|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixtieth General Assembly
5th Meeting (AM)
GLOBAL COMMUNITY COULD NOT GLOSS OVER BREAKDOWN IN DISARMAMENT, NON-PROLIFERATION
NEGOTIATIONS AT WORLD SUMMIT , PAKISTAN TELLS FIRST COMMITTEE
In General Debate, Other Speakers Address Paralysis in Disarmament Conference,
Soaring Military Spending, Threat from Terrorist Use of Mass Destruction Weapons
The world could not gloss over the fact that negotiations on disarmament and non-proliferation had broken down at the World Summit, that consensus underpinning those issues had eroded, and that the multilateral disarmament machinery had been severely weakened, Pakistan’s representative told the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) this morning, as it continued its week-long general debate.
Moreover, he said that the dangerous proliferation of mass destruction weapons multiplied the threat of their possible use. Yet, proliferation could only be contained when accompanied by a parallel effort to realize weapons of mass destruction disarmament. Calling for credible disarmament steps by the nuclear-weapon States within a reasonable time frame, he said, would “revalidate the bargain” on disarmament and non-proliferation and restore a genuine balance between them. He also stressed the need to reconcile nuclear reality, such as the fact that there were eight, and not five, nuclear-weapon States.
Asserting that Pakistan’s strategic programme was security driven, and not status driven, he said that Pakistan had acquired nuclear weapons only after nuclear proliferation had occurred in South Asia. The sole purpose of its nuclear capability was to deter all forms of external aggression. Its strategic posture reflected restraint and responsibility; it maintained a “credible minimum nuclear deterrence”. Moreover, Pakistan would not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States, and it had taken a series of measures to ensure responsible stewardship of its nuclear programme.
Like many speakers in the course of the debate, Mongolia’s representative said that the paralysis that struck the Conference on Disarmament for eight consecutive sessions, the deadlock in the Disarmament Commission for the last two years, the unsuccessful NPT Review Conference, and the complete failure to evolve agreed language on disarmament and non-proliferation issues at the September Summit had dealt a “heavy blow” to international efforts in the field. The present situation was completely unacceptable, against the backdrop of soaring global military spending and the catastrophic scenario of a possible marriage between terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.
Indeed, emerging negative trends were becoming recognized realities, Belarus’ Head of the Division of International Organizations, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, warned. Unfortunately, the list of remaining tasks to eradicate the nuclear threat was not getting any shorter and resolving problems relating to the existing weapons of mass destruction and the possible emergence of new types of weapons was a key task of the United Nations and the First Committee. The journey from development to threat of those weapons and the establishment of effective universal mechanisms for monitoring was long and difficult. He would table a new resolution on the prohibition of new types of weapons of mass destruction and efforts to eliminate them, for which he sought the broadest support.
Uzbekistan’s representative said that, while unequivocally condemning the spread of weapons of mass destruction, Member States had differed in their assessment of the importance of fighting the root causes contributing to their spread. That did not mean that the non-proliferation and disarmament process was deadlocked. States could still seek to prevent the erosion of the nuclear controls regime, but such efforts must be strictly multilateral, as unilateral action would only deepen the rift. Given the growing black market of nuclear materials and technologies and attempts by terrorists to acquire weapons of mass destruction components, he called for the strengthening of the regime set up under Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), and added his voice to the appeal for the prompt entry into force of the new nuclear terrorism Convention.
To promote the eradication of the illicit small arms trade, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique said his country had set up a national commission on small arms, which had proved successful in curbing that illicit activity, but further financial and technical assistance was needed for its full operation. Since 1992, Mozambique’s demining programme had resulted in the destruction of some 112,000 landmines, the dismantling of more than 130,000 such weapons, and the clearing of approximately 228 million square metres throughout the country. He appealed for continued international support to deal with the humanitarian and economic dimensions of demining, as well as stockpile destruction, before the Mine Ban Treaty’s 2009 deadline.
Other speakers today included the representatives of Libya, Trinidad and Tobago, Australia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Fiji, Brazil, Togo and New Zealand.
The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. Thursday, 6 October, to continue its debate.
The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this morning to continue its general debate on all disarmament and international security agenda items.
AHMED A. OWN (Libya), aligning himself with the representative of Indonesia, who spoke on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), as well as the representative of Nigeria, who spoke on behalf of the African Group, said international peace and security could become a reality not by acquiring weapons of mass destruction, but only by enshrining principles of dialogue among all peoples. Strengthening development and fighting poverty, hunger and disease were paramount. His country, on 19 September 2003, had made the choice to eliminate all programmes and equipment that might have led to the production of unlawful weapons, a move that was appreciated by the international community. The initiative demonstrated Libya’s conviction that the arms race harmed regional security. He invited all countries to commit themselves to embark on the same path, and to do so throughout the Middle East. The initiative also forced nuclear-weapon States to face their own responsibility to strengthen the principle of non-use of nuclear weapons and to refrain from threatening to use them.
