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Ministry Statements and Speeches 2011

First Committee - Nuclear weapons

Statement delivered by Dell Higgie, Ambassador for Disarmament on behalf of the New Agenda Coalition, 13 October 2011

Chair,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the seven members of the New Agenda Coalition: Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden and my own country, New Zealand. 

I take the floor to introduce the draft resolution entitled “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” which will shortly have an ‘L’ number.  The text of this draft resolution, as tabled, will be circulated shortly to all delegations.  A number of additional copies are also available from the Delegation of New Zealand.

As we noted in our general debate statement, the New Agenda Coalition remains committed to the achievement of a world free of nuclear weapons.  The draft resolution reiterates the Coalition’s long-held view that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is the cornerstone for our activities towards this goal.  The draft resolution also underlines the importance of such issues as universalisation of the Treaty and the fulfilment of past commitments.   

It underscores the expressions of concern at last year’s Review Conference of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.  This was a key outcome of the Review Conference in the Coalition’s view.

As in previous years, the text also recognises recent developments in the nuclear disarmament sphere.  It remains the Coalition’s expectation that the pace of these actions will accelerate in the months remaining before the First Preparatory Committee meeting in Vienna and lend momentum to our collective work in implementing the NPT’s Action Plan. 

Chair,

The agreement at last year’s NPT Review Conference on an Action Plan on nuclear disarmament was a positive development and provides a clear blueprint for action in the short-term.  The onus will now be on all stakeholders to ensure its full and effective implementation – only through such action will its promise of progress towards a world free of nuclear weapons be realised. 

With this in mind, the draft resolution focuses very much on the implementation of the Action Plan in the coming review cycle leading up to the 2015 Review Conference.  It draws attention, in particular, to the elements contained in Action 5 of the Action Plan and it calls on the nuclear-weapon States to take steps to implement these in a timely manner and to report regularly on their efforts.  It also underscores the importance of transparency activities and encourages agreement on a standard reporting format as soon as possible.   

Chair,

We believe that early engagement and substantive progress in implementation of the steps agreed in May last year would be an important signal of the seriousness with which the nuclear-weapon States view their commitments as outlined in the Action Plan.  The true test of the value of the 2010 RevCon outcome will be the implementation of the commitments undertaken by all.

We encourage all Member States to support the draft resolution.  We are confident that all colleagues will be keen to signal their wish also to see implementation of the NPT Action Plan and to advance its vision of a world free of nuclear weapons. 

I thank you, Chair.

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Page last updated: Wednesday, 09 January 2013 14:49 NZDT