The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that the stockpiles of weapons neither secure humanity nor ensure peace, Momen says
Bangladesh on Saturday reiterated its steadfast support for the goal of a world free from nuclear weapons while stressed pursuing sustainable development goals to establish and sustain peace and stability in the world.
"Let us re-commit to use our scare resources for realizing sustainable development goals, and making this world safe and livable for our present and future generations," Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said in the UN, reports BSS.
He was delivering a recorded statement at the high-level plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on Friday.
The foreign minister said that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that the stockpiles of weapons neither secure humanity nor ensure peace.
"Investment in nuclear weapons therefore cannot ensure or guarantee peace and security. It is rather through realization of sustainable development goals that we can establish and sustain peace and stability," he said.
He observed that shaken by the horrors of the devastation of nuclear weapons in the second world war, the UN had envisioned a world free of nuclear weapons in the very first resolution it adopted.
Unfortunately, he said the vision of a nuclear free world has not been realized even after 75 years of the UN's inception as our present and future generations continue to live under the threat of nuclear catastrophe.
"Nuclear weapon states need to take concrete steps to cease nuclear arms race and also to get rid of the risk of nuclear weapons falling in the hands of the wrong people I mean terrorist," he said.
Momen mentioned that Bangladesh's steadfast commitment and adherence to nuclear disarmament stemmed from the historic speech delivered by Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, at the UN General Assembly in 1974, in which he appealed to spare the world from the scourge of nuclear war.
Stating that Bangladesh is a party to all major nuclear disarmament treaties and among the 44 countries that have ratified the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, he said Dhaka rejects the use of nuclear technology for destructive purposes but supports its peaceful application for development and welfare of humankind.
Bangladesh is indeed harnessing the benefit of nuclear technology to build the country's first nuclear power plant for generating electricity, the foreign minister said.
He highlighted four specific points including ceasing of nuclear arms race, establishing of nuclear weapon free zones and international cooperation on peaceful use of nuclear technology for the benefit of humankind to realize the universal goal of a nuclear free world.
UN chief regrets lack of progress in nuclear disarmament
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday regretted the lack of progress toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons and the risk of backsliding, reports UNB citing Xinhua.
Nuclear disarmament has been a priority of the United Nations since the birth of the organization. Yet 75 years since the founding of the world body and since the horrific bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world continues to live in the shadow of nuclear catastrophe, he told a high-level UN meeting to mark the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, which falls on September 26.
"Some states view nuclear weapons as vital to their national security and survival. But the elimination of nuclear weapons is vital to something beyond the fate of any single state: the survival of life on this planet," he said.
Unfortunately, progress toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons has stalled and is at risk of backsliding, he warned.
Growing distrust and tension between the states that possess nuclear weapons have increased nuclear risks. Programs to modernize arsenals threaten a qualitative nuclear arms race, based not on numbers but faster, stealthier and more accurate weapons. The opportunity cost of spending money on such ill-conceived upgrades is simply staggering, he said.
The only treaty constraining the size of the world's largest nuclear arsenals, New START, is set to expire early next year, raising the alarming possibility of a return to unconstrained strategic competition, he said.
For this reason, it is imperative that Russia and the United States extend, without delay, the New START treaty for the maximum duration of five years, said Guterres.