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        General Assembly
10 November 2003


12th meeting
held on
Tuesday, 26 October 1993
at 10 a.m.
New York


Mr. von WAGNER



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


1. Mr. SIAM (Lebanon) said that on the eve of the twenty-first century, mankind seemed poised to renounce strife and to divert the thrust of science and technology from destructive uses to the service of humanity and prosperity. The First Committee was called upon not only to work for disarmament, but to ensure that peace and stability prevailed in the post-cold-war world.

2. As a founding Member of the United Nations, and despite the bloody wars its people had endured, Lebanon remained convinced that international relations should be governed by the principles of peace, democracy, freedom, sovereignty and peaceful cooperation. The peace which was being ushered in in the Middle East, albeit haltingly, should be predicated on justice and respect for the sovereignty and independence of all countries of the region and the legitimate rights of their peoples, and should stem not from the prevention of wars and the imposition of military security, but from the respect, despite their cultural, confessional and intellectual differences, of humans and States for their fellows, rather than from resolutions. Lebanon was determined to begin a new chapter in its hitherto dark history by rebuilding its internal peace and security, which were inseparable, while paying due regard to regional and international developments affecting peace and security overall.

3. At the international level, disarmament was essential to the achievement of peace and security. The United Nations had a growing role to play in the establishment of the new world order, and Member States must provide the Organization with the means necessary for it to assume its responsibilities. His delegation commended the efforts of the Secretary-General to implement the ideas contained in his reports, "An Agenda for Peace" and "New dimensions of arms regulation and disarmament in the post-cold-war era", and to find ways of strengthening confidence-building measures and developing monitoring and arms control.

4. Lebanon was grateful to the Secretariat for the emergency mission to improve security and provide humanitarian assistance undertaken in July 1993 by the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, following the devastating Israeli aggression against southern Lebanon and the western Bekaa.

5. His delegation welcomed the decision by the Conference on Disarmament to give the Ad Hoc Committee on a Nuclear Test Ban a mandate to negotiate a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty (CTBT), as well as the decision by the President of the United States of America to extend the self-imposed United States nuclear-test ban, which augured well for the reaching of an agreement on a comprehensive test ban within a reasonable space of time.

6. Lebanon looked forward to the 1995 Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and hoped that that review conference would result in an agreement strengthening the Treaty by extending it either indefinitely or for an additional fixed period or periods. In that connection, he urged all States to accede to the Treaty as soon as possible and to open all their nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

7. His country reiterated its support for General Assembly resolutions 47/52 L on transparency in armaments and 46/36 L establishing the Register of Conventional Arms. The data provided for the Register should also include information on national arms production.

8. Lebanon welcomed the proposal of Ambassador O'Sullivan, regarding the expansion of the membership of the Conference on Disarmament, and was confident that the difficulties posed by such expansion could be overcome.

9. At the regional level, the fiercest and longest conflict in the Middle East had been that between the Arab countries and Israel. The climate of international détente and reconciliation following the end of the cold war offered the Arab countries a unique opportunity to escape from the maelstrom of war and confrontation in which they had been caught since the foundation of Israel. Lebanon had joined the peace process sponsored by the United States and the Russian Federation on the basis of full implementation of Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978). The internal peace and security of Lebanon could not be achieved without peace and security in the Arab region. The peace process launched at Madrid and culminating in the Washington agreement on Gaza and Jericho appeared uncertain, with peace at times seemingly within reach, and at others still far off. Separate and partial solutions could only engender fresh conflicts. It was not enough to end the state of war or to impose security on the region; peace must be built on a firm and equitable basis in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

10. Peace in the Middle East required confidence-building, for which a prerequisite was the accession of Israel to the NPT. Israel's continued development and production of nuclear weapons and testing of delivery systems, as well as its refusal to abide by Security Council resolution 487 (1981) calling upon it to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards, were detrimental to the peace process and regional peace and stability. Accession by Israel to the NPT would help to bring about a climate of trust and encourage other countries in the region also to accede to the Treaty. Banning the possession, use or threat of use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons was part of the unified, integrated and indivisible concept of a global ban on weapons of mass destruction, without which there could be no peace and security. Until such time as a CTBT could be concluded, all States should accede to and abide by all the existing treaties on disarmament, in particular the NPT, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction.

11. Lebanon renewed its appeal to the Arab countries to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, taking into account the report of the Secretary-General at the previous session, which had reiterated that the establishment of the zone should come eventually as a result of building sufficient confidence among the principal actors in the region.

12. Peace and stability in the region necessitated a withdrawal by Israel from southern Lebanon and Lebanon's recovery of full sovereignty over its national territory, in accordance with Security Council resolution 425 (1978). Nor should the international community forget the plight of the hundreds of Lebanese detainees unjustly held by Israel despite numerous pleas by the Commission on Human Rights and Amnesty International. Israel had refused to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross and relatives access to those detainees. While expressing his appreciation for the efforts of the United Nations and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to maintain stability in southern Lebanon, his country fully expected to recover its territories occupied by Israel and to reestablish its complete sovereignty in the interests of peace and security in the region.


18. Mr. AL-THOUR (Yemen) ...


22. The Middle East was on the threshold of a new era; Yemen supported the agreement between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel but believed that Israel's acquisition of nuclear weapons posed a threat to peace and security in the area.

The meeting rose at 11.55 a.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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