UNSC Statement on Non-Proliferation

Background:

  • This is a major statement. It is not a binding resolution and reiterates some of the core obligations of the NPT.
  • The P5 statement reaffirms that a “nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought” because of its “far-reaching consequences”.
  • The statement also expresses a commitment to the group’s Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) obligations and “to prevent the unauthorised or unintended use of nuclear weapons”.
  • Declaring that an arms race would benefit none and endanger all, the P5 have undertaken to:
  • work with all states to create a security environment more conducive to progress on disarmament with the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons.
  • continue seeking bilateral and multilateral diplomatic approaches to avoid military confrontations, strengthen stability and predictability, increase mutual understanding and confidence”. pursue “constructive dialogue with mutual respect and acknowledgement of each other’s security interests and concerns”.

Measures:

  • Bold action on six fronts is necessary. Chart a path for nuclear disarmament that member states should chart a path forward on nuclear disarmament.
  • They should agree to new measures of “transparency and dialogue”.
  • They should address the “simmering” nuclear crises in the Middle East and Asia.
  • They should strengthen the existing global bodies that support non-proliferation, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
  • They should promote the peaceful use of nuclear technology.
  • They should remind “the world’s people that eliminating nuclear weapons is the only way to guarantee that they will never be used.

Right to peace:

  • Peace is necessary for rights, freedom, equality, and justice and for that reason, we need what Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. called “education in the obvious”— namely, peace education.
  • This is required at multiple levels, ranging across the planetary, global, supranational, regional, national, and local levels of social cognition and action.
  • UN Resolution 39/11 (November 12, 1984) proclaims that the peoples of our planet have a sacred right to peace and equally solemnly declares that the “preservation of the right of peoples to peace and the promotion of its implementation constitute a fundamental obligation of each State”.
  • The subsequent UN Resolution 53/243 B, declaring a programme of action for a culture of peace (1999) also owes a great deal to Gandhi’s legacy and mission.

Conclusion

  • The statement is politically significant given the unimaginable danger posed by the 13,000 nuclear weapons currently believed to be held by a handful of countries, and the growing spectre of loose nukes, which may be deployed by armed terrorist groups for nefarious purposes.