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Letter from ACDN to François Rivasseau, Permanent representative of France in the Conference on Desarmament

(translation by Peter Low)

Published 15 August 2003

Your Excellency,

We learn through the Abolition 2000 Network that at the Geneva Conference
on Disarmament, where you represent France, China has recently taken
an important step in supporting an amended version of the so-called A5
proposition, made by the ambassadors of Algeria, Belgium, Chile,
Colombia and Sweden. This proposition accepts that negotiations
should be undertaken with a view to establishing a Fissile Materials
Control Treaty (FMCT) which would make it possible to avoid the
dispersal of these materials, while other questions essential to
disarmament - ban on militarisation of space (PAROS), nuclear
disarmament, and "negative guarantees - could be the object of
parallel discussions.

If our information is correct, this proposition A5 has now received the
support of two other nuclear states parties to the NPT and permanent
members of the UN Security Council, namely Russia and the UK - but
not the support of France or the USA.

In the current context, it seems to us essential that France should
contribute actively to unblocking the disarmament process and to
working against proliferation - actions with can only improve
international security.

For these reasons we would like to know what positions the French
government and yourself plan to take in France’s name during the
current process. We would also be happy to receive at the same
time the French text of proposition A5, for which your services have
doubtless acquired an official translation in its most recent

Our organisation and numerous other French and international NGOs have
launched an Appeal to the five nuclear nations co-signatories of the
NPT asking them to act on their undertaking on 19 May 2000 to
eliminate all their nuclear arsenals in accord with article VI of the
NPT. France is requested to take the initiative for this.

Naturally, we hope that France will take positive and
determined action in favour of proposition A5, which could provide a
new momentum for the Conference on Disarmament and real progress in
this direction. All over the world there are people keenly hoping for
this to occur.

We thank you in advance for your reply.

Yours respectfully,

Action of Citizens for Nuclear Disarmament (ACDN)

Jean-Marie Matagne, Ph.D, President