STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. KAZUO KODAMA
DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE PLENARY MEETING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
ON AGENDA ITEM 162
28 JULY 2011
Japan would like to associate itself with the statements made by Australia, representing the NPDI, as well as the Netherlands, representing more than forty countries.
In realizing “a world without nuclear weapons”, multilateral disarmament efforts by all nuclear-weapon States and concerted action on the part of the international community as a whole are essential. From this standpoint, the role of the Conference on Disarmament (CD), as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, which brings together nuclear-weapon States as well as States not parties to the NPT, is highly important.
The CD and its preceding body have drafted critical treaties in the realm of disarmament, such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
Nearly one year has passed since the High-level Meeting on Revitalizing the Work of the Conference on Disarmament and Taking Forward Multilateral Disarmament Negotiations, in which a unanimous political consensus to break the deadlock of the CD was achieved. However, during this period we have not been able to seize the opportunity afforded by such consensus. As the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki once again approach, and the endurance of Japan’s citizens approaches its limits, further stagnation cannot be permitted.
We must immediately begin substantive work on the core agenda items of the CD, and advance nuclear disarmament, the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), negative security assurances (NSAs) and prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS).
If the CD is unable to break the deadlock, we must consider appropriate alternatives, such as making greater use of the United Nations General Assembly. In that regard, it is extremely regrettable that uncooperative action on the part of one country has prevented the CD from carrying out its highly important work of advancing nuclear disarmament for the good of the international community. This state of affairs also calls into question the current form of the CD.
From this point of view, today’s follow-up meeting and the upcoming session of the General Assembly, and in particular, the meeting of the First Committee in October, provide us with important opportunities for the advancement of nuclear disarmament and revitalization of the CD and disarmament machinery.
Japan places particular importance on an early launch of the FMCT negotiations. Together with the Government of Australia, we have hosted three experts side events on the margin of the CD, and had more detailed discussions on complex technical issues than have ever taken place within the CD.
Following these side events, in addition to the informal meetings of the CD on the FMCT held in the past several years, we can consider that the technical discussions have been mostly completed. We are therefore now at the stage where we have to begin the negotiations and we must proceed with political discussions to that end.
Cooperating closely with nine other non-nuclear-weapon States, Japan recently launched the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI). We have already convened two ministerial-level meetings, in September last year and April this year, to contribute to the steadfast implementation of agreements reached on certain issues agreed at the 2010 NPT Review Conference. Japan is determined to develop, in full cooperation with these nine States, effective proposals to achieve concrete progress on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including an early start of the negotiations towards an FMCT and enhancement of transparency.
It is essential to maintain the successful momentum of the last NPT Review Conference and continue to promote positive action towards disarmament and non-proliferation. Much also can be done here in New York to support such action. It was to that end that Japan co-organized a seminar with Poland and Turkey in May this year, receiving a strongly positive response from the diplomatic community in New York. I look forward to further efforts of this kind to make a continuing contribution to promoting disarmament and non-proliferation and to lead to the revitalization of the Conference on Disarmament and disarmament machinery.