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Viet Nam & UN
Statement at the First Committee of the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly
10-10-2007, 10:20 am

Statement by Mr. Hoang Chi Trung, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to the United Nations

at the First Committee of the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

 New York, October 10th 2007


Mr. Chairman,

Let me begin by congratulating you and all the other members of the Bureau on your elections to the important posts of the Bureau of the First Committee of the  62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I am sure that under your guidance, the committee will arrive at a satisfactory outcome.       

My delegation welcomes the appointment of Ambassador Sergio Duarte as the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Representative for Disarmament. We wish him success in his new and important post.

First and foremost, the Vietnamese delegation fully associates itself with the statement delivered on Monday by the distinguished representative of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement as well as the statement presented yesterday by the distinguished representative of Myanmar on behalf of ASEAN.

Mr. Chairman,

We all cherish peace and security. Disarmament plays a crucial role in consolidating world peace and security. Total and complete disarmament, therefore, has been the objective of the United Nations since its birth. Yet, our world today is still facing local wars and conflicts, terrorism and arms race, nuclear arms race in particular. Weapons of mass destruction and the development of their delivery systems continue to be of serious concerns to the world community. This is even more worrisome when we face the danger of these weapons falling into the hands of the terrorists. It is also frustrating that little progress has been achieved in the field of disarmament in recent years. All this demands that the members of the United Nations redouble their efforts for the cause of disarmament. In this connection, we wish to reaffirm our strong commitment to work harder with other member states towards the noble cause of total and complete disarmament, the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction in particular.

My country shares the view that the major challenge we face today is the need to strengthen the norms and regulations in the area of disarmament. Viet Nam has consistently supported all initiatives and efforts aimed at consolidating the instruments of arms control and disarmament..

In this connection, we would like to underline the importance of the conclusion made by the International Court of Justice in its Advisory Opinion on the Legality of Threat of Use of Nuclear Weapons issued on 8 July 1996 that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.

Mr. Chairman, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is clearly the backbone of the global non-proliferation regime. Undoubtedly, all states parties to the treaty must comply fully with the Treaty’s obligations. We urge the Nuclear-Weapons States to undertake to implement the 13 practical steps contained in the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference. We are also convinced that pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, efforts to conclude a universal, unconditional and legally binding instrument on security assurances to non-nuclear-weapons-states should be pursued as a matter of high priority. A new cycle of the review process has begun and it is our hope that the NPT state parties will make further concerted efforts to make it a meaningful exercise.

My country highly appreciates the role played by the International Atomic Energy Agency and its safeguards system in consolidating and enhancing the verification system for the regime of non-proliferation. Assistance to non-nuclear-weapons states in peaceful uses of nuclear energy constitutes an important obligation under the NPT. Furthermore, we wish to stress that the NPT has confirmed the right of countries to access, without discrimination, to the research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Based on our consistent policy of striving for peace, opposing the arms race and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, Viet Nam signed the Additional Protocol to the Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency on 10 August 2007, and became the 114th state party to this important international instrument.

One of the few achievements we have recorded relating to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation is the adoption of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996. The Treaty promotes both nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation and constitutes an important instrument to preserve world peace and security. It is, however, very disappointing that more than a decade has elapsed and this important treaty has not managed to enter into force. We support the efforts of the international community to make this happen at an early date.

Viet Nam strongly supports the convening of the Fourth United Nations Special Session Devoted to Disarmament (SSOD IV). We share the sentiments of various delegations at the lack of consensus in the open-ended working group set up by the General Assembly to consider the objectives and agenda, including the possibility of establishing a preparatory committee for SSOD IV. We call upon the General Assembly to reconvene the working group to find practical ways to hold the Special Session as soon as possible.

Mr. Chairman,

The establishment of nuclear-weapons free zones in various regions of the world not only make significant contributions towards consolidating regional and international security, but also strengthen the NPT regime and the process of total nuclear disarmament. We are happy to note that more and more countries render their support to this endeavor. It is our hope that the concerned countries will make efforts to implement the resolution adopted by the 1995 Review Conference so that the Middle East will become a zone free of nuclear-weapons as well.

At the regional level, Viet Nam is working closely with other ASEAN countries to ensure that South East Asia a region free from nuclear weapons. It is our view that the participation of all nuclear-weapons states through their acceding to the Protocol of this Treaty would be essential in further strengthening the confidence-building measures between the nuclear-weapon states and the South East Asian countries. By doing so, the Nuclear-Weapons States could further demonstrate their commitments to the NPT process, enhancing negative security assurances to the countries in the region. Viet Nam once again welcomes the announcement made by China of its readiness to accede to the Protocol annexed to the Treaty and calls upon other Nuclear-Weapons States to do likewise. At this session of the committee, the SEANWFZ countries will launch an effort to this effect and we hope to enjoy the full support of all the member countries.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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