Statement by Ambassador Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Permanent Representative of Pakistan at the Security Council Open Debate on Global efforts to Prevent the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction by Non-State Actors (28 June 2017)

Mr. President,

Let me begin by appreciating your personal efforts in leading the work of the 1540 Committee and holding this open debate.

I also thank the High Representative on Disarmament Affairs and OPCW for their statements.

Pakistan aligns itself with the statement to be delivered on behalf of Non-Aligned Movement.

Mr. President,

The debate on global efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-State actors is important and timely, and needs to be situated within the larger non-proliferation context.

Resolution 1540 has emerged as an important instrument in the global non-proliferation architecture, as it seeks to prevent non-state actors from acquiring or using weapons of mass destruction. It has made a useful contribution to the advancement of our shared non-proliferation goals.

While two recent successes, one in the UN Disarmament Commission, followed by the agreement reached on objectives and agenda for an SSOD-IV are encouraging, other aspects of the disarmament and non-proliferation landscape do not evoke similar optimism.

Some Nuclear Weapon States 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, purposively ignoring the fact that disarmament and non-proliferation are organically linked.

Further progress may be impeded by recent developments, including one of the P-5 states vowing to ‘greatly strengthen and expand nuclear capabilities’ by outmatching and outlasting potential competitors. This would renew a nuclear arms race, in flagrant disregard of the basic principles enshrined in SSOD-I.

Another key challenge to long-held non-proliferation norms and rules remains the grant of discriminatory waivers to some and making exceptions out of power or profit considerations. These “special arrangements” 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.

Mr. President,

With regard to implementation of the resolution, 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, cannot be overstated.

Effective cooperation is the only way to proceed in this matter. It is imperative to leverage the cooperative approach and the spirit of national ownership that resolution 1540 engenders.

Mr. President,

Pakistan has been a consistent supporter of the objectives of Resolution 1540 and our commitment to its implementation is exemplary.

We have submitted five national implementation reports, the latest only last month.

Over the years, Pakistan has acquired considerable experience and expertise in the safe and secure utilization of nuclear energy as well as application of chemistry and biology for peaceful purposes.

With regard to assistance, in particular, our last report, submitted in May this year, notes Pakistan’s readiness to offer assistance, in collaboration with the 1540 Committee, to interested states for capacity building, technical assistance and training in:

Pakistan also hosted a two-day Regional Seminar on implementation of resolution 1540 in Islamabad in March 2017 in which representatives from 18 countries and officials from the IAEA, OPCW and INTERPOL actively participated. The Seminar also emphasized the key role of assistance to strengthen implementation of the resolution.

The real value of this assistance however, would remain limited at best, until we transform the process from donor driven to the one that caters to the actual needs of the States in need of assistance.

Mr. President,

In closing, let me reiterate that as the NSG deliberates on the legal, technical and political aspects of membership of non-NPT countries, it must establish and adhere to a transparent, objective and non-discriminatory criteria that ensures equal treatment of non-NPT applicants for the Group’s membership, thereby strengthening the non-proliferation regime.

Pakistan’s strong credentials as an active partner in global non-proliferation efforts establishes its eligibility to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

I thank you, Mr. President.