A Nuclear Weapon-Free Southeast Asia and Its Continuing Strategic Significance
Abad, M. C., Jr., Contemporary Southeast Asia
It has been a decade since the ten countries of Southeast Asia declared the region a nuclear weapon-free zone and almost three and a half decades since the adoption of its broader policy framework, the declaration of a zone of peace, freedom and neutrality. Many strategic developments have taken place since these two junctures. Southeast Asia has been transformed from an area of conflict into a dynamic economic region. A new pattern of relations among the major powers has emerged. At the same time, new sources of threats have surfaced. It is, perhaps, time to revisit this policy direction and ascertain its strategic relevance. In the new and fast evolving strategic environment, is the original purpose of establishing the zone still valid? What is now the strategic value of the zone?
Southeast Asia is a nuclear weapon-free zone encompassing the territories and exclusive economic zones of ten countries, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, herein referred to as the States Parties. The Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) was signed on 15 December 1995 and entered into force on 24 March 1997. (1) To date, SEANWFZ, also known as the Bangkok Treaty of 1995, is one of the seven treaty-based nuclear free zones in the world, namely the Outer Space Treaty of 1967; the Seabed Treaty of 1971; the Antarctic Treaty of 1959; Africa's Pelindaba Treaty of 1996; South America's Tlatelolco Treaty of 1967; and South Pacific's Rarotonga Treaty of 1985. The last four geographic zones almost cover the globe's southern hemisphere minus the South Asian region. These zones are alternative regimes to the nuclear deterrence posture of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, which are all Nuclear Weapon States (NWS), namely China, France, the Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States.
When a nuclear-free Southeast Asia was conceived in the mid-1970s, it was primarily meant to add to geographic areas where the activities of the NWS were to be constrained. The Treaty provides for a Protocol of accession by declared NWS to respect the Treaty and hot to contribute any act that would constitute a violation of the Treaty and its Protocol. The aim was for the States Parties to abstain from developing and acquiring nuclear weapons and for the NWS to spare the region from the risks of nuclear accidents or nuclear war among them.
While nuclear deterrence has worked so far among the declared NWS, a wider, faceless and unpredictable source of threat has emerged. The intensity of and groundwork for the terrorist attack on the United States on 11 September 2001 altered the nuclear equation considerably (Ramberg 2003, p. 8). United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, writing then as National Security Adviser, described the possible nexus between outlaw regimes, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and terrorism, as "the gravest threat of our time" (Rice 2003, p. A11). The ushering in of an "Age of Terror" is said to have left the international system in greater flux than at any time since immediately after World War II (Sheridan 2003, p. A11). This is one clear and present danger where SEANWFZ bas continued relevance, beyond the area denial sense for NWS, in contributing to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons or fissile material from which nuclear weapons could be developed. SEANWFZ's strategic value is bolstered by its challenging of the legitimacy of nuclear weapons, in particular, and its contribution to a greater sense of security in the region in general.
The Making of SEANWFZ
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was born at the height of the Cold War. A few months after its establishment, the Vietnam War reached its peak when, in the early hours of 31 January 1968, the Soviet-backed Vietcong launched the Tet Offensive and entered Saigon through Cambodia. In Europe, the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, asserting its right to intervene in any communist state to thwart what it considered as counter-revolutionary tendencies, led neighbouring Warsaw Pact armies in a military invasion of Czechoslovakia on 20 August 1968. China opposed this so-called Brezhnev Doctrine and accused the USSR of "social imperialism". On 16 January 1968, Prime Minister Harold Wilson announced the withdrawal of British forces from the Far East and the Middle East, leaving its former colonies on their own. This ensued six months after the violent Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbours, Egypt, Jordan and Syria, which laid the foundation for future discord in the Middle East over the occupied territories. Meanwhile, Indonesia was in a drawn-out political transition with General Suharto eventually replacing President Sukarno on 27 March 1968 immediately following the country's "Confrontation" with Malaysia that involved Commonwealth forces. Interestingly, it was during this period when the Irish-sponsored Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was being debated at the United Nations and eventually opened for signature on 1 July 1968.
The concept of keeping Southeast Asia free from nuclear weapons originated from the idea of Southeast Asia as a neutral region. It was former Malaysian Foreign Minister Tun Ismail Abdul Rahman who originally called for the neutralization of Southeast Asia to be guaranteed by the major powers before the Malaysian parliament on 23 January 1968 in response to the British withdrawal and apprehensions about a "vacuum". Then in 1970, Tun Ismail raised this proposal at the UN General Assembly, arguing that it was "the only alternative" to the prospect of sustained and continuous conflict in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indochina. The proposal received a mixed reception even within Southeast Asia (Sopiee 1975, p. 137).
On 27 November 1971, ASEAN states issued the Declaration on the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN) in Kuala Lumpur. The Declaration states that ZOPFAN aims to contribute in "bringing about relaxation of international tension and of achieving a lasting peace in Southeast Asia" and for every state "to lead its national existence free from outside interference in its internal affairs". (2) ZOPFAN is a politically negotiated text that tried to accommodate the differences in allies and threat perceptions among the members of ASEAN. (3) The formulation of ZOPFAN was, in substance, an extension of ASEAN's founding document, the ASEAN Declaration of 1967, which attempted to declare the region free from foreign military bases, but finally settled for a provision stating that "all foreign bases are temporary and remain only with the expressed concurrence of the countries concerned and are not intended to be used directly or indirectly to subvert the national independence and freedom of states in the area". (4)
Nevertheless, the ZOPFAN Declaration mandated ASEAN to exert efforts to secure the recognition of, and respect for, Southeast Asia as a zone of peace, freedom and neutrality. It was reported that the concept of neutralization under major power guarantees did not find favour with some countries in Southeast Asia. Thus, "neutrality" with its more positive connotation of self-imposition and capacity was substituted in its stead and the idea of "guarantees" by external powers was replaced by the notions of their "respect for" and "recognition of" such neutrality, thus conveying a sovereign choice of national and regional security policy (Haron 1991, p. 4). Furthermore, the ZOPFAN Declaration took cognizance of the trend towards establishing nuclear-free zones, as in the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Lusaka Declaration proclaiming Africa a nuclear-free zone.
