Possessing Atomic Bomb ‘Shameful as Depending on Chemical, Biological Weapon’, First Committee Hears, while Nuclear-Weapon States Defend Deterrence Policies

Defending the strategic purposes of their arsenals, First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) delegates representing nuclear weapon States pointed at current geopolitical realities, while calling for the type of methodical approach to disarmament that has led to past successes.

The United States representative said that while his country is committed to reducing nuclear stockpiles, the security environment has dramatically deteriorated in recent years. These underlying symptoms must be addressed to successfully pursue additional measures related to nuclear disarmament.

He advocated for an approach in which States must first work together to address the fundamental challenges that predicate the need for nuclear deterrence. That stands in stark contrast to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which jumps straight to the perceived solution of total nuclear disarmament, without doing any of the hard work necessary to achieve such an outcome, he said.

Echoing a common call among delegates representing non nuclear weapon States, El Salvador’s representative said that to depend on a nuclear weapon is as shameful as depending on a chemical or biological weapon. Emphasizing that no State or organization is ready to face the consequences of using a nuclear weapon, he said States are wasting resources to maintain and modernize arsenals instead of channelling funds to more positive priorities like development and achieving the goals and targets set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Meanwhile, several representatives of nuclear weapon States cautioned against initiatives launched outside the traditional forums. Agreeing, Pakistan’s delegate said the frustration brewing on the slow progress towards nuclear disarmament has in fact boiled over, giving birth to an initiative launched outside the Conference on Disarmament to ban nuclear weapons. In addition, a treaty that only results in a cut off in the future production of fissile material would jeopardize Pakistan’s security and bring no added value to the cause of nuclear disarmament.

Reiterating concern over the grave threat posed by the continued possession of nuclear weapons, Egypt’s delegate, whose country does not possess atomic bombs, said arguments setting preconditions for implementing disarmament obligations will only lead to counterarguments that make non proliferation commitments dependent on similar conditions. The inevitable result of this vicious cycle of retracting previously negotiated obligations is the collapse of the entire regime.

Moreover, Ireland’s representative said, the prevalence given to nuclear weapons in security doctrines is problematic. In this vein, he called on States to demonstrate good faith in implementing mutually agreed obligations. Going forward, he said the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is a success story and its relevance depends on the ability to deliver on its original promises.

Expressing concern at the lack of concrete progress achieved on nuclear disarmament since 2010, South Africa’s representative said nuclear weapons cannot be treated as a matter of national security only to the few States that still possess them. Since they threaten the security of all, all States have a legitimate stake in, and responsibility for, nuclear disarmament.

Also delivering statements were the representatives of Jamaica (for the Caribbean Community), Mexico, India, Paraguay, Switzerland, Canada, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Latvia, Singapore, Peru, Cuba, Sweden, Belarus, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Italy, Ghana, Japan, Germany and the Maldives.

The First Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Monday, 22 October, to continue its thematic debate on nuclear weapons.

Background

The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this afternoon to continue its thematic debate on nuclear weapons. For background information, see Press Release GA/DIS/3597 of 8 October.

Briefing

HEIDI HULAN, Chair of the High-level Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty Expert Preparatory Group, recalled its mandate to make recommendations on substantial elements of a future instrument banning the production of this substance for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. The Group’s report, released by the Secretary General, contains a summary of issues negotiators will need to consider when drafting the instrument, she said, noting that it did not attempt to narrow the range of options available to future negotiators. Consequently, Member States were not expected to make concessions on positions, but rather lay the groundwork for future negotiations. The report breaks down key issues, including legal and institutional aspects, and outlines the possible range of treaty provisions and considerations negotiators will need to reflect upon. Further, it takes the treaty debate, as well as that of the Group of Governmental Experts, and distils it into a readily usable format. Indeed, the report has captured recommendations in plain language and democratized a highly complex issue in a way that will serve the international community well when it comes to negotiating a treaty. More broadly, it shows that nuclear weapon States and non nuclear weapon States can work together to achieve a common goal at a time when many wondered whether meaningful collaboration was possible.

