‘Nuclear Sabre-Rattling Must Stop’ Secretary-General Tells Security Council, Calling on States to Ease Tensions, End Atomic Weapons Race
The United Nations Secretary-General today urged Security Council members to update the diplomatic toolkit, used for decades to prevent catastrophic war, to meet the deteriorating global peace and security environment and move towards a world free of nuclear weapons. As António Guterres told Council members that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was ready to send a mission from Kyiv to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Gustavo Zlauvinen, President of the Tenth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, warned members that the norm against the use of such arms, one of the most important achievements of the post-Second World War era, is increasingly threatened.
Speaking as the States parties to the Treaty are in month-long discussions on ways to strengthen that essential instrument of common security, Mr. Zlauvinen said the Treaty has proven itself resilient and adaptable over its 52-year history. Yet, the geopolitical turmoil rocking the world means the Treaty faces a raft of diverse challenges it has not faced before. He stressed that the only way to completely eliminate the risk of a nuclear weapon being used is to completely eliminate them.
States are now grappling with how to reinforce the seven-decade-old history of non-use of nuclear weapons and take urgently needed steps towards a world free of such arms, said Mr. Zlauvinen. Urgent action, under the disarmament pillar, is needed to reverse dangerous trends, increase confidence and ensure that mistakes or miscalculations do not lead to escalation and catastrophe. The narrative has been revived that nuclear weapons provide the ultimate security guarantee — an extremely damaging narrative for non-proliferation.
The Secretary-General told Council members the Review Conference must demonstrate that progress is possible. Countries with nuclear weapons must commit to the “no first use” of those arms and assure States that do not have such weapons that they will not use — or threaten to use — nuclear weapons against them. Transparency is necessary and “nuclear sabre-rattling must stop,” Mr. Guterres said. “We need all States to recommit to a world free of nuclear weapons and spare no effort to come to the negotiating table to ease tensions and end the nuclear arms race, once and for all.”
The Council and the United Nations are humanity’s best hope to build a better, more peaceful future. “As we develop our New Agenda for Peace, let’s show that we’ve learned from the lessons of the past,” he said. “Let’s recommit to the eternal tools of peace — dialogue, diplomacy and mutual trust.”
Several Council members said the deteriorating global peace and security environment amplifies the need for Council reform. If not, the Council, and even the Organization, risk irrelevance.
The representative of India said that as the most universal and representative international organization, the United Nations has been credited with keeping the peace over the last 77 years. Yet, the international community must ask whether the United Nations has lived up to its expectations and whether the Council, the foremost organ tasked with the responsibility of maintaining international peace and security, can remain relevant. The Council must be more representative of developing countries so as to reflect current geopolitical realities. Without a truly representative Council, the United Nations may be superseded by other plurilateral and multilateral groupings which are more representative, more transparent and more democratic and, therefore, more effective.
The representative of Kenya said the international community is facing an increasingly dangerous confrontation between the great Powers and he regretted the increasing irrelevance of multilateralism. Dialogue must be used to halt the war in Ukraine. “We are at a fork in the road. Will the world’s Powers choose to embrace the guiding vision of the UN? Or will they turn it into one more arena of their conflict and sap its will and means to protect international peace and security?” he asked. African and the rest of the world cannot wait passively. He supported stronger contributions to the common security, by all regions and through multilateral instruments, to prevent destructive cold and hot wars. These efforts could include renewed ambition to reform the United Nations, particularly the Council.
Brazil’s delegate noted the first official briefing by the president of an ongoing Review Conference. He viewed it as a positive sign that the Council is attentive to the main multilateral discussions taking place beyond its walls. The international community must overcome, once and for all, the false narrative that nuclear weapons make the world a safer place. Their mere existence invites further proliferation and undermines global stability and compromises international security, putting the whole world at existential risk. There is a pressing need to move forward with discussions on Council reform.
