Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

Explanation of vote NL Permanent Representation to the United Nations regarding resolution on disarmament

On October 27th the First Committee of the UN General Assembly voted on the resolution “Taking forward multilateral disarmament negotiations” which decides to convene in 2017 a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons. The Netherlands abstained on this resolution and gave the following explanation of vote.

The Netherlands abstained from the resolution establishing a conference in 2017 to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.
We have consistently stated that we support a legally-binding instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons as an element of a nuclear-weapon-free world. We have also stressed, however, that such an instrument should satisfy three conditions.

  • It should be verifiable as well as comprehensive;
  • It must not detract from the NPT and Article VI, including the chronology inherent therein
  • It should enjoy the support of nuclear-weapon possessors and non-nuclear-weapon states alike in order to be effective.

However, these three conditions were not accommodated in the final text of the resolution. The Netherlands will continue to make its best efforts to bridge the positions of those that support the concept of early negotiations on a nuclear weapons ban and of those that do not. We are willing to engage on any and all ideas or initiatives. And we will always ensure that a ban would be fully compatible with our obligations as member of NATO, a nuclear alliance.

The Netherlands will also continue to focus on effective steps and measures that will help us achieve a world without nuclear weapons in full accordance will all provisions of the NPT, including Article VI, in a step-by-step and verifiable way that promotes international stability, and is based on the principle of undiminished security for all.