Statement by HEPR General Debate NPT Prepcom

Statement by H. E. Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh at the the 3rd session of the Preparatory Committee meeting for the 2020 NPT Review Conference

Date: 30 April 2019
Venue: TCC, UNHQ

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, I would like to congratulate you on your assumption of Chair of the 3rd session of the Preparatory Committee meeting for the 2020 NPT Review Conference and assure of my delegation’s full support.

We align ourselves with the statement delivered by Venezuela on behalf of the Non-Align Movement (NAM).

Mr. Chairman,

Bangladesh expects the 2020 Review Conference to address all key issues of NPT across its three pillars. As long as nuclear weapons continue to exist, the risks of their use whether by accident or by intent will persist. Hence, nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation should be pursued with equal importance and urgency.

Mr. Chairman,

Bangladesh acceded to the NPT on 27th September 1979 and remains committed to its full implementation. This commitment emanates from our constitutional obligation and the vision of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to work towards “relaxation of tension, limitation of armaments and the promotion of peaceful coexistence in every part of the world.” We signed all the major multilateral disarmament treaties including the TPNW, CWC, BWC, CTBT, and ATT. We believe that nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction cannot enhance our national security. Rather, they can only endanger our security interests and cause miseries to our people. The horrors of the use of nuclear weapon in Hiroshima and Nagasaki continue to haunt the conscience of the humankind. Yet, nuclear weapons are being made, modernized, and stockpiled in large numbers. We must act together to reverse this situation.

Distinguished Delegates,

Albert Einstein once said, “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” Indeed, a nuclear war means irreversible damage to our lives and livelihoods on this planet and that for generations to come. The threats of nuclear weapons and fissile materials falling in wrong hands is more worrying. We must, therefore, decide whether we want a peaceful and sustainable world for all or wish to live with constant fear of self-destruction by WMDs. We urge the nuclear weapon states to fulfill, in good faith, their obligations under Article VI of the NPT, and comply with their commitments surrounding the 13 practical steps under the 2000 NPT Action plan. Also, all NPT States must build upon the shared gains in the 2010 NPT review conference and through its 64-point action plan.

Mr. Chairman,

Article IV of the NPT obliges State Parties to cooperate among themselves for peaceful uses of nuclear technology. Nuclear energy has, no doubt, great potentials to bring tremendous benefits to the humankind. This can solve the energy needs of a vast majority of the population on earth, contribute greatly to the medicinal science and research, water management, food security etc. As a nation in development transition, Bangladesh has legitimate interests in peaceful uses of nuclear energy for achieving its sustainable development goals. We have already started constructing our first nuclear power plant which is in conformity with IAEA safeguards and verification regime. We also attach high importance to IAEA standards and technical cooperation on nuclear safety and security.

Distinguished Delegates,

We welcomed the Secretary General’s Agenda for Disarmament launched last year for its comprehensive focus on all aspectsof disarmament and specific action points for implementation. We appreciate the transparency by UNODA in tracking the progress of the Agenda. We commit to help advance certain aspects of the Disarmament Agenda pursuant to our national priorities.

We continue to support the Joint Comprehensive Programme of Action (JCPOA) to peacefully and constructively address the Iranian nuclear issue. We urge all parties to JCPOA to remain engaged in order to build on the positive gains made so far, as attested by the IAEA. We are encouraged by the fact that all concerned have shown keenness to continue their ongoing efforts for peaceful resolution of the DPRK nuclear issue despite not so optimistic outcomes from the Summit level meetings in Hanoi last February.

We consider the adoption of the TPNW last year to be a significant development towards delegitimizing nuclear weapons. We see the merit of the treaty to further complement and reinforce the NPT particularly its Article VI. We feel encouraged to see the steady increase in the Treaty’s ratification and widespread support among people in general.

We look forward to the entry into force of the CTBT and commencement of the negotiations of the FMCT which cover existing stocks in the CD without further delay. The CTBT and the FMCT are essential building blocks to achieve our shared vision for a nuclear weapon free world. We welcome Zimbabwe’s ratification of the CTBT earlier this year and urge the remaining Annex-2 Member States to expedite their ratification.

We also stress the importance of a legally binding instrument providing assurances to non-nuclear weapon states against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons by the nuclear weapons states.

We believe that Nuclear-Weapon Free Zones (NWFZs) are a critical enabler for the NPT regime.

Mr. Chairman,

The NPT Review Conference in 2020 will mark 50th anniversary of the Treaty’s entry into force. We hope that the Conference would be able to produce an outcome further strengthening the NPT regime. My delegation stands ready to work with all the partners to make the 2020 NPT Review Conference a success. We are encouraged to witness the spirit of engagement during this last Preparatory Committee Meeting leading to the RevCon in 2020.

I thank you all.