Ahmed Uzumco, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Addresses the Conference
5 September 2017
The Conference on Disarmament today was addressed by Ahmed Uzumco, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, who spoke on the twentieth anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which was negotiated in the Conference on Disarmament. The Conference also heard wide-spread condemnation of the 3 September nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Mr. Uzumco said the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had conducted extensive verification of destruction of chemical weapons as well as thousands of inspections in the chemical industry. Ninety-six per cent of all declared stockpiles of chemical weapons had been successfully destroyed. The Convention was negotiated as a permanent ban on chemical weapons. At this juncture, their single most important preoccupation was crafting a unified vision that would ensure lasting value of the norm and its protection well into the future. Mr. Uzumco said it was not possible to consider measures for promoting international security without addressing the pervasive threat of terrorism. Recent incidents included the use of toxic chemicals as weapons of terror. The spectre of chemical terrorism demanded more effective multilateral coordination. Together with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons co-chaired the working group on preventing and responding to weapons of mass destruction terrorist attacks with chemical or biological weapons.
Speaking in the Conference today on the twentieth anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention were Estonia on behalf of the European Union, Italy, United States, Belgium, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Netherlands, India, Israel, Australia and the Russian Federation.
Sri Lanka on behalf of the Group of 21 spoke on nuclear disarmament.
Speaking on the 3 September nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea were the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Peru, Switzerland, Estonia on behalf of the European Union, Germany, Japan, Ireland, Kazakhstan, United States, Italy, Belgium, Turkey, Finland, Argentina, China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Portugal, Canada, Pakistan, Chile, Australia, Israel, Bulgaria, Sweden, Netherlands, Malaysia, Mexico, Brazil, Slovakia, Latvia, India, South Africa Austria and Poland.
The next plenary of the Conference will be held on Tuesday, 12 September at 10 a.m.
Ambassador JULIO HERRAIZ of Spain, President of the Conference on Disarmament, warmly welcomed today’s guest, Ahmed Uzumcu, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, who was addressing the Conference on the twentieth anniversary of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which was agreed on in this room. After Mr. Uzumcu spoke, delegations speaking on the issue of chemical weapons would take the floor and Mr. Uzumcu would then be given a chance to respond. After Mr. Uzumcu left, the plenary would continue and he would ask delegations to raise any other relevant matters that they had. Following the plenary, delegations were invited to hold informal consultations in Room 1 on the draft annual report of the Conference. An advance copy with the latest amendments to the report had been circulated. This afternoon, an informal plenary would be held to discuss the draft report, and another informal plenary would be held on Wednesday, 6 September in the afternoon to continue work on the draft report.
AHMED UZUMCU, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said that the two World Wars had brought ruin on a scale never seen before in human history. Technology had magnified the destructive power of weapons in ways not thought possible. Then just as people were structuring a new beginning, the nuclear age had dawned. The destruction that happened after years of war could now happen in a matter of minutes. The systematic pursuit of disarmament eventually took shape, of which the Conference on Disarmament was a salient manifestation that was rightly recognized as the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community. Despite the adverse situation that the Conference currently found itself, it was a unique forum that was indispensable in its purpose. It has an immense potential and unique expertise, as the negotiation of the Chemical Weapons Convention testified. The Convention had made ground-breaking advances, not only in the field of disarmament but also in the promotion of humanitarian values, and it was now accepted by nearly every country in the world.
This year they were commemorating two decades of the successful operation of this treaty and its implementing body the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. There remained business that was unfinished and challenges that were serious. In these 20 years, their goal of completely eliminating an entire category of weapons of mass destruction had been pursued steadily. Today, any allegation of use of chemical weapons evoked prompt concern and any confirmation brought about immediate condemnation. The Organization had conducted extensive verification of destruction of chemical weapons as well as thousands of inspections in the chemical industry. Ninety-six per cent of all declared stockpiles of chemical weapons had been successfully destroyed. The Convention was negotiated as a permanent ban on chemical weapons. At this juncture, their single most important preoccupation was crafting a unified vision that would ensure lasting value of the norm and its protection well into the future. With the complete elimination of declared arsenals in sight, a part of their work would conclude. The prohibition of chemical weapons would however remain as valid as ever and the Organization would continue to be essential, with its defining mission being the prevention of the re-emergence of chemical weapons and that an effective body to protect the norm remained available to the international community.
Mr. Uzumco said it was not possible to consider measures for promoting international security without addressing the pervasive threat of terrorism. Recent incidents included the use of toxic chemicals as weapons of terror. As the global system evolved, international organizations had to adapt to meet this threat. When the Organization was established, chemical terrorism did not loom as the danger it currently was. The spectre of chemical terrorism demanded more effective multilateral coordination. Together with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons co-chaired the working group on preventing and responding to weapons of mass destruction terrorist attacks with chemical or biological weapons. Over the past 20 years, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had made a major contribution to the international goals of peace and security. On its mission to Syria to remove and eliminate serious chemical weapons in the midst of a civil war in a joint mission with the United Nations, Mr. Uzumco said the Organization’s work did not end with the elimination of serious chemical weapons production capacity and the removal and destruction of Syria’s declared chemical weapons. Nineteen separate missions to Syria had been deployed, and in a number of cases, the results had confirmed, and with a high level of confidence, the use of toxic chemicals and sulphur mustard as weapons.
In closing, Mr. Uzumko renewed his appeal to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Israel, and South Sudan to join the Chemical Weapons Convention at the earliest.
Estonia, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the Chemical Weapons Convention was the sole international treaty which abolished an entire category of weapons of mass destruction in a verifiable manner, under international supervision. The aim was to achieve a world that was free of chemical weapons and the threat of their use. However that goal had yet to be achieved and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ important work was far from done. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery remained a growing threat to international peace and security. The European Union was gravely concerned over the risk of State or non-State actors acquiring such weapons or material, which had already become a dark reality in Syria and in Iraq. The European Union reiterated its condemnation in the strongest terms all use of chemical weapons in Syria. There could be no impunity and those responsible for any use of chemical weapons must be held accountable. The European Union also remained concerned about allegations of the use of chemical weapons by non-State actors in Iraq and expressed its continued concern regarding the use of the nerve agent VX at an airport in Malaysia on 13 February 2017. The European Union considered that full and effective national implementation of the Convention in accordance with Article VII was an important way for States parties to help prevent the use of chemical weapons by non-State actors.
Italy said the Chemical Weapons Convention was an outstanding example of effective multilateralism as applied to the field of non-proliferation and disarmament, and represented a milestone in the history of disarmament. Some 95 per cent of the world’s declared chemical weapon stockpiles had been verifiably destroyed and 192 nations, almost the entire world, were committed to the implementation of the Convention. Italy reiterated its condemnation of the use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere, anytime and under any circumstances. But condemnation was not enough if it was not backed by credible deterrence. Accountability was essential.
United States said the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had facilitated the destruction of chemical weapons in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Russia, Albania, China and the United States, among others. Nonetheless, the international community’s work was far from done and serious challenges remained. Since the beginning of this year alone, there had been numerous instances of chemical weapons use, including the employment of chlorine as a weapon, the use of VX at an international airport, the sarin attack by the Assad regime and the use of sulphur mustard by ISIS. It as crucial for the international community to demonstrate clearly that chemical weapons use wold not be tolerated. The United States remained outraged that for more than four years, the Assad regime had repeatedly used chemical weapons to murder and terrorize innocent Syrian civilians. Despite the destruction of over 1,300 tonnes of chemical weapons and precursor chemicals, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had repeatedly emphasized the gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies in Syria’s declaration. The United States continued to support the vital work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ fact-finding mission and the Organization’s Joint Investigative Mechanism with the United Nations. Unfortunately, recent incidents relating to chemical weapons use were not limited to the Assad regime. The use of the nerve agent VX in the assassination of Kim-Jong Nam in Malaysia was a heinous act. ISIS had also reportedly used sulphur mustard in chemical weapons attacks in Syria and Iraq. There must be consequences for these actions, and those aiding these actions must be held accountable. Defeating ISIS was an utmost priority of the United States.
Belgium said that on 29 April the world had celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Twenty years later, it was the only treaty that prohibited a whole category of weapons of mass destruction and had a verification mission. Belgium had suffered the consequences of the use of chemical weapons during the First World War. Nothing justified the holding of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction by anybody. States that had not joined the Chemical Weapons Convention were encouraged to do so; the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Israel and South Sudan should accede to the treaty and allow their arsenals to be inspected. Chemical weapons had been used in recent times in Syria and Iraq. It was unacceptable that the Syrian Government, which acceded to the Convention in 2013, had since then used chemical weapons against its own people.
Finland said it was a committed and consistent supporter of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons both politically and through substantive programmes. Finland was also pleased that the Finish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention had been able to aid the Organization in its laudable task over the past 20 years. However, be it in news from Syria or from Kuala Lumpur, chemical weapons continued to be on the agenda of the disarmament and non-proliferation field, even in 2017. Finland condemned the use of chemical weapons resolutely. Finland called on Syria to fully cooperate with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
France said the Chemical Weapons Convention, which was negotiated in this hall and signed in Paris in 1993, was a unique text as it was the sole international convention which provided for the total elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction and a binding system of verifications. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had had to face major challenges over the past few years, in particular in light of the Syrian conflict which had been characterized by the continuous use of chemical weapons and agents since 2013, including after Syria’s commitment to dismantle its chemical arsenal. The Joint Investigative Inquiry for Chemical Weapons had confirmed the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and Daesh in Syria. All perpetrators of use of chemical weapons must be held accountable for their acts before the courts and France would ensure that there would never be impunity.