Noting that there are no perfect multilateral processes, she recognized some of the concerns raised about the report, including that it does nothing to resolve questions of scope, which some see as a precondition to negotiations. Acknowledging a specific issue around whether fissile material stocks are to be included or not, she said States must be willing to be flexible on scope to allow for negotiations to take place. In response to the view that the report is merely a repeat of the 2015 Group of Governmental Experts report, she said the mandate is not the same and the Expert Preparatory Group made important progress on several aspects of the debate in ways that will facilitate future negotiations. Addressing concerns that the report’s recommendations are weak and that the preparatory process lacked ambition, she said progress may be slower than desired, but the Group’s mandate was simple: to do everything to prepare for negotiations when they occur, she said, expressing confidence in having accomplished that.

Very little remains to be done other than negotiate a treaty, she continued. Reaching consensus in the Preparatory Group was not easy, but it was a meaningful exercise, a worthy contribution to the debate and supported the discussion on a treaty that occurred in subsidiary bodies of the Conference on Disarmament. Member States must now think creatively in terms of leveraging these findings to pursue concrete steps towards a final instrument. While progress means getting closer to knowing what such a treaty would look like, she said political challenges remain. To achieve further gains, Member States of the United Nations and of the Conference on Disarmament must exercise the will to make progress towards negotiations. Moving forward, dialogue is urgently needed to discuss impediments, which are strictly political, she said, thanking Member States and asking for their support for a draft resolution that would welcome the Preparatory Group’s report and bring forward its recommendations for follow up in Geneva.

Statements

E. COURTENAY RATTRAY (Jamaica), speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said that while there have been positive achievements made by the two nuclear weapons States with the largest arsenals, the estimated number of nuclear weapons still amounts to several thousand. Expressing frustration that the Conference on Disarmament has not resumed negotiations and is still stymied by a stalemate that has persisted for several decades, he said CARICOM anticipated that the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Non Proliferation Treaty would produce more tangible results.

Calling for follow up action pursuant to the 2013 high level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament, he suggested convening a meeting to provide a platform for work in this regard. Describing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as the first tangible milestone in the nuclear disarmament landscape in two decades, he reiterated the Caribbean Community’s support for the process and called for greater collaboration towards its full implementation. He also called for non nuclear weapon States to be given assurances by nuclear weapon States against the use or threat of use of these armaments, he said, calling it an ethical imperative. CARICOM will continue to support and deepen cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA), he said, noting that Grenada has become the latest CARICOM member to join the Agency.

SOCORRO FLORES LIERA (Mexico) expressed concern that some States support military doctrines that justify the possession, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons. Maintaining States’ security by the threat of the use of nuclear weapons and deterrence is unacceptable and can potentially generate a devastating humanitarian impact. The global security situation cannot justify the lack of progress in nuclear disarmament. On the contrary, the context we are currently facing reinforces the need for urgent actions to guarantee the elimination of this type of weapon, she said. Mexico is fully committed to the Non Proliferation Treaty, Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco), Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. On the latter, she said we now have an instrument that for the first time expressly prohibits nuclear weapons, adding that the new instrument complements other conventions.

SUKHENDU SEKHAR RAY (India), associating himself with the Non Aligned Movement, recalled that his country was the first in the world to call for a ban on nuclear testing in 1954 and a non discriminatory treaty on the non proliferation of atomic bombs in 1965. In 1978, India proposed negotiating an international convention that would prohibit the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. As a responsible nuclear weapon State, India has followed a policy of maintaining a credible minimum deterrence, no first use and non use of such arsenals against non nuclear weapon States. We have been prepared to convert these undertakings into multilateral legal arrangements, he said. Further, India remains committed to a unilateral voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing. His delegation will present two draft resolutions to the Committee under the nuclear weapon cluster: on a legally binding instrument prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons negotiated in the Conference on Disarmament, and on a need for a review of nuclear doctrines and steps to reduce the risk of unintentional or accidental use of nuclear weapons, including through de alerting and de targeting nuclear weapons.

ROBERT WOOD (United States) said his country is committed to reducing nuclear stockpiles in ways that advance international security. Unfortunately, the security environment has dramatically deteriorated in recent years. Regional tensions and conflicts in Europe, Asia and the Middle East persist. Several key arms control treaties are under strain of non compliance by key signatories, he said, also raising concerns about the Russian Federation’s continued violation of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. These underlying symptoms must be addressed to successfully pursue additional effective measures related to nuclear disarmament, as called for in article 6 of the Non Proliferation Treaty. For this reason, the United States advocates an approach that focuses on creating conditions for nuclear disarmament. States must first work together to address the fundamental challenges that predicate the need for nuclear deterrence. Nevertheless, there are reasons to be optimistic, he said, pointing to progress made on the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START Treaty) and recent discussions with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. These examples illustrate a methodical approach that considers the global security environment, while emphasizing a need for verification provisions. It also stands in stark contrast to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which jumps straight to the perceived solution of total nuclear disarmament, without doing any of the hard work necessary to achieve such an outcome. This Treaty foregoes the approach that has led to every success on disarmament in favour of brevity and political expediency. It also increases political divisions, making future disarmament efforts more difficult, he said.

ENRIQUE JOSA� MARA�A CARRILLO GA�MEZ (Paraguay) said his country loves peace and governs its foreign relations according to the principles of international law. His Government supports initiatives leading to goals set out in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the total elimination of such weapons. In that regard, the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons constitutes a crime against humanity and a violation of international law and the United Nations Charter. Welcoming the detente on the Korean Peninsula, he urged nuclear weapon States to address the risks of the use of such armaments, including by accident. He called on Member States to comply with disarmament and non proliferation commitments, including the Non Proliferation Treaty, the Test Ban Treaty and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, as well as instruments establishing nuclear weapon free zones. In that vein, he urged all States to refrain from any acts that contravene such instruments. Paraguay supports a programme of work that expands the nuclear weapon free zones around the world, especially in the Middle East.

SABRINA DALLAFIOR (Switzerland) described the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as a key element of the non proliferation regime, noting with satisfaction that all IAEA reports have confirmed Iran’s compliance with its obligations. However, she remained concern about the potential consequences of United States withdrawal. Regarding disarmament developments in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, she said relevant multilateral mechanisms and institutions must play key roles in that process. However, nuclear weapon reductions have stalled, and some nuclear weapon States seem to be questioning their disarmament obligations, she said, calling on States to support efforts to reduce the operational readiness of warheads and to overcome polarization at the 2020 Non Proliferation Treaty Review Conference so a more positive outcome can be achieved.

ROSEMARY MCCARNEY (Canada) said the rules based international order provides a foundation for collective security and prosperity. Heightened tensions between States possessing nuclear weapons and growing international polarization pose challenges to nuclear non proliferation. While welcoming the easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, she warned that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has not taken meaningful steps to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes. Canada remains concerned about Iran’s long term nuclear ambitions, but believes the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action can lead to meaningful progress. Nuclear non proliferation and disarmament norms cannot be allowed to erode, she said, adding that the fissile material cut off treaty can help to bring about a world free of nuclear weapons.

Mr. KANG MYONG CHOL (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said peace and stability have come to the Korean Peninsula. Earlier in 2018, a new trend towards a detente was created. With a firm will to terminate the history of confrontation and achieve lasting peace, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea set forth proactive proposals to establish a peace regime and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, with sincere efforts being made to reach those goals. Outlining measures taken, including an agreement to shut down the Tongchang-ri engine test grounds, Pyongyang remains firm in its position to implement the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea United States joint statement in a responsible and good faith manner.

FARUKH AMIL (Pakistan) said the goal of nuclear disarmament seems ever more elusive as the international security situation deteriorates, compounded by double standards. The frustration brewing on the slow progress towards nuclear disarmament has boiled over, giving birth to an initiative launched outside the Conference on Disarmament to ban nuclear weapons. A treaty that only results in a cut off in the future production of fissile material would jeopardize Pakistan’s security and bring no added value to the cause of nuclear disarmament. Pakistan chose not to participate in the treaty’s Expert Preparatory Group and his delegation is not in a position to accept any of its conclusions or recommendations.

