Statement of the Republic of Estonia at the 10th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Delivered by Ms Kristel Lõuk, Chargé d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Estonia

Mr. President,

Allow me to commend you on your work as the President-designate of the 10th Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. You have our delegation’s full support. Estonia aligns itself with the statement of the European Union, but we will highlight some issues in our national capacity.

Estonia condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia´s war of aggression against Ukraine. There is no justification for Russia’s actions. They are a clear violation of international law and norms, a grave violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and a crime against the people of Ukraine. Russia bares the responsibility for this and must be held accountable for the atrocities it has committed. Estonia also condemns Belarus for its involvement in the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Russia´s aggressive and provocative rhetoric about nuclear weapons is completely unacceptable. Russia´s actions, directly threatening the safety and security of Ukraine´s nuclear facilities, and the Zaporizhzya nuclear power plant in particular, must stop immediately. Enabling the International Atomic Energy Agency lead a safe security and safeguards mission to the site as soon as possible is of critical importance. The security of all of Europe is at stake.

Mr. President,

The NPT remains a cornerstone of the global efforts to pursue nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy. Considering the NPT’s achievements and the significant contribution it has made to international peace, security and stability, it is crucial to reinforce the Treaty´s viability and further strengthen its role as a major multilateral instrument of international security. To that end, we hope for a constructive and good faith engagement from all States Parties to achieve a successful Conference outcome. Estonia shares the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons and continues to advocate for the “Progressive Approach,” pursued in a realistic and responsible way.

The Conference takes place in a complex international security environment marked by high tensions and serious proliferation crises and challenges. Against this backdrop, we must make a collective effort to uphold and strengthen the existing disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation architecture. To that end, the extension of the New START Treaty was a welcome step. We urge China to start taking active steps in engaging in these processes as well.

Estonia supports all international efforts towards the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and urges all States, particularly the Annex II States, to sign and ratify the Treaty without further delay. The Review Conference is the perfect occasion for this.

Estonia reiterates its endorsement for the commencement of negotiations of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons in the Conference of Disarmement.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the International Atomic Energy Agency´s long-term mission of verifying and monitoring Iran’s nuclear related commitments are of crucial importance. The role of the Agency´s system of safeguards in strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime and promoting the responsible development of peaceful applications of nuclear technology is essential. Iran´s continued actions, inconsistent with its JCPOA commitments and the Security Council resolution 2231 are gravely concerning and must stop. Iran must collaborate with the Agency to resolve all questions on its safeguards obligations.

The fact that the DPRK continues to develop its ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons program in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions is gravely concerning. The DPRK must engage in a process of complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, as required by UN Security Council resolutions. Until then, sanctions must remain in place and fully implemented.

Estonia is determined to contribute to global efforts to strengthen the international law and rules based order and to the implementation of existing disarmament, arms control and nonproliferation instruments.

Thank you, Mr. President.