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2005 ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE JAPAN COUNCIL AGAINST ATOMIC AND HYDROGEN BOMBS (GENSUIKYO)

INTERNATIONAL FORUM

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 disarmament.

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 nuclear arsenals.

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 same.

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 for all.

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 negotiations.
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, April 26-28.

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''

 

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