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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement
by

H.E. MR. HILARIO G. DAVIDE, JR.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Permanent Representative of the Philippines
to the United Nations

at
General Debate
of the
First Committee

64 th Session, General Assembly
7 October 2009
New York


 

Mr. Chairman,

Once again, the Philippines warmly congratulates you for your well-deserved election to and assumption of the Chairmanship of the First Committee.

The Philippines also forthwith takes this opportunity to extend its profound gratitude to delegations for electing it as one of the Vice-Chairs – truly a manifestation of trust and confidence, which the Philippines will hold as a sacred endowment. I would like to assure this Committee that the Philippines will do all the best it can and exert every effort to meet expectations so that we may have a fruitful and productive outcome for this session.

The Philippines associates itself with the statements delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the member countries of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and by Myanmar on behalf of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). However, it wishes to put stress on some issues.

Recent developments relating to the work of the First Committee augur well for achieving desired progress on the key issues of nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. I am referring to, inter alia, the following:

 

  • Statements of world leaders focusing on the need to work towards a nuclear weapons-free world, in particular President Barack Obama of the United States, President Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France.
  • Successful Third Preparatory Committee Meeting to the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
  • Progress in the work of the Conference on Disarmament (CD).
  • Holding of the UN Security Council Summit on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament last 24 September under the Presidency of the United States.
  • Urgent calls for the entry into force of the Treaty at the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) Entry into Force Conference held recently.
  • Agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States to have a follow-on agreement to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty or START.
  • Recent adoption in the IAEA General Conference of the resolution on the “Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East,” which calls, inter alia, on States in the region to accede to and implement all relevant nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation conventions, take measures aimed at establishing a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East, and requests the Director General of the IAEA to pursue further consultations to facilitate the early application of full-scope Agency safeguards to all nuclear activities in the region.

These developments provide States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) with the best opportunity to move the Treaty progressively forward. The Philippines calls upon State Parties to seize the opportunity – and not to lose it – and to ensure a successful Review Conference next year which can lead us to a world free from the grave threat of nuclear weapons and one wherein nuclear technology is solely used for peaceful purposes.

Amb. Libran N. Cabactulan of the Philippines, President-elect of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, has begun the process of consultations with NPT States Parties. He has made and will continue to conduct consultations in an open and transparent manner and will be a facilitator or broker of integrity and impartiality. In this regard, the Philippines strongly urges States Parties to work closely with him.

The Philippines stresses the critical need for delegations to be mindful of the tremendous tasks and challenges before us. States Parties to the NPT need to patiently exert their very best effort to fully understand and appreciate the respective positions of countries. Significant differences still remain on key issues within the NPT. Thus, a higher degree of flexibility and a much stronger feeling of shared responsibility are required so that States Parties may succeed in bridging the chasm that still exists.

The Philippines wishes to highlight the following that could contribute to achieving a world free of nuclear arms:

 

  • The strengthening and implementation of the NPT by giving equal importance to all three pillars, namely, nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. For the 2010 NPT Review Conference to achieve a successful outcome, negotiations should be pursued in utmost good faith and in an open and transparent manner.
  • Achieving the universality of the NPT. The 2010 Review Conference must come up with specific ideas on how to engage those presently outside the NPT.
  • The building up on the prospects for nuclear disarmament as led by the Russian Federation and the United States. The Philippines thus calls upon all possessors of nuclear arms to undertake substantial reductions that would lead to general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
  • The crafting by the 2010 Review Conference of a concrete action plan with specific phases that would lead to a world free of nuclear arms.
  • The creation of a legally binding instrument on security assurances and the convening of an international conference to identify ways and means of eliminating nuclear dangers.
  • The recognition of the intrinsic and mutually reinforcing link between nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. In this regard, transparent and serious efforts on nuclear disarmament will certainly encourage other countries not to pursue nuclear weapon capabilities.
  • States Parties to the NPT should under no circumstances consider the utilization of nuclear technology for anything other than peaceful uses.
  • The creation of Nuclear Weapons-Free Zones. The Philippines and its partners in ASEAN established the South East Asia Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone. The Philippines supports the establishment of other such zones, particularly through the Treaties of Tlatelolco, Rarotonga, Pelindaba, Central Asia, and Mongolia’s Nuclear Weapon Free status. The Philippines looks forward to the early establishment of a Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone.
  • The recognition that the CTBT is a valuable component to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The Philippines thus calls upon the remaining nine Annex 2 States whose signatures and ratifications are necessary for the Treaty to enter into force to delay no further. The Philippines also calls upon Annex 1 countries that have not signed nor ratified the Treaty to take the required action immediately.
  • The Conference on Disarmament in Geneva needs to invigorate its negotiations in January 2010, by building-on the breakthrough decision of 29 May 2009, and by working vigorously towards a treaty on Fissile materials.
  • The Philippines is very concerned with the possibility of nuclear terrorism and calls upon countries with nuclear weapons to properly secure such weapons and materials. In this regard, it hopes that the Nuclear Security Summit in April 2010 could effectively address the issue so that Non-State Actors are prevented from obtaining such weapons.

On other developments within the purview of the First Committee the Philippines remains concerned on the following issues:

 

  • The proliferation and the uncontrolled spread of small arms and light weapons (SALWs). Thus, the Philippines emphasizes the importance of the early and full implementation of the 2001 Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. The Philippines welcomes the positive outcome of the Third Biennial Meeting of States (BMS-3), which considered the national, regional and global implementation of the Program of Action and the International Tracing Instrument.
  • The Philippines recognizes the adverse humanitarian impact caused by landmines and cluster munitions upon innocent civilians and therefore supports the full implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Landmines and on their Destruction. The Philippines looks forward to the outcome of the Second Review Conference of the Convention to be held in Cartagena, Colombia, from 30 November to 4 December 2009. The Philippines is also a signatory to the Cluster Munitions Convention, which opened for signature on December 2008.
  • The Philippines welcomes the successful outcome of the 2006 Review Conference of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention or BWC .
  • The Philippines recognizes the significance of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and calls on States to meet the deadlines, as extended by the Conference of State Parties, on their destruction. The Philippines also calls on those few remaining States not party to the CWC to sign and ratify the Convention without delay.
  • The Philippines supports the convening of a Fourth Special Session of the General Assembly Devoted to Disarmament (SSOD IV) and would also like to see the reconvening of the Open-Ended Working Group to consider the objectives and agenda, including the possible establishment of the preparatory committee for SSOD IV.

I would like to conclude by stressing the importance of our current session and its positive outcomes. No difficulty is insurmountable as long as we are all guided by our good faith and our sincerity to cooperate and readiness to be flexible not only for our national interests, but, more importantly, for our collective survival as neighbors in a common habitat – the small Planet Earth now endangered by the climate change crisis.

 

Thank you Mr. Chairman.





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