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4 November 2013 - General Assembly - First Committee - Explanation of vote by Mr Jean-Hugues Simon-Michel, Ambassador and French Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, on behalf of France, the United Kingdom and the United States

Resolution: "Taking Forward Multilateral Disarmament Negotiations”

Mr. Chairman.

I would like to deliver an explanation of vote on behalf of the United Kingdom, the United States and France on draft resolution L34: "Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations”.

Mr. Chairman,

On the UNGA Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG), our view remains that we already have sufficient forums for discussion on taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, as recorded at the 1978 UN Special Session on Disarmament (First Committee, UNDC, and Conference on Disarmament).

Mr Chairman,

Last year, we expressed concerns over the consistency between this initiative and the NPT and its 2010 Action Plan adopted by consensus. The NPT is the cornerstone of the the non-proliferation regime and the basis for our nuclear disarmament efforts.

Our concerns expressed last year have proven valid:

— the 2010 NPT Action Plan failed to get a mention in the OEWG final report
— the “step by step approach”, on which the disarmament pillar of the NPT Action Plan is built, is presented as a simple option, among many other ones
— the urgency to start the negotiations of an FMCT has been diluted among many other options.
— there is a substantial and unwarranted focus on other parallel processes that detract from the consensus-based approach embodied in the 2010 Action Plan, which provides a realistic, balanced way forward on all three NPT pillars. We still remain concerned by processes that solely focus on nuclear disarmament whereas the NPT covers all three pillars in a balanced manner.

Mr Chairman,

We see little value in asking Member States to provide the Secretary General with comments on how to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. We understood this to be the purpose of the report of the OEWG for those who wanted to contribute to it. A further report will not advance nuclear disarmament ; instead, it will only duplicate and undercut similar work being done in the CD, the UNDC and within the framework of the NPT, whose preparatory committee is to meet again next April.

It is for these reasons that we have voted against this resolution.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


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