At the outset, I would like to congratulate you on assuming the chairmanship of the First Committee during the 72nd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. I would also like to affirm our confidence in your ability to lead this session successfully and assure you of our full support. I would also like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to your predecessor, H.E. Sabri Boukadoum, the Permanent Representative of Algeria, for leading the work of the committee during the previous session.
The United Arab Emirates would also like to associate itself with the statement made by the Permanent Representative of Yemen on behalf of the Arab Group, and the statement made by the Permanent Representative of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Given the serious security challenges facing our world, the work of this committee provides us an opportunity to build consensus towards achieving peace and security, regionally and internationally. In spite of the serious international and regional efforts made, we continue to suffer from crises resulting from the smuggling of arms and their use by non-State actors, the use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians as well as nuclear testing.
The United Arab Emirates believes in the importance of making use of international multilateral fora on disarmament and international security, as we have seen progress last year in the path towards denuclearization through the conference convened to negotiate a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, which was the latest example that demonstrated the readiness of the international community to move towards a world free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
On the question of establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, the UAE reaffirms its continued commitment to support dialogue, consultation and all efforts aimed at achieving progress towards this goal. We also hope that positive and serious steps will be taken to implement the mechanisms and the outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, and ensure that the postponed conference on the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East is held with the participation of all countries in the region.
In this context, my country reiterates its call for Israel to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), as Israel is the only state in the region which has not yet acceded to this treaty.
The United Arab Emirates has been at the forefront of states calling for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and we attach special attention to the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons out of our commitment to global security. The UAE attaches great importance to universal accession and full implementation of all international agreements concluded in this field. My country also emphasizes the importance of following a transparent approach in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, where the UAE is committed to working closely and in conformity with the standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
In this context, the UAE expresses its deep concern at Iran’s continued nuclear activities and development of its missile program, and stresses the need to ensure commitment to a transparent and full cooperative relationship with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in order to enhance confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. Moreover, there is no sign of any change in Iran’s hostile behavior in the region or a desire to abandon its nuclear ambitions, and therefore, we support enhancing controls on Iran’s nuclear program and continued assessment of the agreement and its provisions. We also call on Iran to ensure its full compliance to its international obligations and responsibilities under the NPT, and to stop undermining regional security through its support to the militias and smuggling arms to them, which constitutes a flagrant violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.
The UAE considers the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) as the primary platform for strengthening global efforts on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, as it has paved the way for deterring nuclear testing. However, we are disappointed that this treaty has not yet entered into force, and in this context, we call on states which have not yet acceded, to sign and ratify this treaty as soon as possible, particularly the states in Annex II. We also urge all states to maintain the moratorium on nuclear testing.
The United Arab Emirates has condemned the nuclear tests conducted by North Korea recently, and emphasized that these actions are inconsistent with the goals of the CTBT, as well as the spirit of peace and stability which we all aspire to achieve. We stress that North Korea must respect its international obligations, act responsibly and cooperate in order to maintain peace and security in the Korean peninsula and in the region.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, the UAE emphasizes the need for gender-mainstreaming in disarmament and international security issues, which requires increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in the relevant national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms.