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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/C.1/58/PV.20
3 November 2003

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-eighth session
First Committee
20th meeting
Monday, 3 November 2003, 2.30 p.m.
New York

President:Mr. Sareva ........................................................(Finland)

The meeting was called to order at 2.45 p.m.

Agenda items 62 to 80 (continued )

Action on all draft resolutions and decisions submitted under disarmament and international security agenda items

/...

The Chairman : If there are no other delegations wishing to make general statements or introduce revised draft resolutions, the First Committee will now proceed to take decisions on draft resolutions contained in cluster one, beginning with draft resolution A/C.1/58/L.23, entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”.

Before doing so, I shall call upon those delegations wishing to explain their position or vote before the vote in a consolidated statement on the draft resolutions contained in cluster one.

I give the floor to those representatives wishing to speak in explanation of vote or position.

Mr. Bar (Israel): I would like to give an explanation of vote on draft resolution A/C.1/58/L.23.

The First Committee is called upon to vote on draft resolution A/C.1/58/L.23, entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”, a resolution that is patently one-sided, contentious and divisive and undermines rather than enhances confidence between the States of the region.

Since this draft resolution was first introduced, many alarming developments have occurred directly related to the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. Some of those developments have only recently become apparent to the international community. In addition, other efforts are under way to acquire weapons of mass destruction and missile capabilities in the region, as our delegation pointed out during the general debate.

The bias of this draft resolution stems from its failure to recognize that the real risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East emanates from countries that, although parties to international treaties, do not comply with their relevant international obligations. Those countries are engaged in ongoing efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles — efforts that have a destabilizing effect not only at the regional level, but on a global scale as well.

The draft resolution chooses to ignore internationally acknowledged evidence that some States abuse arms control arrangements in order to obtain technology for military purposes. The draft resolution also overlooks the profound hostility of some States in the region towards Israel and their refusal to maintain any form of peaceful reconciliation or coexistence with it. Adopting a resolution that does not reflect those realities will not serve the greater objective of curbing nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. Resolutions regarding the complex arms control problems in the Middle East should focus on objective ways to address them as they exist.

This draft resolution focuses entirely on one country that has never threatened its neighbours nor abrogated its obligations under any disarmament treaty. Moreover, it singles out Israel in a way that no other United Nations Member State is being singled out in the First Committee. Singling out Israel is both counterproductive to confidence-building and peace in the region and raises questions about the credibility of this body.

Israel’s supreme objective is to achieve peace and security. Its non-proliferation and arms control policy is aimed at supporting that objective. The constructive approach adopted over the years by Israel towards arms control and non-proliferation efforts was described in our statement during the general debate. It is best demonstrated by our attitude on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, despite substantive reservations regarding its modalities, which is strongly undermined by the introduction of this biased draft resolution.

The unbalanced approach of the draft resolution has not been remedied by the reference it makes to the need for compliance by countries with their international obligations. Indeed, the fact that some countries consider the language of this draft resolution balanced is a source of deep disappointment to us.

The First Committee should not become a venue for political discrimination. We therefore call on all delegates to vote against this draft resolution.

/...

The Chairman : We have heard the last speaker in explanation of vote before the vote. The Committee will now proceed to take action on draft resolution A/C.1/58/L.23.

A recorded vote has been requested.

We will first vote on the sixth preambular paragraph and thereafter on draft resolution A/C.1/58/L.23 as a whole.

I now call on the Secretary of the Committee to conduct the vote on the sixth preambular paragraph.

Mr. Sattar (Secretary of the Committee): The Committee will now take action on draft resolution A/C.1/58/L.23, entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”. The draft resolution was introduced by the representative of Egypt on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the League of Arab States at the 14th meeting of the First Committee, on 23 October 2003.

The Committee will now first proceed to take action on the sixth preambular paragraph.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Against:
India, Israel

Abstaining:
Bhutan, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Micronesia (Federated States of), Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America, Vanuatu

The sixth preambular paragraph of draft resolution A/C.1/58/L.23 was retained by 142 votes to 2, with 11 abstentions.

The Chairman: The Committee will now proceed to take action on the draft resolution contained in document A/C.1/58/L.23 as a whole. I give the floor to the Secretary of the Committee to conduct the voting.

Mr. Sattar (Secretary of the Committee): The Committee will now proceed to take action on draft resolution A/C.1/58/L.23 as a whole.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’ s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Sing apore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Against:
Israel, Micronesia (Federated States of), United States of America

Abstaining:
Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Ethiopia, India, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu

Draft resolution A/C.1/58/L.23, as a whole, was adopted by 146 votes to 3, with 10 abstentions.

/...

Mr. Durrani (Pakistan): I have asked for the floor to express our support for the draft resolution entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”, as contained in document A/C.1/58/L.23.

My delegation would like to express our reservations on the sixth preambular paragraph, which calls for the universalization of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Pakistan is not a party to the NPT. As a State which possesses nuclear weapons, we cannot obviously accede to the NPT or accept these provisions in the draft resolution, as contained in document A/C.1/58/L.23.

/...

The meeting rose at 3.55 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.



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