German commitment to the banning of the production of fissionable material(© Colourbox)
Germany attaches fundamental importance to an FMCT as an essential step towards nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Banning the production of fissile material for weapons purposes would prevent the quantitative proliferation and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons. Germany’s commitment to make it possible to start negotiating an FMCT has taken a variety of forms.
German involvement is illustrated among others by the May 2012 conference of scientific experts on the FMCT from 45 States, which Germany convened in cooperation with the Netherlands. The approach of prioritizing technical issues of an FMCT and thereby contributing to the creation of strong foundations for future negotiations on a treaty was endorsed by the FMCT resolution adopted by the 66th General Assembly (A/RES/66/44). German experts furthermore participated in the work of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) which addressed the matter in 2014 and 2015; its report is meanwhile available. In addition, the informal meetings Germany coordinated in 2014 and 2015 within the framework of the CD allowed delegations to engage in an in-depth exchange of views on the matter.
As early as 1998, the CD agreed for the first time on a negotiating mandate for an FMCT. However, its implementation was prevented in subsequent years by several member States who established linkages between the core areas of CD work; a consensus on this subject could not be found. In May 2009, the CD adopted a consensus-based programme of work (CD/1864) which contained a negotiating mandate for a verifiable FMCT. Its implementation, however, met with resistance from Pakistan. Until today it has been impossible to start negotiating an FMCT.