10 Sep

Intervention delivered on 10 September 2015, by H.E. Ambassador Katalin Bogyay, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations, at the General Assembly on the 2015 Observance of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests.

Distinguished Madame Chair, Distinguished Colleagues, Members of the Panel,

I wish to commend the initiative of Kazakhstan to observe the International Day of Nuclear Tests and for its pioneering decisions in the field. We share the ambition to further increase awareness on the effects of nuclear explosions.

We are all deeply moved by the words of the distinguished Permanent Representative of Kiribati, helping us to always remember what is really behind the notion “nuclear test”.

I thank all the speakers for their insight and for their different perspectives on this important topic.

We are speechless just listening to the Goodwill Ambassador of the ATOM Project. Mr. Karipbek Kuyukov, being a victim of the effects of nuclear radiation is also living proof of how the human spirit and, since he is a well-known painter, art, can triumph over the horrors of nuclear testing. But after being totally speechless, moved and inspired by Dr. Helfand’s words, we also understand that we have to act, and we have to act together!.

In the last two years Hungary together with Indonesia, has acted as Article XIV coordinator where we exerted a lot of effort to bring about the universalization of the treaty, with small successes.

In the meantime, the CTBTO, with no functioning treaty behind it, has nonetheless created the most sophisticated, almost universal international detection system that already keeps tab on any and all nuclear tests.

Also, regardless the seemingly futile efforts to bring the CTBT into force, and to bring nuclear disarmament closer, there are more and more countries and world leaders, including the CTBT Group of Eminent Persons, lending their support to this agenda.

Today’ event is a stark reminder of one of the biggest contradictions in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation: With the signature by 183 States and ratification by 164, the CTBT has achieved nearly universal adherence, but it still could not enter into force.

The year 2015 is acknowledged as time to make a new commitment to action for the sake of generations to come. We will have the Sustainable Development Agenda, development financing agreed in Addis Ababa, and hopefully the climate deal in Paris in December, just to name a few. The paradigm change of the 21st century is that the world’s overall prosperity and States’ own interests are interdependent and therefore, cannot be achieved at the cost of the other. We do not yet see the same logic and determination in the field of disarmament.

The world’s most representative, deliberative body is not at all deliberative when it comes to nuclear disarmament. While the Latin word deliberatio(n) stands for careful consideration, in this field, true dialogue is often replaced by entrenched positions. There is hardly any new proposal to which we would not immediately apply the old logic, determining its fate before negotiations start.


Madame Chair,

This contradiction of logic is the one that we have to challenge. It is not at all “mission impossible”. Our own recent examples prove that we can turn our backs to business as usual.

Just to give you one example in the field of nuclear testing: Many of the remaining non-Annex 2 States of CTBT have already committed not to conduct nuclear tests or not to allow testing on their territories in the framework of regional nuclear weapon-free zones. For those countries, signature and ratification of the CTBT would not entail any additional legal obligation. Therefore, more synergy need to be built with regional nuclear weapon-free zones.

Then, the remaining 8 Annex 2 States also need to find their own innovative ways to contribute to the world’s overall security, while preserving their own security interests. This would help us in resolving the “CTBT contradiction”, and let me quote Minister Szijjártó on this: „In nearly twenty years, the CTBT has become an essential element of global security and the provider of a unique monitoring system. It is high time for the Treaty to achieve the one thing it hasn’t achieved yet: to enter into force.”

Hungary’s term in office, along with Indonesia, as Article XIV co-ordinator is approaching its end. We feel reassured, although there is unfinished business that has to be left behind. However, there is no contradiction in this, as we are transferring this important duty to two countries also truly dedicated to the objectives of the CTBT: Kazakhstan and Japan.

I thank you, Madame Chair!

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