He was deeply disappointed that the United Nations Summit was unable to come up with any recommendations whatsoever with regard to non-proliferation, he said. That represented a setback for disarmament and non-proliferation, and fell on the heels of the breakdown of the Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Thirty-five years had gone by since the adoption of the NPT, and the results were still disappointing. Nuclear powers had dozens of new nuclear weapons, thousands of such weapons remained on maximum alert and no tangible progress on nuclear disarmament had been made. The objectives in the NPT had not been attained, particularly that of creating a nuclear-weapon-free world. States parties to the NPT not possessing nuclear weapons had committed themselves to not acquiring any, and their counterpart nuclear-weapon powers needed to negotiate in good faith. If they did not live up to their commitments, the existence of a non-proliferation system remained compromised.
Negotiations must be joined on a multilateral treaty banning the production of fissile material, he continued, which must be non-discriminatory and internationally verifiable. He reaffirmed the principle of multilateralism and believed the multilateral machinery must be strengthened, as that was the only way to reach general and complete disarmament. He also ascribed the utmost importance to the creation of nuclear weapon-free zones in all parts of the globe, including the Middle East. Israel’s possession of nuclear facilities for military purposes and of hundreds of nuclear warheads, posed a grave threat to peace and security, not only in the Middle East, but in Western Europe, Asia and Africa. It posed an absolute challenge to the international community, in particular the nuclear-weapons States, who must live up to their responsibilities and bring every manner of pressure to bear on Israel. They must do everything they can to oblige Israel to sign the NPT, as well as see to it that it committed itself unreservedly to the complete International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) system of safeguards.
His country faced a variety of mine related problems he said. According to UN estimates, at least 10 million mines had been laid on Libyan territory, killing and maiming thousand of innocent citizens. Those countries that put the mines there must shoulder their responsibility to immediately provide to Libya all maps and other information with regard to said mines, while also compensating victims and their families for the damage and injury those mines had caused. Libya must also receive compensation, because of the lagging effect mines had imposed on the country. On another issue, he said Libya once again reaffirmed its desire that the Mediterranean Basin turned into a realm of mutual understanding and peace. That could not be achieved until foreign fleets were removed and sovereign States throughout the region were respected. He also reaffirmed the forceful condemnation of terrorism in all its manifestations, including State terrorism. Eliminating that phenomenon required terrorism to be defined at the United Nations and all causes, including foreign occupation and what it brought in its wake. The international community must draw a distinction between terrorist acts and the right to self determination. Libya was a signatory and party to all international and regional conventions designed to fight terrorism. He reaffirmed his country’s readiness to cooperate with all parties to turn general and complete disarmament into reality and create a world of peace and stability.
ALISHER VOHIDOV ( Uzbekistan) said that, unfortunately, the international community had failed to make use of the chance to take significant decisions at both the NPT Review Conference and the 2005 World Summit. Expectations had not been met in seeking ways to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in today’s international relations. While unequivocally condemning the spread of weapons of mass destruction, Member States had differed in their assessment of the importance of fighting the root causes contributing to their spread. That did not mean that the non-proliferation and disarmament process was deadlocked. Opportunities still existed for States to prevent the erosion of the nuclear controls regime.
He said that several factors should be at the core of the quest for a compromise to strengthen non-proliferation and disarmament. Efforts must be taken exclusively on a multilateral basis, taking into account the majority view of Member States; unilateral action would only deepen the rift. In addition, he stressed implementation of commitments under international treaties and a strengthened global framework structure on preventing the proliferation of mass destruction weapons. Given the concern over the growing black market of nuclear materials and technologies, and the trend in the increase in the scope of the activities of terrorists and attempts by them to acquire weapons of mass destruction components, he called for a continued strengthening of the regime set up under Security Council resolution 1540 (2004). He added his voice to the appeal for the prompt entry into force of the new Convention on the suppression of nuclear terrorism.
For their part, nuclear-weapon States should undertake further efforts towards establishing a system of universal and unconditional security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon States, he said. Particular attention should be given to new proposals aimed at strengthening the non-proliferation and disarmament process. In that regard, he supported the Norwegian-led initiatives aimed at enhancing collective security against the growing nuclear threats. Out of his country’s firm commitment to its obligations under non-proliferation and disarmament treaties, he advocated a strengthened role for United Nations mechanisms in that area. Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia had as its basis three factors: ensuring the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons; address environmental issues related to past nuclear activities; and the right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. He called on the nuclear Powers to craft a consolidated position with States of the region on that issue.
