ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE JAPAN COUNCIL AGAINST ATOMIC AND HYDROGEN
MIGUEL RUIZ-CABANAS IZQUIERDO
AMBASSADOR OF MEXICO IN JAPAN
Shizuoka, Japan, February 28th, 2005
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I feel very honoured in participating in this International
Forum of the Gensuikyo National Conference, which has become
a trademark for the Japanese fight in favour of the abolition
of nuclear weapons.
It has been brought to my attention that the Conference commemorates
the 51st anniversary of the suffering caused by the hydrogen
bomb test conducted at the Bikini Atoll on March 1st, 1955,
incident which motivated an important strengthening of the
Japanese nationwide anti-nuclear weapons movement.
As the representative in Japan of a country that, throughout
several decades, has taken a clear position against the development
and proliferation of nuclear weapons, I thank the Japan Council
against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs for the kind invitation
address to me to present some remarks at this event.
The historical and traditional position of the Government
of Mexico in favor of nuclear disarmament is widely and very
well known. Since the very beginning of the so-called "nuclear
era", Mexico has individually and collectively promoted
several efforts in order to achieve a nuclear-weapons-free
world, based on ethical, humanitarian and international and
national legal principles.
Mexico, together with the other countries that envisaged
the New Agenda Coalition, has promoted since 1998 a wide spectrum
of nuclear disarmament measures, based on the principles of
transparency, verification and irreversibility regarding nuclear
Mexico will always be convinced of the imperative need of
a nuclear weapons free world. Therefore, we consider that
the emergence of new or modified approaches that assume the
possible or eventual use of nuclear weapons as part of modern
security strategies is a trend of alarming consequences. The
frightening indiscriminate and destructive nature of these
weapons and its effects were shown in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The mere existence of nuclear weapons constitutes a threat
to humanity and, therefore, they must be totally eliminated.
Mexico considers the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear
Weapons (NPT) as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation
regime, the most important legal foundation for the pursuit
of nuclear disarmament. It is crucial to maintain its authority
and its integrity. Mexico shares the view to the effect that
all possible efforts must be made to preserve and strengthen
the NPT and hopes that the conclusions of the next Review
Conference, to be held in New York in May 2005, could be a
significant contribution to that effort.
Never before verification and compliance of the NPT has been
so crucial in order to build confidence between the parties,
assuring them that its provisions are being implemented not
just effectively and efficiently but fairly too. This is not
just a question of enhancing the credibility of the Treaty,
but also increasing political confidence among the parties
in more general terms. Today, I repeat Mexico's call to all
states, big and small, nuclear and non nuclear powers alike,
to sign, ratify or adhere to the NPT but, above all, to fully
comply with all the provisions of this important Treaty.
Mexico has insisted that compliance with the NPT obligations
is not a question a la carte. The compliance with all the
obligations of the Treaty, nuclear non proliferation and nuclear
disarmament is of critical importance. Each article of the
NPT is legally binding on the States parties at all times
and in all circumstances and it is imperative that all States
parties be held fully accountable with respect to strict compliance
with all their obligations under the Treaty. The undertakings
on nuclear disarmament given under Article VI of the NPT are
there and implementation of them remains also imperative
Most of the members of the international community have expressed
their conviction that nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear
disarmament are equally important and mutually reinforcing
processes, requiring continuous irreversible progress on both
fronts. The Article VI under which each of the parties to
the NPT "undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith
on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear
arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament"
is a clear proof of that conviction that should be properly
taken into account by the international community itself,
particularly by all nuclear powers.
We are before an extremely serious matter that is the cause
of grave concern. If no progress in the compliance of the
nuclear disarmament commitments under Article VI of the NPT
is promptly achieved, there is a risk that a growing number
of non nuclear-weapon countries will review and question -
under reciprocity or "supreme interest" considerations
- the extent of their obligations to ensure full compliance
of their non-proliferation commitments. We must remember,
at all times, that within the NPT there is an intrinsic bargain:
There must be no new nuclear-weapon States but in return,
current Nuclear-Weapon States must proceed to eliminate their
Therefore, I would like to reiterate once again the historic
position taken by Mexico and the New Agenda Coalition countries
regarding the imperative necessity of nuclear disarmament:
If the nuclear-weapon states continue to refuse complying
with its disarmament obligations arguing that nuclear weapons
are indispensable security enhancers, there is a real danger
that other states will start pondering they should do the
The current lack of reciprocity in the compliance of the
obligations of the NPT is evident. The increasing fears about
the consequences of the lack of confidence about the Treaty,
based on considerations of reciprocal compliance are matter
of the utmost concern.
In short, non-proliferation is vital. But it is not sufficient.
Nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament are two
sides of the same coin and both must be energetically pursued.
Otherwise we might soon enter into a new nuclear arms race
with new types, uses and rationales for such weapons. If this
trend is not reversed, soon we will have to face additional
nuclear dangers. Let say it clearly: there is a real danger
that the primary mechanism for nonproliferation, and development
of new nuclear weapons, the NPT, may fall apart.
It is not new that instead of eliminating nuclear weapons,
some nuclear powers have plans to modernize or develop new
kinds of nuclear weapons as well as developed new uses, roles
or rationalizations for their use. Ironically, these states
are the same that continuously proclaim the necessity of strengthening
or ensuring compliance with NPT obligations.
The 2005 Review Conference of the Parties of the NPT should
be in position to agree on concrete measures and/or recommendations
to enhance compliance with all the provisions of the Treaty.
Even more, the Conference should reaffirm the 13 steps agreed
in the 2000 Review NPT Conference on concrete measures directed
to promote and achieve nuclear disarmament.
Mexico deeply regrets the impasse situation prevalent at
the United Nations Disarmament Commission (CD) as a result
of the lack of political will to commence negotiations. Mexico
reiterates its call to all its members to do what they are
not just expected to do, but what they are morally, politically
and legally compelled to do in order to reach a safer world
As the New Agenda Coalition countries have underlined, the
future depends on our actions. The Mexican Delegation to the
CD is absolutely willing to start to fulfill its commitment
with the international community and the future generations
of the world, saving them from the scourge of war, in particular
from the nuclear dangers that they will certainly and terribly
suffer, unless we are capable of avoiding that our political
lethargy lead us to miss the present opportunity to do what
must be done.
Among other things, we suggest that the following steps should
be taken by the United Nations specialized negotiation bodies:
1. The entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban
Treaty (CTBT) should be pursued as a matter of urgency and
2. On a verifiable fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT)
banning the production of key components of nuclear weapons
should start inmediately at the Conference on Disarmament
(CD). Mexico deems that fully effective NPT and CTBT would
constitute an essential base toward the total elimination
of nuclear weapons.
3. Conference of States Parties and Signatories of the Treaties
establishing Nuclear Weapons Free Zones (NWFZ)As it was decided
at the 59th United Nations General Assembly in past October
4, 2004, Mexico will host the Conference of States Parties
and Signatories of the Treaties establishing Nuclear Weapons
Free Zones (NWFZ), to be held in a few weeks in Mexico City,
The idea of establishing NWFZ was conceived with a view to
preventing the emergence of new nuclear- weapons States. Efforts
to ensure the absence of nuclear weapons in populated areas
of the world have been more successful. As today, there are
four NWFZ in populated areas: the 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco
covers the Latin American and Caribbean region, the 1985 Treaty
of Rarotonga for the South Pacific, the 1995 Treaty of Bangkok
in the South-East Asia and the 1996 Treaty of Pelindaba, not
entered into force yet, covering the African region. The denuclearization
of Central Asia is in course and outstanding initiatives to
establish NWFZ or even Mass Destruction Weapons-Free Zones
in the Middle East and South Asia are on the table.
Moreover, the 1992 Mongolian initiative to declare itself
a Nuclear-Weapons Free State has been internationally recognized
by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000.
Mexico considers that, taking into account that the Southern
Hemisphere of the Globe is almost completely denuclearized
by treaties establishing NWFZ, it is now time to consolidate
cooperation and coordination of the states members of those
areas. Accordingly, the purpose of the Conference is precisely
to promote such cooperation and coordination among the NWFZ
states, with a view to extend the universal application of
the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Mexico is of the opinion that the strengthening and universalisation
of denuclearized zones would be an effective measure to promote
nuclear disarmament and achieving a genuine system of nuclear
non-proliferation. Moreover, in order to make a contribution
and provide a political input to the 2005 Review Conference
of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
(NPT), it is expected that the Conference would adopt a Declaration
promoting the full application of the treaties establishing
NWFZ, strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime and
promoting ways to strengthen political coordination among
existing and future NWFZ.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
My Country will maintain its efforts to achieve a positive
impact on redefining the collective security system towards
a more secure world. The international community has a priority:
to prevent nuclear proliferation in any of its forms and to
achieve global nuclear disarmament. At the same time, we believe
that there should be guarantees to the peaceful use of atomic
energy and mechanisms that encourage the elimination of nuclear
weapons. Mexico believes that the Non-Proliferation Treaty
is the cornerstone to avoid further production and commit
countries to disarmament. For that reason, Mexico promotes
its universality and its full compliance.
Estimated Time of Deliverance: 14' 40''