Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi emphasized that nuclear disarmament in the world must continue to be a shared priority following the number of countries that have apparently owned 13,000 weapons. Retno called this large number a real threat to human life.
In a high-level meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for Nuclear Disarmament, Sunday (26/9) in New York, United States (US), Retno also underlined the need for a global disarmament mechanism that must be continuously strengthened. In addition, the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes must also be prioritized.
“Moreover, currently there are more than 13,000 nuclear weapons in the world and countries with nuclear weapons continue to modernize their nuclear weapons,” said Retno.
“This situation adds to Indonesia’s concern because of the slow pace and lack of commitment in efforts to disarm nuclear weapons,” he continued, as quoted from a release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The commemoration of the International Day for Nuclear Disarmament is carried out to encourage all nuclear powers to carry out their commitments to abolish their nuclear weapons, and to cooperate in ensuring the right of each country to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
This conference is an annual meeting as mandated by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution adopted in 2013, which was proposed by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Nuclear Use Concerns
International Relations Observer from Padjadjaran University Teuku Rezasyah told VOA, Tuesday (27/9), explaining Jakarta’s concern is understandable because Indonesia and ASEAN are always thinking about how to make the world free from nuclear weapons.
“But right now the world is afraid because in East Asia there are often missile tests. If the missile test is successful, it can be used to load nuclear weapons even though the party who did it said they would not do it. But the perpetrators have that energy (nuclear). ),” said Rezasyah.
Concern grew, he continued, when Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to use nuclear weapons to solve the problems that plagued Russia.
Rezasyah emphasized that ideally nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes, for example for health, agriculture and energy.
According to him, Indonesia and ASEAN could realize a nuclear-weapon-free area, but there is no guarantee in other regions that this can be done. Because the world is an unbelievable environment and moves very fast.
He gave an example of the AUKUS agreement (Australia, UK, and US) which allows Australia to have a nuclear-powered submarine program and will be circulated throughout the world, including Southeast Asia.
Rezasyah said the need to strengthen two international systems, namely in the field of international atomic energy and the nuclear weapons non-proliferation agreement or NPT.
Nuclear control, he continued, must be made very strict and programmed so that no countries with nuclear weapons threaten each other. Because the direct impact of the use of nuclear weapons is the extinction of mankind.
In addition, according to him, there is a need for an international system to ensure that nuclear laboratories in the world are used for peaceful purposes, not for war purposes. The inspection mechanism by the International Atomic Energy Agency or the IAEA should be carried out fairly on all nuclear laboratories. He gave an example that the IAEA has never inspected nuclear facilities belonging to Israel and North Korea, only diligently inspecting nuclear reactors belonging to Iran.
Shifting the Nuclear Issue
Meanwhile, Nanto Sriyanto, international relations observer from the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) said that the nuclear issue has indeed experienced a shift from the era before the Second World War to the present. Initially, nuclear was used as the ultimate weapon and as a bargaining chip to fight for influence between America and the Soviet Union.
However, after the Cold War, he continued, nuclear was used as a threat. Nuclear uses can vary and it can be very scary.
“Nuclear becomes even more terrible when it is not controlled and many are owned by other countries. That’s why in this world there is a NPT regime. It means that nuclear power should be owned by a handful of countries, even though the goal is not to be more exclusive but to control more,” said Nanto.
Nanto added that the implementation of the restrictions on nuclear technology needs to be strengthened because nuclear has two uses, namely generating electrical energy and using military with very massive destructive power. However, the NPT as a regime has become a political game tool for a number of large countries.
He added that world polarization affects the spread of nuclear technology as well as a country’s domestic ambitions.
Currently there are nine countries that have nuclear weapons, namely America, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea. [fw/ah]