UN Millennium Summit
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Note: the summit was attended by 190 states. For comprehensive coverage, including full texts of all statements, see the UN’s special website, http://www.un.org/millennium.
“II. Peace, Security and Disarmament
8. We will spare no effort to free our peoples from the scourge of war, whether within or between states, which has claimed more than 5 million lives in the past decade. We will also seek to eliminate the dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction.
9. We resolve, therefore:
10. We urge Member States to observe the Olympic Truce, individually and collectively, now and in the future, and to support the International Olympic Committee in its efforts to promote peace and human understanding through sport and the Olympic ideal.”
Note: a number of countries placed reservations on their approval of the Declaration’s endorsement of the possibility of convening an international conference on eliminating nuclear dangers. For France, Yves Doutriaux noted: “We recall our preference for convening a fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament.” For the US, Betty King drew attention to Washington’s “strong and oft-repeated reservations to such a conference.” For Russia, Gennadi Gatilov argued that “the process of the elimination of the nuclear threat should take place in the context of the strengthening of strategic stability.” Chinese delegate Dhongua Wang, while expressing sympathy with the call for such a conference, urged that it “be convened under the existing disarmament framework.” (Statements kindly provided by Jim Wurst, UN Coordinator, Middle Powers’ Initiative and Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy.)
Statements on Arms Control
Belarus (President Alexsandr Lukashenko, September 6): “Belarus proceeds from an assumption that military force cannot be a legitimate instrument of foreign policy in the 21st century. The intention to make the world a safer place was the main motive behind our decision to renounce the status of a nuclear state. I do not understand those state leaders who speak so persistently of the threat of nuclear proliferation but at the same time do not want to take on responsibility for making Central and Eastern Europe [a zone] free of nuclear weapons, as proposed by Belarus.”
Canada (Prime Minster Jean Chretien, September 7): “We must work harder to deny the agents of violence and conflict their sources of supply, by halting the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, and by controlling the illicit trade in diamonds. We must keep moving ahead with initiatives that put the security of people first. The Ottawa Treaty on Landmines and the Statute of the International Criminal Court are milestones marking our way. This month, Canada will host an International Conference on War-Affected Children.”
China (President Jiang Zemin, September 6): “To build common security is the prerequisite to the prevention of conflicts and wars. The Cold War mentality must be abandoned once and for all, and a new security concept based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation should be established. All international disputes and regional conflicts should be resolved through peaceful means. Effective disarmament and arms control should be realized according to the principle of fair, reasonable, comprehensive and balanced reduction. All countries should take part in the discussion and settlement of the question of disarmament as it bears on the international security.”
Croatia (President Stipe Mesic, September 7): “Let us harness our forces and endure in our efforts to curb the arms race, which is wasteful and lethal in every respect. Let us conclude new treaties, and reinforce our support of existing treaties covering this field, particularly with regard to mine control, and the control of small-bore weapon production and trade.”
Egypt (Foreign Minister Amre Moussa, September 7): “Egypt calls for the enhancement of the role and efficacy of the United Nations in maintaining international peace and security, as well as confronting new challenges that have emanated in the past decade. A stable and efficacious system should be established for collective security and issues related to disarmament, primarily weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons. A more effective role should be assumed in making and maintaining peace.”
France (President Jacques Chirac, September 6): “[P]eace is our peoples’ most precious possession. Peace that needs to be strengthened unceasingly through greater efforts to achieve non-proliferation and disarmament, with universal ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and new negotiations on biological weapons, ballistic weapons and small arms.”
India (Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, September 8): “The continued existence of nuclear weapons is a threat to global security in this new century, as in the century gone by, which not only saw the development but also the tragic use of weapons of mass destruction. The international community has successfully diminished, if not entirely removed, the threat posed by chemical and biological weapons. But not so with nuclear weapons. In fact, despite all the talk of nuclear disarmament from various forums, the stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, in the custody of those who were the first to build up such a deadly arsenal, remain virtually untouched. It would seem that we are still far away from achieving a goal that can assure the survival of humanity in the new millennium.
