Statement by H.E. Muhammad Abdul Muhith, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the 2024 substantive session of the UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC) on 01 April 2022 at CR-3, UNHQs

Mr. Chair,

My delegation joins others in congratulating you on your assumption as the Chair of the 2024 substantive session of the UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC). We also congratulate the vice-chairs and chairs of the Working Group on their appointments. We are confident that under your able stewardship, we will have a productive session.

My delegation assures you and the bureau of our full support.

Bangladesh aligns itself with the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Allow me to share our national position:

Bangladesh stands as a steadfast advocate for multilateralism in the quest for general and complete disarmament. In today’s complex and rapidly evolving security landscape, the need for effective disarmament measures is more pressing than ever. We recognize that there is no alternative to multilateral cooperation to address these challenges. It is our shared goal to bolster the effectiveness of the United Nations’ disarmament machineries.

Bangladesh continues to express deep concerns regarding the precarious state of global disarmament and international security architecture. We reiterate the urgent need to revitalize the entire disarmament machinery, including the UNDC, to foster a stable and secure world.

 Mr. Chair,

My delegation attaches great importance to the work of the UNDC as the sole deliberative body with universal membership in building consensus on crucial issues related to general and complete disarmament, including nuclear disarmament. While we recognize the progress achieved in adopting Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures (TCBMs) for outer space activities, we must express our deep disappointment over the Commission’s inability to reach a consensus on the critical matters of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in the previous cycle.

It is our hope that collectively, we will be able to reach a consensus on the work of both the working groups during this cycle of the UNDC. To achieve this, we urge all Member States, particularly Nuclear Weapon States (NWS), to demonstrate genuine political will and flexibility.

Mr. Chair,

 The UN envisioned a world free of nuclear weapons in its very first resolution. Sadly, the promise of disarmament remains elusive. Our present and future generations continue to live under the constant fear of nuclear catastrophe. We must, therefore, be united against the perpetual holding of nuclear weapons by a handful of states in total disregard of the safety and security of humanity.

Chair, 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, we firmly believe that the ultimate guarantee of international peace and security lies in the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the objectives of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), of which we are a proud early State party. We welcome the entry into force of the treaty and its two State Party Meetings. We would like to see, as a matter of priority, its full implementation by all, including the Nuclear-Weapon- States.

M. Chair,

Bangladesh considers NPT as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and the fundamental foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament. We call upon all Nuclear Weapon States to fulfill their commitments made at the 1995, 2000, and 2010 Review Conferences of the Treaty without any delay. We reiterate our call to the Nuclear Weapons States to demonstrate strong resolve to enable the 11th Review Conference, to produce a meaningful, tangible, and sustainable outcome to further strengthen the NPT regime.

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 IAEA in enhancing our capacity for such compliance.

Mr. Chair,

We share our profound frustration and concerns over the prolonged state of paralysis of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) as the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating body.  The protracted deadlock in the CD reflects lack of political will of the States. This situation must be addressed carefully and urgently.

We urge member states to intensify their efforts towards achieving the rapid entry into force of the CTBT and its universal adherence, particularly by Nuclear Weapon States. Additionally, we call upon all member states to commence negotiations in the CD on a FMCT.

 Mr. Chair,

The rapidly evolving global security landscape, spurred by rapid technological advancement, underscores the need for diverse disarmament measures that go beyond conventional frameworks. Technological progress, especially in artificial intelligence, autonomous weapons systems, biotechnology, and cyber capabilities, has fundamentally reshaped global security dynamics.

In light of this, we welcome the adoption of the agenda item concerning the development of common understandings related to emerging technologies within the context of international security in working group 2. It’s imperative to highlight that we must be mindful to avoid duplicating efforts in other ongoing processes where focused and evolving discussions are taking place.

We look forward to engaging in the discussion constructively.

Chair, we are confident that, under your able stewardship, this UNDC session will produce the desired outcome to advance global disarmament and non-proliferation.

I thank you.