Paris, April 1st, 2020. In a media release from the Elysée Palace, it is revealed that France’s Head of State has decided to implement Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which France joined on 2 Agust, 1992. As soon as the current lockdowns end and victory is achieved over the coronavirus, the President of the Republic will invite to Paris the heads of the 9 countries that have nuclear weapons, the so-called P5 + 4, in order to negotiate the complete and controlled elimination of their nuclear weapons. (1)
As from today he is closing the programmes for developing France’s nuclear arms. The weapons factories, which have, at the request of the Minister of Defense and the Head of the Armed Forces, continued to function during the coronavirus crisis, will be shut down without delay and remain shut after the lockdown ends. A corrective budget bill will be tabled in the Parliament.
The decision was taken last night after an extraordinary meeting of the Scientific Council for Health. Realising that France is cruelly lacking in testing kits for the coronavirus, protective masks against the coronavirus, medicines to counter the coronavirus, hospital beds, ventilators, healthcare personnel, PPE for healthcare staff and for other essential workers, the Head of State has decided to divert to these needs all the 37 billion euros which hitherto had been intended to make missiles and atomic bombs between now and 2025.
"By giving up our nuclear programmes," declared Macron,"we will save 14.5 billion euros a day. It is true that, in the war we are waging against the coronavirus, the explosive devices carried underwater by our nuclear subs are not of very much use. They are as useless in the fight against viral epidemics, climate change, radioactivity and cancers as they are against terrorism. All they would do is enable us to add another billion to the victims of the coronavirus. That would not make sense."
"Tomorrow’s world will never be the same as that of yesterday and today. We must make changes, and that will certainly be painful, but indispensible, in our habits, our priorities, our behaviours and our ways of thinking. France intends to contribute actively to those changes, to humanise the planet and save it from the apocalypse. I personally will ensure progress on this, as long as is necessary."
(1) "The P5" means the group of 5 nuclear-armed nations which are states-parties of the NPT and also permanent members of the UN Security Council: USA, Russia, UK, Russia, France and China. The four others, outside the NPT, are Israel, India,Pakistan and North Korea.
The NPT, which entered into force in 1970, stipulates 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." (Article VI)