Ireland’s delegate said during the cold war era, the world too frequently stood on the brink of nuclear catastrophe, but it is now faced with an elevated nuclear risk. “As we heard from our briefers, by adopting the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the international community took a decisive step back from that abyss,” she stated, noting that the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation architecture reminds the international community that even in the most dangerous of times, progress is achievable. She cited the collective responsibility to bring urgency and action to nuclear disarmament, address proliferation challenges, and honour and implement existing commitments.
Also speaking today were representatives of the United Arab Emirates, Gabon, France, United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Ghana, Russian Federation, Albania, Mexico and China.
The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 12:26 p.m.
ANTÓNIO GUTERRES, United Nations Secretary-General, said this briefing shows the path to peace is forged by dialogue and cooperation. During a recent trip to Ukraine, Türkiye and the Republic of Moldova, he said he saw the Black Sea Grain Initiative in action. The agreement facilitates unimpeded access, from Ukrainian ports to global markets, for food and fertilizers originating from the Russian Federation. This comprehensive initiative, crucial for the world’s most vulnerable people and countries, is a concrete example of how dialogue and cooperation can deliver hope during conflict. The same commitment to dialogue and results must be applied to the critical situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. “I reaffirm that the United Nations has in Ukraine the logistics and security capacities to support a mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from Kyiv to Zaporizhzhia,” he said.
The Security Council is a vital part of the process of peace and prevention, through resolutions to ease conflicts, support reconciliation and provide humanitarian assistance and support to millions of people in need, he said. Yet today’s collective security system is being tested with a world riven by geopolitical divides, conflicts and instability. “Lingering differences between the world’s great powers — including at this Council — continue to limit our ability to collectively respond,” he said. Many systems established decades ago now face challenges that would be unimaginable to the international community’s predecessors. “And nuclear risk has climbed to its highest point in decades,” he said. The tools that have kept the international community from catastrophic world war must be fit for today’s rapidly deteriorating international peace and security environment. “We need to reforge a global consensus around the cooperation required to ensure collective security — including the work of the United Nations,” he said, adding it is the driving force behind his proposal for a New Agenda for Peace, contained in the report Common Agenda.
The Tenth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons meeting this month must demonstrate that progress is possible. “I renew my call to all States Parties to demonstrate flexibility and a willingness to compromise across all negotiations,” he said. Countries with nuclear weapons must commit to the “no first use” of those arms and assure States that do not have such weapons that they will not use — or threaten to use — nuclear weapons against them, and be transparent throughout. “Nuclear sabre-rattling must stop,” he said. “We need all States to recommit to a world free of nuclear weapons and spare no effort to come to the negotiating table to ease tensions and end the nuclear arms race, once and for all.” The Council and the United Nations are humanity’s best hope to build a better, more peaceful future. “As we develop our New Agenda for Peace, let’s show that we’ve learned from the lessons of the past,” he said. Let’s recommit to the eternal tools of peace — dialogue, diplomacy and mutual trust.”
GUSTAVO ZLAUVINEN, President of the Tenth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, said that for the last three weeks, States parties to the Treaty have been engaged in discussions on how to strengthen that essential instrument of common security. Over its 52-year history, the Treaty has proven itself remarkably resilient and adaptable, with States parties’ current engagement on discussions speaking volumes about the Conference’s status as the de facto multilateral negotiating forum on all things related to nuclear weapons. As a consequence of the geopolitical turmoil rocking the world, the Treaty faces a raft of challenges — the diversity and scope of which are unlike anything that has come before, he stressed. Implementation of the Treaty’s provisions is front and centre for many and ensuring fulfilment of its core commitments and obligations is seen as essential — especially for disarmament commitments.
