Zambia urges global nuclear disarmament

Zambia’s permanent representative to the United Nations Ambassador Dr Mwaba Kasese-Bota has called for global nuclear disarmament.

The envoy said nuclear weapons had devastating effects on human life and the environment and that their possession threatened global human security.

She was speaking when at a meeting for the First Committee of the United Nations at UN Headquarters in New York.

“The only preventative action is to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons once and for all. In this light, Zambia welcomes the initiative by Mexico to hold a follow-up meeting on this question in February 2014.

Zambia remains strongly committed to the notion of general and complete disarmament and reaffirms her support for a world free of nuclear weapons,” said the ambassador.

Dr Kasese-Bota said Zambia was encouraged that all African states are parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and have agreed to declare the continent a nuclear weapons free zone.

“Zambia recently successfully hosted the 4th Meeting of States Parties (4MSP) to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). This was the first time the CCM was held on African soil. Zambia joins in urging all states yet to ratify or accede to the CCM to do so,” Dr Kasese-Bota told UN member states.

She said the 4MSP highlighted the broad rejection of cluster weapons by the majority of world states.

The ambassador said Zambia worked tirelessly to successfully conclude the negotiations that led to the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

The ATT will regulate international trade in conventional arms, from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships. Zambia signed the ATT on 25 September, 2013.

Zambia is a state party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The NPT is an international treaty meant to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.

The Treaty entered into force in 1970 and a total of 190 parties have joined the Treaty, including the five nuclear-weapon States. More countries have ratified the NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement, according to the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA).