STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. SUMIO TARUI
AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY AND PLENIPOTENIARY
OF THE DELEGATION OF
TO THE CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT
AT THE FIRST COMMITTEE OF THE 62ND SESSION
OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Firstly, allow me to express my congratulations to you, Ambassador Badji, on your assumption of the chair of the First Committee. I am confident that with the benefit of your wealth of diplomatic experience and skill, you will be able to steer us smoothly through this session’s deliberations. I assure you of my delegation’s full support as you carry out this vital task.
After some disappointing years, the field of disarmament and non-proliferation, it seems, has finally come into bud. In 2005 and 2006, no substantive consensus document was achieved, especially at three major multilateral conferences: the Seventh Nuclear-Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, the World Summit, and the UN Conference to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action (PoA) on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). However, the tide seems to have changed in favor of disarmament and non-proliferation.
In December last year, the Sixth Review Conference of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) concluded successfully. We agreed in its Final Document on a number of substantial issues, including the inter-sessional activities and the establishment of the Implementation Support Unit (ISU).
The momentum developed in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) last year was carried through and further intensified during this year’s session. This year the CD came close to reaching consensus on its programme of work, tabled as document L.1, which would initiate negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT), as well as deepen discussions on the other core agenda items. The CD must quickly adopt its programme of work and start negotiations on an FMCT once it reconvenes in 2008, in order to regain its original mandate as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community.
In May the first
Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPT Review Conference, chaired by Mr. Yukiya Amano, Ambassador of Japan to the International Organizations in
The establishment of a Group of Governmental
Experts Meeting on an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) next year has been agreed to. The uncontrolled spread of conventional
arms is causing many victims in conflicts.
An ATT can ensure the responsible transfer of conventional weapons, and
prevent and stop the occurrence of victims caused by illicit conventional
weapons. The international
community should sincerely address and eventually resolve these intractable problems
by establishing an effective ATT.
As an original co-sponsor country of the resolution for an ATT,
Overall, we can fairly state that the international community at present has better prospects for the future of disarmament and non-proliferation. Nonetheless, we must not be complacent. The international community is still beset by a number of serious challenges that require our focused attention. As the Foreign Minister of Japan, Mr. Koumura, stated in his general debate on 28 September, the United Nations needs to transform itself from “forum” to “actor.” The First Committee should sustain this current favorable tide and actively address the challenges we face.
One of the most significant challenges for humankind is the total elimination of nuclear weapon, but this has not yet been realized. Some estimates indicate there are 27,000 nuclear weapons in existence on the earth. That number needs to be drastically reduced, together with the further de-alerting of such weapons. Moreover, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) has yet to enter into force. We must redouble our efforts for its early entry-into-force. The nuclear test proclaimed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 9 October last year highlighted the urgent need for this.
As the only country in the world that has
suffered nuclear devastation,
In the area of conventional weapons, there is the outstanding issue
of cluster munitions.
The proliferation risks of weapons of mass destruction – nuclear, biological and chemical – and their means of delivery are considerable. The Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol need to be universalized and strictly complied with. States are obliged to establish and strengthen export controls in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1540. In addition, the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) has become an important tool for deterring the illicit transfer of WMD-related materials and technology.
Regional nuclear proliferation risks are
still grave and unresolved.
The ever-increasing demand for nuclear
energy due to global warming and global energy security has required us to
address both the promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and the prevention
of proliferation. One way to meet
both requirements is to assure nuclear fuel supply. A number of proposals, including
Here I would like to restate the
importance of disarmament and non-proliferation education, which will allow the
international community to proactively cope with these challenges from the
The First Committee, tasked with
deliberating on disarmament and related international security questions, needs
to tackle all these challenges with a sense of urgency. We thus urge the UN Member States to
fully utilize these proceedings by holding deep deliberations on resolving the
issues and challenges confronting the international community and adopting
action-oriented resolutions. Additionally,
I would like to point out that all these pressing issues need to be grappled
with hand in hand with civil society, who has played a significant role in
disarmament and non-proliferation.