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        General Assembly
9 November 1993


10th meeting
held on
Monday, 25 October 1993
at 10 a.m.
New York


Mr. von WAGNER



The meeting was called to order at 10.25 a.m.



14. Mr. YATIV (Israel) said that the Middle East region had taken historic and dramatic steps towards peace and reconciliation as a result of recent developments at the International Peace Conference. Discussions at the Conference concerning the unique security situation prevailing in the Middle East had underlined the need to take into account the concerns and interests of all countries of the region in developing solutions to outstanding security problems. Consequently, confidence-building measures must take precedence over the arms control process in the region. For its part, Israel, had been pursuing confidence-building activities with its neighbours within the working group on regional security and arms control, which was part of the multilateral track of the Conference. The activities had included a workshop on verification held in Cairo, and workshops with extra-regional countries serving as mentors on communications-related confidence-building measures, search and rescue at sea, pre-notification and exchange of information on military exercises, and long-range objectives. Israel welcomed the progress made in the international talks, and hoped that Syria and Lebanon would join that important forum.

15. It had become clear in the wake of the Gulf War that excessive accumulation of weapons arsenals was a major source of instability in the region and that conventional weapons often caused no less destruction than non-conventional weapons. A special effort thus needed to be made to curb arms supplies to the Middle East. In that context, Israel supported General Assembly resolution 47/52 L concerning "Transparency in armaments", and had submitted information to the Register of Conventional Arms.

16. With respect to the question of chemical weapons, Israel regarded the establishment of a chemical-weapon-free region in the Middle East as an achievable goal and one of the main objectives of its foreign policy. In accordance with that position, Israel supported the goals of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, and had been among the first group of States to sign the Convention in January of 1993. There was need for more general compliance with the provisions of the Convention, and its universality must also be guaranteed in terms of the right to membership in the governing bodies established by it.

17. While Israel supported the principle of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and had voted in favour of the NPT in 1968, it believed that an agreement regarding a nuclear-weapon-free zone, which would be freely and directly negotiated among the States of the region, including mutual verification arrangements, would be a more suitable approach to eliminating nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. Furthermore, it was Israel's view that the nuclear issue should be dealt with only within the full context of the peace process, as well as other regional security problems. Nevertheless, Israel supported the work of the Preparatory Committee for the NPT review conference.

18. Recent developments in the peace process provided an important opportunity to settle regional problems and to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East. However, matters of security could be settled only among the States of the region. The evolving situation must be used to enhance regional security by building confidence between States in the region and diminishing levels of suspicion and hostility. That process deserved all the support and encouragement of the international community, and for that reason Israel welcomed the participation of States outside of the region in the multilateral talks on regional security and arms control.

19. Lastly, the dramatic changes taking place in the Middle East should lead to a reappraisal of the positions and resolutions of the United Nations in order to bring them into accord with the new realities of the region. For example, Israel believed that the agenda item entitled "Israeli nuclear armament" should be struck from the agenda.

The meeting rose at 12.30 p.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of the publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-794, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.

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