Noting that the global arms control order, particularly in the nuclear realm, presents a “precarious picture”, Pakistan has called for rebuilding a more enduring and equitable international security architecture, as the build-up of strategic arms escalates.
“Nuclear disarmament obligations remain largely unfulfilled as evidenced by the constant shifting of goalposts towards additional non-proliferation measures,” Ambassador Khalil Hashmi told the United Nations General Assembly’s First Committee, which deals with disarmament and international security matters.
The integrity of long-standing rules continues to be eroded by carving out exceptions and pursuit of discriminatory policies, said Ambassador Hashmi, who is Pakistan’s permanent representative to UN offices in Geneva.
“The build-up of arms in the strategic realm is on the rise,” he said at UN Headquarters in New York, adding, “Military capabilities are assuming a force multiplier character due to growing weaponization and integration across nuclear, outer space, cyber, conventional and AI (Artificial Intelligence) domains.”
Nuclear dangers were increasing and the prospects of a nuclear war were “back within the realm of possibility”, he further said. A handful of states seemed determined to perpetuate the status quo to their continued strategic advantage, he added.
Consequently, the Pakistani envoy said that political and military tensions, strategic asymmetries and nuclear dangers are growing.
“Many of these troubling trends are manifest in South Asia where the largest state continues to be a net beneficiary of nuclear exceptionalism and discrimination in the application of international norms and legality,” Ambassador Hashmi said in an obvious reference to India’s arms build-up.
“It (India) remains a recipient of generous supplies of conventional and non-conventional weaponry, technology and platforms,” he added.
The Pakistani envoy said that nuclear weapons and their delivery systems no longer existed in isolation, and the need for rebuilding a more enduring and equitable international security architecture was obvious.
Pakistan, he said, remained committed to the goal of a world free from nuclear weapons in a universal, verifiable and non-discriminatory manner.
He further said that the objective could only be advanced via faithful adherence to and implementation of the cardinal principles enshrined in the first special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament, namely, that it was the primary responsibility of militarily significant states to pursue disarmament in an equitable and balanced manner and in a way that ensured that no individual state or group of states obtained advantages over others at any stage, and to achieve undiminished security at the lowest possible level of armaments and military forces.
Towards this end, the envoy said, Pakistan also reiterated its call for the immediate commencement of negotiations on a comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention.
Proposals for Negative Security Assurances (NSAs) have been on the Conference on Disarmament (CD) agenda for the longest duration, he said. Pakistan believes that the issue is most ripe for treaty negotiations and has the significant potential to create the necessary environment for confidence-building and easing of tensions, he added.
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