STATEMENT OF AMB. JUAN RAMÓN DE LA FUENTE, PR OF MEXICO, ON BEHALF OF THE COMMUNITY OF LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN STATES (CELAC) AT THE HIGH LEVEL PLENARY MEETING TO COMMEMORATE AND PROMOTE THE INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST NUCLEAR TESTS

New York, September 8th, 2021

 

Mr. President,

I have the honor to speak in this High-level meeting on behalf of the Members States of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).  At the outset, CELAC expresses its appreciation to you for convening this High-level meeting, and to Kazakhstan for its initiative and relentless efforts in this regard.  CELAC recognizes the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, for her intervention today, and for the support of the Secretary General to this issue.

The Community is also grateful for the participation of Ms. Vivian Okeke, Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency Liaison Office in NY, and of Robert Floyd, whom we congratulate on his recent election as Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).  CELAC also underscores the important testimonies of the representatives of civil society and nuclear tests survivors that have addressed the General Assembly today.

CELAC recalls resolutions 64/35, adopted by the General Assembly on December 2009, and 72/51, of December 2017, which declared August 29 as the International Day against Nuclear Tests, devoted to enhancing public awareness and education about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

In this regard, CELAC reiterates its firm condemnation of any type of nuclear test anywhere in the world, and insists that all States shall refrain from carrying out nuclear tests, other nuclear explosions, or any other relevant non-explosive testing, including sub-critical experiments and those conducted through simulations aiming to develop and improve nuclear weapons, and other weapons of mass destruction.  Such actions are contrary to the object and purpose of the nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation regime, and to the obligations and provisions contained in the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and against the spirit and the letter of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), thereby undermining its impact as a measure of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation.

CELAC welcomes that 185 States have signed and 170 States have ratified the CTBT, including 36 of the 44 whose ratification is necessary for its entry into force (Annex 2 States). In this regard, CELAC welcomes the signature and ratifications by the Comoros and Cuba, respectively, in 2021, and highlights the significant steps made towards the Treaty’s universalization.

Nevertheless, CELAC reiterates the vital importance and urgency of the early entry into force of the CTBT, and urges the States included in Annex II that have not ratified it, to take necessary measures to do so without further delay.

Mr. President,

CELAC reiterates the full validity of the declarations on nuclear disarmament adopted by the Community on 20 August 2013, in Buenos Aires; on 29 January 2014, in Havana; on 29 January 2015, in Belen; on 27 January 2016, in Quito; and on 25 January, in 2017 in Punta Cana.   CELAC reaffirms the urgent need to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons, as a world without nuclear weapons is fundamental for the fulfillment of the priority objectives of humanity such as peace, security, development, and environment protection.

In this regard, CELAC restates its deep concern on the existence, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, as well as their humanitarian impact.  CELAC strongly emphasizes that nuclear weapons must not be used under any circumstances, and that the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons constitute a crime against humanity and a violation against International Law including International Humanitarian Law, and to the United Nations Charter.

CELAC notes that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which prohibits the possession, development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, entered into force on January 22nd, 2021.  The TPNW has joined the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco) and the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on the path towards the elimination of these weapons of mass destruction in a transparent, verifiable and irreversible manner and within clearly established timeframes.