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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations
The Philippines congratulates you and the other members of your bureau for your well-deserved election to this crucial session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC). The Philippines is confident that under your able leadership and guidance this session will yield positive results. Likewise it welcomes the statement made by the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.
The Philippines also associates itself with the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The Philippines sees a new ray of hope in the long moribund state of cooperation in the field of disarmament. Now is the most propitious time for all nations to strive to achieve through disarmament our grand goal of global peace and even the survival of humankind. The aggravated threats to peace that torment us today and the fears of destruction that daily haunt humanity provide us the best opportunity to witness and behold the image of what was said so long ago by the Prophet Isaiah: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore”.
The most deadly “sword” and “spears” in any nation’s arsenal is the nuclear weapon. The Philippines believes that nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are both essential to promoting international peace and security. They are key building blocks leading to an age where nuclear arms will be things of the past. This is the age we all aspire for and wish to bequeath to the generations to come.
To the Philippines the UNDC remains a vital mechanism in the field of disarmament. It fully subscribes to the principles and objectives of this body and reaffirms its importance and continuing relevance, given its universal membership and its ability to submit substantial recommendations on urgent disarmament issues. Hence, the Philippines is concerned with the slow progress in the field of nuclear disarmament. Nonetheless, it is hopeful that progress will be achieved and soon.
Accordingly, the Philippines submits that multilateral, regional, and bilateral discussions should be continually undertaken as the tools to achieve success in this area. It calls on States to pursue multilateral negotiations, as agreed in the Final Document on SSOD-1.
The Philippines is a staunch supporter of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). It is host to three of the monitoring stations essential to the CTBT’s operations. Hence, the Philippines does not hesitate to call on all States to ban all forms of nuclear testing and urges those States whose signatures and ratifications are necessary for it to enter into force, to sign and ratify it as soon as possible.
The Philippines respectfully submits that complete and total destruction of nuclear weapons is the best way to prevent their spread. The human family is not satisfied by mere reduction or non-proliferation. Their existence constitutes a continuing threat to the existence of the human family. Thus, the Philippines calls on States to fulfill their obligations and prevent the spread of nuclear arms. States, especially those that possess nuclear arms, must also do all they can to prevent non-state actors from acquiring such weapons.
The Philippines gives due importance to the establishment of a universal, legally binding instrument on security assurances to Non-Nuclear Weapon States. Furthermore, it is convinced in the usefulness and necessity of Nuclear Weapon Free Zones and welcomes the establishment of more of such zones, and calls on the Nuclear Weapon States to respect such zones. The Bangkok Treaty is a significant contribution of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to this important effort. The Philippines welcomes the recent entry into force of the Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone. It looks forward to the early establishment of a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East.
The Philippines supports calls for an international conference that will set the parameters for the elimination of nuclear weapons and prohibit their production, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use, and provide for the destruction of such weapons. May this happen soon.
We are now entering the Fourth Disarmament Decade. The work of our predecessors, which began in the late 1970s, must be continued and the success that was achieved from the first to the third disarmament decades has to be consolidated and build upon aggressively and progressively. The Philippines would, therefore, like to see that the elements of a declaration for a Fourth Disarmament Decade include relevant issues in the field of disarmament so that it would truly be a decade of not just great promise.
On Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in the field of conventional arms, the Philippines recognizes that CBMs are essential in the achievement of international peace and security. Conventional weapons, though not as destructive as nuclear weapons, have actually killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of people, due to their proliferation and widespread use and their mass production. CBMs establish the climate of trust necessary for the reduction of tensions and the elimination of hostile situations. This in turn leads to more progress in terms of disarmament.
Lastly, the Philippines views multilateral cooperation as a key factor in disarmament. Through this greater progress can be achieved.
In conclusion Mr. Chairman, the Philippine delegation would like to assure you and the members of the bureau of its readiness to participate in the most constructive and cooperative manner in this year’s substantive session of the UNDC.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
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