He stressed that the only way to completely eliminate the risk of a nuclear weapon being used is to completely eliminate them. States are grappling with how to reinforce the seven-decade-old history of non-use of nuclear weapons and to take urgently needed steps towards a world free of such arms. He cited the need for urgent action under the disarmament pillar, to reverse dangerous trends, increase confidence and ensure that mistakes of miscalculations do not lead to escalation and catastrophe. The narrative has been revived that nuclear weapons provide the ultimate security guarantee — an extremely damaging narrative for non-proliferation. The norm against the use of nuclear weapons is one of the most important achievements of the post-Second World War era, he stressed, but is increasingly threatened.
The heightened nuclear risk has strengthened calls for immediate threat reduction measures. It has also brought back to the fore questions about how to strengthen security assurances. Risk reduction remains a priority, especially at the intersection between nuclear weapons, new domains in cyber and outer space and new technologies, from artificial intelligence to hypersonic weapons. He noted that some parties believe risk reduction is not enough and may call for strong language on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. From the Middle East to Northeast Asia, the introduction of nuclear weapons into any regional conflict amplifies the danger by an order of magnitude. States parties are all too aware that failure to address these cases weakens the entire non-proliferation regime.
He noted that the nexus between development and security adds a new dimension to the Treaty and stressed that recent events have forced the world to confront — for the first time — the challenges posed by nuclear safety and security in a zone of armed conflict. “When we talk about the need to find common ground, I think people forget” that the Treaty is common ground, he stated. “It is essential to stress the importance to focus on the elements that unite us and not the ones that divide us.”
LANA ZAKI NUSSEIBEH (United Arab Emirates) said the architects of the United Nations needed only to look around them for insight into the ruin wrought by unrestrained power. “They sought to temper power by binding together, in common security and prosperity, those who may wield it and those who may suffer it,” she said. The system has held and this achievement should provide comfort during this moment of rising polarization and fragmentation. The international community cannot entertain abandoning the system, whether through revisionism or retrenchment. She said that she firmly believes that this must be a moment of renewal for the international system, which must adapt to a world with more countries, an increasingly diverse set of influential actors, a shifting balance of power, an expanding role for regional institutions and the growing risk of tensions between the major powers. The inclusive system now relies on a much wider circle of members and stakeholders. This includes about 80 countries that secured independence during de-colonization and the engagement of private sector and philanthropic actors as well as local and global networks of youth and women. Now, institutional responsibility must also expand to create a more inclusive system of norm-setting and decision-making to allow all views to shape the inextricably bound future of everyone. Broadening responsibility also means systematically empowering regional organizations to solve regional problems. It is also a time and a place for determined leadership. “The world looks to this Chamber, to summon that spirit once again and, in the process, usher in the necessary renewal of this open, cooperative and inclusive world order,” she said.
RONALDO COSTA FILHO (Brazil) noted that for the first time, the president of an ongoing Review Conference briefed the Council in an official meeting — a positive sign that the Council is attentive to the main multilateral discussions taking place beyond its walls. He stressed that the international community must overcome, once and for all, the false narrative that nuclear weapons make the world a safer place, as their mere existence invites further proliferation and undermines global stability and compromises international security, putting the whole world at existential risk. Nuclear disarmament is not a concession by nuclear-weapon States, he said — calling on the international community to focus more on Chapter VI rather than Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations and condemn the abusive use of Article 51. International human rights law and international refugee law, by protecting individual rights, may avoid trauma and resentment, which are among the root causes of conflict. He noted that a strong economic foundation and robust productive capacities are the path to job and wealth creation, solid fiscal revenues and political and social stability — and, ultimately, peace. There is a pressing need to move forward the discussions on Council ́reform, he continued — also noting that the Peacebuilding Commission is well suited as a platform to promote greater coordination among relevant partners of a particular country at risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict. He stressed that wars and ill-devised sanctions regimes disrupt supply chains, spread scarcity and raise inflation — resulting in food insecurity and ultimately disproportionate affecting those most in need.
