Explanation of Vote in the First Committee on Resolution L.19: “Towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: Accelerating the Implementation of Nuclear Disarmament Commitments”
Mr. Chairman, I would like to deliver an explanation of vote on behalf of the United Kingdom, France, and the United States, on draft resolution L.19, entitled “Toward a nuclear-weapon-free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments.”
Our reasons for voting against this resolution are partly founded on the same concerns that we had with last year’s text. In addition, we note the new pp 10 which welcomes the adoption on 7 July of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (Prohibition Treaty) which we strongly oppose. We have expressed serious concerns that this Treaty will take us further away from a common approach to nuclear disarmament. A balanced and pragmatic approach that takes into account the prevailing international security environment remains the only realistic way to make substantial progress on nuclear disarmament while enhancing international peace and stability.
We have made tremendous progress in reducing our nuclear arsenals. However, addressing further prospects for nuclear disarmament must also continue to require taking into account all factors, including those that could affect international peace and stability, which an approach merely focused on the humanitarian dimension fails to achieve.
Mr. Chairman, our governments did not take part in the negotiation and adoption of the text of the Prohibition Treaty that this resolution welcomes. We did not do so primarily because the Treaty is premised on the false assumption that nuclear disarmament can be achieved without addressing the real security challenges that make nuclear deterrence necessary.
We also believe that the Treaty is divisive for the international community in its unbalanced emphasis on nuclear disarmament over non-proliferation.
The focus on the nuclear disarmament debate would be better channeled towards existing processes aimed at developing practical and effective measures of disarmament that can help create the conditions for sustainable progress.
We must work together and strive for an inclusive approach. Effective multilateralism requires demanding efforts from all stakeholders to achieve progress through constructive dialogue and consensus building.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.