BASSEM YEHIA HASSAN KASSEM HASSAN (Egypt), reiterating concern over the grave threat posed by the continued possession of nuclear weapons, reaffirmed that the total, verifiable and irreversible elimination of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee against their proliferation, use or threat of use. Arguments setting preconditions for implementing disarmament obligations will only lead to counter arguments that make non proliferation commitments dependent on similar conditions. The inevitable result of this vicious cycle of retracting previously negotiated obligations is the collapse of the entire regime. The stalemate in the implementation of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East erodes the credibility of the disarmament and non proliferation regime and is one of the root causes of the instability and lack of security in the region. Previous attempts to launch negotiations outside the United Nations have been blocked due to a lack of political will on the part of some States that do not recognize the severity of the deteriorating security conditions and inevitable catastrophic consequences. It is against this backdrop that the Arab Group tabled a draft decision to convene a conference on the establishment of such a zone. Through dialogue and diplomacy, the platform would serve to establish a robust regional security framework conducive to sustainable peace and collective security. He called on Member States to support this draft and the annual draft resolutions on the establishment of a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East and the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.

ANDREJS PILDEGOVIES (Latvia), associating himself with the European Union and the statement delivered by Australia on behalf of a group of States, said that with the Non Proliferation Treaty 2020 Review Conference approaching, States have a responsibility to uphold that instrument. More than ever before, a strong unified multilateral approach is needed with both nuclear and non nuclear States on board. Nuclear disarmament efforts must consider the wider security context and strategic stability, he said, with the 2010 Non Proliferation Treaty action plan being the way forward. Turning to the situation on the Korean Peninsula, he said Latvia will keep supporting the enforcement of sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea until real and verifiable progress on denuclearization is made. Reiterating support for IAEA monitoring and verification activities in Iran, he urged the Russian Federation to address concerns regarding its compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and to engage constructively with the United States on that issue. Preserving this Treaty is vital for international peace, security and stability, he said, emphasizing that Latvia is also deeply worried that the Russian Federation continues to violate core provisions of the Memorandum on Security Assurances in Connection with Ukraine’s Accession to the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, known as the Budapest Memorandum.

NICOLE YEO (Singapore), associating herself with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said her country was honoured to host the 12 June summit between the leaders of the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Singapore urges the parties to continue their dialogue while fulfilling their international obligations under Security Council resolutions concerning the Korean Peninsula. The global community must strengthen the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and work towards its universalization, while also finding a realistic and complementary role for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons within the existing disarmament architecture. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty’s entry into force is long overdue and all countries, especially the remaining annex 2 States, should sign and ratify it. Progress must be made in establishing nuclear weapon free zones, she said, reaffirming Singapore’s commitment to the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty, known as the Treaty of Bangkok. Other initiatives that contribute to nuclear non proliferation, such as the Proliferation Security Initiative, must be supported.

ENRI PRIETO (Peru) recalled that the majority of Member States support joint efforts to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons. For its part, Peru is committed to non proliferation and the universalization of instruments that prohibit weapons of mass destruction. Denouncing the continued presence of nuclear weapons in military doctrines, he called for that money to be used instead towards development. The only guarantee against the use of nuclear weapons is their total elimination, he said, noting that Peru signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017. He called on the international community to renew efforts to reduce nuclear weapon stockpiles and their role in military doctrines and to limit their modernization. He touched upon challenges to the non proliferation regimes, including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, before calling on Member States to move towards a path that offers global guarantees in support of collective security.

ANAYANSI RODRA�GUEZ CAMEJO (Cuba), associating herself with the Non Aligned Movement, expressed serious concern over the existence of numerous nuclear weapons that can destroy civilization. It is unacceptable to continue to modernize arsenals and develop new systems, she said, urging the international community not to remain idle when addressing the current situation. Cuba rejects all military positions based on nuclear deterrence, which have led to arms races. In this regard, her delegation supports the Secretary General’s new disarmament agenda. Nuclear weapon States must show political will and modify their posture, especially as the international community marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Non Proliferation Treaty. She also underscored a need to extend security assurances regarding the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons by possessor States against non nuclear weapon States.

