7 April 2014
Statement by H.E. Mr. G. Hossein Dehghani Ambassador and Charge d’Affaire a.i.
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
Before the 2014 Substantive Session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission
7 April 2014 , New York
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
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I would like to begin by sincerely congratulating you on your election. My delegation has full confidence in your able leadership and ability in successful steering of the work of the Commission. I assure you of the full cooperation of my delegation throughout this important session as the last session of a three-year cycle of the UNDC.
I wish also to express my felicitation to my other colleagues in the Bureau of the Commission on their election.
I would also like to thank H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson, distinguished Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations for his statement.
My delegation also fully associate itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
We are meeting this year in light of the momentum created by the first-ever high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament held last September. Strong supports for nuclear disarmament at that meeting by political and geographical groups, national leaders and civil society, indicated how powerful and deep-rooted demands for nuclear disarmament is. It has proved once again that the total elimination of nuclear weapons still remains the first priority of the international community. Follow-up to that high-level meeting, the adoption of Resolution 68/32 of the General Assembly, containing the 3-point proposals, which were proposed by the Non-Aligned Movement, represents an appropriate road-map to reinvigorate and direct all international efforts on nuclear disarmament.
We should take advantage of this momentum in realizing nuclear disarmament which is a long overdue obligation and an essential element in maintaining and enhancing international peace and security. This reminds us of the important responsibility of the Commission and of course the difficult task ahead of us in formulating a comprehensive and action-oriented document that lives up to the high expectations; a document, which in terms of its content, can be considered above the resolutions of the First Committee and below a treaty – like the Commission itself that stands somewhere between the First Committee that produces resolutions and the Conference on Disarmament that produces legally binding instruments.
The Commission has a special responsibility in taking forward nuclear disarmament, because first) it is the sole specialized deliberative body of the General Assembly on all disarmament issues, among which nuclear disarmament has the highest priority, and second) unfortunately, as a result of inflexible position by certain countries, the Commission has never adopted a concrete set of guidelines on nuclear disarmament.
The task ahead of us is also challenging, in particular because of the issues related to political will. Although over nearly seven decades, the overwhelming majority of States were strongly and consistently calling for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, some nuclear-weapon States continued their inflexible position in this regard. This was the main and only challenge facing efforts aimed at nuclear disarmament, including within this Commission. Indeed, success will not be achieved without overcoming this challenge. In this context, we reiterate our strong call upon those nuclear-weapon States to shoulder their responsibility.
Nuclear-weapon States should comply with their legal obligations under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and their unequivocal undertakings at its Review Conferences to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear weapons. Limited bilateral or unilateral reductions in and the mere decommissioning of nuclear weapons are far short of real and effective steps for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Nor can it be a substitute for it, as the complete elimination of all nuclear weapons in an irreversible, transparent and internationally verifiable manner is the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of such weapons.
We attach great importance to the full realization of the inalienable right of States to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy, including the inherent right to develop full national nuclear fuel cycle, for peaceful purposes without discrimination, and to participate in the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Seizing this opportunity, I would also like to point out the special responsibility of the three nuclear-weapon States co-sponsors of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East in implementing this Resolution and related part of the 2010 plan of action, in particular convening a conference which unfortunately was not held only because of the rejection by Israel to participate in it. As the country who proposed the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East in 1974, the Islamic Republic of Iran will seriously continue its efforts for the establishment of this zone. The only obstacle to that end is the nuclear weapons of Israel and its persistent rejection to join the NPT. Therefore, Israel must be compelled to participate in the conference, renounce possession of nuclear weapons, accede to the NPT without any precondition and further delay and as a non-nuclear-weapon party and place all its nuclear facilities under the comprehensive safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to stress that if all delegates show flexibility and cooperate constructively, we would be able to overcome the challenges. Therefore, let us decide to safeguard our national interests together with human interest that is to have a nuclear-weapon-free world and demonstrate how able we are in making use of new opportunities to remove old obstacles. In its turn, my delegation stands ready to fully cooperate with you and all member States in having a successful meeting this year.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.