National Statement of Finland at the 10th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Main Committee 1 on 4th August, 2022

Read the National Statement of Finland at the 10th NPT Review Conference Main Committee 1, delivered by Ms. Outi Hyvärinen, Director of Arms Control, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, on 4th August, 2022.

Mr. Chairman,

In addition to the statements by European Union and Sweden on behalf of the Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament, let me make this national statement.

Article VI of the NPT provides a permanent and universally recognised basis for pursuing nuclear as well as general and complete disarmament. It is the embodiment of our common quest to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

Disarmament is a gradual process, requiring proper attention for legitimate security concerns of all.  Reaching world free of nuclear weapons requires verifiable and irreversible steps by states possessing nuclear weapons, whether parties to the NPT or not.

Nuclear disarmament is foremost responsibility of these states. At the same time, nuclear disarmament – especially lack of it – is a concern for each nation of the world.

Finland condemns the unprovoked and unjustified attack of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. Russian threats of nuclear use and raising of nuclear alert levels undermine efforts for nuclear disarmament. We call on Russia to cease its reckless behaviour.

The total number of nuclear weapons today is significantly lower than during the Cold War. We are concerned that this downward trend might be reversing. We must not let this happen! The world and the peoples do not need arms racing.

We welcome the extension of the New START by the Russian Federation and the United States. The biggest nuclear weapons states need to continue spearheading nuclear arms control and disarmament - and others need to follow suit.

All nuclear weapon possessors need to commit themselves to nuclear disarmament and all nuclear possessors need to accelerate their action towards this end. We are expecting enhanced commitments for nuclear disarmament in this Review Conference. These include inter alia:

Accelerated implementation of the previously agreed “13 Steps” and the “64 Point Action Plan” for nuclear disarmament.

Commitment to not increase the number of nuclear weapons and not to develop new nuclear weapons systems as interim steps in nuclear disarmament.

Commitment to address non-strategic nuclear weapons in arms control and disarmament, with a view of rapid reduction in their numbers.

Commitment to enhance the negative security assurances to non-nuclear weapons states and nuclear free zones, with view of achieving an international Treaty to this end.

Mr. Chairman,

Nuclear weapons pose a risk for every nation. A nuclear weapon detonation would have catastrophic humanitarian consequences. It is in our common interest to reduce risks for any nuclear weapon use – intended or unintended.

Nuclear risk reduction includes a wide range of measures ranging from political declarations to technical crisis communication arrangements. Nuclear risk reduction is no substitute for nuclear disarmament, but can certainly advance it.

In our view, international cooperation and agreements on nuclear risk reduction measures can help us to close pathways to nuclear use. Reduction of nuclear risks deserve a major place in the deliberations and outcomes of the NPT Review Conference.

Finland contributes actively for finding and building common ground in nuclear risk reduction. As a member in the Stockholm Initiative for nuclear disarmament, we have provided a comprehensive and detailed working paper on nuclear risk reduction for the Review Conference. We urge the Conference to give thorough consideration for these proposals.

Mr. Chairman,

Advancing nuclear disarmament and reaching the nuclear zero requires determined political will. It requires serious negotiations taking into account security concerns of all nations. Going forward and avoiding backtracking is more important than knowing the exact time of arrival.

In the meantime, let us make it sure that nuclear weapons will never be used again.