Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan, Permanent Representative of Pakistan  to the United Nations, Geneva, at the First Committee, New York, 15 October 2007

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

      We congratulate you on your election as Chairman of the First Committee.   We are confident that under your leadership and guidance, this Committee will achieve substantive results.  We also convey our deep appreciation to Ms. Mona Juul of Norway for her effective Chairmanship of this Committee last year.

2.                                 The appointment of Ambassador Sergio Duarte as the High Representative of the Secretary General for Disarmament Affairs augurs well for the United Nations' role in disarmament, given his well-known skills, experience and accomplishments in the disarmament field.

3.                                 We associate ourselves with the statement made by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Mr. Chairman,

4.                                 The Charter, and more explicitly, the United Nations General Assembly’s first special session on disarmament, offer equal security to all States. In today’s interdependent world, “equal security” can only be achieved collectively, mainly through the United Nations.  The Chemical Weapons Convention is a manifestation of the validity of multilateralism.  Its ultimate success, however, depends on strict adherence by possessor States to the obligation to completely eliminate chemical weapons within the deadlines given in the Convention. We also express satisfaction that the Sixth Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention adopted an agreed final document and established an implementation support unit.

5.                                 Unfortunately, the general trend has seen a progressive erosion of international arms control and non-proliferation structures which is evident from: disavowal by most of the NPT Nuclear Weapon States of complete Nuclear Disarmament; demise of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty; the prolonged non-entry into force of the CTBT; and prospects of new tests by some States; the emergence of doctrines envisaging the use of nuclear weapons even against non-nuclear weapon States; plans to develop such “usable” nuclear weapons; promotion of selective non-proliferation; discriminatory conditions for peaceful nuclear cooperation; growing asymmetry in military power among States; the danger of acquisition of Weapons of Mass Destruction by terrorists and other non-state actors. Consequently, international peace and security is under grave threat at the global and regional level.

 

6.                                 For the past two years, Pakistan has called attention to the need to construct a new consensus on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Such a new consensus will require a revival of commitment to a collective security architecture based on equity, balance, restraint and cooperation among States. We trust that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will consider convening such a Special Conference to build a new consensus on disarmament and non-proliferation.

 

7.                                 The new disarmament architecture should be constituted on six pillars:

 

8.                                 The first among them must be an international commitment, specially by the major powers, to address the underlying motives and compulsions which drive States to acquire Weapons of Mass Destruction and larger conventional arsenals and forces. The real and perceived threats to the security of individual States should be removed through conscious efforts. And, until nuclear weapons are eliminated, the non-nuclear weapon States must be provided binding international guarantees against the use, or threat of use of nuclear weapons. A corollary to such an assurance would be the commitment by nuclear weapon States, and the Security Council to come to the assistance of a non-nuclear weapon State which is threatened with the use of nuclear weapons.

 

9.                                 The second pillar of the new architecture must be a renewed commitment by all nuclear weapon States to complete nuclear disarmament within a reasonable timeframe. The legal commitments under Article VI of the NPT and the steps towards nuclear disarmament agreed at the 2000 NPT Review Conference can provide the framework for the process of complete nuclear disarmament. Naturally, this would imply accompanying commitments to reject nuclear doctrines envisaging the actual use of nuclear weapons; the development of new “usable” nuclear weapons; the early entry into force of the CTBT. Obviously, the three nuclear weapon States outside the NPT will have to be brought into these arrangements on appropriate terms.

 

10.                             The third pillar of the new architecture should be an international agreement for the promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear technology under appropriate safeguards. Nuclear power generation offers one of the most viable options to meet the world’s growing demand for clean energy. The potential of new technologies and political arrangements could be utilized to ensure non-discriminatory access to peaceful nuclear cooperation to the widest possible number of States while preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Several constructive proposals have been advanced to this end, including by the Director-General of the IAEA.

 

11.                             The fourth pillar must be the promotion of measures to prevent acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists and other non state actors. Security Council Resolution 1540 was a first and urgent step in this direction.  It is vital that the provisions of this Resolution, are universalized through the elaboration of an appropriate treaty negotiated and accepted by all Member States.

