Joint Statement delivered by Ambassador TARUI
on disarmament and non-proliferation education
at the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPT Review Conference
Vienna, 8 May 2007

Mr. Chairman,

On behalf of the eight countries - Egypt, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Sweden - that submitted a joint working paper on disarmament and non-proliferation education in the last review process, I would like to take the opportunity today to re-emphasize the importance of disarmament and non-proliferation education.

Mr. Chairman,

Under the current unstable international environment, it has become increasingly necessary to raise awareness of disarmament and non-proliferation issues, through educating the public of the dangers of weapons of mass destruction and the tragic consequences of their use, as well as the steps required to overcome the challenges caused by such weapons. As it has been mentioned in the past, education is an important tool for strengthening the disarmament and non-proliferation regime through raising the awareness of disarmament and non-proliferation issues. It is our wish to promote a culture of disarmament and non-proliferation for future generations through the more active utilization of this tool.

The high level of support for disarmament and non-proliferation education initiatives within the international community has been consistently demonstrated through engagement at the United Nations. On 20 November 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution on "the United Nation's Study on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education" (55/33E), and with the assistance of governmental experts a report was prepared by the UN Secretary General. The Secretary General's report put forward 34 practical recommendations that should be implemented at various levels. Resolution 57/60, adopted by the General Assembly on 22 November 2002, conveyed that these recommendations be implemented, as appropriate, by Member States, the United Nations and other international organizations, civil society, non-governmental organizations and the media. Also, in 2004 and 2006 draft resolutions (59/93, 61/73) encouraging the implementation of the recommendations by the UN Member States and UN related organizations were adopted by consensus.

Mr. Chairman,

We attach great importance to the recommendations of the UN Study, and in our joint working paper of 2005, we encouraged the States Parties to make efforts based on those recommendations. For instance, we encouraged, amongst other things, the support for and cooperation in disarmament and non-proliferation education activities at various levels. Starting from where we can, implementing continually and steadily the recommendations is important and we have been keenly promoting these efforts ourselves.

A key practical measure for the enhancement of disarmament and non-proliferation education would be to facilitate the increased participation of civil society networks in our work. The full and effective implementation of the NPT will require active engagement between governments and all sectors of civil society, including regional and international organizations and academic institutions. Mainstreaming education in the fields of disarmament and non-proliferation is essential for maintaining and strengthening the links between the Treaty regime and the international community that it serves.

We firmly recognize that education on disarmament and non-proliferation is a very important way to make progress towards the full implementation of disarmament and non-proliferation obligations under the NPT.

In addition to appealing for the need to promote disarmament and non-proliferation education, we will continue our efforts and share information on our progress. In this regard, we urge other States Parties to also participate in these kinds of efforts.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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