Pakistan has called for evolving a rules-based, equitable and non-discriminatory international order to promote nuclear disarmament that addresses the security concerns of all states.

Speaking in the General Assembly’s First Committee, which deals with disarmament and international security matters, Ambassador Farukh Amil, who is Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations offices in Geneva, said that such an international order should also limit and rationalize the stockpiles of conventional weapons, strengthen the non-proliferation regime by shunning double standards, and extend negative security assurances to non-nuclear weapon states.

Ambassador Amil, who was participating in a thematic debate on nuclear weapons, said that double standards in the application of non-proliferation norms for the sake of political expedience and economic benefits endangered strategic stability in the South Asia region and beyond.

At the same time, he said that amid a worsening international and regional security environment, the goal of nuclear disarmament seemed ever more elusive.

That lack of progress was primarily due to nuclear-weapon States in fulfilling their disarmament obligations, while constantly shifting the goal posts towards additional non‑proliferation measures that were cost-free for their own strategic gains.

The frustration brewing over the slow progress had boiled over, giving rise to an initiative launched outside the Conference on Disarmament to ban nuclear weapons, which had subsequently faltered by ignoring the fundamental security considerations that underpinned nuclear disarmament.

While his Government empathized with the sense of disappointment that propelled the proponents of such a ban, the Pakistani envoy said such initiatives would not lead to any real change on the ground.

For its part, any treaty that failed to improve security for all States was a non-starter, as evidenced by the failure of the fissile material cut-off treaty negotiations to begin. Similarly, a treaty that only resulted in a cut-off in the future production of fissile material would jeopardize Pakistan’s security and bring no added value to the cause of disarmament.

Pakistan, Ambassador Ami said, remained committed to the goal of complete nuclear disarmament in a universal, verifiable and non-discriminatory manner. The objective of this process should be undiminished security at the lowest possible level of armaments and military forces.

“A nuclear weapons free world would be less stable and less secure if some countries possess disproportionately excessive conventional military capabilities,” the Pakistani envoy said. Nuclear disarmament, therefore, needs to be pursued in a comprehensive and holistic manner, he added.