Foreign Ministers' Progress Report
Denver, June 21, 1997
1. We are committed to a strategy of global integration aimed at fostering international peace and prosperity. To that end, we have continued to build on the decisions we have already taken and agreed to broaden our common efforts. Since our last meeting in Lyon, we have strengthened our cooperation on nonproliferation, anti-personnel landmines. transnational crime, counterterrorism, and UN reform. This Progress Report highlights our achievements in these areas and decisions for @further joint action. We will continue to discuss these issues over the course of the coming year and review them again in Birmingham. In keeping with our strong commitment to advance international peace and security, we discussed a full range of political situations which both complemented and supplemented discussions by the Heads of the Eight.'
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2. We commend the work of the Non-Proliferation Experts Group to fulfill the mandate granted to it at Moscow and Lyon to implement the "Program for Preventing and Combating Illicit Trafficking in Nuclear Material," agreed to at the April 1996 Nuclear Safety and Security Summit in Moscow.
We encourage the undertaking of more enhanced information-sharing and cooperation among our law enforcement, intelligence, and customs services in the fight against illicit nuclear trafficking, conducted whenever possible on the basis of already-existing agreements, treaties, and arrangements, as provided for in the advisory "Framework for Enhanced Cooperation and Information-Sharing" proposed by Russia and agreed to by the NPEG at its May 12-13, 1997, meeting.
4. We endorse the agreement of our nonproliferation experts to establish specific tasks and a means of communication for the "Points of Contact" system called for by the Program, and the corresponding Terms of Reference and provisional format for the exchange of information on significant illicit nuclear trafficking incidents.
5. To broaden the scope and effectiveness of our efforts to combat illicit nuclear trafficking, we continue to encourage expanded participation in the Program. To this end, we have asked the United States, as current Chair of the Eight, to continue its contacts, initiated by France, with potential future participants. In order to maintain overall direction of the Program after participation in it has been expanded. We agreed that the chair should seek to organize periodic meetings of new participants under the auspices of the Eight to discuss Program activities and exchange views on illicit nuclear trafficking. We welcome the intention of the United States to organize the first such meeting in November 1997 to be held in Vienna.
6. We welcome the progress made in international efforts to develop nuclear forensics capabilities, under the auspices of the IAEA, as well as through the meetings held by the International Technical Working Group (ITWG).
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7. We welcome the conclusions of the group of experts, convened pursuant to the April 1996 Moscow Summit on Nuclear Safety and Security to examine options and identify possible development of international cooperation for the safe and effective management of fissile material designated as no longer required for defense purposes. Our experts concluded that the most timely and technically viable option is the consumption of plutonium as mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel in nuclear reactors, and as a complementary option, the immobilization of plutonium in glass or ceramic form mixed with high-level radioactive waste. The experts also concluded that interim storage will be required, whatever longer-term management options are selected. These conclusions were also endorsed by the Non-Proliferation Experts Group last November in Paris.
8. Such an approach to the management of surplus weapons plutonium would serve the international community's nonproliferation objectives and would make an important practical contribution to nuclear arms reduction. The non-proliferation objective should be given priority in the planning and implementation of cooperation programs. Due consideration should also be given to technical, economic, financial, environmental and other relevant factors.
9. International cooperation will accelerate efforts to address the management of surplus weapons plutonium. We therefore welcome the announcement by France, Germany, and Russia of their plans, which are open to additional states, to build a demonstration-scale MOX fuel fabrication facility in Russia. In this regard, we welcome efforts by Canada and Russia, in collaboration with France and Germany, to investigate the feasibility of producing CANDU MOX fuel. The United States and Russia are also planning cooperation in the area of converting weapons components to materials suitable for disposition, in coordination with other international efforts. Participation in these and other related initiatives is being considered by others among us.