On 5 January 1975, the ASEAN Senior Officials (ASEAN-SOM) established the Working Group on ZOPFAN to define and elaborate what would constitute a violation of the Zone, to propose steps to deter violation of the Zone and measures to be taken in the event of such violation. The Working Group held its first meeting in Bangkok on 17-19 April 1975. In its Report, the Working Group recommended the 14-point Guidelines Constituting a Code of Conduct Governing Relations among States within the Zone and with States Outside the Zone and 10-point Expectations from Countries Outside the Zone in Recognition and Respect for ZOPFAN. The Report of the Working Group in the form of a "Conceptual Framework of the ZOPFAN" was adopted by the First ASEAN Summit, held in Bali in 1976. In May 1977, the ASEAN-SOM decided to focus on the denuclearization aspect of the Conceptual Framework. Another major proposal, a non-aggression pact, to be guaranteed by the major powers, received no consensus within ASEAN.
However, soon after the Second ASEAN Summit, held in Kuala Lumpur in 1977, ASEAN became preoccupied with the Indochina conflict following Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia in 1978. ASEAN members round themselves debating whether or not SEANWFZ should be limited to its current members or to open it to the whole of Southeast Asia like the ASEAN's founding document, which opened the organization to participation by all countries in Southeast Asia. The primary advocates of SEANWFZ were in favour of an expansive coverage based on the argument that SEANWFZ was a component of ZOPFAN and "the only alternative" to proxy wars in Southeast Asia. On the other hand, some members did not want to extend any form of legitimacy to Vietnam by engaging it in the regional processes (Alagappa 1987, p. 2).
In 1982 the ASEAN Foreign Ministers established the ASEAN Task Force "to undertake a comprehensive review and appraisal of ASEAN cooperation". Included in the recommendations of the Task Force was the revival of the proposed denuclearization of Southeast Asia. In particular, the report recommended (a) intensifying collective actions on ZOPFAN among member countries; (b) widening consultations with other countries especially those in the region; and (c) establishing a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone in Southeast Asia.
In 1983, the Working Group on ZOPFAN was reactivated "to identify and elaborate the elements of ZOPFAN and should point out which of the elements could be further pursued, irrespective of the developments on the Kampuchean question". Indonesia then tabled a working paper entitled "Basic principles for arrangements on the establishment of a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone in Southeast Asia". (5)
The Drafting Committee on SEANWFZ produced the first and second drafts of the SEANWFZ Treaty in April and May 1987, respectively. The Third ASEAN Summit in Manila in December 1987 directed the officials to hold consultations with the Nuclear Weapon States with a view to concluding the draft. (6) While demonstrating collective support for SEANWFZ, the Manila Summit reiterated ASEAN's pronouncement ten years earlier that each member state shall be responsible for its own security and that cooperation on security matters shall continue on a "non-ASEAN basis" in accordance with their mutual needs and interests. (7) Notwithstanding the Summit mandate, the second draft remained as it was for the next five years. No consultations with the NWS took place. It was about this time when the global nuclear stockpiles peaked at about 70,000 nuclear weapons.
By the time the Fourth ASEAN Summit was held in January 1992, the international security situation was fast changing, with the disintegration of the former Soviet Union following the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev on 25 December 1991. What ensued was the historic end of the Cold War. Although it was too early to fully grasp the implications of the dramatic transformation in major power relations for regional security, ASEAN leaders saw the need for "consultation with friendly countries, taking into account changing circumstances".
On 23 October 1991, the Paris Conference on Cambodia signed the Comprehensive Political Settlement of the Cambodian Conflict, which paved the way for the return of political normalization in Cambodia and the reconstitution of a duly elected government. Under the Paris Accord, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos, whose territories were adjacent to Cambodia, undertook to prevent their territories from being used for the purpose of providing any form of military assistance to any of the Cambodian parties. This Accord sealed Vietnam's withdrawal from Cambodia that began in 1989.
In June 1992, the Working Group on ZOPFAN and the Drafting Committee on SEANWFZ were merged and became known as the Working Group on ZOPFAN and SEANWFZ. Foreign Ministers Ali Alatas of Indonesia and Abdullah Badawi of Malaysia called on ASEAN to take advantage of the renewed interest in nuclear non-proliferation "as one of the real dividends of the ending of the Cold War". (8) Mandated to examine the Second Draft of the Treaty, the reconstituted Working Group held uninterrupted negotiations for the next three years. (9) Face-to-face consultations with the NWS were held for the first time from 16 to 18 of November 1995 at the Horizon Hotel in Jakarta. It was clear then, based on their comments, that it would take time and substantive concessions before the NWS could sign the Protocol to the SEANWFZ Treaty. By then, ASEAN had already decided to adopt the Treaty and its Protocol as drafted. It was under the chairmanship of Indonesia when the draft was finalized just about two weeks prior to its signing at the Fifth ASEAN Summit on 15 December 1995.
The ASEAN Summit of 1995 was a historic turning point because it was the first time that all the ten leaders of the Southeast Asian countries gathered together on the same platform for the signing of the SEANWFZ Treaty. Five months earlier, Vietnam had joined ASEAN. Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar were not yet members of ASEAN but were consulted two months before the signing.
Under the SEANWFZ Treaty, the States Parties are bound not to develop, manufacture, acquire or have control over nuclear weapons; station or transport nuclear weapons by any means; test or use nuclear weapons; and allow in their respective territories any other state to do these acts. They also undertake not to dump at sea or discharge into the atmosphere anywhere within the Zone any radioactive material or wastes; dispose radioactive material or wastes on land in the territory of or under the jurisdiction of other States (except in accordance with International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] standards and procedures); nor allow, within their territories, any other State to dump at sea or discharge into the atmosphere any radioactive material or wastes. (10)
The Treaty and its Protocol apply to the territories, continental shelves, and exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of the State Parties within the Zone in which the Treaty is in force. (11) This application does not prejudice the rights of any State under the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 (UNCLOS). In particular, each State Party to the Treaty may decide for itself whether or not to allow visits by foreign ships and aircraft to its ports and airfields, transit of its airspace by foreign aircraft, and navigation by foreign ships through its territorial sea or archipelagic waters and overflight of foreign aircraft above those waters in a manner not governed by the rights of innocent passage, archipelagic sea lanes passage or transit passage. (12) The, Protocol calls on the NWS to respect SEANWFZ and not to contribute to any act which constitutes a violation of the Treaty.
