Statement by H.E. Ambassador Cho Tae-yul
Permanent 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, New York
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 international community.
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 session.
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 bodies.
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/