First Committee - Statement of Iceland on Nuclear weapons cluster
L.41 “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations.”
Explanation of vote – Iceland – Nikulás Hannigan, DPR of Iceland
Iceland remains a consistent supporter and advocate of nuclear disarmament. We welcomed a dialogue among all states on how best to achieve this and participated in the fact-based approach to the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use. We believe that the only way to safeguard the world from the risk of nuclear detonation is through the elimination of all nuclear weapons. This is why we will support resolutions on united action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, on establishing nuclear weapons free zones, and on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
But we are also clear that nuclear disarmament can only be achieved with the direct involvement of the nuclear weapons states. The Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its Article VI, contains a clear legal obligation on nuclear disarmament. The upcoming review cycle of the NPT will be a key opportunity for focusing on how we move along the road to total elimination of nuclear weapons.
We share the frustration of many non-nuclear weapons states that disarmament has progressed too slowly in recent years. There are concrete steps that can be taken along the road to disarmament. This is why we are cosponsors of the resolutions on verification and decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons, and support the resolution on the Treaty banning production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.
Resolution L.41 launches a negotiation process for a binding legal instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons. But it is clear that the NWS are very unlikely to sign up. It will therefore be unable to achieve its key goal of eliminating nuclear weapons. Worse, there is a great risk it will undermine the force of the NPT, where there are clear legal obligations and a clear structure for involving the NWS. It would move the focus to a forum where the NWS are not present and have no legal obligations. We believe that this resolution does not bring us closer, but in fact further away from our common ideal of a world without nuclear weapons.
For these reasons Iceland voted against the resolution “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations.”