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

Syahri Sakidin
Minister Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia-Tokyo

Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to begin by saying that the government of Indonesia considers the issue of nuclear disarmament to be an extremely important one. For that reason, I would like to commend the Organizing Committee of the World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs for once again successfully holding this Conference and helping to remind the world of this urgent issue. I would also like to thank the Committee for inviting me to address you all here today and for giving me the opportunity to briefly outline the position of my government with regard to nuclear weapons.

With the ending of the cold war, Indonesia, like many other nations, looked forward to a new era of global nuclear disarmament and stability. Unfortunately, narrowly conceived strategic considerations, the expanded scope of nuclear weapons, and a new doctrine of pre-emption have meant that no real progress has been made. Furthermore, the world is now witnessing a weakening of the basic disarmament infrastructure and the erosion of multilateralism as the prime endeavour of nuclear disarmament. In fact, divergent strategic interests, the prospect of a renewed arms race, and the proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies - as has been seen recently on the Korean Peninsula - have produced greater levels of apprehension than at any other time in recent decades. Add to this, the possibility that terrorists groups could use nuclear materials. These recent developments have dangerous ramifications for the security and the survival of humanity.

In approaching these issues, I believe it is important to recognize that the retention of nuclear weapons brings with it the possibility of their use. Therefore, the ultimate goal of the disarmament process must be the eradication of such weapons. However, a reduced role for nuclear weapons cannot be realistically contemplated while the strategic doctrines that envision their use remain in effect and these weapons are used to support the security of some countries. The success of the disarmament process depends on changing our perceptions of security and the willingness and determination to decommission weapons which are indeed no longer relevant to the current geopolitical situation.

Indonesia has been an active member of the international community in promoting nuclear disarmament and the reduction of armaments in general. Utilizing multilateral avenues, Indonesia, together with other members of the Non-Aligned Movement, has made and supported several proposals focusing on how concrete progress can be made. Examples of these proposals include the promotion of the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) as an integrated means of supporting the current non-proliferation regime. This proposal would respond to concerns on the possible acquisition of fissile materials by terrorist groups, and also serve to calm non-nuclear states' anxieties over the long-neglected role of several nations in upholding their part of the bargain in the non-proliferation regime. Another example is the consolidation of existing nuclear-weapons-free zones, and in particular adherence to the zones' protocols by nuclear-armed states. The more notable of these zones is the South-East Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone initiated in 1995 by ASEAN and the zone recently created by the Central Asian states. And finally, further examples are the moratorium on weapons tests and the coming into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and also the submission by nuclear-armed states of comprehensive information on all aspects of such weapons, in line with the fulfillment of Article VI, paragraph 15, sub-paragraph 12, of the 2000 Final Document.

With regard to the South-East Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone, it is pertinent to mention that this is a key component of the ASEAN's determination to contribute towards general and complete nuclear disarmament and the promotion of international peace and security of the region. ASEAN is continuously negotiating with the five nuclear-armed states on the terms of their accession to the protocol which lays down their commitments under the treaty. We remain hopeful that there will be a successful conclusion to this.

Similarly, I am of the view that the coming into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty would proved a litmus test for the sincerity of the nuclear states in fulfilling their obligations and honoring the wishes of the 166 states that have signed the treaty and the 97 states that have now ratified it.

I would like to point out at this juncture that in all of these undertakings we uphold the fundamental role of the IAEA. It is the inalienable right of developing nations to pursue the peaceful use of nuclear energy in advancing the economic development of Asia. For this reason, the technical cooperation of the Agency and its role in safeguarding nuclear materials is essential and to be commended.

Nuclear non-proliferation and ultimately disarmament can, and indeed must, be achieved. The world has seen the terrible destruction such weapons can produce, and also the immense suffering. We must, therefore, not allow ourselves to simply accept the existence of these weapons and instead must work to rid our world of them.

Finally, I would like to congratulate the organizing committee and all participants in this important conference, and assure you that your appeal for a peaceful and promising world without nuclear weapons is embraced by all of us. As Albert Einstein said in 1947, following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Our only security and our only hopeclies in thatcwe believe that an informed citizenry will act for life and not for death.

Thank you.