PHILIP SEALY (Trinidad and Tobago), on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), aligned himself with the statement made by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, and said the General Assembly and the Security Council both had competence in matters of disarmament. How well had the General Assembly fulfilled its Charter mandate in the field of disarmament and arms control over the last sixty years? he asked. There was no doubt some progress had been made. In 1959, General Assembly resolution 1378, accepted the goal of general and complete disarmament under effective international control. Since then, the international community had adopted numerous resolutions devoted to disarmament. The General Assembly had also been instrumental in exhorting Member States to become parties to various multilateral treaties, such as the treaty banning nuclear-weapon tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water, the NPT, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Ottawa Convention on anti-personnel landmines and the treaties establishing nuclear weapon-free zones. But, more needed to be done.
He said CARICOM noted that the recently adopted International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism filled an important lacuna in the corpus of international law that sought to establish a criminal legal regime to deal with acts of terrorism. The global disarmament leadership must be recharged to ensure that crucial multilateral disarmament bodies were capable of carrying out, effectively and efficiently, their respective mandates. CARICOM delegations were disappointed at the failure of the NPT Review Conference to produce tangible and substantive results. There was equal disappointment at the failure of the high-level plenary meeting to address the important global issue of disarmament and international security. The international community must now move to the stage of implementation of resolutions adopted by the First Committee. He believed urgent steps must be taken to rid the world of tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, a responsibility and international duty of the five declared nuclear-weapon states. There must be universal adherence to, and implementation of, the NPT, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and of Their Destruction (Chemical Weapons Convention), the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (Biological Weapons Convention), and the CTBT to spare the world the danger of a nuclear, chemical or biological holocaust, by design or accident.
There must be a drastic reduction in the annual spending on arms, especially while billions of people struggled to survive and lived in abject poverty, he said. The illicit trafficking in small arms, which caused death and destruction and fuelled high levels of crime, must end. He would have preferred the adoption of a legally-binding instrument on marking and tracing of small arms. All those objectives must be attained through a thoroughly revitalized and strengthened United Nations multilateral disarmament machinery, which allowed each organ to play its full role. There must be consensus, but consensus must not be an excuse for inaction. New ideas, specific plans and projects, forward looking proposals and the necessary flexibility were needed.
EVGENY YUSHKEVICH, Head of the Division of International Organizations, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Belarus, said this year was a further test of the durability of the system constructed to ensure international security. Unfortunately, emerging negative trends were becoming recognized realities, such as the worsening of contradictions within the NPT. The Review Conference had demonstrated the lack of common views and approaches in addressing issues of non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. His country sought to strengthen that regime, as well as the role of the IAEA. During the high-level segment of the General Assembly session, Belarus’ President took the decision to sign the Agency’s Additional Protocol on safeguards. In recognition of the serious risk of the use of nuclear weapons by terrorists and the need for urgent action in that regard, Belarus signed the new Convention on nuclear terrorism.
Unfortunately, however, the list of what remained to be done to eradicate the nuclear threat was not getting any shorter, he said. That included elaboration of a fissile material cut-off treaty, for which the Conference on Disarmament should begin talks as soon as possible. The recently concluded Conference for the entry into force of the CTBT could provide new policy momentum to the ratification process. Effectively resolving problems relating to the existing weapons of mass destruction and the possible emergence of new types of weapons was a key task of the United Nations and the First Committee. The journey from development to threat of those weapons and the establishment of effective universal mechanisms for monitoring them was long and difficult. The world community had spent many years establishing control of those weapons and seeking to eliminate them. He would table a new resolution on the prohibition of new types of weapons of mass destruction and efforts to eliminate them, for which he sought broad support.
In hotbeds of tension around the world, the use of conventional weaponry continued to grow, he said. The only reliable way to resolve that problem lay in multilateral approaches and required joint efforts by the international community. He praised the further progress towards implementation of the action programme on small arms and light weapons and advocated the universalization of the Ottawa Convention. His country was fully implementing its obligations under that instrument, and he thanked those States that had assisted Belarus in the destruction of its landmines stockpiles. Regrettably, many States, meanwhile, tied adherence to the treaty to the tense situations in their regions.
JOHN DAUTH ( Australia) expressed his country’s deepest sympathies to the Government and people of Indonesia for the recent terrorist attacks in Bali. One year ago, he said, the international community looked to two major opportunities -- the NPT Review Conference and the United Nations Summit -- to make the world more secure through action on non-proliferation and disarmament. Today, however, it had to be acknowledged that the international community squandered those two opportunities. The failure to strengthen efforts against weapons of mass destruction proliferation was a particular concern, given the known desire of terrorists to acquire and use such weapons. Multilateral processes could not waste opportunities and still remain a viable option for addressing contemporary security threats. The stakes were too high to allow those opportunities to be used for scoring political points and posturing.
