Statement of the President of RP at the UN Security Council Session
Maintenance of International Peace and Security:
Non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
Nowy Jork, 26 September, 2018
The current security situation is not encouraging. Tensions at the global and regional level threaten the existing international order, including non-proliferation and arms control regimes. In fact, we have been witnessing their progressive decomposition. They have been regularly challenged by non-state actors, but, what is of even more concern, they are also being undermined by individual states.
Before I address the problem of nuclear weapons, I first would like to draw your attention to another type of Weapons of Mass Destruction that made their way back to the top of the global agenda. I am referring to chemical weapons.
Let me be clear: every use of a chemical weapon is a crime. It does not matter whether it is used on a mass scale by undemocratic regimes against their own people to secure their power or it is used in a state terrorist manner against individuals abroad on whom a certain state wants to take revenge. And if it is a crime it means that the principal obligation of the international community is defined by the rule-based order: criminals must be brought to justice.
No single act of use of chemical weapon can be left unanswered since it undermines not only the basic sense of justice, but also leads to the erosion of the non-proliferation and disarmament regimes and, in consequence, threatens the security of all of us.
Brutal attacks, directed mostly against civilians, all have the same aim – to intimidate the international community. The community of the UN cannot accept such methods. Our inaction will only encourage perpetrators.
I hope that the finalization of the new EU sanction mechanism, completed in the framework of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, will allow us to exercise appropriate pressure on current and future perpetrators, as well as deter them from these unacceptable actions.
We all hoped to have chemical weapons effectively banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention. We must stand firmly behind our own rules and norms, which are the pillars of the international order. In this context, let me mention that, as in the previous years, Poland will introduce in the United Nations General Assembly a Draft Resolution on the Implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. It is of great importance to preserve the integrity of this regime. Therefore, we call on all Member States to ensure a strong, clear and united message of support of the whole international community for the integrity of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the efforts of the Organization for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons.
The second issue I would like to highlight is the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Permit me to make three points regarding this matter.
Firstly, we all know that nuclear weapons cannot be bought on the free market. Therefore, every act of proliferation of these weapons is a failure of both the international community and the rule-based world order. And we must remember that it always involves not only the state that develops nuclear capacity, but also those who provide it with means to achieve it, namely: technology, materials and resources.
It is of utmost importance for every agreement that aims at controlling nuclear programs to guarantee that they are used solely for peaceful purposes. We have an obligation to evaluate those agreements against the purposes and to act accordingly. We should not turn our heads back from those who act against the Non-Proliferation Treaty by providing means to develop nuclear weapon capacity or assist in other ways in developing it.
Good and effective export controls mechanisms should be upheld by all countries involved in nuclear, chemical and biological trade for peaceful purposes in order to maintain the appropriate control level of dual use goods and to make non-proliferation efforts more effective.
n this regard, we welcome the International Atomic Energy Agency’s efforts to strictly monitor and verify Iran’s commitments. Let me also use this opportunity to commend the vital role the Agency plays in the non-proliferation area. The Agency’s system of safeguards is a fundamental component of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and plays an indispensable role in the implementation of the NPT.
Secondly, I would like to welcome the prospect of the process of denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula. We have seen some encouraging developments, such as the inter-Korean summits, and the meeting of Kim Jong Un with President Donald Trump. This led to the stopping of the missile tests. However, the decisive steps are yet to be made. The lasting peace will not be achieved without the denuclearization of the DPRK in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. Until then, the international community must remain united in maintaining real and consistent pressure on the DPRK, including by upholding UN sanctions regime.
Thirdly, for the credibility of international community it is vital to stand firmly behind duties and obligations we took on our shoulders. In that context, let me sadly reflect on the concerning developments of security situation in our region: Central and Eastern Europe. Only in the last few years, we have witnessed the clear breach of the Budapest Memorandum that guaranteed territorial integrity of Ukraine in exchange of its peaceful and voluntary denuclearization. We have also heard about the use of nuclear weapons to end conventional conflicts. Equally alarming was the deployment of dual capable means of delivery close to our borders. All these actions have significantly contributed to the deterioration of the security environment.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
What should be our response to the challenges, I have just listed?
First: The full and firm implementation of the well-established, and widely recognized treaties and norms of the international law.
Second: Support and full confidence for the work of international mechanisms responsible for preventing of the use of WMD.
Finally: Proactive and constructive engagement in initiatives which aim at fighting with proliferation efforts and promoting transparency and verification.
In 2018, my country assumed the chairmanship of the Second Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and chaired the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation. Our efforts have been focused on strengthening these regimes, their universalization, securing the widespread and credible verification mechanisms, implementation of good practices as well as tightening the international cooperation. These actions constitute long-term objectives of the Polish security policy.
In conclusion, let me stress once again that non-proliferation is a collective effort. To uphold the security architecture which we have built for decades, and to prevent the nightmares of recurring uses of WMD, we need full commitment of all of us, without any exception, to observe all norms and obligations in this field.
Thank you very much.