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31 October 2013 - General Assembly - First Committee - Explanation of vote by Mr Jean-Hugues Simon-Michel, Ambassador and French Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, on behalf of France, the United Kingdom and the United States

Resolution: “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments”

Mr. Chairman.

I would like to deliver an explanation of vote on behalf of the United Kingdom, the United States and France on draft resolution L.18: " Toward a nuclear-weapon-free world : accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments ".

This is not a new resolution and our reasons for not supporting this resolution previously remain more valid than ever.

We agree with many of the elements of this resolution particularly those reflecting language in the final document of the 2010 NPT Action plan. We have nevertheless voted no, as many other elements continue to take us further away from our common understanding and introduce new concepts that were never part of the NPT action plan.

We regret that this resolution does not reflect an equitable balance among the NPT’s three pillars: disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses and are therefore disappointed to see this resolution focusing almost exclusively on the nuclear disarmament agenda. We would also like to see a greater emphasis on the need for all states which possess nuclear weapons, not just NPT Nuclear weapons States, to undertake activities which are consistent with a shared objective of making the world safer and more secure. This in no way confers any particular status on such countries, but rather reflects the fact that a comprehensive and global approach to disarmament, non –proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is required.

The new changes to the text of this resolution lead us further away from the action plan and from the consensus-based approach that has underpinned and strengthened the NPT. We regret that the notion of a step by step approach has almost disappeared. The new focus on parallel processes doesn’t improve the text. We believe that the increased energy around the nuclear disarmament debate would be better employed if channeled towards existing processes, helping to tackle blockages and making progress in the practical, step-by-step approach. The P5 process, including conferences, the latest organized in April 2013 by Russia in Geneva, fails to be recognized. Finally, we are disappointed that the important work undertaken by Ambassador Laajava in fulfilling his mandate has not been recognised by the authors of this resolution.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


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