicing
legitimate security concerns, and encouraged similar efforts
by EU countries. The U.S. also is urging NGOs to make clear
that anti-vehicle mines are indeed a humanitarian problem,
and plans to work with Germany to fund a study on this issue
through the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian
Demining (GICHD). The U.S. plans to meet with the Russians
in early October to review their technical concerns; their
willingness to engage in this way gives us some hope that we
can bring them around. The U.S. does not believe that
another mandate for the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE)
is necessary for the group to negotiate on a MOTAPM protocol.
The current mandate provides sufficient authority, and those
who want to obstruct progress will use a debate on revising
the GGE mandate to prevent action.
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)
18. (SBU) The EU noted the great importance that it attaches
to the treaty's entry into force, which is one of the 13
Steps agreed to at the 2000 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Review Conference and slated to be reviewed at next year,s
RevCon. The U.S. reaffirmed its opposition to the CTBT and
its intention not to ratify the CTBT. That said, the U.S.
funds and participate in 95 percent of Preparatory Commission
activities, and continues to observe a nuclear testing
moratorium. The two sides then discussed potential
leadership changes at the IAEA and the Provisional Technical
Secretariat (PTS). The U.S. asserted that succession in
these organizations should be considered in the context of
turnover in other UN agencies over the next year, but hoped
that the process for seeking a new PTS Executive-Secretary
would move ahead in order to ensure a smooth transition next
year. Asked for EU views on succession issues, EU
participants offered little on the PTS, but said that IAEA
Director-General el-Baradei could, under the two-term/12-year
rule, have a third term, as he has been in office for less
than twelve years. The U.S. side also mentioned that the
unfavorable exchange rate between the dollar and the euro,
among other issues, have placed serious constraints on the
availability of funds for the U.S. assessment for 2005, and
could shape our response to possible G-77 calls for budget
cuts at the November meeting.
19. (SBU) FYI: AC/ISN Director Robert Luaces was laying out
the U.S. case against the CTBT when his wristwatch alarm
unexpectedly went off. After a momentary silence captured
the meeting room, Luaces quipped, : that was
Washington alerting me that I,m saying too many positive
things about the CTBT. I,d better stop now, before my watch
explodes and takes my wrist with it!8 A brief bout of
laughter ensued. END FYI
US-EU Summit Declaration
20. (SBU) The EU side reviewed the statement, noting that the
EU continues to promote the universalization of disarmament
and non-proliferation treaties. Many of the follow-up issues
were more appropriate for CONOP. The EU supported UNSCR
1540, which lists steps that states should take to counter
proliferation of WMD and its delivery systems, and planned to
report as early as possible ) hopefully, by the October 28
deadline -- on the status of European efforts. As the
relevant competences within the EU usually were national,
rather than European, there would be separate EU and national
reporting to reflect these differences. Regarding the IAEA
Additional Protocol, the EU had undertaken a round of
demarches, and found that non-adherence in most countries was
a matter of institutional delays, rather than of policy. On
the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, the EU Presidency had
done a quick survey and determined that member states planned
to attend at the senior policymaking (vice political) level.
On the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear
Materials, there were some difficulties within the EU,
including admittedly tepid support from The Netherlands.
Regarding the Hague Code of Conduct (HCOC) against ballistic
missile proliferation, the EU supported universal adherence,
and had sent out a round of demarches aimed at increasing
support for the Chilean resolution in the First Committee and
asking non-adherents to become parties. The U.S. side
thanked the EU side for this review, and promised to provide
responses on these issues during the September 28 U.S.-EU
CONOP meeting.
21. (SBU) The EU side asked for an update on WMD
dismantlement efforts in Iraq and Libya, and was particularly
interested in what the U.S. was doing to assist unemployed
WMD scientists. The U.S. side explained that Washington was
looking at expanding our current program with the Russians
and trying similar work with Libya, which was made various
proposals regarding conversion of its CW production facility
at Rabta. The EU Presidency described a "complete meeting of
minds" within the EU on conversion, although the details
still needed to be worked out. Both sides agreed on the
importance of ensuring that Libya not see its WMD
renunciation as an opportunity to seek "rewards" for good
22. (SBU) The Luxembourgeois informed the U.S. side on the
margins of the meeting that the GOL has asked The Netherlands
to continue to represent the EU presidency on CODUN and CONOP
issues during Luxembourg,s EU presidency during the first
half of 2005. The Dutch confirmed this arrangement. The
Dutch also stated privately that, if the CD failed to adopt a
program of work by the end of the extended Dutch EU
presidency in June 2005, The Hague would to consider
closing its separate diplomatic representation at the CD.
Were this to happen, The Netherlands UN Mission in Geneva
would represent the GON at the CD. (COMMENT: Of 65 CD
member states, only twelve (including the U.S.) have separate
delegations in Geneva accredited to the CD. END COMMENT)
23. (U) AC/ISN Director Robert Luaces led the U.S.
delegation, which included U.S. CD Deputy Representative
Thomas Cynkin and USEU PolOff Maren Smith (notetaker). The
Dutch EU Presidency was represented by MFA Nonproliferation
and Nuclear Affairs Director Paul Wilke, Deputy Director of
the Arms Control and Arms Export Policy Division Freek
Keppels, Policy Officer Elke Merks-Schaapveld, and CD Deputy
Representative Daniel Prins. Robert Lauer and Tim Kesseler
attended for the upcoming Luxembourgeois EU Presidency.
Council Secretariat participants were Andreas Strub, Tomas
Reyes-Ortega, and Jean-Claude Brunet from the Office of the
Personal Representative of the High Representative for
Non-Proliferation of WMD. Commission attendees were Marc
Deffrennes, Head of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament
Unit; Laura Ligouri, from the Non-Proliferation and
Disarmament Unit; and U.S. Desk Officer Andrew Denison. This
meeting marked the broadest EU representation at U.S.-EU
CODUN consultations in recent memory.
24. (U) AC/ISN Director Luaces has cleared this cable.
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