Liberia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Lewis Garseedah Brown II, says the attainment of peace and the maintenance of security cannot become a reality unless the forces responsible for raising the levels of weapon-related anxiety are brought under some reasonable form of effective international control.
“Liberia believes the real fear posed by either the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons are best addressed through multilateral approaches and actions,” he said, noting that together, we can all become victims so we must stand together to remove this threat.
According to dispatch from New York, the Liberian diplomat made the statement when, for the first time, he addressed the First Committee General Debate on Disarmament and International Security during the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters.
He indicated that because of the consequences of the threat of nuclear weapons, Liberia was proud to join other countries in signing the Humanitarian Pledge against its use. “We hope the realization remains strong that the use, or threat of the use of nuclear weapons, presents our human family with its most serious existential threat just as our collective will to act against that threat must be equally unwavering,” Ambassador Brown stressed, citing Liberia’s recent condemnation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Ambassador Brown stressed that the world does not need more nuclear tests; rather, it needs more elimination of nuclear weapons.
He reaffirmed Liberia’s commitment to the peaceful use of nuclear energy; but indicated that the country’s support for the total elimination of nuclear weapons reflects an urgent and reasonable priority in the search for universal peace and security. “We will not ignore at our peril, the increasingly chilling and frightening consequences of the use of nuclear weapons,” he emphasized.
Ambassador Brown also specified that Liberia shares the view that nuclear weapons-free zones are indispensable to strengthening the Non-Proliferation Treaty and to promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and reaffirmed the value of the Treaty of Pelindaba, which cements Africa’s status as a nuclear-weapons free zone.
He also associated Liberia’s concurrence with the statements of the African Group and the Non-Aligned Movement during the Committee’s General Debate.
The Permanent Representative to the United Nations noted Liberia’s recognition of the efforts of State Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), indicating that scrupulous implementation of the ATT will assist states in their efforts to curb the illicit acquisition of small arms, light weapons, and other conventional weapons.
Touching on the efforts Liberia is making on the home front, Ambassador Brown said, “With a goal of preventing persons from trafficking in or gaining unauthorized access to weapons, working in partnership with ECOWAS, the Liberian government is strengthening the capacity of security personnel tasked with patrolling our borders especially in the wake of the assumption of full security responsibilities by Liberia securities from UNMIL on June 30.” He added: “To further curb the proliferation of conventional weapons, the Government of Liberia declared full amnesty for all persons who surrender small arms and light weapons under the ECOWAS – EU Weapons Collection Program.
He also stressed Liberia’s support to the full implementation of the UN Program of Action on small arms and light weapons.
“We do not have to live with the threat of nuclear weapons,” Ambassador Brown cautioned, emphasizing that it is possible to do so for ourselves and for our children.