Pakistan warns that new nuclear arms race would set back disarmament efforts

New York, 29 June, 2017

Pakistan told the Security Council that declared plans by one nuclear weapons state to expand its nuclear capabilities would renew an arms race and seriously set back global disarmament efforts.

Speaking in the Security Council debate on 'Global efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-State actors', Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi criticized one of the P-5 states that has vowed to "greatly strengthen and expand nuclear capabilities by outmatching and outlasting potential competitors." “This "she warned "would renew a nuclear arms race”.

Dr Lodhi argued that disarmament and non-proliferation are organically linked and criticized those Nuclear Weapon States that are neither willing to give up their large inventories of nuclear weapons nor their modernization programmes, even as they pursue non-proliferation with messianic zeal.

She also pointed out that grant of discriminatory waivers to some and making exceptions out of power or profit considerations remains a key challenge to non proliferation norms and rules. These “special arrangements”, she warned, carry obvious proliferation risks and open up the possibility of diversion of the material intended for peaceful uses to military purposes, in addition to undermining regional strategic stability.

The Pakistani envoy made a strong case for Pakistan’s NSG membership by highlighting her country’s credentials as a credible global partner in international non-proliferation efforts. She expressed Pakistan’s commitment to Security Council resolution 1540 and told the Council that Pakistan has submitted its fifth national implementation report as a manifestation of that commitment.

Ambassador Lodhi called for strengthening of the non-proliferation regime through a transparent, objective and non-discriminatory criteria that ensures equal treatment of non-NPT applicants for the NSG’s membership.

The Pakistani envoy emphasized the importance of staying a step ahead of non-State actors, that seek to kill and maim innocent people by using WMDs, especially in view of the rapid advancements in science and technology . And she called for leveraging the cooperative approach abs spirit of national ownership that resolution 1540 engenders.

Stressing the importance of supporting member states in need of assistance for implementation of resolution 1540, Ambassador Lodhi expressed Pakistan’s readiness to offer assistance to interested states for capacity building, technical assistance and training in collaboration with the 1540 Committee, in the areas of regulatory infrastructure in export controls and nuclear security, commodity identification training for enforcement officials, training for licensing officers, internal compliance, industry outreach and public awareness raising as well as specialized courses in the field of nuclear safety and nuclear security, CWC-related assistance and protection courses etc.