Ambassador Beresford-Hill on 2021 report from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the General Assembly

11/11/2022

On Wednesday 9th November, H.E. Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill addressed the General Assembly during the meeting called to discuss the 2021 report, and other recent findings, from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Ambassador Beresford-Hill started by stressing the importance of the IAEA over their many years of dedication in promoting the peaceful and responsible use of nuclear energy across our planet.

He continued by referencing that today “the nuclear weapons stockpile currently stands at over 13,000 nuclear warheads. Now, while various arguments have been made towards the necessity of such weapons, we must open our eyes to the most recent developments we have witnessed at the multilateral level of diplomacy. Both the Non-Proliferation Treaty failing to reach consensus in August, and the rising global nuclear tensions have cast a dark shadow over the current geopolitical landscape. Greater surveillance over the production and intent of nuclear weapons should be respected by all member states unanimously and without obstruction. As Cardinal Parolin said; “As long as nuclear weapons exist, we cannot rule out the possibility of their use, which threatens ‘any possible future for our common home’ as well as humankind’s very existence.”

Furthermore, Ambassador Beresford-Hill praised the IAEA for their ‘Country Nuclear Power Profiles’ work, believing that they remain one of the best solutions available to the international community in advocating for the total elimination of nuclear weapons on our planet.

Another point he raised was the sheer cost that nuclear weapons require, and thus how that money can be, and should be better spent across the planet. He said:

“The sobering reality of the cost of nuclear weapons remains harrowing. $82.4 billion is how much ‘The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’ discovered that nine nuclear-armed states spent on their nuclear weapons in 2021 alone. These expenses were made during a global pandemic, rising global food insecurity and an ongoing humanitarian crisis. To put this into perspective, the cost of feeding a child for an entire school year through the charity ‘Mary’s Meals’ stands at only $18 per child. Nuclear expenditure is money that is needed and deserved elsewhere. We cannot allow ourselves and our neighbors to choose weapons over life, and certainly not at the expense of fundamental human rights.”

To watch the full statement:

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