United Kingdom said in the 20 years since its formation, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons worked hard to rid the world of the scourge of these weapons and to focus on the common challenges that lay ahead. The task of the Organization was unique and essential. Sadly the horror of the use of chemical weapons had yet to be eliminated. Confirmation of the use of chemical weapons by Syria and by non-State actors in Syria and Iraq served to highlight the importance of the Organization’s work. All must act to hold perpetrators to account and send a clear message that the use of chemical weapons would never be tolerated.
Netherlands said the Chemical Weapons Convention had made important contributions to international peace and security. It was a convention with real teeth as it had an inspectorate that oversaw the destruction of chemical weapons while monitoring the growing chemicals industry. The Netherlands was proud to host the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. Huge strides had been made and the rate of destruction of declared stockpiles of chemical weapons was at 96 per cent. However, the sad reality reflected the deployment of chemical weapons in Syria and in Iraq. The Netherland strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons by any State or non-State actors. It was crucial that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons could function independently and impartially. Attempts by some States parties to call to question the position of the Organization were unacceptable.
India said the three immediate tasks for the future from the perspective of India were the completion of the disarmament function of the Chemical Weapons Convention; upholding of the norm against the use of chemical weapons by State or non-State actors, including accelerating progress towards universality of the accession to the Convention; and promoting the peaceful uses of chemical technologies and international cooperation in that regard. It was important that the verification tasks of the Organization continued without increasing the reporting burden, especially on developing countries. Could the Director-General comment on whether the Conference on Disarmament could add value to the efforts in The Hague on strengthening chemical security and preventing the use of chemical agents by terrorists.
Israel said that the evolution of the absolute prohibition against the use of chemical weapons had been an international development of profound importance. Israel had signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993 as a sign of its support to the goals and purposes of this treaty. Recent years had witnessed an erosion of the absolute prohibition against the use of chemical weapons. The continued use of chemical weapons by Syria was a clear violation of the legal obligations that Syria had undertaken. The international community must continue to insist that Syria was held fully accountable for its use of chemical weapons and its non-compliance with its international legal undertakings. There were growing concerns that without international pressure, Syria could rehabilitate and continue to develop its chemical weapons programme. The use of chemical weapons by non-State actors, including terrorists, was another problematic fallout with Syria’s non-compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention. The importance of chemical weapons eradication and non-proliferation remained relevant and the Middle East remained a key area of concern.
Australia said the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons rightly received the Nobel peace prize in 2013 for its dedication to the elimination of chemical weapons globally. Australia strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons. All actors involved in the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable. Thanks to the work of the Organization, it was known that Syria’s military had used chemical weapons on at least three occasions and ISIL had used chemical weapons on at least one occasion. The Security Council was called upon to renew the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism later this year. The reported use of the nerve agent VX in the assassination of Kim Jong Nam in February was deeply troubling and the perpetrators must be held responsible. The international community must remain vigilant and there was work that still needed to be done on the universalization and full and effective national implementation of obligations.
Russia wanted to remind the Conference on the initiative to work on an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism. Weapons of mass destruction terrorism was now a reality due to repeated use of toxic chemicals and even real combat weapons by ISIS militants and others. Their activities were becoming increasingly wide-spread, systematic and transboundary to a degree that could affect any State. The Chemical Weapons Convention during its implementation had seen certain gaps in its provisions which were impossible to see when it was being developed. That was why the international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism was designed to establish practical and efficient cooperation mechanisms for addressing the issues not addressed in other instruments, without undermining them.
AHMED UZUMCU, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, thanked all speakers and thanked States parties for the continued support for the Chemical Weapons Convention. The European Union was a great supporter of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and extended significant support to the OPWC/UN Joint Mission in Syria in the past. In response to the question raised by India, Mr. Uzumcu said indeed chemical terrorism related issues were being addressed in the open-ended working group on terrorism, and they were now discussing legal response issues on chemical terrorism, especially in view of recent incidents in Syria and Iraq. The use of sulphur mustard by ISIS was seen as a source of serious concern. He hoped that this working group would continue to be used as a platform to share best practices among States parties in countering chemical terrorism. If one day the international community decided to pursue addition legal instruments in countering chemical and biological terrorism, he believed that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons should be tasked to oversee its implementation.
Ambassador JULIO HERRAIZ of Spain, President of the Conference on Disarmament, reiterated his thanks to Mr. Uzumco for his participation in the plenary and escorted him out of the room. The President said he would now give the floor to delegations wishing to speak on other issues.