MICHEL XAVIER BIANG (Gabon) said this session is an opportunity to focus on the many international crises facing the world. The international system is at a turning point as the world emerges from a pandemic and faces multidimensional crises that threaten the international order. The different poles of influence are changing and the world is now seeing a change in geopolitical positions. Constant dialogue is needed in the face of the threat, or use, of nuclear weapons, along with climate insecurity and cyberthreats. The interdependence of economies and supply chains requires people to work together to address the most serious threats to international peace and security. The Council is the ideal venue to improve the geopolitical situation. Gabon will work to promote greater inclusiveness and use dialogue to manage geopolitical differences, he said. Dialogue should be used to find ways out of crises and urgent situations that require international attention. Dialogue can promote a rules-based order and is the most pragmatic way to develop better, lower-risk alternatives to conflict, he continued, noting that it can help the international community work towards peace and overcome differences. Regional and subregional groups can play a part in finding solutions, such as on the African continent.
SHERAZ GASRI (France) stressed that the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine violates the Charter of the United Nations, demonstrating its contempt for the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of States. Noting the situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station threatens all of Europe, she voiced support for ongoing dialogue between the parties and IAEA to allow an essential inspection mission, in full respect of Ukrainian sovereignty. In addition to the open war between two States, she cited other internal conflicts and the scourge of terrorism, which severely affect the civilian populations, in particular women and children. By weakening States, crises can allow militias or mercenaries to thrive, and further destabilize conflict zones. Cyberspace and outer space are also becoming fields of strategic rivalry, she noted — even of armed conflict. The manipulation of information misleads citizens and undermines democracies, amplified by hyperconnectivity, while some States seek to destabilize political systems and increase their own influence. The international community must reflect on a renewed dialogue to refine common understanding of these new fields, strengthen their international governance and define rules of responsible behaviour, by involving new players — in particular civil society and business. France promotes effective multilateralism, which respects human rights, fundamental freedoms and democratic principles, with the Council as the keystone of that system.
MARTIN KIMANI (Kenya) said the international community is facing an increasingly dangerous confrontation between the great Powers. He regretted the increasing irrelevance of multilateralism. “We do so again today, knowing that without it, humanity will suffer grievously as our greatest hopes are crushed by multiple, interlocking crises,” he said. Yet, the Charter offers a hopeful basis for collective security and the international community must not let it go the way of the failed League of Nations. Dialogue must start to halt the war in Ukraine. “We are at a fork in the road. Will the world’s Powers choose to embrace the guiding vision of the UN? Or will they turn it into one more arena of their conflict and sap its will and means to protect international peace and security?” he asked. The rest of the world, and Africa specifically, must not wait passively. He supported stronger contributions to the common security, by all regions and through multilateral instruments, to prevent destructive cold and hot wars. These efforts could include renewed ambition to reform the United Nations, particularly the Council. Africa’s seats, in line with the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration, offer the greatest hope for a balanced Council. The African Union and other regional organizations also need to strengthen their peace and security architecture to strengthen the impact of Chapter VIII of the Charter. The United Nations also needs to assume greater responsibility for all peace operations against threats to international peace and security. Adequate and predictable financing, including through assessed contributions of Council-mandated, African Union-led peace operations, is needed. There must also be adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding, he concluded.
LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD (United States) said the world’s greatest challenges are shared and they require global solutions. The United Nations is uniquely placed to galvanize the world towards better ends. It can promote human rights and protect innocent civilians, while working towards a better world. This success depends on the good faith of Member States, abiding by the Charter’s principles and holding Member States accountable when they violate the Charter. One of the greatest threats to success is coming from within. At the top of the list is the full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation of a neighbour, Ukraine. Before the invasion, diplomatic efforts were undertaken in many venues to dissuade Moscow. It rejected dialogue and launched a horrific war. The Russian Federation’s decision to invade Ukraine has implications for the global community, including food security, a refugee crisis and the deaths of thousands of Ukrainians and Russians. Human rights must be universal and the language in the Charter and Declaration of Human Rights could not be clearer. Threats like nuclear proliferation should be monitored together. Challenges to peace and security must be met. The United States supports the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and is seeking consensus on a final document. It is prepared to work with all countries to work on risk reduction. Global challenges require global solutions, good faith and adherence to international law, she stressed.
