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Wednesday, 21 October 2020 - Brussels
Recommendation to the VPC/HR and to the Council in preparation of the 10th Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) review process, nuclear arms control and nuclear disarmament options

European Parliament recommendation of 21 October 2020 to the Council and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy concerning the preparation of the 10th Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) review process, nuclear arms control and nuclear disarmament options (2020/2004(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 February 2019 on the future of the INF Treaty and the impact on the European Union(1),

–  having regard to the Council Common Positions of 13 April 2000 relating to the 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non‑proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)(2) and of 25 April 2005 relating to the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons(3),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2010/212/CFSP of 29 March 2010 relating to the position of the European Union for the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons(4),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 April 2015 on the Ninth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,

–  having regard to the EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction of 12 December 2003,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 4 February 2019 on Iran,

–  having regard to Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/615 of 15 April 2019 on Union support for activities leading up to the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons(5),

–  having regard to Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/938 of 6 June 2019 in support of a process of confidence-building leading to the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East(6),

–  having regard to the Annual Progress Report on the implementation of the European Union Strategy against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (2018), of 14 June 2019,

–  having regard to the obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty whereby all states parties undertake to pursue nuclear disarmament in good faith and to cease the nuclear arms race,

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), adopted at the United Nations on 7 July 2017 and opened to signature on 20 September 2017,

–  having regard to the communiqué adopted at the 2016 NATO Warsaw summit,

–  having regard to the North Atlantic Council statement of 20 September 2017 on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,

–  having regard to the NATO Secretary-General’s statement of 2 August 2019 on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty,

–  having regard to the new START Treaty, signed by the United States and the Russian Federation and in effect since 5 February 2011,

–  having regard to the final document adopted at the 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,

–  having regard to the final document adopted at the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,

–  having regard to the UN Secretary-General’s non‑paper of 2018 ‘Securing Our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament’,

–  having regard to the working paper ‘Unlocking disarmament diplomacy through a “stepping stone” approach’, submitted by Sweden to the Preparatory Committee for the 10th NPT Review Conference,

–  having regard to the working paper ‘Operationalising the Creating an Environment for Nuclear Disarmament (CEND) Initiative’, submitted by the US to the Preparatory Committee for the 10th NPT Review Conference,

–  having regard to the working paper ‘The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons at 50: a brief assessment by the European Union’, submitted by the European Union to the Preparatory Committee for the 10th NPT Review Conference,

–  having regard to the working paper ‘Proposals by the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative to enhance transparency for strengthening the review process for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons’, submitted by the members of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates) to the Preparatory Committee for the 10th NPT Review Conference,

–  having regard to the Joint Statement by the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) of 26 August 2020,

–  having regard to the IAEA reports on the application of safeguards in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of 20 August 2018, 19 August 2019 and 3 September 2020,

–  having regard to the notice of its decision to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies given by the US on 22 May 2020,

–  having regard to Rule 118 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A9-0020/2020),

A.  whereas the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) has undoubtedly been the most important international instrument for regulating the nuclear regime for the last 50 years; whereas it is the cornerstone of global strategic stability and is an irreplaceable bulwark against the risk of proliferation of nuclear weapons; whereas it has contributed significantly to reducing the nuclear arsenal and facilitating the peaceful use of nuclear energy; whereas it is a mature and pragmatic treaty, almost universal and very widely complied with; whereas in 1995 the NPT states parties agreed to extend the treaty indefinitely; whereas, given the failure in 2015 to agree on a substantive outcome document, it is of utmost importance to make the 10th Review Conference a success;

B.  whereas since 1968 the NPT has prompted the abandonment of nuclear weapons by a number of countries, in Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific; whereas it has enabled the peaceful development of nuclear energy; whereas it has led to drastic reductions in nuclear weapons arsenals over the time since the Cold War; whereas only a few states have developed arsenals outside the NPT;

C.  whereas the three pillars of the NPT - non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear energy - are complementary, mutually reinforcing and inextricably linked; whereas any future progress towards disarmament and the total elimination of nuclear weapons therefore requires the preservation of existing norms against the proliferation of such weapons; whereas the NPT has enabled the setting-up of an international safeguard system;

