Statement by Md. Rafiqul Alam Molla, Counsellor of Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the United Nations to the UN, thematic Debate: “Nuclear Weapons”, First Committee 78th Session United Nations General, 16 October 2023

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Bangladesh aligns itself with the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of NAM. Allow me to share our national position.

Nuclear weapons continue to pose the most significant threat to humanity, and the consequences of their use are catastrophic. Our present and future generations live under the constant shadow of nuclear catastrophe. We reiterate our concern regarding the continued existence of nuclear weapons, as handful of States still possess approximately 13,000 such weapons.


Mr. Chair,

Our position towards nuclear weapons is unambiguously clear. We believe that these weapons secure no one; instead, they endanger everyone’s security. Therefore, we firmly believe that the ultimate guarantee of security lies only in the total elimination of nuclear weapons. It was from that conviction we ratified the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

We believe that TPNW will make significant progress toward achieving the universally agreed goal of complete elimination of nuclear weapons. We urge all states to join the treaty which have not yet done so.

We welcome the coming into force of the Treaty on 22 January 2021; and its First Meeting of States Parties in 2022, which adopted a political declaration and an action plan. We look forward to engaging constructively in preparation for the Second Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW. We would like to see as a matter of priority, its full implementation by all, including the Nuclear-Weapon-Possessing States.


Mr. Chair,

We consider NPT as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and the fundamental foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. My delegation expresses deep disappointment over the consecutive failure of the 9th and the 10th NPT Review Conferences to adopt a consensual outcome document.

We remain concerned at the sustained modernization of nuclear weapons, the continuous improvements in existing nuclear weapons, and the development of new types of nuclear weapons. We reiterate the urgent need for systematic, progressive, verifiable, irreversible, and time-bound nuclear disarmament in line with the spirit of Article VI of the NPT.

We call upon the Nuclear Weapons States to demonstrate their genuine political will to enable the 11th NPT Review Conference to produce a meaningful, tangible and sustainable outcome to further strengthen the NPT regime.


Mr. Chair,

Bangladesh reaffirms that nothing should undermine the inalienable rights of all States to develop, research, produce, and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including in power generation, healthcare and agriculture.  As a nation in development transition, Bangladesh has legitimate interests in peaceful uses of nuclear energy for achieving its sustainable development goals. We believe that such rights come with certain responsibilities. [And] we are deeply conscious of our responsibilities and proceeding in line with the highest IAEA standards.

We reiterate our support for commencing negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) on an effective, non-discriminatory, legally binding and internationally and effectively verifiable FMCT. We also continue to align with other State Parties in advocating the early entry into force of the CTBT. We also strongly support 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.


Mr. Chair

Bangladesh believes that regional approaches including the establishment of nuclear-weapons-free-zones under Article VII of the NPT are a practical step to achieve a Nuclear Weapons-free world. In this regard, we reiterate our support to the establishment in the Middle East of a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.

To conclude, Mr. Chair, let me call upon all Nuclear-Weapon States to commit to never use or threaten to use these weapons under any circumstances.


I thank you.