India was forced to acquire these weapons in 1998 because the principal nuclear-weapon states refused to accept the almost universal demand for nuclear disarmament. Moreover, the spread of nuclear weapons in our neighbourhood made us especially vulnerable. Nevertheless, our policy is based on responsibility and restraint and we continue to press for universal, verifiable nuclear disarmament with undiminished commitment, even while safeguarding our strategic space and autonomy in decision-making. International peace cannot be divorced from the need for equal and legitimate security for all. We support the Secretary General’s proposal for an international conference to address nuclear dangers.
In the interregnum, India continues with its voluntary moratorium on further underground nuclear test explosions. India remains committed to working for the successful conclusion of her security dialogue with key interlocutors on the CTBT. I reiterate our position that we will not prevent the entry into force of the CTBT. At the same time, all other countries which must ratify the CTBT under Article XIV of the Treaty, should do so without condition. India also remains committed to participate in negotiations on a Treaty that will prohibit the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. We will participate in these discussions in good faith and in order to ensure a Treaty that is non-discriminatory and meets India’s security imperatives.”
Indonesia (President Abdurrahman Wahid, September 8): “Disarmament, with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s resources, is one of the primary objectives enshrined in the Charter. Consequently, the General Assembly has, over the years, formulated principles and defined the issues relating to disarmament. Although the implementation of these principles into concrete plans of action has remained an elusive goal, the role of the General Assembly in charting the future direction of disarmament and in mobilizing world public opinion should continue to be of cardinal importance. In the post-Cold War era, new attitudes and approaches emerged, bringing fresh impetus to the long dormant disarmament scene. We were all united in the resolve to bring into force the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. We are all equally determined with the phenomenon of international arms transfers mobilize modern technology in the cause of disarmament and for peaceful purposes. The vast growth in the arsenals of conventional weapons also require our urgent consideration. Above all, the elimination of nuclear armaments to which all member states are committed must be expedited under multilateral auspices.”
Ireland (Bertie Ahern, Taoiseach, September 6): “Ireland’s commitment to disarmament is well known, with a broad consistency of position running from our NPT initiative forty years ago to our current activities in the New Agenda Coalition. We are deeply concerned that the post-Cold War opportunities are not being fully grasped; we will continue to avail of every opportunity to push for greater progress.”
Japan (Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, September 7): “The issues of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation must not be forgotten as we think about the twenty-first century. At the 2000 NPT Review Conference held this spring, a great step-forward toward realizing the elimination of nuclear weapons was made, with the unanimous agreement among participating states, including nuclear-weapon States, on practical steps toward nuclear disarmament, including ‘an unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination’ of their nuclear arsenals. Japan, as the only country to have suffered nuclear devastation, earnestly desires that all countries join hands to free the twenty-first century from the fear and danger of nuclear weapons, and to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In accordance with that desire, Japan will submit at the Millennium Assembly a new draft resolution on the elimination of nuclear weapons.”
Kazakhstan (President Nursultan A. Nazarbaev, September 6): “[Together with Kyrgyztan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, we] believe it is necessary to convene a special meeting of the Security Council devoted to the situation in Afghanistan and Central Asia to develop practical measure to stabilize the situation. The threat of nuclear proliferation could also be included in its agenda, since a strong confrontation has developed among some nuclear-weapons states. A number of countries of the region are at the threshold of acquiring these weapons. After the disintegration of the USSR, Kazakhstan inherited a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons. Our country has set a precedent by a voluntarily renouncing this arsenal. That is why today we again call on all nuclear-weapon states to take concrete steps to eliminate nuclear arms.”
