6 March 1997
Mr. ZACKHEOS (Cyprus): The main purpose of my intervention is to express our hope and expectation that the pace of the substantial work of our Conference will be accelerated.
My Government greatly appreciates the enormous efforts made by the previous President and yourself, Sir, for finding a way to overcome existing difficulties. We realize, however, that progress can only be achieved if there is political will from all countries and groups of countries for a compromise. After all, compromise and negotiation are the essence of multilateral diplomacy.
A cut-off treaty on fissile material production is a logical step following the signing of the CTBT and should be given our utmost attention. The conclusion of the CTBT was an event of historic consequence. Countries that have signed should now intensify their ratification process. At the same time, we should stay in close touch with the countries that did not find it possible to sign. I wish to observe that the awareness of the inherent dangers in nuclear testing has been raised in our societies and it will be almost impossible for any country to conduct a nuclear explosion taking into account the consequences, including adverse world public opinion.
Mr. de ICAZA (Mexico) (translated from Spanish):
The cessation of the production of fissile material for weapons purposes must be a genuine disarmament measure, linked to the cessation of the production of all types of nuclear weapons, as the 1978 Final Document lays down. Ambassador Shannon's 1995 report and the implicit mandate contained therein should make it possible for the ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament to discuss the cessation of the production of fissile material for weapons purposes as well as the problem of past production and the management of existing stocks, so as to make sure that all production of nuclear weapons will cease.
To sum up, the delegation of Mexico considers that in the drafting of
our programme of work the highest priority must continue to be given to
nuclear disarmament, and that we should reach an agreement which takes
into account the different concerns of the member States by constituting
immediately an ad hoc committee with a wide mandate which could include,
first, the negotiation of a legally binding multilateral agreement which
unequivocally binds all States to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons,
secondly, the identification of measures necessary to achieve the complete
elimination of nuclear weapons and the drafting of a phased programme with
agreed time-frames, and lastly, the negotiation of a convention on the
prohibition of the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons purposes.