Ireland wins Arms Control Person of the Year10/1/18
The disarmament delegation of Ireland, alongside Austria, Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa, and Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez of Costa Rica, has been awarded 2017 Arms Control Person(s) of the Year for their leadership during the negotiations of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
Tánaiste and Minster for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D. commented: “I am delighted to learn that Ireland and our close partners have been awarded the prestigious Arms Control Person(s) of the Year for our work in leading the negotiations on the landmark 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. I’m pleased that Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez of Costa Rica in particular is recognised for her successful efforts in guiding the Treaty negotiations. I also acknowledge our fellow nominees, which include Pope Francis and EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, for their substantive contribution to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation in 2017. While last year presented many challenges on the disarmament front, this award recognises the positive progress that has been made, fuelling our desire for further success in our goal to ensure a more peaceful world, free from weapons of mass destruction.”
The Tánaiste added: “Ireland has begun working towards ratification of the Treaty and we urge other States to do likewise. We have a deep sense of the risks and catastrophic consequences of any use of nuclear weapons; risks and consequences which, considering the current security environment in the DPRK, remain at the forefront of our minds and serve to heighten our ambition to prohibit these weapons.”
Nuclear disarmament has been a priority for Ireland from the outset of our membership of the United Nations. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which Ireland has long been associated with, always envisaged a separate legal instrument to give effect to its disarmament provisions. The TPNW is ground-breaking, due to its core provisions which effectively prohibit nuclear weapons, and also due to its deep commitment to humanitarianism, to disarmament education, and its recognition of survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings (who are known as the Hibakusha), and the importance of the full and effective participation of women in the future work of the Treaty.