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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/C.1/59/PV.18
27 October 2004

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-ninth session
First Committee
18th meeting
Wednesday, 27 October 2004, 3 p.m.
New York


Chairman:Mr. De Alba .......................................................................................(Mexico)

The meeting was called to order at 3.15 p.m.


Agenda items 57 to 72 ( continued)


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

...

Mr. Bar (Israel): The First Committee is called upon to vote on draft resolution A/C.1/58/L.37 entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East” — a draft resolution that is blatantly one-sided, contentious and divisive, and that undermines, rather than enhances, confidence between the States of the region.

Since the draft resolution was first introduced, many alarming developments have occurred that are directly related to the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. Some of those developments became apparent to the international community only recently, especially after the meetings last September and this of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In addition, other efforts are being made in the region to acquire weapons of mass destruction and missile capabilities, as our delegation pointed out during the general debate.

The bias of the draft resolution stems from its neglect of the fact that the real risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East emanates from countries that, despite being 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 in the region but also on a global scale. The draft resolution chooses to ignore the internationally acknowledged evidence regarding States in the Middle East that join international arrangements but do not feel genuinely bound by them. The same States abuse the benefits of those arrangements in order to obtain nuclear technology for military purposes under a false pretext. The draft resolution also overlooks the profound hostility of States in the region towards Israel and their refusal to maintain any form of peaceful reconciliation and coexistence with Israel.

Adopting a draft resolution that does not reflect this reality will not serve the greater objective of curbing 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.

The 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 manner that no other United Nations Member State is being singled out in the First Committee. Singling out Israel is counterproductive to confidence-building and peace in the region and does not give this body any credibility.

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

The fact that countries continue to lend a hand in such an abuse of reality and misuse of the United Nations is a source of deep disappointment to us.

The First Committee should not become a venue for political discrimination. We would like to call upon delegations to vote against the draft resolution.

...

The Chairman (spoke in Spanish ): If no other delegation wishes to take the floor in explanation of vote under cluster 1, “Nuclear weapons”, which includes draft resolutions A/C.1/59/L.37 and L.44, we will take action on the draft resolutions.

The Committee will now take action on draft resolution A/C.1/59/L.37. A recorded vote has been requested.

A request has been made for a separate recorded vote on the sixth preambular paragraph. We will first take up the preambular paragraph and then proceed to the vote on the draft resolution as a whole. I give the floor to the Secretary of the Committee to conduct the voting.

Ms. Stoute (Secretary of the First Committee): The Committee will now proceed to take action on draft resolution A/C.1/59/L.37, entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”. The draft resolution was introduced by the representative of Egypt at the Committee’s 11th meeting, on 19 October 2004. The sponsors are listed in the document.

The Committee will now proceed to take a separate vote on the sixth preambular paragraph, which reads as follows:

“Recognizing with satisfaction that, in the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Conference undertook to make determined efforts towards the achievement of the goal of universality of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, called upon those remaining States not parties to the Treaty to accede to it, thereby accepting an international legally binding commitment not to acquire nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices and to accept International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on all their nuclear activities, and underlined the necessity of universal adherence to the Treaty and of strict compliance by all parties with their obligations under the Treaty”.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, 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, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Against:

India, Israel, United States of America

Abstaining:

Bhutan, Mauritius, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea

The sixth preambular paragraph was retained by 154 votes to 3, with 4 abstentions.

Ms. Stoute (Secretary of the First Committee): The Committee will now proceed to take action on draft resolution A/C.1/59/L.37 as a whole.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, 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 Leo ne, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Against:

Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), United States of America

Abstaining:

Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Ethiopia, India, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago

Draft resolution A/C.1/59/L.37 as a whole was adopted by 157 votes to 4, with 8 abstentions.

...

Mr. Shaw (Australia): I take the floor to explain Australia’s abstention on draft resolution A/C.1/59/L.37, entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”.

Australia supports the establishment of an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and means of delivery and, as a non-nuclear-weapon State, has consistently called on Israel to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). We have also been consistent in our support for the General Assembly resolution calling for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East freely arrived at among the States of the region.

Regrettably, however, we continue to have a number of substantial difficulties with the draft resolution entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”, notably its emphasis on the State of Israel, with no reference to other Middle Eastern States of nuclear proliferation concern.

In September, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, reflecting international concern about Iran’s nuclear intentions, unanimously called on Iran to abide by its nuclear safeguard obligations and immediately suspend its uranium-enrichment programme. It is regrettable that the draft resolution makes no reference to the international community’s serio In September, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, reflecting international concern about Iran’s nuclear intentions, unanimously called on Iran to abide by its nuclear safeguard obligations and immediately suspend its uranium-enrichment programme. It is regrettable that the draft resolution makes no reference to the international community’s serious concerns about this matter.

Australia is committed to preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and to the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world. As a strong supporter of the NPT, we will continue to promote these objectives at the 2005 NPT Review Conference and in all other international forums.

...

The meeting rose at 5.20 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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