Ladies and Gentlemen,
The United Nations was created from the ashes of the Second World War. The devastation and human suffering caused by the nuclear bombing shook the world and the collective conscience of humankind. The UN, in its very first resolution, envisioned a world free of nuclear weapons.
Since then, 75 years have passed. We are celebrating the achievements of the UN; its contribution to the welfare of the people and the planet Earth; and also, global socio-economic progress. Yet, in stark contrast, our present and future generations continue to live under the threat of nuclear catastrophe.
And now, the Covid-19 pandemic has presented before us the long-established truth in a more glaring way that stockpiles of weapons fail to save human beings. Investment in nuclear weapons therefore cannot ensure nor guarantee peace and security. It is rather through realization of sustainable development goals that we can establish and sustain peace and stability.
Our Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in his historic speech before this Assembly in 1974, appealed to spare the world from the scourge of nuclear war. This forms the cornerstone of Bangladesh’s steadfast commitment and adherence to nuclear disarmament.
We are a party to all major nuclear disarmament treaties. We are also among the 44 countries that have ratified the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Nuclear technology has been recognized as capable of both tremendous benefit and equally unimaginable destruction. Bound by our constitutional obligation to disarmament, Bangladesh rejects the use of nuclear technology for destructive purpose and supports its peaceful application for the development and welfare of humankind. To harness the benefit of nuclear technology, Bangladesh is building nuclear power plants for peaceful uses.
Today, as we commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, I would like to flag few points:
First, nuclear weapons themselves are the problems and as the former Secretary-General of UN Ban ki Moon stated that and I quote “there are no right hands to handle these wrong weapons” unquote. Therefore, Bangladesh steadfastly supports the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.
Second, nuclear weapon states need to take concrete steps to cease nuclear arms race and also to get rid of the risk of nuclear weapons falling in the hands of the wrong people I mean terrorist.
Third, Nuclear-weapon-free-zones need to be established in all parts of the world through ratification by the nuclear weapons states, they also must ratify the related protocols to all treaties establishing such zones.
Fourth, the potentials of nuclear technology for benefit of humankind and inalienable rights of States for research, production and peaceful use of nuclear energy, without discrimination, must be fostered through effective international cooperation.
And finally, total elimination of nuclear weapons is a long overdue commitment. The pandemic has made it a rallying call more than ever before. Mass awareness and global advocacy need to be promoted and accelerated through effective partnership, including with civil society organizations.
On this momentous 75th anniversary of the United Nations, let us re-commit to use our scare resources for realizing sustainable development goals, and making this world safe and livable for our present and future generations.
I thank you.