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Adopted by the Peace and Security Council at its 837th meeting held on 4 April 2019 on international disarmament, with a focus on the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW),

The Peace and Security Council,

Recalling article 7.1(n) of its Protocol and its previous communiqués and press statements on arms control, disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, particularly communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(DLXXXIV) of the 584th meeting, held on 29 March 2016 and press statement PSC/PR/BR.(DCCLXXIII) of the 763rd meeting, held on 10 April 2018;

Noting remarks by the Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the African Union, H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, in his capacity as the PSC Chairperson for the month of April 2019; and the statement made by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, H.E. Ambassador Smaïl Chergui;

Expressing concern over the continued impasse in global disarmament fora and emphasizing the urgency for all members of the international community to reaffirm multilateral co-operation in the field of disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation and demonstrate the required sense of responsibility and compromise to achieve progress;

Reiterating its deep concern over the threat posed by explosive remnants of war (ERW) and anti-personnel mines, including improvised explosive device (IED), and their devastating impact on civilians especially women and children and socio-economic development, and expressing its solidarity with the survivors;

Highlighting the continued relevance of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC), the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) and the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), and that their universality is critical to strengthen and uphold norms against weapons deemed to be excessively injurious or indiscriminate;

Noting with grave concern the catastrophic and wide-reaching humanitarian suffering and environmental consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons and underlining that the existence of such weapons represents an existential and moral threat to our common humanity;

Expressing serious concern over the risk that non-State actors may acquire, develop, traffic in or use nuclear weapons and their means of delivery;

Stressing that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) adopted in July 2017,  is an instrument to comprehensively prohibit Nuclear Weapons towards their total elimination which require the support of all member States of the United Nations to bring the Treaty into force at the earliest; and

Reaffirming the adoption of the TPNW, recalling the strong support of Member States to the process leading to its development, and recalling that the 4th Conference of States Parties to the Treaty of Pelindaba, held on 14-15 March 2018 in Addis Ababa, called upon AU Member States to speedily sign and ratify the TPNW, emphasizing that it advances international law on nuclear disarmament and that it is consistent with the goals of the Treaty of Pelindaba, as well as  the ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Acting under Article 7.1(n) of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council,

1.  Reaffirms the progress made by States Parties in implementing the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) and calls upon the concerned States Parties to spare no effort to fulfil their obligations and realize the goal set by the Maputo Declaration, leading a mine-free world by 2025, including through enhancing ownership of national mine action programs and strengthening inter-Africa cooperation, and underscores the urgent need to dedicate sufficient resources and programs to address the needs of survivors in line with the relevant instruments;

2.   Calls upon Member States to prevent and counter the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) through integrated and coherent approaches including helping one another, and demand the Commission to continue consultations with Member States to develop the necessary framework in this regard;

3.   Recognizes the Commission and the United Nations for the assistance provided to Member States and Peace Support Operations through the Mine Action and ERW Strategic Framework and encourages the continued efforts in this respect;

4.  Stresses the need for robust implementation of the Assembly Decision AU/Dec.719 (XXII) particularly the welcoming of the planned holding of the 4th Review Conference of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, or Mine Ban Treaty or Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention in Oslo, in November 2019 and requests the Commission to review the existing Continental Frameworks and develop an African Common position ahead of the Review Conference, to be submitted to the PSC for its consideration;

5.  Reiterates that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) remains a cornerstone in global efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons, and stresses that balanced and unconditional efforts should be made in implementing its pillars of disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology, and notes with deep concern that progress towards nuclear disarmament remains incommensurate with the spirit of the NPT;

6.  Asserts that Nuclear Weapons Free Zones are an instrumental approach to strengthening global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation norms and consolidate international efforts towards achieving the objectives of the NPT and, urges States that have not yet done so, to ratify or accede to the African Nuclear Weapon-Free-Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba), and strongly urges the concerned States to affirm their respect to the nuclear-weapon-free status of the zone by ratifying or acceding to the Protocols of the Treaty as soon as possible;

7.  Underscores the progress made in the operationalization of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE) and the partnerships developed with international organizations and other Nuclear Weapon Free Zones, aimed at consolidating and strengthening efforts in nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology, particularly through enhanced south-south cooperation, and encourages sustained efforts; 

8.  Requests all Member States to effectively implement UN Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material;

9.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.

 

 

Posted by Abraham Kebede

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