Statement by the delegation of Ukraine 73 UN GA First Committee Thematic Debate on Nuclear Weapons

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine 73 UN GA First Committee Thematic Debate on Nuclear Weapons

Mr. Chair,

Ukraine aligns itself with the Statement made by the European Union. I would like to add the following remarks in my national capacity.

My country has constantly demonstrated a proactive approach in the area of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, in particular by voluntarily abandoning its nuclear capability and acceding to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in November 1994. We also removed all existing stocks of highly enriched uranium from our territory in 2012.

Regrettably, as it is seen from our experience, the credibility and efficiency of some of the key pillars of the NPT have been seriously undermined. Let me recall that the historic decision of Ukraine to renounce its nuclear weapons was largely based on the clear international security assurances provided in writing in 1994, in particular in the Budapest Memorandum signed by Ukraine, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation.

The State-signatories to the Memorandum “reaffirmed their commitment to Ukraine to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine”, as well as “reaffirmed their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine”.

The validity of this document becomes even more vital in an era of the evolving proliferation threats as well as efforts to quell security concerns of states seeking nuclear deterrent capabilities.

Brutal violation of the international obligations, including under the Budapest Memorandum, by Russia – a nuclear-weapon state and a permanent UN Security Council member, has undermined the whole UN-based security system. One can also recall in this regard the obligation of nuclear states contained in 2010 NPT Review Conference Final Document “to fully respect their existing commitments with regard to security assurances”.

Still, even affected by the Russian military aggression and temporary occupation of our territories, Ukraine continues to regard the NPT as a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. We keep assisting – in a comprehensive manner – in its effective implementation, further strengthening and universalization.

Ukraine consistently stands for reducing the nuclear arsenals, cessation of modernization of nuclear weapons, and overall decrease of nuclear weapons' role in military and strategic doctrines of the states.

Mr. Chair,

Ukraine supports the universalization of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). We call upon all States which have yet to sign or ratify the CTBT, in particular the remaining Annex 2 States, to do so without delay. We are confident that nuclear test moratorium voluntarily declared by different states plays important, but not sufficient, role as it will not replace the legally binding nature of the Treaty.

Ukraine also continues to support the need to negotiate and conclude the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT), which will be essential both to constrain nuclear proliferation and to advance the goal of nuclear disarmament. We remain ready to contribute to this goal both in the national capacity and as the President of the Conference on Disarmament in 2019.

Thank you.