H.E. Ambassador Cho Tae-yul
Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations
at the 2018 Substantive
Session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission
at the UN Headquarters,
2 April 2018
Thank you, Madam Chair.
At the outset, I would
like to congratulate you on your election as the Chair of the 2018 session of
the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC).
Building upon the
adoption of a consensus report on conventional weapons last year, the first
ever in 17 years, the Commission is convened today to tackle, with a renewed
commitment, two core issues in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation:
that is, nuclear weapons and outer space activities.
With the three-year
discussion cycle concluding right before the beginning of the 2020 NPT Review Conference,
marking the 50th anniversary of the cornerstone treaty on this
heavyweight agenda item, we must make full use of this year’s Working Group I
deliberations so that our collective efforts come to fruition in the year 2020 with
at least couple of convergence points among delegations.
In order to achieve our
shared goal of a peaceful and safe world without nuclear weapons, we must take
effective, sustainable and inclusive disarmament measures across the three NPT
pillars in accordance with the 2010 NPT Action Plan.
The Republic of Korea is
firmly committed to this vision and goal and has taken measures to translate
this commitment into action. We have not only actively participated in, among
others, the substantiated work of the High-level Expert Preparatory Group on an
FMCT and the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification, but
also made our utmost efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, the
most serious threat to global security in today’s world, through maximum
pressure and engagement, working closely together with the members of the
With a series of high-level
interactions between the concerned parties unfolding at a breakneck speed,
including the inter-Korean Summit to be held on the 27th of this month,
the whole world is now paying attention to the development of the situation on
the Korean Peninsula. We will endeavor to keep up this hard-won momentum for
the peaceful achievement of complete, verifiable and irreversible
denuclearization of North Korea, which in turn will lead to the establishment
of sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula.
This is indeed a
historic opportunity we should not fail to seize and we will count on the continued
support from the international community in moving towards this end.
The Republic of Korea
welcomes the inclusion of ‘preparation of recommendations to promote the
practical implementation of transparency and confidence-building measures (TCBMs)
in outer space activities’ as one of the two main agenda items of this year’s
I would like to commend
the work of the Secretariat in preparing a non-paper on cross-cutting outer
space-related discussions pursued by various UN disarmament machinery and
My special appreciation
also goes to Australia for its working paper on a three-fold TCBM proposal. Given
the rapidly growing outer space activities by governments and the private
sector alike, focus of our Working Group II discussions should be placed, in particular,
on those measures related to establishing norms of behavior for promoting
safety in outer space activities.
We look forward to the
timely progress on a set of guidelines for the long-term sustainability of our
space activities in the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS),
and, in this regard, the UNDC’s deliberations on TCBMs at the current session
will contribute to making a more tangible progress on this issue at the UNISPACE+50
Conference to be held in Vienna, in June of this year.
In closing, Madam
Chair, I can assure you of my delegation’s full support for the success of this
year’s UNDC session under your able leadership and I look forward to
constructive discussions over the next three weeks.
Thank you. /End/