He strongly supported multilateral approaches to non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament, he said. Treaties such as the NPT, and measures like United Nations Security Council resolution 1540, were fundamental to the norms of weapons of mass destruction non-proliferation and disarmament. At the recent United Nations Summit, Australia participated in the Norwegian initiative to promote an outcome on non-proliferation and disarmament. But, the disappointments of this year had underscored the importance of pragmatic measures to compliment broader multilateral efforts. For that reason, Australia, along with more than 60 other countries, was engaged fully in the Proliferation Security Initiative to disrupt and deter illicit weapon of mass destruction related shipments.
There was an opportunity for the First Committee to follow the example of such practical initiatives, he said. The adoption by consensus last year of a resolution on preventing the illicit transfer and use of Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS) showed that the Committee could respond to contemporary security concerns. Australia would introduce a MANPADS resolution this year. The focus should be on practical efforts made to strengthen international security. Australia had long advocated measures, such as the Additional Protocol, a fissile material cut-off treaty and The Hague Code of Conduct, as practical steps against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. Last month, Australia showed its commitment to the CTBT entry into force. Australia supported international efforts, including the adoption of a marking and tracing instruments and work towards an arms trade treaty, to curb the uncontrolled proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
SARALA FERNANDO ( Sri Lanka) recalled the Secretary-General’s comment that the international community’s biggest challenge and its biggest failing was the inability to agree on nuclear proliferation and disarmament. She shared the dismay of many at the inconclusive outcomes of the 2005 Review Conference of the NPT and the World Summit in the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation field. The Committee, therefore, had a special responsibility to promote dialogue and constructive engagement, to build bridges towards the eventual return to multilateral negotiations in the great cause of disarmament.
Turning to global terrorism, she said her country faced a special challenge in dealing with the rebel group engaged in the peace process. Sri Lanka’s President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, had called on the United Nations for further mechanisms to support States genuinely committed to democracy and peace, and to sanction terrorist groups that undermined them. Failure to do so would erode the credibility of peacemaking efforts and years of work in codifying international legal and other counter-terrorism measures. In that context, she welcomed the Security Council’s adoption of resolution 1540 (2004) on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and non-state actors. Her country would continue to work closely with the committee established to monitor implementation of that important text. Sri Lanka would also soon be putting in place comprehensive national legislation to give effect to the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Since the signing of the ceasefire agreement in February 2002, the Sri Lankan Government had embarked on a comprehensive humanitarian mine action programme, with the broad objective of making the country mine-free by 2006, she said. Last year, her Government acceded to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, including its amended Protocol II and Protocols III and IV. It took a further step in June, when it voluntarily submitted a report to the Ottawa Convention. While mass destruction weapons and their proliferation were a persistent threat to humankind, small arms also threatened people in conflict and war zones. She, therefore, welcomed the steady progress made this year on a marking and tracing instrument. Small arms and light weapons supplies should be limited to Governments, or to duly authorized internationally recognized entities, and arms transfers must be duly set up under national and international control, in order to prevent their illicit transfer to terrorists and non-state actors.
ADIYATWIDI ADIWOSO ASMADY ( Indonesia) said the past year had witnessed a deepening crisis in endeavours to effectively address issues relating to arms control, disarmament and international security. Narrow self-interest and exacerbated unilateralism had weakened multilateral forums. He shared a deep frustration over the failure of the 2005 NPT Review Conference held last May, to adopt any substantive recommendations that would demonstrate a commitment to the three pillars of the treaty; non-proliferation; nuclear disarmament; and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. For the first time in the NPT’s history, the Review Conference was bogged down from the start in wrangling over the agenda and the programme of work among its main committees. Those disturbing developments were further compounded by the omission of any reference to non-proliferation and disarmament in the historic document adopted at the United Nations World Summit. The nuclear-weapon States rejected any reference in the Summit document to disarmament obligations under the NPT. That opened the door for other States to jump into the negotiation of the document with their own amendments and objections.
In addition to those pessimistic developments, she said she was concerned over the deadlock in the Conference on Disarmament, divisiveness in the Fist Committee and the impasse in the Disarmament Commission, which was all due primarily to the lack of political will, particularly from nuclear-weapon States. That had all created a crisis in multilateral diplomacy on disarmament. The international community must continue its efforts to gather support and a new consensus for further action on those vital issues. In confronting the challenges on insecurity and instability, her Government had begun the task of building cooperation across the Indian Ocean. The Asian-African Summit Meeting had formalized various channels for such cooperation. Indonesia had also joined the Seven Nations Ministerial Declaration initiated by Norway. Against the backdrop of a global impasse with regard to proliferation and disarmament efforts, the problem of compliance with arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation treaties had been the most severe. No issue demonstrated the crisis surrounding the NPT more than the fate of the CTBT. Although it was approaching universality with 176 signatories and 125 ratifications, it continued to languish due to the refusal of some of the nuclear-weapon States to adhere to the Treaty.
