Q - Why isn’t France taking part in the UN conference to negotiate a treaty banning nuclear weapons? What is it doing to implement its nuclear disarmament commitment under article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)?
A - France voted against UN General Assembly resolution 71/258 (2016) opening negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear weapons and is not taking part in the negotiations for this treaty that were held in New York on March 27-31 and will continue from June 15 to July 7.
A treaty banning nuclear weapons is out of step with a strategic context characterized by regional tensions and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as reflected by the North Korean nuclear threat, for example. In this context, France and NATO continue to base their ultimate security on nuclear deterrence.
France also remains concerned by the fact that a treaty banning nuclear weapons would divide the States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which remains the cornerstone of the collective security system.
France has already taken concrete and substantive nuclear disarmament measures, halving its nuclear arsenal, halting nuclear tests, and irreversibly ending the production of fissile materials to produce nuclear weapons.
For France, negotiating a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) is a priority, and the next logical step in the nuclear disarmament process, with the entry in force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). These two instruments are complementary because they make it possible to limit the qualitative and quantitative development of nuclear arsenals.
The reduction of Russian and American nuclear arsenals, which represent 90% of global nuclear weapons stockpiles, is another important priority.
We are also continuing our efforts to promote international security and stability, among other things, by combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.