The New Strategic Environment
Having been ratified, the SEANWFZ Treaty came into force among the ten signatory states three decades after the establishment of ASEAN. This was a period of rapid change and transformation in the region and in the world. By 1997, there was no longer an overarching and overriding global-level security dynamic as had been created by the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union. Southeast Asia was no longer a region divided between communists and non-communists. Except for Cambodia, all countries in Southeast Asia were already members of ASEAN. It was also in 1997 when the historic summit meetings between the leaders of ASEAN and their Northeast Asian counterparts from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea were held in Subang Jaya. Two years later, the same leaders signed in Manila the Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation in recognition of "the growing regional interdependence in the age of globalization and information". The entry of Cambodia into ASEAN in 1999 placed all ten countries of Southeast Asia under an indigenous intergovernmental organization for the first time in the region's history.
As a result of a series of agreements on nuclear weapons reduction and/or inability to sustain the nuclear arms race, the world's nuclear arsenal has been considerably reduced. The estimated number of nuclear warheads built worldwide since 1945 is about 128,000 (Norris and Kristesen 2002, pp. 103-104). All but 2 per cent of these nuclear warheads were built by the United States (55 per cent or 70,000+) and Russia (43 per cent or 55,000+). Under the Treaty on the Further Reduction and Elimination of Strategic Offensive Arms (START II), the approximate number of strategic U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons in 2003 was approximately 3,500 and 3000, respectively. The maximum number of deployed strategic nuclear weapons that would remain in the U.S. and Russian arsenals by 2012 as agreed under the Treaty of Moscow (also known as SORT) signed by U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin in May 2002 would be between 1,700 and 2,200. However, SORT does not address strategic nuclear warhead destruction or tactical nuclear weapons limits, both ground-breaking arms control measures that were suggested for inclusion in START III. If negotiated and ratified, the approximate number of strategic nuclear weapons suggested as the ceiling for the United States and Russia under START III would be about 1,500 to 2,000.
At the same time, new NWS have emerged, with serious strategic implications. The May 1998 nuclear tests in India and Pakistan have altered the global non-proliferation and disarmament situation. The tests have signalled that nuclear weapons could become a commonplace in the strategic landscape. They raise serious doubts about the extent to which the nuclear weapons race was linked only to the singular historical circumstances of the Cold War. (13) The pressure on India arose from being sandwiched between nuclear Pakistan and China. Israel is also believed to have developed nuclear weapons, which could well motivate its neighbours in the Middle East to do the same clandestinely. India, Pakistan and Israel are not parties to the Treaty on Nuclear Non-proliferation (NPT) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
While India, Pakistan and Israel are not parties to the NPT, North Korea has withdrawn from it and claimed the right to develop nuclear weapons. It is believed that North Korea has already embarked on a nuclear programme based on a reactor type suited to a nuclear weapons programme--a reactor that produces a relatively high percentage of weapons-grade plutonium. It is also acquiring delivery systems. The Pakistani Gharry missile and the Iranian Sheehan missile are said to be identical with a North Korean prototype. (14)
Today, various forms of transnational crime, including international terrorism, have risen as the new sources of threats to international, national and human security. These non-traditional security threats include arms smuggling, illicit trafficking of drugs and narcotics, trafficking in persons, piracy, money laundering, transboundary pollution and cyber-terrorism. Domestic and inter-ethnic conflicts have killed more people than inter-state wars since the end of the Cold War. For many, feelings of insecurity arise more from worries about daily life than from potential regional or global war. Job security, income security, health security, security from crime, environmental security and natural disasters have become the pressing human security concerns (Abad 2000, p. 3). At the same time, the possibility of terrorists acquiring, threatening to use or even using weapons of mass destruction has become "the sure of all fears". (15)
The Continuing Strategic Significance of SEANWFZ
The end of the Second World War and the Cold War and the current preponderance of U.S. military power have not ended the development and proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. At the root of the problem are continuing international conflicts, the lack of trust and confidence between the NWS, the insecurities if not aggressive intentions of rogue regimes and the illicit and lucrative trade in nuclear material, weapons and their delivery systems. The SEANWFZ Treaty clearly remains a strategically important contribution of the ASEAN region in the worldwide campaign against nuclear weapons and the regime of mutually assured destruction. Some specific reasons are as follows.
First, the nuclear arms race is not over yet. At present, there are 12 nations with nuclear weapons programmes and 28 nations with ballistic missiles. (16) There are still thousands of nuclear warheads deployed in the world and each has roughly 15 limes the power of the Hiroshima bomb. Even if START II, SORT and START III were implemented, the remaining stock would still be sufficient to destroy the world.
The nuclear race could take on a different direction following the United States' 13 December 2001 announcement of unilateral withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty and its hesitance to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The United States' Nuclear Posture Review of 9 January 2002 reaffirmed that the United States would develop and deploy missile defences that were more capable than that permitted by the ABM Treaty. (17)
While Russia has devised "asymmetric" intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to overwhelm U.S. missile defence systems, Russia is concerned about the disruption of the strategic balance. Russia considers the 1972 ABM Treaty "the cornerstone of strategic stability". (18) China, whose nuclear arsenal consists of a few missiles, might feel deprived of the capacity for retaliation and, therefore, might feel vulnerable to nuclear blackmail. Other countries that the U.S. claims to be the sources of threats could respond with counter-measures. The Bush administration's announcement might well have set in motion a new arms game that could have far-reaching consequences for regional stability and global arms control and non-proliferation (Yuan 2002, p. 1).
Furthermore, the U.S. Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) No. 60 of 1997 recommitted the United States to policies of threatened first use and retaliation and permitted nuclear strikes against any non-nuclear weapon state (NNWS) that had used chemical or biological weapons. Among the implied intention of PDD No. 60 is that the U.S. would continue to rely on nuclear weapons in the indefinite future. In addition, U.S. President Bill Clinton's transmittal letter to the Senate for the ratification of the CTBT in 1997 explicitly stated that the U.S. "will withdraw from CTBT if a high level of confidence in the safety or reliability of a nuclear weapon type critical to the Nation's nuclear deterrent could no longer be certified without nuclear testing".
