Tuesday, 29 August 2023
H.E. Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations in New York
UN General Assembly Hall, United Nations Headquarters, New York
- The Philippines aligns itself with the ASEAN Statement as delivered by Indonesia/Brunei.
- On this International Day Against Nuclear Testing, we stand with the global community, reaffirming our unwavering commitment to banning nuclear tests.
- During the negotiations of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the Philippines championed the inclusion of nuclear testing as a prohibited act. Article 1 of the Treaty binds States Parties to abstain from nuclear weapons tests.
- Amidst heightened tensions among major powers and nuclear weapons modernization, the existential threat of nuclear weapons to humanity is undeniable. We stress that the complete eradication of nuclear weapons is the only safeguard against their use and threat of use. Regrettably, some nations, despite legal obligations, continue their nuclear deterrence policies, and they also conduct intercontinental ballistic missile testing whose outcomes could lead to future aggression against another state.
- We recall Article 6 of the NPT, calling for good faith negotiations on disarmament and cessation of arms race. Consistent with Article 6, nuclear testing clearly contradicts our NPT obligations.
- The proper allocation of scarce government resources is crucial. We advocate channeling limited resources away from nuclear weapons expansion and invested towards social protection, economy, climate resilience, and the environment instead.
Deleterious Consequences of Testing
- It is important to highlight the detrimental effects of nuclear testing encompass, among others:
- Radiation exposure and health risks, causing genetic mutations and health issues;
- Radioactive fallout contaminating ecosystems and the food chain;
- Global political tensions escalating arms races and endangering global stability; and
- Environmental damage, disrupting ecosystems, fracturing land and other humanitarian consequences affecting communities near testing sites.
- In this regard, we express grave concerns over nuclear testing's environmental and humanitarian impacts, including multigenerational suffering. We also firmly support efforts to assist victims of nuclear testing.
- We subscribe to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in its aim to prohibit all nuclear tests. We urge universal adherence to the CTBT, as we call on Annex 2 States to sign and ratify it as soon as possible to facilitate its entry into force.
- As a signatory to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), we also urge all states, especially NPT parties, to ratify the TPNW whose aim is to complement and reinforce our goals in the NPT.
- Regarding the Korean Peninsula, we express concern over DPRK’s missile tests and emphasize the importance of DPRK’s compliance with IAEA safeguards and the NPT. We advocate for continued peaceful dialogue among the concerned parties that is informed and guided by the adherence to relevant UNSC resolutions.
- The Philippines remains steadfast in its advocacy for a nuclear-free world. We join forces with the international community in our stand against nuclear testing, as we appeal for global cooperation to foster a safer and more peaceful future.