JAMES KARIUKI (United Kingdom) cited the four-month truce in Yemen — that country’s greatest opportunity in years for a sustained peace. The Council has also continued vital cooperation with the African Union, including by agreeing to establish the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia. However, dialogue can only ensure collective security if it is matched and underpinned by States upholding the international system that keeps us all safe. There is no contest for the gravest threat, he stressed, as the Russian Federation “has torn up the Charter and trampled on the rules that underpin international peace and security”. The international community must hold to account States that transgress universally accepted norms, such as sovereignty and territorial integrity — as “accepting that a big country can simply invade its smaller neighbour returns the world to the dark days of human suffering as well as wider international instability and conflict”. He called again for the Russian Federation to stop its illegal invasion of Ukraine and withdraw its forces. The United Kingdom remains unwaveringly committed to the Review Conference, and to working with other States to ensure implementation of that and other treaties. He shared the concern about the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, underlining the importance of a mission of IAEA experts to address nuclear safety, security and safeguard concerns, in a manner that respects full Ukrainian sovereignty over its territory and infrastructure.
TRINE SKARBOEVIK HEIMERBACK (Norway) said the Council must take a more active role in preventing crises and improve its situational awareness. Working together with regional organizations such as the African Union is essential to understand and tackle emerging security threats, including the rise of non-State actors in conflict. Great Power rivalry is putting pressure on the multilateral disarmament architecture, with new weapons systems being developed and deployed and proliferation challenges on the rise. It is essential to seize the opportunity — during the ongoing Review Conference — to reaffirm commitment to the Treaty, she stressed, also advocating for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Stressing that the Charter of the United Nations clearly prohibits aggression and acquisition of territory by force, she called on the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders, with the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant being of special concern. The world currently faces unprecedented levels of acute food insecurity, with rising prices driving hunger in South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and many other places, with Moscow’s war on Ukraine worsening the situation further. She commended the Secretary-General for his contribution to the initiative on the safe transportation of grain from Ukrainian ports through the Black Sea — an important step to ease global food insecurity.
HAROLD ADLAI AGYEMAN (Ghana) noted that countries are beginning to consider, ever more readily, the threat of and the use of force as an instrument for pursuing policies in the international arena. He called for the dialogue required for sustaining multilateralism to change, with decisions reflecting the common aspirations of all Member States. He further stated that in present global circumstances, it may be necessary to initiate a consensual process for Member States to formally recommit to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. He cited past actions carried out by some States that undermine the territorial integrity and political independence of other States. While more powerful States may have extensive security concerns, those cannot be subordinated to the domestic interests of other countries, no matter how small they may be. In the midst of prevailing geopolitical rivalries, the elevated risks over the deliberate or accidental use of nuclear weapons are a strong concern that the nuclear-weapon States should cooperate to resolve. The fundamental concern is that the idea of nuclear weapons itself is objectionable to humanity. The international community must strengthen dialogue and cooperation so that successes such as then Non-Proliferation Treaty remain, and the 25-year moratorium on nuclear testing can be built upon. Citing Africa, where small arms and light weapons in the hands of financed terrorist and violent extremist groups have in effect been wielded as weapons of mass destruction, he stressed that such security threats cannot be left only to regional and national actors to manage. The burden must be shared equitably and renewed efforts and investments made.
VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation) noted that in the late 1980s the international community had reason to hope the cold war was over, and bloc confrontation a thing of the past. The Russian Federation was assured that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would not expand to the East — but the country was blatantly deceived and declared the “loser” of the cold war, met with cynical lies and blackmail. NATO has deployed missile defence systems and offensive weapons and the United States has dismantled the global arms control system, withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty under the far-fetched pretext that it was allegedly “outdated”. Washington, D.C. also unilaterally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 2019, he noted — and, when his Government offered the United States and NATO a mutual moratorium on the deployment of such missiles made a unilateral commitment not to be the first to place systems banned by that Treaty, the proposal was rejected. Given Washington, D.C.’s continued dismantling of arms control tools — preferring escalation to a diplomatic settlement — a crisis broke out in the European space, which has a global reach and historical consequences. Collective security is incompatible with coercion and hegemony, he stressed. Ukraine was sacrificed to the confrontation with the Russian Federation, with the West establishing a Russophobic regime, turning the Ukrainian people into “cannon fodder”, and cynically turning a blind eye to the spread of neo-Nazi ideology. Western patrons have helped Kyiv in its attempts at “nuclear blackmail”, ignoring the shelling of the Zaporozhzhia Nuclear Power Plant by Ukrainian armed forces. He further stated that the United States is trying to impose ‘bloc’ thinking on the Asian region, also citing the “American adventure” with respect to Taiwan. Western countries are politicizing the work on the final Review Conference document, putting their geopolitical interests in “punishing” Moscow above collective needs in strengthening global security. The West is ready to do anything to preserve its hegemony, turning Ukraine into a training ground for a “proxy war” with the Russian Federation. “Do you think the United States and its allies will behave differently in other parts of the world?” he asked.
CÁIT MORAN (Ireland) noted that the world is unfortunately witnessing an increase in global and regional instability, exacerbated by the Russian Federation’s unjustified and illegal military aggression against Ukraine. The Council must move away from a default position of responding after a crisis has happened, and be more proactive on prevention. She called for enhanced support for the Peacebuilding Commission and to ensure that peacebuilding is adequately and sustainably financed. Member States must support the entirety of the Commission’s work, and engage constructively in the upcoming negotiations in the General Assembly. During the cold war era, the world too frequently stood on the brink of nuclear catastrophe, but it is now faced with an elevated nuclear risk. “As we heard from our briefers, by adopting the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the international community took a decisive step back from that abyss,” she stated, noting that international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation architecture reminds the international community that even in the most dangerous of times, progress is achievable. She cited the collective responsibility to bring urgency and action to nuclear disarmament, address proliferation challenges, and honour and implement existing commitments. The approach to peace and security must take a human rights-based approach that is inclusive, particularly of the most vulnerable, paying heed to women leaders, youth, human rights defenders and civil society. It is essential that they can speak freely about the stark realities of conflict, without any fear of reprisal or intimidation, she stressed.
RUCHIRA KAMBOJ (India) said the United Nations was established in 1945 with the noble objective of saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war. As the most universal and representative international organization, the United Nations has been credited with keeping the peace over the last 77 years. Yet, the international community must ask whether the United Nations has lived up to its expectations and whether the Council, the foremost organ tasked with the responsibility of maintaining international peace and security, can remain relevant. This meeting is an opportunity to seriously discuss India’s call for reformed multilateralism, with the Council’s reform at the core. The Council must be more representative of developing countries to reflect current geopolitical realities. “How do we explain away the fact that the African continent does not have a permanent representation in the Security Council, despite a majority of issues being dealt with by the Council belonging to that region?” she asked. Without a truly representative Council, the United Nations may be superseded by other plurilateral and multilateral groupings which are more representative, more transparent and more democratic and, therefore, more effective. As a founding member of the United Nations, India has consistently displayed its commitment to uphold the Charter’s purposes and principles. She asked whether multilateral organizations, especially the Council, are ready to deal with the new world order and new challenges.
