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Madam President of the UN General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés,

Ladies and gentlemen Foreign Ministers,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Permanent Representatives to the United Nations,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends,

I am very honored to have the opportunity to speak at this High Level Plenary Meeting to commemorate and promote the "International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons". This is one of the most important issues on the international agenda.

The existence of nuclear arsenals is a pernicious legacy of the Cold War. Paradoxically, we are now witnessing with concern almost three decades after the end of the bipolar order, the revival of doctrines on the use of nuclear weapons, contrary to the aspirations of the international community.

In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on the collective obligation of non-proliferation, while the obligation of the five Nuclear-Weapon States to pursue disarmament has been relegated. In addition, the emphasis on the fight against nuclear proliferation has had a negative impact on the inalienable right of all States Parties to the NPT to access nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes.

This does not mean that the risks associated with the use of nuclear technologies by unauthorized actors should be neglected, but that nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament are mutually reinforcing processes. To be effective, a non-proliferation policy must acknowledge that the mere existence of nuclear arsenals alone is an incentive to proliferation.

It is therefore essential that nuclear disarmament be pursued vigorously. In the end, what does not exist cannot be proliferated.

The adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by the General Assembly of this organization, on July 7, 2017, sent a strong message regarding the incompatibility between nuclear weapons and the international order based on the principles of international humanitarian law and of human rights.

The elimination of the danger of an atomic war, whether voluntary or accidental, requires not only the reduction of arsenals by the nuclear powers, it requires their demobilization. At least 15 mil warheads are on alert. It only takes a simple push of the button to trigger an unimaginable scale of inhumanity.

A world free of nuclear weapons is a goal as ambitious as it is indispensable. I wish to express Brazil's hope that the upcoming NPT Review Conference, which will take place in 2020, can produce concrete results as we approach the goal of the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

I also take this opportunity to announce that the Member States of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) have adopted a declaration on the occasion of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Arms. we are honored to distribute at this session, as coordinators of OPANAL in New York.

Thank you for your attention.

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