Negotiations without conditions on a verifiable fissile materials cut-off treaty were pertinent, she said. The world remained in peril from a threat that came from the continued existence and unabated growth of nuclear arsenals. The only credible response to that threat was the total abolition of those arsenals. Security assurances against the use or threat of those nuclear weapons in a legally binding international convention without conditions or loopholes had become imperative. The IAEA should endeavour to strengthen its role in assisting developing countries to unimpeded and assured access to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. At the same time, the international community must ensure the non-diversion of nuclear materials; address the growing concern over the proliferation of nuclear materials and assistance and technology through clandestine sources, as well as widespread alarm about the possibility of nuclear terrorism. She called all States for the further strengthening of the Agency’s integrated comprehensive safeguards system and greater adherence to the Additional Protocol.
She said the entire southern hemisphere had become a vast nuclear-weapon-free zone. Significant progress had been made by the five Central Asian States to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone. She urged all parties to consider seriously taking the practical and urgent steps required for the implementation of the proposal to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. With regard to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, she was encouraged by the statement of principles signed last month during the six-party talks that could lead to a diplomatic and peaceful solution, including that State rejoining the NPT and readmitting inspectors from the IAEA. Indonesia believed the convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament was the only viable alternative to the world’s collective predicament. Also, it welcomed the adoption of an international instrument to regulate marking and tracing of the illicit transfer of small arms and light weapons, as an important achievement in the efforts to implement the Programme of Action.
MASOOD KHAN, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the Conference on Disarmament, said that the world could not gloss over the fact that negotiations on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation broke down for the 2005 Summit outcome, leaving “empty spaces” in the outcome document. The consensus underpinning disarmament and non-proliferation had eroded, and the multilateral disarmament machinery had been severely weakened. In building a new consensus, the process should start with the basic premise in the United Nations Charter that security was the right of every State. The principle of equal security for all States, adopted at the first special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament, could best be promoted multilaterally, and not through national means, or within restricted groups, now matter how powerful.
The proliferation of mass destruction weapons was dangerous and could multiply the threat of the possible use of such weapons, but proliferation could be contained only if that was accompanied by a parallel effort to realize weapons of mass destruction disarmament, he said. Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation must be promoted and pursued simultaneously; those were two sides of the same coin. A new security consensus should take into account the need to address existing and emerging global challenges to regional and international security. That goal could be achieved through the Conference on Disarmament or a special session of the Disarmament Commission. Such a new consensus would help address such threats as weapons of mass destruction proliferation to terrorists, vertical nuclear proliferation, the development and accumulation of advanced conventional weapons, development and deployment of anti-ballistic missile (ABM) systems, the absence of an international agreement on missiles and the militarization of outer space.
In the area of disarmament, he called for credible steps by the nuclear-weapon States within a reasonable time frame. That was essential to revalidate the “bargain” on disarmament and non-proliferation and restore a genuine balance between them. Cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy must continue to enjoy international support, under globally agreed conditions. There was also a need to reconcile nuclear reality within the global non-proliferation regime, such as the fact that there were eight, and not five, nuclear-weapon States. Although Pakistan subscribed to the NPT’s objectives, it was a nuclear-weapon State. It was already fulfilling the NPT’s non-proliferation norms and was prepared to continue to act in consonance with the obligations undertaken by the nuclear-weapon States under articles I, II and III of the NPT. But, it could not be expected to adhere to the Treaty as a non-nuclear-weapon State.
He said he supported negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty. The agreed basis for negotiating the treaty could not be described as “pre-conditions”. Nor were the prospects for a moratorium on fissile material production realistic. In any event, a non-verifiable moratorium would neither enhance confidence nor advance the objective of a comprehensive treaty. Pakistan would halt fissile material production, consistent with the requirements of its nuclear deterrence posture. Meanwhile, unless nuclear disarmament was achieved, non-nuclear-weapon States would be entitled to assurances that nuclear weapons would never be used against them. Among his other concerns was the weaponization of outer space, which existing international legal instruments were inadequate to prevent. He also shared the global concern regarding unbridled ballistic missile proliferation. To avert that, he called for enhanced efforts to conclude a comprehensive, non-discriminatory and universally negotiated treaty.
Detailing Pakistan’s security policy, he said its strategic programme was security driven, and not status driven. Pakistan acquired nuclear weapons only after nuclear proliferation had happened in South Asia. The sole purpose of its capability was to deter all forms of external aggression that could endanger its national security. Its strategic posture reflected restraint and responsibility, and it maintained a “credible minimum nuclear deterrence”. Pakistan would not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States. It was also against an “open-ended” nuclear or conventional arms race in South Asia. As such, it had taken a series of measures to ensure responsible stewardship of its nuclear programme. Among them, it created a National Command Authority with a strong military-civilian interface to oversee and manage its strategic assets and nuclear programme, as well as a reliable control and command system.