Sri Lanka, speaking on behalf of the Group of 21, stressed that the highest priority on the agenda of the Conference on Disarmament was nuclear disarmament. As long as nuclear weapons existed, the risk of their use and proliferation would remain. The Group of 21, while noting the steps taken by nuclear-weapon States for the reduction of their arsenals, reiterated its deep concern over the slow pace of progress towards nuclear disarmament and the lack of progress by nuclear-weapon States towards accomplishing the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals. The Group of 21 stressed the importance of the effective implementation of concrete measures leading to a nuclear weapons free world. The Group of 21 expressed its deepest concern over the immediate, indiscriminate, and massive death and destruction caused by any nuclear weapon detonation and its long term catastrophic consequences on human health, the environment and other vital economic resources, thus endangering the lift of present and future generations. The Group of 21 stressed its strong commitment to nuclear disarmament and underscored the urgent need to commence negotiations on this issue in the Conference without delay. The Group reaffirmed its full readiness to start negotiations on a phased programme for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Fundamental principles of transparency, verification and irreversibility should be applied to all nuclear disarmament measures. The Group of 21 reaffirmed the absolute validity of multilateral diplomacy in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation and expressed its determination to promote multilateralism as the core principle of negotiations in these areas. The Group of 21 expressed their disappointment and deep concern that three States parties had blocked consensus on the draft outcome document of the ninth Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, including the process to establish a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
The Group of 21 reiterated its strong commitment to nuclear disarmament and a world free of nuclear weapons and the following concrete steps: reaffirmation of the unequivocal commitment of nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the complete elimination of nuclear weapons; elimination of the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines; adoption of measures by nuclear-weapon States to reduce nuclear danger, such as de-alerting of nuclear weapons and decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems; negotiation of a universal, unconditional and legally-binding instrument to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons; and the negotiation in the Conference on Disarmament of a nuclear weapons convention prohibiting the development, production, stockpiling and use or threat of use of nuclear weapons and on their destruction.
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said it wanted to highlight the recent self-defence measures taken by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He was proud to say that on 3 September, “DPRK” had successfully carried out the hydrogen bomb test for an intercontinental ballistic rocket and its plan for building a strategic nuclear force. The test was part of the normal activities according to the policy line of the Workers’ Party of Korea, to simultaneously push forward economic construction and building of nuclear force. It also marked a significant occasion in achieving the final goal of completing the State’s nuclear force. All military measures being taken by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea were an exercise of legitimate and just self-defence right of a sovereign State to counter the ever-growing and decades-long United States nuclear threat and hostile policy aimed at isolating and stifling the “DPRK”. Instead of recognizing “DPRK” as a State and moving towards peaceful coexistence, the United States deployed unrelenting provocations with the aim of conducting preventive nuclear strikes upon “DPRK” which drove the Korean peninsula toward the brink of nuclear war. At the same time, the United States carried out the most vicious and unprecedented sanctions against the “DPRK” that aimed to completely block its normal trade activities and economic exchanges by abusing the United Nations Security Council.
By doing so, the United States fully revealed to the whole world its evil intention to obliterate the ideology and social system of “DPRK”. In this respect, “DPRK” issued a series of warnings and offered enough opportunities to the United States to give up its reckless provocations and pressure against “DPRK” and made it clear that the United States would be wholly responsible for the consequences if the United States continued its military provocations. However the United States had answered the “DPRK’s” stern warnings by keeping up the aggressive war drill. Therefore, it was quite natural for “DPRK” to take all necessary military measures to counter such dangerous provocation from the United States that totally ignored the repeated warnings. The United States then labelled the “DPRK’s” self-defence measures as a global threat. “DPRK” once again rejected the sanction resolutions adopted by the Security Council which had been reduced to being a political tool serving the United States’ hostile policy against “DPRK”. Pressure or sanctions would never work. “DPRK” would not step back even an inch from the road of pursuing its nuclear force unless the hostile policy and nuclear threat of the United States against “DPRK” were completely eradicated. The recent self-defence measures by the “DPRK” were a gift package addressed to the United States and it would receive more gift packages from “DPRK” as long as it relied on reckless provocations and futile attempts to put pressure on “DPRK”. The “DPRK” now possessed powerful nuclear deterrents and the United States should act with discretion.
Republic of Korea said the Conference on Disarmament was the world’s sole multilateral negotiating body and it was not the place for reading propaganda material that clearly ran against the very spirit and purpose of the Conference. As such, the “DPRK’s” statement was unacceptable and absolutely rejected. The “DPRK’s” hostile and unruly déjà vu, déjà lu, déjà ecouter statement had no audience and only when they spoke genuinely and respecting the spirit of the Conference would people start to listen to them and give them credit. The “DPRK’s” reckless and higher magnitude nuclear test last Sunday following a series of launches of ballistic missile was a flagrant violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and a grave and serious challenge and threat to peace and security. The Government of the Republic of Korea most firmly condemned this nuclear test which would not be tolerated by any means. It would work closely with the international community to pursue means for retribution for the “DPRK’s” repeated provocations. The Republic of Korea would deploy all diplomatic means possible, including United Nations Security Council resolutions intended to completely isolate “DPRK” and make it abandon its nuclear and missile programmes in a complete and verifiable and irreversible manner. “DPRK” had to understand that taking the path toward de-nuclearisation was the only path that could guarantee its security and economic viability. “DPRK’s” continued advance of its nuclear and missile programmes would not be tolerated by any means.
