by Ambassador Robert Wood
U.S. Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament
New York City, November 1, 2017
Mr. Chairman, I would like to deliver an explanation of vote on behalf of the United Kingdom, France, and the United States on draft resolution L.45: “Follow up to the 2013 High Level meeting of the General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament.”
We believe that nuclear proliferation and non-compliance by a few States with their respective nonproliferation obligations, as well as nuclear terrorism and the deterioration of the international security environment constitute serious threats to international peace and security. Unfortunately, the resolution calling for the establishment of the High-level International Conference on Nuclear Disarmament does not address these threats. Without halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and addressing the deterioration in the overall international security environment, it will not be possible to create the conditions conducive to further progress on nuclear disarmament.
The only reference to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in this resolution is to Article VI; this is insufficient, incidental and unbalanced. The NPT as a whole constitutes the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the basis for nuclear disarmament efforts. Convening another conference to discuss nuclear disarmament in 2018 without consideration of all NPT obligations will lead to another futile outcome.
Furthermore, the resolution takes note of the adoption of the text of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (Prohibition Treaty). We strongly oppose the Prohibition Treaty, which was negotiated and concluded in the absence of participation by any of the nuclear-weapon States (NWS) or any state that possesses nuclear weapons. Progress on the nuclear disarmament agenda will only be possible through an inclusive, consensus-based process that takes into account the prevailing international security environment.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.