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Statement by Minister Byrne at the UNGA on the Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons



High Level Week affords us the opportunity to consider global challenges and shared solutions. On today’s International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, I am deeply concerned about the prospect of a new arms race, and ongoing nuclear modernisation programmes. In the face of this, it is more important than ever that we commit our collective efforts to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is at the core of this.


Nuclear disarmament has been at the heart of Irish multilateral diplomacy since the beginning of our membership at the United Nations, and Ireland is closely associated with the NPT. The upcoming NPT Review Conference, in January next year, will be a critical moment to come together and recommit to its full implementation.


Ireland is committed to working with all partners to make tangible progress across the three pillars of the NPT. In particular, progress must be made on the disarmament pillar, which in the last decades has been slowest. We call on all states to reaffirm the commitment to the previous consensus-based outcomes, including the unequivocal undertaking of the nuclear weapons states to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals.

Ireland’s support of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is similarly driven by our desire to make progress on nuclear disarmament. It is fully compatible with the NPT, and provides a clear pathway for states to meet their disarmament obligations.


There are many lessons to be learned from our experiences through the global pandemic. One thing it has shown is how interconnected we are and the need to work together to solve global problems, and how risks can materialise with devastating consequences. This is especially true with regard to the threat of nuclear weapons. These indiscriminate weapons afford us no security, and the only way we can guarantee humanity’s safety from the devastating humanitarian consequences is their total elimination.


Thank you.

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