Statement by the Honourable Hugh Todd
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
To Commemorate and Promote the International Day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
2 October 2020
As we commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. The need and urgency expressed decades ago, remains as urgent today since it is our firm belief that nuclear disarmament would encourage and promote global peace and stability.
Nuclear weapons are the most dangerous weapons made by mankind. They pose an existential threat to the entire human race and by extension, planet Earth. In this regard, it was an explicit expression that the first resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1946 sought to institute arrangements that could eventually lead to the “elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction.”
Decades later, the record of achievements fall short of the commitments made. Guyana applauds the many initiatives, including legal measures developed to make the world nuclear-weapons-free. In particular, Guyana recognizes the adoption of the Treaty on the Total Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which was an accomplishment not only for this organization but for the world as a whole. Guyana was honoured on September 20, 2017 to be the first country sign and ratify the Treaty, a testimony of our commitment.
Notably, we face a more uncertain future, spending on nuclear weapons and armaments continue to rise, and is of much concern, since it appears that political will necessary to drive the process is severely lacking . The existence of the threat of or use of nuclear weapons is not only a source of continuing global unease, but the production, possession and or modernization of such weapons also deprive the world of invaluable resources which can be meaningfully invested in peace initiatives, especially as we embark on the Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development.
Guyana commits to a policy of advocacy for the total elimination of nuclear weapons and we urge all Member States, industrialized, emerging and developing economies, to join us in advancing these objectives by quickly ratifying the Total Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Treaty. The early entry into force of the treaty will give strength to international norms and standards regarding the total elimination of nuclear weapons. We have a moral duty and commitment to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
The Latin American and Caribbean region continues to be a leader in this regard in keeping with the commitments of the Treaty of Tlatelolco. For its part, Guyana will continue to actively support these efforts and will join hands committed while traversing the path to peace through disarmament.
I thank you.
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