On regional security, he stressed that resolute efforts should be made to defuse regional tensions and resolve conflicts in the Middle East. He welcomed the progress achieved at the six-party talks, aimed at ensuring a Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons. In South Asia, his country sought to promote a Strategic Restraint Regime with India, which had three constituents: conflict resolution; nuclear and missile restraint; and conventional balance. Since June 2004, Pakistan and India had held three rounds of consultations to elaborate nuclear and conventional confidence-building measures. Both countries reaffirmed that their respective nuclear capabilities, based on national security imperatives, constituted a factor of stability. The two countries were working on strategic stability, confidence-building, and risk reduction. Two days ago, on 3 October, Pakistan and India signed an agreement on advance notification of ballistic missile tests, during the Indian External Affairs Minister’s visit to Islamabad.
He stressed that South Asia needed a stable balance of conventional forces to ensure strategic stability between Pakistan and India. The massive induction of sophisticated weaponry, including combat aircraft, aircraft carriers, airborne early warning and control systems, missile defence, nuclear submarines and war ships would accentuate conventional asymmetries and compel greater reliance on nuclear and missile deterrence. The entire international community had an interest in ensuring strategic stability in South Asia at the lowest possible level and not to accelerate an arms race in the region. Discriminatory approaches in the nuclear or conventional fields would not advance stability in the region. In the strategic and defence areas, Pakistan always demanded and deserved parity.
BAATAR CHOISUREN (Mongolia) said that the paralysis that struck the Conference on Disarmament for eight consecutive sessions, the deadlock in the Disarmament Commission for the last two years, the unsuccessful NPT Review Conference, and the complete failure to evolve agreed language on disarmament and non-proliferation issues at the September Summit had dealt a “heavy blow” to international efforts in the field. The present situation was completely unacceptable against the backdrop of soaring global military spending and the catastrophic scenario of a possible marriage between terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, the effects of a terrorist attack on one of the world’s economic centres could affect the development prospects of millions of people around the globe, causing a major economic downturn and plunging millions into poverty.
He said that the failure at the NPT Review had been particularly disappointing, as that shut the door for another five long years to make headway on the vital issues related to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. On the other hand, the Review Conference had vividly demonstrated the undiminished validity and centrality of the Treaty as a cornerstone of the entire global arms control regime and the strong commitment of world nations to that vital instrument of international law. His country, guided by its internationally recognized nuclear-weapon-free status and its longstanding and principled position as an advocate of nuclear disarmament, was committed to exert all efforts to contribute to overcoming the present impasse.
Common sense dictated that each of the three pillars of the NPT must be accorded equal importance or the whole structure ran the risk of collapsing, he said. If the world was to maintain and reinforce the credibility of the global non-proliferation regime, it could not confine itself to only the challenges confronting the Treaty’s non-proliferation provisions; disarmament and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy must be given equal priority. A key issue that had so far frustrated full implementation of the NPT was the lack of, or insufficient, progress by, nuclear-weapon States to comply with their commitments under Article VI and the 13 practical disarmament steps agreed in 2000. More vigorous and irreversible implementation by those countries of their unequivocal commitment to nuclear disarmament would considerably bolster the motivation of non-nuclear-weapon States to adhere to the NPT. He noted the completion of the deactivation of the entire force of 50 Peacekeeper intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) by the United States. However, that underscored the imperative of applying the principle of irreversibility to nuclear disarmament and related arms control and reduction measures.
Underscoring the inalienable right of non-nuclear-weapon States that had fully complied with their obligations under the NPT to participate in the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, he said that proof of compliance was imperative. Only those States in full and verified compliance with their non-proliferation obligations were entitled to exercise the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Ways must be devised, therefore, to control proliferation risks while ensuring that the inalienable right of States parties to the NPT enjoyed the benefits of peaceful use of nuclear energy remained intact. An effective way to guarantee that, and prevent latent proliferation, was by reinforcing the IAEA’s authority and achieving universal adoption of the Additional Protocol, which together with a comprehensive safeguards agreement, should rightly be recognized as a verification standard.
ISIKIA RABICI ( Fiji) said disarmament issues were of critical concern to all nations and the international community must make progress towards mitigating the threats and effects of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and conventional weapons. The growing international recognition of the linkages among the issues of peace, security, governance, human affairs and development that were affirmed at the International Conference in the Great Lakes Region last November, ought to be noted. The Declaration of Principles adopted by the first summit of Heads of State and Government in Dar es Salaam, gave the disarmament issues a high level of recognition. He hoped that recognition could be translated into a reduction in military budgets. In developing nations, a high military budget adversely impacted development, by diverting much needed funds from internal infrastructure needs to the purchase of weapons. A careful balance must be struck between expenditures on security issues and other needs. Improving some of the root factors of terrorism through effective economic and social policies, particularly in regard to developmental assistance and foreign aid packages, was a proactive approach.