Peru said he wished to refer to a highly sensitive, delicate and urgent matter today. Everyone’s eyes were turning towards the Korean peninsula following last Sunday’s test by the “DPRK”, which Peru vehemently condemned. Peru did not know how to measure the power of an H bomb or to know how much damage it could cause. All countries were part of the international community and had rights and obligations. The planet belonged to all and one of the obligations was to ensure its well-being. Peru called on all directly concerned nations to make negotiations through a diplomatic dialogue a priority on the basis of the United Nations Charter. The “DPRK” test was not only a danger to its neighbours but the repercussions threatened the situation and escalation could lead to catastrophic consequences. Peru read out the statement issued by the Government.
Switzerland said it wished to read out the communique issued yesterday by Switzerland in which it condemned the nuclear test that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea announced was carried out on 3 September. This test violated many Security Council resolutions and represented a danger to peace and security throughout the region. An outcome to the nuclear problem in the Korean peninsula could only be found through a diplomatic and negotiated process. Switzerland remained ready to contribute to any solution that could foster stability and peace on the Korean peninsula.
Estonia, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the European Union condemned in the strongest terms the nuclear test carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 3 September. This was a direct and unacceptable violation of the “DPRK’s” international obligations not to produce or test nuclear weapons, as determined by multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions, and represented a major provocation, a grave threat to regional and international peace and security, and a major challenge to the global non-proliferation and disarmament regime. The “DPRK” was the only State to have conducted nuclear tests in the twenty-first century. Its latest nuclear test, which followed a set of ballistic missile launches, some of which were of intercontinental range, repeatedly and deliberately threatened international peace and security and disrupted strategy equilibrium in Asia and beyond. Developments illustrated that the “DPRK” was making quick progress in its nuclear capacity and was getting dangerously close to possessing an operational nuclear arsenal. The message of the European Union was clear. The “DPRK” must abandon its nuclear, weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner and immediately cease all related activities. It was crucial that the international community continued to act in a united and coordinated manner. The European Union was convinced that a lasting peace and de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula must be achieved through peaceful means.
Germany said the German Federal Government had condemned in the strongest terms the latest nuclear test by the “DPRK” on 3 September in flagrant violation of repeated United Nations Security Council resolutions. This constituted a clear and outright violation of the “DPRK’s” international obligations as determined by multiple Security Council resolutions. “North Korea’s” reckless actions also represented a serious challenge to the Nuclear-Non-Proliferation Treaty’s regime. Germany supported Security Council efforts to address this matter, including to consider further measures which would increase the pressure on the “DPRK” to return to compliance with its international obligations and open the way for negotiations aimed at pursuing de-nuclearisation. “North Korea” was urged to abandon all its nuclear and ballistic missiles programmes and to open the way for diplomatic efforts to fully address national concerns about its illegal programmes.
Japan said the nuclear test by “North Korea” was in clear violation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and posed a grave challenge to the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime centered around the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The nuclear test by “North Korea” was absolutely unacceptable. Japan strongly urged “North Korea” to immediately and fully implement the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and other relevant committees. However, beyond condemnation, the international community must act to stop “North Korea’s” escalation of their current policy, which would bring about serious consequences.
Ireland said that other than being on the brink of war, it did not need to be this way, and they could also be on the brink of peace. It was a matter of fundamental choice. The international community needed to collectively work much more on dialogue and on creating consensus, building legitimacy and on composing a common space. Ireland read out excerpts from a statement made by the Irish Foreign Minister in Brussels in which he expressed his deepest concern that “North Korea” had tested a nuclear explosive device on 3 September, saying it represented a real threat to peace and security in the region and beyond. Ireland called on the “North Korean” authorities to cease all nuclear testing and to urgently re-engage with the six-party talks on the de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Kazakhstan joined delegations in condemning the latest nuclear test conducted by the “DPRK” on 3 September. Kazakhstan strongly condemned such irresponsible and dangerous actions that undermined common efforts to strengthen regional and global peace and security. Kazakhstan firmly believed that nuclear weapons were not a true guarantor of national security. Nothing could justify the conduct of such irresponsible and dangerous acts. United efforts must continue to achieve concrete agreements on freezing the “DPRK’s” nuclear programme and on de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
United States said the United Nations Security Council had strongly condemned “North Korea” and it looked forward to working with its partners in the Security Council on a new resolution that would put some of the strongest sanctions possible on Pyongyang. It was clear that the United States had tried to engage in the past but this was clearly a regime that had no interest in dialogue and was going to continue to pursue its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. This nuclear threat showed that Pyongyang’s claims that its nuclear programme served only as a deterrent were simply a sham. “North Korea” wished to conduct international blackmail and extortion while destabilizing the Korean peninsula, the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. This rogue regime must not be allowed to continue its flagrant violations of international law and hold hostage the peace and security that had taken root in north Asia. To respond to this grave challenge, they must now do everything they could to deepen “North Korea’s” diplomatic and economic isolation. States that cooperated militarily with Pyongyang needed to ask themselves why they were helping to underwrite a regime that threatened to attack its neighbours who had done nothing against it. If this issue was to be resolved diplomatically, all Member States must act and put the necessary diplomatic and economic pressure on “North Korea” to persuade it to rapidly change course.
