2 November 2012
Statement by Mr. Reza Najafi
Director for Disarmament and International Security
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
On “Disarmament Machinery”
At the Thematic Discussion of the 67th Session of the First Committee
New York, 2 November 2012
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
My delegation associates itself with the statement made by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches great importance to multilateralism as the core principle of negotiations in the field of disarmament and believes that because of delicate nature of disarmament issues and their close relation with supreme national security interests of States, non-discriminatory, transparent and consensus-based multilateral negotiations within the UN is the only way to advance multidimensional disarmament agenda and machinery.
Iran also underscores the vital importance and continued validity of the constitution-like Final Document of the SSOD-I which recognizes the total elimination of nuclear weapons as the highest priority and contains decisions regarding disarmament machinery.
Taking into account the tremendous progress made within deliberative as well as negotiating bodies of the UN Disarmament Machinery, in particular the CD, its efficiency and the effectiveness as well as its rules of procedure, including the principle of consensus is perfectly proved. The major problem of the UN Disarmament Machinery, in particular the CD, is the “lack of genuine political will” on the part of certain Nuclear-Weapon-States and their advocates that are unwilling to agree on a balanced and comprehensive program of work to deal with all core issues on an equal footing; those who wish to use the CD merely for the advancement of their own individual interests and are reluctant to take into account the security interests of others.
In such circumstances, neither reform of the rules of procedures of the CD nor the proliferation of resolutions and putting forward unworkable proposals to deal with highly sensitive disarmament issues is a wise solution. We strongly believe that the CD is and should remain the sole multilateral negotiating body on disarmament and its role in the field of nuclear disarmament should be strengthened rather than be weakened.
In our view, there is no alternative to the CD and the role of SSOD-IV cannot be replaced by artificial initiative. Instead of blaming the UNDC or the CD or their consensus rule for the current stalemate, the total blame shall be put on countries like US or Canada that consider theses bodies, in particular the CD, as a single-issue venue or have blocked any progress therein over a decade.
Historically, current problem in the CD is nothing new. Although there are continued attempts to mask the political nature of inactivity in the UNDC and CD with technical questions such as their rules of procedures, but what appeared to be procedural problems, were in fact political ones.
We believe that CD should focus on advancing the agenda of nuclear disarmament and total elimination of nuclear weapons leading to a nuclear-weapon-free world. In this context, we strongly support the early commencement by the CD of negotiations on a phased program for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons within a specified framework of time, including a Nuclear Weapons Convention.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, in our view, non-proliferation derives its legitimacy from a larger objective which is nuclear disarmament. While over the past several decades, advancing the goals of non-proliferation was forced to be at the top of the agenda of international fora and considerable progress has been made in some areas, unfortunately, there was no progress in realizing the goal of nuclear disarmament, manifested in the constant reluctance of certain Nuclear-Weapon-States to the commencement by the CD of negotiations on Nuclear Weapons Convention. As long as those Nuclear-Weapon-States continue this imbalance approach, and the world has been divided to nuclear-haves and nuclear-have-nots, not only the goal of nuclear disarmament will not be realized, but also the advancement of other goals will be seriously challenged.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.