ANN-SOFIE NILSSON (Sweden), associating herself with the European Union, said security and humanitarian considerations underpin her Government’s engagement on nuclear disarmament and non proliferation. The modernization of nuclear arsenals stands in sharp contrast to a world free of nuclear weapons, she said, adding that the situations in Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remain priorities for Sweden. The Non Proliferation Treaty must be the main avenue to break the stalemate plaguing multilateral disarmament diplomacy. The 2020 Treaty Review Conference must pursue ambitious and realistic goals based on a forward looking agenda, she noted, adding that disarmament verification offers avenues for increased interactions between nuclear weapon and non nuclear weapon States. Turning to the Disarmament Commission, she said the establishment of subsidiary bodies for discussions is a step in the right direction. The responsibility for strengthening international security by filling the existing framework for nuclear disarmament with dynamic and constructive initiative is ours, she concluded.

JOHANN KELLERMAN (South Africa) said that as the world celebrates the centennial of former President Nelson Mandela’s birth, his call for the total elimination of nuclear weapons should reinvigorate the commitment towards that goal. Since the impact of such a detonation cannot be constrained in space and time, such weapons cannot be treated as a matter of national security only to the few States that still possess them. Indeed, nuclear weapons threaten the security of all. All States therefore have a legitimate stake in, and responsibility for, nuclear disarmament. He expressed concern that little concrete progress has been achieved on nuclear disarmament since 2010. While reductions are important, they do not substitute concrete, transparent, irreversible and verifiable nuclear disarmament measures. Ongoing modernization programmes make it clear that some States wish to indefinitely retain these weapons, contrary to their legal obligations and commitments. He drew attention to article 6 of the Non Proliferation Treaty, which is of particular importance to Africa, given the need for adequate energy to fuel sustainable and accelerated economic growth.

NIKOLAI OVSYANKO (Belarus) said nuclear disarmament and non proliferation are embedded in its foreign policy, expressing hope that the current review cycle for the Non Proliferation Treaty will be successful. Towards the 2020 Review Conference, he urged States to overcome differences, including on the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. He highlighted his country’s commitment to reduce nuclear threats to vulnerable States by giving them guarantees by possessor States of the non use of these armaments. Welcoming efforts to start negotiations on a legally binding instrument on this matter, he also noted that there is no alternative to the Test Ban Treaty, urging the annex 2 States to sign and ratify this instrument.

DAOVY VONGXAY (Lao People’s Democratic Republic), associating himself with the Non Aligned Movement and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only absolute guarantee against their use or threat of use. As such, his Government is going through internal processes to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, he said, urging increased efforts to raise awareness on their danger. States must fill the legal gaps for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons in the Non Proliferation Treaty, he continued, underlining the importance of the Test Ban Treaty’s entry into force. The creation of nuclear weapon free zones is a priority for his country, he said, adding that his Government strongly supports efforts to maintain Southeast Asia as a region free of such weapons.

JAMIE WALSH (Ireland), associating himself with the European Union and the New Agenda Coalition, said Ireland embraces a cooperative and multilateral approach to tackling the problems posed by the existence of nuclear weapons. The Non Proliferation Treaty is a success story and its relevance depends on the ability to deliver on its original promises. The goal of the 2020 Review Conference must be the reaffirmation of the Treaty’s commitments. The prevalence given to nuclear weapons in security doctrines is problematic, he said, calling on States to demonstrate good faith in the implementation of mutually agreed obligations. As long as nuclear weapons exist, their humanitarian consequences must remain a top priority on the international agenda, he said. Ireland is encouraged by decreasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, he said, adding that the Secretary General’s disarmament agenda acknowledges that nuclear disarmament is fundamentally a question of saving humanity.

GIANFRANCO INCARNATO (Italy) said the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons provides the only realistic legal framework to attain a world without those arms, while also promoting international stability. The goal can be attained only through a progressive approach based on effective measures, including the prompt entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Citing some positive achievements, he pointed at the Russian Federation and the United States meeting the central limits of the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START Treaty) and encouraged them to extend the instrument and pursue further discussions. Also, the international community must remain committed to a full and effective implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action contained in the Iran nuclear agreement, as long as Iran continues to strictly abide by its commitments. Welcoming the IAEA confirmation of Iran’s compliance in this regard, he expressed support for the European Union’s efforts to preserve the agreement and its current work towards a legal entity allowing European companies to continue legitimate trade with Iran.