Laos (Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad, September 7): “The unjustified stockpiling and development of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction continue to be a serious threat to the survival of humankind. Moreover, some major powers have updated their strategic defense doctrines and set out new rationales for the use of nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, in the last NPT Review Conference…the nuclear-weapons states have, for the first time ever, agreed to eliminate all of their nuclear arsenals. This has been a step that will lead to a complete nuclear disarmament. Based on these positive results, the nuclear and non-nuclear-weapon states must work together seriously and take concrete steps that would pave the way towards building a world free from nuclear weapons. The Lao PDR together with the ASEAN countries has agreed to make Southeast Asia a zone free of nuclear weapons and now is at its last stage of the ratification process of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.”
Libya (Abdurrahman M. Shalghem, Secretary of the General People’s Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation, September 8): “The Ottawa Convention on anti-personnel mines deals only with simple weapons of limited effect. We, as one of the Third World peoples who are incapable of defending our borders and our lands against the powerful who possess aircraft carriers and aircraft that refuel during flight, feel that humanity should be preoccupied with the destruction of nuclear, chemical, and germ weapons, as well as ballistic weapons, rather than being concerned with mines, which are a simple form of weaponry.”
Mozambique (President Joaquim Alberto Chissano, September 6): “Our desires and aspirations can only be realized in a stable and peaceful environment. Disarmament, peace and international security continue to be crucial to the aspirations of all humanity and as such, it is also a critical challenge of the new millennium. It is essential that efforts be intensified in the search for general disarmament, including the total destruction of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons. Illegal traffic of small arms and light weapons should be prevented through international concerted efforts.”
New Zealand (Prime Minister Helen Clark, September 6): “Our passion for nuclear disarmament is well known. In the 1980s we declared ourselves nuclear free because of our belief in the immorality of nuclear weapons and because we knew that nuclear war would be a catastrophe for our planet. We have also dedicated ourselves to the hard, slow, painstaking work of advancing disarmament at the multilateral level. Years of working with others for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty paid off. Now our goal, working with our partners in the New Agenda grouping, is nothing less than the total elimination of nuclear weapons.”
Pakistan (Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf, September 6): “Pakistan is located in the world’s most volatile region where one-fifth of humanity lives in a state of economic deprivation. While the global trend is for economic progress through regional cooperation, South Asia is embroiled in conflict. Why this tragedy? Only because the people of Kashmir remain deprived of justice. The consequence of this injustice has been four wars. The region stands heavily militarized, even nuclearized. This situation is certainly not of Pakistan’s making. We have been obliged to respond to the compulsions of our security and have merely acted in self defence. … Pakistan stands for peace and is prepared to take bold initiatives to change the status quo through a dialogue with India at any level, at any time and any where. Let me commit at this World Forum, that we desire a No War Pact; we are ready for a mutual reduction of forces; and we also seek a South Asia free from all nuclear weapons. Pakistan shall not be drawn into an arms race, nuclear or conventional, irrespective of provocation.”
Philippines (President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, September 8): “[W]e should intensify, and strive to complete early, our work on disarmament. There has been progress in this area in the past years, but the world remains exposed to nuclear disasters. Given the staggering inventories of nuclear weapons around the world and the prospects of a renewed nuclear arms race, every member of this organization should stand squarely behind total nuclear disarmament. The world needs zero nuclear weapons, not more. Yet, many more people have died and continue to die from conventional weapons. In fact, we from small states are most worried with the recent reversal of the downtrend in weapons spending. I am appalled that while 1.2 billion people eke out an existence on less than a dollar a day, the world spent $145 per person for military forces in 1997. I am even more aghast that as militaries amass more deadly weapons, agents of terror can procure arms with impunity out of the proceeds of their nefarious activities. It is time to consolidate all our efforts and deal in a comprehensive manner with the issues of disarmament, small arms proliferation and transnational crime, particularly terrorism.”
Qatar (Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, September 7): “[We must move] fast towards making the Middle East a nuclear-weapon-free zone. From this forum, we call on Israel to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear weapons. … [We must find ways of] putting checks on the way international sanctions are imposed. These checks should establish a time frame to stop the continuation of sanctions forever.”
