General debate (continued)
The meeting was called to order at 3.15 p.m.
General debate (continued)
14. Mr. Orhun (Turkey) …
17. In the Middle East, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction posed a tangible threat. Turkey had deep-rooted historical ties with the Middle East and maintained cordial relations with all the countries and peoples of the region. It was taking part in collective efforts aimed at devising measures to reverse the nuclear threat. The 2000 Conference should include further substantive steps for the next five years and address the objectives that had not been attained since 1995. The “resolution on the Middle East” must be implemented within that context.
27. Mr. Wisnumurti (Indonesia) …
31. The Conference on Disarmament had a unique role to play in that regard. Those were modest, realistic and achievable steps that would preserve the Non-Proliferation Treaty and stop the dangerous arms race that loomed on the horizon. With respect to security assurances, the concerns of non-nuclear-weapon States could be addressed only by the conclusion of an international legally binding instrument. Another means of promoting a stable security environment was the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones. His delegation called on the international community to support the establishment of such zones in north and central Asia and in the Middle East.
33. He noted with satisfaction that an increasing number of countries were concluding additional protocols to their Safeguards Agreements with IAEA, but was concerned that the Agency lacked funding for its technical cooperation programme. The depositary States, as sponsors of the “Resolution on the Middle East”, had a special responsibility for ensuring its implementation. Regrettably, one State in the region had yet to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty or to place its nuclear facilities under full-scope IAEA safeguards. His delegation welcomed the establishment of a subsidiary body at the Conference to identify the steps required for the adherence of all States in the Middle East to the Treaty.
35. Mr. Al-Nasser (Qatar) said that the 2000 Conference had inspired great hopes and aspirations that would be fulfilled only through serious and transparent work by the participants in the Conference and total adherence by the States parties to the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the package of commitments entered into at the 1995 Conference. Regrettably, the international community was far from having realized the goals of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament set out in the Treaty. As to the decisions and the resolution adopted at the 1995 Conference, the objective of universal adherence to the Treaty had not been achieved, negotiations on a convention banning the production of fissile material had yet to begin, the Preparatory Committee for the Conference had failed to produce any serious recommendations, and, although the Arab States of the Middle East had all acceded to the Treaty, Israel had yet to do so or to place its nuclear facilities under full-scope IAEA safeguards.
36. The entire international community knew that Israel possessed nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, posing a grave threat to security in the Middle East. Furthermore, there was a real risk of radiological contamination from its unsafeguarded nuclear facilities. Yet the States parties to the Treaty, particularly some nuclear-weapon States, turned a blind eye to those problems. Israel’s intransigence had dealt a severe blow to the efforts to bring peace to the Middle East. Qatar therefore called on all countries to bring pressure to bear on Israel to accede to the Treaty, place its nuclear facilities under full-scope IAEA safeguards and eliminate its weapons of mass destruction in order to establish in the Middle East a zone free of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
44. Mr. Al-Sindi (Yemen) said that, as the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime over the previous 30 years, the Non-Proliferation Treaty had benefited all States. At the 1995 Review and Extension Conference, at which States parties had agreed to the indefinite extension of the Treaty and had adopted a number of Decisions and Resolutions, including the “Resolution on the Middle East”, the United States of America and the Russian Federation had committed themselves to reducing their nuclear arsenals. More recently, the State Duma of the Russian Federation had decided to ratify both START II and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. For its part, the United Arab Emirates had acceded to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, thereby bringing the goal of universality one step closer to reality.
45. Notwithstanding those favourable developments, doubts still persisted about the credibility of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, since a number of States remained outside its ambit. All the States in the Middle East had acceded to the Treaty, with the exception of Israel, which had given no indication that it intended to do so. The Conference should urge Israel to accede to the Treaty and to place all of its nuclear installations under the full-scope IAEA safeguards regime. The sponsors of the “Resolution on the Middle East” ; should also called upon Israel to accede to the Treaty without delay and to place all of its nuclear installations under the international safeguards regime as an important first step towards the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.
46. The Conference should also request the States parties to the Treaty to refrain from the transfer or transport of nuclear equipment, know-how, resources or material. Lastly, his delegation supported the Egyptian proposal for the establishment of a monitoring system in the Middle East and hoped that, as the new century unfolded, the international community would fully recognize the importance of the Non-Proliferation Treaty as an instrument for the elimination of nuclear weapons based on a specific timetable.
The meeting rose at 5.40 p.m.
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