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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/C.1/54/PV.23
4 November 1999

Official Records

General Assembly
Fifty-fourth session
First Committee
23rd meeting
Thursday, 4 November 1999, 10 a.m.
New York

Chairman: Mr. Gonzalez.........................(Chile)

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

/…

Agenda items 64, 65 and 67 to 85 (continued)

Introduction of revised draft resolutions

/…

Mr. Khairat (Egypt) (spoke in Arabic): My delegation, on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the League of Arab States, would like to introduce draft resolution A/C.1/54/L.8/Rev.1, entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”, published as an official document yesterday. Following consultations on draft resolution A/C.1/54/L.8 with various interested delegations, this revised text, A/C.1/54/L.8/Rev.1, was submitted. The reference to nuclear materials in operative paragraph 1 has been deleted. As a result, the text is now in conformity with the text adopted last year by an absolute majority. We hope that draft resolution A/C.1/54/L.8/Rev.1 will be adopted this year by consensus, or at least by a majority larger than that by which the corresponding draft resolution was adopted last year.

/…

Mr. Khairat (Egypt): …

We hoped that such genuine regional success would induce other regions to work sincerely towards the same end. In this vein, we recall that the Cairo Declaration adopted on that occasion emphasized that the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone, especially in regions of tension such as the Middle East, enhances global and regional peace and security. Our strong determination in striving to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East has been strengthened even further by this important achievement in the African continent. A nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East would not only provide an important confidence-building measure among States of the region but would also enhance the security of Africa and the viability of the African nuclear-weapon-free zone.

/…

Mr. Becher (Israel): …

/…

It is unfortunate that in the draft resolution references to the Middle East are made in two preambular paragraphs. Mentioning a region which has no relevance whatsoever to the title of this draft resolution is in itself a clear contradiction of the basis core principle that the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone is to be based on mutual regional understandings and arrangements freely arrived at among all States of the region concerned. Israel therefore dissociates itself from the references to the Middle East that are mentioned in the draft resolution.

Mr. Becher (Israel): …

In this context, Israel will participate in the Review Conference on amended Protocol II due to take place in Geneva in December this year. Israel supports the efforts to extend accession to the CCW to as many States as possible, particularly in the Middle East region. Israel's policy stems from its desire to reduce and prevent human suffering and to restrict the use of weapons that have indiscriminate effects.

However, we feel that it is necessary to maintain a balance between vital humanitarian concerns on the one hand and legitimate security concerns on the other.

Israel believes that joint action by the international community will prevent suffering caused by the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel landmines and will contribute to mutual trust and confidence. In this context, Israel reiterates its call to all States of the Middle East region to accede to the Conventional Weapons Convention, a step which will enhance the security of the entire area.

The Chairman (spoke in Spanish): The Committee has now well and truly completed its deliberations for today.

The meeting rose at 12.45 p.m.

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