Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

March 18, 2024
UNSC Ministerial Meeting
Foreign Minister Kamikawa, Chair of UNSG Ministerial Meeting
Foreign Minister makes a statement

 On March 18 (from March 18 to 19 Japan time), in New York, H.E. Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is visiting New York, U.S., chaired the Ministerial Meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on “Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation”, which Japan chaired as the Presidency of the Security Council. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
 This meeting originated from the Prime Minister Kishida’s speech at the General Debate of the 78th Sessions of the United Nations General Assembly last year, in which he stated that it is key to have nuclear-weapon States engage in concrete nuclear disarmament measures, and Japan, as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, would work to promote dialogue between nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States. Based on his speech, Japan hosted the Security Council meeting which focused on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation for the first time. Among the 15 members of the Security Council, ministerial-level representatives from three countries, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and the United States, participated in this meeting.

  1. At the outset, H.E. Mr. António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Robert Floyd, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and Ms. Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova, Director of the International Organizations and Non-Proliferation Program, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP) gave briefings on the situation and challenges surrounding nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
  2. After the briefers’ statements, Minister Kamikawa delivered a statement representing Japan, where she stated that Japan, as the only country to have ever suffered atomic bombings during war, has led the international community toward a world without nuclear weapons, through various measures such as submitting the annual UNGA Resolution on Nuclear Disarmament, proposing the "Hiroshima Action Plan," and holding the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, based on the belief that catastrophes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki must never be repeated. She also stated that it is important to steadily advance realistic and practical efforts to realize a world without nuclear weapons, and that the maintaining and strengthening the NPT regime is the cornerstone for such efforts. Taking this into account, she stressed the following four points.
  1. With ever greater sense of urgency, we must implement the five actions set forth in the “Hiroshima Action Plan” (a shared recognition on the importance of continuing the record of non-use of nuclear weapons, enhancing transparency, maintaining the decreasing trend of the global nuclear stockpile, securing nuclear non-proliferation and promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and encouraging visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki by international leaders and others).
  2. Japan will further strengthen and lead the efforts to embody the five actions of the “Hiroshima Action Plan.” In addition to this, Japan announced the establishment of the “FMCT Friends”, with the aim to maintain and enhance political attention on an FMCT (treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, also known as Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty).
  3. The international community must be united with one voice against any movement that runs counter to a world without nuclear weapons such as by Russia and North Korea. It is also our common responsibility to fully comply with the existing legal frameworks applied in outer space.
  4. The possible impact of emerging technologies, and the WPS perspective are important.
  1. Thereafter, ministerial-level participants of H.E. Ms. Verónica Nataniel Macamo Dlhovo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Mozambique, H.E. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Representative of the United States of America to the UN., H.E. Mrs. Francess Piagie Alghali, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone and participants from other countries, including nuclear-weapons States, made statements based on experiences and knowledge of their own countries, engaging in active discussion on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and reaffirming the importance of maintaining and strengthening the NPT regime. The meeting provided an opportunity to accelerate substantive discussion between nuclear-weapons States and non-nuclear weapons States toward the NPT Review Conference in 2026.
  2. In addition, participants from many countries pointed out that the world is once again in a very severe situation and that no other countries are suitable than Japan to raise this agenda, while sharing their own experiences of visits to Hiroshima as well as the importance of the role of women in conflict and the possible impact of emerging technologies such as AI.

(Reference) Statement by Foreign Minister KAMIKAWA Yoko at the Security Council Ministerial Briefing on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (PDF)Open a New Window

(Reference) Treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (FMCT)
 Japan places high importance on the FMCT, which would ban the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons and other explosive devices and thereby limit the quantitative improvement of nuclear weapons.

(Reference) “FMCT Friends” is a cross-regional group with the participation of both nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States which aims to maintain and enhance political attention on an FMCT and to contribute to expand the support for the negotiation of an FMCT. Member countries are Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, United Kingdom and United States of America.

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