Nigeria has restated its calls for the total elimination of nuclear weapons to engender a peaceful and secured world.
Audu Kadiri, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Offices in Geneva and Other International Organisations, stated this in Gemeva at the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
The International Day Against Nuclear Tests, is observed annually on August 29.
Mr Kadiri said: “On the issue of Disarmament and Security Assurances, Nigeria’s view remains unchanged. As a non-nuclear weapon state, Nigeria has and will continue to take its obligations under the NPT seriously.
“For us, the nuclear weapons option was never contemplated in the first place. Nigeria’s basic position has always been that as long as nuclear weapons exist, they constitute a threat to international security and indeed all of humanity.
According to him, the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of a nuclear weapons detonation in today’s world can best be imagined.
“It is for this reason that Nigeria holds the view that the most effective and credible guarantee against the threat of the use of nuclear weapons lies in their complete and total elimination through a verifiable and irreversible programme of global disarmament.
“Pursuant to this goal and cognisant of the lethargy on disarmament expressed clearly by the stalemate of the Conference on Disarmament and the nearly five decades journey of the NPT which has not resulted in the ultimate goal of disarmament.”
Mr Kadiri noted that Nigeria in concert with like-minded countries successfully concluded negotiations and adopted the NPT in New York in July 2017, saying several Member States, including Nigeria have signed on and are now in the process of ratification, the Nigerian envoy added.
According to him, the overwhelming numbers of Member States of the UN, Parties to NPT, who support the treaty was a further testament to the shared global aspiration for nuclear disarmament.
He expressed the hope that nuclear weapon States would take adequate note that the international community has achieved an agreement of the minds that in today’s world, nuclear weapons have no place.
Accordingly, Mr Kadiri said, Nigeria looks forward to clear, concrete and transparent actions by nuclear weapon States on their measurable, transparent and verifiable commitments towards nuclear disarmament at the earliest possible date.
He said: “Furthermore, pending the achievement of the ideal of disarmament, Nigeria continues to support the de-alerting initiative as a confidence building measure and as a pragmatic approach to disarmament.
‘We are of the view that de-alerting could provide the much needed signal that nuclear weapon states take their responsibilities seriously in the leading to the 2020 Review Conference.
“Nigeria reminds all, that the grand bargain of nuclear non- proliferation, nuclear disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy on which the NPT was construed, embodies the recognition that the indefinite possession of nuclear weapons by some states undermines efforts to prevent their proliferation.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the moral watershed in the clarion call for the non-proliferation and eventual elimination of these weapons of extreme terror, is the recognition that no one could claim to be safe and secure as long as there exists thousands of nuclear warheads, while others are making spirited efforts to acquire or produce more of these lethal arsenal”.
He said the Nigerian delegation continued to look forward to the actualisation of commitments expressed by nuclear weapon States to accelerate concrete progress on the steps leading to nuclear disarmament.
The Nigerian delegation urged them to respond to the urgent call contained in Action 5 of the “Action Plan of the 2010 Review Conference on disarmament of nuclear weapons” and report to the Review Process of the Treaty on the progress made in this regard.
On security assurances, the Nigerian envoy said while we continue working towards achieving a nuclear weapons free world, we must not underestimate the value of “incremental success”.
He said “incremental success” means continuing progress on nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, sustained cooperation in peaceful uses and an unconditional granting of negative security assurances to non-nuclear- weapon states in a legally binding framework without further delay.
“We are gathered in Geneva to work assiduously for a successful 2020 Review Process of the NPT in order to provide the platform for a peaceful and secure world for the present and future generations.
“It is an achievable target and Nigeria is all for it and ready to work for it. You can count on my delegation’s support,” the Nigerian envoy stressed.