Opening Plenary
2003 World Conference against A and H Bombs- Nagasaki
August 7, 2003

Counsellor of Bangladesh to Japan

Statement by the Bangladesh Delegation at the opening plenary Meeting
of the 2003 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs
Nagasaki 7th August 2003

Esteemed Colleagues, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen

I deem it an honour to be able to say something before this august audience. I also consider this to be an opportunity to express our resolve and solidarity towards global efforts for a nuclear weapons free world.

The main theme of this conference is very much apt and relevant in the present world - 'Act Now for a world without Nuclear Weapons and without War- Let us prevent the use of Nuclear Weapons, oppose their development and demand the total elimination of nuclear weapons; and let us oppose the notion of pre-emption and defend the rule of world peace'

First of all, I would like to read out the message given by our Honourable President on this occasion welcoming the Conference (text enclosed).

During this conference we have discussed ways and means to promote joint efforts by the government and civil society to achieve the abolition of Nuclear Weapons.

In my statement I would try to flag out a few points that that could lead to promotion of Nuclear Non- Proliferation and consolidate further our efforts in this field:

  1. Strict adherence to norms and principles by the states: Whether or not agreements are in force there is a system of international norms against nuclear, chemical and biological weapons proliferation and for nuclear, chemical and biological disarmament, there is also an international norm against nuclear testing .It is important that these norms are recognized and accepted. Acts such as no -first use agreements, security assurances, missile deployment limitations, missile defences limitations, fissile material production, confidence building measures and nuclear disarmament greatly contributes to peace, security and stability in the national, regional and international level.

  2. Preservation and reinforcing of the Non Proliferation Treaty regime: Though the NPT has its difficulties and limitations, it is perhaps the best option available and therefore remains of crucial importance. In order to prevent the collapse of the NPT regime there has to be a concerted effort to re-establish and strengthen the values the regime represents and ensure that the Non-Proliferation Regime remains as the best option for all countries from both political and security perspectives.

  3. Ratification of the CTBT: Ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) by the nuclear weapons states and further reactivation of the arms control talks will have an important and positive effect on the disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation process.

  4. Improving the obligations and responsibilities of nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states: Through the fulfilment of the obligations by the nuclear weapons states such as no-transfer of nuclear materials and technology (the Missile technology Control Regime could play a guiding role in this regard) and also some of the obligations of the non-nuclear weapon states, the scenario can be greatly improved.

  5. Improving collective peace and security efforts under the UN: The United Nations remains one of the most viable mechanism for maintenance of international peace and security and nuclear disarmament. The functioning of the First Committee and the Disarmament Commission that deals with security and disarmament affairs has to be enhanced, improved and further consolidated and its recommendations and conclusions have to be implemented. The purpose and principles of the UN have to be upheld at all times. Especially article V - related to Security Council, Article VI related to Pacific settlement of disputes and Article VII related to Action with respect to threat to the peace, breaches of the peace and acts of aggression have to be respected and implemented in its true spirit.

  6. Efforts to end the arms race and diversion of funds to Socio-Economic Cause: Mankind has to make collective efforts to put to an end the arms race and divert funds to socio-economic causes and for sustainable development. The Millennium Development goals of halving absolute poverty by the year 2015 can only be made through collective and determined efforts and through proper allocation of development funds.
In this age it could be argued that man today is more insecure and vulnerable than ever. Total wars and weapons of mass destruction -nuclear, biological and chemical -as well as deadly accurate weapons make this a reality. Mass Communications and the shrinking of distances making every nation a virtual neighbour to every other has also tended to increase rather than decrease the physical and the psychological sense of insecurity. We must and should make determined collective efforts to reverse this trend.

It was in this month of August in 1945 that the holocaust in Hiroshima and Nagasaki happened. The death, destruction and horror the atomic bombs have brought in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is still in our minds. We must make concerted efforts and never allow war to happen. We should remember that we owe our peaceful lives to the sacrifices made by the victims of the war. Let the Peace Memorial of Hiroshima be a symbol of eternal hope that humanity has to survive the nuclear age.

I thank the organising Committee for successfully holding the Conference and for their warm hospitality. Thank you.