Italy reiterated Italy’s most firm and unequivocal condemnation for the nuclear test carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which represented yet another clear violation of a number of United Nations Security Council resolutions. “North Korea’s” advancement of its nuclear and missile programme represented a serious and growing threat to the global non-proliferation regime, as well as to international peace and security. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea must immediately stop developing its nuclear and missile programmes and refrain from increasing its self-isolation and challenging the international community.
Belgium vehemently condemned the sixth nuclear test carried out by the “DPRK” that flagrantly violated United Nations Security Council resolutions. “DPRK” was jeopardizing regional and international security through these acts of provocation. “DPRK” was isolating itself more and more, undermining the chances of lasting peace and ruining its own people’s prospects of progress. Belgium urged “DPRK” to respect Security Council resolutions and progressively become a country without nuclear weapons.
Turkey said it regarded the hydrogen bomb test which was conducted right after launches of several ballistic missiles last month by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to be in total disregard of international law as well as regional peace and security. It was an irresponsible and provocative act that was condemned in the strongest terms. “DPRK” should abide by Security Council resolutions and refrain from any actions that could lead to further escalation of tensions in the region.
Finland strongly condemned the nuclear test conducted by the “DPRK” on 3 September in the present circumstances of increased tension. The nuclear test was a very dangerous and irresponsible act that would further aggravate the situation. “North Korea’s” nuclear test was an outright violation of its international obligations to refrain from developing and testing nuclear weapons. The “DPRK’s” recurring provocations indicated a serious disregard for the international community’s appeals. Finland urged the “DPRK" to immediately refrain from actions that caused a serious threat to the security of the Korean peninsula and that increased tension in the region. De-escalation was needed and must start from Pyongyang.
Argentina once again vehemently condemned the latest nuclear test carried out by the “North Korean” regime. This wholly irresponsible behaviour antagonized and provoked the international community, heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, shook regional security, and further isolated the “DPRK” from the international community. The “North Korean” regime must immediately put a stop to nuclear testing. Efforts must be stepped up to identify and design the means to oblige the “DPRK” to immediately fulfil Security Council resolutions without any preconditions.
China read out the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China on 3 September following the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear test in which it expressed its firm opposition to and strong condemnation of the test. China strongly urged the “DPRK” to seriously consider the steadfast will of the international community on a denuclearized Korean peninsula and to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions, to cease incorrect actions that worsened tensions and ran against its own interests, and to return to dialogue to resolve problems.
France said “North Korea” crossed a major threshold towards escalation the day before yesterday following two launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles and endangering a country in the region in an open fashion. France strongly condemned the sixth nuclear test with the greatest vigour. The threat was no longer regional. Each and every country was jeopardized. Strategic stability and international peace were jeopardized. The combination of the nuclear capacity and the intercontinental ballistic missiles were now a danger which was erga omnes worldwide. The international community needed to act in three ways: it needed to rapidly adopt new sanctions against the “North Korean” regime in the Security Council; implement existing sanctions by all concerned parties; and the European Union should adopt additional measures. They were running out of time and must be aware of this. Pyongyang would not hesitate, even at the price of sacrificing its population, to free itself of the most elementary rules that had been established in terms of proliferation. France always supported dialogue but “North Korea” had not given the smallest sign that it would be willing to negotiate on its nuclear and ballistic activities.
Russian Federation, reading out a statement by the Foreign Ministry of Russia, said Russia expressed its deep concern at the testing of a thermonuclear explosive device for an intercontinental ballistic missile announced by the “DPRK” on 3 September. This was another example of Pyongyang’s outright disregard of the demands of respective Security Council resolutions and international law and deserved absolute condemnation. It was essential to keep calm and to restrain itself from any actions which may lead to a further escalation of tensions.
