Cablegate: G-8 Nonproliferation Directors Group Meeting,

Published: Fri 30 Nov 2007 09:54 AM
DE RUEHRL #2141/01 3340954
P 300954Z NOV 07 ZDK
E.O. 12958: N/A
1. (SBU) Summary: ISN DAS Andrew Semmel visited Berlin
November 27 to participate in the final G-8 Nonproliferation
Directors Group Meeting (NPDG) of the German presidency.
Delegates expressed disappointment with the lack of agreement
on a work program at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and
agreed to consider issuing a statement of support for the
organization. Notwithstanding the lack of consensus in the
UN First Committee and related implications for future arms
control and nonproliferation activities, most participants
anticipated that the next NPT Preparatory Committee (PrepCom)
meeting would focus to a greater extent on substantive issues
than the previous PrepCom. Delegates showed considerable
interest in the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement and
made clear NSG approval would require PGs to decide on the
basis of political, rather than technical, considerations.
Participants described the current state of play of national
and cooperative offers to provide multilateral nuclear fuel
supply assurances. Most participants said they would
continue to oppose the USG-supported moratorium on transfers
of sensitive nuclear technology. Delegates were generally
skeptical about the prospects for progress with Iran. Most
expressed satisfaction with efforts currently underway with
the DPRK, but wondered how much the North Koreans would
reveal in their declaration. Germany reported on its efforts
on behalf of the G-8 to promote universalization of the
Additional Protocol and UNSCR 1540. Japan outlined four foci
for next year and said it would give nonproliferation a high
priority during its G-8 presidency. End Summary.
Conference on Disarmament
2. (SBU) Participants' assessments of the state of play in
the CD were generally pessimistic. All noted that only three
states of the 65 CD members were disinclined to go along with
the six presidents' program of work (L.1 and that Pakistan
was the most recalcitrant. France did not share the negative
assessment of othrs and said that since Pakistan could not
be coninced, L.1 supporters should devote greater energy to
convincing China to accept negotiations on a fissile material
cutoff treaty (FMCT). Others countered that Pakistan, not
China, was the problem. The Russian delegate also wondered
what Israel would do if it could no longer hide behind China,
Pakistan, and Iran.
3. (SBU) Japan, the incoming G-8 Chair for 2008, suggested a
joint G-8 demarche in support of the L.1 program of work or
FMCT negotiations. France and Canada objected, however, on
the grounds that a demarche from the G-8, which is perceived
as a Western/Northern grouping, might be counterproductive.
After further discussion, the group tentatively agreed to a
U.S. suggestion that the G-8 express support for the CD in
general. Germany and Japan (as current and incoming chairs)
will consult and circulate a draft that could be issued
before the start of the 2008 CD session in late January.
UN General Assembly First Committee
4. (SBU) Participants agreed with the chair's assessment that
the discussion at the First Committee (UNFC) revealed a lack
of consensus on nonproliferation and disarmament issues and
speculated that work at upcoming events, including the 2008
NPT PrepCom, would be difficult. The chair noted in
particular the failure of efforts to introduce a resolution
on the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile
Proliferation (HCOC) and deplored the fact that Canada was
not able to introduce an FMCT resolution. He noted that it
was not possible for a single nuclear resolution to win the
support of all nuclear weapon states (NWS). The U.S. and
France stressed the need for NWS to continue efforts to
enumerate and explain their disarmament achievements (Russia
made the same point in the subsequent NPT discussion), but at
the same time France thought it would be a big mistake to
divert attention from the key problem of proliferation.
Prospects for the NPT Review Process
5. (SBU) In contrast to the UNFC discussion, speakers were
positive about prospects for the 2008 NPT PrepCom meeting.
Several (UK, Russia, Canada) urged a focus on all three
pillars of the NPT - peaceful uses, as well as
nonproliferation and disarmament. States noted that several
papers that had not been considered in 2007 because of
procedural wrangling could provide the basis for discussion
in 2008. The EU Council said that the issue of a Middle East
Nuclear Weapon Free Zone would play an important role in the
PrepCom and said the EU Institute of Security Studies in
Paris would organize a seminar on the subject in early 2008.
Canada and the Chair agreed that nuclear weapon free zones
would be a major issue.
6. (SBU) The U.S. observed that parties at the 2007 PrepCom
agreed on many issues and yet there was no agreed text
because of the principle that "nothing is agreed until
everything is agreed." He wondered whether it might be
possible in the future to formalize partial agreement. The
Chair was skeptical, expressing doubt about the possibility
of getting away from a package deal.
Multilateral Approaches to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle
7. (SBU) Delegates noted the "proliferation" of approaches to
providing supply assurances and mentioned steps they were
taking to move their own proposals forward.
-- The German Multilateral Enrichment Sanctuary Proposal has
received support from the Bundestag. The Max Planck
Institute is drafting a model supply agreement. To get the
non-aligned (NAM) on board, Germany, the Netherlands, and the
UK will hold a meeting with the NAM in February.
-- The Russian proposal is aimed at providing fuel services.
A deal has been worked out with Kazakhstan. Another will
soon be concluded with Armenia. Russia is also negotiating
with the IAEA on providing safeguards to its buffer stock.
When an agreement is reached - not easy because the IAEA was
unenthusiastic about spending resources on safeguards in a
NWS - it would be presented to the IAEA Board of Governors
-- Japan emphasized the importance of comprehensive
safeguards and the Additional Protocol as a condition of
supply in any multilateral approach.
-- The UK noted that PM Brown raised the "enrichment bond"
proposal in a key foreign policy speech, showing the
importance the UK attaches to the idea. The British aim for
a market-driven solution, but nonproliferation elements
remain essential.
