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 63rd SESSION
OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Firstly, allow me to express my congratulations to you, Ambassador Suazo, 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.
nearly two decades since the end of the Cold War, uncertainties in some areas unfortunately
seem to be growing. In this light,
we must realize that the field of disarmament and non-proliferation is no
exception to this trend. For
instance, the nuclear issues of the DPRK and
In July, the Prime Ministers of Japan and
Australia agreed on the establishment of the International Commission on
Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND), with the first meeting to be
held on 19-21 October in Sydney. The
co-chairs, Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, former foreign minister of
At this 63rd Session of the First
Against the wishes of the people of the world, disarmament still continues to stagnate. The Comprehensive-Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) has not entered into force since its adoption more than ten years ago. The Conference on Disarmament (CD) has not entered into negotiations on a disarmament treaty for essentially more than a decade. In particular, the negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) have yet to start, even though the resolution recommending its negotiation was adopted by consensus at the UN General Assembly in 1993. Despite the many challenges facing the NPT regime and the failure of the 2005 NPT Review Conference, the convergence of views among the States Parties remains distant.
Nevertheless, at the same time, we can see
a light shining through this dark situation. It was encouraging that the 4th
CTBT ministerial meeting recently held in
We should therefore prepare the way for the leaders to demonstrate this aforementioned political will. The January 2007 and 2008 Wall Street Journal articles by the group of four former prominent US public officials, including former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, have built international momentum in this direction. This year’s First Committee can also play a crucial role to this end. The Japanese and Australian initiative to launch the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament is also intended to pave the way for such political commitments by leaders. The Commission, which is mainly comprised of former high-level political decision makers, plans to make practical and realistic recommendations for achieving nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, upon which the political leaders can then draw.
This political will has to be shown by all members of the international community, be it a nuclear-weapon State or non-nuclear-weapon State, on the three aspects of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In particular, the nuclear-weapon States should take further practical and effective measures towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons. In this context, I would like to remind that the Leaders’ Declaration of the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit called upon all nuclear-weapon States to undertake the reduction of nuclear weapons in a transparent manner. It is also important that the negotiations on a legally-binding successor framework to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) should come to an outcome before START ceases to be in effect. The commitment to the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world will contribute to the strengthening of the international efforts to combat proliferation and terrorism.
Non-nuclear-weapon States should also
commit themselves to their non-proliferation obligations and the peaceful uses
of nuclear energy. Furthermore, it
is also important that
I would now like to turn briefly to the
issue of conventional weapons. With
regards to small arms and light weapons, I would like to recall that this
year’s Biennial Meeting of States (BMS) concluded successfully. In this connection,
Moreover, to address the humanitarian
concerns caused by cluster munitions,
On the issue of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the Group of Governmental Experts concluded that further consideration is required on this topic, and efforts are already underway to work towards a global treaty. This momentum needs to be accelerated and further deliberations should be carried out with the widest possible participation of UN Member States, while encouraging the implementation of the recommendations contained in the GGE Report.
In conclusion, allow me to say that we should all do our best to work together to show the political will necessary to further the cause of disarmament and non-proliferation. I would also like to stress the importance of the significant role played by civil society. I believe that, under your effective leadership, this First Committee will surely bear fruit to this end.