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Source:
1 June 2000
NPT/CONF.2000/MC.II/SR.4

2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
            Distr. General
            1 June 2000

            Original: English

Main Committee II

Summary record of the 4th meeting
Held at United Nations Headquarters, New York, on Monday, 8 May 2000 at 10 a.m.

Chairman: Mr. Kobieracki (Poland)

Contents

Exchange of views (continued)


The meeting was called to order at 10.20 a.m.

Exchange of views

Nuclear-weapon-free zones

1. Mr. Alimov (Tajikistan), ...

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4. The Treaty of Pelindaba expressed the collective political will of African States in that regard, but in order for it to be effective the nuclear Powers must honour their commitments as contained in its second Additional Protocol. His Government believed that the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Africa would enhance collective security, the international non-proliferation regime and world peace. Regional denuclearization was an essential complement to global disarmament. However, because of the close ties between Africa and the Middle East and their geographical proximity, Algeria was deeply concerned at the lack of progress in creating a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the latter region, where Israel alone persisted in refusing to join the NPT and to submit its nuclear installations to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. A greater commitment was needed, therefore, in the effort to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in that region, which the United Nations General Assembly had already supported by consensus.

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8. The States parties which were signatories of the Treaties of Tlatelolco, Rarotonga, Bangkok and Pelindaba reaffirmed their commitment to promote the common goals envisaged in those treaties, explore and implement further ways and means of cooperation, including the consolidation of the status of the nuclear-weapon-free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas. They reaffirmed their determination to extend their fullest cooperation and to exert their utmost efforts with a view to ensuring the early establishment in the Middle East of a zone free of nuclear as well as other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.

9. Mr. Zahran (Egypt) said that his delegation supported the statement by the previous speaker. Egypt had actively participated in the process leading to the adoption of the Treaty of Pelindaba, which sent a clear message about its resolve to avoid the horrors of nuclear weapons. Fifty States had signed the Treaty, while 12 had ratified it and deposited their instruments of ratification with the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity.

10. The security of Africa was organically connected to security in the Middle East because of the geographical and political overlap between the two regions. He drew attention to United Nations General Assembly resolution 54/48 and urged that the interaction between those two regions should be taken into consideration in the Committee’s deliberations. The 1995 Principles and Objectives had addressed the Middle East specifically as well. Israel should accede to the NPT and place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards in implementation of the Treaty of Pelindaba.

11. His delegation welcomed the establishment of other nuclear-weapon-free zones, all of which would contribute to the goals of the NPT. Making the southern hemisphere free of nuclear weapons would show respect for the most fundamental human right: the right to life.

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16. Mr. Fu Zhigang (China) said that China had always believed that the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones helped to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and to promote nuclear disarmament, while helping to preserve regional peace and security. That was why China had signed and ratified the Treaties of Tlatelolco, Rarotonga and Pelindaba. His delegation had also endorsed the General Assembly resolution calling for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. In recent years, China had actively supported the efforts of the five Central Asian countries to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in their region and hoped that those countries would be able to establish such a zone as soon as possible. His delegation also supported the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Mongolia.

17. Mr. Reznikov (Belarus) said that achieving the universality of the NPT brought into play both past events, such as the entry into force of nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties in various areas of the world, and future events, such as the need for Cuba, India, Israel and Pakistan to accede to the Treaty and for the early establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. In that regard, he called for the early signing and entry into force of an agreement on a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and for the establishment of such a zone in South Asia. The international community must consistently support initiatives for the establishment, on the basis of internationally accepted principles, of nuclear-weapon-free zones by non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty. In that regard, his delegation found the initiatives to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones in the southern hemisphere and the southern Caucasus, respectively, encouraging.

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19. Ms. Abdul-Rahim (Syrian Arab Republic) said that the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones, particularly in areas of conflict, helped to strengthen regional and international peace and security and would ultimately lead to global disarmament. The nuclear-weapon-free zones that were currently in place had been extremely successful and had permitted the strengthening of international criteria with respect to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Israel’ s persistent refusal to accede to international treaties on the subject or to support such texts as General Assembly resolution 54/51 on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East had made the Middle East a region of tension and conflict. Consequently, the reaffirmation by the Conference of the need to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones, especially in areas of tension, would require the accession by Israel to the NPT and its agreement to open up its facilities for inspection by IAEA. In that regard, it was regrettable that the Chairman’s draft report did not contain any reference to Israel, which was the only country in the Middle East with a military nuclear arsenal, and which therefore represented a serious threat not only to the Middle East but also to international peace and security. Moreover, the report did not exert any pressure on Israel to accede to the NPT or to submit its nuclear facilities to international inspection. A reference was made to the States parties to the Treaty that had yet to conclude comprehensive agreements with IAEA. In her view, a reference should also be made to those States not members of the Treaty, including Israel. Indeed, the policy of double standards could have incalculable implications.

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The meeting rose at 12.20 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.


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