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Ministry Statements and Speeches 2009

UNGA 64 in the First Committee

CANZ EOV - Promotion of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation. Statement given by a Sarah de Zoeten of Australia, 28 October 2009

Mr Chairman

I take the floor on behalf of Australia, Canada and New Zealand to explain our abstention on L.13 – Promotion of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation.

We are disappointed that once again we are unable to support this resolution.  Our strong commitment to multilateral principles and approaches in the field of non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament is indisputable, and we have consistently advocated the benefit of multilateral processes in achieving progress on international security issues.

However, we cannot agree that multilateralism constitutes the sole principle in negotiations on disarmament and non-proliferation, as is implied in Operative paragraphs 1 and 2 of this resolution.  In our view, effective progress on global non-proliferation and disarmament objectives requires a combination of multilateral, plurilateral, regional, bilateral and unilateral measures working to reinforce each other in order to achieve concrete results.  Preambular paragraph 8 specifically recognises the complementarity of such measures, and in the future we hope that the operative paragraphs of this resolution will reflect this understanding.

In our view, the assertion that multilateralism provides the only sustainable method of addressing non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament issues disregards the potential of alternative measures such as bilateral and regional measures to address global security issues.  The matters at stake are simply too vital.  We cannot afford not to make use of all measures available to us to improve the international security environment.

These are the reasons why we have been unable to support this resolution, and have instead abstained.

Thank you.

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