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Intervention General Debate

Statement delivered by the Permanent Representative of the Argentine Republic, Ambassador María del Carmen Squeff

October 9th

Mr. president:

Let me first of all congratulate you and the other members of the Bureau and assure the full cooperation of my Delegation.

I would also like to thank the presence and interventions of the President of the General Assembly and the Under-Secretary General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.

A lot has changed since the last session of this Commission. The pandemic we face poses challenges and threats that require effective and efficient commitments.

Argentina has built an international security and non-proliferation policy that is projected on two levels: the first one relative to respect for the right to development and peaceful use of advanced technologies, and the second, referring to the non-proliferation of weapons. of mass destruction, be they nuclear, chemical or biological, and their related vectors and technologies.

International public opinion demands concrete proposals regarding irreversible, verifiable and transparent disarmament. Argentina shares this vision. The delay in honoring obligations aimed at a world free of nuclear weapons does not result in the disappearance of the commitment, on the contrary, it reaffirms the need to raise the voice of the claim.

Unfortunately, experience shows that achievements in global peace, security and stability cannot be taken for granted and require an ongoing commitment to strengthening the agreements that are the basis for that progress.

For Argentina, the Treaty on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) continues to be the cornerstone of the regime for the disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. The next Review Conference, which will be chaired by Argentina, will serve to insist on the importance of defending the balance of obligations and rights for the States Parties that today, after more than 50 years, continues to be valid.

The entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is a clear and urgent goal. It is positive that every year more States are making the decision to sign or ratify it. However, it is likely that the only way this Treaty will finally enter into force is through a gesture from the Annex II countries.

The implementation of unilateral moratoriums by nuclear-weapon countries may confirm the nature of the CTBT as a jus cogens norm in international law. But moratoriums are not enough when you already have a full Treaty, a text that has proven to be a decisive force in finally ending nuclear testing and that has the ability to continue the active surveillance and monitoring that will be indispensable for the Complete Ban continues to be implemented.

Mr. president:

In the current international context of erosion of understandings on disarmament and non-proliferation, Argentina expresses its support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and agrees that this has been a step forward in the search for a comprehensive solution to the dispute over Iran's nuclear program and a concrete and positive contribution in favor of non-proliferation and international security. Argentina stresses once again the importance of preserving the negotiating effort that led to the achievement of the agreement.

Argentina considers that verification is essential and is applicable not only to non-proliferation instruments but also to disarmament. In this sense, work on Verification of Nuclear Disarmament such as that of the Group of Experts from 2018-19 and the one that will eventually be carried out in 2021-22 constitute important contributions that can lay the foundations, in a process that has the formality and legitimacy that grants it its operation within the framework of the United Nations, for concrete progress in the development of a robust verification regime for future multilateral disarmament agreements, without undermining the progress made in the area of ​​non-proliferation.

It is particularly important for a country like Argentina to highlight the role of non-possessor countries as legitimators of a disarmament process and its verification, especially within the framework of Article VI of the NPT. Key to this is the development of capacities so that all countries, both possessors and non-possessors, can make contributions and participate in the process.

Latin America has historically been at the forefront of disarmament and non-proliferation.

In 1991, Argentina and Brazil established the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC) to apply mutual safeguards, thus fostering mutual and international community trust on the exclusively peaceful nature of our respective nuclear plans. ABACC, with more than 25 years of existence, shows that there are valid alternatives for other regions where mistrust still exists.

Even before the entry into force of the NPT, the contribution to peace and security at the regional and global level that the 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco meant has been real and effective. Argentina calls, once again, on the nuclear weapon countries to review the interpretative declarations of the Treaty's Protocols.

Mr. president:

The use of chemical weapons by any actor, in any place or under any circumstance is unacceptable and constitutes a manifest violation of the international obligations emanating from the Chemical Weapons Convention and international law and all those responsible for their use must be brought to justice. Efforts must be made to act while maintaining unity of purpose and avoiding political divisions that lead to the weakening of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Argentina reaffirms the fundamental importance of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Storage of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction and renews its commitment to continue cooperating actively and constructively to advance in the objectives of the full implementation and universalization of the Convention, including through the presentation of confidence-building measures.

Mr. president:

Argentina has maintained an active role in complying with Resolution 1540 (2004), seeking to constantly update its regulatory framework, participating in the most important coordination mechanisms related to non-proliferation and technological and physical security, and improving its capabilities to the effective implementation of the mandate. In this sense, Argentina has been working in a coordinated manner with all the competent national bodies in the matter to update its National Implementation Report and its Matrix, which were presented in 2019.

Argentina observes with concern the increase in malicious activities in cyberspace that affect the normal functioning, even in the midst of a pandemic, of health, education and government institutions, as well as other critical infrastructure. Argentina actively participates in the meetings of the Open Composition Working Group, an inclusive and transparent environment, and hopes to agree on recommendations next March that will help promote responsible behavior by States and an open, free, safe and peaceful cyberspace.

Mr. president:

Argentina recognizes the common interest of all humanity and the sovereign right of every State to participate in the exploration and use of outer space for exclusively peaceful purposes and is convinced of the benefits that its use can bring to human development. Therefore, Argentina considers that the prevention of the arms race in outer space would avoid a serious danger to international peace and security.

Argentina recognizes the need to negotiate, within the framework of the Conference on Disarmament, a legally binding instrument on the prevention of the arms race in outer space. As long as this does not take place, the adoption of international transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities is undoubtedly appropriate and necessary.

Mr. president:

Small arms continue to be a central problem that affects peace and stability, the development of nations, and whose uncontrolled trade can intensify armed conflicts. Their impact is not only measured in the thousands of deaths and millions of daily injuries they cause, but also the effects they have due to the interruption of access to health, markets, education and human rights.

It is necessary to reiterate the importance of international mechanisms related to the subject and the need to explore synergies between them: The United Nations Program of Action, the International Tracing Instrument, the Firearms Protocol and the Arms Trade Treaty.

Argentina assigned great importance and maintains an active role and a continuous commitment to the Arms Trade Treaty, having been a co-author of the Treaty and chaired its VI Conference of States Parties, held under a written procedure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Argentina has been and continues to be a promoter of confidence-building and transparency measures in various fields and has participated in the process of establishing the Register of Conventional Arms. Proof of this commitment was the Argentine Chairmanship of the Group of Government Experts established pursuant to resolution 71/44.

Likewise, Argentina will present this year the draft resolution entitled "Information on confidence-building measures in the field of conventional weapons", for which it hopes to once again have the broad support of the international community.

Mr. president:

The current pandemic has shown what we all know. Threats to humanity require our common effort, our sharing of knowledge, and a clear understanding that we have a common destiny.






Fondo argentino de cooperación sur-sur y triangular