March 24, 2016
Statement by the Delegation of the Republic of Indonesia Open-ended Working Group “Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations” Exchange of Views on Panel I, 23-24 February 2016
Since this is the first time my Delegation is taking the floor, let me begin by congratulating you on your assumption as the Chair of this Open-ended Working Group and to assure you of the full support of the Indonesian Delegation. Indonesia strongly believes that the Open-ended Working Group provides us with an opportunity to bring us closer to our shared desire of a world free of nuclear weapons and you can be assured of our positive contribution to this process. Indonesia fully aligns itself with the earlier statement delivered by Lao PDR on behalf of ASEAN member states at the opening session.
We have discussed on the range of possible legal measures on nuclear disarmament. My delegation have listen carefully to all the views expressed by colleagues. In this regard, Indonesia is of the view that, whatever legal measures we may pursue in the future, such legal measures need to have at least two elements, namely prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.
On the prohibition side, any effective legal measures on nuclear disarmament needs to prohibit the use, threat of use, development, production, stockpiling, transfer, acquisition, deployment, and financing of nuclear weapons. These prohibitions can be set out in a single comprehensive treaty which complements the existing legal regime on nuclear disarmament.
Categorical prohibition on any activities related to nuclear weapons would ultimately close the existing legal loopholes. Despite existing legal instruments on nuclear non-proliferation, there remain legal loopholes that need to be addressed. The Comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty (or the CTBT), for example, has yet to be implemented due to non-accession of certain countries listed in Annex II of the CTBT. Further, it should be noted that whilst CTBT prohibits explosive-testing of nuclear weapons, it does not prohibit non-explosive testing. We also should be mindful that there is no legal prohibition on modernization of nuclear weapons. These legal loopholes are among that need to be addressed.
The other element that is required for any legal measures on nuclear disarmament to be effective is an element that obligates the complete elimination of existing nuclear weapons in an irreversible and verifiable manner. In this regard, the elimination of nuclear weapons should be based on an agreed legally-binding framework that specifies the measures and timeframe of the destruction of nuclear weapons.
We are fully mindful that the issue of elimination of nuclear weapons is a delicate and highly sensitive issue, especially for Nuclear Weapon-States. Therefore, Indonesia is of the view that these two elements can be negotiated separately. One track that we may consider is to start the negotiation on the prohibition element to be proceeded by negotiation on the elimination element.
My delegation is of the view that these two separate negotiations can take place within specified time frame. In this regard, the Non-Aligned Movement Working Paper entitled draft elements for a plan of action for the elimination of nuclear weapons submitted at the NPT 2015 Review Conference may serve as a starting reference point.
There is a growing sense of frustration on nuclear disarmament discourse. We need to end this sense of frustration by seeking ways to move nuclear disarmament negotiation forward. We should remain optimistic but pragmatic in our approach. It is my delegation’s fervent hope that the open-ended working group can concretely and substantively contribute to our shared desire of living in a world free of nuclear weapons.
I thank you.