Pakistan lambasts world powers’ nuclear duplicity

UNITED NATIONS: Drawing the United Nations’ attention to perils of major powers’ contradictory, discriminatory and vague approach to nuclear and security issues, Pakistan has called for transparent and uniform application of policies towards goals of non-proliferation, disarmament and sustainable peace. “A multitude of disputes and conflicts are lingering. The pursuit of  doctrines and policies of containment, balance of power, unilateralism and preemption by global and regional powers, have combined to make the world a much more dangerous and unstable place than ever before,” Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Abdullah Hussain Haroon warned.He was making a statement at the 2011 Substantive Session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission.Underscoring some of the security challenges in the current world scenario, the envoy noted that notwithstanding the end of the Cold War for over two decades, aspirations for a peace dividend and a just international order continue to remain elusive.“This situation has also posed several challenges both to the disarmament and non-proliferation regime as well as to its multilateral deliberative and negotiating platforms.”

In the area of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation there are several negative developments, Haroon said and pointed out that most of the Nuclear Weapons States do not appear ready to foreswear nuclear weapons.“In fact, some nuclear weapon states are seeking to develop new nuclear weapons, contravening their commitments and increasing the danger of the use of nuclear weapons; contrary to their rhetorical commitment to nuclear disarmament.some Nuclear Weapon States are resisting commencement of negotiations on  nuclear disarmament in the Conference on Disarmament.”In reference to world powers’ granting an exceptional nuclear technology deal to India, the ambassador took swipe at the “blatant violations of national and international non-proliferation obligations by major states as manifested by their support for NSG waiver to one non-NPT state.”The ambassador lambasted the pursuit of “selectivity, exceptionalism, discrimination and double standards by major powers in the area of non-proliferation, for commercial and strategic considerations.”Ambassador Haroon observed that asymmetries between the major powers and smaller States are getting accentuated through (i) development of ABM systems at tactical, theatre and, soon at the strategic level; (ii) steady militarization of Outer Space often in the guise of peaceful development; in fact space technologies are being integrated into strategic doctrines; and (iii) build-up of conventional forces by major powers.Then there is erosion of nuclear security assurances to non-nuclear weapon states.

“Nuclear disarmament is the fundamental subject around which all other security issues revolve. Multilateral deliberations on important platforms such as this Commission offer the ideal mechanism to address the threats posed to international security and stability by nuclear weapons.”Some powerful countries assert that the global environment today is more favourable for progress towards Nuclear Disarmament and make tall claims about their own commitment to nuclear zero but are opposed to the Conference on Disarmament engaging in negotiations on this issue, he remarked.“Such double standards are inexplicable.”  “Total elimination” of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee to secure durable peace and security for all, he emphasized.“The most effective and credible way to promote security and stability, both regionally and globally, is through the pursuit of transparent, irreversible and verifiable nuclear disarmament. A large majority of UN member states and the International Court of Justice have long called for negotiations on nuclear disarmament by Nuclear Weapons States.”Continuing, the permanent representative said nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are two sides of the same coin.

“Nuclear non-proliferation gains its legitimacy as a goal because it is meant to facilitate the larger aim of nuclear disarmament.The goals of non-proliferation cannot be advanced while powerful states continue to possess nuclear weapons indefinitely. NPT was not meant to divide the world perpetually into states that possess nuclear weapons and that do not.”In recent years, the international community has focused much of its  attention on advancing the goals of non-proliferation. Islamabad, he said, shares these goals and efforts.“However, in the absence of credible progress on the disarmament front, the promotion of non-proliferation is increasingly being seen by many States as lop-sided and devoid of moral and political legitimacy. It is therefore important that these mutually reinforcing processes are addressed in a balanced and credible manner, with the participation of all states.  The Disarmament Commission was created at the first Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD-I) to serve as a forum for all UN member states to “deliberate” on major disarmament issues. The concept was that the Commission could identify the issues and, if possible, to prepare the ground for multilateral disarmament negotiations.“We hope the Commission would be able to reconcile the differences in perspectives, approaches and modalities among member states while deliberating on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues. We expect that the Disarmament Commission, also, would be enabled to revive prospects for effective nuclear and conventional disarmament and its meaningful contribution to international and regional peace and security,” the Pakistani envoy said.

