Tue, October 26, 2021

international

Malaysia concerned over lack of progress in nuke disarmament


KUALA LUMPUR: Despite some positive developments in recent years, Malaysia remains concerned over the lack of progress in global nuclear disarmament, says Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (pic).

He said the world must remain steadfast in its pursuit of nuclear disarmament, despite the uncertain security environment and the various challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The status quo of a world with nuclear weapons is simply unacceptable and unsustainable,” said Saifuddin in a pre-recorded telecast at the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly to Commemorate and Promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons yesterday.

He said it is hoped that the commemoration of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons would continue to generate global momentum and public awareness of the urgency to have a nuclear weapon-free world.

Saifuddin said during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference in 1996, Malaysia had expressed concern that the indefinite extension would not serve as an incentive towards the universality of the treaty, but would be a carte blanche for the nuclear-armed states to retain their weapons indefinitely.

“These concerns remain true until today. For countries in possession of nuclear weapons, they continue to uphold the potential utility of such weapons. In extension, nuclear umbrella states also continue to promote the existence of such weapons,” he said.

Saifuddin pointed out that attaining a nuclear weapon-free world has been a longstanding desire of the international community since the inaugural United Nations General Assembly in 1946.

He said this brought about the NPT, which remains until today the cornerstone of global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime.

“While we come closer to the 10th NPT Review Conference, the existential threat facing humanity posed by the existence and modernisation of nuclear weapons remains,” he said.

Moreover, Saifuddin said the nuclear disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation architecture are being strained and pulled apart.

As such, he said it is imperative and more critical than ever that the world act on nuclear disarmament. “The only and absolute guarantee against the use of nuclear weapons is their total elimination,” he said.

Saifuddin said Malaysia hopes that State Parties would reaffirm their obligations and past commitments towards the Treaty at the upcoming 10th NPT Review Conference, and progress effectively towards their implementation.

He stated that Malaysia also welcomed the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on Jan 22 this year, which further strengthens global norms that nuclear weapons are unacceptable.

“It should not be used; should not be threatened to be used, and should be discarded and destroyed as soon as possible.

“The outlawing of nuclear weapons contributes towards international peace and security,” he said.

He added that Malaysia believes that the TPNW complements, and not undermines, other international legal instruments relating to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, particularly the NPT, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and the South-East Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty. — Bernama

Published : September 30, 2021