Topnews, Statements

15. Dezember 2015


1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the following States:
Algeria; Argentina; Bangladesh; Brazil; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; El Salvador; Guatemala; Indonesia; Malaysia; Mexico; Myanmar; Namibia; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Philippines; South Africa; Thailand.

2. We welcome the resolution which this Board has just approved. It represents a significant milestone for resolving the Iranian nuclear file over the coming months and years. This is the conclusion of more than a decade of intense efforts and difficult negotiations. Moreover, this is a clear demonstration that, when there is strong political will and a spirit of understanding, diplomacy can be very effective even in the face of major challenges.

3. We are now provided with an opportunity to make an overall assessment of 2015, which has been a special year in international efforts related to nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. 2015 should have been a year of historic significance. We reminded ourselves of the 70 years since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and of the creation of the United Nations, whose first General Assembly resolution was devoted to the establishment of a “Commission to deal with the problems raised by the discovery of atomic energy”. 70 years thereafter, we are still waiting for the achievement of the goals enshrined in that resolution, especially the elimination of all atomic weapons from national armaments. 

4. We regret the failure of the 2015 NPT Review Conference to reach agreement on an outcome document, which demonstrated some deep divisions within the NPT membership and the lack of willingness to advance nuclear disarmament. We continue to be concerned about modernization plans and long-term investments into nuclear weapons programs, which have the effect of undermining the object and purpose of the CTBT.

5. However, we have witnessed a continuously growing attention on the humanitarian impact of and the risks associated with nuclear weapons. It shows that there is a widespread conviction that the only absolute guarantee against the threat posed by nuclear weapons is their prohibition and total elimination. This is also exemplified by the support for the Humanitarian Pledge, now endorsed by over 120 States. Although nuclear weapon States bear the ultimate responsibility to eliminate their nuclear arsenals, it is a shared responsibility of all States to prevent the catastrophic effects of such weapons of mass destruction.

6. The positive momentum generated by the JCPoA and the Road-map should help us move ahead on other issues related to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.  Of particular importance is the decision recently taken by the UN General Assembly for the establishment of an Open-Ended Working Group to be convened in Geneva next year to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. Furthermore, we highlight the goal of a Middle East free from nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. We are of the view that steps toward that long-sought goal should be resumed as a matter of high priority, with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders.   

7. In the IAEA context, we must bear in mind the principles and objectives reflected in its Statute and General Conference resolutions, which put our work here in its proper perspective. The Agency must remain ready to assist, in accordance with its Statute, with verification tasks under nuclear disarmament or arms control agreements that it may be requested to carry out by the States parties to such agreements.

8. Another guiding principle is that nuclear security contributes to the broader goal of strengthening international peace and security, and that further progress is urgently needed in nuclear disarmament. Efforts towards strengthening nuclear security cannot be confined to the nuclear material and facilities in peaceful use, while the vast quantities of materials and facilities devoted to nuclear weapons programmes are consistently ignored. 

9. Our work at the IAEA will not bear fruit in the longer run if it is not predicated on a comprehensive and integrated approach to all global nuclear challenges. We cannot succeed in non-proliferation without parallel steps being taken on disarmament. The resolution of the Iranian file should inspire us to move unequivocally and decisively towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

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