10. We reiterate the importance of ensuring transparency in the management of plutonium designated as no longer required for defense purposes. Implementation of all options should include appropriate international verification as soon as it is practicable to do so and stringent standards of material protection, control, and accountancy, with the objective of building confidence that surplus weapons plutonium will not again be used for nuclear explosives or diverted to unlawful purposes. In this context, we welcome the progress reported in the work in Vienna on the elaboration of the "Guidelines for the Management of Plutonium." We also welcome the progress reported by the United States and Russia on their efforts with the IAEA to agree on measures to submit to IAEA verification weapons fissile material designated as no longer required for defense purposes.
11. In order to sustain and build upon the momentum generated by these initiatives, developed in the wake of the Moscow Summit, the Non-Proliferation Experts Group should begin discussion of possible arrangements for coordinating and implementing plutonium management efforts. The Non-Proliferation Experts Group should submit a report to the Heads by next year's Summit in Birmingham.
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12. Our Governments have taken a number of actions in support of the goal established at Lyon to "spare no effort in securing a global ban on the scourge represented by the proliferation and the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel landmines."
13. We have worked actively over the past year to promote the negotiation of a treaty banning anti- personnel landmines. During the fifty-first session of the UN General Assembly, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States cosponsored a resolution urging states to pursue an agreement to ban anti-personnel landmines. That resolution was approved by an overwhelming margin of 156- 0.
14. We recognize the important and complementary efforts to achieve an effective, legally binding international agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of antipersonnel landmines at the Conference on Disarmament and in formal negotiations to take place in Oslo in September through the Ottawa process which has set the goal of achieving such a ban before the end of the year.
15. Germany has recently sponsored a conference to investigate possible methods of verifying compliance with such a treaty. Our Governments will continue to participate in efforts to conclude an effective anti- personnel landmine ban to address this urgent problem.
16. Consistent with last year's decisions at Lyon, our Governments are committed to universal adherence to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and to the 1996 Protocol on Mines, Booby Traps, and Other Devices, which strengthens restrictions on the use and transfer of anti-personnel landmines. Our Governments will continue their efforts to secure ratification of the amended Protocol by all countries that have not completed their ratification efforts.
17. Our Governments, together with members of the European Union, have individually established various bans, moratoria, and other restrictions on anti- personnel landmines. Some have implemented production and use bans, and many have begun to reduce substantially their stockpiles of landmines. We will endeavor to ensure that our various bans on the export of anti-personnel landmines become permanent.
18. Finally, consistent with our pledge in Lyon. we have continued to support international efforts to detect and remove implanted landmines and to provide assistance to the victims of landmines. We have assisted other countries in implementing indigenous, self-sustainable mine awareness and mine clearing programs. Japan. Germany, and Canada have sponsored conferences addressing demining issues, including sharing information on mine detection and clearance technologies, developing indigenous demining capabilities, and extending adequate medical care to mine victims. The European Union has made an enormous contribution in all of these areas. In the coming year, we will continue our efforts to develop the most promising mine detection and clearing technology and to share this technology, as appropriate, with the international community. We will also continue our active demining assistance programs.
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19. The Senior Experts' Group has overseen follow-up and implementation of the 40 recommendations agreed upon in Lyon to combat transnational organized crime. These activities were designed to focus on practical, legal and operational issues that affect law enforcement, to promote law enforcement capabilities and cooperation between member states, and to suggest steps that all nations could take, on a multidisciplinary basis, to meet the global challenge of transnational organized crime.
20. To strengthen their operational effectiveness, our enforcement experts will consider joint project proposals to target and disrupt major transnational criminal organizations and activities.
21. To help bring criminals to justice, we have agreed upon practical extradition and mutual assistance measures. Our experts are vigorously pursuing arrangements to ensure extradition, transfer for trial or effective domestic prosecution of nationals, and rapid and efficient coordination among law enforcement authorities.
22. To combat illicit firearms trafficking more effectively, we have agreed to promote close operational cooperation among our experts and relevant law enforcement agencies in other states (including to facilitate prompt responses to firearms tracing requests) and to strengthen direct exchange of information with each other, including scientific and technological information for law enforcement purposes.
