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Statement by Ambassador Hoang Chi Trung Deputy Permanent Representative of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the United Nations at the General Debate of the First Committee of the 63rd GA Session
10-09-2008, 09:54 am


by Ambassador Hoang Chi Trung

Deputy Permanent Representative of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

to the United Nations

at the General Debate of the First Committee

of the 63rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

New York, Thursday, 9th October, 2008



Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, on behalf of the Vietnamese delegation, I wish to congratulate you on your election to the Chairmanship of the First Committee. I am sure that with your diplomatic skills, the Committee’s deliberations will arrive at a productive outcome. My delegation also extends its warmest congratulations to the other members of the Bureau.

Vietnam fully associates itself with the statements delivered by the distinguished representative of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and by the distinguished representative of Myanmar on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations respectively.

Mr. Chairman,

The process of complete disarmament and arms control is undergoing major challenges and difficulties. The disarmament efforts of the United Nations have obviously achieved little progress in recent years. In fact, we have encountered several setbacks. For instance, the 2008 Substantive Session of the Disarmament Commission failed to reach any agreement on the issues of nuclear disarmament and confidence-building measures in the field of conventional weapons. The Conference on Disarmament has not managed to conclude its programme of work. These problems present serious challenges and difficulties for the work of our Committee. It is, therefore, imperative that all Member States exert political will and greater flexibility to break the current impasse and reach agreement on the important issues of common concern to bring the cause of disarmament further ahead. 

In this connection, I wish to reaffirm my country’s consistent and strong support for the objectives of total and complete disarmament, with priority given to nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. We further underscore the need to carry out, in parallel, nuclear disarmament and the prevention of nuclear proliferation, since they complement each other. Over the years, Vietnam has demonstrated its strong commitment to the cause of disarmament of the United Nations. My delegation further stresses the imperative requirement of the world to rid itself of nuclear weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction. We are fully convinced that the only absolute guarantee against nuclear disasters is the complete elimination of these weapons. We reiterate our firm support for initiatives to find solutions to eliminate nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction and to build a world free of all of these weapons. We wish to underline the significance of the advisory opinion delivered by the International Court of Justice on 8th July 1996 that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.

Along this line, my delegation strongly supports the convening of the Fourth United Nations Special Session Devoted to Disarmament to identify effective ways and means to achieve total and complete disarmament.

Mr. Chairman,

Vietnam attaches special importance to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The NPT constitutes the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime which prevents the spread of nuclear weapons technology and ensure the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. We wish to underline the equal importance of the implementation of the NPT's three pillars, namely nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. We hold that all State parties, particularly the nuclear weapons states, have primary obligations to strictly implement the package agreed to at the 1995 and 2000 NPT Review Conferences, especially to undertake the 13 practical steps toward complete nuclear disarmament, in conformity with Article VI of the Treaty.

Pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, my delegation joins the international community in urging the Nuclear-Weapons States to take further concrete steps in reducing and destroying nuclear arsenals and to bear primary responsibility with regard to the security assurances for non-nuclear weapon states. We are fully convinced that 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 top priority. We urge all states member to the treaty to work harder together to make the 2010 NPT Review Conference a success and to adopt innovative and effective measures to further strengthen the NPT regime.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is a crucial instrument in promoting nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. It is regrettable that the Treaty has not yet entered into force despite of the fact that more than a decade has elapsed since the Treaty was signed. Given the vital importance of the Treaty's mandate, we support the efforts to bring the Treaty into force as soon as possible. We also believe that pending the CTBT’s entry into force, all States should maintain political moratoriums of refraining from carrying out nuclear-weapon-test explosions or any other nuclear explosions, and of refraining from acts that would undermine the objectives and purposes of this treaty.

Mr. Chairman, the establishment of the nuclear weapons free zones in various parts of the world are positive steps to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation regimes in the respective regions. We support the call for the establishment of a nuclear weapon free zone the Middle East as adopted at the 1995 Review Conference of the NPT member states.

In our region, Vietnam joins the efforts of the ASEAN member states to ensure that South East Asia is free from nuclear weapons. We urge the Nuclear Weapons States to be more forthcoming in the negotiations to accede to SEANWFZ’s Protocol in order to realize this important objective.

 Mr. Chairman, small arms and light weapons poses adverse impacts on international security, stability and development. Therefore, we fully support and are committed to implementing the Programme of Action for preventing, combating and eradicating the illicit trade in SALWs in all of its aspects. In this connection, we highly appreciate the outcomes reached at the Third Biennial Meeting of States held in July, 2008 which has highlighted various measures to effectively implement the Programme of Action on SALWs. We share the view that international assistance and cooperation play a crucial role in assuring the effective implementation of the Programme of Action and wish to encourage further regional and international cooperation in this field.   

On a final note, Mr. Chairman, next year, Vietnam will be one of the Presidents of the Conference on Disarmament, the single multi-lateral forum for disarmament negotiations. We will consult other delegations to find solutions to overcome the current deadlock and to reach a comprehensive and balanced programme of work. We are looking forward to working with other countries to make the work of the Conference on Disarmament in 2009 a rewarding and fruitful endeavour.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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