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  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, Cluster 2 Brazil, May 14, 1999

Cluster 2

14 May 1999

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation would like to make some brief remarks on the issue of nuclear-weapon-free-zones.

As already pointed out by previous delegations, a significant development has taken place recently with the adoption by the United Nations Disarmament Commission, after three years of

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discussions, of a document with guidelines on this matter. We would like to reiterate our deep appreciation for the work done by the Chairman of the Commission, Minister Maged Abdelaziz of Egypt, and the Chairman of the Working Group, Ambassador Emiho Izquierdo of Ecuador.

That document indeed provides a significant contribution to a more comprehensive understanding of the various aspects involved in efforts to consolidate and establish nuclear-weapon-free-zones. It builds upon ideas, concepts as well as calls that have been the subject of many resolutions adopted over the last decades by the UN General Assembly.

Since SSOD-I in 1978, it has been recognized that the establishment of and respect for nuclear-weapon-free-zones, based on agreements freely arrived at among States of the region concerned, constitute an important disarmament measure. They indeed enhance regional and global peace and security, strengthen the non-proliferation regime and contribute to other efforts leading to a world without nuclear weapons. This is the conceptual framework which the UNDC document builds upon with a view to developing guidelines and recommendations on the way ahead.

Brazil's wholehearted support to the establishment of such zones dates back to the very conclusion in 1967 of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which has rendered Latin America and the Caribbean the first nuclear-weapon-free zone in a inhabited region of the world. More recently, since 1996, and together with several other States Parties to existing agreements on this matter, we have been sponsoring a Resolution in the UN General Assembly, which is intended to take account of the progressive emergence of a nuclear weapon-free Southern Hemisphere and adjacent areas. It takes stock of this reality and urges steps to consolidate it.

Intensive consultations were held in the last two years and refinements were introduced in the text in order to accommodate concerns expressed in relation to the freedom of the high seas and the rights of passage through maritime space. These concerns were more than adequately addressed in the text, and we are pleased to note that this initiative is receiving increasing support, as demonstrated by the voting patterns of the last two years, particularly that of 1998, when 154 States voted in favour of the Resolution.

Mr. Chairman,

We are of the view that the 2000 Review Conference of the NPT should take ftill account of the developments that have taken place in this field since 1995. We welcome the fact that various delegations have already proposed language to be included in one or more of the final products of the Conference. Most of the proposals are currently reflected in the two Chairman's Working Papers. We are of the view that this issue should be reflected in both the backward-looking and forward-looking products, irrespective of their eventual format.

Developments such as the conclusion of the treaties of Bangkok and Pelindaba, and thereby the progressive emergence a nuclear-weapon-free Southern Hemisphere and adjacent areas, must be duly reflected in the retrospective document. Likewise, the consolidation of existing zones by means of the increased ratification of the additional protocols providing for negative security assurances on the part of the nuclear-weapon states is an important element to be added to that document. Consultations underway on the Protocols of the Treaty of Bangkok should be welcomed. The steps taken by Central Asian States to establish a nuclear-weapon-free-zone in that region must be commended. The intention of States Parties to existing zones to explore ftlrther ways and means of increasing cooperation among their respective nuclear-weapon-free zones should also be acknowledged with appreciation.

On the forward-looking document, we believe that a number of calls should be made. The early ratification of the additional Protocols to the existing treaties by the nuclear-weapon States which have not yet do so is naturally a goal to be pursued. A call for all States to consider all relevant proposals, including those reflected in resolutions on the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free-zones in the Middle East and South Asia, is also essential. Finally, a forward-looking reference on the expansion of cooperation among existing zones would be pertinent.

Without prejudice to other proposals, these are the main ideas on this matter that we would like to see reflected in the final products of the 2000 Review Conference.

In fact Mr. Chairman Brazil support to the establishment of Zones of Peace is not limited to NWFZ. In partnership with 21 other African and South American countries, we have promoted the concept of the Zone of Peace and Cooperation of the South Atlantic, and together with our partners of Mercosul, Chile and Bolivia, we have declared, in Ushuaia, in 1998, our corner of the world a Zone of Peace free from arms of mass destruction. In this spirit, the Brazilian delegation pledges its flill support in your efforts, Mr. Chairman, to find common approaches on the important issue of NWFZ.

Thank you.