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New Agenda Coalition NAC: Advancing nuclear disarmament PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Written by Joan Russow
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 11:13
October, 2012
Advancing nuclear disarmament remains the
misson  and the enduring focus of the
New Agenda Coalition. As stated in the 1998 founding Declaration of the NAC, the
indefinite possession of nuclear weapons and the possibility of their use or threat of use
by nuclear-weapon States continue to pose a threat to humanity

SECOND AVENUE. NEW YORK. NY 10017 TEL (212) 583-2500. FAX (212) 583-2549
Mr Chairperson,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the seven members of the New Agenda
Coalition: Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, and my own
country, Sweden.
We warmly welcome your appointment as Chair of this year's First Committee and look
forward to supporting and co-operating with you over the coming weeks.
Mr Chairperson,
Advancing nuclear disarmament remains the
misson and the enduring focus of the
New Agenda Coalition. As stated in the 1998 founding Declaration of the NAC, the
indefinite possession of nuclear weapons and the possibility of their use or threat of use
by nuclear-weapon States continue to pose a threat to humanity. In that Declaration,
NAC Ministers called on the nuclear-weaoon States to immediatelv start work on the
practical steps required to achieve nuclear disarmament. The sentiments expressed then
are still relevant today. Whilst modest gains have been made, it is clear that the threat
posed by nuclear weapons persists and that the objectives of Article VI of the NPT are far
from being met.
Ever since the Coalition's establishment some 14 years ago, we have worked towards the
fulfillment of the NPT's objectives and overarching goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is the cornerstone of the nuclear disarmament and
nuclear non-proliferation regime and an essential part of the global security regime. The
NAC calls on all States Parties to spare no effort to achieve the universality of the NPT,
and to desist from actions that could negatively affect prospects in this regard.
We wish to recall the grand bargain struck by all State Parties to the NPT, whereby the
nuclear-weapon States committed to nuclear disarmament, in return for which the nonnuclear-
weapon States undertook not to develop nuclear weapons. NPT States Parties
also affirmed the irialienable right to pursue the peaceful development of research,
production and use of nuclear energy. In 1995, the decisions on principles and objectives
and the strengthened review process, and the Resolution on the Middle East were the
basis on which the Treaty was indefinitely extended.
The NPT needs to be fully implemented. Each Article is equally binding on the respective
States Parties at all times and in all circumstances. The current challenges to the full
implementation of the Treaty must be met with a common purpose and concrete action,
as the NPT's long-term success is dependent on the realization of all its objectives.
Over the years, significant progress has been made to meet the nuclear non-proliferation
objectives of the NPT, limiting the horizontal proliferation of nuclear weapons. The
nuclear disarmament side of the NPT bargain, however, has yet to be realised.
Mr Chairperson,
The Action Plan agreed at the 2010 NPT Review Conference was an important step
forward that holds the potential to put the process towards a nuclear-weapon-free world
back on track. The nuclear-weapon States reaffirmed their unequivocal undertaking to
accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament,
and committed to accelerating progress in this regard. This reaffirmed the decisions
taken in 1995 and 2000, including the13 practical steps, to advance the implementation of
Article VI of the NPT. Furthermore, the Action Plan reemphasizes the commitment to
apply the principles of irreversibility, verifiability and transparency in relation
to nuclear disarmament measures.
We welcome the renewed and growing interest in nuclear disarmament seen in recent
years and the growing support more broadly for a world free of nuclear weapons. In our
quest for the elimination of nuclear weapons, it is critical that remaining challenges be
tackled head-on.
\Ve are deeply concerned that the longstanding deadlock in the
Conference on Disarmament continues to hamper efforts to make progress on nuclear
disarmament issues. These include, amongst others, the commencement of substantive
work on nuclear disarmament, including the conclusion of a non-discriminatory,
multilateral and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for
nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices that should fulfil both nuclear
disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation objectives. They also encompass the need to
give effect to the legitimate interest of the non-nuclear-weapons States in receiving
unequivocal and legally-binding security assurances from the nuclear-weapon States.
Continued and enhanced transparency is essential. States that are part of military
alliances, which include nuclear-weapon States, could contribute to this by reporting on
steps planned to reduce and eliminate the role of nuclear weapons in collective security
Regarding the process leading to the full implementation
of the 1995 NPT resolution on the Middle East, the NAC has welcomed the appointment of the Under-Secretary of State Jaako Laajava of Finland as the facilitator and the designation of Finland as the hostgovernment for the 2012 Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, to be attendedby all States of the Middle East.
We look forward to the successful convening of this important
Conference, which is an essential element of the 2015 NPT Review Cycle. We call on the
Secretary General of the United Nations and the Depository States of the NPT to
continue to exert all their efforts to assist the facilitator in securing a successful
Mr Chairperson,
The NAC would like
to reiterate that all states should work towards the construction of a
comprehensive framework of mutually reinforcing instruments for the achievement and
maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons. Such a legally-binding framework for
the total elimination of all nuclear weapons must include clearly defined benchmarks and
titnelines, backed by a strong system of verification, in order to be efficient and credible.
Mr Chairperson,
As in previous years, the Coalition will present a draft resolution to this Committee. The
resolution will be described in some detail during the thematic debate on nuclear
weapons. We are happy to discuss the text of the resolution with any Member State
wishing to do so. \Ve hope that the growth in support for our resolution, which has been
seen in recent years, will continue this year.
Given the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons, we
remain convinced that the only guarantee for a safe and peaceful world is the complete
elimination of all nuclear weapons, irrespective of their type or location. No nuclear
weapon can ever be safe in any hands, whether state or non-state actor. As long as these
weapons exist, the possibility of their use, whether by accident or design, will remain.
Similarly, as long as some states continue to possess nuclear weapons, citing security
reasons for doing so, others may aspire to acquire them. And, as the NAC has always
maintained, what does not exist cannot proliferate. It is for these reasons, Mr
Chairperson, that the NAC remains steadfast in working for accelerated implementation
of nuclear disarmament commitments so that a nuclear-weapon-free world can be
Thank you, Mr Chairperson.


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