PM’s Statement at the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament

September 26, 2013

Mr. President,

Mr. Secretary General,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

I thank the Non-Aligned Movement for its initiative to organize this extraordinary meeting.

 

Pakistan associates itself with the statement made by H.E. Dr. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, on behalf of the Movement.

 

Today, global efforts to regulate reduce and prevent the spread of armaments, particularly nuclear weapons, are facing serious challenges.

 

Thirty five years ago, this august Assembly reached consensus on the mandate and machinery to pursue the disarmament agenda.

 

With the passage of time, regrettably this consensus has eroded; and the goals set have become elusive.

 

This meeting is therefore very timely for exploring common ground.

 

It provides us a unique platform to revive and restore our collective agreement; and in fact build a new consensus on disarmament and non-proliferation.

 

 

Mr. President,

 

Pakistan is committed to the goal of general and complete disarmament, which is global, non-discriminatory and verifiable.

 

Our approach towards nuclear disarmament is determined by the guiding principles of the First Special Session of the General Assembly on Disarmament, which upholds the right of each state to security and undiminished security at the lowest level of armaments and military force.

 

This means security for all; not security of a privileged few.

 

It was on my watch as Prime Minister in 1998 that Pakistan conducted nuclear tests.

 

I can tell this Assembly that this decision was taken after much thought and deliberation.

 

We were compelled to do so in response to the developments in our neighbourhood.

 

It was an existential choice we made for strategic stability in our region.

 

Our nuclear policy is guided by the principles of restraint and responsibility.         

 

We do not want an arms race in South Asia, because consequences of conflict with nuclear weapons will be horrendous.

 

Pakistan would continue to adhere to its policy of the Credible Minimum Deterrence, without entering into an arms race.

 

At the same time, we are fully alive to the evolving security dynamics and would maintain deterrence to reinforce strategic stability in South Asia.

 

Earlier this month, I chaired a meeting of the National Command Authority (NCA) which reaffirmed our constructive strategic posture.

 

Regrettably, nuclear policies dictated by politics and profits in the recent past are altering the strategic balance in our region.

 

I take this opportunity to call upon the international community to reverse nuclear discrimination, with serious implications for Pakistan’s national security and in fact the global non-proliferation regime. 

 

On the proposed Fissile Material Treaty, our stance is determined by national security and strategic equilibrium in South Asia.

 

We advocate a comprehensive strategic restraint regime that establishes nuclear restraint, balance in conventional forces and a mechanism for conflict resolution.

 

Pakistan is an active, mainstream partner in the global non-proliferation efforts.

 

We have contributed constructively to the Nuclear Security Summit process, which is a laudable initiative.

 

I call for Pakistan’s inclusion in all export control regimes, including Nuclear Suppliers Group.

 

As Prime Minister, I feel that energy deficit is one of the most serious crises facing Pakistan.

 

We require energy from all sources – conventional and alternate.

 

Pakistan qualifies to have full access to civil nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

 

We have the expertise, manpower and infrastructure to produce civil nuclear energy.

 

As we revive our national economy, we look forward to international cooperation and assistance in nuclear energy under IAEA safeguards.

 

Mr. President,

 

The strains on the global non-proliferation regime have become more acute in recent years.

 

The pursuit of policies based on discrimination and double standards has damaged the integrity of treaties and norms of non-proliferation.

 

The multilateral disarmament machinery must be strengthened and revitalized.        

 

For that we need collective political will.

 

There is a need to construct a new consensus on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

 

Such a consensus should be based on equity, balance, restraint and cooperation among states.

 

I call on the General Assembly to convene a Special Session to build a new consensus on disarmament, non-proliferation and promotion of cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

 

Pakistan is ready to make its contribution to this global consensus-building exercise.

 

I thank you, Mr. Presiden