Address by H.E. Naci Koru to the Conference on Disarmament High Level Segment

Naci KORU 02.03.2015
Mr. President,
Distinguished Ambassadors and Delegates,

It is a pleasure to speak to you today at the Conference on Disarmament. I am particularly pleased to address you during the Presidency of Mongolia, a brotherly country with which we share deep historic and cultural ties.

Mr. President,

Turkey is resolutely committed to the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons. Our security policies exclude the production and use of all kinds of weapons of mass destruction. Their proliferation is a matter of serious concern to us. Turkey is therefore party to all international non-proliferation instruments and export control regimes. We support their universalization, as well as effective implementation in good faith and consistency.

In order to address today’s challenges and enhance our security in a volatile environment, multilateral efforts towards disarmament are indispensable.

Our ability to respond effectively to the pressing challenges to international peace and security depends heavily on how we make best use of international fora, including the Conference on Disarmament.

The Conference on Disarmament has a special responsibility regarding the disarmament agenda. There is a considerable heritage. You have successfully negotiated treaties in the past that contributed to a safer and more peaceful world.

The stark truth is that, the Conference on Disarmament has been unable to fulfil its mandate for too long. Unfortunately, today, I join a line of Ministers, who have expressed their disappointment over the stalemate that has prevented it to play its role.

We should all strive to maintain the relevance of the Conference by fulfilling its fundamental task: That is to undertake disarmament negotiations. We would not like to see the Conference’s role to be shifting away. In this regard, we hope that the Conference will resume substantive work as early as possible.

An essential step, in this respect, will be the commencement of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and universally and effectively verifiable treaty to ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. This will serve both disarmament and non-proliferation purposes. It will further pave the way for parallel advances in the other core agenda items. We welcome, in this respect, the ongoing work of the Group of Governmental Experts on this issue and look forward to its report. We hope that the report will help better understand this technically complex and multifaceted issue.

Mr. President,

The 2015 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will take place in a few months. We shall take stock of the progress in the implementation of the 2010 Action Plan in detail.

There might be shortcomings, however NPT remains the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation regime. The good and healthy functioning of the NPT is a fundamental goal for us. The NPT regime should therefore be safeguarded and further strengthened. It is also our common duty to strive for the universalization of the Treaty.

The three pillars of the NPT, namely the nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, should be addressed in a balanced manner. Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are mutually reinforcing objectives of the NPT that require parallel advances. As a country seeking to integrate nuclear power into its energy supply mix, Turkey also supports the greatest possible enjoyment of the benefits of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, by all States that are in full compliance with their international obligations.

An overall reduction of the global stockpiles of nuclear weapons in a transparent, irreversible and verifiable manner, and the elimination of these weapons from military doctrines are of key importance, if we wish to realize the common aspiration of Global Zero.

The establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among States of the regions concerned is an important non-proliferation and disarmament measure. A pending critical commitment of the 2010 Action Plan is the convening of an International Conference in 2012 on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. I would like to underscore our disappointment for not being able to make it happen. Very frankly speaking, we all have missed a crucial confidence building measure and a significant stimulus to the NPT Review Process.

On a positive note, we acknowledge with satisfaction the extension of the period of implementation of the Joint Action Plan between the P5+ 1 and Iran. We hope that the ongoing negotiations will lead to a final and comprehensive resolution of Iran’s nuclear issue.

In closing, let me come back to the state of affairs in the Conference on Disarmament. Turkey is convinced that those challenges are not created by its procedures, membership or internal dynamics. We have to study carefully the state of affairs at international and regional levels. But we also have to assess whether the stalemate of Conference on Disarmament or a healthy functioning of it serves us better. We should not allow past failures to deter us. There are challenges, but we need to strive to overcome the current stalemate.

Mr. President, you can count on Turkey’s active support across the board.

Thank you.

Atatürk

Sadık Arslan Ambassador

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