388. Memorandum for the Record1


  • September 3 Mini SCC Meeting on the NPT Review Conference

1. The meeting, chaired by David Aaron, was called at the request of ACDA to review the state of play at the NPT Review Conference in Geneva which is scheduled to end Friday.2 The Conference at this time is in serious disarray and there is a good chance that they will not be able to agree on a final consensus document. The major area of disagreement is on that portion dealing with Article VI of the treaty which concerns nuclear arms control negotiations.3 The group of 77 (G–77), the Non-aligned Nations, wants to put into the final document three items that the US finds unacceptable:

—a call for establishment of a CTB Working Group in the Committee on Disarmament (CD)

—a call for a moratorium on nuclear testing

—criticism of South Africa and Israel for allegedly developing a nuclear capability.

2. ACDA proposed at the meeting that we might want to accept the creation of a CTB Working Group in the CD in exchange for elimination of the other objectionable items from the final document and thereby be able to produce a consensus document. It was acknowledged that we did not know if such an exchange would be acceptable to the G–77. The [Page 992] US has always opposed a multilateral forum such as the CD for the CTB because of the risks of manipulation by the Soviets on verification issues. The discussion at the mini SCC revolved around the degree of damage that would be done to the NPT regime by failure to achieve a final consensus document, balanced against the risks to progress in the CTB negotiations by putting any part of them in a multi-lateral form. The general feeling at the meeting was leaning toward the ACDA suggestion except for JCS who flatly opposed creation of a CTB Working Group in the CD. No decision was made at the meeting and it was decided to add the issue as an agenda item to the SCC meeting on theater nuclear forces on Thursday.4

3. My assessment is that while there would certainly be some short term negative impact on our non-proliferation efforts from failure to achieve a final consensus document at the Review, the long term prospects for the NPT regime will depend primarily on the future performance and behavior of the nuclear weapons states (NWS) in the arms control and nuclear supply arenas. At this stage the NNWS still believe that a viable NPT is in their interests, primarily as a tool in keeping pressure on the NWS for arms control progress and nuclear supply assurances.

4. Attached is a short paper prepared by ACDA on the issues that were discussed at the meeting.5

[name not declassified]
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, Job 81B00112R, Subject Files, Box 15, Folder 19: (PRC) Non-Proliferation, 1980. Secret. No minutes or summary of conclusions for this meeting has been found.
  2. September 12.
  3. See footnote 5, Document 211.
  4. September 11.
  5. Not attached.