23. To counter the illegal smuggling of people across our borders, we pledged to assure that our laws and practices effectively target the organized criminal groups involved. Our experts developed centralized points of contact for a more effective and immediate exchange of information on persons who operate alien smuggling networks and on how those networks are organized, while respecting existing information exchange agreements.
24. Recognizing that forged and stolen travel or other official documents are a key precondition for many forms of transnational crime, w have adopted measures to counter document fraud.
25. The significant growth in computer and telecommunications technologies brings with it new challenges: global networks require new legal and technical mechanisms that allow for a timely and effective international law enforcement response to computer-related crimes. To that end, we will work together to enhance abilities to locate, identify, and prosecute criminals; cooperate with and assist one another in the collection of evidence; and continue to develop training for law enforcement personnel to fight high- technology and computer-related crime.
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26. Terrorist bombings in France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and South Asia, the seizure of hostages at the Japanese Ambassador's residence in Lima and other vicious terrorist attacks against innocents during the last year demonstrate that terrorism remains a threat to civil society. The increase in hostage taking by terrorists for the purpose of political extortion or ransom was an additional cause for concern. By making substantial progress in implementing the 25 recommendations of the 1996 Ministerial Conference on Terrorism in Paris, our governments have taken important steps to counter the terrorist threat. For example:
-- To strengthen cooperation to combat and eliminate terrorism, the United Nations, at the initiative of our governments, has begun negotiations on a draft Convention on Suppression of Terrorist Bombing. To broaden further such cooperation, we have called on all states to join the international conventions on terrorism specified in the 1996 UN resolution on measures to eliminate international terrorism by the year 2000, and will intensify diplomatic efforts to achieve universal accession and adherence to these conventions.
-- To strengthen our capability to investigate terrorist attacks on ground transportation, our experts held a series of technical and security consultations. To assist states in investigating terrorist crimes involving motor vehicles, we have, in international conferences, pressed for a strengthened international regime of vehicle identification numbers.
-- To improve the safety of air travelers, we have worked with others in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council to gain adoption of higher security standards, including for explosive detection and associated equipment; ICAO members signaled their intention to seek Council approval of agreed airport security standards and of more consistent and uniform implementation of these standards.
-- To prevent terrorists from abusing legitimate rights of asylum, enshrined in international law. we initiated a United Nations General Assembly Declaration serving this purpose.
-- To counter, inter alia, the use of strong encryption by terrorists, we have endorsed acceleration of consultations and adoption of the OECD guidelines for cryptography policy and invited all states to develop national policies on encryption, including key, management. which may allow, consistent with these guidelines. lawful government access to prevent and investigate acts of terrorism and to find a mechanism to cooperate internationally in implementing such policies.
-- To improve the exchange of counterterrorism information, the United Kingdom initiated a Directory of Counterterrorism Competencies among the Eight; and the United States offered to share its counterterrorism forensic data bases through bilateral arrangements ,with members of the Eight.
-- To prevent terrorist access to biological and toxin weapons. the participants of the Fourth Review Conference of the Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), at the urging of our governments, recognized the need to ensure, through the review and/or adoption of national measures, the effective fulfillment of their obligations under the Convention in order, inter alia, to exclude the use of biological and toxin weapons for terrorist or criminal activity.
-- To promote further cooperation, our governments will compare their domestic legislation related to terrorist fund-raising, and ensure strong domestic laws and controls over the manufacture, trading and transport of explosives.
27. We will continue these efforts in the coming year and extend our counterterrorist cooperation to other critical spheres.
28. To protect our electronic and computer systems from disruption by terrorist attacks, we will share information and methodologies to prevent such attacks and to prevent the use of computer networks for terrorist and criminal purposes.
29. To address the continuing danger from acts of terror using high explosives and other sophisticated technologies, and from potential use by terrorists of materials of mass destruction, our experts will intensify the exchange of information in research and development of counterterrorism technologies.
30. Because of terrorist and other threats to the security of major international events, we will share information and experiences in providing security for such events. The U.S. will hold a conference of experts on this subject in Honolulu in September 1997, in order to exchange information on the most effective security practices for major international special events.
