Belgium is resolutely committed to a world free of nuclear weapons, which must be achieved through global, reciprocal and gradual efforts.
The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) remains the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime. It has been ratified by our country as well as by all NATO members. This is why, while respecting its commitments and obligations within NATO, Belgium wishes to play a proactive role at the NPT Review Conference in August 2021. Together with NATO’s European allies, Belgium will verify how to strengthen the multilateral non-proliferation framework. With regard to the formulation of the European position, our country will commit to it from the outset, paying particular attention to disarmament control mechanisms and nuclear risk reduction.
The United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), on the subject of which a resolution was voted on today 7 December at the United Nations General Assembly, could give new impetus to multilateral nuclear disarmament, but it is not the right tool to achieve our objectives of initiating global, reciprocal and gradual efforts.
That is the reason why Belgium is maintaining its vote against this resolution in line with these principles and in line with NATO allies. Belgium notes that no country possessing nuclear weapons has joined it, nor have its NATO allies. It is obvious that real disarmament efforts must include the countries possessing nuclear weapons.
Moreover, the TPNW does not contain a mechanism for implementation or verification of the commitments of the States parties. In the absence of a tangible and verifiable agreement, Belgium remains fully committed to NATO’s policy of deterrence.
Nevertheless, Belgium remains strongly committed to a world free of nuclear weapons.