International Day Against Nuclear Tests
The Philippines associates itself with the ASEAN statement delivered by Thailand.
The Philippines joins the international community in celebrating the International Day Against Nuclear Tests. We recognize the commendable leadership of Kazakhstan in vigorously pursuing the purposes celebrated today. We are reminded of the importance of a concerted effort against nuclear tests, the latest of which were regrettably conducted in 2018 and 2017. We are reminded of the closure of the Semipalatinsk test site as well as the close to 1.5 million people in Kazakhstan who suffered from the effects of nuclear testing. We note that approximately 3,000 compensations have been issued to Kazakh nuclear test victims since the beginning of this year.
Recognizing the destructive effect on the environment of nuclear testing, and the horrendous effect of the use of nuclear weapons, the Philippines signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996 and deposited its instrument of ratification in 2001. The Philippines continues to support the treaty and its earliest ratification. If nuclear weapons still hold some attraction; its lethal efficacy already proven; what need then to test. Further testing can only mean its progressive refinement in yield, destructiveness, dependability of delivery, and accuracy of targeting. Every step forward in these respects is a step backward in nuclear weaponry’s deterrent effect; which was never so great as when nuclear weapons stockpiles were so enormous in yield and limitless destruction that none could contemplate their use for any purpose; thereby producing the Long Peace of the balance of nuclear terror. This morally gross benefit stands to be lost by continued testing. The better these weapons get by increasing their capacity for discriminating use, the greater the temptation and the more compelling the argument for their use.
Bearing in mind the significance of the CTBT, we join others in urging the eight remaining Annex 2 States to sign and ratify the Treaty at the soonest possible time to bring it into force.
The 2010 NPT Review Conference, which was chaired by the Philippines, reaffirmed the essential role of the CTBT. The Outcome Document affirms that the Treaty combats both horizontal and vertical proliferation and as I argue weaken their deterrent virtue through the cessation of all nuclear weapon test explosions and all other nuclear explosions, by constraining the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and ending the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons.
The Philippines, as a member of ASEAN, notes that the provision in the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ)—which states that each State Party shall undertake not to allow the existence of nuclear weapons in its territory—says in effect that there shall be no use nor testing of nuclear weapons in the zone.
We join ASEAN in welcoming the third Summit between President Trump and Leader Kim Jong-un last June 30 and hope that negotiations between the two countries will resume soon to attain progress and maintain the momentum in finding a lasting solution in the Korean Peninsula issue.
The Philippines notes the DPRK’s stated commitment to complete denuclearization and its pledge to refrain from further nuclear and missile tests during this period. The Philippines supports a careful and critical engagement that promotes the strengthening of an international legal landscape that expressly delegitimizes nuclear testing.
We urge the DPRK to abide by all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and international efforts to bring about the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which will contribute to peace and stability in the region.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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