UNITED NATIONS, Oct 12 (APP):Noting that the global arms control order is in a state of “virtual demise”, Pakistan Tuesday called for a new order to counter the growing challenges stemming from deep divisions in approaches, perspectives and priorities.
“This breakdown (in the order) is evident in several ways: arms races, weaponization and integration across nuclear, outer space, cyber, conventional and AI (Artificial Intelligence) “domains are in full swing,” Ambassadors Khalil Hashmi told the United Nations (UN) General Assembly’s First Committee, which deals with disarmament and international security matters.
Consequently, he said political and military tensions, strategic asymmetries and nuclear dangers are growing.
“Many of these troubling trends are manifest in South Asia where the largest State, driven by its pursuit of regional hegemony and aided by generous supplies of conventional and non-conventional weaponry, continues to operationalize dangerous doctrines,” Ambassador Hashmi, who is Pakistan permanent representative to UN offices in Geneva, said in an obvious reference to India’s arms build up.
Also, he said a “worrying trends” was the fact that global military expenditures and international trade in conventional arms have reached unprecedented levels.
Despite clear gains after the end of cold war and strong normative support by the General Assembly, he said, there was clear regression in conventional arms control at the regional and sub-regional levels.
“South Asia bears witness to deliberate stalling of Pakistan’s long-standing proposals for conventional balance in forces and armaments,” Ambassador Hashmi added.
Despite the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty, he said huge conventional arms continue to be transferred in volatile regions, fueling conflicts and entailing huge human costs.
“The increasing interplay of advanced conventional weapons and technologies with strategic capabilities is eroding strategic stability in South Asia,” the Pakistani envoy told the committee.
Nuclear disarmament obligations, he said, remained largely unfulfilled. Despite assertions of fissile material production moratoria and a misguided zeal for FMCT
(Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty) some nuclear weapon states are modernizing and increasing their nuclear arsenals.
An effective global nuclear arms control regime requires compliance with existing legal obligations by nuclear weapon states; commencement of negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear weapons convention, an international instrument on negative security assurances and pursuit of a fissile material treaty that clearly stipulates stockpiles in its scope.
The Pakistani envoy also called for the preservation of the sanctity of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
On outer space, he voiced concern over threats posed by anti-satellite capabilities to regional and global stability as well as to the long-term sustainability as also the potential integration of Anti Ballistic Missile systems.
Also, he added, the development and potential deployment of autonomous weapons carries serious ramifications for international humanitarian law as well as regional and international peace and security.
“Equity, non-discrimination and faithful adherence to long-standing rules and norms is vital,” Ambassador Hashmi said.
A new international arms control order that addresses the security concerns of all states, among other elements, needs to be evolved, he said.
The other elements require fulfilling nuclear disarmament obligations; advancing conventional arms control; strengthening the non-proliferation regime by shunning double standards; legally-binding negative security assurances to non-nuclear weapon states; concluding legally-binding instrument to fill the gaps in the international legal regime on outer space; and seven by ensuring that new and emerging technologies are not utilized to undermine regional or global strategic stability.