Thank you, Mr. Chair,
My delegation associates itself with the statement delivered by Vietnam on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement and
The position of the Philippines on nuclear weapons is ironclad. It finds anchor in our constitutional renunciation of nuclear weapons and our commitment to maintaining Southeast Asia as a region free of nuclear weapons. It was reaffirmed by our President when he encouraged this General Assembly last month to “reject the notion of deterrence and remain committed to decreasing the global stockpile” of nuclear weapons.
Nuclear weapons continue to pose an existential threat despite our efforts to build norms and legal rules that resoundingly prohibit them, including those enshrined in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The States Parties to this Treaty has convened its first meeting in June, during which we adopted the Vienna Declaration and Action Plan. We remain committed to these instruments and call on all States that have not done so to accede to this Treaty.
No amount of ambition nor aspiration can ever justify the catastrophic humanitarian impact of all nuclear weapons, whether tactical or otherwise. We support efforts to pursue victim assistance and environmental remediation in the context of nuclear tests. The onus should be on states that conducted these tests rather than the states that are victims of their reverberating impacts.
The Philippines regrets the failure of States Parties to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to adopt an outcome document during their Review Conference in August. The onus remains on Nuclear Weapon States to undertake concrete steps towards the complete elimination of their nuclear weapons. While disappointed that the 10th NPT Review Conference failed to achieve consensus on a final outcomes document, we welcome the consensus decision to establish a working group on strengthening the Treaty’s review process. This presents a timely opportunity to systematically examine the review process with the view to ensuring that it continues to meet all of our needs.
In fulfilment of the so-called “Grand Bargain” that underpins this Treaty, Non-Nuclear Weapon States including the Philippines have endeavored to fulfill our stringent nonproliferation obligations. Fairness and equity demand that Nuclear Weapon States be held equally accountable for their own disbarment obligations, which they must undertake through benchmarks and actions that are concrete, measurable, and timebound.
They must commit to report on their fulfillment of these obligations in a structured manner that allows Non-Nuclear Weapon States to engage constructively on their reports. These reports must contain comparable information including inter alia the number, type, and status of nuclear warhead, the number and types of delivery vehicles, the amount of fissile material produced for military purposes, and measures taken to reduce the role and significance of nuclear weapons in their doctrines and policies.
We appeal to all relevant states that possess nuclear weapons to cease the qualitative and quantitative, as well as vertical and horizontal, expansion of their nuclear arsenals; and to commit to a moratorium of fissile material production and measures to reduce the risks of nuclear weapons use. Such measures must include strategic dialogue mechanisms between and among Nuclear Weapon States, as well as with Non-Nuclear Weapons States.
We continue to assert, however, that all nuclear risk reduction efforts are mere intervening measures pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons. They do not legitimize the continued existence of nuclear weapons, which imperils us all.
We join Nuclear Weapon States that reaffirmed at the start of the year that a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought. We appeal on all parties to refrain from undertaking dangerous rhetoric. We must reject any threat of use of nuclear weapons.
Pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, all Nuclear Weapon States must honor and respect all existing security assurances undertaken by them without any precondition. They must commit to legally binding negative security assurances.
Thank you, Mister Chair.