Statement by Mr. Md. Rafiqul Alam Molla, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN at the Thematic Debate: Combined Clusters 2: Other Disarmament Measures, Regional Disarmament, and Disarmament Machinery, First Committee of the 76th UNGA, 18 October 2021

Mr. Chair,

Bangladesh aligns itself with the Statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) under this combined cluster.

Rapid technological development, including artificial intelligence, biotechnology and other emerging technologies continues to redefine the nature of our disarmament discourse. ICT has brought immense benefits to our people. Yet the emerging technologies led by the 4IR have brought to the fore more controversies than ever before due to their dual use nature – both constructive and destructive.

Our increasing dependence on digital technologies, more so due to the pandemic, has created new vulnerabilities. Perpetrators are even exploiting the ongoing global health crisis by targeting critical establishments necessary for mitigating this pandemic.

Bangladesh strongly rejects the malicious use of ICTs, including social networks, for purposes that are inconsistent with the objectives of maintaining international stability and security. We firmly believe that no government can address these challenges alone.

On this note, Bangladesh reiterates the need for the UN to continue its norm-setting role for a globally accessible, free, open, and secured cyberspace, which is now necessary more than ever. In this regard, we take note of the consensus outcome document of the OEWG on cyber issues and the consensus report of the GGE in the field of Information and Telecommunications.

Bangladesh stresses the necessity of adhering to the core principles of the UN Charter and international law, in particular the principle of sovereignty and sovereign equality, refraining from the threat of or use of force in international relations, and adhering to the principle of peaceful coexistence between countries. In this regard, confidence-building measures is critically important for maintaining a safe and secure cyber ecosystem. Bangladesh remains steadfast to contribute to safeguarding ICTs from malicious activities.

Bangladesh also stresses on the importance of mainstreaming and preserving relevant environmental norms in implementation of disarmament and arms control measures.

Mr. Chair,

We add our voice to the need for establishing nuclear-weapon-free-zones (NWFZ), as an interim measure, through ratification of related protocols to all treaties establishing NWFZs by the nuclear weapons states, for maintaining sustainable peace, security and stability around the world.

We subscribe to the notion that peaceful dialogue and diplomacy remain the best options for building a sound regional security architecture. Enhanced regional cooperation, including for transparency and confidence building measures, remain critical for creating conditions conducive to sustained and meaningful dialogues on disarmament and security issues.

Bangladesh has unconditionally opted to remain non-nuclear- a position that emanates from our constitutional obligation to a general and complete disarmament. Nuclear weapons have no place in our security posture. Rather, Bangladesh is working towards peaceful uses of nuclear technology in the areas of agriculture, health and power generation.

Mr. Chair,

Bangladesh remains an ardent proponent of multilateralism in the pursuit of general and complete disarmament. We continue to emphasize the need for reinvigorating the UN Disarmament Machinery to add further impetus to inter-governmental negotiations on outstanding disarmament and non-proliferation regime.

We remain deeply concerned over the protracted impasse in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) due to the lack of consensus on a programme of work over the past two decades. We reiterate our call on the CD to agree by consensus on a balanced and comprehensive program of work without any further delay.

We reiterate the importance of convening the Fourth Special Session of the General Assembly devoted to Disarmament (SSOD-IV) for giving further momentum to the disarmament machinery in an evolving and complex global context.

Bangladesh highlights the importance and relevance of the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC) as the deliberative body within the UN multilateral disarmament machinery. We also appreciate the contribution of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) towards expanding the horizons of our knowledge and expertise on disarmament.

We remain committed to upholding internationally agreed disarmament norms and strengthening the UN disarmament machinery to ensure a safer and better world for our future generations.

I thank you.