 

12.                             A fifth pillar should be agreements to address two other emerging threats to international stability: one, the development and proliferation of missiles and anti-ballistic missile systems; and, two, the ongoing progressive militarization of outer space.

 

13.                             Efforts to regulate missile development – the MTCR and the HCOC – remain less than universal mainly because these arrangements are discriminatory.  Ultimately, neither technological restrictions, nor sanctions or use of force can succeed in holding back missile development by States determined to develop this capacity. A sincere endeavour is required to evolve a universal and non-discriminatory missile control regime which places equitable constraints on all States. And, missile control is inexorably linked to the ongoing development and deployment of anti-ballistic missiles systems.  Pakistan continues to believe that ballistic missile defence systems are inherently destabilizing both at the strategic and the regional levels.  Reports of the recent discussions in Moscow between the two major nuclear and missile powers make this quite evident.  What is required is a multilateral treaty that would prohibit the deployment of all ballistic missile defence systems, whether global or regional.  Such a treaty could be accompanied by an agreement to place multilateral limits on the production and deployment of various kinds of missile systems.   The missile and anti-ballistic missile issue should become a priority item on the Agenda of the Conference on Disarmament.

 

14.                             Similarly, the growing militarization of outer space must be arrested and reversed.  No power can indefinitely retain the monopoly or even a significant advantage, on any aspect of the militarization of outer space.  This lesson has been driven home by recent developments.  An arms race in outer space will jeopardize strategic and regional stability as well as the myriad civilian activities which depend so centrally on the safety and security of satellite and other systems deployed in or utilizing Outer Space.   The Conference on Disarmament should also accord priority to initiating negotiations to prevent an arms race in outer space, including through a binding international treaty.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

15.       The final pillar of the new architecture should be the specific security arrangements for sensitive regions such as North East Asia, the Middle East and South Asia to establish and maintain a stable and balanced security environment.

 

16.       Pakistan is encouraged by the progress made in the Six Party Talks relating to denuclearization and sustainable security in the Korean Peninsula. We trust that the commitments made on all sides will be respected and implemented in a timely manner.

 

17.       Concerns relating to proliferation in the Middle East have been heightened by recent statements and events. It is obvious that the non-proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in this region can only be achieved through the participation of all the concerned parties in the region and through measures that safeguard the security and independence of each of them. Asymmetry, imbalance and discrimination will ultimately propel proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in this region. The creation of a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East is an important objective for all the States of the region.

 

18.       Pakistan hopes that the dialogue between Iran and the IAEA will help to resolve outstanding issues and create confidence that Iran’s nuclear programme is indeed peaceful. The process of dialogue should accommodate the legitimate rights and the interests of all parties. A resort to further coercion or worse, the use of force, will be counter-productive and lead to further and grave instability and insecurity in the Middle East and beyond. It could also jeopardize the bright economic prospects of the entire region.

 

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

19.       Pakistan has persevered in its endeavour to maintain peace and stability in South Asia at the lowest level of armaments. Our longstanding pursuit of a nuclear weapon free zone was thwarted by the nuclear weapons tests conducted by our neighbour in May 1998, to which Pakistan was obliged to respond to maintain mutual deterrence. Yet, even since then, Pakistan has wished to maintain credible deterrence at the minimum level. Soon after the tests, Pakistan proposed to India the establishment of a Strategic Restraint Regime which would encompass conflict resolution, nuclear and missile restraint and a balance in conventional forces.

 

20.       Although the proposal was not accepted, we have since 2004 pursued a composite dialogue with India which includes addressing the Kashmir dispute and peace and security. Several CBMs have been concluded, including for prior notification of missile tests and measures to prevent the accidental use of nuclear weapons.

 

21.       This endeavour to promote stability in South Asia could be jeopardized by recent developments. The aggressive expansion of arms acquisition by one side is one of these developments. The other is the Indo-U.S. civilian nuclear cooperation agreement.

 

22.       This Agreement has been seen by many as eroding the non-proliferation regime and introducing discrimination against States parties to the NPT. Pakistan does not wish to comment on this. However, we are deeply concerned that the agreement would enable India to expand and enhance its nuclear weapons programme by expanding its fissile material stocks and utilizing transferred technology for its strategic programmes. We are equally concerned by assertions of India’s “right” to conduct further nuclear weapons tests.

