Ireland calls for demonstration of an unequivocal commitment to elimination of nuclear weapons
Ireland tabled a resolution calling for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World at the Disarmament Committee of the United Nations in New York yesterday. This resolution is a follow-up to the Joint Ministerial Declaration of 9 June in which the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. David Andrews, T.D., and the Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia and South Africa called for a new international agenda to achieve a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World.
The resolution which will be debated at the United Nations over the coming three weeks calls on the Nuclear Weapon States (France, UK, USA, Russia and China) to "demonstrate an unequivocal commitment to the speedy and total elimination of their respective nuclear weapons". They are asked to pursue without delay and in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to the elimination of their nuclear weapons arsenals.
The Declaration and resolution were being prepared when India and Pakistan began a series of nuclear tests in May this year. The resolution specifically calls on these three countries that have shown themselves to be capable of developing and testing nuclear weapons to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to renounce their nuclear weapons option. It was an initiative of Ireland at the United Nations in the late 1950s that produced the NPT, which has become the cornerstone of nuclear non-proliferation efforts in the world today.
The resolution provides an agenda of specific measures and action that must be taken by the five Nuclear Weapons States, by states such as India, Israel and Pakistan which have remained outside the NPT regime and by the international community as a whole. If these steps are taken, then real progress can be made towards the eventual elimination of all nuclear weapons.
The initiative which Ireland has led at the United Nations enjoys broad support from the Member States of the United Nations and has been warmly welcomed by a large number of Irish and international non-governmental organisations.