Mrs Angella Hamilton Brown
Chargé d'Affaires, A.I.
Permanent Mission of Jamaica to the United Nations
at the General Debate of the Review Conference of the Parties
to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
6 May 2010
The delegation of Jamaica extends its congratulations to you on your election as President of this Review Conference and to the other elected members of the bureau. We pledge our full support to you, as you lead our review process during the four weeks of deliberations.
The Jamaican delegation also aligns itself with the statement made by the Foreign Minister of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the coming into force of the Treaty and forty-two years since it was adopted here in New York. Since that time, the international community has continued to grapple with the twin issues of global nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, and has promoted engagement among States to prevent a repeat of those actions which have brought into question the effectiveness of the Treaty.
We must admit however, that little has changed since the coming into force of the Treaty. Today we are confronted with the very opposite of its intentions: the misuse of nuclear technology; the pervasive threat of non-state actors gaining access to nuclear weapons; reports of covert activities aimed at the propagation of nuclear expertise; the problem of non-compliance and non-cooperation with obligations under the Treaty and the past action of withdrawal from the Treaty, which has questioned the legitimacy of the Agreement as a genuine means to effectively curb the intentions of States which have lost the desire to abide by its stipulations. Surely, these do not represent or reflect the aims and the objectives of the NPT.
The world stands at a pivotal juncture in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and, despite the challenges of the past five years since we last took stock of the NPT, this 2010 Review Conference provides us with a real opportunity to renew our commitment and to strengthen our collective resolve to rid the planet of nuclear weapons and end the threat posed by these weapons and the increasing risk of their proliferation.
Over the past twelve months we have seen some positive developments on the nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation agenda, including the USA’s announcement in Prague in April 2009 to work towards a world free of nuclear arms and the recent signing of a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) by the US and Russia expressing their intention to reduce their nuclear arsenals.
After a decade of stalemate and inaction, the international community welcomed the adoption of a programme of work, by the Conference on Disarmament (CD), the first step in the commencement of substantive work.
On 24th September 2009 we witnessed the historic Security Council Summit at the level of Heads of State and Government, dedicated to addressing the issue of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and the adoption of a landmark resolution, 1887 which commits to a world without nuclear weapons. Additionally, that Security Council meeting saw commitment by at least one Annex II State to pursue ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
We also welcomed the Nuclear Security Summit held recently from 12 to 13 April 2010 in Washington D.C. which focused primarily on the issue of the threat from terrorist acquisition of unsecured nuclear material, including nuclear weapons and concluded with, among other things, a renewed commitment of on-going and new efforts to mitigate that threat.
The momentum created by this revitalization of the nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation agenda should not be lost. These efforts should now be transformed into practical workable solutions. The NPT, the cornerstone of global nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament efforts, and its review process is the best medium to demonstrate our commitment to achieve the universal implementation of the Treaty in a balanced manner which will safeguard the world from the potential devastation of nuclear weapons.
The small gains made since we last met at the 2005 Review Conference, must not in any way be allowed to eclipse the fact that much remains to be done. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is still to enter into force; a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone is still to be established in the Middle East and a significant number of States remain outside the framework of the NPT. It is indeed clear, that the review process must at this juncture seek to develop the means by which the legitimate security concerns of some States can be addressed, in a manner consistent with the NPT. At the same time however, we must intensify efforts to encourage those outside the Treaty to accede to it.
Of great concern to the Jamaican delegation is the continued disregard for, and the absence of, equal attention to the three pillars of the NPT, namely: nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Recent efforts have been squarely centred on the non-proliferation aspect of the Treaty which is indeed both justifiable and laudable; however it is important not to lose sight of the balance of obligations which the Treaty establishes for nuclear weapon and non-nuclear weapon States, under the “grand bargain” approach.
In this connection, we expect that nuclear-weapon States will also demonstrate the necessary political will to fulfil their agreed responsibility on nuclear disarmament, specifically with respect to Article VI, in good faith and to commence discussions on a treaty, to achieve general and complete disarmament.
Jamaica remains convinced that the continued development and stockpiling of nuclear weapons by a select few will continue to serve as the sine qua non among a multiplicity of related pretexts including: for defense purposes or as a deterrent to others to pursue the acquisition of such weapons - a cycle which undermines the explicit intent and purposes of the Treaty.
As one of the earliest signatories to the longstanding Treaty of Tlatelolco, Jamaica recognizes and emphasizes the very important role that nuclear-weapon-free zones can play in strengthening regional and international security through building confidence, while promoting the nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation ideals of the Treaty. We therefore welcome the entry into force of nuclear-weapon-free zones in Africa (Pelindaba Treaty) in July 2009 and Central Asia (Semipalatinsk Treaty) in March 2009 and express support for Mongolia’s institutionalization of its nuclear-weapon-free status and its on-going talks with its neighbours to include their participation in its pursuit to create a nuclear-weapon-free zone throughout that region.
Jamaica takes this opportunity to congratulate the Government of Chile for its successful coordination on April 30 of the Second Conference of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Mongolia, which was held here in New York. We urge this Review Conference to take careful note of the details of the outcome of that Conference.
We reiterate that in the context of nuclear-weapon-free zones, it is crucial that these zones remain free from the threat posed by the transboundary movement of hazardous radioactive materials, should an accident occur. The Caribbean Sea and other important sea passages remain vulnerable so long as they continue to be used as routes for such wastes and other hazardous materials.
The Jamaican delegation is convinced that this Review Conference is well positioned to examine new and creative means to strengthen the implementation of the nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation regime. Moreover, we continue to believe that special group arrangements to support non-proliferation should be subjected to universal, inter-governmental review before being incorporated into the NPT regime.
As regards Article IV of the Treaty, its recognition and full implementation remains of significant value to the international community, especially for developing countries, in this time of escalating fuel costs and fuel-related economic production activities. Access to the peaceful use of nuclear energy must be made available to all interested States. However, this should be done in a manner concordant with the statutes of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its safeguard mechanisms. States utilizing these provisions should allow unfettered access to their facilities by the IAEA and there should be no compromise. The IAEA’s capacity must be strengthened, as part of the review of the NPT and its support mechanism.
As we look towards the coming days, the tasks seem arduous, the global security threats have quadrupled since we last met to review the NPT. The NPT continues to be the supreme multilateral framework by which the international community can address its security concerns. Our task therefore should include the strengthening of its mechanisms and its institutions by way of increased corporation, collaboration and greater promotion of understanding and confidence in the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Our future depends on it!
I thank you.