 

23.       On 2 August 2007, Pakistan’s apex body responsible for strategic policy, the National Command Authority (NCA) noted that the U.S.-India agreement would have implications for strategic stability as it would enable India to produce significant quantities of fissile material and nuclear weapons from un-safeguarded nuclear reactors.

 

24.       The NCA also reiterated Pakistan’s position that the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) should evolve a criteria based approach to enable Pakistan to access civil nuclear energy under IAEA safeguards to meet its growing energy requirements.

 

25.       Pakistan has legitimate needs for power generation to meet the growing energy demand of our expanding economy.  We will continue to develop nuclear power technology under international safeguards.  At the recent session of the IAEA Board, Pakistan announced that it would establish a new nuclear enrichment facility, under IAEA safeguards, to meet the needs of our expanding nuclear power sector.   Pakistan is also prepared to cooperate, under international safeguards, with other countries, especially developing countries, to promote the legitimate and peaceful uses of nuclear technology.  

 

26.       For its part, Pakistan has taken a series of measures to ensure responsible stewardship of our nuclear programme.  In 2000, we established our National Command Authority (NCA), which, since then, has created a strong military-civilian interface for the management and oversight of our strategic assets and our nuclear programme.  A reliable command and control system and effective custodial controls support the system.    In 2004, we enacted a comprehensive Export Control Act to deal with sensitive nuclear goods, technologies and equipment as well as biological agents.  We are now working on a separate new law to implement the BWC.  Pakistan’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) ensures safe operation of our civilian nuclear plants.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

27.       The negotiation of the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement, in fact, offered an opportunity to strengthen non-proliferation, both globally and in South Asia.  Access to advance peaceful nuclear technology and equipment for both India and Pakistan could have been linked to standards for non-proliferation and nuclear weapons restraint.  Unfortunately, true to historical patterns, Pakistan’s legitimate concerns and interests, as well as its constructive proposals, have been ignored.  The discriminatory and one-sided arrangement that has been negotiated will fuel nuclear escalation in South Asia, apart from eroding the prospects of a strengthened global non-proliferation regime. 

 

28.       Pakistan’s strategic posture is based on minimum credible deterrence.  We will continue to act with responsibility. But Pakistan will take the necessary steps to ensure the future credibility of minimum deterrence. 

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

29.       The Conference on Disarmament – the sole multilateral negotiating body – should address all the priority issues on its Agenda – Nuclear Disarmament, Security Assurances to Non-Nuclear Weapon States, Prevention of Arms Race in Outer Space. It should add to this consideration missiles and ballistic missile defences. Unfortunately, some CD members have sought to focus on one measure – the so-called FMCT – whose central objective is to freeze the advantage they have in the possession of fissile materials by imposing a halt in production. Despite the inherent unfairness of this objective, Pakistan, and other CD members, consented to negotiate the fissile material treaty on the basis of the Shannon Mandate. This consensus decision provided for negotiation in the Conference on Disarmament of a “universal, non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiably treaty.” The Shannon Mandate (document CD/ 1299) also clearly indicated that the negotiations would enable consideration of the issue of past stocks of fissile materials. Without reduction of stockpiles, the Treaty would be another discriminatory non-proliferation measure not a step towards nuclear disarmament. Now, those who seek to change the Shannon Mandate, depict it as “pre-conditions” for opening negotiations on a fissile material treaty. On the contrary, it is they who are seeking to shift the goal posts.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

30.       Pakistan’s National Command Authority (NCA) on 2 August this year reiterated that Pakistan is in favour of a "non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiably fissile material treaty, taking into account the security concerns of all States.”

 

31.       The proposal put forward earlier this year in the Conference on Disarmament departs substantially from the consensus reached on the Shannon Mandate, both on substance and process. Any work programme of the Conference, based on this proposal will not be acceptable to Pakistan. To commence negotiations, the CD should adopt a work programme which reflects the existing consensus on the Fissile Material Treaty and accords equal treatment to the other priority issues on its Agenda.

 

32.       For the record, the statement may be considered to have been read in full.

 

I thank you.

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