D.  whereas the objective of the NPT’s periodic review conferences is to evaluate the implementation of the NPT and to draw up a roadmap for achieving progress based on a step-by-step approach; whereas the review process represents an opportunity for the states parties to uphold and strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime once every five years;

E.  whereas the 2010 Review Conference reiterated the ultimate goal of strengthening the global non-proliferation regime, with the NPT states recommitting to the basic provisions of the NPT and adopting a 64-point action plan that includes, among other features, specific action plans on non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear energy, underpinned by concrete and measurable actions to be taken by the states parties to support the three pillars;

F.  whereas in the section on nuclear disarmament, the states parties, including recognised nuclear-armed states, for the first time undertook to accelerate real progress on disarmament and ultimately accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals, deployed or non-deployed; whereas the actions agreed under the non-proliferation pillar cover a wide range of issues, such as reinforcement of safeguards, support to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), physical protection of nuclear material, conclusion and entry into force of additional protocols, safeguards for nuclear-related exports, transfers of nuclear technology, and nuclear terrorism;

G.  whereas the principle of transparency is an indispensable element of nuclear disarmament as it helps to provide clarity on existing arsenals and underpins the verification process; whereas transparency helps to build trust and confidence and establish a common basis for dialogue as a precondition for reducing and ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons; whereas reports to the IAEA Board of Governors are an important tool in providing transparency as regards the fulfilment of the non-proliferation obligations by non-nuclear weapon states;

H.  whereas the NPT’s provisions uphold the right of states to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and to participate in the exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, while giving preferential treatment to non-nuclear weapon states and taking due account of the needs of developing countries;

I.  whereas the norm against testing supports both the non-proliferation pillar and the disarmament pillar, thereby also helping to prevent potential nuclear-armed states from seeking to develop and acquire nuclear weapons; whereas the states parties are committed to refraining from any kind of nuclear explosion and from using new nuclear weapons technologies, pending the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); whereas all nuclear-armed states undertook to ratify the CTBT without delay; whereas all also agreed that negotiations for a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons should be launched without further delay;

J.  whereas the NPT has laid the foundation for establishing nuclear-free zones around the world; whereas the establishment of a Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (MENWFZ) is one of the EU’s long-standing goals; whereas the EU has recently earmarked a budget for activities aimed at fostering inclusive dialogue among experts and policymakers with the purpose of advancing the commitment to establish a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone (WMDFZ) in the Middle East;

K.  whereas in the political declaration adopted, with the abstention of the 28 Member States of the EU, at the first session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and all other Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) held in New York in November 2019, the remaining participants undertook to pursue the drafting of a legally binding treaty to establish a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other WMD;

L.  whereas since the NPT entered into force in 1970, half of the review conferences have failed to achieve consensus on a substantive final declaration, the last final declaration having been adopted at the 2010 Review Conference;

M.  whereas the 10th Review Conference will take place in a particularly challenging international security context, owing to the lack of progress in the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, the withdrawal of the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, Iran’s alleged violations and the formal complaints in response by France, the UK and Germany triggering the JCPOA dispute settlement mechanism, the collapse of the INF Treaty, and the stalemate in negotiations for the extension of the new START Treaty between Russia and the US; whereas the current degree of disagreement and division among the 191 nuclear-armed and non-armed NPT states parties over the best approach to reducing and eliminating nuclear weapons will add a further challenge to the debate;

N.  whereas several nuclear-armed states are planning to modernise or are currently modernising their nuclear weapons or their means of delivery, and whereas some of them are lowering the thresholds for their use in their national military doctrines;

O.  whereas the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, signed by Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom, provided security guarantees against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, in exchange for the relinquishment of its nuclear arsenal and its accession to the NPT; whereas Russia’s total failure to honour the security guarantees provided for Ukraine by the Budapest Memorandum and its disregard for international law have had a corrosive effect on the climate as regards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation talks;

P.  whereas the worsening of the global security environment is further exacerbated by growing mistrust between nations, and the modernisation of arsenals has been advanced by new technologies that increase global security risks, in particular in relation to possible cyberattacks against nuclear weapons, their command, control and early warning systems, as well as by an increasing role for nuclear weapons in national policies, strategies and doctrines, leading to the risk of a new global nuclear arms race; whereas a growing number of countries are pursuing nuclear weapons that allow for battlefield use;

