Statement by H.E. Mr. M. Shameem Ahsan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the UN offices in Geneva at the 2015 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on 29 April, 2015, New York

Statement by H.E. Mr. M. Shameem Ahsan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the UN offices in Geneva at the 2015 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on 29 April 2015, New York

Thank you, Madam President for giving me the floor. Let me begin by expressing our deep condolences to the government and the people of Nepal for the colossal damage and loss of lives due to the recent earthquake.

I would also like to congratulate you on your election as the President of the Ninth Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. I assure you of the fullest cooperation of my delegation in discharging your responsibilities and hope that your guidance would lead us to a satisfactory outcome of this conference. We align ourselves with the statement of the Non-Align Movement (NAM), delivered by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Madam President

NPT is the landmark international treaty aiming to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons’ technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament.

Bangladesh acceded to the treaty on 27th September 1979 and remains committed to the full implementation of all its aspects. This commitment emanates from her constitutional obligation of complete and total disarmament. As the destructive capacity of nuclear technology is well known, it is also capable of bringing great benefits to mankind. Bangladesh rejects the use of nuclear energy for destructive purposes but supports its peaceful application for development. When countries like Bangladesh are struggling to meet manifold challenges of development, billions of dollars spent on nuclear armament cannot be justified.

Bangladesh supports the effective implementation of NPT through the three pillars of nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy. In this context, we expect this Review Conference to address all key issues of NPT. As long as nuclear weapons exist, the risk of their use whether by accident or by design remains. Therefore, both nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation must be pursued with equal importance and urgency.

Madam President

Reductions in deployment and operational status of nuclear weapons cannot be a substitute for irreversible cuts in, and the total elimination of, nuclear weapons. We urge the nuclear-weapon states to fulfill, in good faith, their long-overdue legal obligations under Article VI of the NPT, and also comply with their undertakings in line with the 13 practical steps under the 2010 action plan on disarmament of nuclear weapons, in particular Action 5, to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear weapons.

Time has now come to conclude a comprehensive convention that will ensure and guarantee the objective of a world free of nuclear weapons. To attain that objective, we call for urgent commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament for the early conclusion of a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons following the mandate contained in General Assembly resolution 68/32. Nuclear Weapons States must pursue nuclear disarmament in a time-bound manner.

Madam President,

Pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, the NWS must refrain, under all circumstances, from the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon states. Bangladesh endorses the NAM position on Negative Security Assurance as contained in the 2009 15th NAM summit document. We believe the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons and Non-nuclear weapon states should be effectively assured of such guarantee. We support the establishment of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones (NWFZs) in all parts of the world. This would include the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.

We welcome the understanding recently reached between the Islamic Republic of Iran and five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany on key parameters of a joint comprehensive plan of action. Bangladesh believes that this understanding would contribute to regional peace and stability and that would reaffirm the importance of dialogue for peaceful resolution of disputes.

Madam President,

Bangladesh believes that entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty that Bangladesh signed in 1996 and ratified in 2000 as the first country from South Asia, is an essential step to achieving a world without nuclear weapons. We, therefore, call for its signature and ratification by all States which are yet to do it.

It is also imperative to commence, without any further delay, negotiations on an effective, non-discriminatory, legally binding and internationally and effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut off Treaty (FMCT) which includes existing stocks.

Madam President,

Bangladesh believes that full, effective and non-discriminatory implementation of Article IV of the Treaty must be one of the fundamental objectives of the Treaty. Its emphasis on the inalienable right of all the parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination, and in conformity with articles I and II of this Treaty is very important. We also believe that with IAEA safeguards and verification regimes in place, it is possible to ensure peaceful use of nuclear energy. That is why, Bangladesh has started the process of setting up a 2000 megawatt Nuclear Power Plant, in compliance with the safeguards agreement concluded with IAEA in 1982.

The universal adherence to NPT is an urgent priority and every effort should be made by all state parties, individually and collectively, to achieve this objective. In this regard, we urge on states who are not yet a party to accede to the treaty without any further delay.

Finally Madam President,

The NPT objectives could only be achieved by creating confidence among states through appropriate confidence-building measures, demonstrating necessary political will and conducting effective multilateral diplomacy by nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states. We hope that the 2015 NPT Review Process would produce an outcome that would facilitate the universality and implementation of the Treaty in moving towards the objective of making the world free of nuclear weapons.

I thank you Madam President.