FERIT HOXHA (Albania) stressed that if threats to security are not properly recognized and addressed, “we face a bleak future.” While Article II of the Charter of the United Nations speaks for itself, the Russian invasion of Ukraine stands in flagrant violation of that obligation — an indefensible assault on a peaceful neighbour that has undermined the international order. “Does sovereignty have any meaning?” he asked. Mistakes made in the past do not give anyone or any State the right to do the same, now or in the future, and therefore, what is happening in Ukraine concerns the entire European continent. Respect for human rights around the world is in retrograde, he stressed, with acts of violence and discrimination occurring on a daily basis. Citing the Non-Proliferation Treaty and its three pillars, he stressed that Moscow’s actions — including its decision to place its nuclear deterrent forces on high alert — undermine trust and threaten peace. In this vein, the occupation and militarization of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant constitutes an imminent threat, defying all IAEA safeguards and safety protocols. He called again for the Russian Federation to withdraw its military forces and for establishment of an immediate secure perimeter around the facility. With a multilateral global order shaken to the core, “it is high time that we stop sleepwalking” he stressed — calling for dialogue and cooperation, a heightened focus on reinforcing human rights and freedoms, and a comprehensive and integrated approach to peace and security.
JUAN GÓMEZ ROBLEDO VERDUZCO (Mexico) said unilateral approaches do not resolve problems which can only be solved through multilateral approaches. Mexico has always promoted dialogue to avoid the escalation of disputes. He underscored the important role of preventive diplomacy and the use of peaceful means to resolve disputes as a pillar of peacekeeping. The Organization must strengthen coordination among all United Nations bodies, programmes and funds, as well as the International Court of Justice and Peacebuilding Commission. Yet this broad array of tools is not reflected in the results of recent years. Nuclear weapons continue to represent the worst threat to humanity. The threat of the use of force is banned by the Charter. The Tenth Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference could be an opportunity to achieve a world free from nuclear weapons. However, expressing concern by the Conference’s slow pace and the lack of political will, particularly by the nuclear-weapons States, to reach agreement, he said that there is time to reverse the trend. He agreed with the Secretary-General that a safer world must be rooted in international law and not in the endless stockpiling and modernizing of nuclear weapons. That conviction led the Latin American and Caribbean countries to establish the first nuclear weapons-free zone in an urban area, which led to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Treaty of Tlatelolco. The security on the Korean Peninsula is another matter of great concern. Mexico calls for an end to the war in Ukraine and a cessation of hostilities. He called for an end to activities around the nuclear plant and a demilitarization of the zone so inspections can be carried out. The Council has not been up to its mandate on many issues. Noting that Mexico and France have promoted the initiative to not use the veto in cases of mass atrocities, he invited all Member States to join this initiative, which has the support of 106 States.
ZHANG JUN (China), Council President for August, speaking in his national capacity, said fundamental consensus must be translated into action, for the 15-member organ to better execute its duties. “The baton of time has been passed into our hands,” he stated, calling for a sense of responsibility in ensuring common security. No country enjoys absolute security, nor can it ignore the legitimate security of others, as that principle is indivisible. Due to different historical backgrounds and development levels, States are bound to have different views and conflicts of interests, but the greatest common denominator must be found in settling disputes peacefully. Clinging to the cold war mentality, unilateralism, the zero-sum game or bloc confrontation politics will not only threaten a State’s own security but lead to crisis escalation. NATO’s eastward expansion offers a profound lesson, he stressed. His Government’s initiative towards peace and security is open to all, to help build a balanced and effective international security architecture and save future generations from the scourge of war. He further called for respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all countries. If that principle is ignored, the entire system of international law will be shaken and the world will return to the law of the jungle, he stressed. Double standards must not be adopted, nor can any renege on promises for self-interest, he stated — stressing that the examples of Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq serve as a warning that interfering in other countries on the basis of counter-terrorism, democracy and human rights not only brings suffering to those States but desecrates the common values of democracy and freedom. China will take all measures to safeguard its own territorial integrity, he affirmed. He noted China is the only one of five nuclear-weapon States to commit to no first use at any time under any circumstances — or use or threaten to use them on non-nuclear-weapon States or regions — calling on other States to adopt that policy.
* The 9111th meeting was closed.