Qatar is keen to strengthen the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Posted in Broader Middle East | 17-Apr-09 | Source: Gulf in the Media

Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser

A top priority of the global disarmament agenda is the issues of nuclear disarmament, but progress is still slow in this regard as the five nuclear-weapon states still refuse to commit to implement the most important provisions of Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations said yesterday.
In a statement before the United Nations Disarmament Commission in the General Debate of the 2009 session, H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser said Qatar supported the early implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban. He added that Israel's nuclear policy continues to violate the NPT and pushes the entire region into an arms race jeopardizing regional security.

State of Qatar called on Member States of Commission to comply with their obligations under the Charter of the United Nations in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation as well as the intensification of international consultations in order to contribute to strengthening a global climate favorable to the security and stability.
This body plays an indispensable role as a specialized deliberative body with the UN multilateral disarmament mechanism and allows for in-depth deliberations to make specific recommendations in the field of disarmament. In spite of the difficulty of reaching consensus in this sensitive area, this body has already produced good results in the past, and we hope that the new substantive cycle, which starts this year, will also produce tangible results whether in terms of reduction of nuclear arms, small arms and light weapons, and confidence-building measures, as well as with respect to the Fourth Disarmament Decade, H.E. Al-Nasser said.

A top priority of the global disarmament agenda is the issue of nuclear disarmament. But even with the approach of the Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which will be held next year, progress is still slow in this regard, Qatar's Permanent Representative said.
Some of the five nuclear-weapon states under the treaty still refuse to commit to implement the most important provisions of the treaty, i.e. to stop the development and reduction of nuclear arsenals, while other nuclear-weapon countries are still non-members of the nuclear treaty, he said.

"We call for the review process to be conducted in light of the resolutions and decisions already taken in the previous preparatory conferences and the third preparatory conference to be held next month, and for all states to take practical and sincere steps. We stress that the final disposal of nuclear weapons is the basic requirement which cannot be waived because it is simply one of the pillars of the NPT; but until then binding international instrument to assure non-nuclear-weapon states against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons must be concluded urgently.

Qatar is keen to strengthen the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the activation of its pillars, namely non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, H.E. Al-Nasser said. He emphasized in this respect the inviolability of the inalienable right of States Parties to access nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, and that no obstacles should be put in the way of non-nuclear States Parties in their quest to develop nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes.
The State of Qatar supports the early implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, H.E. the Permanent Representative said.
It is imperative to activate the resolution on the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, which was adopted in 1995 in exchange for the indefinite extension of the NPT and the accession of all Arab States to the treaty, and which was reiterated by the decision of the Review Conference in 2000, and re-emphasized by the Doha Declaration of the 21st Arab Summit, H.E. Al-Nasser said.

It is necessary, he added, that the States Parties, in particular the three nuclear-weapon States that have adopted the resolution, break the silence towards Israel's nuclear policy, which continues to violate the NPT, and pushes the entire region into an arms race jeopardizing regional and international security. The accession of Israel to the Treaty on the non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons will enhance the confidence necessary to find solutions to many of the problems of the Middle East.
The State of Qatar consistently strives to strengthen the disarmament machinery and its application; it is a party to several major international conventions in the field of disarmament, and has participated in all conferences and supported all the relevant resolutions, H.E. Al-Nasser said.
He added that Qatar provided substantive reports in the field of disarmament and international security to the office of disarmament affairs in order to contribute to the preparation of the annual reports by the UN Secretariat.

At the national level in the State of Qatar, the task of monitoring the effectiveness of arms control is entrusted to a committee established for that purpose in 2004, comprising representatives from relevant governmental bodies, H.E. Al-Nasser said.
Another challenge in the area of disarmament is the proliferation of small arms, light weapons and the failure to review this problem in a professional manner because the responsibility of countries of origin which exports such weapons by the millions without adequate oversight or restrictions on exports is overlooked, Qatar's Representative said.

A deep cause for concern is the proliferation of landmines and cluster munitions, such as those planted by Israel in Southern Lebanon that still kill and permanently main civilians, H.E. Al-Nasser said.
"We have signed the Declaration of Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions in Dublin last May and we are currently considering the right time to join the Convention, he said.

"We share the concern of the international community for the gravity of conventional weapons and their continuing development; however, dealing with this issue must be fair and should not target specific countries to expose their defense capabilities at a time when other countries continue to develop their own arms capabilities, which results in a catalyst for the arms race and a waste of resources at rates that are detrimental to development and environmental standards," Qatar's permanent Representative to the UN said.