Geneva, 28 February 2023 (TDI): In United Nations (UN) Conference on Disarmament statements from High Representatives and dignitaries have been made, from countries; Ethiopia, Ireland, France, Peru, Sweden, United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Germany, Iraq, and Indonesia.
Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
Izumi said that the conference on disarmament needs to gauge the prevailing realities and analyze them to adjust to ever-changing circumstances.
Disarmament is necessary for sustainable peace and security. The international disarmament community observed some important advances in, among other areas, efforts to safeguard the peace and security of cyberspace.
This includes reducing space threats and making progress toward possible measures and options related to a normative and operational framework on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems.
She acknowledged the Conference on Disarmament’s adoption of a procedural report and the consensus adoption of the relevant General Assembly resolution.
Minister of Justice of Ethiopia
Gedion Timotheos, Minister of Justice of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia supported the conference as it is the sole multilateral disarmament-negotiating forum, with nuclear disarmament as its highest priority.
He said that there is a lack of consensus among the world political community regarding disarmament and this statement needs to be broken. He reiterated the General Assembly Resolutions on the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
Likewise, he also expressed his strong support for measures such as nuclear non-proliferation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and the negotiation of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.
Furthermore, he discussed the urgent need for a multilaterally negotiated, legally binding instrument that would protect non-nuclear-weapons states against the use or threat of nuclear weapons.
The Tánaiste Deputy-Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ireland expressed his abhorrence about the Russian aggression in Ukraine as he considered its attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty, on the regulated international order, & on multilateralism itself.
There is a need for a ceasefire between both countries. Also, Ireland condemned the Russian nuclear threat as it is concerned about Russia’s recent announcement that it would suspend the implementation of New START.
New Start would contribute to the peace and security of Europe. He further stated that the 10th Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Review Conference failed to achieve its strategic outcome solely due to Russia’s decision to block consensus.
Moreover, he said that Ireland welcomed last year’s first meeting of state parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which renewed the debate on nuclear weapons.
The Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France discussed that this conference was important for the maintenance of peace and security globally.
She renounced Russia’s revanchist move in Ukraine and considered it a sheer violation of human rights and international law.
She said that Russia’s move is a threat to global peace and security architecture. She stated that Russia should reverse the announcement of the suspension of its participation in the New START Treaty.
The French Minister also called on China to join the efforts to reduce nuclear arsenals, following its commitments under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Moreover, she urged North Korea to comply with all its obligations to achieve the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of its nuclear and ballistic programs.
Lastly, she highlighted that for sustainable peace the world must take measures for nuclear disarmament.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru
Ana Cecilia Gervasi Diaz, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru on her part recalled that nuclear weapons are a threat to global peace and security.
She also condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine and called on Russia to ensure a complete ceasefire following international law.
She said that world is concerned about the move of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) of continued launching ballistic missiles.
She also questioned the recent announcement made by Russia on the suspension of the country’s participation in the New START Treaty.
In this vein, she advised the Member States to make efforts to overcome the decades of stagnation of the Conference and resume its negotiating mandate.
Minister for International Development Cooperation & Foreign Trade of Sweden
Johan Forssell, the Minister for International Development Cooperation & Foreign Trade of Sweden acknowledged that the Conference on Disarmament is a great achievement though measures to overcome the insensitivity towards nuclear proliferation are needed.
He said that the negotiation process regarding the issue of disarmament is stalled for over two decades which shows the lack of political will to resolve this important issue.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons must be respected and abide by all as it would reduce the threats to global security and peace.
He emphasized the importance of collaboration in this respect, such as the Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament, Sweden pursued the common goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.
He stated that the Nuclear Weapons States have a special responsibility for nuclear arms control and disarmament, he recognized the constructive approach taken by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to avoid nuclear escalation.
Bonnie Jenkins, the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, United States Department of State said that the world is facing a grave threat of nuclear escalation, especially after Russia’s provocation in Ukraine.
Moreover, the DPRK’s string of ballistic missile launches is also a great source of concern for global peace and security. She also questioned Syria and Iran’s failure to abide by their International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards obligations.
Moreover, she shed light on the role of the People’s Republic of China’s non-transparent build-up of its nuclear arsenal. She also pointed out that this conference has not achieved its true objectives because of the lack of political will of the member states.
She emphasized the need for shared responsibility, obligations, and commitments. The security environment of the international community is moving towards bleakness and that needs to be addressed.
She highlighted the need for the commencing of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral, and internationally effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
Leo Docherty, MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office of the UK said that this is the responsibility of every member state of the Conference to work for global peace and security.
Russia’s war on Ukraine is condemnable, one year passed but there is no positive outlook expected from this crisis. This is a failure to protect the security architecture of the globe, he started.
The UK would continue to support the Ukrainian state, government, and its people as they are facing severe human rights assaults in the world that are regulated by universal human rights and international law.
UK is also concerned about Russia’s announcement of its suspension of participation in the New START Treaty demonstrated the willingness to undermine international stability.
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He also reiterated that the UK would continue to urge Russia to re-engage with its commitments under the Treaty.
About the continued escalation of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs of the DPRK, the UK is highly skeptical and presents its condemnation.
Regarding Syria, the condition is bleak due to threats posed by the continued use of chemical weapons and emerging technologies.
The UK would remain committed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. It would continue to develop concrete initiatives and support negotiations on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Annalena Baerbock, the Federal Foreign Minister of Germany condemned the Russian aggression against the Ukraine and Ukrainian people.
She said it is a violation of the United Nations Charter, and international law and undermined the arms control architecture.
She also talked about the announcement by President Putin that Russia would suspend its participation in the New START treaty, despite being bilateral, this treaty was a guarantor of global stability and security for all states.
There is dire urgency to resume negotiations with Russia if the international political community wants to safeguard security and survival. In the regional context, the move of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is condemnable.
There is the need to address the arms control challenges arising from new technologies was a necessity; it was crucial to negotiate rules for responsible behavior that would safeguard security in cyberspace.
Further, anti-personnel mines were harming up to 10,000 people every year, even decades after the fighting had ended.
Germany was holding the Presidency of the Ottawa Convention this year. She called on States to ratify the Convention, to make it truly universal.
Omar El-Barzanchi, the Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral Relations and Legal Affairs of the Republic of Iraq highlighted the increasing importance of the conference in light of rising regional crises and political tensions while lamenting the unfortunate absence of the political will of its member states to reach a consensus.
He stressed the need for a binding international legal instrument under which nuclear states would give guarantees to non-nuclear states not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.
Additionally, the continued production of fissile material posed a threat to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
He supported the idea of developing a non-discriminatory, multilateral, internationally, and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, and also condemned the race for the weaponization of outer space.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Republic of Indonesia
Retno L.P. Marsudi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia said that the Conference remained dormant for more than a quarter of a century, merely because of the absence of a political will, and the complex global security environment remained unstable.
The Russian announcement about New START Treaty needed to be addressed with peaceful negotiations. There is a dire need to safeguard nuclear security for a sense of sustainable world peace.
Indonesia took charge of the Chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region this year and would advance the region as a nuclear weapons-free zone by signing the revised protocol on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone.