Mr. Chairman, Distinguished delegates, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen
At the outset I would like to congratulate you on your election as Chairman of the Substantive Session and extend it to the other members of Bureau.
Ukraine reaffirms the importance of the Disarmament Commission and reiterates its willingness to work constructively to fulfill the tasks entrusted to this Commission.
This year Ukraine celebrates one of the most important events (in its modern history) - the 20th anniversary of Ukraine's accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and subsequently signing of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances to Ukraine.
I would like to remind once again the fact that more than 23 years ago, immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union Ukraine owned one of the largest nuclear arsenals in the world.
There could have been great temptation for our nation to keep it, but we chose a different path. We renounced our nuclear arsenal. And we know that we have done the right thing.
Given the global dimension of these steps and taking into account the cruciality of the enduring problems in the sphere of nuclear disarmament, in particularly in light of the explosive situation on the Korean Peninsula, as well as Russian military aggression in Crimea and further escalation of the situation in the northern borders of our country, we deem it indispensable to redraw the attention of all Member states to the unique example Ukraine has been showing in the framework of the United Nations by remaining committed to the provisions of the NPT, despite the fact that Russian Federation has failed to fulfill its obligations under the Budapest Memorandum.
Hereby we confirm that Ukraine considers the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a cornerstone of the global non-proliferation regime and an essential basis for achieving the objectives of nuclear disarmament.
In this context we commend the efforts of states that have reaffirmed their guarantees for territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and appraise their support and engagement for these commitments to be further fulfilled. We still count on you because Ukraine never agrees to recognize the deliberate annexation of a part of its territory by the Russian Federation.
In this regard, we invite everyone to participate in the round table on issues of nuclear disarmament and security guarantees for the States that voluntarily renounced their nuclear potential, to be held on April 28 at United Nations Headquarters in New York during the Preparatory Committee for the Review Conference of the NPT States Parties 2015.
Now, with regard to confidence-building measures in the field of conventional arms.
To start with, I would like to note that this is an issue that confirmed its relevancy in connection with Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine.
Ukraine remains consistently committed to the objectives of strengthening security for all, including through effective and verifiable arms control. As such, Ukraine welcomes all respective measures in the field of conventional arms past, present and future.
My country is a long term responsible participant of such pan-European, sub-regional and complimentary bilateral confidence-building mechanisms relevant to arms control as the CFE and Open Skies treaties, Vienna Document on CSBMs, as well as separate bilateral agreements on CSBMs with neighboring Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Belarus. On March 10, 2014 we signed an Agreement on bilateral CSBMs with Romania. Regrettably our numerous proposals to enter into similar agreements with Russia were rejected by the Russian side under the pretext of a strategic partnership between our countries. And today we understand true nature and real reasons of this partnership.
Sharing dissatisfaction with the ongoing impasse in conventional arms control in Europe, which occurred through the fault of Russian leadership, as well as with the slowdown in the Vienna Document’s CSBMs improvement my country, as is known, initiated during its 2013 OSCE Chairmanship discussion on the role that conventional arms control and CSBMs can play in a modern and future security architecture.
The salient idea and the main goal of Ukraine’s initiative was and is to create a future oriented strategic discussion on conventional arms control and CSBMs without prejudging its outcome.
While the discussions have not yet provided a firm indication as to the concrete next steps, Ukraine’s initiative proved to be a timely undertaking, and has already found support, including from the current Swiss OSCE Chairmanship.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.