The 10th Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in New York ended on Friday, 26 August 2022.
Despite intense consultations, the conference failed to adopt a consensual final document. A single State bears all responsibility for the deadlock: Russia, which did not want the situation of the Ukrainian nuclear facilities it is occupying to be mentioned by the States Parties to the NPT. The President of the Republic finds this most regrettable but is proud that, in this context, France issued a strong statement on behalf of 55 States and the European Union, reiterating our support to the legitimate and sovereign authorities of Ukraine and condemning Russia’s attitude.
Nuclear-weapon States must be exemplary in adopting a responsible approach. As the President underlined in February 2020, “possessing nuclear weapons places a historically unprecedented moral responsibility on the leaders of those countries.” It is in this spirit that, along with the other P5 Heads of State and Government, the President adopted a joint statement on 3 January 2022 on the prevention of nuclear war affirming that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought” and underlining that nuclear weapons, so long as they exist, must only “serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war”, and not be used as tools for intimidation and coercion. Any deviation from these principles can only result in ostracism from the community of responsible nuclear powers. For its part, France of course shoulders its responsibility and unreservedly reaffirms the importance it attaches to its commitments.
France complies and will continue to comply with its NPT obligations fully. To do so, it has taken considerable unilateral disarmament steps, as part of a gradual and credible approach which has proven relevant in the current strategic context. The President of the Republic wishes to reiterate here France’s opposition to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.