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The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.
Agenda items 85 to 105 ( continued)
Thematic discussion on item subjects and introduction and consideration of all draft resolutions submitted under all disarmament and international security agenda items
Mr. El Hadj Ali (Algeria) (spoke in French ): ...
At the same time, given its proximity and the close ties between Africa and the Middle East, Algeria remains deeply concerned by the absence of progress regarding the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in that difficult region, where Israel, alone, continues to refuse to join the NPT and to submit all of its facilities to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. As a result, we feel that it is essential to take specific measures to implement the goals and objectives of the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 NPT Review Conference.
Ms. Al Owais (United Arab Emirates) (spoke in Arabic ): Notwithstanding confidence-building measures adopted by the Arab States, including the United Arab Emirates, with regard to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) disarmament, the security situation in the Middle East continues to pose a major threat to international peace, security and stability. This is due to the fact that Israel continues to possess a nuclear weapons arsenal and their means of delivery. The United Arab Emirates — while voicing its concern that Israel is the only State in our part of the world not party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and that it is unwilling to place its nuclear facilities under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) — feels that the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East has been prevented because of inequality of treatment and of double standards applied in the realm of disarmament in general. That, in turn, has encouraged Israel, in various ways, to pursue its irresponsible policy of developing its own nuclear weapons arsenal, and has encouraged other States to revive their push for acquiring nuclear weapons in the framework of their own conception of security deterrence.
We therefore cal upon the international community to assume its full responsibility regarding peace and security in the Middle East by undertaking the following commitments. First, effective measures should be taken to force Israel to dismantle its nuclear facilities and to subject them to the comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitoring and safeguards regime. Secondly, the international community should exert more effective and serious pressure on the Israeli Government, including economic pressure, to prompt it without reserve to heed the call to join the NPT and the IAEA and its two protocols designed to enhance that Agency’s mandate. Thirdly, we call upon all States, notably the nuclear-weapon States, to abide by the commitments they have made under relevant international resolutions proscribing the provision of financial, technical or scientific support for the development of Israel’s nuclear weapons programme.
Those measures are designed to enhance confidence and build a positive environment, and once they are taken they will give a fresh impetus to the peace process in our part of the world. They would also strengthen efforts to contain violence and forestall any nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists and other irresponsible elements. Finally, we hope that delegations in this Committee will lend their support to the two draft resolutions concerning the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and addressing the danger of nuclear proliferation in that part of the world (A/C.1/60/L.3 and A/C.1/60/L.6). Those draft resolutions accurately reflect the concerns of the States of the region and dovetail with the efforts of the international community to achieve general and complete nuclear disarmament, with a view to ridding all of our peoples of the horrors of nuclear war.
Mr. Al-Kubaisi (Qatar) (spoke in Arabic): ...
The General Assembly, in a number of resolutions, the latest being 59/63, has urged all parties directly concerned to consider taking the practical and urgent steps required for the implementation of the proposal to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. In that same resolution, the General Assembly urged the countries concerned to adhere to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). In that connection, the Assembly has also urged all States that had not yet done so to submit their nuclear facilities and activities to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards regime. Until the day when a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East is a reality, we must work for the acceptance of the principles on which it is based; we must help generate the political will among the parties involved to take the steps designed to bring it about and to refrain from producing, acquiring or testing nuclear weapons and from placing such weapons on their territories or on lands under their control.
The delegation of Qatar would like to emphasize that States in our part of the world generally agree with the provisions of that and other relevant resolutions. With a view to achieving general and complete disarmament, Qatar welcomes all initiatives aimed at establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones, as well as all weapons of mass destruction. In that connection, my country signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons ( NPT) on 10 December 1996. Qatar has reaffirmed at the international level its determination and sincere commitment to making the Middle East a zone free from all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons.
We believe that, if all the States in the region were to become parties to disarmament arrangements, peace, security and stability would be strengthened throughout the region, which would and result in more confidence among the countries concerned. In order for that to occur, Israel must also submit itself to the NPT process and place its nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. It must also implement the relevant resolutions that it has been called upon to accept in order to bring its nuclear facilities under those safeguards. We call upon all States to exert pressure on Israel to get it to yield to the will of the international community and implement the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. Israel is the only State in our region not to have signed the NPT or placed its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards. That fact breeds insecurity in the region and poses a threat to our part of the world as a result of the existence of these deadly weapons. Were Israel to do so, other States might be prompted to follow its example; conversely, they might emulate it and act with impunity.
Relevant conventions on disarmament must be fully implemented in order to maintain international security. We welcome all initiatives aimed at bringing about general and complete disarmament, especially in the Middle East. We emphasize that the Middle East must become a region free of all weapons of mass destruction. We also reaffirm the role played by the United Nations in that regard.
