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International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Tuesday, 26 September 2023
H. E. Undersecretary Charles C. Jose, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and International Economics Relations
Conference Room 4, United Nations Headquarters New York


Mr. President,

The Philippines aligns itself with the statement of ASEAN as delivered by the Foreign Minister of Indonesia.

Today, as we mark the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, the Philippines reaffirms its commitment to global nuclear disarmament. It is imperative that we educate the world about the catastrophic consequences of the use of nuclear weapons and echo the sentiment that no justification can legitimize their existence.

The United Nations, with its universal membership and experience, stands as the ideal platform to address this pressing challenge: achieving a world of peace and security free from nuclear weapons.

Despite reductions in deployed nuclear weapons since the Cold War, not a single one has been physically destroyed under any treaty. This, coupled with the alarming modernization and proliferation of nuclear arms, emphasizes the urgency of our mission.

Growing frustration among Member States is driven by concerns about the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapon use. The alarming risks of a nuclear incident underscore that the only path to safety is the complete disarmament of nuclear-weapon states.

The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is the cornerstone of our efforts. In the last NPT Preparatory Meeting in Vienna, the commitment among many States Parties to preserve the credibility of the NPT process remained evident, but the current geopolitical climate requires concrete, time-bound commitments from nuclear-weapon states.

Nuclear weapon states must transparently reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons, diminish their role in military and security doctrines, provide universal, unconditional, and irrevocable assurances against nuclear weapon use, support a fissile material production ban, and promptly sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

Furthermore, we encourage nuclear-weapon states to join nuclear-weapon-free zones, including the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. Establishing additional zones

should also be pursued, with a particular focus on the Middle East.

Support for Security Council Resolution 1540 and the Secretary General's Agenda for Disarmament are essential to advance non-proliferation and disarmament in a holistic manner.

Mr. President,

Transparent discussions are key to building trust, fostering cooperation, and advancing disarmament efforts. Together, we can build bridges and make substantial progress toward nuclear disarmament and reduce the risks associated with nuclear weapons. We have a unique opportunity and moral responsibility to secure every nation's future by championing peace and security worldwide.

Thank you, Mr. President.