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Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Statement at the Opening of the Meeting of the G-8
London, United Kingdom, June 12, 1998
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State

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Let me say how grateful I am to the British Government. By organizing this meeting, you have given us the opportunity to make two very important points:

First, that the problem before the international community is not that the nuclear "haves" are lining up against the "have-nots."

It is, instead, a difference both of principle and judgment between the overwhelming majority of nations, who want to see fewer nuclear weapons on our planet; and two nations, otherwise respected, who decided that it would be in their interest to move in the other direction. That was a grave miscalculation, the consequences of which we cannot undo, but must work together to minimize.

Second, our meeting sends the message that the world community is united not just in outrage and dismay, but in action. Our deliberations today will include nations from every continent, determined to work together to tackle every aspect of this problem.

We begin, I believe, united in support of the objectives agreed by the P-5 and confirmed by the Security Council.

We also share the conviction that, by choosing to test, India and Pakistan have diminished their security and damaged their prestige -- and they have not gained for themselves the status of nuclear weapons states under the NPT.

And we are all committed to maintaining -- and strengthening -- the international nonproliferation regime.

Our task today is to agree on steps we can take to put our common principles into action.

First, we must ensure that the parties do not get mixed messages or see any daylight between members of this group. That does not mean we must act in lockstep; but it does mean sticking to our agreed goals.

It means that those of us who have not implemented sanctions must do nothing to undermine those of us who have. And in particular, that none of us will break our commitments under the Nuclear Suppliers' Group by engaging in nuclear cooperation with India or Pakistan.

Second, our relations with India and Pakistan must not drift back to business as usual. One way to do this would be coordinating our votes at the international financial institutions. We should work for postponement of consideration of loans that do not meet basic human needs.

Of course, it is not our purpose to make pariahs of India or Pakistan. The G-8 and like-minded states need to step forward and help them climb out of the hole they have dug for themselves.

In that connection, we should acknowledge recent statements from New Delhi and Islamabad, announcing moratoria on future nuclear tests and the parties' intentions with regard to the CTBT and fissile materials negotiation. These are encouraging signs -- not sufficient, but encouraging.

We need to remember that we cannot do the hard work for them, and that no outside intervention can take the place of both sides putting aside pre-conditions and meeting face to face. But we can, I believe, provide incentives --and disincentives -- to help move the process along.

The two countries' Prime Ministers have suggested they would be willing to meet soon. We should endorse and applaud such a meeting, and encourage both to prepare for it pragmatically -- and with specific confidence-building outcomes in mind.

Both governments should avoid provocative rhetoric about Kashmiri issues and commit to discussing them seriously.

And we should begin now to think about what support we could offer once a dialogue begins. Those who have experience with nuclear safeguarding and risk reduction might wish to offer it -- as Brazil and Argentina already have. Technical support for confidence-building measures will certainly be needed. And longer-term, we should be prepared to offer practical support for cross-border initiatives that strengthen economic ties and build trust -- for they offer the best chance to reduce and remove the suspicion and hostility that make this situation so dangerous.

In short, our talks today are the beginning of a process, not an end result: I hope we will focus on ways of using this cooperation to obtain the results we seek -- peace and a reinvigorated non-proliferation regime.

[End of Document]

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