Let me begin by congratulating you and other members of the Bureau on your elections to the leadership of this important Committee of the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I am confident that under the wise guidance of Mr. Chairman and with the collective efforts of all Bureau members, the Committee will arrive at a positive outcome.
My Delegation fully associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) as well as the statement to be made by the distinguished representative of Myanmar on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Having undergone two devastating World Wars with enormous losses and sufferings, humankind has earnestly desired to live in peace and security in order to build a prosperous world. Tireless efforts of peoples all over the world, including particularly those leading to the establishment of the United Nations, constitute the bed-rock of the maintenance of international peace and security. In this connection, disarmament is a vital means to effectively protecthumankind from the scourge of wars and conflicts, especially from the danger of a nuclear war.
Over the past years, various bilateral and multilateral plans have been designed, calling for actions to reduce nuclear dangers. In fact, there is an encouraging sign for a nuclear weapons free world. However, over time, the threats posed by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction continue to manifest themselves. In addition, serious difficulties remain in reaching consensus on the core issues of disarmament and non-proliferation negotiating agenda. This is even more worrisome when we take into account the danger of these weapons illegally falling into the hands of terrorists.
For these challenges to be met, all Member States must pursue good-faith intensified multilateral negotiations, as agreed by consensus in the Final Document of the SSOD-I. Furthermore, the international community must redouble efforts to promote the cause of disarmament towards a world free of nuclear weapons.
Motivated by its foreign policy of peace, security, stability and development, Viet Nam has consistently supported all initiatives and efforts aimed at consolidating the international instruments of disarmament and arms control, thus contributing to international and regional peace and security. Due to the time constraint, my Delegation would like to touch upon the following points:
First, Viet Nam unswervingly supports and promotes comprehensive and complete disarmament with top priority given to nuclear weapons and other types of weapons of mass destruction. In that spirit, we have been a party to all major international instruments for the disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, including the CTBT, NPT, BWC and CWC. We have also been fulfilling our obligations under all relevant UN mechanisms, especially those set up by the UN Security Council, while maintaining fully alert to issues related to nuclear security and safety.
Second, Viet Nam values the role of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation regime. The full implementation of the Treaty in a balanced manner would safeguard the world from potential devastation of nuclear weapons. In this regard, we urge the Nuclear Weapons States to undertake the implementation of 64 sets of concrete actions contained in the Outcome Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference. We call for efforts aimed at non-proliferation to be made in tandem with efforts aimed at disarmament.
Third, Viet Nam fully recognizes the major role played by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its safeguards in enhancing the verification system for non-proliferation. We share the view that the IAEA’s assistance to non nuclear weapons States in peaceful uses of nuclear energy represents an important obligation under the NPT. As a key instrument in this field, the NPT confirms the legitimate right of countries to access, without discrimination, to research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Fourth, as underlined by our Foreign Minister in his statement at the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on 23 September 2011, the CTBT, once brought into force, would significantly strengthen our existing mechanisms in striving for a nuclear weapons free world. We are happy to note that there is a steady increase in the number of signatory and ratifying States to the Treaty. To enable the CTBT to enter into force without any further delay, we are convinced that the Nuclear Weapons States should take a leading role in the field of global peace and security and their ratifications would pave the way and further encourage the remaining countries to follow suit. Meanwhile, pending the CTBT’s entry into force, all States should maintain a moratorium on nuclear-weapon-test explosions or any other nuclear explosions, and refrain from acts that would undermine the objectives and purposes of this Treaty.
Last but not least, we take this opportunity to reaffirm our strong support for the convening of the Fourth Special Session of the UN General Assembly devoted to disarmament in order to review the implementation of SSOD-I with the full participation of the UN Member States. We join other delegations in urging the Conference on Disarmament and the UN Disarmament Commission to renew efforts to overcome the deadlock and resume their substantive work as soon as possible.
We firmly believe that the nuclear weapons free zones can make significant contributions not only to achieving the regional and international security, but also to strengthening the process of total nuclear disarmament. Along this line, Viet Nam is committed to continuing its strenuous efforts with other ASEAN members to promote the Treaty on Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (SEANFZ) and encouraging the Nuclear Weapons States to accede to the SEANFZ Protocol at an earliest time possible.
To conclude, Mr. Chairman, let me express my Delegation’s strong conviction that with the cooperation of all delegations, the First Committee at this Session will manage to formulate concrete and practical measures to promote disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation, thus making a real and long-awaited contribution to the maintenance of world peace and security.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.