Excellency’s, Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
At the outset I wish to congratulate and commend you for chairing this very important event that should gear up to a fruitful anticipation of the 2015 NPT review process and foster the complete elimination of Nuclear Weapons and all other Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in all their aspects.
Nuclear Disarmament should have happened a long time ago. By now, we could have been talking about enabling disadvantaged populations to “live in larger freedom” as the Charter of the United Nations envisages. But then, here we are - we are still faced with a catastrophe of our own making that is manifested by an unending proliferation of nuclear weapons. As a matter of necessity and pragmatism, we must reverse this course. Let us speak with one voice and commit ourselves to a common political will that is, in essence, the driving force for nuclear disarmament. It would ensure the Nuclear Free World (NFW) that all humanity desires and, indeed, we all deserve. That is why we must endeavor to conclude these deliberations fruitfully.
For starters, let us begin with the low-hanging fruit – one which I am sure we are all in agreement with: The humanitarian consequences of any nuclear detonation are catastrophic. The impact is assured to spread within and across our borders, irreparably causing human suffering and death, contaminating our environment, poisoning our waters, and surely ensuring that our increasingly fragile ecosystem suffers even more from consequences so dire, but of our own making. Nuclear weapons are able to destroy our world as we know it, and alter it to the disservice of the many generations of our offspring after us. They have a right to inherit a world better than we found it, not worse than it should have been left for them. Indeed, all humanity is entitled to a nuclear weapons free world.
The risk of a repeat of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945 remains all very real – we must make sure that our words are translated into matching deeds. There cannot never therefore be any other choice but to ensure the total elimination of nuclear weapons. It is in the interest and survival of humanity that, never again, should nuclear weapons be used in our world, under any circumstances. A legal instrument prohibiting that usage should therefore strengthen the NPT, by fulfilling the Treaty's disarmament and non-proliferation objectives. In the minimum, such a legal instrument should fulfill and strengthen the NPT, by establishing clear guidelines against the possession and use of nuclear weapons in the interim, while at the same time creating the necessary conditions for total and complete disarmament as the longer term goal. The treaty would also rightly challenge the ill-advised assertion that nuclear weapons provide security to the possessor. Surely we must all agree, they are not a panacea to our quest for security. Their continued existence will also only further the tendency towards more proliferation, dragging us into a nuclear arms race that cannot be in our common interest as interdependent inhabitants on earth. Furthermore, as a minimum, the NPT should call on the moral imperative of nuclear weapon possessor states to reduce their arsenals and, eventually, completely destroy all their stockpiles. Achieving that goal could make the likelihood of reaching a successful outcome of the 2015 NPT Review Conference more possible.
Without mincing words, let me assure you that the United Republic of Tanzania fully supports the total elimination of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in all their forms and kinds. Our basic principle here is the sanctity of human life, wherever people live and in whatever conditions they are in. The people in my country and in the sub-regions to which my country shares memberships, namely, the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), have neither produced nor seen, even do not desire to see nuclear weapons. They have seen and are in fact recurrently innocent victims of small arms and light weapons. I deem this to be true for most parts of Africa. It is therefore my delegation’s interest – and I hope this is shared by most of us here today – that we will not pay lip service to this anathema: Let us do away with these weapons!
Based on that reality, the United Republic of Tanzania remains a party and signatory to several of the current legally binding regional and international instruments relating to disarmament and arms control. To mention only a few, these include the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Nuclear Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty, the Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ), Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) as well as the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (UNPoA). We subscribe to the central aims of those instruments, inter alia, aimed at the control, reduction, combating and/or eradicating the possession of nuclear weapons, chemicals and biological weapons as well as the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALWs).
Let me reiterate here that the United Republic of Tanzania remains a firm believer in the NPT with its three constituent main pillars, namely, (i) Disarmament, (ii) Non-Proliferation and (iii) the Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful purposes. We also believe that significant progress in Nuclear Disarmament and Nuclear Non-Proliferation are necessary as these two are closely inter-related and mutually reinforcing. We also believe that, the slow pace of Nuclear Disarmament weakens the Non-Proliferation regime. Indeed, non-Proliferation derives its legitimacy from the larger objective of Nuclear Disarmament. The two regimes should therefore be pursued simultaneously and not one at the cost of the other.
Among the challenges hindering the move towards complete disarmament and a comprehensive Non-Proliferation regime is the delay of the entry into force of the CTBT, which opened for signature in 1966. As just stated shortly, the United Republic of Tanzania is among the dedicated countries that have ratified that instrument. We therefore urge all nuclear weapon possessor states to heed this outcry from the rest of the world so they may end their Nuclear Weapons programs and enable us to achieve the Nuclear Free World (NFW) we desperately need.
I am delighted to inform here that, the United Republic of Tanzania remains highly committed to the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and emphasizes the importance of effective and balanced implementation of the same among all the member states. To achieve the purpose of the treaty, my country re-emphasizes the vital role of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy and the creation of a conducive environment for nuclear energy production and cooperation. In this regard, we call for the IAEA to make sure that, education on Nuclear Technology and other assistances required, especially by developing states like mine, be given equally and in good faith to all member states, without any discrimination. We also call on the countries owning nuclear arsenals to comply with the treaty provisions without any pre-conditions.
In addition, we acknowledge the progress made thus far, including the importance of implementing the Action Plan adopted in the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT). We also participated fully on the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the State Parties to the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons held in Geneva May, 2013, and we intend to do so in 2015.
My delegation wishes to commend the essential contribution of some Non – Nuclear Weapon States to the establishment of Nuclear Free Zones. Their initiatives are certainly a valuable contribution to International Peace and Security. My country is one of the State Parties to the African Nuclear Weapon Free Zones Treaty (Pelindaba Treaty), which derived from these initiatives. The implementation of this treaty constitutes an important step towards strengthening the Non-Proliferation Regime in Africa and World at large. My country extends support to the call towards the establishment of Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East. The United Republic of Tanzania believes that, this effort will not only contribute to the peace and stability in the Middle East but also to the entire International Community. In this regard, my country urges the Conference on the establishment of a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East to be fully considered. In the same vein, we call all Nuclear States to ratify treaties and related protocols of establishing such zones without reservations.
In conclusion Mr. Chairman,
I must once again reiterate that, the disarmament of nuclear weapons is possible because neither their possession nor their existence is necessary or desired by all of us – those who believe in God and even those who don’t – because our common purpose as humanity is to pursue happiness and well-being, but we can only do that if we are at peace. Let all of us now, here and forever therefore agree that loving peace and pursuing its realization by agreeing to Disarm and get rid of Nuclear Weapons is to our mutual interest and common livelihood. The United Republic of Tanzania believes strongly and shall continue to be in the pursuit of this positive path towards the achievement of a NUCLEAR FREE WORLD.
I THANK YOU.