Photo: Pressenza
Caption: World Peace March 2009 Kathamandu

The meeting took place during the General Debate of the First Committee during 66th Session of the UN General Assembly New York on October 6. Mr Acharya told Asian Media Net. Nepal is party to the NPT and CWC.

Since the NPT entered into force in 1970, three states that were not parties to the Treaty have conducted nuclear tests, namely India, Pakistan, and North Korea. North Korea had been a party to the NPT but withdrew in 2003. Israel is also widely believed to have nuclear weapons, though it has refused to confirm or deny this, and is not known to have conducted a nuclear test though there is strong suspicion about a test carried out with South Africa in the early 10970s. South Africa itself has the unique status of a nation that developed nuclear weapons but has since disassembled its arsenal before joining the NPT.

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. Its full name is the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction. The agreement is administered by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is an independent organization based in The Hague, Netherlands.

Nepal strongly believes in the elimination of nuclear weapons to attain nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation once and for all.

“Declaration of nuclear weapon free zones by concluding a binding treaty is a laudable step which would contribute towards the stepwise denuclearization of the world”, stated Mr Acharya.

Mentioning that the increasing availability and trafficking of small arms and light weapons around the world, but specifically in conflict zones, is a matter of serious concern, Mr Acharya also said conflict is the very antithesis of development and small arms have played havoc in the lives of the common people around the world.

Nepal fully supports the effective implementation of the Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons and Nepal supports the adoption of a legally binding instrument to regulate international arms transfer for transparency and accountability. In a like vein, Nepal stands for prevention of any arms race in outer space, Mr Acharya added.

The Conference on Disarmament, a single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, must be revitalized without delay to advance multilateral disarmament negotiations including on the Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT), Mr Acharya emphasised.

The Permanent Representative of Nepal to the UN said Nepal also believes that the convening of the Fourth Special Session of the General Assembly on Disarmament (SSOD-IV) would be an important step to take stock of the existing disarmament agenda and machinery in a holistic manner and devise a future course of actions. However, Nepal is saddened to learn that the global military expenditure today stands at over US$1.6 trillion, and has been rising in recent years despite the global financial and economic crises.

The Final Document of the International Conference on the Relationship between Disarmament and Development convened in 1987 had urged the international community to devote a greater part of their resources to economic and social development while keeping the military expenditure at the lowest possible level.

He also said Nepal strongly believes that regional mechanisms complement efforts to promote the global disarmament agenda. The Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament for Asia and the Pacific (RCPD) located in Kathmandu is making efforts to promote regional discussions on important disarmament agenda.

Given the importance of the Asia-Pacific region as well as the agenda, we believe that the “Kathmandu Process” needs to be revitalised to facilitate dialogue and deliberations on many contemporary challenges including confidence building in the region. As the host of the Centre, Nepal is fully committed to strengthening the Centre as an effective United Nations regional entity in building regional understanding and confidence for peace and disarmament.”

Mr Acharya said Nepal calls for an enhanced level of support to the Centre from the international community, particularly the member states from Asia and the Pacific region to enhance the importance of the work of the Centre.

As in the previous years, Nepal along with other cosponsoring countries, will be tabling a resolution on “United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific” at the current Session of the Committee, for which support from all delegations will be highly appreciated.

In conclusion, Mr Acharya reiterated that a multilateral approach should be at the centre of advancing non-proliferation and disarmament and promoting international peace and security.