Bangladesh has asked India and Pakistan to give up their nuclear options and join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and also called for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) in South Asia.
Foreign Secretary Hemayetuddin made the appeal while making a statement at the general debate in the first committee at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters Thursday, according to a message received in Dhaka Friday, reports UNB.
Expressing concern over undue restrictions on export of material, equipment and technology to developing non-nuclear weapon countries for peaceful purposes, he called for removing those barriers.
"We are also disappointed that extraneous reasons are being used by some nuclear weapon states to deny the rights of non-nuclear weapon states to the peaceful uses of energy and technology."
Hemayet said: "We wish to reaffirm the inviolability of peaceful nuclear activities. We consider that any attack or threat of attack against peaceful nuclear facilities will pose a great danger to all. A threat to attack will buttress the perceived need to defend. It will demonstrate the efficacy of weaponisation. This is an incontrovertible logic. We can deny that only at our great peril."
He deplored that despite months of intense negotiations on disarmament "we could not agree on a common disarmament and non-proliferation agenda. Even the UN world summit held on September 14-16 in New York failed on this very vital front in maintaining international peace and security."
"We believe that total lack of political will on the part of some has brought us to this situation of possibly dangerous deadlock. It has certainly made the world a much more dangerous place than ever before," the foreign secretary told the UN Committee.
He reiterated Bangladesh's call for convening an international conference to reach agreement on a phased programme that would provide elimination of all nuclear weapons. Bangladesh also called for conclusion of the Nuclear Weapons Convention.
Over the armed conflicts and law and order situation that have devastating effect on societies and economies of developing nations, Hemayet said: "In Bangladesh, an otherwise peaceful society, unbridled flow of small arms and light weapons through our porous borders and their illegal trade have been significantly frustrating government efforts to improve law and order situation."
"We, therefore, value the initiatives aimed at curbing such flow of illegal trade in small arms and light weapons," he said, adding that "if we are to stop the perpetuating cycle of violence, we must focus on prevention including addressing the root causes of violence."
The foreign secretary informed that Bangladesh has destroyed all its stockpiles of landmines in fulfilment of her commitment to the international instruments on landmines and called for providing assistance to landmine clearance operations as well as in rehabilitating the victims.