He said Fiji commended the progress made at the international and regional levels towards conventional arms control, as well as the assistance to States in curbing the illicit trafficking in small arms. The issue was of great concern to Fiji. The sustainability of the work of the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific was of importance to Fiji. It was committed to remaining an active member of the Pacific Island Forum. He believed that a synergy should exist between the international and regional levels, and that both were important forums in addressing security issues. On the question of nuclear disarmament, Fiji was affected by the fallout of the nuclear testing in the Pacific Region. Servicemen who participated in “Operation Grapple Hook” on Christmas Island in the 1950s, were now, after so many years, suffering from the diseases associated with their exposure. Children were born deformed, ageing was hastened and skin diseases were common. For some time, the group had been trying to solicit fair compensation for what they had suffered. Some money had been forthcoming, but it was insufficient. Fiji remained committed to the ideals of the United Nations, including multilateral cooperation. It hoped collective efforts in the First Committee would translate into laudable and achievable goals and strategies, as well as concrete commitments from Member States.
RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG ( Brazil) said Brazil fully associated itself with views expressed by the representative of Argentina, on behalf of the Rio Group, as well as by the representative of South Africa, on behalf of the New Agenda Coalition. The pursuit of nuclear disarmament was a fundamental priority, he said. The importance of reducing and dismantling existing arsenals could not be disregarded. States must continue to work tirelessly towards nuclear disarmament. The focus must be on systematic, continuous and progressive efforts to implement the obligation set forth in Article VI of the NPT. As a founding member of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, Brazil welcomed the celebration of the Conference of States Parties to nuclear weapon-free zones. It would, again, submit a draft resolution on that issue. In the last NPT Review Conference, Brazil sought to work on all substantive issues related to the Treaty’s three pillars: nuclear disarmament; nuclear non-proliferation; and the right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Regrettably, it was not possible to agree on a final substantive document, due to the lack of necessary political will from different parties.
He said the next review conference and the prepatory process slated to begin in 2007 must undertake a thorough reassessment of the implementation of the 2000 NPT document, including the agreed 13 practical steps. Countries outside the NPT should accede unconditionally to the Treaty. Brazil had signed and ratified the CTBT. Its full and effective implementation would represent a significant step towards nuclear disarmament and it constituted a crucial step towards the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Brazil called upon all States, particularly those listed in Annex II that had so far failed to sign and ratify the CTBT, to do so immediately.
It was regrettable that the Summit failed to reach agreement on matters relating to disarmament and non-proliferation, he said. That lost opportunity underscored the challenges to the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. Strengthening multilateralism was the only means of effectively tackling security concerns. A continued lack of consensus on a programme of work at the Conference on Disarmament, as well as the difficulty of the United Nations Disarmament Commission in agreeing on a common agenda, was unacceptable. It was clear that a balanced programme of work must encompass the simultaneous establishment of four subsidiary bodies on: nuclear disarmament; a fissile material treaty; the prevention of the arms race in outer space; and negative security assurances. Brazil believed that one of the most terrifying scenarios for international peace and security was that terrorists might acquire weapons of mass destruction and use them. States must prevent that from ever happening, while acting within accepted principles and norms of international law.
HENRIQUE BANZE, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique, said that strict adherence to multilateralism and the participation of all concerned would build confidence among Member States and reduce the need to develop nuclear weapons. The approach to the NPT should be based on its three pillars: disarmament; non-proliferation; and the right of all States parties to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Successful implementation of the relevant Treaty provisions required that all nuclear- and non-nuclear-weapon States shoulder their share of responsibilities, in good faith. In the same vein, all States should commit themselves to ensure that the CTBT entered into force. Pending that, they should maintain the moratorium on nuclear tests. In addition, other international instruments related to other weapons of mass destruction, namely biological and chemical weapons, should be universalized.
He said his Government remained committed to implementing the small arms action programme. History had demonstrated that those weapons, due to their easy availability, were a persistent and growing source of instability and crime, and undermined development efforts, particularly in developing countries. To deal with matters related to the prevention, combating and eradication of the illicit small arms trade, his country had established a national commission on small arms, which had proved to be crucial in efforts to curb the illicit trade. Nevertheless, financial and technical assistance was still needed for that body’s full operation. He supported efforts aimed at creating a global marking and tracing instrument. Similarly, he was committed to the Ottawa Convention as the best way to rid the world of anti-personnel landmines. He, thus, commended the successful outcome of the review held in Nairobi last year, which was a timely contribution to strengthening the Convention’s implementation.
