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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


Fifty-eighth General Assembly
First Committee
2nd Meeting (AM)
GA/DIS/3248
6 October 2003

‘CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE’ IN COLLECTIVE SECURITY, DIVERSION OF SCARCE RESOURCES TO ARMS AMONG ISSUES RAISED, AS FIRST COMMITTEE BEGINS DEBATE


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Background

The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this morning to begin its general debate.  For background, see Press Release GA/DIS/3247 issued 3 October.

Statements

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Speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, CARLO TREZZA (Italy) ...

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It also remained committed to the full implementation of Council resolutions on the Middle East and supported the efforts to establish an effectively verifiable zone free of weapons of mass destruction there.  It was necessary to actively pursue accession of all States in the region not only to the NPT, but also to the conventions banning chemical and biological weapons.

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RAMEZ GOUSSOUS (Jordan) ...

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He said it was important to encourage the elimination of the nuclear threat from the Middle East and the commitment to the NPT, and, through that, making the region free of weapons of mass destruction.  It was noteworthy, in that respect, that the Assembly had over the last two decades called upon all countries in the Middle East, particularly the only State in the region with nuclear-weapon capabilities, to adhere without delay to the NPT and to place all its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.  All the States in the Middle East, except Israel, were now parties to the NPT.  For its part, Jordan had ratified all the international instruments related to weapons of mass destruction and was making diligent efforts to make the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction.

Among possible measures to improve the situation in the Middle East, he mentioned the need to propose practical measures to reduce tension, build confidence and control the arms race in the region under the auspices of the United Nations.  It was also necessary to strengthen intelligence cooperation between the States of the Middle East and the arms-exporting States of the world and to refrain from any violations of treaties or of State sovereignty.  Furthermore, it was necessary to continue efforts to create an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of all weapons of mass destruction. 

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