Exchange of views (continued)
The meeting was called to order at 3.30 p.m.
Exchange of views (continued )
1. Mr. Fu Zhigang (China) ...
7. With regard to the Middle East, his delegation had made some comments on the previous day in a subsidiary body. China actively supported the proposal by the countries of the Middle East for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in that region and their active efforts to that end, since such a zone would promote peace and stability there. It urged Israel to accede to the NPT as soon as possible and accept comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. His delegation believed that active consideration should be given to the proposals made by Egypt in its working paper (NPT/CONF.2000/MC.II/WP.9).
22. Mr. Zahran (Egypt), noting that there had been some positive developments in the safeguards regime of IAEA since the 1995 Conference, welcomed the adoption in 1997 of a Model Additional Protocol designed to strengthen existing safeguards agreements between States and the Agency. Egypt had participated in the elaboration of that regime with a view to enhancing its effectiveness as one of the main pillars for achieving nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, in accordance with the Principles and Objectives of the 1995 Review Conference.
23. At the same time, there was a need to expand the safeguards regime to include States which had not yet concluded full-scope safeguards agreements with IAEA or had nuclear programmes not covered by that regime. There was a clear relationship between the IAEA safeguards regime and the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones. In the Middle East, for example, Israel continued its anachronistic nuclear-deterrent strategy and rejected the safeguards regime, thereby threatening the security and stability of the region. With a view to promoting non-proliferation and strengthening the safeguards regime, Egypt proposed that the conclusions of the Conference should include an appeal to the nuclear States not parties to the Treaty to accelerate the conclusion of full-scope safeguards agreements and to Israel in particular to accede without delay and to place all its nuclear facilities under the safeguards regime.
24. Egypt’s initiative in the General Assembly over 25 years earlier in calling for a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East reflected the importance it attached to non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament in that region. The President of Egypt had reiterated that call in 1990. In Egypt’ s view, the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in any region was vital to the promotion of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, and required both regional and international support. Some support was provided by the guidelines adopted by the Disarmament Commission relating, inter alia, to the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the States of a region.
25. Implementation of the resolution on the Middle East adopted at the 1995 Conference depended on the political will of the States of the region. Israel’s refusal to accede to the Treaty and to submit to the IAEA safeguards regime until certain prior conditions were met impeded the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone. Consequently, the responsibility for attaining that goal fell to the nuclear-weapon States. Given that the Arab States had cooperated by becoming parties to the Treaty and placing their nuclear facilities under the safeguards regime or were about to sign agreements to that end, it was incumbent upon Israel to follow suit with a view to the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone and to enhancing the credibility of the Treaty, thereby establishing a solid foundation for a security system in the Middle East.
The meeting rose at 6 p.m.
This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza.
Any corrections to the record of this meeting and of other meetings will be issued in a corrigendum.