Presentation of the Berlin Declaration of the Stockholm Initiative on nuclear disarmament at the Conference on Disarmament. Statement delivered by Ambassador Veronika Bard.
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to present the results of the Berlin ministerial meeting of the Stockholm Initiative to the member states of the CD.
I addition to the presentation of the Berlin declaration by my German colleague, I would like to add a few words on the further steps to be taken by the members of the Stockholm Initiative in the run-up to the NPT Review Conference, that is now less than two months away.
The Berlin declaration reaffirms the political and diplomatic engagement of the participating states and their focus on promoting an ambitious yet realistic agenda which can be supported by nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states alike – a common ground agenda.
In elaborating specific proposals for the Review Conference, the Stockholm Initiative has put particular focus on pragmatic measures, so called "stepping stones", which take into account various state perspectives and the current security environment. The purpose of the stepping stones approach is to reduce current nuclear risks and to build the trust necessary for bigger, subsequent disarmament steps.
The proposed stepping stones represent a non-exhaustive list and include measures to
The group of participating countries of the Stockholm Initiative is now reaching out to other NPT states parties to seek dialogue and support for the proposed agenda.
We will - in the coming weeks - reach out in capitals of states parties of the NPT to hand over the Berlin declaration with its annex on the Stepping Stones for Advancing Nuclear Disarmament, and seek support for it.
We invite the Nuclear Weapon States to have an exchange on the stepping stones, and to take up our suggestions.
The annex of the Berlin Declaration on stepping stones will be submitted as a joint working paper to the Review Conference.
The countries of the Stockholm Initiative will invite states parties to align themselves with the overall agenda, including the upcoming joint working paper on proposed stepping stones for implementation of commitments.
We strongly believe that if states parties can unite behind an implementation agenda - through stepping stones - at the Review Conference, it would demonstrate the resilience and credibility of the treaty framework to the benefit of all states parties.