Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues,
I am truly honoured and delighted to join other state parties for this historic event to celebrate the entry into force of the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). On this auspicious occasion, I warmly congratulate all the countries that have ratified this landmark Treaty.
The entry into force of the Treaty brings to an end our long wait of 75 years for a world free of nuclear weapons. Today, nuclear weapons finally join the ranks of other prohibited weapons of mass destruction under international law.
I pay tribute to the generations of activists and civil society organizations, who have tirelessly raised awareness about the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons since the bombings of August 1945. This Treaty is our tribute to the hibakushas, the victims and survivors of those bombings.
General and complete disarmament is a constitutional commitment for Bangladesh. Our Founding Father, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in his historic maiden speech at the UN General Assembly in 1974, made a clarion call to free the world from the scourge of nuclear war. That forms the cornerstone of Bangladesh’s total and unwavering commitment and adherence to nuclear disarmament.
We firmly believe that the ultimate guarantee of international peace and security lies in the total elimination of nuclear weapons. It was from that conviction that we ratified the TPNW. And, we remain committed to seeing its full implementation.
For the total abolition of nuclear weapons, the international community must recognize the dehumanizing and devastating consequences of nuclear weapons. Towards that end:
- We call upon States that are yet to join, to do so, to attain universal application of this Treaty.
- We call upon the nuclear weapon states to take immediate and concrete steps to cease the nuclear arms race and take stringent measures to avoid the risk of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists or other unauthorized actors.
- We call for increased investment in research of nuclear technology, and explore the potentials of the peaceful use of nuclear energy for the benefit of humankind.
- Our work is far from over. We must step up, and continue our efforts towards the goal of a peaceful and nuclear weapons free world. Bangladesh stands ready to play its part towards that goal.
I thank you.