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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

Resolution: "United actions towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons"

Unofficial translation

Mr Chairman,

I am taking the floor to make an explanation of vote on resolution L.43 “united actions towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons”. My country has voted in favor of this resolution, which reflects, in general terms, the engagements to which we subscribe in the field of nuclear disarmament.

Nevertheless, I would like to underline the concerns of my country regarding the evolution of this text during the last three years, and our wish to continue to see the NPT Action Plan, adopted by consensus in 2010, reflected in a balanced manner.

—  My country remains attached to the fact that the resolutions presented at the UNGA acknowledge the efforts undertaken by nuclear weapon States in this field ;

—  In addition, my country is fully aware of the serious consequences of a potential use of nuclear weapons. It is in the interest of all nations to avoid it. Let me also recall that, for France, nuclear weapons are not battlefield weapons; they are a means of deterrence, designed only for the exclusive purpose of the protection of our vital interests. The French nuclear deterrence doctrine is strictly defensive and rigorously limits the cases in which nuclear weapons could be used under extreme circumstances of legitimate self-defence, in accordance with the UN charter.

— France considers that the priority in the field of nuclear disarmament is the implementation of concrete measures, which corresponds to the realistic and progressive approach, embodied in the NPT action plan adopted by consensus in 2010, which is the only way to strengthen our collective security in a concrete manner. France will continue to do its utmost to go towards a safer world for all and to create the conditions of a world without nuclear weapons, in accordance with the goals of the NPT.

Thank you Mr chairman.


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