In October 1996, Malaysia introduced a resolution at the UN General Assembly which called for multilateral negotiations to begin in 1997 leading to a conclusion of a Nuclear Weapons Convention prohibiting the development, production, testing, deployment, stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination. It was adopted by 115 votes to 22 with 32 abstentions. This initiative was made pursuant to Article 6 of the NPT, which mandated that "Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control". This goal remains a distant reality not only because of the lack of political will of the declared NWS under the NPT to fully dismantle their nuclear armaments, but also because of the emergence of new declared and undeclared NWS.
Second, nuclear weapon-free zones contribute to the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This has been acknowledged by various international agreements and organizations. The 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons guaranteed the right of countries or groups of countries "to conclude regional treaties in order to assure the total absence of nuclear weapons in their respective territories". The UN General Assembly Resolution 3472B of 11 December 1975 considered nuclear weapon-free zones one of the most effective means for preventing the proliferation, both horizontal and vertical, of nuclear weapons. The Middle Powers Initiative (composed of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa and Sweden) has also viewed NWFZs "a significant contribution to the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world". (19) NWFZs, together with other regimes, such as national export controls coordinated under the Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), contribute in creating barriers to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles.
One of the pressing problems in nuclear proliferation is the difficulty of containing the sheer amount of stockpiled fissile materials. About 3,000 tonnes of plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) exist in the world, less than one per cent of which are under IAEA safeguards. Two-thirds of the world's plutonium and HEU was produced specifically for military purposes and two-thirds of this, or about 1,300 tonnes, is now considered military surplus. While the NNWS are legally obliged under the NPT to place their fissile materials under IAEA safeguards, there is no treaty to control fissile materials in the NWS or the non-NPT countries.
The Tokyo Forum for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament stated in its report that,
Progress towards nuclear disarmament is inextricably tied to success in non-proliferation efforts. Without movement towards nuclear disarmament, the norm of non-proliferation is weakened. Without success in non-proliferation, the goal of zero nuclear weapons is unlikely to be achieved. The central compact in the NPT between NWS and NNWS must be strengthened. (20)
This is the same position that the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons took in 1996 when it reported that,
The NPT rests on this promise and it must be kept. To deal effectively with proliferation, therefore, means also tackling head on the problem of nuclear disarmament and the elimination of nuclear weapons at the earliest possible time.
Further reinforcing this view, the New Agenda Coalition of the Middle Powers Initiative has added its voice in underscoring that "Disarmament alone will not bring about a world free from nuclear weapons. Effective international cooperation to prevent the proliferation of these weapons is vital".
The concept of NWFZs as a strategy of nuclear disarmament has been criticized as flawed because it shifts the burden of verification from NWS to NNWS (de Montbrial 1989, pp. 11-12). However, the problem of nuclear disarmament, particularly among the declared NWS that have sophisticated control systems, is not so much the effectiveness of technical verification but the lack of political will to disarm. Moreover, while disarmament is an important task, non-proliferation is an equally important track towards the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. It is in the latter where NWFZs contribute significantly.
The entry into force of the SEANWFZ Treaty and the specific undertakings of each State Party hot to develop and acquire nuclear weapons and to establish a regional control system for the purpose of verifying compliance, including the application of the IAEA safeguards system, should constitute a valuable preventive measure against the possibility of nuclear materials and facilities falling into the hands of terrorist organizations. Indeed, there have been incidents where some countries in Southeast Asia have reportedly become unwilling parties to the activities of proliferators. (21) Since the networks of terrorist organizations are global, they are capable of taking advantage of the weakest links in the multinational business of proliferation. To prevent this "ultimate catastrophe", NWS have been called to revise their postures and pronouncements to marginalize nuclear weapons from any role in international politics (Allison 2004, p. 205).
Indeed, the increased probability of nuclear materials and fuel-cycle technology falling into the hands of terrorists as a result of nuclear proliferation and increased atrocities of international terrorism might have set off a new momentum of cooperation in the field of nonproliferation. For example, UN Security Council Resolution 1373 of 28 September 2001, which created the UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee, clearly acknowledged the close connection between international terrorism and illegal movement of weapons of mass destruction and called for measures to prevent and suppress terrorist acts. Then on 2 July 2004, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) issued the Statement on Non-Proliferation, which called for "regional dialogue and cooperation in order to strengthen a global response to this serious challenge and threat to international security". However, there are no clear indications that this renewed momentum will translate into enthusiastic support for NWFZs and, much less, nuclear disarmament by the NWS. Nevertheless, SEANWFZ has given Southeast Asia a legally binding instrument for promoting regional security by renouncing nuclear weapons and weapons-intended materials and preventing their proliferation in the region,
Third, NWFZ buttresses the principle that the threat or use of nuclear weapons is contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict and, in particular, the principles and rules of humanitarian law. On 14 May 1993, the Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) passed resolution 46/40 in which the organization requested the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to give an advisory opinion on whether the use of nuclear weapons by a country in war or other armed conflict would be a breach of its obligations under international law, including the Constitution of the WHO. Taking up the WHO initiative, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution on 15 December 1994 requesting the ICJ to render its advisory opinion on the following question: "Is the threat or use of nuclear weapons in any circumstance permitted under international law?"
The ICJ issued its advisory opinion on 8 July 1996, which concluded that the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict and, in particular, the principles and rules of humanitarian law. But the ICJ could not conclude definitively whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be lawful or unlawful in an extreme circumstance of self-defence in which the very survival of a state would be at stake. Nevertheless, the ICJ recalled that there existed an obligation under Article VI of the NPT for nuclear disarmament in all its aspects. Fulfillment of such obligation would eliminate the gravest threat to national survival not only among the NWS but also of the NNWS.