United Kingdom said that Sunday’s nuclear test explosion was by far the largest yet. Combined with the increasing range of its missiles, “North Korea” posed a threat not simply to its region but truly to global peace and security. “North Korea” was subject to the most stringent sanctions currently applied by the Security Council. Yet still it continued to put its illegal missile and nuclear programmes ahead of international law and international security. Rarely had a State remained so defiant in the face of overwhelming international condemnation and repeated powerful rounds of sanctions. It was clear that existing sanctions by the Security Council were having an effect. But it was also clear that “DPRK” was uniquely willing to put their illicit programmes ahead of the well-being of its people. The “North Korean” leadership had chosen this path of defiance at great cost. A new Security Council resolution was required and the international community must increase the pace of implementation of existing sanctions.
Ukraine resolutely condemned the conduct of yet another nuclear test by the “DPRK” which represented a threat to international peace and security and constituted a flagrant breach of the non-proliferation regime, including universal norms prohibiting nuclear testing. In conjunction with Pyongyang’s aggressive missile programme, “North Korea” now posed a real threat not only to neighbouring countries but also to the entire international community. Ukraine called on Pyongyang to cease all nuclear tests without delay and restart a constructive dialogue without preconditions in order to ensure the complete, irreversible and verifiable renunciation of its nuclear and missile programmes.
Canada, quoting a statement by the Canadian Prime Minister, said Canada unequivocally condemned “North Korea’s” nuclear test of 3 September, which combined with its aggressive programme of ballistic missile testing represented a clear and present threat to the safety and security of its neighbours and the international community. The most recent test demonstrated once again “North Korea’s” flagrant disregard of international law. Canada continued to insist firmly that “North Korea” abandon this path and aggressive rhetoric and demanded that it start a constructive dialogue that allowed reaching a solution.
Pakistan, reading out a statement by the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan, said Pakistan condemned the reported nuclear test by the “DPRK”. It should comply with Security Council resolutions and Pakistan urged all sides to refrain from provocative actions.
Chile shared the concern expressed by other countries at the recent nuclear test conducted by the “DPRK” and read out a statement issued by the Government of Chile, in which it vehemently condemned the recent nuclear test carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It was a serious provocation and threat to international peace and security both on the Korean peninsula and throughout the world. The Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea must refrain from other nuclear explosions, respect the rules of the international system, and make progress on the necessary agreements which would allow it to resume the status of a non-nuclear weapon State. Chile said it had listened carefully to the statement by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea today and regretted the defiant tone used in that statement.
Australia said “North Korea’s” claim to have successfully tested a nuclear device on 3 September was a serious escalation by Pyongyang, and Australia utterly condemned this flagrant defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions. The Security Council meeting on 4 September had demonstrated that “North Korea” was completely isolated, condemned by the entire international community as a completely unacceptable threat to global peace and security. The Security Council was urged to consider further strong measures to pressure “North Korea” to change its course and all States must implement existing sanctions.
Israel added its voice to the condemnation of others of the “DPRK’s” nuclear test and read out a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which Israel condemned the recent nuclear test, which was a continuation of “North Korea’s” pattern of defiant activity. “North Korea” must comply with all Security Council resolutions and refrain from testing and developing weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. Only a determined international response would stop other States from behaving in the same way.
Bulgaria strongly condemned the sixth nuclear test carried out by the “DPRK” on 3 September. This nuclear test and recent ballistic missile launches were in flagrant violation of all relevant Security Council resolutions. These were provocative and dangerous actions that further increased the tensions in the region and threatened international peace and security.
Sweden highlighted a statement by Sweden’s Foreign Minister in which she condemned the nuclear weapons test carried out by the “DPRK” which constituted a serious violation of its international obligations, legally binding Security Council resolutions and the principles of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The acts of the “DPRK” were a threat to international peace and security and Sweden called on that country to immediately cease its provocative actions, abide by its international obligations and commence a complete verifiable and irreversible dismantle of its nuclear weapon and missile programmes.
Netherlands strongly condemned the sixth nuclear test by the “DPRK” which was a reckless provocation in times of mounting international tensions. Nuclear tests were totally unacceptable. The nuclear tests and the intercontinental ballistic missile launches were severely destabilizing the region and were a threat to international peace and security and must stop immediately. Effective and full enforcement of the sanctions of the United Nations Security Council was crucial. The Netherlands continued to work to ensure that the international community took united and effective action.
Malaysia read out a statement by the Foreign Ministry in which Malaysia said the latest nuclear test by “DPRK” was another blatant violation of the multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions. This provocative action posed a great threat to international peace and security. Malaysia strongly urged the “DPRK” to stop conducting further tests and halt its ballistic missile and nuclear test programmes.
Mexico read out a statement by the Mexican Government in which Mexico deplored and vehemently condemned the nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This test was irresponsible, hostile, and ran counter to the international community’s call for “North Korea” to cease its nuclear weapons programme and the development of ballistic missiles. This test was a flagrant breach of international law and a plethora of United Nations Security Council resolutions. “DPRK” was obliged to comply with these resolutions that demanded the cessation of nuclear tests and the development of ballistic missiles as well as any other provocative acts.
