The Philippines shares the view that efforts to advance nuclear risk reduction (NRR) as an interim measure pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, can contribute to preserving and promoting international peace and security and to building trust and confidence conducive to cooperation.
Discussions on risk reduction in the framework of the NPT have gained much more salience in the course of this review cycle and much more urgency in the past months amidst the security environment in Europe.
States like the Philippines, which aligns itself with the NPDI and a working paper on a risk reduction package, have engaged in good faith in dialogue among NPT States Parties on this subject to assist in reaching a shared understanding of what nuclear risk reduction means in the NPT context, under dynamically evolving geopolitical environments, without undermining the Treaty’s fundamental mandate of eliminating nuclear weapons,
The Philippines strongly disagrees with a conceptual framing that implies that risks of nuclear weapons use arise only from conditions in the strategic environment. We believe that a sound approach on risk reduction must recognize that risks emanate from the very existence of nuclear weapons itself.
Efforts by Nuclear Weapons States towards reducing nuclear risks must not legitimize the continued existence of nuclear weapons nor serve as a substitute for tangible progress in fulfilling their nuclear disarmament obligations under the NPT.
Action 5 of the 2010 outcome document is clear that NWS must continue to discuss, rapidly agree, and implement concrete measures of progress and targets to ensure further reduction in global stockpile of all types of nuclear weapons with the view to eliminating them completely, between and among them. We encourage them to do so, exhausting every channel possible, including the P5 Process, or through bilateral or trilateral consultation mechanisms.
Present and future discussions on NRR, whether in the NPT context or outside, should seek to elaborate practical measures addressing the full spectrum of risks including but not only:
- early conflict prevention and resolution;
- intensified dialogue on risk perceptions, nuclear doctrines and forces postures;
- declaratory restraint and effort to reduce perceived ambiguity and entanglement between nuclear and conventional weapons;
- negative security assurances (NSA);
- de-alerting and reduction in operational status;
- notification and data exchange agreements;
- minimizing vulnerabilities to new technologies and cybercapacities;
- enhanced military-to-military contacts and establishment of crisis-proof communication lines and risk reduction centers;
- prevention of unintended or accidental use; and
- further investigation of operational uncertainties, pathways to nuclear use, sharing of best practices and de-escalation pathways.
We believe that discussions on nuclear risk reduction when pursued in good faith between and among Nuclear Weapons States and Non Nuclear Weapons States contribute to fostering the spirit of trust and confidence necessary for us to move forward more quickly towards accomplishing our aim to eliminate nuclear weapons. A structured process to take such discussions forward in the next review cycle should be useful in this regard.
We respectfully urge you Madam Chair to consider the inputs in working paper 10 submitted by NPDI, and working paper 9 co-sponsored by a number of states including the Philippines, in preparing the relevant paragraphs on risk reduction in the Committee’s report.