Prof. U. Joy Ogwu

Ambassador and Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations

New York, NY

22nd March, 2011

As Delivered

I wish to say that my delegation appreciates the enormous sense of duty and the enthusiasm with which Ambassador Néstor Osorio has conducted the work of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006). I want to assure him that my delegation supports him with the same level of enthusiasm and responsibility.

 Nigeria remains committed to the ideal of a nuclear-free world. We regard the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery as a serious threat to our collective security. Indeed, it is a global challenge that requires concerted and sustained effort on the part of the international community, including the Security Council. The Committee must therefore remain vigilant, as its actions and decisions will guide the international response to this potent threat.

 We welcome the role and the work of the Committee and its Panel of Experts during the reporting period. In particular, we commend the reported increase in the reporting of sanctions violations by Member States. It is edifying to note that the Panel of Experts made tremendous progress during the first eight weeks of its activities. For its part, Nigeria will continue to cooperate with and demonstrate strong support for the work of the Committee.

 We are concerned that little progress was made in the interaction between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran on the outstanding issues relating to Iran’s nuclear activities. It is also distressing to note that the Istanbul and Geneva talks were unable to yield the desired results. These are developments of grave concern, which underscore the need for sustained engagement with Iran on its nuclear activities.

 We are, however, confident that, despite the challenges, diplomatic negotiation, which has served us relatively well in the past, still remains relevant — and perhaps the only sustainable mechanism to resolve all outstanding issues relating to Iran’s nuclear activities.

 We call on the IAEA to be unrelenting in its effort to explore measures to build confidence in consonance with the resolutions of the Security Council. We call for efforts to be stepped up by all actors, including the E3+3, towards facilitating a negotiated solution. It is absolutely vital that Iran attempt to build confidence among the international community with regard to the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities. But in order to achieve this, it must follow through on its commitment to engage in talks on its nuclear programme by more strident and substantive engagement in the process.