Saturday, August 19, 2017 - 8:43:45

Vietnam pledges to push for nuclear weapons free zones

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Vietnam’s Permanent Representative to the UN has asserted the country’s willingness to work closely with other states parties and signatories to strengthen nuclear weapons free zones as well as to foster cooperation among such regions, in joint efforts for the ultimate objective of a world free of nuclear weapons.

Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga addressed the third Conference of States Parties and Signatories of Treaties that Establish Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zones and Mongolia at the UN’s headquarters in New York on April 24.

Welcoming the convening of the conference, Ambassador Nga praised that over the years, nuclear weapons free zones have proved to be essential for the maintenance of international peace and security, including nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

She said the establishment of nuclear weapons free zones is also the manifestation of the aspiration of member states for better international and regional security, avoidance of power politics and the promotion of peaceful environment for development and prosperity.

She cited the establishment and consolidation of such zones in Africa, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, South Pacific and Mongolia’s nuclear free status also contribute significantly to nuclear non-proliferation as well as regional security cooperation. Such zones constitute an integral part of the global regime of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

“Vietnam therefore welcomes recent progress in the work in the implementation of the treaties that establish the afore-mentioned nuclear weapons free zones. In this regard, we consider the signing by the nuclear weapons states of the Protocol to the Treaty on Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in Central Asia is an important step forward.

We share the call for the establishment of such zones in regions where they have not yet come into existence, including in the Middle East. In this regard, we share the view that the convening of an international conference, as soon as possible, on this important issue, would be a significant contribution to global efforts, especially to the credibility and effectiveness of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” she said.

Nga reminded conference participants that in Southeast Asia, ASEAN Member States attach great importance to ensuring regional stability and security. In 1995, ASEAN concluded the Bangkok Treaty to establish the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zones (SEANWFZ) to ensure the total absence of nuclear weapons in the region.

Over the years, ASEAN has made great efforts to further the work of the framework established by the Treaty. Under the Plan of Action for 2013-2017, ASEAN has been in increasingly close cooperation with international partners to strengthen the Zone. ASEAN Member States have also strengthened their adherence to relevant international instruments, including the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

“On its part, Vietnam is also strongly committed to the strengthening of the SEANWFZ. In our development of nuclear infrastructure for peaceful use of nuclear energy, we abide by relevant international standards to ensure transparency, safety and security.

Since our last conference in 2010, Vietnam has ratified the Additional Protocol and the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. We have cooperated closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as well as other partners, especially on capacity building and technical assistance. We have been actively engaged in international efforts in this area, including by fulfilling the responsibilities as Chair of the Board of Governors of the IAEA for the term 2013-2014,” the Vietnamese representative emphasised.

Held every five years, the conference brought together representatives from over 100 member countries of nuclear-weapons-free zones, and observer organisations.

It served as a forum where countries renewed their commitments to working together towards nuclear weapon disarmament.-VNA
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