At the outset, I would like to congratulate you on your election as Chairman of the First Committee for the 69th session of the General Assembly, and assure you of our confidence in your ability to lead the work of the Committee successfully. I also wish to thank your predecessor, the Permanent Representative of Libya, for his good efforts in managing the work of the Committee during the last session.
The United Arab Emirates wishes to associate itself with the statement made by the Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt on behalf of the Member States of the League of Arab States, as well as the statement made by the Permanent Representative of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
According to my country’s strategy, which is founded on respect for international agreements, particularly those relating to international peace and security, we emphasize the importance of supporting all efforts aiming at establishing security and stability for the people of the Middle East and the elimination of all nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction from the region, which has become a matter of urgency.
In this context, the United Arab Emirates wishes to commend the recent efforts made by the international community towards establishing a world free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. We hope these efforts, which included the declaration of 26 September as the International Day for the Complete Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, holding a review conference on disarmament in 2018, and increasing awareness on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons through Oslo and Nayarit conferences and the upcoming Conference in Vienna, will pave the way towards disarmament of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. We also welcome the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty by end of this year, which my country has signed in July 2013.
The United Arab Emirates pursues a steady national policy and has a clear position on the issues of disarmament and non-proliferation based on its firm belief in their significance in achieving the objectives of international peace and security.
The UAE also believes in the importance of involving women in international disarmament efforts, and viewing women as a principal partner and effective agent in preventing wars and resolving conflicts, and have a central role in combating violence and promoting peace and security in the world.
The peaceful use of nuclear energy requires transparency and commitment to the obligations of non-proliferation, and that is why accession and full implementation of international agreements on disarmament and non-proliferation are of great importance to my country.
My country supports all international efforts aiming at advancing the common goal of establishing a world free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. In this regard, we express our concern about the lack of progress in areas of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation despite their serious impact on the efforts to achieve international peace and security.
The UAE attaches special importance to the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) as the cornerstone of non-proliferation regime and nuclear disarmament, and also to the comprehensive safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). We also emphasize the importance of the Additional Protocol, which is a key tool for assuring non-diversion of nuclear materials and facilities and ensuring that they are used for peaceful purposes only. In this context, I would like to refer to my country’s firm position, which emphasizes that all States must fully implement their obligations relating to the safeguards regime and any other relevant international commitments.
The UAE reaffirms its conviction that the peaceful use of nuclear energy is a necessity for fulfilling the world’s growing energy demands, and we are proud to be pioneers of a successful model in the region for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, which is surrounded with the highest standards of transparency, safety and security.
The United Arab Emirates also emphasizes the need to continue negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 in order to reach a comprehensive settlement on Iran's nuclear issue within a specific timeframe. My country also calls upon Iran to resolve all outstanding issues with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in order to restore confidence in the peaceful nature of its nuclear program and exclude any possible military objectives.
With regard to making the Middle East a zone free of nuclear weapons, we express our deep concern for not achieving any tangible progress or in implementing all the commitments resulted from the 2005 NPT review conference, or the steps of nuclear disarmament agreed upon at the 2000 Review Conference or the action plan of 2010.
We also express once again our disappointment for not convening the 2012 Conference as indicated in the final document of the 2010 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and we call for convening it as soon as possible, in order to maintain the credibility of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. We also renew our call to Israel, the only State in the region that has not yet acceded to the Treaty, to join the NPT, and we urge all States of the region to work constructively towards achieving the objective of making the Middle East a zone free of nuclear weapons.
The world has witnessed several international conventions and treaties that have actually contributed to achieving many of our aspirations towards living in peace and security. However, the people of the Middle East remain unable to feel peace and the time has come to settle all pending issues in the region, especially with regard to elimination of all nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction from the region.
In this sense, we emphasize the importance of reaching an immediate consensus by the international community on developing the work of this Committee, in order to achieve our aspired goal of strengthening regional and international peace and security.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.