President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday called for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, warning that trafficking in nuclear materials remained a potential threat to international peace and security.
In his video message to the UN High-level meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, President Buhari restated Nigeria’s commitment to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
The President in a statement issued by his Spokesman, Chief Femi Adesina, however, expressed concern about the ‘‘slow pace’’ of States possessing nuclear weapons in disarming and decommissioning their existing nuclear facilities.
”We are concerned about the slow pace of progress by nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals, in accordance with their legal obligations and undertakings under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).”
The President reiterated the need for the United Nations to continue engaging Nuclear Weapon States to speed up their efforts in disarming and decommissioning their existing nuclear facilities.
According to him, ”The best approach to avoid damage associated with nuclear materials such as humanitarian crisis, accidents, disasters and criminality is the total elimination of nuclear weapons.”
He told world leaders at the virtual summit that the universalization of the NPT was dependent upon strict compliance with its three pillars namely, disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
He, therefore, enjoined other Member States to ratify the Treaty, noting that Nigeria had played a major role in negotiations leading to the coming into force of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone Treaty (Pelindaba Treaty).