President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria remains committed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and will continue to promote it, warning that expending further resources on nuclear weapons stockpiling and maintenance makes no sense at all.
President Buhari made this position known while addressing delegates at a High-Level Plenary Meeting to Commemorate and Promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in New York.
Represented by the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, the President also expressed Nigeria’s dissatisfaction over the failure of the Tenth Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that was held in New York, from 1st to 26th August, 2022, to produce a consensual final outcome document, to assess the implementation of the Treaty after 12 years since the adoption of an outcome document in 2010.
“Current global realities, including threats of global and transboundary terrorism, climate change, hunger and zoonotic diseases, require collective global efforts and resources to be channeled towards addressing them. Therefore, expending further resources on nuclear weapons stockpiling and maintenance makes no sense at all. The total elimination of nuclear weapons can be considered a catalyst to the assurance of global peace and security and development.
“Africa had long acknowledged the existential threat nuclear weapons pose to human existence. It was to this end that African countries collectively adopted the Pelindaba Treaty, which prohibited the acquisition of nuclear weapons for military purposes and declared Africa a nuclear-weapons-free zone,” he said.
Buhari, who further stressed that the NPT is an essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament and the key instrument in the efforts to halt the vertical and horizontal proliferation of nuclear weapons, called for the full implementation of all commitments and the unequivocal undertakings assumed by the Nuclear-Weapons States at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference and the 2000 and 2010 Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
He, however, said while Nigeria remains resolute in its support for the global nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament regime, the country is mindful of the beneficial uses of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and re-affirmed the right of all States to use nuclear technologies for their developmental aspirations consistent with the relevant articles of the NPT, as well as the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Noting that Nigeria opted to join other countries in the Core Group to co-sponsor the Resolution that led to the adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017, President Buhari enjoined other States who were yet to ratify the Treaty to do so without any further delay to enable full implementation of its provisions.
“Nigeria wishes to reiterate its call for the implementation and enforcement of all treaties on the elimination of nuclear weapons and reassures of her continued principled position in support of a world free of nuclear weapons,” the president said.