Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen, T.D.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., commenting on the announced intention of the US to withdraw unilaterally from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, said:
“I note with regret that the US has decided to withdraw from the ABM Treaty. While I respect the right of the US to take decisions which it deems to be in its own security interests, the ABM Treaty has for decades been an important element in the promotion and maintenance of international stability and a basis for further reductions of strategic offensive weapons. Ireland has supported the maintenance of the ABM Treaty in a resolution tabled in recent years at the UN General Assembly. Together with our New Agenda partners we have called upon all states to refrain from any action that could lead to a new nuclear arms race or that could impact negatively on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. In that context, I welcome the fact that the US and the Russian Federation will continue to consult with regard to the reduction of their strategic nuclear forces.”
Note for editors:
The 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, was agreed between the US and the USSR (The Russian Federation is party to the Treaty as the successor to the Soviet Union). It was designed to reduce the intensity of the arms race by preventing either side from developing strong ABM defences.
Under Article XV of the Treaty either party may withdraw from the Treaty having given six months notice to the other party.
The New Agenda Coalition was formed in 1998 by Ireland, Sweden, Egypt, South Africa, Mexico. Brazil and New Zealand. The New Agenda Coalition has been active in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) process.Top