Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga (Source: VNA)
New York (VNA) – Vietnam consistently supports efforts towards non-proliferation and general and complete disarmament, with highest priority given to weapons of mass destruction, the country’s representative said at the general debate of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly’s 71 st session.

Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, head of the Vietnam Mission to the UN emphasized that there is a need for increased international cooperation to raise the awareness and understanding of the threats posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation, and strengthen the capacity of states, in particular developing countries, in implementing their respective obligations and commitments.

“The First Committee is having this debate as the world continues to face the dire threats posed by terrorism and the proliferation of WMDs. The international community has waited too long for the realization of the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons. The very existence of WMDs themselves, especially nuclear weapons, remains a danger for international peace, security and stability,” the ambassador said.

She noted that Vietnam, as one of a few countries heavily affected by cluster munitions and other unexploded ordnances left over by devastating and protracted wars, supports the humanitarian goals of the Convention of Cluster Munitions and the Anti-personnel Landmines Convention, including the establishment of cooperation mechanisms and international assistance to address the aftermath of war.

She reported that Vietnam is implementing effectively a comprehensive national action plan for the 2010-2025 period with utmost determination to improve the livelihood of victims of bombs, mines and other explosive remnants of war, by conducting a wide range of demining activities, as well as providing assistance for victims, facilitating their early re-integration in the socio-economic life.

The Vietnamese representative took the occasion to thank all international partners who have provided valuable support to Vietnam, and call on those in a position to do so to join the country in the humanitarian endeavour.

Representatives from regions and organisations, including the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and ASEAN, also voiced their concern over the deadlock over the disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons over years.

They called on countries to raise awareness of the dangers of nuclear weapons as well as other WMDs and enter substantive negotiations on those problems while affirming the legitimate rights of countries in research, development, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Many stressed the need to form areas free from nuclear weapons and tighten control over the weapons to prevent them from falling into the hand of terrorists and criminals.-VNA