Q.  whereas there is a significant risk that major military powers will no longer tend to resort to arms control and disarmament to ease international tensions and improve the global security environment, ultimately once again assigning nuclear weapons pride of place on strategic balance sheets and thus leading to an increase in nuclear risks worldwide;

R.  whereas the global nuclear arsenal accounts for nearly 14 000 nuclear warheads and the US and Russia possess over 90 % of that arsenal; whereas even a limited use of nuclear weapons would have disastrous humanitarian consequences, with no state or international organisation having the capacity to address the immediate consequences of such an attack and provide adequate assistance to the victims;

S.  whereas the extension of the bilateral US-Russian Federation new START Treaty, whose prime objective must be to continue to reduce in a verifiable manner the nuclear weapons stockpiles established as a result of the arms race during the Cold War, and which limits the number of strategic nuclear warheads deployed on either side to 1 550 until its expiration in February 2021, would be a key element in preserving strategic stability and containing a new arms race;

T.  whereas the US has announced its withdrawal from the Treaty on Open Skies, which is to take effect on 22 November 2020; whereas the Treaty on Open Skies has been a major arms control instrument which has contributed to trust-building;

U.  whereas NATO has expressed its strong support for the full implementation of the NPT, and has committed itself to creating conditions for a world without nuclear weapons in full accordance with the NPT provisions, on the basis of a step-by-step approach;

V.  whereas the US-led initiative ‘Creating an Environment for Nuclear Disarmament’ (CEND), laying down tasks that need to be accomplished to create conditions for disarmament, aims at moving beyond the traditional step-by-step approach in order to address the current deterioration of the security environment;

W.  whereas the ‘stepping-stone’ approach, presented by Sweden, introduces incremental, more easily achievable steps in four main areas aimed at building habits of cooperation, reducing the salience of nuclear weapons, enhancing transparency and reducing nuclear risks, which would allow the existing disarmament objectives to be fulfilled;

X.  whereas cyberattack methods such as data manipulation, digital jamming and cyberspoofing could jeopardise the integrity of communications, leading to increased uncertainty in decision-making; whereas in times of crisis such cyberattacks on nuclear weapons systems could lead to escalation, including inadvertent nuclear launches;

Y.  whereas multilateral dialogue and diplomacy have proven to be effective tools in preventing a proliferation crisis and an escalation of conflicts, as demonstrated by the JCPOA, which is considered a historic accomplishment and a key contribution to the global non-proliferation regime;

Z.  whereas, as regards weapons of mass destruction, the status of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), which withdrew in 2003 from the Treaty and acquired the ability to manufacture nuclear weapons despite strong international sanctions, remains unchanged; whereas, according to the IAEA Annual Reports for 2018 and 2019, Pyongyang has continued its nuclear activities; whereas signs of activity from the DPRK’s nuclear sites were reported throughout 2020; whereas the DPRK allegedly conducted a ground test of a large liquid-propellant rocket engine on 7 December 2019; whereas on 1 January 2020 the DPRK announced its intent to rescind the moratorium on intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launches and nuclear testing; whereas the prospects for concrete steps towards denuclearisation of the region in the short term are slim; whereas North Korea still represents a nuclear and ballistic threat to the region and the world;

AA.  whereas inside the Arctic Circle, the number of nuclear-powered vessels has increased sharply over the last decade; whereas the presence of radiological and nuclear material in the Arctic poses a risk of serious incidents or accidents;

AB.  whereas the 2020 NPT Review Conference, initially scheduled to take place from 27 April to 22 May 2020, had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic;

