by H.E. Ambassador Le Hoai Trung
Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to the United Nations
at the 113th Plenary Meeting of the 65th Session of the General Assembly on Agenda Item 162: Revitalizing the Work of the Conference on Disarmament and Taking forward Multilateral Disarmament Negotiations
New York, 27 July 2011
Viet Nam associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished Representative of Egypt on behalf of the Non-aligned Movement.
Over the past year, we have witnessed a number of positive developments reflected in the entry into force of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between the United States and the Russian Federation in February and the adoption of the Outcome Document of the 2010 Review Conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Still, conflicts continue in various parts of the world and instability and new dangers to security have emerged in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. The danger of an arms race has also increased. Against this backdrop, it is regrettable that the Conference on Disarmament (CD) remains in a stalemate, as it still cannot even agree on a program of work. The lack of progress in the CD has not only prevented the Conference from effectively contributing to the promotion of a more peaceful and secure international environment, but also undermined confidence in this important multilateral disarmament forum. Due to time constraints, I wish to highlight a number of issues:
First, nuclear disarmament remains the highest priority in disarmament. I would like to recall the adoption of UNGA Resolution 65/56 on Nuclear Disarmament which called upon the CD to establish, as soon as possible and as the highest priority, an ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament early in 2011 and to commence negotiations on a phased programme of nuclear disarmament leading to the total elimination of nuclear weapons within a specified framework of time, including a nuclear weapons convention. To this end, I urge Nuclear-Weapon States to take further substantive and practical actions towards complete nuclear disarmament, particularly by taking the lead in commencing negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention.
Second, the central role in the process of disarmament and non-proliferation and arms control by the United Nations disarmament machinery should be upheld. I urge the CD to adopt a balanced and comprehensive programme of work which covers all pressing issues, such as Nuclear Disarmament, Negative Security Assurances, Prevention of Arms Race in Outer Space and a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty. To this end, I call for greater political will, flexibility and cooperation.
Third, multilateral disarmament negotiations should be aimed at strengthening peace and international security and achieving the ultimate goal of the elimination of the danger of a nuclear war and the implementation of measures to halt and reverse the arms race. Negotiation process should be based on fundamental principles agreed at the First Special Session of the UN General Assembly (SSOD-I). Those principles include the strict observance of the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, respect of the right to participate on an equal footing in multilateral disarmament negotiations with full recognition of the role of the United Nations in the field of disarmament and due consideration of the vital interest of all the peoples of the world.
It is a consistent policy of Viet Nam to strive for peace and support non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction towards general and complete disarmament. Viet Nam has acceded to all major multilateral treaties on prohibiting weapons of mass destruction and has been an active member of many United Nations disarmament bodies. In the region of South East Asia, it is also closely working with other Member States of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other partners in the implementation of the Treaty on the South East Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) and its Plan of Action. Viet Nam would continue to work with all other international partners in pursuit of further progress in the field of disarmament.Thank you./.