Rio Group of 33 Latin American & Caribbean states (Colombian President Andrés Pastrana, September 6): “With the authority to which we are entitled, as the first major region of the world to be free of nuclear weapons, Latin America and the Caribbean strives to create a world free of the nuclear threat and of other weapons of mass destruction. We also expect the best possible results of the International Conference on Small Arms and Light Weapons to be held next year; and we condemn the use of excessively cruel and inhumane weapons, especially those of an improvised or ‘home-made’ type. As a priority and a matter of urgency, war must be avoided; but where conflict already exists, we must at least observe the rules of International Humanitarian Law. Colombia firmly believes in its postulates, and I am proud to be able to say that today there is no one under age serving in our Armed Forces. And in order to secure a firmer future for the generations to come, we must also show courage and determination in facing the world problem of unlawful drugs and related crimes such as money-laundering, the traffic and diversion of precursors, contraband and arms-dealing.”
Russia (President Vladimir Putin, September 6): “The new century of the United Nations should prolong itself into a millennium of effective stability. It has to enter the annals of history as the period of real disarmament. Today we have already succeeded in creating an efficient mechanism for disarmament. Its foundation comprises the 1972 ABM Treaty, regimes of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and means for their delivery, dozens of the most important agreements on limitation and reduction of different armaments.
We should reliably block the ways for spreading nuclear weapons. We can achieve this by, inter alia, excluding usage of enriched uranium and pure plutonium in world atomic energy production. This is technically quite possible to implement. But more important is that incineration of plutonium and other radioactive elements creates prerequisites for the final solution of the radioactive residues problem. It opens fundamentally new horizons for secure life on the planet. In this connection Russia proposes to work out and put into practice a relevant mechanism with the participation of the IAEA.
Particularly alarming are the plans for the militarization of outer space. In spring of 2001 we shall celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first flight of man to the outer space. That man was our compatriot, and we suggest to organize on that date, under the umbrella of the UN, an international conference on prevention of outer space militarization. I think that the most proper place for it shall be Moscow.”
Samoa (Permanent Representative Tuiloma Neroni Slade, September 6): “Samoa continues to join the call for effective disarmament and the total elimination of weapons of mass destruction. Such weapons represent the great paradox of our time: while nations desire peace, and talk of peace, far more of the national wealth goes towards the development and acquisition of ever more sophisticated and destructive weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear weapons, in particular, reach beyond the paradox, to impose a global curse. Their continuing existence casts a shadow of danger and fear, posing one of the gravest threats to international security and to global human survival. This remains a vital issue of today, not yesterday. It is essential for the safety and future of all humankind that we place the highest priority on the total elimination of global arsenals of nuclear weapons. Samoa gives the fullest support to the Secretary General’s proposal for convening a major international conference towards identifying ways of eliminating nuclear dangers.”
Saudi Arabia (Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, September 6): “[Saudi Arbia] devotes a great deal of attention and interest to the efforts targeting elimination of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East region, including the Arabian Gulf, through support of the endeavors of the League of Arab States in accordance with [its] resolution…calling for making this sensitive part of the world an area free from weapons of mass destruction: nuclear, chemical, and biological. In this respect we are very concerned about the continued refusal of Israel to accede to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and its maintenance of its nuclear program outside the scope of international control, a situation that constitutes a serious threat to the security of the region. It is imperative to exert maximum effort to increase the effectiveness of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by implementing the warranty system of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and making it global. We are of the opinion that controls and standards should be set up to help make progress in all areas of eliminating weapons of mass destruction in accordance with United Nations Resolution Number 1 of 1946.”
Sierra Leone (President Alhaii Dr. Ahmad Teian Kabbah, September 7): “We must eliminate the insecurity created by the excessive accumulation of nuclear and conventional weapons, and the proliferation of small arms which have caused and continue to cause thousands of deaths and suffering in our part of the world.”