8. (SBU) The moratorium on the transfer of sensitive
technology, in particular enrichment and reprocessing
technology, was also raised in this discussion. Russia
called attention to the attraction of a "latent deterrent,"
created by the possession of nuclear technology as a reason
to elaborate an alternative to the possession of enrichment
and reprocessing (ENR) technology. Canada said it was not
seeking a latent deterrent, but it had an industry to
protect. The Canadian delegate referred to PM Harper's June
2007 letter to President Bush stating that Canada would not
accept reference to a moratorium on ENR transfer in next
year's G-8 Summit declaration. Canada thinks a ban is
ineffective and unfair, and does not address the "real
problem" of illicit transfers. The U.S. replied that U.S.
and Canadian experts were consulting to see if a compromise
could be worked out and noted further that the U.S. has begun
downblending 17.4 MT of HEU to LEU for a nuclear fuel
reserve. France said that lack of G-8 consensus complicates
the group's efforts to convince the Third World that the G-8
is serious about guarantees.
U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement
9. (SBU) The U.S. briefed the group on the status of the
deal, stressing the need to get it to U.S. Congress as soon
as possible in an election year. Among other points, the
U.S. noted that several key decision points lay ahead,
including India-IAEA negotiations on a safeguards agreement,
a decision by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to grant an
India exception to its guidelines, U.S. Congress approval,
and the successful outcome of the political debate in India.
Participants praised U.S. transparency in discussing this
issue, raised numerous questions on sequencing and timing,
and emphasized that a NSG decision to grant a one-time
exception for India would likely require a political, rather
than technical, decision by Participating Governments.
Delegates also stressed the importance of allowing sufficient
time for consultations within capitals in advance of a final
NSG decision.
Nuclear Suppliers Group Preparations
10. (SBU) The Chair reported that preparations are on track
for the meeting in Berlin on May 22-23, preceded by a
Consultative Group meeting on May 19-22. The primary item on
the agenda will be the India agreement. Russia said it was
thinking of adding an item on "complying with the NSG's
confidentiality rule," with respect to denial of dual-use
items in light of recent breaches of that rule.
11. (SBU) The group briefly discussed the upcoming
Solana-Jalili meeting on November 30, which the Chair did not
expect to be successful. He thought that now was the time
for a follow-on UN Security Council Resolution to UNSCR 1747.
Japan also favored a follow-on resolution. Several members
points to the sense of urgency and the need for maintaining
coherence in the UN Security Council.
12. (SBU) Japan welcomed the DPRK's actions to disable the
Yongbyan facilities and reported that a Japanese expert had
arrived that day to join the project in Pyongyang. The U.S.
also reported on its activities in the DPRK, noting that
cooperation on disablement activity thus far has been good
and that problems are being resolved, but it remains to be
seen whether the DPRK will meet U.S. expectations by
including its uranium program in its promised declaration.
Russia argued that the positive developments in the DPRK
showed that urgent issues could be solved with political will
and diplomacy, not sanctions. The French delegate later
reminded the Russian delegate that UN sanctions had played an
important role in convincing the DPRK to return and
participate constructively in Six-Party Talks. The Chair
concluded that he was sure Japan would keep the issue on the
agenda next year and noted the importance of keeping a focus
on the DPRK to ensure that it "came clean."
Universalization of the Additional Protocol and UNSCR 1540
13. (SBU) The Chair circulated two papers reporting on
demarches carried out on behalf of the G-8 regarding the
Universalization of the Additional Protocol (AP) and UNSCR
1540. The results were positive on the Addition Protocol, as
several additional countries, including Nigeria and
Kazakhstan, had ratified. Others, he noted, are close to
completing ratification.
14. (SBU) The Chair noted that much remains to be done on
1540 implementation and that further consultations in New
York are necessary. He also reported that the EU had
undertaken Joint Actions to promote universalization of the
BWC, CWC, and CTBT and had made a special effort to promote
the HCOC. Russia reported that the AP is now in force for
the Russian Federation. Japan noted it would continue the
effort in its G-8 presidency.
Outlook for the Japanese Presidency
15. (SBU) Japan outlined the overall priorities for its 2008
G-8 Presidency: environment/climate change, development and
Africa, the global economy, and political issues. Japan
reported that nonproliferation would be the major focus under
political issues. Within that framework Japan will focus the
NPDG's work on regional issues, in particular the DPRK and
Iran; the Global Partnership (GP), where they plan to
emphasize expansion to other countries rather than extension
beyond 2012 (Comment: Japan also seems to envisage giving the
NPDG a greater supervisory role over the GP.); possible risks
associated with peaceful uses of nuclear energy; and
strengthening international nonproliferation efforts.
16. (SBU) The Japanese plan to include nonproliferation in a
planned 10-page (maximum) Summit declaration, rather than
issuing a separate nonproliferation statement. If all topics
of importance cannot be addressed in the Summit declaration,
Japan would consider the possibility of the NPDG itself
issuing a statement that would be endorsed by Leaders. The
schedule of proposed NPDG meetings is: January 31, February
28, March 27, April 24, and June 5 (all Thursdays). At each
meeting the group will decide if the next one is necessary.
All meetings will take place in Tokyo, except the last, which
Japan expects to hold in a provincial city.
17. (SBU) Because of the press of time, the Global
Partnership and Biological Weapons issues were not discussed.
18. (U) Participation:
Germany - Ruediger Luedeking (Chair)
Japan - Takeshi Nakane
Italy - Antonio Catalano di Melilli
Canada - Mark Gwodecky
France - Philippe Carre
UK - Paul Arkwright
U.S. - Andrew Semmel
Russia - Oleg Rozhkov
EU Council - Annalisa Giannella
EU Commission - Bruno Dupre
19. (U) DAS Semmel has cleared this cable.
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