FRED FRIMPONG (Ghana), associating himself with the Non Aligned Movement and the African Group, said it is unfortunate that nuclear weapon States continue to engage in excessive competitive spending in the maintenance and modernization of their stockpiles. Welcoming the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, he said the instrument does not establish a competing norm as claimed in some quarters, but rather complements the Non Proliferation Treaty, calling on States that have not signed the Treaty to do so without delay. He also called on annex 2 States to ratify the Test Ban Treaty and emphasized the importance of nuclear weapon free zones, which should be consolidated and enhanced. Underscoring the pivotal functions of disarmament and non proliferation regimes, he called on Member States to give meaning to the various legal instruments under these multilateral platforms.

RUBA�N ARMANDO ESCALANTE HASBASN (El Salvador) said constant weapon stockpiling remains an obstacle on the road to global peace and security. States are wasting resources to maintain and modernize arsenals instead of channelling funds to more positive priorities like development and achieving the goals and targets set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Emphasizing that no State or organization is ready to face the consequences of using a nuclear weapon, he recalled El Salvador’s early support for the various disarmament treaties. To depend on a nuclear weapon is as shameful as depending on a chemical or biological weapon, he continued, pledging El Salvador’s support during the Preparatory Committee meeting on the 2020 Non Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. Condemning nuclear testing anywhere in the world, he called on States to reduce and eliminate such activities. Reiterating support for the prompt entry into force of the Test Ban Treaty, he called on annex 2 States that have not signed the instrument to do so without delay. He regretted to note various attempts to change the paradigm and that some States are trying to generate an artificial division on this issue.

NOBUSHIGE TAKAMIZAWA (Japan), outlining what to do and how to proceed at this juncture, said that all parties to the Non Proliferation Treaty should reaffirm their commitment and begin to take concrete steps based on the 2010 action plan and past treaty agreements towards a successful outcome of the 2020 Review Conference. Moreover, all nuclear weapon States must make further efforts to comply with their obligations under article 6 of the Treaty. Those that are not parties should accede to the Treaty as a non nuclear weapon State without conditions. Mindful of recent positive developments, including the United States Democratic People’s Republic of Korea summit, he called on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to take concrete steps towards denuclearization and on all Member States to fully implement relevant Security Council resolutions.

RADIGER BOHN (Germany) said international security seems to be at a turning point, with rising tensions around the world, deadlocked conflicts, international agreements under pressure and fundamental non use norms being violated. The success of the Non Proliferation Treaty cannot be taken for granted, he said, calling for that instrument to be protected, upheld and strengthened. While the Test Ban Treaty is still not in force, it is already a de facto norm of international behaviour, he said, encouraging the remaining annex 2 States to sign and ratify it. Welcoming the diplomatic rapprochement between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, United States and the Republic of Korea, he said the international community must keep pressure on Pyongyang until credible steps are taken to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. With its European Union partners, Germany will uphold the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as long as Iran fully complies with its commitments, he said, calling on Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA and to fully implement Security Council resolution 2231 (2015). He also called for strong and united international action on chemical weapons, the use of which � by State or non State actors � must never go unpunished. On lethal autonomous weapons systems, he said Germany and France are suggesting the adoption of a political declaration as a first step to commit States to the principle of human control of such systems and to ensure full compliance with international law.

FATHIMA NUZUHA (Maldives) said that despite the obvious dangers, there are countries that are determined to pursue the development of nuclear weapons. As such, these countries should accede to and implement the Non Proliferation Treaty, Test Ban Treaty and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Nuclear weapon States must also dismantle their stockpiles and renounce possession. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted in the General Assembly in 2017, speaks of the international community’s conscience in banning nuclear weapons development, production, possession and the threat of use. As a State party to the Non Proliferation Treaty and the Test Ban Treaty, her delegation’s decision to join these instruments is rooted in the belief that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee to prevent the use or threat of use of such armaments.

Source: United Nations