My delegation joins others in congratulating you on your assumption of the Chair of the 2022 substantive session of the UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC). I also congratulate warmly the other members of the bureau on their election.
Bangladesh aligns itself with the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
Allow me to share our national position.
The increasingly volatile security situation around the world makes a compelling case for reinvigorating the entire disarmament machinery including UNDC. We attach great importance to the work of the UNDC as the sole deliberative body, with universal membership, to build and foster consensus on critical issues concerning general and complete disarmament, including nuclear disarmament.
My delegation stresses the urgent need for achieving concrete results in the current UNDC cycle, and to that end, urges all Member States, in particular Nuclear Weapon States (NWS), to show genuine political will and flexibility.
Bangladesh’s commitment to general and complete disarmament is total and unwavering. It is our constitutional obligation and remains a fundamental tenet of our peace-centric foreign policy objectives. Guided by this principle, Bangladesh continues to remain at the forefront in assuming higher obligations under all major multilateral disarmament treaties.
We 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 Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). We welcome the coming into force of the Treaty; and would like to see as a matter of priority, its full implementation by all, including the Nuclear-Weapon-Possessing States. We look forward to the First Meeting of States Parties towards achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.
We believe that investment in nuclear weapons can neither ensure nor guarantee global peace and security. We call upon all Nuclear Weapon States to implement their treaty obligation without any delay. We further call upon the Nuclear Weapons States to demonstrate strong resolve to the 10th NPT Review Conference, to produce a meaningful, tangible and sustainable outcome to further strengthen the NPT regime.
We reiterate our concerns over the protracted impasse in the Conference on Disarmament (CD), the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating body, due to the lack of consensus on a programme of work over the past two decades. This situation must be addressed carefully and urgently.
We reaffirm the inalienable right of each Member State to pursue peaceful uses of nuclear energy in compliance with the relevant safety, safeguard and security measures. In our national context, we remain committed to further deepening our existing cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in enhancing our capacity for such compliance.
Bangladesh emphasizes the inalienable right of all Member States to exploration and use of outer space exclusively for peaceful purposes. [And] from that conviction, we have become member of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) last year. We believe states, regardless of their level of capacity in space science research and technology, ought to be able to bring their perspectives and concerns when defining the future rules for the outer space. We reiterate our call to have a legally binding international instrument for preventing the weaponization of outer space.
The pandemic has reminded us that stockpiles of weapons fail to save human lives and cannot guarantee peace and security. We remain deeply concerned at the rise in global military expenditure even in this pandemic, sadly, that could otherwise be better used to protect our planet and people, guarantee peace, and prevent future pandemics.
We are confident that, under your able stewardship, this UNDC session will be able to help advance our work in the desired direction. We assure you of our delegation’s unstinting support to your work and that of the Working Group Chairs.
I thank you.