Slovakia (Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda, September 7): “The attention of the international community must continue to focus on the agenda of disarmament, particularly on weapons of mass destruction. No less attention must be paid to conventional weapons. Certain categories of these weapons are oftentimes used as the means for waging armed conflicts within countries that pose an increasing threat to international and regional security and stability. Illegal proliferation of small arms has become a marked phenomenon of recent years. Slovakia, therefore, supports the holding next year of a UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects, which should outline the specific steps to be taken in tackling this issue.”
Suriname (Vice-President Jules P. Ajodhia, September 6): “We reiterate our call for a complete elimination of all nuclear weapons as promised at the Non-Proliferation Treaty 2000 Review Conference, since this is the only manmade global threat that has the capacity to destroy all life on Earth in the 21st Century.”
Syria (Foreign Minister Farouk Al-Shara, September 6): “The difficult question that faces the human race today is whether there is an organic link between manufacturing means of killing and destruction and means of development and construction. If the answer is not a definite no, the Millennium Summit is required to think deeply and to try its utmost to break up this relationship so that all people of the world shall trust that the scientific and technological progress will be a path for the welfare of humanity, for enriching the lives of individuals both materially and spiritually and not for eliminating them and destroying their values. … [We must move toward] eliminating nuclear weapons and making a serious endeavour to achieve the universality of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and making no exception for any country from joining it. The most important call in this regard is to transform the Middle East into a region free of all weapons of mass destruction…”
Tanzania (Foreign Minister Jakaya M. Kikwete, September 7): “While the United Nations has scored noticeable success in the area of peace and security, much more work needs to be done in the field of prevention and resolution of conflicts and wars. The existence of huge arsenals of nuclear weapons poses a major potential threat to world peace and security. This has to be eliminated for the sake of humanity. The United Nations therefore needs to do more about it now and in future. The United Nations also needs to deal with the problem of illicit traffic and proliferation of small arms which fuels a lot of the over 80 conflicts going on in different parts of the world.”
Tonga (Prime Minister Prince Ulukalala Lavaka Ata, September 8): “The conclusion of the recent NPT Review Conference seems to give hope that at some time soon nuclear disarmament might be possible however; the transshipment of nuclear waste through the waters of small island developing states needs to be regularly considered to ensure that they meet the highest international safety standards.”
Ukraine (President Leonid Kuchma, September 7): “Disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons remain one of the essential tasks to be addressed by the United Nations and the world community. Not so long ago, Ukraine made an unprecedented step by renouncing the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal. That gesture of goodwill, dictated by the responsibility for strengthening peace and for the future of mankind, grants us the right to call upon the other states to follow this way. I am convinced that nuclear weapons are useless and unpromising as an instrument of state policy. It is necessary to do everything possible to make sure that in the new millennium humankind gets rid once and for all of the fear of devastating nuclear disaster. In this respect, we support the idea of convening a world-wide international conference to work out ways and means of eliminating such a threat.”
Uzbekistan (President Islam Karimov’r, September 8): “Uzbekistan advocates a strict and unconditional fulfillment of the international regime of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament by all states. Without this, one can hardly speak about maintaining strategic stability neither on global, nor on the regional levels. All these [factors] redouble the importance of the Uzbekistan initiative on creating a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia and require its soonest international legitimization. We highly appreciate the efforts of UN Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan to support the activity of the regional experts group working over completion of the regional draft Treaty…”
Viet Nam (President Tran Duc Llong, September 7): “[We must exert] greater efforts toward disarmament, against arms race, including the deployment of TMD, with priority given to nuclear disarmament and other weapons of mass destruction; resolve conflicts through peaceful dialogue free from interference; [and] reject and put an end to all acts of intervention, imposition, embargo and blockade as they not only violate the sovereignty of countries, threaten international peace and security but also cause untold sufferings to the people living under embargo and blockade like people of Iraq, Cuba and Others. … The 10 year-old embargo against Iraq has taken the toll of almost 1.5 million Iraqi, most of whom are children, women and old folks due to the shortage of food and medicine.”
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