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Peace at home, peace in the world

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Opening Remarks by Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey at The Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative,16 June 2012, Istanbul

Honourable Ministers,
Excellencies,

Turkey is committed to a strong and effective nuclear non-proliferation regime, and we attach great importance to working together with the like-minded countries in taking forward the objectives of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It is, therefore, with great pleasure that I am hosting the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) in Istanbul.

We gather here today fully conscious of our collective responsibility to work towards achieving the goal of a safer world without nuclear weapons. Proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction constitutes one of the leading challenges for the humanity. Real advancement in securing our world from the threat of nuclear weapons can only be achieved through continuous and irreversible progress in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. It is only through full compliance by all States with the international legal obligations in the areas of non-proliferation and disarmament that peaceful uses of nuclear energy can flourish for the benefit of all.

The successful conclusion of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, entry into force and ongoing implementation of the new START, commitment to and progress achieved in securing nuclear and other radioactive materials through the Nuclear Security Summit process and finally the momentum achieved by the ratifications of the CTBT are positive developments, giving us hope for further achievements in the future. However, significant challenges remain.

Admittedly, the overall disarmament process is facing important problems. To be able to disperse the gloom and pave the way for greater achievements in the future, we believe that the international community needs to attain meaningful progress in the short term. The commencement of negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament, as well as a successful Middle East Conference and the gradual foundation of a Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction are but two examples. The early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) will also be a vital building block.

We have just left behind the First Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) Meeting of the 2015 RevCon in Vienna where all these issues and other concerns were addressed. Concerns that nuclear disarmament was not proceeding quickly enough; widespread interest in the implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East; increased focus on the humanitarian dimension of using nuclear weapons were among the highlights of the meeting. Active civil society participation was notable. The deliberations were overall constructive and positive. But, as I have stated this morning, they also revealed the persistent, complicated and intertwined nature of our challenges.

I am pleased to particularly note that, in Vienna, the NPDI was active, efficient and visible. The continued constructive engagement of the NPDI countries in the implementation of the 2010 Action Plan and our cooperation across geographic and political lines over the last two years has proved effective. We worked together to help achieve progress where we could, and accepted that on some issues progress was not yet possible.

As we are moving forward, today's meeting represents a good opportunity to take stock of what we have so far accomplished, as well as how we are going to proceed. I am confident that by continue working constructively together, we will be able to deal successfully with the challenges that confront us.

With these remarks, I now open the floor for discussions.