Fourth, SEANWFZ contributes to maintaining regional peace and security. The Protocol to the Treaty, when signed by NWS, will bind them not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against any State Party to the Treaty. The Protocol further requires them to undertake not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons within the zone. However, this latter provision, which constitutes a negative security assurance among NWS, is considered unprecedented and has remained unacceptable to most NWS. Nevertheless, even if negative security assurances are to be limited to the States Parties to the Treaty, SEANWFZ will still have removed a major source of threat to human existence in the region. Furthermore, by renouncing the development or acquisition of nuclear weapons and requiring each State Party to conclude an agreement with the IAEA for the application of full scope safeguards to its peaceful nuclear activities, a considerable level of risk of nuclear accident has been eliminated.
When SEANWFZ was conceived three decades ago, there were views expressed that it was unlikely to make any significant contribution to regional security because none of the states in the region were potential nuclear powers (Alagappa 1987). But with the level of economic and technological achievements in some countries in Southeast Asia today, this same assessment would now be difficult to reaffirm. In addition, the categorical resolve of the United States and Russia and other NWS to continue to possess and deploy nuclear weapons, thereby maintaining the status quo between the haves and the have nots, could make other countries feel less constrained to equalize when a perceived need and technical capability match up. This was precisely the justification used by India when it declared that its national security in a world of nuclear proliferation rested "either in global nuclear disarmament or in exercise of the principle of equal security for all" (Singh 1998, pp. 41-42). Some countries in Southeast Asia, in fact, initially resisted the indefinite extension of the NPT and advocated for a limited time extension at each review conference.
It is conceivable that a NWFZ could have a negative effect if it has an unfavourable impact on the strategic balance in the region. In the case of SEANWFZ, for example, the United States might be negatively affected the most among the NWS because of the limitation the Zone would impose on its predominant naval projection in the vital sea lanes in the region as well as its access to ports and airfields of its allies. China would seem to benefit the most because SEANWFZ could limit the manoeuverability of the other NWS within what it considers its natural sphere of influence. But SEANWFZ should be viewed in the overall context of confidence building and cooperative activities that ASEAN is trying to promote not only among its members but also with all countries which have legitimate interests in the region and capable of affecting the regional security situation. China, Japan, Russia and the United States are founding members of the ARE, which was initiated by ASEAN in 1994 to advance cooperative security through dialogue, cooperation and norm building.
Indeed, respect for and compliance with SEANWFZ is largely in the hands of the NWS and that, in the final analysis, possession and deployment of nuclear weapons could only be verified based on the declaration of the NWS themselves. But while most Southeast Asian countries today might not have sufficient technical capability to detect technologically advanced nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, such capability could be acquired or imparted over time. Cooperative arrangements between the Treaty States and the Protocol States could also be devised under mutual agreement. SEANWFZ has also tried to mitigate this situation by requiring visiting and transiting foreign ships and aircraft to its ports and airfield to notify a State Party which would then decide whether or not to allow them to do so. Furthermore, it is assumed that NWS signing on to the Protocol to the SEANWFZ Treaty would be doing so in good faith.
The establishment of NWFZ does not of itself involve any disarmament since weapons hot within such a zone may be deployed elsewhere. Rather, it has been referred to as a form of nuclear disengagement. By adding pressure against the NWS, NWFZ is a de-aligning strategy that, at heart, challenges the imperial interests of the nuclear powers. The creation of nuclear-free zones as a form of area-denial to the nuclear powers has been regarded as significant as an inspiration as much as an actual achievement (Tanter 1988, p. 185).
Multinational treaty-based or unilateral declarations of nuclear weapon-free or nuclear-free zones represent a geographic approach of countries or groups of countries to voluntary bind themselves to refrain from acquiring nuclear weapons and to obtain assurances from all NWS to respect such regimes. NWFZs represent political and military area denial. As a political tool, a NWFZ exists as a means to an end by discouraging member countries from acquiring nuclear weapons themselves or from increasing their involvement in the forward deployment of nuclear weapons systems of other states. They build confidence that security is enhanced rather than diminished by the removal of probable nuclear targets.
Fifth, SEANWFZ is a major regional confidence-building measure among Southeast Asian states and between them and their immediate neighbours. SEANWFZ is an expression of a collective desire and resolve of small and developing states of Southeast Asia to exercise control over their common security. It is a statement of reassurance of their peaceful intentions. Binding themselves net to acquire nuclear weapons is a form of mutual reassurance net to be a source of threat to one another. It is a signal to the neighbouring states of their readiness to engage constructively and an expression of independence in managing the region's external relations, particularly in its relations with the NWS.
SEANWFZ builds on the only other ASEAN treaty, the 1976 Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), which binds all contracting parties to renounce the threat or use force in their relations with one another and provides for a regime of pacific settlement of disputes. Offering TAC as a common code of conduct in the broader region, the Treaty was opened for accession by other states outside Southeast Asia on 15 December 1987. The TAC today counts China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and the Russian Federation as Treaty States. Australia, New Zealand and several more countries have also expressed intention to accede. The widening acceptance of TAC as a diplomatic and political instrument for managing interstate relations could be an indication of greater political will to promote norms and confidence building in the region today. But whether or net this trend could inevitably extend to SEANWFZ remains to be seen. The SEANWFZ Treaty has much more explicit constraining provisions and implications for military posture than the TAC. Nevertheless, more relaxed interstate relations could only contribute towards creating a more favourable environment for a SEANWFZ that is respected by the NWS.
ASEAN's concept of neutrality is more political than military. ZOPFAN and SEANWFZ are net aimed at abrogating security relations with non-regional states. In fact, the Philippines and Thailand have maintained their ally status with the United States expressed through their respective mutual defence arrangements with the United States. Malaysia and Singapore have remained parties to the Five Power Defence Arrangement with the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. These arrangements are extensions of colonial relationships. They symbolize some ASEAN countries' dilemma in reconciling their political aspirations with the security dynamic of the Cold War era and the strategic uncertainties at the beginning of the new millennium. Even Indonesia had entered into the Agreement on Maintaining Security with Australia in 1995--until Indonesia unilaterally abrogated it when Australia led a multinational peacekeeping force to stabilize East Timor following a referendum that voted for its political independence in 1999.
