I would like to thank the States who have called for a public debate on an issue that clearly concerns all Member States of the Organization, since it has to do with addressing the threat of the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by non-State players. It is, therefore, essential to face this threat as a united front, with optimal effectiveness and a full understanding of what is involved.
The possibility of terrorist networks pursuing illegal trafficking of technologies and material that could be used to produce WMD indeed constitutes a serious threat to the security of all of us. This should compel us to act without delay to prevent the irreversible from taking place.
This is why my country would like to express its full support for — and endorsement of — the goal set forth by the sponsors of the draft resolution of addressing this fearsome threat and filling the admitted gaps in international law. Indeed, there is nothing in international treaties that could fully protect us against the risk of WMD falling into the hands of terrorist groups.
In the absence of binding international standards, and because of the seriousness and the urgent nature of the threat, the response to it needs to be articulated and formulated by the Security Council. It is understood that, in shouldering this responsibility, the Security Council is acting in an exceptional manner, since, clearly, the Charter does not give it a mandate to legislate on behalf of the international community, but simply gives it the principle responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
In accordance with Article 25 of the Charter, the Members of the United Nations will accept and implement the decisions that the Security Council will take in this area. From this standpoint, it does not even seem necessary for the Security Council to take action under Chapter VII. If it does, perhaps it should only do so for the three first paragraphs of the draft resolution, as my Brazilian colleague has just proposed. At the same time, and parallel to the implementation of the resolution that the Security Council adopts, an intergovernmental process aimed at finalizing an international legal instrument on this issue should be
initiated and rapidly completed, perhaps in the Conference on Disarmament or elsewhere.
That being the case, I would like to recall that, with respect to the relationship between States and WMD, widely accepted treaties do exist. Their relevance and validity must be consolidated and, at the same time, reaffirmed. In this regard, it is useful to underscore that the draft resolution needs to limit itself to filling the gaps that exist in international law, that is, the relationship between WMD and non-State players. It should not create obligations for States that would be in addition to or compete with those that are provided for by the above-mentioned treaties, or that could weaken or modify the international regimes established by two of these treaties.
It is evident that the most effective way to counter WMD is to completely eliminate them. This is clearly the principal goal of the three basic treaties and their protocols, and thus States parties must scrupulously and fully implement the provisions of these international instruments.
From this standpoint, I believe it appropriate to recall that the five nuclear-weapons Powers did unequivocally commit to eliminate their nuclear stockpiles at the Sixth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), over which it was my honour to preside in 2000, here in New York. The 2005 NPT Review Conference, the third preparatory session of which will begin next week here in New York, will undoubtedly offer us an opportunity to clearly assess the progress made in this area since 2000.
In other words, proliferation in all its aspects and disarmament are, for us, part of the same equation. This is why we believe that it is appropriate and necessary for this draft resolution to reaffirm the need to work towards disarmament.
Similarly, we believe that the emergence of WMD-free zones, based on freely agreed arrangements, would be an ideal contribution to non¬proliferation, as the United Nations Disarmament Commission expressed very clearly in 1999. We also believe that this draft resolution must unambiguously reaffirm the legitimate right of States to peacefully use nuclear-related materials and technologies.
Lastly, the establishment of a monitoring committee, whose mandate must be determined in advance, should include the provision of a sunset clause. It should also provide unequivocal support for existing disarmament mechanisms, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as key means of implementing the objectives of disarmament and non¬proliferation.