Total nuclear abolition
I refer to an interesting editorial, "For nuclear-free world," published by The Korea Times in the Opinion page on March 24.
There is no doubt that the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit is a major historic event dedicated to fundamental issues. Indeed, preventing nuclear terrorism and strengthening global nuclear security are on the clear-cut list of high priorities of the world community of nations.
It is appropriate to remind people of an encouraging fact. All 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) are party to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANFWZ Treaty).
This treaty, which was signed in Bangkok on Dec. 15, 1995, serves as a meaningful instrument for enhancing ASEAN’s contribution to the collective efforts toward the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and the promotion of international peace and security.
In accordance with this regional legal instrument, all states are obliged not to develop, manufacture or otherwise acquire, possess or have control over nuclear weapons; station nuclear weapons; or test or use nuclear weapons anywhere inside or outside the treaty zone.
The treaty also calls on the states not to seek or receive any assistance in this and take any action to assist or encourage the manufacturing or acquisition of any nuclear explosive device by any state.
These objectives have to be treated with maximum attention, as the ASEAN Charter signed in Singapore on Nov. 20, 2007, and entered into force on Dec. 15, 2008, specifically stipulates that one of the purposes of ASEAN is to preserve Southeast Asia as a nuclear weapon-free zone and free of all other weapons of mass destruction.
Moreover, important diplomatic dialogue is going on with nuclear weapon states with the prospect of their accession to the SEANFWZ Treaty.
It is very useful to make universally known the profile of the SEANWFZ in significant forums of multilateral diplomacy, like the Seoul summit.
During the current era of global perplexities and vulnerabilities, the strict observance of all provisions of the SEANFWZ Treaty is vital not only for Southeast Asia, but for the future of world peace. That can also help give tangibility to the cardinal goal of total nuclear weapons abolition, in harmony with the humanistic aspirations of all peace-loving peoples.
Dr. Ioan Voicu
Bangkapi, Huamark, Bangkok