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The meeting was called to order at 3.30 p.m.
Agenda items 57 to 72 (continued )
Action on all draft resolutions and decisions submitted under all disarmament and international security agenda items
Mr. Abushahab (United Arab Emirates): ...
The United Arab Emirates attaches great importance to regional and global efforts aimed at strengthening the disarmament and NPT regimes as a strategy for peace, security and confidence-building. We renew our call to the international community for its active participation in establishing a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, in the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf.
In that context, we urge Member States to take effective measures to compel Israel, the sole country in the Middle East that has not acceded to the NPT, to immediately do so and to dismantle its dangerous nuclear facilities after fully subjecting them to the supervision and safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency. We also appeal to other States of the region that are pursuing nuclear testing or the acquisition of similar weapons to reconsider their position, pursuant to the relevant legitimate international resolutions.
The United Arab Emirates’ sponsorship of the draft resolutions on nuclear danger and the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East reflects its strong belief that peace, security, stability and sustainable development are legitimate rights of all peoples and States without exception.
To achieve the goals of complete disarmament, all Member States must comply with the international legislation adopted in that regard, in order to promote the principles of confidence-building, peaceful coexistence and good neighbourliness. To that end, the United Arab Emirates urges all members of the Committee to support the two draft resolutions on “ Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East ” and “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”, contained in documents A/C.1/59/L.8 and A/C.1/59/L.37 respectively, for they address the alarming situation in the Middle East and contribute to the global efforts aimed at achieving complete disarmament in order to avoid the scourge of war and the destruction of mankind.
The Chairman (spoke in Spanish ): I call now on those representatives wishing to speak in explanation of vote or position before the Committee takes action on draft resolutions and draft decisions under cluster 1, with the exception of: draft resolutions A/C.1/59/L.6/Rev.1 — with respect to which a statement by the Secretariat is in preparation — and A/C.1/59/L.50, to which we will return later in this meeting; and draft resolution A/C.1/59/L.56, action upon which has been deferred at the request of the sponsors.
Mr. Bar (Israel): Israel will join the consensus on draft resolution A/C.1/59/L.8, entitled “ Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East ”, as it has done on similar texts for more than 20 years, notwithstanding substantive and important reservations regarding certain elements in the draft resolution.
The policy of Israel has always maintained that the nuclear issue, as well as all regional security issues, conventional and non-conventional, should be dealt with in the context of the peace process. Israel supports the eventual establishment of a mutually verifiable nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East that should also be free of chemical and biological weapons as well as ballistic missiles.
Israel believes that the political realities in the Middle East mandate a practical step-by-step approach that should begin with modest confidence-building measures, followed by the establishment of peaceful relations and reconciliation and possibly complemented by conventional and non-conventional arms control measures. That process could eventually lead to the attainment of more ambitious goals, such as establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone.
As the international community has recognized, the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone should be based on arrangements freely arrived at among all the States in the region concerned. Israel believes that such a zone can only be established through direct negotiations among the States in the region, after they have recognized one another and have established full peaceful and diplomatic relations among themselves. It cannot be established in a situation where some of the States maintain that they are in a state of war with each other and refuse in principle to maintain peaceful relations with Israel or even to recognize its right to exist.
In that context, it should be recalled that in the Middle East, unlike in other regions in the world where nuclear-weapon-free zones have been established, there are continuing threats, in the region and beyond, against the very existence of one State, Israel. Those threats are multiplied by the reckless behaviour of some States concerning the export of weapons of mass destruction and related technologies, and the discrepancies between the commitments of those States and their actual behaviour.
Those circumstances and the acknowledged record of non-compliance with international obligations by certain States have a critical impact on the region’s ability to embark on a joint process of regional security and security-building that could eventually lead to a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.
Israel has recently reiterated its vision of promoting a regional peace and stability that should facilitate, among other things, the eventual establishment of a Middle East nuclear-weapon-free zone. At the same time, Israel has made it clear that it harbours no illusions that progress towards realizing that vision can be made without a fundamental change in regional circumstances, not least in the attitude of States in the region towards Israel. We thus propose that our current efforts be directed at learning from the experience of other regions about the prerequisites for making progress in this area.
In our view, efforts in the context of this draft resolution should be focused on the creation of a stable environment of peace and reconciliation in the Middle East. Israel will continue to dedicate all its efforts to achieving that goal. We call upon our neighbours to do the same.
The Chairman (spoke in Spanish ): The Committee will now proceed to take action on draft resolution A/C.1/59/L.8 on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East.
I give the floor to the Secretary of the Committee to conduct the voting.
Ms. Stoute (Secretary of the Committee): The Committee will now proceed to take action on draft resolution A/C.1/59/L.8, entitled “Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East”.
The draft resolution was introduced by the representative of Egypt at the Committee’s 11th meeting, on 19 October 2004. The list of sponsors of the draft resolution is contained in document A/C.1/59/L.8.
The Chairman (spoke in Spanish ): The sponsors of the draft resolution have expressed the wish that the draft resolution be adopted without a vote. If I hear no objection, I shall take it that the Committee wishes to act accordingly.
Draft resolution A/C.1/59/L.8 was adopted.
The meeting was adjourned at 6.15 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.