Miss Majali (Jordan): Jordan is party to all international disarmament-related treaties prohibiting weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and adheres fully to its obligations under them. As such, Jordan welcomes all initiatives that can lead to general and complete disarmament and has continuously supported all related efforts aimed at promoting confidence-building measures at the regional, subregional and international levels. It has also welcomed all efforts aimed at establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones in all regions of the world, as it believes that such efforts constitute positive steps towards attaining the objective of global nuclear disarmament.
In that connection, Jordan continues to view as vital efforts to establish a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, including nuclear weapons. Currently, however, Israel remains the only State in the region that has not acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons ( NPT). It also refuses to subject its nuclear facilities and weapons to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards and inspections. As a result, the potential for the proliferation of nuclear weapons in our region remains real. This is therefore a matter of concern, as it threatens regional security and stability.
In that context, Jordan would like to recall that since 1974 the General Assembly has adopted more than 32 resolutions on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East, and has called upon all parties directly concerned to consider taking the practical and urgent steps required for the implementation of that proposal. Among other things, the Assembly has also called for States to affirm that they refrain, on a reciprocal basis, from producing, acquiring or in any other way possessing nuclear weapons and nuclear explosive devices, agree to place their nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, and declare their support for the establishment of such a zone. To date, however, that remains to be realized.
Furthermore, Jordan would like to recall that, under both the 1995 resolution and the 2000 conclusions on the Middle East, which were adopted at the respective Review Conferences of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as well as under numerous resolutions, including those of the General Assembly, the international community is required to urge Israel to accede to the NPT and to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA supervision. Ways and means should therefore be instituted to bring about such implementation.
Jordan stresses that Israel’s accession to the NPT remains of the utmost importance. On the international level, such an undertaking would bring the world closer towards attaining the universality of the NPT and would further consolidate the global non-proliferation regime. Regionally, Israel’s accession to the Treaty would defuse existing tensions, bring about tangible progress in other bilateral tracks of the peace process, enhance confidence-building measures among all parties, mitigate the regional arms race, which would allow for huge financial resources to be redirected towards economic and social development, and have an overall positive impact on regional peace and security. The implementation of IAEA safety measures on its un-safeguarded nuclear facilities would also prevent the occurrence of potential nuclear accidents and the risk of radiological contamination, sparing the region in general, and Jordan in particular, of their disastrous effects.
Finally, the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones is pivotal for maintaining the international non-proliferation regime and for consolidating international peace and security. Jordan welcomes the zones that have already been established throughout the world and reiterates that establishing a zone free from nuclear weapons in the region of the Middle East is of the utmost importance. Jordan therefore takes this opportunity to reiterate once again the importance of Israel’s accession to the NPT, as we believe that that would bring us closer to security, stability and, ultimately, the long-awaited and desired peace in our region.
Mr. El-Anbaki (Iraq) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
The item under discussion, namely, the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, has been, as you all know, on the agenda of the First Committee since 1974. This is an item of particular importance, especially for the members of the Group of Arab States.
As members are well aware, three decisions were adopted at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons ( NPT), including one to extend the NPT indefinitely. The Conference also adopted a resolution on the Middle East, calling upon all States of the region that had not yet acceded to the NPT to do so without exception and as soon as possible, as well as to place their nuclear facilities under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) comprehensive safeguards regime.
The 2000 NPT Review Conference underscored the results of the 1995 Conference and emphasized the importance of Israel’s adherence to the NPT. All Arab States of the Middle East are parties to the NPT. That also includes parties to other regional arrangements, given that Arab African States belong to the Treaty of Pelindaba on an A frican nuclear-weapon-free zone. At the 2000 NPT Review Conference, all States parties underscored the importance of bringing about the universality of the Treaty. As a State of the Middle East, Israel’s adherence would be a step towards that goal.
Most speakers at the NPT Review Conference in May 2005 emphasized the importance of establishing in the Middle East a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. Israel was specifically called upon to accede to the Treaty as a non-nuclear State and to implement the IAEA’s comprehensive safeguards regime.
As members are also well aware, the Security Council has adopted resolutions, including resolution 487 (1981), calling upon the States of the region, including Israel, to place all their nuclear facilities under the IAEA’s comprehensive safeguards regime. Paragraph 14 of Council resolution 687 (1991) also referred to the establishment in the Middle East of a zone free from weapons of mass destruction. In addition, the first preambular paragraph of Council resolution 1284 (1999) recalled resolution 687 (1991).
Iraq calls for the implementation of the relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, so as to speed up the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. We also call for the establishment of an appropriate and effective mechanism to ensure that Israel adheres to the NPT and places its nuclear facilities under the IAEA’s comprehensive safeguards regime.
