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Cablegate: Guidance: Remarks for Disarmament Thematic

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UNCLAS STATE 122941

SIPDIS
USUN FOR GERMAIN AND RENEAU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PARM UNSC CS
SUBJECT: GUIDANCE: REMARKS FOR DISARMAMENT THEMATIC
DEBATE, NOVEMBER 19

1. USUN is authorized to use para. 2 remarks
in the Costa Rica-sponsored thematic debate
on the regulation and reduction of armaments,
November 19, 2008.

2. Begin text:

Mr. President,

I would like to thank the Costa Rican delegation for
bringing us together for a discussion of this important
subject. Costa Rica's dedication to fostering peace
through the promotion of disarmament is well known, as is
the personal commitment of President Arias. We are
honored by his presence.

The United States recognizes the UN's role in promoting
the maintenance of international peace and security and
the responsibilities of all UN Member States in that
regard. To that end, the United States has long taken a
leading role in promoting arms reduction and fighting
proliferation, particularly of weapons of mass
destruction.

The United States recognizes that multilateral engagement
is an important tool in curbing armaments and in blocking
weapons proliferators. Treaties, such as the NPT, can
play a role, but so can voluntary associations.

In 2003, the United States launched the Proliferation
Security Initiative (PSI), a dynamic, active approach to
the global proliferation problem. Today, over 90
participating member states work voluntarily and in
concert, employing their national capabilities to develop
a broad range of legal, diplomatic, economic, military,
and other tools to interdict threatening shipments of
weapons of mass destruction and missile-related equipment
and technologies.

The United States also participates alongside 39 other
states in the Wassenaar Arrangement, a voluntary export
control regime that governs both conventional weapons and
dual use items. We hope that additional states would join
the United States in participating in PSI and in adopting
the Wassenaar Arrangement's export control list.

The United States has also taken a leading role in
reducing the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons
through its assistance programs such as destruction,
stockpile security, and marking of weapons.

Of course, action within the United Nations is also
important. The U.S., for its part, has introduced a
resolution in the current session of the General Assembly
that reaffirms member states' commitment to full
compliance with arms control agreements and commitments.
The UN has also developed a Program of Action on the
illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and produced
a consensus report, including recommendations of experts,
on verification in all its aspects.

More specifically, the Security Council has a role to play
as well. Security Council Resolution 1540 is an
unprecedented initiative and a good example of the type of
contribution the UN can make to promoting international
cooperation in the area of nonproliferation.

While the scope of the resolution includes terrorist
activities, it was designed to address the full-range of
proliferation activity, including non-state actors that
provide proliferation-related services. The resolution
also places requirements on UN Member States to take
specific measures to criminalize activities that can
contribute to or support proliferation activities. The
Security Council Committee established pursuant to
resolution 1540 has an important role to play in promoting
implementation of the resolution.

In addition, the resolution advances the economic
interests of nations seeking to be key global economic
suppliers of goods and services. The United States and
several other states have extensive programs that can help
member
nations implement Resolution 1540, and we stand ready to
do more.

We believe the Council can play a role in bolstering these
and other efforts, not least by calling on States to live
up to their obligations under Council decisions.

Reduction of armaments remains an important goal for many
UN member states and can, in the right circumstances,
maintain and even increase security in many areas of the
world.

END TEXT
RICE

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