NEW YORK — ASEAN supports international efforts in non-proliferation and disarmament of weapons of mass destruction and strictly adheres to related UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons, Vietnamese Ambassador Đặng Đình Quý said.
He made the statement on the behalf of ASEAN at an annual debate of the UN General Assembly’s Disarmament and International Security Committee (First Committee) on Saturday which also saw the presence of UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir and UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu.
Quý voiced ASEAN’s concerns over the existence of nuclear weapons and the consequences of using them, saying ASEAN backs the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and the full implementation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
ASEAN called on all nations to join and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) to enable the deals to enter into force soon, he continued.
The Vietnamese ambassador also emphasised the importance of continued dialogues and negotiations to resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issues, adding ASEAN stands ready to assist related parties in advancing the process.
He reiterated ASEAN’s supports for efforts to manage and control conventional and new weapons and the peaceful use of outer space and that ASEAN is committed to maintain a nuclear-weapon-free Southeast Asia.
The diplomat highlighted cooperation between ASEAN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy as well as work of the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC) to address post-war bomb and mine aftermaths.
Ambassador Quý also represented Việt Nam at the virtual Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) held on October 9 under the chair of Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Araz Azimov.
This year’s theme of the event was “Bandung +65: More Relevant, United and Effective NAM against Emerging Global Challenges, including COVID-19.”
Việt Nam, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and ASEAN Chair this year, reiterated that top priority must be placed on preventing conflicts and peacefully settling international disputes and global challenges for a world of peace, security and sustainable development.
In his remarks at the event, Ambassador Quý urged the NAM to continue to play a key role in promoting respect for law and democratisation of international relations; opposing power-based politics and working for the lifting of unilateral sanctions.
He said the NAM should further strengthen coordination of stances at the UN and other international organisations to guarantee the equal, substantive and democratic participation of all members, especially in formulating strategies, programmes and international mechanisms relating to sustainable development.
To overcome challenges caused by COVID-19, all members should take effective measures to stimulate demand, prevent protectionism, restructure the economy and provide adequate resources for efforts to respond to the crisis and realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he noted.
The ambassador added that the NAM also needs to strengthen unity and uphold Bandung principles, notably respect for each other’s sovereignty, non-interference in the internal affairs of states, no use or threat to use force in international relations and settlement of disputes via peaceful means.
Participants at the NAM’s Ministerial Meeting adopted a Political Declaration reiterating the goals and principles of the Bandung Conference, along with a Special Declaration extending support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan in accordance with the principled position of NAM. — VNS