Mr. Atieh (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic ): At a time when we aspire to the complete eradication of nuclear weapons and the universality of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons ( NPT), we continue to ignore the fact that Israel, which has acquired nuclear weapons, continues to remain outside the NPT regime. Israel actually continues to receive support, while States parties to the NPT are being deprived of the use of nuclear technology for development and peaceful purposes.
Israel continues to pursue its hostile expansionist policies in the Middle East relying on its possession of a huge arsenal of conventional and non-conventional weapons, including weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons. Israel is running a dangerous military nuclear programme that threatens the security of the region and the world. That programme is not under any effective international safeguards regime, and there has not been any international response to this serious situation. The Middle East is, therefore, the region of the world most exposed to military and security threats.
Syria was among the first countries to call for the designation of the Middle East as a zone free from all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, and has worked seriously towards that goal. The draft resolution presented by Syria to the Security Council on 29 December 2003 on behalf of the Group of Arab States was among the latest initiatives in that regard. It called for ridding the Middle East of all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, in the context of collective international supervision and the United Nations. The goal of the draft resolution was to promote multilateral international agreements in the area of disarmament. The fact that that Arab initiative has, to date, not been adopted serves to encourage Israel to remain outside the NPT and to keep its nuclear facilities and activities outside the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
In that regard, we look forward to the international community’s support in the form of clearly calling on Israel to adhere to the NPT and of finding an effective mechanism to bring about that goal, so as to contribute to the stability of the region and the establishment of a comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East.
Mr. Najafi (Islamic Republic of Iran): I would like to speak on the topic of regional disarmament and security.
The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones is a recognized regional instrument to strengthen regional and international peace and security. More importantly, that idea plays an instrumental role in preventing the threat of nuclear war. Such an arrangement is in conformity with the provisions of the Final Document of the Tenth Special Session of the General Assembly, which was the Assembly’s first special session devoted to disarmament.
Three decades have elapsed since the first introduction — by Iran in 1974 — of the idea of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. The resolutions on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East that have been adopted without a vote by the General Assembly since 1980 represent the significance of realizing that noble idea in the wider region of the Middle East.
By renouncing the nuclear option and placing its nuclear facilities under the safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Islamic Republic of Iran has shown its determination to achieve the total elimination of weapons of mass destruction, and nuclear weapons in particular. Such an act underscores the undiminished support of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, with the ultimate objective of securing a world free of nuclear weapons.
Iran ratified the IAEA’s Statute in 1958, and subsequently signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons ( NPT) in 1969, which its Parliament ratified in 1970. That process was furthered by the ratification of IAEA safeguards agreements in 1973, and ultimately further accomplished by the signature of an additional protocol to our safeguards agreement in 2003.
In implementing its obligations under the NPT — specifically articles II and III thereof — all of the nuclear facilities of the Islamic Republic of Iran are devoted to peaceful purposes and are under full-scope IAEA In implementing its obligations under the NPT — specifically articles II and III thereof — all of the nuclear facilities of the Islamic Republic of Iran are devoted to peaceful purposes and are under full-scope IAEA safeguards. Furthermore, in order to contribute to the realization of a world free from weapons of mass destruction, particularly in the Middle East, the Islamic Republic of Iran has also acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Biological Weapons Convention and the 1925 Geneva Protocol.
Owing to Israel’s non-adherence to the NPT and, more importantly, that regimes refusal to place its un-safeguarded nuclear facilities under the IAEA’s verification system, the realization of such a zone — a lofty and long-sought-after aspiration of countries in the region — has yet to materialize. Under General Assembly resolution 59/63 of 3 December 2004, the Secretary-General was asked to inform the Assembly of the results of his consultations with the countries of the region on the realization of that idea. It is our conviction that the Secretary-General should dispatch a special envoy to the countries of the region in order to carry out the required consultations with countries to facilitate the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. At present, Israel is the only non-party to the NPT in the region.
Despite repeated calls by the international community, demonstrated in the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, related resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly, the decisions of the 2000 NPT Review Conference and those of the IAEA and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Israel — confident of the political and military support of the United States — has neither acceded to the NPT nor placed its nuclear facilities under full-scope IAEA safeguards. Israel has not even declared its intention to accede to the NPT. Israel’s clandestine nuclear activities seriously threaten both regional peace and security and endanger the non-proliferation regime.
The Islamic Republic of Iran firmly believes that an agreed plan of action and timetable for the universality of the NPT in the Middle East should be a top priority on the agenda of all States parties to the Treaty, especially nuclear-weapon States. There needs to be enough pressure on Israel to get it to accede to the NPT and to place all its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards, in order to pave the way for the long-sought-after goal of establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.
The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.
This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.