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International Day Against Nuclear Tests

Wednesday, 26 August 2020
H.E. Enrique A. Manalo Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative
United Nations Head Quarters, New York



Thank you very much, Madam Chairperson, for giving me the floor.


At the outset, I want to thank the President of the General Assembly for organizing today’s important meeting.

The Philippines also associates itself with the statement delivered by Viet Nam on behalf of ASEAN.

 The Philippines joins the international community in commemorating and observing the International Day Against Nuclear Tests. This year’s commemoration also finds particular relevance in the 75 years after the Trinity Test, which marks the world’s first nuclear test. The testing was held in a desert in New Mexico aptly called Jornada del Muerto, or Journey of the Dead. While the capability to test demonstrates human ingenuity and innovation, it has led to the development and deadly use of nuclear weapons. Thus, we are also fittingly reminded of the detonation of two nuclear weapons that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago.

 Nuclear tests and nuclear disarmament

 Nuclear tests determine the effectiveness, yield, and explosive capability of nuclear weapons but also supposedly demonstrate the military advantage that a country may possess, as well as a potential deterrence value. But this may only be misleading and also lead to a misguided sense of security or even further relative insecurity which could lead to further testing and so on. We are of the view that any increase in nuclear testing represents a retreat from the ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament. Allowing a window of opportunity for the conduct of nuclear testing leaves an open door for the development of nuclear weapons and, in effect, neutralizes efforts towards further reducing nuclear arsenals. Increasing the capacity for the refined use of nuclear weapons as a result of testing promotes a motivation for its actual deployment in the future.

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

 Recognizing the destructive effects on the environment of nuclear tests and the horrendous consequences of nuclear weapon use, the Philippines signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996 and deposited our instrument of ratification in 2001.

 Thus, bearing in mind the significance of the CTBT we join all those others who have spoken today in the international community in urging the eight remaining Annex 2 States to sign and ratify the Treaty so that it may enter into force at the at the earliest possible time. We also join efforts in taking concrete actions including through the conduct of the 2021 CTBT Article XIV Conference to be held in New York in September 2021.

 The Outcome Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference noted that the cessation of all nuclear weapon test explosions and all other nuclear explosions constitutes an effective measure of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in all its aspects.”

 The Philippines, as a member of ASEAN, notes that the provision in the Bangkok Treaty -- 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 testing or use of nuclear weapons in the zone. 

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula

On the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, we express the hope that nuclear tests, the latest of which was conducted in September 2017, will never be repeated by any country. Thus, the Philippines as part of ASEAN, calls on all concerned parties to resume peaceful dialogue and continue working towards the early realization of lasting peace and stability in a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

Madam Chairperson,

As we continue to work on trying to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons, in particular ensuring that no nuclear tests are conducted again, we emphasize the critical importance of building trust and confidence among Member States because it is only through diplomatic dialogue and mutual understanding that we can move forward towards advancing international peace and security.

Thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Not signatory to CTBT: DPRK, India, and Pakistan. Signed but not ratified the CTBT; China, Egypt, Iran, Israel, and the United States.