August 8, 2016

Joint Statement of Like-minded Countries, Open-ended Working Group – Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations Third Session

Mr. Chair,

I am taking the floor on behalf of the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Zambia, South Africa and Nigeria.

Mr. Chair,

At the outset, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for the manner which you have guided our work during the past sessions. We also highly appreciate the hard work that you and your team have put in preparing the draft report of the Open-ended Working Group taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. We are of the view that the draft report is a good basis for our discussion in the weeks ahead and are ready to work constructively with you to adopt a final report that can make substantive progress in multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations according to UNGA Resolution A/RES/70/33.

Mr. Chair,

For almost two decades, there has been an absence of concrete outcomes of multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations within the United Nations framework. Against this backdrop, and with a view to securing substantive progress in multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, the United Nations General Assembly agreed to convene the OEWG to substantively address concrete effective legal measures, legal provisions and norms that will need to be concluded to attain and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.

During the past two sessions, a large majority of countries have voiced their support to the call to convene a conference in 2017, by the General Assembly, open to all States, international organizations and civil society, to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. We are pleased to see that the overwhelming support for this call has been reflected in the narrative part of the paper. However, when it comes to the recommendations part, it is our view that the recommendation on the convening of the said conference would be better reflected without any qualification and therefore should be formulated as such. We are ready to work closely and constructively with you, Mr. Chair, to   adopt concrete and clear recommendations for the final report of the OEWG.

Mr. Chair,

We are here united by our common goal of creating a safer world for our future generations, a world free of nuclear weapons. We truly hope that this noble goal would triumph against any political considerations. With your vast diplomatic skills and experience, we firmly believe that you will be able to guide us through our work and produce a fair and balanced final report.

I thank you Mr. Chair.

Geneva, 8 August 2016

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