Statement by H.E. Mr. Amrit Bahadur Rai,
Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations,
at the 76th UNGA, First Committee, General Debate on all disarmament and international security agenda items
New York, 4 October 2021
At the outset, I congratulate you and members of the Bureau on your election for this important Committee.
I assure you of my delegation’s full support and cooperation in the deliberations of the Committee.
I align my statement with the statement of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
Nepal is concerned about the deterioration of international peace and security and revival of big power tensions and resultant arms race.
It was confounding to see the almost 2 trillion military spending in 2020 despite the urgency to repurpose the resources to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and to save peoples’ lives. Excessive military spending has undermined our commitment to the 2030 agenda.
Today, the world is in a state of ‘illusive peace’. The modernization of nuclear weapons, arms race in outer space, and weaponization of modern technologies have made a ‘general and complete disarmament’ agenda, an elusive hope.
As a state party to NPT, CWC, and the BWC, Nepal strongly supports the general and complete disarmament of all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, radiological, biological, and chemical weapons, in a time-bound manner.
Nepal is concerned about the modernization of nuclear arsenals. The existence of nearly 14,000 nuclear weapons is an existential threat.
Only the elimination of nuclear weapons from the earth guarantees the safety of humankind, ecology, and the environment. In this regard, Nepal calls upon Nuclear-Weapon States (NWS) to oblige fully by their legal obligations towards the total elimination of their nuclear weapons in a transparent, irreversible, and verifiable manner.
The IAEA should continue to strengthen its safeguarding mechanism to make non-proliferation more effective.
We support the disarmament-related regional arrangements including the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones as building blocks of disarmament and a world free from nuclear weapons.
As a signatory of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), Nepal is happy to note the entry into force of the treaty. Nepal is committed to ratifying the treaty at the earliest possible.
Nepal condemns the use of chemical weapons anywhere in the world and notes with satisfaction the effectiveness of CWC in its verification regime.
We believe in the inalienable right of each State party to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.
Illicit manufacture, transfer, and circulation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) have claimed thousands of lives, proliferated transnational organized crimes, and ignited conflicts in many societies. We must promote cross-border cooperation and assistance to prevent such illicit trade and transfer SALW.
Nepal firmly stands for the prevention of arms race in and weaponization of outer space. Outer space should only be used for peaceful purposes.
We must agree on a global regulatory framework for an open, secure, stable, accessible, and peaceful ICT environment and safe cyberspace.
We must utilize our multilateral disarmament machinery such as UNDC and CD to deliberate and move forward towards arms control and disarmament.
We support the inclusion of gender perspectives in disarmament frameworks. Participation of women, youths, civil society, and the private sector help us to devise sustainable solutions to the problems of disarmament architecture.
As a host to the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD), Nepal is committed to strengthening the Centre to enable it to contribute to promote dialogue and confidence building measures in the region. We call for an enhanced level of support to the Centre from the international community, especially by the Member States from the Asia Pacific region.
As in the past years, along with other co-sponsoring countries, Nepal will table before this Committee a draft resolution entitled 'United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific.’
My delegation looks forward to receiving the continued support of all Member States for the adoption of the draft resolution by consensus, as before.
I thank you