As a universal body with a mandate to make every effort to reach consensus, the Disarmament Commission could build on overcoming its 18‑year‑long deadlock to make a unique and constructive contribution to further signs of progress, from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s commitment to denuclearization to the reduction of strategic nuclear forces by the Russian Federation and the United States, delegates heard at the opening of its 2018 session, launching a new 3‑year cycle.
Given that global anxieties about nuclear weapons were higher than at any time since the cold war, measures for disarmament and arms control were more vital than ever before, said Thomas Markram, Director and Deputy to the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, speaking on behalf of the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. However, the Commission could only hope to realize progress if it avoided re‑litigating outcomes from other processes and reopening irreconcilable disputes.
GHOLAMALI KHOSHROO (Iran), associating himself with the Non‑Aligned Movement, said the new nuclear arms race, and efforts to modernize arsenals, must end. As nuclear‑weapon States had a legal obligation and an ethical and moral responsibility, they could not and should not insist on “such obscured and unrealistic strategies as deterrence”. Negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a comprehensive nuclear weapons convention must start soon. Outer space should be explored and utilized exclusively for peaceful purposes. The Commission should recommend that Israel join the Non‑Proliferation Treaty without conditions and place, as a non‑nuclear‑weapon party, its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards. For its part, Iran had fully implemented all its nuclear commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “However, the current irresponsible and destructive approach, policy and practice of the United States regarding the Plan of Action had seriously challenged its continuity,” he said. Iran’s implementation of its commitments could continue only if all other parties would continue implementing their obligations fully, effectively and unconditionally. “Iran will react proportionally to any continued significant non‑implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action commitments by one of its participants,” he said, adding that the agreement could not be renegotiated or altered. “The international community should not allow the United States’ Administration to continue to mock and undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”