On the issue of negative security assurances, he said, it is an integral component of the debate on disarmament and non proliferation.“The demand for such security assurances has been on the international arms control and disarmament agenda since the 1960s. This demand was reinforced in the First Special Session of the General Assembly on Disarmament in 1978.Responses of the nuclear weapon States reflected in Security Council Resolution 255 in 1968, declarations of four of the five nuclear weapon states at SSOD-I in 1978 and later in Security Council Resolution 984 in 1995, however, remain insufficient, qualified and partial.These responses can at best be characterized as political declarations and cannot substitute the need for a credible and legally binding international instrument on negative security assurances.”“Unless nuclear disarmament is achieved, non-nuclear weapon states will continue to be entitled to assurances that nuclear weapons will not be used against them. We hope the Disarmament Commission adds its voice to the urgency of negotiations on this important subject.”Turning to space security issues, Ambassador Haroon said in the view  of the vast majority of the UN membership, Space security is an imperative, not an option. Militarization and weaponization of Space must be prevented. The existing regime on outer space has numerous shortcomings which can only be filled by a new legal instrument.“As regards the proposals concerning codes of conduct or Transparency and Confidence Building Measures, we share the view that while these may constitute useful interim measures these cannot and should not obviate the quest for a legally binding treaty on PAROS. The proposal made by Russia and China provides a good basis to start work on this issue in CD.

The ambassador said Pakistan shares the global concern regarding unbridled ballistic missile proliferation. “To avert it, we call for enhanced efforts to conclude a comprehensive, non-discriminatory and universally negotiated treaty within the United Nations system covering all aspects of missiles.”On the issue of Fissile Material Treaty, he said Pakistan’s views have been clearly articulated and are well known.“Let me reaffirm that no state can be expected to engage in disarmament, arms control or non-proliferation negotiations if these negotiations undermine its security interests. For this obvious reason, the Conference on Disarmament, as part of the international disarmament machinery, works on the basis of consensus which ensures the equal security of all states.He blasted the duplicitous current focus on the FMCT issue.“Having said that, let me highlight that the present focus on FMCT follows a regular pattern of negotiating only those agreements that do not undermine or compromise the security interests of certain states, especially the major powers. We observe this pattern in the Biological Weapons Convention, Chemical Weapons Convention and even in the CTBT.Only after possessing vast number of nuclear weapons, the major Powers were convinced of making the Biological and Chemical weapon systems superfluous and redundant. In the case of CTBT, only after carrying out sufficient number of nuclear tests, it dawned upon them that testing was unnecessary.”

“The same is the case with FMCT. Having developed huge stockpiles of nuclear weapons as well as stocks of fissile material, these major powers are ready to conclude a treaty that will only ban future production of fissile material.”For a fissile material treaty to genuinely advance the goals of disarmament and non-proliferation, it should not just ban future production but also provide for reduction of stocks and take a broader approach to the issues of definition, scope and verification of fissile materials, he underlined.“At the same time, we reiterate that pending agreement on negotiating an FMT, the CD should begin substantive work, including negotiations, on Nuclear Disarmament, as well as on a treaty on Negative Security Assurances items on which the majority members of the UN agree  that legally binding multilateral treaties should be concluded at the earliest.Ambassador Haroon also pointed to massive additions to conventional weapons by some states.“While international attention is focused on the need to control weapons of mass destruction, the trade and military expenditures in conventional weapons continue to rise. In 1978, SSOD I characterized global military expenditure as a “colossal waste of resources”.  Presently this spending stands at US $ 1.53 trillion; representing 2.7% of the world GDP. The last ten years have seen a fifty percent increase in the global spending on conventional weapons. Ironically, the weapons that fuel conflicts come from areas that enjoy peace.  The total UN budget is a paltry 3% of the world military expenditure.

Hence we are spending 33 times more on breeding, exacerbating and maintaining conflict than preventing it.“A further complicating factor is development of advanced conventional weapons with lethality approaching that of WMD. In view of these disturbing trends, it is imperative to pursue conventional arms control, at the lowest possible levels of armaments and military forces, in order to promote regional and international peace and security. We believe that the preservation of a balance in the defense capabilities of states at the lowest levels of armaments should be the prime objective of conventional arms control.”Conventional arms control needs to be pursued primarily in the regional and sub-regional contexts since most threats to peace and security arise mainly in states located in the same region or sub-region, he noted.“In this regard, we can adapt and follow good practices. The value of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, a cornerstone of European security, cannot be underestimated. States with larger military capabilities have a special responsibility in promoting such agreements for regional security.

“The General Assembly has regularly adopted the resolution entitled “Conventional arms control at the regional and sub-regional levels” which requests the Conference on Disarmament to consider formulating the principles that can serve as a framework for regional agreements on conventional arms control.“The General Assembly also adopt a yearly consensus resolution tilted “Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in the regional and sub-regional context”.This resolution emphasizes that the objective of CBMs should be to help strengthen international peace and security and be consistent with the principle of undiminished security at the lowest level of armaments. It also encourages the promotion of bilateral and regional CBMs to avoid conflict and prevent unintended and accidental outbreak of hostilities.  We hope that the Commission could draw on these resolutions in preparing recommendations on CBMs in the field of conventional weapons.“Only by reviving the level of commitment by the international community that had led to SSOD-I and by giving due importance to various facets of the international security agenda, will we be able to help move the shared objectives of disarmament and non-proliferation in both the nuclear and conventional fields. We therefore strongly support the call of the 119 member Non-Aligned Movement for convening SSOD-IV that would evolve a global consensus on all these issues.” – APP