At the outset, I would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency of the First Committee during the 71st session of the UNGA. We are confident that you will contribute to the successful work of this committee. In this regard, I would like to affirm the UAE’s full support and cooperation toward the successful work of the committee. I would also like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to your predecessor, the Permanent Representative of Netherlands, for his leadership of the proceedings of the previous session.
The UAE associates itself with the statements made by the Representative of Tunisia on behalf of the Arab Group, the Representative of Indonesia, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Representative of Japan, on behalf of the State Members of the “Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative” (NPDI).
We gather today to reiterate our desired goal of achieving regional and international peace and security, especially under the present grave security challenges threatening the accomplishments made in areas of disarmament and international security over the past seven decades.
In this context, the UAE expresses its firm belief in the importance of utilizing international forums dealing with disarmament and international security issues, such as the First Committee, in reaching consensus in the area of disarmament, supporting international efforts aimed to create a world free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and designating the day of 26 September as an international day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
The UAE attaches particular importance to the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) based on its concern and commitment towards global security. My country pursues a fixed national policy and adopts clear positions regarding disarmament and non-proliferation issues, and by doing so the UAE affirms the importance of pursuing transparent approach in acquiring nuclear energy for peaceful uses and fulfilling the obligations of non-proliferation. Therefore, accession and full implementation of disarmament and non-proliferation international conventions are matters of great importance to my country.
The UAE, which expressed and continues to express its concerns regarding the Iranian nuclear activities and development of its ballistic missile program, stresses the importance of Iran’s full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) according to the nuclear agreement reached with the states (5+1).
We hoped that the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program would encourage it to open a new chapter and enhance confidence in the exclusive peaceful nature of its nuclear program. However, Tehran has continued to undermine the security of the region through its aggressive rhetoric, supporting and arming militias, in addition to its alarming designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. Tehran has refused to give up all these policies. Therefore, we call upon Iran to ensure its full compliance with international obligations and responsibilities under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The UAE reiterates the importance of taking future steps towards declaring the Middle East a zone free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. Achieving a progress in this file would significantly support stability and security in the Middle East. In this regard, we refer to our disappointment over the failure of the 2015 Review Conference of the State Parties to Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the inability to convene a conference in 2012 on establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.
In this regard, my country renews its call to Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, since Israel is the only state in the region that have not yet acceded to this Treaty.
The UAE regards the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) an instrumental mechanism in achieving the goals of nuclear disarmament, and in this context, the UAE expresses its concern regarding the lack of progress made towards bringing this treaty into force.
My country also urges States to meet their international commitments and to refrain from conducting any nuclear tests. In This regard, we have expressed our deep concern regarding North Korea’s development of its nuclear and ballistic capacities and carrying out regular tests, which threaten the security of its neighbors, as well as international peace and security and are clearly contrary to the most fundamental rules of international law.
In conclusion, we call upon the international community to reach a consensus on how to develop the work of this Committee with a view to promoting regional and international peace and security. We also look forward to highlighting the efforts of the United Arab Emirates in the area of disarmament during the thematic discussions of this Committee.
Thank you, Mr. President.