1.  Recommends that the Council and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy:

   (a) reiterate that effective multilateralism and a rules-based international order are a precondition for countering the proliferation of nuclear weapons and for advancing nuclear disarmament; reaffirm that the NPT is a cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime, a vital bulwark against the risk of nuclear proliferation, and an irreplaceable framework for maintaining and strengthening peace and security worldwide;
   (b) reaffirm the full support of the EU and its Member States for the NPT and its three mutually reinforcing pillars of non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear energy, and confirm the validity of the previous step-by-step approach based on commitments made during past review processes, in particular in 1995, 2000 and 2010; stress that a balanced approach between the three pillars is essential for a positive outcome of the 10th Review Conference, and for the adoption of concrete, effective and consensual measures that would allow previous commitments to be built on; stress the important role of the EU in facilitating peace-oriented policies and promoting international stability;
   (c) ensure without delay the adoption of a Council decision formalising the common position of the EU as regards the NPT Review Conference;
   (d) emphasise that the NPT has been indispensable for peace and security in the world for five decades;
   (e) continue providing support to the activities leading up to the 10th NPT Review Conference, through a financial contribution of EUR 1.3 million to outreach activities comprising three thematic seminars covering disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy pillars, four regional meetings, and two side events; continue to uphold the main goals of the EU activities, in particular as regards trust and confidence-building, raising awareness of the obstacles and potential areas of convergence, and developing input for a roadmap for a successful outcome of the 10th review process;
   (f) continue emphasising that any further deepening of divergences among states would lead to a progressive discrediting of the NPT as a reliable global legal instrument and to an erosion of the global disarmament regime, thereby raising the risk of further global nuclear arms proliferation; warn states parties that, owing to the lack of consensus both at the 2015 Review Conference and in the preparatory committees, the future of the NPT can no longer be taken for granted without clear commitment by the states parties;
   (g) remind the states parties that the 50th anniversary of the NPT, coinciding with the 10th Review Conference, could provide the momentum for engaging in a sincere and results-oriented dialogue in order to restore mutual trust and confidence, the aim being to enlarge areas of overlap and identify common ground in order to make headway with discussions and the ultimate goal being the adoption of an agreed document recognising nuclear disarmament and the total elimination of nuclear weapons, as a common objective in line with Article VI of the NPT;
   (h) call for strong political leadership to support the NPT review conference; convey a message to the NPT states parties that the participation of the heads of state and government at the conference would show the importance the states attach to the NPT and to the review process; call on the representatives of the states parties to use the opportunity of the 10th Review Conference to reaffirm that ‘nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’;
   (i) Stresses that the selective application of the Treaty or non-compliance with NPT memoranda by some of the states parties undermine trust in the whole NPT system; calls on all signatories to the NPT to ensure compliance with the commitments that they signed up to;
   (j) welcome the fact that for 72 years nuclear weapons have not been used; warn the NPT states parties that any expansion of the situations in which nuclear weapons could be used could seriously jeopardise global strategic stability and the practice of non-use;
   (k) call on all states, as regards nuclear arms and related delivery technologies, to recognise control, disarmament and non-proliferation regimes as crucial tools in confidence-building and in substantially contributing to reversing the deterioration of the international security environment, thereby preventing major inter-state war and preserving peace and security;
   (l) stress that effective nuclear disarmament verification is essential for achieving a world without nuclear weapons; pursue and intensify efforts, including in cooperation with international and regional organisations and civil society, to address verification challenges with respect to safety, security and non‑proliferation requirements; reaffirm that only a realistic arms limitation and confidence-building process will contribute to strategic stability and shared security;
   (m) urge the states parties to do their utmost to achieve further progress in arms control and nuclear disarmament processes, in particular through an overall reduction in the global stockpile of nuclear weapons, and to ensure that the trend of nuclear arsenal reduction since the peak of nuclear weapons in 1986 is not reversed; convey a message that the NPT should be used as a platform for all diplomatic efforts in this regard;
   (n) urge the US and Russia to enhance mutual trust and confidence with a view to resuming a dialogue on possible ways to build a new arms control relationship; stress that a clear commitment by Russia and the US, ahead of the 10th NPT Review Conference, to extend the new START Treaty before February 2021 would be an important contribution to the review conference; strongly encourages both parties to negotiate a new instrument that would encompass both deployed and non-deployed, as well as strategic and non-strategic weapons, and would include China, in light of its massive missile build-up; express concern regarding Russia's recent deployment of Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles in the Orenburg region; remind Russia that all deployed Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles will be subject to the new START Treaty’s overall 1 550 warhead limit and associated verification provisions;
