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Statement by H.E. Mr. Anouparb VONGNORKEO, Ambassador and Permanent Representative On the Agenda Item 10: General Exchange of Views At The second Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Wednesday, 29 November 2023

Mr. President,

I join other speakers in extending my sincere congratulations to you, and other members of the Bureau on your election to lead this second Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty (2MSP) and reaffirm my delegation’s full support and cooperation. I would also like to commend Ambassador Alexander KMENTT, and the Austrian team for the successful hosting the First Meeting of States Parties in Vienna last year.

We meet at a crucial time when the international community continues to face multifaceted challenges, including rising geopolitical tensions and armed conflicts which pose major threats to global peace and security. Moreover, political divisions among states have hindered nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regimes. The Lao PDR is deeply concerned over the continuation to proliferate and modernize these weapons of mass destruction as the existence of nuclear weapons can lead to another major catastrophe to all humankind.

We are of the view that the entry into force of TPNW in January 2021 has provided us a new hope for putting an end to proliferation of nuclear weapons and serves as a significant step towards the ultimate goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. Likewise, the TPNW reflects the outcome of our global efforts towards nuclear disarmament. We strongly believe that the TPNW, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and other Nuclear Weapons-Free-Zone (NWFZ) treaties, including South East Asian Nuclear Weapon-Free-Zone (SEANWFZ) are complementary and collectively play a significant role in realizing our common desire for a world free of nuclear weapons.

Mr. President,

The successful convening of the First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW in Vienna last year, which led to the adoption of the Political Declaration and the Vienna Action Plan, will guide the implementation of the Treaty and pave the way for achieving the ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament. In this regard, we welcome the progress made towards the implementation of the Vienna Action Plan since its adoption in June last year.

The Lao PDR is of the view that the universalization of the TPNW is vital for achieving total elimination of nuclear weapons. In this connection, together with firm political commitment by all governments, we must adopt an inclusive approach by engaging multi-stakeholders including parliamentarians, private sector and youth, among others, in order to advance the political agenda and advocate catastrophic consequences caused by nuclear weapons. On this note, we welcome seven new signatories, three ratifications, and one accession since the first MSP. We urge all states which have not yet done so, to join the TPNW.

Mr. President,

The Lao PDR is strongly committed to the TPNW and will continue to advocate total elimination of nuclear weapons. It is our firm belief that a strong international legal framework forms the cornerstone for further advancing nuclear disarmament regime and compliments other existing international instruments. At country level, the Lao PDR has deployed its utmost efforts to fulfill our international obligations by fully adhere to the NPT, CPPNM and its amendment, UNSC Resolution 1540 as well as recently adopted Modified Small Quantities Protocol (SQP) and other related CBRN programs. We believe that the result of this Second Meeting of States Parties will lay a more solid ground for the international community to uphold and fulfill our obligations. The Lao PDR stands ready to working closely with all member states in achieving the ultimate goal of a secured and peaceful world.

I Thank You, Mr. President.