KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 3
Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has stressed that financial resources spent on nuclear weapons should be diverted to achieving the sustainable development goals for overall security and well-being of humanity at large.
In his pre-recorded video address to the ‘High-level Meeting to Commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons’ earlier today, he said the world would never be a safer place as long as the spectre of nuclear weapons loomed large. Referring to the devastation caused by the current pandemic, he cautioned that nuclear explosion – whether accidental or intentional – could claim more lives within a wink of an eye. “The scientific race for vaccines has kept our hope alive to win the war against COVID-19. But no vaccine will save us from the nuclear catastrophe.
Death, destruction, and devastation would be much more severe, inhumane, and indiscriminate- both for the present and future generations. Despite this, it is ironic that a huge amount is spent on nuclear weapons every year,” he said.
Minister Gyawali reiterated Nepal’s call for a time-bound, general and complete disarmament of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. He said nuclear technology should be harnessed for peaceful purposes of promoting health care, increasing agricultural productivity and saving lives. He described peaceful use of nuclear energy and the complete disarmament as two sides of the same coin.
“A small fraction of the cost of armament could save millions from hunger and disease and can supply safe drinking water and basic health services.
More diplomatic efforts can be devoted to the protection of the environment, trade promotion and economic development if we all abide by nuclear disarmament regimes,” he said. Minister Gyawali reaffirmed Nepal’s position that universal peace and security could only be ensured through a time-bound, general and complete disarmament of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.
“Nepal believes that the peaceful use of nuclear energy and complete disarmament of nuclear weapons are two sides of the same coin. Nuclear technology should be harnessed for the peaceful purpose of promoting health care, increasing agricultural productivity and saving lives. The world will never be a safer place as long as spectre of nuclear weapons looms large,” he said.
The event held on the margins of the 75th Session of UN General Assembly featured as many as 110 speakers.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on October 4, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.