   (o) reiterate the EU’s deep regret in connection with the recent collapse of the INF Treaty due to Russia's deployment of the SSC-8 missile system, which is nuclear-capable, mobile and hard to detect, and lowers the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict, while stressing the significant negative impact of this on European security and on the strategic nuclear arms control architecture; call on both signatories to the INF Treaty to resume dialogue on possible ways to put in place a new legally binding instrument for short- and medium-range missiles; support efforts to multilateralise such an instrument to all other countries owning weapons of this kind, including China;
   (p) express alarm at the demise of the INF Treaty, also in view of the fact that medium-range missiles are particularly liable to increase the risks of nuclear escalation on the European continent;
   (q) encourage talks about the possibility of a multilateral ballistic missile treaty that goes beyond the INF Treaty between the US and Russia to include other parties;
   (r) call on the US and Russia to each make available, to all other parties to the NPT and to the UN Security Council, a declaration in which they set out the steps they are taking after their withdrawal from the INF Treaty to ensure compliance with their obligations under Article VI of the NPT; take the necessary steps to that end on behalf of the Union;
   (s) call on Russia to abide by its commitment enshrined in the Budapest Memorandum and to respect the security guarantees offered to Ukraine;
   (t) consider the withdrawal from or the collapse of nuclear arms control regimes a dangerous precedent for the NPT; bear in mind that parties to the NPT could consider such events as a threat to their national security, and that the consequences thereof could destabilise the NPT as a whole;
   (u) make these concerns heard at the 10th NPT Review Conference; take the necessary diplomatic and political steps to remove the direct threat posed by intermediate‑range nuclear weapons to the European Union and its Member States;
   (v) highlight the contribution made by the NATO states in fulfilling their commitments under the NPT as regards reducing the stock of nuclear weapons by 95 % since the end of the Cold War, detargeting them, reducing their alert status and downgrading their role in defence; call on NATO and the other NPT signatory states to pursue their efforts in further reducing nuclear weapons in full compliance with the NPT, on the basis of the step-by-step approach that promotes international stability and security;
   (w) note that the adoption of the TPNW by 122 countries, with it now having being signed by 84 states and ratified by 47, is evidence of the desire to achieve the objective of a nuclear weapons-free world; stress that nuclear disarmament cannot be separated from collective security and can only be achieved by taking the strategic context into account, and that it must be part of a gradual process guaranteeing the undiminished security of all while preventing any new arms race; recall that, as a means of preventing the quantitative development of nuclear weapons arsenals, the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty is a vital and irreplaceable step towards a world free of nuclear weapons;
   (x) confirm the right of the NPT parties to the peaceful use of nuclear energy to meet their long-term energy requirements, in conformity with the NPT provisions; work with countries wishing to develop capacities in this area towards a responsible use of nuclear energy solely for peaceful purposes, provided all safety, security and non-proliferation conditions are met; consider appropriate measures in cases where such countries fail to cooperate and comply with all safety, security and non-proliferation conditions; provide help while making it obligatory for countries wishing to develop capacities in the peaceful use of nuclear energy to develop a strong nuclear safety culture, and recognise the role and value of the IAEA and its safeguards system in implementing the NPT and in strengthening the nuclear security framework;
   (y) limit the transfer of proliferation-relevant nuclear technology to NPT states parties which have concluded and are implementing IAEA full scope safeguards, thus supporting the decision by the 1995 NPT Review Conference that new supply arrangements for the transfer of sensitive nuclear technology should require, as a necessary precondition, acceptance of the IAEA full-scope safeguards and internationally legally binding commitments not to acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;
   (z) continue its efforts to establish a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East in line with the 1995 resolution; pursue the initiatives to promote confidence-building through actions aimed at fostering inclusive dialogue among experts and policymakers, supported by a financial envelope of EUR 2.86 million for the implementation of the projects;
   (aa) support the regional approach as one of the important avenues for the promotion of disarmament and non-proliferation; take into account the outcome of the first session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone; encourage all participating states to do their utmost to advance in this endeavour at the second session of the Conference;
   (ab) uphold the ‘stepping-stone approach’ proposal put forward by Sweden with the aim of building political support for pragmatic, short-term and achievable commitments to the global disarmament regime, the overall goals of which are to rebuild trust and confidence, support measures focused on reducing the salience of nuclear weapons, enhance habits of cooperation among states, reduce nuclear risks and enhance transparency, as intermediate steps towards facilitating the fulfilment of existing obligations by states parties;
