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2023 Session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission

Monday, 03 April 2023
H.E. ANTONIO M. LAGDAMEO, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations in New York
Conference Room 3, United Nations Headquarters


Mr. Chair,

In my national capacity, I wish to highlight the following:

The Philippines aligns itself with the ASEAN statement I just delivered and the NAM statement as delivered by Indonesia.

On Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

The UN Disarmament Commission is one of its kind as this is the only platform where all UN Member States are present to make recommendations for achieving the objectives of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

UNDC’s outcome should positively contribute to the upcoming meetings of the Working Group on the Strengthening of the Review Process,  the First Session of the Preparatory Committee of the 11th NPT Review Conference (PrepCom), and the Second Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW.

We share grave concerns over the nuclear rhetoric and the continued modernization and refinement of nuclear weapon capabilities. The lowering of the threshold of nuclear weapons sharpens the urgency of efforts to reduce the risk of nuclear use. We emphasize however that nuclear risk reduction is only a pathway towards – and not an alternative to – complete nuclear disarmament. Any agreement on risk reduction must recognize that risks emanate from the very existence of nuclear weapons itself, and that any efforts to reduce such risks must never legitimize the continued existence of nuclear weapons nor serve as a substitute for tangible progress in fulfilling nuclear disarmament obligations.

We reiterate the urgent need for transparency and accountability of NWS for their disarmament obligations under the NPT through benchmarks, concrete, measurable, and timebound actions on nuclear disarmament with established deadlines, and reporting their implementation of these obligations to the NPT Review Conference. It must be done in a structured manner that allows NNWS to engage constructively on their reports. These reports must contain comparable information including inter alia the number, type, and status of nuclear warhead, the number and types of delivery vehicles, the amount/stock of fissile material produced for military purposes, and measures taken to reduce the role and significance of nuclear weapons .

On Outer Space

Mr. Chair,

The outer space is a global common, beyond the jurisdiction of any State, and preserving it free of conflict and weaponization remains an urgent priority among all UN Member States. We recognize the need for an effective instrument for the prevention of an arms race in outer space, fully aware that the absence of agreed norms enhances risks to outer space security. We therefore welcome the convening of the Open-ended Working Group on Reducing Space Threats through Norms, Rules and Principles of Responsible Behaviours (OEWG on Reducing Space Threats) and look forward for the adoption of its outcome document in August this year.

We also invite delegations to review and consider the working paper on the “duty of due regard” submitted by the Philippines, as well as the new working paper submitted by the Philippines and Germany.  We hope that the norms, rules and principles to be agreed on in the OEWG would feed directly into the discussions of the Group of Governmental Experts on the prevention of an arms race (PAROS) which will convene its first session after the conclusion of the OEWG on Reducing Space Threats later this year.

Outer space should remain exclusively for peaceful purposes, and we oppose any attempt to turn outer space into a warfighting domain.

The Philippines stands ready to work with delegations to ensure that the substantive session would be able to agree on concrete recommendations on the two items in our agenda – nuclear disarmament and outer space.

I thank you, Mr. Chair.