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Philippine Statement: International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Wednesday, 26 September 2018
Honorable Enrique A. Manalo, Undersecretary for Policy, Department of Foreign Affairs
ECOSOC Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York

Mr. President,

The Philippines joins the international community in commemorating and promoting the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. At a time when the United Nations has already invested so much in development, the environment and peace, this global institution has the responsibility protect our gains from a devastation resulting from a nuclear disaster.  

Member States have painstakingly developed national agendas aligned with the goals of the United Nations, as exemplified by our efforts to attain the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Philippines for its part is implementing its Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 to achieve our vision of a country without poverty by 2040. The Philippines is supportive of an integrative framework for the global community’s work on the environment. Our approach to peacebuilding is aligned with the UN’s vision of sustaining peace.

The prosperity, the environment, and peace that we endeavor to nurture can be annihilated in the blink of an eye with a single nuclear incident. It is only rational for humanity to eliminate this nuclear threat. In the era of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the impact of a nuclear explosion could wipe out an entire city. Today, nuclear weapons have become significantly more powerful. The Philippines shares the concern of the other Member States that nuclear weapons capabilities of the Nuclear weapon states continue to be modernized and developed. With these powerful tools of destruction, if used the  consequences would simply be catastrophic.

The Philippines firmly believes that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and an essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. The Philippines continues to support the 13 Practical Steps and the 64-Point Action Plan that was agreed in the 2020 NPT Review Conference. The following action points are worth emphasizing:

  • Nuclear weapon states must make meaningful progress in their commitment under the NPT to reduce and eliminate all types of nuclear weapons in a transparent manner, and further diminish the role of such weapons in their military and security concepts, doctrines and policies;
  • Nuclear weapon states must extend to the non-nuclear weapon states effective, universal, unconditional, non-discriminatory and irrevocable legally binding assurances against the use of threat of use of nuclear weapons.
  • Nuclear weapon states must support the ongoing work towards the negotiation of a legally binding instrument banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices.
  • The eight remaining Annex II States must sign and ratify the CTBT without further delay and usher in its entry into force.
  • Nuclear weapons states must work towards accession to the nuclear weapon-free zones, including the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and its relevant protocols. The establishment of further nuclear-weapon-free zones is encouraged. NPT States Parties should pay particular attention to the Middle East.

The Philippine welcomes the new Agenda for Disarmament of Secretary General António Guterres, and we are animated by his conviction that “nuclear weapons are never to be used again under any circumstances” and that the “total elimination of nuclear weapons remains our priority.”

The Philippines takes pride in signing last year the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a landmark agreement that fortifies the nuclear disarmament architecture. The treaty represents the universalization of the Philippines' hope for the elimination of nuclear weapons, in line with the specific provision of our Constitution and the Treaty on the South-East Asian Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone. The Treaty also fulfills the goal set out in the NPT. It delegitimizes, once and for all, the use of nuclear weapons. END