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Thursday Jun 29 2017

Nuclear arms race will set back disarmament efforts: Maleeha Lodhi

FILE: Dr Maleeha Lodi addressing at the United Nations - INP

Pakistan has told the UN Security Council that declared plans by one nuclear weapons state to expand its nuclear capabilities would renew an arms race and seriously set back global disarmament efforts.

Speaking in the Security Council debate on 'Global efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-State actors', Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN, Dr Maleeha Lodhi criticised one of the P-5 states which has vowed to "greatly strengthen and expand nuclear capabilities by outmatching and outlasting potential competitors".  

These plans Dr Lodhi warned, "would renew a nuclear arms race".

She argued that disarmament and non-proliferation were organically linked and criticised those Nuclear Weapon States that were neither willing to give up their large inventories of nuclear weapons nor their modernization programmes, even as they pursue non-proliferation with messianic zeal.

Dr Lodhi also pointed out that grant of discriminatory waivers to some and making exceptions out of power or profit considerations remained a key challenge to non-proliferation norms and rules.

These "special arrangements", she warned, carry obvious proliferation risks and open up the possibility of diversion of the material intended for peaceful uses for military purposes, in addition to undermining regional strategic stability.

The Pakistani envoy made a strong case for Pakistan's NSG membership by highlighting her country's credentials as a credible global partner in international non-proliferation efforts.

She expressed Pakistan's commitment to Security Council's resolution 1540 and told the Council that Pakistan had submitted its fifth national implementation report as a manifestation of that commitment.

Ambassador Lodhi called for strengthening the non-proliferation regime through transparent, objective and non-discriminatory criteria that ensured equal treatment of non-NPT applicants for the NSG's membership.

She emphasised the importance of staying a step ahead of non-State actors, that seek to kill and maim innocent people by using WMDs, especially in view of the rapid advancements in science and technology.

Dr Lodhi called for leveraging the cooperative approach as spirit of national ownership that resolution 1540 engendered.

Stressing the importance of supporting member states in need of assistance for implementation of resolution 1540, Ambassador Lodhi expressed Pakistan's readiness to offer assistance to interested states for capacity building, technical assistance and training in collaboration with the 1540 Committee, in the areas of regulatory infrastructure in export controls and nuclear security, commodity identification training for enforcement officials,training for licensing officers, internal compliance, industry outreach and public awareness raising as well as specialized courses in the field of nuclear safety and nuclear security, CWC-related assistance and protection courses.

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