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04-08-2022 09:52

Statement by the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN, Ambassador Andreas Hadjichrysanthou, at the 10th Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

New York, 1 - 26 August 2022

Mr President,

At the outset, allow me to congratulate you on your election as Chair and assure you of my delegation’s full support and cooperation. We commend your efforts and hard work during the preparatory stage of this Conference under these challenging conditions. Cyprus subscribes fully to the statement of the European Union and wishes to add the following remarks concerning its national priorities:

Like other small states, our security relies heavily on the international system of collective security, including the disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control regimes. Global security is not served by the existence of nuclear weapons and we cannot overstate the importance of ensuring that no additional states acquire nuclear weapons. That said, NPT is the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and a key instrument in safeguarding international peace and security. Balancing the three pillars of the NPT is of primordial importance. In that regard, we note that some positive steps have been taken regarding the pillars of the non-proliferation and of the peaceful use of nuclear energy. We still need to see an extra effort regarding the disarmament pillar.    

We are particularly concerned about the effects on security of the heavily polarized international climate, as well as the potential of having an arms race in our immediate neighbourhood. There is a need to recommit to the full implementation of, and strict compliance with, the NPT as well as a diminished role of nuclear weapons in defense and security doctrines.

While we welcome the extension of the New START Treaty, we support the strengthening of international obligations through the entry into force of the CTBT and the adoption of an effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty. We also wish to see a swift return to full and effective implementation of the JCPoA, a great achievement of multilateral diplomacy and a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture.

With regards to nuclear energy safety, there is a need for an increased focus in our region. The inalienable right of all states to engage in peaceful programs of nuclear energy comes with the responsibility to use nuclear energy with utmost caution, complete transparency, and the highest possible environmental and human safety standards. States should avoid building nuclear power plants in areas of high seismicity or otherwise prone to natural disasters. We stress the need to have updated early warning systems concerning nuclear accidents with transboundary implications, particularly seismic early warning systems for nuclear power plants.

Before closing, let me reiterate that all of us have an individual and collective responsibility towards our societies and mankind. We need to engage in our deliberations with their safety and security in mind, with a view to the ultimate goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.

The commemoration of the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in a few days, provides us with a strong reminder of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use, and it should act as an incentive for all participants in this conference to strive for the best outcome possible in order to implement effectively all three pillars of the NPT.   

Thank you, Mr President.