Statement by H.E. Ambassador Rezlan Ishar Jenie, Deputy Minister for Multilateral Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Indonesia to the Conference on Disarmament
August 31, 2010 Posted under Disarmament
At the outset allow me to congratulate you on your assumption as the President of the Conference on Disarmament. I can assure you of my delegation’s full cooperation and support in discharging your duties. May I also express my sincere gratitude to Ambassador Ganev for his tireless efforts during the Bulgarian Presidency, as well as to the past Presidents for their determined contributions to the CD.
Allow me to begin by reminding ourselves that 2010 marks the 32nd anniversary of the adoption of the Final Document of the First UN General Assembly Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD-I). This is a landmark document which strengthens the role and responsibility of the UN in the area of disarmament and establishes the existing multilateral disarmament machinery.
Indonesia continues to reaffirm the importance and relevance of the CD as the world's sole multilateral disarmament treaty negotiating body as well as the UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC) as the specialized deliberative body within the UN multilateral disarmament machinery.
However, over the past decade, it is fair to say that progress in nuclear disarmament has been absent. The political atmosphere in New York and Geneva has not permitted much more than the maintenance of existing relevant disarmament and non-proliferation treaties. Concrete progress with a meaningful outcome has so far proven elusive within the consensus-based UN disarmament machinery.
Nevertheless, this year we have witnessed some positive developments in the sphere of nuclear disarmament, beginning with the signing of the new START Treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation, continued with the convening of the Nuclear Security Summit, and the befitting success of the recent NPT Review Conference.
For our part, we welcome every opportunity to advance the multilateral disarmament agenda. Therefore, we believe it is imperative for us to build on the momentum generated by these events to contribute further to efforts aimed at the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
We have also seen a glimmer of hope when the CD adopted the Programme of Work (CD/1864) during the 2009 session. However, at the same time, we deeply regret the fact that the CD has not been able to agree on its implementation.
Indonesia remains very concerned about the dangers posed by the continued existence and abundance of nuclear weapons and the achievement of total nuclear disarmament is one of our highest priorities. We urge nuclear-weapons states to undertake concrete disarmament efforts with a view to reducing and eliminating all types of their nuclear weapons. We must work intensively together to produce a universal Nuclear Weapons Convention with a specific timeline for the attainment of complete nuclear disarmament.
If we accept the principle that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, we have to recognize that a mere declaratory statement by nuclear-weapon states is neither sufficient nor adequate. Therefore we underscore the legitimate interest of non-nuclear weapon states to receive unequivocal and legally binding security assurances from nuclear weapon states.
With regard to fissile materials, Indonesia wishes to see a treaty which is non-discriminatory and effectively verifiable. The treaty should cover not only future production, but also existing stockpiles to ensure that such materials will not be utilized or diverted for producing nuclear weapons. Hence, a fissile material treaty should serve as a legal instrument, which addresses the issues of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
As the promotion of international peace and security is mandated by our Constitution, we have consistently been of the view that the CTBT is a key element in the international regime for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. As Annex II country, Indonesia chose in the past to withhold its ratification pending ratification by all the nuclear-weapon states and other states claiming possession of nuclear weapons. For it is they, above all, who must first and foremost commit to the CTBT.
That position of principle, we believe, has served its purpose. Today, from the vantage point of the year 2010, and in view of the present glimmer of hope in the nuclear disarmament agenda, the Government of Indonesia believes that it can now enhance its contribution by initiating its own ratification process. The time for waiting is over. It is time to act. This will hopefully encourage other countries that have not ratified the Treaty, to do the same.
We also intend to use Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN next year to take the lead in resolving pending issues towards the establishment of a nuclear weapons free zone in the region.
Let us also look back to the meeting of the CD Plenary on 24th August 2010 where we were able to benefit from the previous discussion in that meeting concerning the preparation for the upcoming High-Level Meeting initiated by the UN Secretary General. We support the continuation of discussion in the CD Plenary to discuss further matters pertaining to the upcoming High Level Meeting. Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to share our views on this matter.
We welcome the initiative by the UN Secretary General as recommended by the last NPT Review Conference. As mentioned in the invitation letter of the UN Secretary General, the purpose of the upcoming High Level Meeting on 24th September 2010 entitled “Revitalizing the Work of the Conference on Disarmament and Taking Forward Multilateral Disarmament Negotiations” is: (quote)”…..to provide a unique opportunity to examine the work of the CD, discuss ways and means to revitalize its work and build consensus on the larger challenges facing the wider architecture of disarmament machinery.” (end quote).
It is our hope that the Meeting should strengthen efforts towards multilateral negotiation. Thus, it should not initiate parallel negotiation process on all issues under the agenda items of the CD.
We share the view that the five-hour meeting to be held in New York next month will not guarantee that the current impasse in the CD will be resolved. However, we believe that the summary of the Meeting will reflect the views of member states in a balanced and comprehensive manner and strengthen the role and work of the CD as mandated by the SSOD-I.
It is also our hope that the meeting will generate support for the convening of the Fourth Special Session of the UNGA devoted to disarmament (SSOD-IV) to discuss issues and machinery relating to disarmament in a comprehensive manner.
I would like to reiterate to you my delegation’s full support and express our readiness to continue consultations on any proposals aimed at fostering consensus on the Programme of Work, such as those presented during the 2009 session. To this end, we would like to appeal to all in this room to show more flexibility and political will so that we can move forward, keeping in mind that we have a responsibility to the international community.
Let me also reiterate the importance of the involvement of grass roots society in the process. In this regard, we support the enhanced participation of civil society in the CD, not only to garner support at the grass-roots level but also in recognition of the potential of civil society to come up with resourceful thinking on how to move forward discussions in the CD. We believe that such engagement will create the much-needed political impetus to enhance the CD and contribute to its progress.
To conclude, Mr. President, let me once again stress that we should not lose the momentum which has been gained this year. These events should not just be seen as end to in themselves, but rather as a means to achieving the noble goals set out 32 years ago.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Geneva, 31 August 2010