Mr. Mduduzi K. Mbingo
First Secretary at the Thematic Debate of the First Committee on:
Nuclear Weapons Cluster
74th United Nations General Assembly
New York, 22nd October 2019
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The Kingdom of Eswatini aligns itself with the Statement of the Non-Aligned Movement delivered by Indonesia and Nigeria on behalf of the African Group and wishes to make the following remarks in its national capacity.
2. The Kingdom of Eswatini reiterates its earlier call for the urgent need for our planet, including the outer space, to be free of nuclear weapons, as their presence constitutes an existential threat to global peace and the future survival of humanity.
3. Eswatini supports the principle of complete nuclear disarmament, as the utmost prerequisite for maintaining international peace and security. It is in this spirit that Eswatini welcomes the historical adoption of the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), on 7 July 2017. Eswatini stresses that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will not undermine the NPT, but will rather complement and strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime with the NPT, as its foundation and wishes that all members of the international community, including nuclear-weapon states and those under the so-called “nuclear umbrella”, would seize the opportunity to pursue the goal of a nuclear-free world.
4. The Kingdom’s highest priority remains nuclear disarmament and to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which is the overall objective of the NPT, and Eswatini further restates its deep concern over the slow pace of progress by the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals, in accordance with their legal obligations and undertakings under Article VI of the NPT. Eswatini, therefore, insists on the implementation of all agreed measures and undertakings by the nuclear weapons States in the context of the Treaty.
5. Eswatini further reiterates its commitment to the Treaty of Pelindaba, which re-affirms the status of Africa as a nuclear-weapon-free zone and as a shield for the African territory, including by preventing the stationing of nuclear explosive devices on the continent and prohibiting testing of those weapons in the entire space that constitutes the African continent.
6. Eswatini further underscores the importance of the continued respect of the inalienable right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy and stressed the central role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in this regard, through technical assistance and cooperation and maximizing the use of science and technology for socio-economic development, as well as by continuing to ensure commitments of States to the implementation of Safeguards Agreement. Eswatini stresses the importance of nuclear knowledge sharing and the transfer of nuclear technology to developing countries, including African Countries, and highlights the potential contribution of nuclear energy in promoting sustainable development and prosperity across the world.
7. The Kingdom of Eswatini wishes to emphasize humanitarian considerations in the context of all deliberations on nuclear weapons, particularly its serious concern for the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use or detonation of nuclear weapons, either by accident or as a deliberate action, and calls on all States, particularly nuclear weapons States, to take into consideration, the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of these weapons on human health, the environment and vital economic resources among others, and to take necessary measures aimed at Dismantling and renunciation of these weapons.
8. Achieving universal adherence to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and particularly bearing in mind the special responsibilities of Nuclear Weapons States is of importance to Eswatini and the African Region. Hence, Eswatini believes that the CTBT offers hope of halting further development or proliferation of nuclear weapons, thereby contributing to the goal of nuclear disarmament.
I thank you for your attention.