To a great extent, the concepts of ZOPFAN and SEANWFZ were reactions against the dominance and interference of the major powers in Southeast Asia. Interestingly, it was the end of the Cold War and proxy conflicts in Southeast Asia that facilitated the negotiation and signing of the SEANWFZ Treaty in 1995. (22) The decision to carry the process forward reflects ASEAN's reading of international relations as dynamic if not unpredictable. Indeed, the restructured international power politics could have the same implications for small and developing countries. The end of the Cold War did not, in fact, translate into an end to nuclear weapons.
Response of Nuclear Weapon States
The Treaty provides for a protocol of accession by the Nuclear Weapon States. While openly expressing support for the concept of NWFZs and appreciation to the States Parties for their commitment under the Treaty, no NWS has signed the Protocol to the Treaty. Negotiations for the accession of the NWS to the Protocol have reached an impasse due to some provisions in the Treaty, including the (a) provision on negative security assurances among the NWS in Article 2 of the Protocol to the Treaty, which most NWS consider "the single most difficult"; (23) (b) the perceived potential conflict between Articles 3.2 and 7 of the Treaty or between what the Treaty prohibits and the right of a State Party to decide for itself whether to allow port visits and transit; and (c) the zone of application of the Treaty, which included not only the territories but also the continental shelves (CS) and 200-mile exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of the States Parties within the Zone and its implications on territorial disputes and legal and ocean policy. (24)
On the first issue, the SEANWFZ Drafting Committee believed that the first hall of Article 2 of the Protocol, which was a negative security assurance (NSA) to be given to States Parties to the Treaty, would be meaningless without the second half, which extended NSA to NWS when in the Zone. But most NWS were against this supposedly unprecedented and unique provision of extending NSA to other NWS. (25) Some NWS have expressed concern that the Zone might serve as a sanctuary to NWS that are not parties to the Protocol to the SEANWFZ Treaty. The NWS have argued that they have already given security assurances against the use of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWS) that are Parties to the NPT (i.e., UNSC S/1995/261, S/1995/262, S/1995/263, S/1995/264, S/1995/265).
On the second issue, the potential conflict between the right of a State Party whether to allow visits, transit, navigation and overflight under Article 7 vis-a-vis its Basic Undertakings not to allow, in its territory, any other State to possess, control and station nuclear weapons under Article 3.2 was always in the minds of the members of the Drafting Committee. (26) The common stance was that this perceived conflict had been resolved by the phrase "Each State Party may decide for itself". Furthermore, in the face of the "neither confirm not deny" policy of NWS, the phrase "on being notified" was proposed to be inserted by an ASEAN Member Country and adopted by the ASEAN-SOM at its meeting in Ancol on 23-25 November 1995. But the insertion of that phrase simply imposed a requirement to be met by NWS and did not fully resolve the question whether Article 3.2 could inhibit the exercise of the right to decide for itself under Article 7. Thus, most NWS continue to question the compatibility of these two provisions. (27)
On the third issue, during one of the consultations between the drafters and representatives of the NWS. a view was expressed that the inclusion of CS and EEZs in the Treaty could result in a violation of existing international law by asserting over areas where high seas freedoms were guaranteed. For example, an assertion of navigational authority over these areas might not be in conformity with the legal requirements established for these areas by the UNCLOS. Some have also expressed concern that the unresolved territorial and maritime disputes in the region have made the problem of the zone boundaries even more complicated. (28) China has been the most supportive of SEANWFZ among the NWS. China has stated that it has more interest in the Treaty than other NWS because SEANWFZ adjoins China and that its scope involves parts of the South China Sea. Nevertheless, China has proposed that, "given the existing (territorial) disputes, the nuclear weapon-free zone should, at the present stage, be limited to the territories of the States Parties to the Treaty proper". (29)
The Drafting Committee did not intend to use the Treaty to advance the territorial claims of concerned States Parties. The CS and EEZ were added in the third draft on 1 April 1993 primarily for the purpose of protecting the Zone against the possible dumping of radioactive material or wastes as part of the Basic Undertakings of the States Parties. In this regard, some NWS have argued that the Seabed Arms Control Treaty of 1971, which prohibited emplantation and emplacement on the seabed, ocean floor, and in the subsoil thereof, beyond territorial seas, of nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction as well as structures, launching installations or any other facilities specifically designed for storing, testing or using such weapons, was a sufficient guarantee that the region's continental shelves would be free from WMD. The Seabed Treaty, however, was limited to banning the emplacement of nuclear weapons or any other types of WMD but not radioactive material or wastes. It was meant to prevent NWS from using the seabed as a new environment for military installations, including those capable of launching nuclear weapons. (30)
Given the current impasse, Southeast Asian states have at least three options. First, continue to secure the signature of all NWS to the current Protocol while defending the current provisions of the Treaty and the Protocol. Under this scenario, the Protocol could be opened for China's signature as it has expressed readiness to do so, provided that a statement that nothing in the Treaty shall affect the territorial boundaries and rights under UNCLOS could be inserted into the Protocol as a new article. (31) This option, however, might suspend further consideration by other NWS about becoming parties to the Protocol. This option suggests that ASEAN should take a moral high ground. SEANWFZ would, therefore, serve as an expression, in legal form, of a regional sentiment against the use and threat of use of WMD and their proliferation. Such a course of action would reflect the outlook of the original working paper on SEANWFZ, which stated that "a Protocol, essential though it is for the effective functioning of the NWFZ, should hot constitute a prerequisite for the entering into force of the arrangement or agreement establishing the NWFZ". (32)
Second, enter into a package deal and address at once all the concerns of NWS by (1) adopting a legally binding attachment to the Treaty stating that port and airfield visits are not compromised by the prohibitions under the Basic Undertakings of the States Parties; (2) limiting the negative security assurance of non-use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against the States Parties, but not including the Protocol States; and (3) adopting a new article in the Protocol on the territorial issue and rights under UNCLOS as mentioned above. This option, provided that the new provisions are negotiated successfully, has the biggest chance of most NWS signing on to the Protocol. In order to address the concern of some countries in Southeast Asia that such extra effort to reconcile Articles 3.2 and 7 could potentially open the Treaty to different interpretations and infringe on the very purpose of the Treaty, the States Parties could revisit, for possible inclusion into the Protocol, an earlier suggested provision stating that transit of nuclear weapons through the Zone must not prejudice, threaten or endanger the defence and security of the States of the Zone as originally conceived in the 1982 Working Paper on SEANWFZ. (33)
Third, pending unanimous agreement with all NWS, secure political undertakings from all NWS (i.e., through unilateral or collective political declaration) that they would not contribute to any act, which would constitute a violation of the Treaty or its Protocol. (34) Such undertakings would be compatible with and could complement the first option above, except that this third option leaves the door open for continued consultations indefinitely until circumstances become more favourable.
The Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone remains strategically relevant because (a) it conveys a message of peace and security; (b) it contributes to the global campaign against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the use and threat of use of weapons of mass destruction; (c) it adds pressure to the NWS to pursue nuclear disarmament: and (d) it contributes to building the confidence of Southeast Asian countries in managing their common security and exercising a good measure of control over their destiny. The probable nexus between international terrorism and WMD has created a new urgency for international cooperation in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. However, whether or not such renewed interest could be translated into enthusiastic support for NWFZ remains to be seen. Nevertheless, SEANWFZ has given Southeast Asia a framework for cooperation in preventing terrorist organizations from acquiring materials to develop and use nuclear weapons or from transporting them through the region. Each State Party to the Treaty is bound to apply IAEA's full scope safeguards in their use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The challenge now is to ensure that the control system mandated by the Treaty for the purpose of compliance verification works effectively. The credibility of SEANWFZ greatly depends on the capability of States Parties to the Treaty to regulate themselves as well as in their commitment to building an effective global coalition of like-minded states. Indeed, NWFZs would not exclude any region from an all-out nuclear war begun elsewhere in the world. Therefore, removing the threat of nuclear war in any region requires simultaneous initiatives in regional and global dimensions of nuclear deployments (Hayes and Zarsky 1988, p. 85). To remain relevant and meaningful, the spirit of SEANWFZ should transcend the regional interest of Southeast Asia. While born out of a desire to be neutral and free from the entanglement of imperial power politics, SEANWFZ should reinvent itself as a proactive instrument of engagement in the maintenance of international peace and security.
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(1) The full text of the SEANWFZ Treaty can be found on the ASEAN website at http://www.aseansec.org/2082.htm.
(2) Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality Declaration, Kuala Lumpur, 27 November 1971.
(3) In his statement at the signing of the ASEAN Declaration, Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Narciso Ramos described how the negotiation "truly taxed the goodwill, the imagination, the patience and understanding of the five participating Ministers".
(4) It may be recalled that British and Commonwealth forces were actively involved in the "Confrontation" between Indonesia and Malaysia from 1963 to 1966 following the incorporation of Northern Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak territories into the newly established Federation of Malaysia. For instance, British Special Air Services (SAS) launched "Operation Claret", a series of incursions starting in June 1964 that went up to ten kilometres into Indonesia's Kalimantan. There were reportedly about 14,000 British and Commonwealth forces in Borneo at that time. See D. Easier, "British Intelligence and Propaganda during the 'Confrontation', 1963-1966", Intelligence and National Security 16, no. 2 (Summer 2001): 83-102.
(5) On its own initiative, Indonesia held a two-day seminar on 14-15 January 1985, which produced a more detailed proposal of a nuclear weapon-free Southeast Asia. Attending the seminar were 65 participants from the Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs, National Defence Institute, Center for Strategic and International Studies, and other institutions dealing with international issues. See Mochtar Kusumaatmadja, "Keeping Away from Dangers of Nuclear Weapons". Paper presented at the ASEAN Experts Group Meeting on ZOPFAN, Kuala Lumpur, 5-6 January 1991, p. 2.
(6) Third ASEAN Summit's Programme of Action for the Enhancement of ASEAN Cooperation, Manila, 15 December 1987. The first and second meetings of the Drafting Committee were held in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta on 20-24 April and 25-27 May 1987, respectively.
(7) Manila Declaration, Third Meeting of the ASEAN Heads of State or Government, 15 December 1987. This policy was first stated in the Declaration of ASEAN Concord on 24 February 1976.
(8) Opening Statements at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, 23 July 1993.
(9) Subsequent meetings of the Working Group on ZOPFAN and SEANWFZ were held as follows: 30 March to 1 April 1993 in Jakarta; 21-23 December 1993 in Bangkok: 3-4 November 1994 in Bandar Seri Begawan: 21-22 July 1995 in Bandar Seri Begawan: 21-22 September 1995 in Bandung; 24-26 October 1995 in Yogjakarta: 20-21 November 1995 in Jakarta.
(10) Article 3, SEANWFZ Treaty.
(11) The Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone has be, en defined as "the area comprising the territories of all States in Southeast Asia, namely, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and their respective continental shelves and exclusive economic zones" (Article l(a), SEANWFZ Treaty).
(12) Article 7, SEANWFZ Treaty.
(13) "Facing Nuclear Dangers: Report of the Tokyo Forum for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (Tokyo Forum)", Tokyo, 25 July 1999 (Tokyo: Japan Institute of International Affairs, 1999), p. 11.
(14) Tokyo Forum, 1999, p. 29.
(15) Quoted from a lecture by Graham Allison (who was borrowing the title of Tom Clancy's 1991 novel) at the Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, on 19 August 2004, which was attended by the author.
(16) Moreover, there are 13 nations which possess biological weapons and 16 nations with chemical weapons. See Center for Defense Information (CDI) Website at http://www.cdi.org/nuclear/facts-at-a-glance.cfm#1.
(17) U.S. Department of Defense, "Findings of the Nuclear Posture Review", 9 January 2002.
(18) Reply by Russian Ambassador Gennady Gerasimov to interview by RIA Novosti, 13 March 2001.
(19) New Agenda Coalition Joint Declaration, 9 June 1998, as reprinted in Fast Track to Zero Nuclear Weapons: The Middle Powers Initiative (Cambridge, Mass.: The Middle Powers Initiative, 1998).
(20) Tokyo Forum, op. cit. 1999, p. 44.
