2. My delegation would like to underline the importance of this session of the Preparatory Committee as it will obviously set a tone for future sessions and the Review Conference itself.
This session offers a unique opportunity for the States Parties to the NPT to advance the cause of global nuclear disarmament',
3. As we embark on the beginning for another review process of the NPT, we certainly look forward for further breakthroughs in our- efforts to strengthen nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regimes. However, al new beginning does not start from nothing. In this regard, we must also take stock of the performance of all NPT States Parties in fulfilling their obligations as set out in tie Preamble and Article VI of the Treaty. At the same time, we must take into account the commitments and responsibilities undertaken by the States Parties during the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, and ask ourself how much have those commitments and responsibilities been carried out. Based on this premise, my delegation fully supports those who have echoed the need for this session of the Preparatory Committee to make substantive progress in the coming days.
4. The Malaysian delegation has placed confidence in the NPT, albeit its apparent weaknesses. as a global instrument to check nuclear proliferation both horizontally as well as vertically. Like any other non-nuclear weapon States Parties to this Treaty, we bad foresworn in good faith any intention to develop and produce nuclear weapons. Together with other South East Asian countries we have negotiated and concluded a treaty which would prohibit the stationing of nuclear weapons in any form in the territories of South East Asia. As widely known, similar nuclear weapon free zones have been established in the South Pacific, Africa, Antarctica, Latin America and the Caribbean We would certainly welcome efforts to establish further such zones in other parts of the world.
5. While nuclear weapon free zones are important as a means to check nuclear proliferation, they cannot substitute for the primary goal that is, the global elimination of nuclear weapons. While these weapons exist anywhere, they threaten the security of the entire world. On this point, my delegation welcome the recent statement 61 retired generals and admirals that the continuing existence of nuclear weapons creates insecurity nor security. Furthermore, total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only Insurance bond. and guarantee against the threat of them being used in the future.
6. We acknowledge the important breakthroughs in the nuclear disarmament negotiations involving all or some of the nuclear weapon states. We arc encouraged by the on-going efforts in the direction of nuclear arms reduction, such as the recent announcement made in Helsinki by President Clinton and President Yeltsin that the United States and the Russian Federation plan to reduce their nuclear stockpile. However, we regret that these pledges do not go far enough and certainly fall far short of the expectation of non-nuclear weapon states. The nuclear weapon states have set no timeframe for the complete elimination of their nuclear arsenals, and will not, as they have made clear, enter into negotiations on such an objective.
7. My delegation also hopes that the NPT review process will also seriously consider the efforts that could be made to bring those few countries that remain outside of the Treaty into the NPT regime so as to realise its much-desired universality. My delegation warmly welcomes the adherence of eight more states to the Treaty as you noted in your opening remarks yesterday. In this regard, my delegation wishes to underscore she special role of the nuclear weapon states vis-a-vis the NPT as the fulfillment of their part of the "bargain" would be a critical factor in bringing about the universality of the Treaty. This includes the fulfillment of their commitments and obligations on inter-alia the questions of security assurances, fissile material cut-off, and timetable for complete nuclear disarmament.
8. During the 51st session of the UN General Assembly Malaysia introduced, on behalf of the co-sponsors, a Resolution pertaining to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice issued on 8 July 1996 on the legality of the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. The adoption of Resolution A51/45M by a large majority of non-nuclear weapon states was testimony to the serious concern, indeed frustration, of the international community over the lack of genuine seriousness and the extremely slow pace in negotiations on nuclear disarmament leading to the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons. The Resolution reinforced the unanimous opinion of the World Court which stressed that States Parties to the NPT have legal obligation not only to pursue "negotiation leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects", in accordance with Article VI of the NPT, but also to "bring to a conclusion such negotiations.
9. Resolution 51/45M also called upon all states to immediately by commencing multilateral negotiations in 1997 leading to an early nuclear weapon convention prohibiting the development, production, testing, deployment, stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination We are heartened to be joined in the call for such negotiations by the European Parliament in their resolution of March 13, 1997 which welcomed Resolution 51/45M and which calls for all states to support such negotiations. This is an unambiguous message for all states parties to the NPT, in particular for the nuclear weapon states.
10. My delegation looks forward to a fruitful discussion ahead of us, and we will endeavor to contribute in e discussion in this Preparatory Committee.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.