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Mission News

PRESS RELEASE

NYPM 009-2008

10 APRIL 2008

RP ECHOES CALL FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT IN UN

 

NEW YORK—Saying nuclear weapons remain a major threat to international peace and security, the Philippines this week again added its voice to the clamor of United Nations member-states for nuclear disarmament.  

In its report to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, the Philippine Mission to the United Nations said Manila's position on nuclear disarmament was echoed in the statement delivered on Monday by Ambassador Hilario G. Davide, Jr., before the 2008 Substantive Session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC).   

"Without disarmament, it is difficult to imagine how we can accomplish the goal of the United Nations, as solemnly enshrined in its Charter, to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war," Ambassador Davide told the UNDC, a deliberative body that reports to the United Nations General Assembly on matters relating to nuclear weapons and conventional arms. 

In his statement, Ambassador Davide underscored the significance of disarmament, saying the Philippines, which also sits as UNDC vice chair,  continues to believe that the very existence of nuclear weapons poses a major threat to global peace and security.

"The elimination of nuclear weapons will stop or prevent the devastating and catastrophic terror they could unleash upon mankind," he said, adding that sustained multilateral discussions and dialogue on nuclear disarmament should be patiently and persistently pursued. 

The issue of nuclear disarmament is currently at an impasse in the United Nations with nuclear weapons states preferring non-proliferation and the prevention of their transfer to other countries as well as non-state actors such as terrorist organizations. On the other hand, non-nuclear weapons states, such as the Philippines, want to get rid of nuclear weapons altogether.  

According to Ambassador Davide, the issue of nuclear disarmament is relevant to the Philippines, given the global presence of Filipinos and the proximity of the country to the Korean Peninsula.  

"The detonation of any of these weapons anywhere in the world would certainly victimize a number of our countrymen not to mention adversely affect our already fragile environment, while the nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula would heighten tensions and lead to a possible nuclear exchange, which would destabilize the Asia Pacific region," he said.  

The importance of the 2008 UNDC session was highlighted with the presence of Secretary General Ban Ki Moon who delivered the opening remarks for the three-week meeting that ends on 24 April. In his remarks, the Secretary General cited the "vital importance of disarmament and non-proliferation in shaping international peace and security." 

"Countries across the world take very seriously the challenges posed by weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear arms—including risks from their continued existence, their geographical spread, and the possibility that they could fall into the hands of terrorists," he said. ### 

Reference:

ELMER G. CATO
Second Secretary & Press Officer
Philippine Mission to the United Nations
556 Fifth Avenue, Fifth Floor
New York, New York 10036
Tel. No. 212.764.1300 Extension 38



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