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Najib: Middle East needs nuclear free zone

September 27, 2013

He also urged the UN to recall the Model Nuclear Weapon Convention which Malaysia and Costa Rica first submitted to the General Assembly in 1997.

NEW YORK: Malaysia does not believe in the doctrine of nuclear deterrence as a means to achieve international peace and security, said Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

He said the existence of nuclear weapons only served to encourage their proliferation.

Najib was speaking at the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament at the United Nations headquarters, here yesterday.

“I want to underline the need for all states to enhance efforts to attain the general as well as complete disarmament of all nuclear weapons, under strict international control.

“In this regard, I wish to also reiterate Malaysia’s deep concern on the slow progress in the reduction of strategic nuclear weapons, as well as modernisation and upgrading of nuclear arsenals.

“Many of these weapons are on high-alert status. My delegation thus urges those states with nuclear weapons on high-alert to decrease the operational readiness of their systems, which we believe is a small but necessary step forward,” he said.

Najib said the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons must also continue the momentum towards greater cooperation in achieving the treaty objectives.

Therefore, he said, it was of great concern to Malaysia that the conference on the establishment of a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East had yet to be convened.

He urged the United Nations Secretary-General as well as the concerned states to convene the conference at the earliest possible opportunity, with the active participation of all states in the region.

“This meeting of minds, focusing on intiating a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East, would be the right step towards continued peace and stability in the troubled region,” he said.

Recall 1997 convention

Najib also said that Malaysia supported the humanitarian approach to nuclear disarmament and participated in the 2013 Oslo International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, as well as supported joint statements on the issue at the Non-Profileration Treaty Preparatory Meetings.

“Before I conclude, I believe it would be timely to recall the Model Nuclear Weapon Convention which Malaysia and Costa Rica first submitted to the General Assembly in 1997.

“The model convention proposes legal, technical and political establishment of a nuclear-weapons free world.

“It is our belief that this model, while not perfect, is the closest attempt towards a legally binding, verifiable and enforceable instrument, culminating in a comprehensive prohibition and destruction of all nuclear weapons, with effective oversight and controls,” he said.

Najib said Malaysia was ready to work with other member states on the model convention, or on any other proposals with the ultimate aim of total elimination of nuclear weapons.

“It calls on all states to fulfil this obligation by commencing multilateral negotiations leading to the conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention at the earliest possible date.”

Najib who arrived here on Wednesday after a three-day visit to San Francisco from Sept 22, also signed the United Nations Arms Treaty at the Treaty Room of the UN headquarters, witnessed by the Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel Miguel de Serpa Soares.

-Bernama


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