Monday, August 24, 2009

UPDATE: Acknowledgments of the entry into force of Pelindaba at the Conference on Disarmament

Unofficial transcript:

Algeria, Deputy Representative Boualem Chebihi
25 August 2009

"Mr. President, at a time when the Conference on Disarmament is continuing with its consultations in order to decide upon the best possible way of envisaging how to tackle its substantive work I wish to refer to the Pelindaba Treaty, which makes of Africa a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, and which entered into force following the deposit on the 15th of July 2009 of 28 ratification instruments. Algeria is one of the first few member states of the African Union that ratified this treaty. It signed it on the 11th of April 1996, ratified it on the 23rd of December1997 and deposited the instruments of ratification relevant thereto on 11th of April 1998.

We welcome this fortunate development that is taking place 13 years after official opening of this treaty for signature. This treaty, which is an important component of the architecture of the African Union concerning peace and security, prohibits the development, manufacture, stockpiling, acquisition, possession and use of nuclear weapons throughout the African continent and neighboring islands.

With this important stage, Africa is significantly strengthening the concept of a nuclear weapon free zone and is making significant contribution to the international regime at disarmament of non nuclear proliferation. The African continent is thereby reflecting its active commitment to the global combat in order to preserve humanity from the specter of nuclear war, and creating a world which is free of weapons of mass destruction.

In order to guarantee respect for the provisions by non party states, three protocols are annexed to the Treaty, including one which calls upon nuclear weapon states not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against parties to the treaty and against any territory within the zone. We take this opportunity to call upon those countries which has not yet done so, to accede to these protocols. We also encourage the other African signatory states to ratify the Treaty.

The establishment of nuclear weapons free areas, apart from strengthening the regime of nuclear non proliferation, strengthens peace and security in the regions covered, and also enables the states concerned to dedicate their resources to priorities of economic and social development. It is also important to highlight that with the entering into force of a nuclear weapons free area in Africa, it is henceforth the whole of the southern hemisphere that has become free of nuclear weapons".

Unofficial transcript:

Mexico, Deputy Representative Mabel Gómez Oliver
20 August 2009

"I finalize, Madame President, by referring to a comforting and encouraging fact. Amongst the very positive developments that we noted in the international community, concerning disarmament, my Delegation wishes to highlight and express its gratitude to the countries of the African continent for the entry into force, last 15th of July, of the Pelindaba Treaty, establishing a nuclear-weapons free area in Africa. With this, the Southern Hemisphere as a whole will be free of these weapons. No doubt Africa will be showing its commitment nuclear disarmament and non proliferation and I invite other States to acknowledge this fact".


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