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19 APRIL 2010
ROMULO URGES UN: SUSTAIN MOMENTUM BEHIND ELIMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
NEW YORK—Saying the international community is at a crucial turning point, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo today called on member-states of the United Nations to sustain the momentum brought about by recent political developments to push the nuclear disarmament agenda forward.
“More than at any time in history, I believe that today there is more hope and good reason to dream of a world free from nuclear weapons. I believe we are at a crucial turning point,” Secretary Romulo told the United Nations General Assembly.
“The current global climate presents the best opportunity to make progress in the field of nuclear disarmament. The United Nations must take advantage of this rare opportunity and lead the way,” Secretary Romulo told diplomats taking part in the thematic debate on “Disarmament and World Security: Challenges for the International Community and the role of the United Nations.”
Secretary Romulo addressed the General Assembly two weeks before States-Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) meet in New York for the 2010 Review Conference to be chaired by Ambassador Libran C. Cabactulan, Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
In his statement, Secretary Romulo said progress would not have been possible without the contribution of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon whose proposals, he said, presented a clear roadmap and animated broad discussion on nuclear disarmament.
Secretary Romulo also pointed to the signing of the new START Treaty between the United States and Russia as well as the Nuclear Security Summit hosted last week by President Barack Obama and the recent policy changes adopted by the United States in its Nuclear Posture Review.
“This and other developments are steps in the right direction,” Secretary Romulo said, adding that the 2010 Review Conference presents the international community with a new and unprecedented opportunity to make genuine progress on the three pillars of the NPT, which are nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
“The Philippines deeply appreciates the trust that has been placed on us to lead this critical gathering,” Secretary Romulo said. “We take on this responsibility firm in the belief that international peace and security is the concern of all, and that among the gravest threats facing our common humanity is the existence of nuclear weapons.”
“We join many others in the belief that the only guarantee that these weapons will never be used is through their total elimination in a verifiable and irreversible manner,” he said. “But until that day comes, States Parties to the NPT must work together to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons.” ###
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