Brazil read out the statement by the Foreign Ministry of Brazil in which Brazil vehemently condemned the nuclear test carried out by the “DPRK” on 3 September as it constituted an unacceptable act of destabilization of security in the region. Brazil was at the forefront of the negotiations, which had resulted in the recent adoption, at the United Nations, of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The exclusively peaceful use of nuclear power was a principle of the highest order, enshrined in the Brazilian Constitution. Brazil was deeply concerned over the ongoing tension and prolonged nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula and emphasised that it should only be settled through peaceful means and direct dialogue of all the parties concerned.
Slovakia strongly condemned the sixth nuclear test conducted by the “DPRK” on 3 September.
The ongoing missile and nuclear tests and absolute disregard for international commitments by “DPRK” sabotaged efforts to reduce tensions in the Korean peninsula. Slovakia called on Pyongyang to carry out actions leading to building trust and constructive dialogue with the international community.
Latvia read out a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which Latvia expressed its deep concern over the nuclear test conducted by “DPRK” on 3 September, the sixth and largest nuclear test conducted by that country so far. Latvia condemned “DPRK’s” aggressive and provocative actions in holding ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests which increased instability not only in the Korean peninsula but also on a global scale. They violated Security Council resolutions that imposed obligations on “DPRK” to abandon its current programmes. The international community should be strong and united to achieve a peaceful resolution of the situation.
India read out the statement of 3 September by the Ministry of External Affairs of India in which India deplored the nuclear test conducted by the “DPRK”. It was a matter of deep concern that “DPRK” had once again acted in violation of its international commitments, which went against its objective of the de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. India called on the “DPRK” to refrain from such actions which adversely impacted peace and stability in the region and beyond.
South Africa unequivocally condemned the sixth nuclear weapons test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 3 September. The test constituted a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions calling on “DPRK” not to conduct any further tests. South Africa called on “DPRK” to verifiably dismantle its nuclear weapons, to return to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty without delay, and to place all its facilities under the comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency verification.
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said he did not think he needed to elaborate again the position of his country on nuclear deterrence and intercontinental ballistic missiles. He reminded that the United States was the main offender that posed a nuclear threat against the “DPRK”. The United States was the first country to develop nuclear weapons and it was the only country that had inflicted nuclear disaster on humankind by using atomic bombs. The United States was the only nuclear criminal that possessed a large nuclear arsenal and openly threatened to conduct nuclear pre-emptive attacks against countries that stood against it by deploying nuclear weapons in several parts of the world. If the United States had not developed nuclear weapons in the first place, and if it had not resorted to nuclear threats against other countries, they would not have possessed nuclear weapons with painstaking efforts. “DPRK” had been exposed to nuclear threat by the United States since the very birth of nuclear weapons half a century ago, as well as ceaseless political and military pressure and economic sanctions. If it hadn’t, it would not have to be worried about the self-defence measures of the “DPRK”. History proved that nobody would defend their country if it was attacked, only the people of that country would defend their country. All delegates who spoke should consider what their country would do if it was under the same conditions of “DPRK”.
Austria condemned in the strongest possible terms the latest nuclear test by the “DPRK”. A statement by the Austrian Foreign Minister was read out which defined the test as a reckless act in times of heightened tensions in the region. The systematic disregard for international law and United Nations Security Council resolution was unacceptable for the international community. “DPRK’s” provocation and continued pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes was severely challenging the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime.
United States, responding to comments by the Pyongyang regime, said it was North Korea that was the nuclear criminal by pursuing a nuclear weapons programme in violation of a number of Security Council resolutions, which were international law. As for the gift packages that North Korea was presenting, the United States recommended that instead of spending an ornate amount of money on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, “North Korea” give its people a gift package of peace with their neighbours and economic development.
Poland condemned the continued development by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes and its inflammatory and threatening rhetoric. It was deeply concerned by the persistent, provocative and destabilizing behaviour of the “DPRK” and strongly condemned the sixth nuclear test. Poland urged the “DPRK” to refrain from further provocative acts and abandon all nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.
Republic of Korea, responding to remarks by the “DPRK”, said when everybody said the sky was blue, and only one denied that, that was not defiance or arrogance, it was delusion. Under that delusion, they dared to make the preposterous advice that it was okay to pursue a nuclear programme. Everybody knew that the root cause of the issue was the “North Korean” nuclear programme itself, there was no other root cause. The only path to guarantee the security of “North Korea” was there and it was up to them to choose this path.
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, responding to the United States who talked about gifts of peace, said if the United States really wanted to give gifts of peace to the Korean peninsula, the United States had to stop its provocative behaviour and hostile policy, including all large-scale joint military exercises; that was the gift of peace. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea did not want to respond to the ridiculous and entirely boring and illogical arguments made by “South Korea”.
For use of the information media; not an official record