As Chair of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, I welcome the joint statement by the leaders of the five Nuclear-Weapon States (NWS) on preventing nuclear war and avoiding arms races.
At a time of worsening international security not unrelated to NWS rivalry, this is an important declaration. The NWS recognition of their collective responsibility to work towards a world free of nuclear weapons, adhering to their treaty obligations and pursuing practical steps towards this end, is appreciated. As is their assurance to ‘avoid military confrontations, strengthen stability and predictability, increase mutual understanding and confidence, and prevent an arms race.’
What the international community needs to now see are actions to accompany the assurances. The NWS previously committed themselves to accelerate concrete progress on the steps leading to nuclear disarmament.
In support of this commitment, they should without delay, take concrete steps to diminish the role and significance of nuclear weapons in all of their military and security concepts, doctrines and policies. They must do more to reduce the overall global stockpile of all types of nuclear weapons.
This would not only serve to reassure those deeply concerned by the deadly risks that nuclear weapons pose at a time of worsening international tensions but also help to more effectively promote international stability, peace and security.
Dr. Marty Natalegawa
Chair of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament and former Foreign Minister of Indonesia
Image: iStock, Mohamed Rasik