(21) See, for example, William J. Broad, David E. Sanger and Raymond Bonner, "Nuclear Proliferator: How Pakistani's Network Offered the Whole Kit", International Herald Tribune, 13 February 2004, and "A World Wide Web of Nuclear Danger", The Economist, 28 February 2004, pp. 27-29.
(22) It has been argued that the concept of neutrality is irrelevant to a situation of relative peace and in the absence of war. Scholars refer to a theoretical optimum of conflict intensity and its dilemma. In this particular case, it has been observed that while the lessening of ideological conflicts was conducive to the realization of ZOPFAN, the end of such conflicts made the concept irrelevant. The ZOPFAN concept has also been viewed to have no historical precedent because it was applied both in times of war and peace unlike earlier experiences in Europe and in the Americas, where cases of "armed neutralities" and "neutral zones" were applied in times of war. It could be argued, on the other hand, that the absence of war in the region does not mean the absence of conflict. See Muthiah Alagappa, "Regional Arrangements and International Security in Southeast Asia: Going Beyond ZOPFAN", Contemporary Southeast Asia 12, no. 4 (March 1991): 269-305, and Heiner Hanggi, ASEAN and the ZOPFAN Concept, Pacific Strategic Papers 4 (Singapore: ISEAS, 1991).
(23) In its written comments, in response to the proposals of the ASEAN Working Group on SEANWFZ of October 1996, the United States categorically said that, "We will not be able to sign the Protocol so long as the second sentence of Article 2 (of the Protocol) requires this expansive commitment" because (1) the geographical boundaries of the Zone are at present undefined and (2) it confers the same NSA upon any State in the Zone, regardless of whether or not it has undertaken the solemn obligations of the Treaty. in their Joint Demarche on 9 March 2000, the NWS stated that the deletion of the second sentence of Article 2 of the Protocol "is a necessary precondition for the unanimous support of the P5 to this Protocol".
(24) The Drafting Committee noted that while the diagrammatic approach in defining the Zone, i.e., by delimiting and illustrating the boundaries of the Zone on a map (like the Treaties of Tlatelolco and Rarotonga) would clearly establish its outer limits as well as maximize the Zone. such an approach might not be feasible because of territorial disputes and unresolved land and maritime boundary issues in the region. (From the Report of the Chairman of the SEANWFZ Drafting Committee to the Chairman of the ASEAN-SOM dated 8 June 1987.)
(25) It may be noted, however, that in the case of the Treaty of Rarotonga, Protocol 2 (Article 1.b) does entail NSA in relation to the territories of three nuclear weapon states as a "special and exceptional circumstance" of dependent territories in the South Pacific region of those three states where they have accepted the application to their dependent territories of the prohibitions contained in the Treaty.
(26) For instance, this matter was addressed in the, Annex to the Working Paper on the Establishment of Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone in Southeast Asia, ASEAN-SOM, Jakarta 11-12 August 1983. The paper stated that in the event that prohibition of transit of nuclear weapons through the Zone was not viable or appropriate, a Protocol to the Treaty should be concluded "in which it is expressly stipulated that transit of nuclear weapons through the Zone, must not prejudice, threaten or endanger the defense and security of the States of the Zone and must be at any time consistent with the Montego Bay Law of the Sea Convention of 1982".
(27) The Drafting Committee tried to clarify that the Basic Undertakings did not prejudice the rights of innocent and transit passage. In the earlier draft, a proposed provision under the section on Foreign Ships and Aircraft stated: "The provisions of Article 3.1(a) of this Treaty shall not prejudice, the rights of innocent passage, archipelagic sea lanes passage or transit passage of foreign ships and aircraft in accordance with the provisions of the UNCLES of 1982 and consistent with the Charter of the United Nations." This provision was subsequently transposed to the final Article 2.2 of the Treaty. But whether the rights of innocent and transit passage as well as port and airfield visits go with the right to possess, have control, and station nuclear weapons, remain a matter of interpretation or policy. The United States, in its comments ill November 1995. proposed to narrow that provision in Basic Undertakings by limiting the prohibition against possession, control and stationing of nuclear weapons by NWS to land and inland waters of the States Parties.
(28) Comments made by representatives of the five NWS at a consultation with the SEANWFZ Drafting Committee in Jakarta in November 1995. The concern on the complications of the unresolved territorial disputes was again conveyed to the author during his meeting with officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow on 5 June 1996.
(29) China Talking Points on the Draft SEANWFZ. November 1995.
(30) See Article 1.1 of the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Seabed and the Ocean Floor and in the Subsoil Thereof, 11 February 1971.
(31) The Foreign Minister of China expressed this readiness at the 10+1 Meeting in Singapore in July 1999. China submitted the following formulation in February 1997: "Nothing in the Treaty shall affect in anyway the sovereignty, the sovereign rights and the jurisdiction which Protocol Parties have over their territories and in their exclusive economic zones and on their continental shelves and in the exercise by all States of their rights and freedoms of navigation in this area as provided for in international law, in particular the 1982 UNCLES".
(32) Working Paper on SEANWFZ (Basic Principles for an Arrangement Establishing a NWFZ in Southeast Asia), ASEAN-SOM, Jakarta, 11-12 August 1983. The Working Paper further states that NWFZ is an area of nuclear disarmament in which NNWS could play a bigger role than the NWS by showing by actions their commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons.
(33) See endnote number 27 above.
(34) The Joint Demarche of the NWS in 2000 stated that, "It is the point of view of the P5 that other points for clarifications may be addressed through unilateral declarations by each of them at the time of its signature". This was reiterated in their Joint Demarche of 15 January 2001 that, "separate unilateral declarations by States Parties to the Protocol constitutes common practice upon signature and ratification". This approach could facilitate the third option. But it could also constrain possibilities of compromise later when "points of clarifications" are already publicly taken by NWS.
M.C. ABAD, JR. is currently Head of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Unit in the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta, Indonesia.…
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Publication information: Article title: A Nuclear Weapon-Free Southeast Asia and Its Continuing Strategic Significance. Contributors: Abad, M. C., Jr. - Author. Journal title: Contemporary Southeast Asia. Volume: 27. Issue: 2 Publication date: August 2005. Page number: 165+. © 1999 Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS). COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.
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