31. To heighten vigilance against acts of terror directed at maritime vessels and their passengers, our governments will encourage the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to strengthen maritime security measures and to improve the awareness and implementation of I.%IO standards.
32. In response to a growing international desire for closer cooperation. we will strengthen and expand international cooperation and consultation. and reach out bilaterally and multilaterally, on counterterrorism issues. In this regard we welcomed the initiative by Japan to convene a Seminar on Counterterrorism for the Asia and Pacific Region in December, 1996.
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33. We reaffirm our commitment to achieving early and practical results in the renewal of the United Nations. We welcome the momentum that has developed over the past two years in favor of substantial reform of the United Nations system in all the major activities of the United Nations. Secretary General Kofi Annan has seized the initiative and generated a renewed commitment to revitalizing the entire organization. Significant efforts are now underway in the UN Secretariat, ECOSOC and its subsidiaries, the high-level intergovernmental working groups on organizational strengthening and financial stabilization. UNCTAD, the regional commissions, the specialized agencies and the operational programs for development and humanitarian relief.
34. Credit for the progress achieved so far is widely shared. We have been pleased to join with all our fellow members of the United Nations in responding to the broadly recognized needs for enhancement and improvement of the organization and its associated agencies and programs. Our concerted efforts have clearly marked out the course to take in increasing the UN system's programmatic efficiency and cost effectiveness.
35. We anticipate the timely conclusion of the various working groups and the prompt implementation of responsive measures during the next UN biennium, 1998-99. Such action will ensure that the United Nations is fully able to meet the challenges of the new century as the premier international organization responsible for peace, security and the promotion of human welfare and sustainable development in all its aspects.
We call on all member States to join us in redoubling efforts to achieve these vital outcomes.
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36. The momentous changes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo highlight the importance of peaceful democratic transition and the establishment of a broadly-based interim administration. We believe it is important to assist the new authorities in the transition to an elected government, promote respect for human ' rights, address urgent humanitarian needs, and facilitate economic renewal. We look forward to close cooperation with other donor countries, the United Nations, OAU, International financial institutions, and regional leaders in these efforts. The willingness of our governments to assist in the rebuilding of national institutions will depend on the new authorities' demonstrating their commitment to democratic reform, including elections, sound economic policies, public accountability, and respect for human rights, including protection of refugees.
37. Deeply concerned by the situation prevailing in Congo, we call on all parties to put an end to hostilities and work together for restoration of civil peace and national reconciliation. We strongly support the mediation of President Bongo of Gabon and the Special Representative of the UN and OAU, Mohamed Shanoun. We are adamantly opposed to any attempt to resolve political differences by the use of force, including the armed overthrow of constitutional government. Congo's future rests upon an enduring political solution that adheres to democratic processes and leads to presidential elections without delay.
38. The progress accomplished in Haiti as a result of the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti, underlines the necessity of continued international assistance to maintain stability and promote democratization, and economic development. We will take positive note of the Secretary General's new recommendations on the nature of the international presence in Haiti subsequent to the termination of the current UNSMIH mandate. We urge that Haiti press forward with implementing its economic modernization program.
39. Noting the recent developments in Afghanistan, we call on all Afghan parties to stop the fighting and to work together towards the formation of a broad-based, fully representative central government that will protect the rights of all Afghans and abide by Afghanistan's international obligations. Taking into account risks of regional destabilization, peace and stability can best be attained through political negotiations under UN auspices with the active and coordinated assistance of all countries concerned and provided that all external interference ceases. All Afghan parties and concerned countries should abide by the provisions of recent resolutions on Afghanistan adopted by the UN Security Council and General Assembly.
40. Concerned by the continuing violations of human rights by the regime, we call on the SLORC to enter into a meaningful political dialogue with leaders of the democratic opposition and ethnic minorities aimed at national reconciliation and the restoration of democracy. We note the recent decision of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to admit Myanmar as a member of the organization in July and express the hope that the members of ASEAN will use their influence to encourage an early return to democracy in Myanmar. We stress that the international community holds the SLORC accountable for the safety of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
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