United Nations Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

Statement by H.E. Amrit Bahadur Rai, Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations, at the 74th UNGA, First Committee, General Debate on all disarmament and international security agenda items

Wednesday, 16 October 2019
H.E. Amrit Bahadur Rai, Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations
New York

Mr. Chair, 

I wish to begin by congratulating you and other members of the Bureau for your respective elections. I assure you of the full support and cooperation of my delegation in the effective discharge of your duty. 

Similarly, I also commend the Bureau of the last session for successfully steering the committee towards a fruitful conclusion.

I align my statement with the one delivered by the distinguished representative of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Mr. Chair,

Next year, we are celebrating 75 years of the establishment of this great organization United Nations. An overarching goal of its establishment was 

to "save the successive generation from the scourge of war". However, the goal remains still elusive as around 14,000 nuclear weapons exist in the world today and the yearly global military expenditure has exceeded $1.8 trillion. Nepal is deeply concerned that scarce reources are squandard for militarization to decimate fellow human beings but not to bring people out of poverty, hunger and diseases. 

We are deeply concerned with the recent collapse of the INF treaty, debilitated JCPOA and paralysis in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC).

Nepal is a steadfast supporter of general and complete disarmament of all weapons of mass destruction. Nepal’s unwavering commitment to disarmament and international security emanates from “the norms of world peace” enshrined in its Constitution as a basis for its foreign policy. 

The nuclear weapons pose a persistent threat to the entire humanity. Therefore, they should not find any place in the security doctrine of any country. 

Nepal continues to emphasize that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. The world will never be a safer place until the existence of nuclear weapons. 

As long as there is existence of nuclear weapons, Nepal underlines the importance of unconditional, non-discriminatory and legally binding security assurances by the Nuclear Weapon States to the Non-nuclear Weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances. 

Nuclear technology must be harnessed for prosperity of people as the Article IV of the NPT stipulates inalienable rights of the States to acquire and use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. 

Nepal reaffirms the importance of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) as the sole multilateral negotiating body on disarmament related issues. We stress on the necessity to start negotiations in the CD for effective nuclear disarmament measures. We call for an early conclusion of the Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT). 

 Nepal supports the establishment of an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. In this connection, Nepal welcomes the convening of a high-level conference on this issue next month. We hope this conference will be a building block for the success of the NPT Review Conference, not a stumbling block for its another failure in 2020.

Nepal has initiated the necessary domestic procedures to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), a landmark agreement toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons. We urge all countries to sign and ratify the TPNW to ensure its early entry into force.

Nepal welcomes the momentum gained by the implementation plan of the Secretary General’s Agenda for Disarmament.

Mr. Chair,

Nepal notes with satisfaction the effective operation of the Chemical Weapon Convention and supports the norms against the use of chemical weapons under any circumstances.

Nepal recognizes the importance of further strengthening of the Biological and Toxin Weapon Convention (BTWC). There is an urgent need for a universal, non-discriminatory, and legally binding verification mechanism to tackle the issue of threat of biological weapons. 

The weaponization of drones, artificial intelligence, automated robots, and cyberspace poses serious threats to humanity. Nepal stresses on peaceful use of frontier technologies so that it would help people come out of poverty, hunger and diseases. 

The outer space should be kept free of arms race and weapons of mass destruction. It should be used for the greater benefits of humanity. Nepal supports the negotiation of a treaty preventing an arms race in outer space. 

 Nepal reaffirms the complementarity of the regional and global approaches to disarmament. It believes that regional mechanisms can play a role of confidence building measure (CBMs) at the regional and sub-regional levels. 

Nepal believes that disarmament education helps change the basic attitudes of the people and policymakers. Therefore, the regional centers should be encouraged to disseminate information and develop educational modules for different age groups to enhance their awareness level. Similarly, the regional centres should also be encouraged to share good practices and lessons learned among themselves for emulating them in their respective geographical context.

Nepal supports the engagement of women, youth, civil society, and the private sector for spreading awareness and urging their respective governments to develop a worldview in support of accelerated disarmament.

Mr. Chair,

As in the previous years, Nepal will table a resolution on the ‘United Nations Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific’ at the current session of the Committee. We would appreciate the continued support from all the delegations for the adoption of the resolution by consensus. We also request all traditional and potential partners to co-sponsor the draft resolution.

Similarly, Nepal also echoes the Secretary-General’s call to countries in the region and beyond to make voluntary contributions to the Centre to ensure the sustainability of its activities and operations as well as to enable it to fulfill the mandate entrusted to it by the General Assembly. 

In conclusion, Mr. Chair, we call all parties to resort to dialogues and negotiation to build a relationship of mutual trust and confidence thereby progress can be made towards disarmament and non-proliferation. We believe only the dialogue not the competitive military buildup help making a safer and more secure world and ensure prosperity for our posterity. Our hope is still with human conscience that would prevail for peace and development over war and destruction. 

 I thank you, Mr. Chair.