Philippine statement delivered by Ambassador Teddy Locsin Jr. at the United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York, on August 30.
OVER a month ago 122 nations took the decisive step to bring the world closer to the shared aspiration of a nuclear weapons-free world. The Philippines, along with the other Asean members, was proud to be part of the historic moment that saw the adoption of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear-Weapons—a landmark agreement that strengthens the nuclear disarmament architecture, fulfills the goal set out in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and delegitimizes once and for all the use of nuclear weapons.
The treaty represents the universalization of the Philippines’s fervent hope to put nuclear weapons firmly on the path of extinction, as set forth in its constitution and in the Treaty on the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone.
During the negotiations on the nuclear-weapons ban, the Philippines championed the inclusion of nuclear testing in the list of prohibited acts. It proposed language that would have committed States Parties to undertake not, and I quote, “to carry out any nuclear-weapon test explosion or any other form of nuclear-weapons testing.” However, as treaty negotiations go, the language proposal was watered down.
Be that as it may, what is important is that, under the nuclear- weapons-ban treaty, States Parties undertake not to conduct nuclear- weapons tests. With this, the act of nuclear-weapons testing is effectively declared illegal under international law.
The Philippines looks forward to signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on September 20 and usher in this new phase in our collective goal for the complete, irreversible and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons.
The Philippines’s long-standing position against nuclear testing was first articul ated on the international stage when it signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1996. It lent its voice to the growing clamor that recognized the detrimental effect of nuclear testing to the environment and its horrific consequences to humankind, where the suffering of victims can span generations.
Today, as in the years past, we call upon the remaining eight fellow UN member-states to finally heed the humanitarian imperative against nuclear tests and exercise their role as responsible citizens of the global community by finally signing onto the Comprehensive
Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), thereby ushering it into force. The forthcoming Conference on the CTBT is the most opportune time to do this. It happens to be on the same day when the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will be opened for signature.
The actions of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea constitute a flagrant violation of Security Council resolutions and pose a clear and present danger to international peace and security. Its actions demonstrate the urgent need for the CTBT to enter into force. While the Philippines, along with its fellow Asean members, condemn DPRK’s missile tests, it underlines the need to establish the international legal landscape that expressly delegitimizes its actions—if only to clearly and unequivocally articulate the collective desire of the community of nations to put a stop to them once and for all.
Thank you, Mr. President.