Mozambique’s demining programme had resulted, since 1992, in the destruction of some 112,000 landmines, the dismantling of more than 130,000 such weapons, and the clearing of approximately 228 million square metres throughout the country, he said. Although the situation had visibly improved since the start of the programme, anti-personnel landmines still posed a great danger to human life in Mozambique, as well as to the country’s social and economic development. From 1996 to 2004, for instance, 427 landmine accidents were registered, resulting in 655 victims, including 246 deaths. In the first half of 2005, eight accidents were reported, resulting in 18 victims and eight deaths. He thanked all those countries and organizations that had joined his Government in its efforts to free the country of landmines. At the same time, he appealed for continued international support in assisting Mozambique and all other affected countries, by creating an internal capacity to deal with the humanitarian and economic dimensions of demining, as well as stockpile destruction, before the Treaty’s 2009 deadline.
ADOMAYAKPOR YAWO ( Togo) said one of the main goals of the United Nations was to maintain international peace and security and to promote social and economic development. Peoples throughout the international community who wanted to live in peace and solidarity continued to see reality falling far short of their expectations. Unease grew when it was realized that nothing significant was being done about nuclear arms proliferation. The Secretary-General exhorted Member States to show more determination in dealing with the issue. Last May, the Review Conference on the NPT failed to reach any agreement on substantive issues. An opportunity to come up with solutions to some of the most pressing problems with regard to the nuclear non proliferation system and international security was missed. Disarmament and non-proliferation continued to be of grave concern to the world. It was unfortunate that the NPT Conference proved to be a bust, but one way or another, an agreement acceptable to all must be reached.
He said Togo backed all measures taken under the aegis of the United Nations to obtain disarmament and nuclear-weapon-free zones. He was also worried about the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. It was a sensitive issue in many parts of the planet and in Africa, and it deserved special attention, because of the ravages caused by those arms. He hoped the 2006 United Nations small arms review conference would make it possible to step up the fight against the build-up and destabilizing spread of small arms. The adoption of a draft instrument, which would allow States to identify small arms and light weapons, would mark a noteworthy advantage. The proliferation of small arms was fuelled by social and political crises and conflict. It destabilized countries and sapped the underpinnings of entire societies. There was a chronic rise in cross-border crime and armed and highway robbery. He wanted to mention the role played by the United Nations Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa in reigning in small arms and light weapons. Togo was host to the Centre and hoped the Centre got enough financial, human and material resources to do its job. The chronic financial difficulties the Centre faced couldn’t be solved by moving it elsewhere.
One could never say enough about the injustice growing out of the misallocation of the wealth on the planet, he said. It was the number one cause of crisis and wars. Peace and security would constantly be jeopardized, if just measures were not taken to push back the frontiers of poverty and want. Global military expenditures were estimated at a trillion dollars in 2004, and were likely to go on rising. Efforts must be made to turn around that upward trend.
DEBORAH PANCKHURST ( New Zealand) said her country had been extremely disappointed that the NPT review had been unable to agree on a substantive outcome, and that so much of the time available for discussion had been consumed by wrangling over procedural questions. Nevertheless, the Treaty’s status as the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation had been reaffirmed by many States. Clearly, however, new ways needed to be found to achieve its implementation. Commitments agreed by consensus at previous review conferences, particularly the 13 practical steps, and the unequivocal undertaking to eliminate nuclear arsenals, must be fulfilled. Creating a world safe from the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons was in everyone’s interests. Nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation were mutually reinforcing; positive progress on the former would improve global security with respect to proliferation.
She said her country, therefore, was also deeply concerned at the failure of the World Summit to agree on any language on disarmament and non-proliferation. That sent a misleading message about the ongoing importance of addressing those critical issues at the highest possible level within an international framework. She commended the seven nations who, led by Norway, made significant efforts to gain agreement on a meaningful statement on disarmament and non-proliferation. Regarding the impasse in the Conference on Disarmament, the longer the impasse continued, the more irrelevant that body would become. She was concerned about the willingness of some States to use rules of procedure as a means to prevent progress. The difficulties confronting the Conference were not the result of inadequacies in the scope or currency of its agenda; if there was a political willingness to agree on the elements of a work programme, the agenda would be treated as flexible enough to accommodate it.
Despite her country’s deep regret at the wasted potential for progress at the multilateral level, it had continued its work on disarmament and non-proliferation objectives, where possible, she said. New Zealand had committed a further $3 million over the next four years to the Group of Eight Global Partnership Against the Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction to help safeguard and destroy unsecured weapons of mass destruction legacies in the former Soviet Union. It had contributed $1.2 million to the destruction of chemical weapons. Meanwhile, the Biological Weapons Convention still lacked a verification mechanism. That was a “major hole” in multilateral defences, at a time when biological weapons had been identified as a growing threat. She hoped the review of that treaty next year would be an opportunity to consider how to address that issue. She commended the IAEA for its continuing work in verifying that nuclear energy programmes were for peaceful purposes, and she supported the Director General’s call for States to allow the Agency more stringent verification measures.
* *** *For information media • not an official record