   (ac) call on the states parties to develop and put in place measures aimed at mitigating the risks of using nuclear weapons, be it intentionally or accidentally; measures could include improving communication channels and protocols, cybersecurity, and creating a clear distinction between conventional and nuclear assets, as well as improving resilience to hybrid threats and cyberattacks and extending decision time in a crisis;
   (ad) support the commitment to enhance transparency by the nuclear weapon states in line with the 13 steps on disarmament adopted at the 2000 NPT Review Conference; recall that further improving the reporting mechanism by systematising the nuclear weapon states’ reporting frameworks would contribute to achieving the same level of transparency among those states; pay, in this context, special attention to the proposals of the Non‑Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative proposals for enhancing transparency so as to strengthen the review process of the NPT;
   (ae) take note of the ‘Operationalising and creating an environment for nuclear disarmament (CEND)’ proposal put forward by the US to the Preparatory Committee for the 10th Review Conference, aimed at identifying and addressing the factors in the international security environment that hinder further progress in disarmament, and at establishing a more pragmatic approach to disarmament and positively contributing to a successful outcome of the 10th Review Conference; engage in further discussions on the proposal, in the framework of the 2020 Review Conference and beyond;
   (af) call on all states to engage without further delay in discussions on the path towards the launch and completion of one of the outstanding priorities – the treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons – as an indispensable means of ruling out the risk of a resumption of the nuclear arms race and a vital step towards the elimination of nuclear weapons;
   (ag) ensure that the EU continues to be a strong supporter of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO); recall also the importance and urgency of achieving the entry into force of the CTBT in order to prevent new weapons from being developed;
   (ah) reaffirm the EU’s continuing commitment to the JCPOA as the best possible means for obtaining assurances of an exclusively peaceful use of nuclear energy by Iran, and as a vital tool for enhancing stability and security in the Middle East; continue emphasising the EU’s important role in finding a way forward when it comes to securing the nuclear agreement; reiterate the EU’s regret over the withdrawal by the US from the JCPOA and the reimposition of sanctions; welcome the opposition expressed by France, Germany and the UK (E3) at the United Nations to the US motion to reimpose sanctions on Iran under UNSC resolution 2231, as the US is no longer party to the JCPOA; welcome the Joint Statement of the AEOI and the IAEA of 26 August 2020 on the resolution in good faith of the safeguard implementation issues specified by the IAEA, under which Iran is providing the IAEA with access to the two locations specified by the agency and facilitating the IAEA’s verification activities; recall the crucial role of the IAEA as the sole independent international organisation responsible for the monitoring and verification of nuclear non-proliferation commitments; call on Iran to ensure full compliance with its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA and the NPT;
   (ai) regret Iran’s support of violent non-state actors and the development and use of ballistic missile capabilities that destabilise the broader Middle East;
   (aj) reiterate the EU’s full support for the objective of the denuclearisation of the DPRK in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner in accordance with all relevant UN Security Council resolutions; urge the DPRK to abandon its nuclear weapons programme and return to the NPT and IAEA safeguards; continue to support the ongoing dialogue process while seeking a more active part in the negotiations, capitalising on the EU’s diplomatic expertise; recall that the DPRK continues to represent a regional and international nuclear and ballistic threat;
   (ak) continue to uphold and preserve the NPT as a key multilateral instrument for the benefit of international peace and security, to promote its universalisation, and to strengthen its implementation across its three equally important and mutually reinforcing pillars; encourage all states parties to the NPT to renew their efforts to engage with each other and press on with a renewed commitment to the comprehensive, full and balanced implementation of the NPT;
   (al) call on all states that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the NPT as non-nuclear weapon states and, pending accession, to adhere to its terms and commit to its non-proliferation and disarmament objectives, including by providing evidence that they are not engaging in nuclear technology transfers and by strengthening the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials;
   (am) recall that nuclear disarmament must be carried out in a realistic and progressive manner, with due regard for the security interests of all, and that the reduction of strategic risks related to nuclear weapons is based on the transparency of nuclear doctrines, dialogue between political and military decision-makers, crisis communication tools and reinsurance measures;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this recommendation to the Council and the Vice‑President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0130.
(2) OJ L 97, 19.4.2000, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 106, 27.4.2005, p. 32.
(4) OJ L 90, 10.4.2010, p. 8.
(5) OJ L 105, 16.4.2019, p. 25.
(6) OJ L 149, 7.6.2019, p. 63.

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