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ASEAN Calls on NWS to Fulfill Obligation to Prevent Spread of Nuclear Weapons

PHNOM PENH: The ASEAN Foreign Ministers have released a statement on disarmament and nonproliferation, welcoming the ‘Joint Statement of the Leaders of the Five Nuclear-Weapon States on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races’ that was issued on 3 January 2022, in which the five Nuclear-Weapon States (NWS) emphasized the importance of preserving and complying with bilateral and multilateral non-proliferation, disarmament, and arms control agreements and commitments.

The statement said ASEAN Member States welcome the intention expressed by the five NWS to avoid military confrontations, strengthen stability and predictability, and increase mutual understanding and confidence, to ensure the world remains peaceful, stable and secure. However, ASEAN still remains concerned over the existential threat facing humanity posed by the existence and modernization of nuclear weapons, thus firmly believe that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only way to guarantee against their threat of use.

ASEAN Member States call on the NWS to fulfill their obligations in advancing nuclear disarmament in accordance with Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and to recognize the need to completely eliminate nuclear weapons. The statement further reiterated the ASEAN's commitment to preserving the Southeast Asian region as a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone that is also free of all other weapons of mass destruction, as enshrined in the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ Treaty) and the ASEAN Charter.

The statement concluded that ASEAN reaffirms its commitment to continuously engage the NWS and intensify the ongoing efforts of all parties to resolve all outstanding issues in accordance with the objectives and principles of the SEANWFZ Treaty. 

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