On 1 November 2018 at the UN headquarters in New York the First Committee voted in favor of the resolution of Kazakhstan entitled “The Universal Declaration on the Achievement of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World”.
The resolution was co-authored by 41 states. 135 states voted in favor of its adoption, 21 voted against and 21 abstained.
It is interesting to highlight the votes of the nuclear-weapon States – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council which are parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and four non-signatories of NPT. India and North Korea voted “in favor”, China, Russia, Pakistan abstained, and the United Kingdom, Israel, the United States and France voted “against”.
The resolution takes note of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted on 7 July 2017- the first international legal document prohibiting nuclear weapons. As of today 69 states have signed this Treaty; 19 of those have ratified it. The Treaty will enter into force once the number of countries who have ratified it reaches 50. Kazakhstan signed the Treaty on 2 March 2018 and is currently in the process of its ratification.
In addition, the Universal Declaration:
- calls for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons as the only absolute guarantee against their use or threat of use;
- calls for the promotion of atmosphere of confidence and trust to further comprehensive, sustainable international security and stability so as to contribute to a nuclear-weapon-free world;
- expresses deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons;
- calls upon all States to create new nuclear-weapons-free zones.
The Kazakhstan resolution on the Universal Declaration was first adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015 and is adopted on a three-year basis.
We reiterate that in 2015 during the general debate of the jubilee 70th session of the UN General Assembly, the President of Kazakhstan N.Nazarbayev in his speech called for “making the construction of a nuclear-weapons-free world the main goal of humanity in the XXI century” and proposed “the adoption of the UN Universal Declaration on achieving a nuclear-weapons-free world. "
Currently 9 nuclear-weapon states possess a total of about 15,000 nuclear warheads with a deadly force in many cases exceeding that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima many times over. 1,800 nuclear missiles in the United States (the total of 6,800 nuclear warheads) and Russia (the total of 7,000 nuclear warheads) are on hair-trigger alert.
Every second our planet is facing a risk of a nuclear war — be it human error, system failure or a terrorist attack - the disastrous consequences of which mankind will simply not overcome.
The First Committee of the UN General Assembly deals with disarmament and international security issues. The very first resolution of the General Assembly entitled “Establishment of a commission to deal with the problems raised by the discovery of atomic energy” was adopted on 24 January 1946 in London on the recommendation of the First Committee.
In 2018 in the course of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly the First Committee carries out its work between October 8 and November 9. As of 1November 2018 the First Committee proceeded to vote on the resolutions. The First Committee will consider the total of 68 resolutions and decisions on disarmament and international security issues.