Closing Statement by South Africa at the 2005 NPT Review Conference: delivered by Mr Abdul Samad Minty

Mr President,

I should like to join other delegations in expressing our sincere appreciation for your untiring efforts to forge a consensus on the outcome of this Review Conference. You have discharged your responsibility with great integrity.

South Africa would like to associate itself with the statement by Malaysia on behalf of the NAM and the statement of Indonesia reflecting the Jakarta Summit, of which South Africa is a co-sponsor.

Mr President

My delegation has been actively working for a positive outcome to this Conference, which would build upon and strengthen the results of previous Review Conferences, in particular the 1995 and 2000 NPT Review Conferences, but also address the important developments and serious challenges the NPT that has arisen since 2000, including the illicit (Kahn) network, proposals by the IAEA Expert Group on the fuel cycle and the strengthening of safeguards and export controls.

Mr President

South Africa welcomes of the Geneva meeting between the EU three and Iran and hope that discussions will continue in the context of the Paris Agreement.

Mr President

At the beginning of the Conference, South Africa stated that notwithstanding the setback of a failed preparatory process for the Review Conference, the continued vitality and effectiveness of the NPT is dependent on the implementation of the Treaty Regime as a whole - on addressing all challenges facing the Treaty. South Africa urged State Parties to guard against the continual reopening of the debate on obligations, commitments and undertakings because in addition they may provide the logical foundation for others to also reinterpret, negate or withdraw from other parts of the bargains struck. If we allow agreements arrived at one Conference to be rolled back at the next, we will undermine the very premise on which the multilateral system is based upon.

We therefore call on the nuclear-weapon States to reaffirm their commitments and unequivocal undertakings made at the previous Review Conferences to systematically and progressively eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

In conclusion, Mr President,

The case for non-proliferation rests on the primary objective of the NPT to eliminate all nuclear weapons and, hence, the central importance of Article VI of the Treaty. It requires from those who do not possess, not to acquire, and for those who possess, to eliminate.

We regret that this Review Conference lost the opportunity to make realistic progress on the most pertinent challenges facing the Treaty. We shall make progress not simply tinkering with procedures but by mobilizing the necessary political will to build on previous undertakings and commitments, which reinforces the NPT so as to continue on an irreversible path towards the achievement of the purposes and objectives of the Treaty.

I thank you.

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa