I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia*and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
With regard to draft resolution L.31, Strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region, the EU would like to state the following.
We take note of the operative paragraph 5, which has again been tabled, in order to maintain consensus on this important resolution. It calls upon all States of the Mediterranean region that have not yet done so to adhere to all multilaterally negotiated legal instruments in force related to the field of disarmament and non-proliferation, thus creating the conditions necessary for strengthening peace and cooperation in the region.
We would like to underline that the proposed reference to "legal instruments in force" does not imply a change to our long-standing position in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) which regrettably has not yet entered into force. Promoting universalization and the early entry into force of the CTBT are among EU's top priorities. All 27 EU Member States have ratified the Treaty, and remain strongly committed to pursuing the achievement of its objectives. The EU has also continued to provide significant financial support for the activities of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO in order to strengthen its monitoring and verification capabilities. Confirming the EU Member States' continued active engagement, the EU has become a supporter of ten actions of the UN Secretary-General’s Agenda for Disarmament, among which, Action 4 “Bring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty into force”. In this context, we will devote attention to promoting universalisation and the entry into force of the CTBT.
The EU reiterates its call on all States who have not yet done so, to sign and ratify the CTBT without any preconditions or delay. In particular, we address this call to the remaining eight Annex II States whose ratification is essential for the Treaty's entry into force. We welcome the latest ratification by Zimbabwe, increasing the number of ratifications to 168 States. Pending the entry into force, we call upon all States to maintain moratoria on nuclear weapon test explosions and other nuclear explosions and to refrain from any actions that would undermine the Treaty's object and purpose. In this regard, we call upon the DPRK to maintain its declared suspension of nuclear weapons testing and to sign and ratify the CTBT without delay.
Nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions represent a serious threat to international peace and security, and undermine the global non-proliferation regime. It is important that all State Signatories adhere to the objectives of the Treaty. Nonetheless, the absence of the CTBT's entry into force prevents the use of on-site inspections, an important verification tool. Only the entry into force of the Treaty will outlaw nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions in a verifiable way. We will therefore continue to use every opportunity to advocate the Treaty's ratification and universalization also during this First Committee session.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.