S. Africa reiterates commitment to multilateralism, UN-led endeavor in solving disarmament challenge

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-23 05:50:43|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- South Africa reiterated on Thursday its commitment to multilateralism and the centrality of the United Nations in solving today's challenges including that of nuclear disarmament.

Speaking at the UN Security Council meeting on "Threats to International Peace and Security," Jerry Matjila, permanent representative of South Africa to the UN, said "South Africa's primary concern on matters of international peace and security is the threat posed to humanity by weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons and their means of delivery."

"It is our firm view that the only guarantee against the intended or accidental detonation of these weapons is their total elimination," Matjila said.

It is equally concerning that some Nuclear Weapons States still insist on the modernization of their nuclear arsenals and their means of delivery in flagrant violation of the letter and spirit of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), he said.

"It is indeed deeply troubling that a long-established arms control instrument such as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty has unravelled, placing not only the region of Europe but the whole world at risk of a nuclear war," the South African diplomat said, adding that his country also wishes to use this timely opportunity to urge both the United States and Russia to resume discussions on the New START Treaty before the Treaty expires in 2021.

Such an undertaking by the two premier nuclear powers would be an appropriate and a fitting tribute to the NPT, whose 50th Anniversary we mark in 2020, he said.

As the international community will be commemorating the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on September 26 this year, let it serve as a constant and painful reminder to the international community of its unfulfilled commitments and obligations to eliminate nuclear weapons, as envisaged in the very first resolution adopted by the General Assembly in 1946, Matjila said.

"As we approach the 75th anniversary of the United Nations in 2020, it is our view that we should reflect deeply and reaffirm our commitment towards the realization of a world free of nuclear weapons," he said.

South Africa joins the majority of member states in voicing deepest concern regarding the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons as aptly outlined in the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which opened for signature on September 20, 2017, he said.