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Agenda items 62 to 80 (continued )
General debate on all disarmament and international security agenda items
Mr. Caughley (New Zealand): ...
We remain gravely concerned by the continued retention of the nuclear-weapons option by those three States — India, Israel and Pakistan — that operate unsafeguarded nuclear facilities and have not acceded to the NPT. The international community must intensify its efforts to achieve universal adherence to the NPT and its accompanying verification regime, without conditions and without delay.
Mr. Assaf (Lebanon) (spoke in Arabic): ...
The position of Lebanon with respect to disarmament can be summarized as follows.
Secondly, the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East represents a serious threat to international peace and security in the region. Our Committee, each year, adopts two resolutions on the threat of nuclear weapons and on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Israel is the only country in the region that has still not acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The universality of that treaty requires that all States accede to it.
Fifthly, landmines constitute a genuine international humanitarian problem that affects 90 States. Landmines claim approximately 15,000 victims each year, most of whom are civilians. Landmines hinder development and prevent internally displaced persons from returning home. Lebanon is a country affected by landmines because the Israeli occupation left behind 450,000 landmines. Thanks to the support of the United Nations and generous funding from the United Arab Emirates, the Government of Lebanon is carrying out demining activities.
Mr. Own (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
Therefore, the international community, and particularly those nuclear-weapon States, have a great responsibility in fulfilling the purposes and principles of the NPT through good will and serious negotiations that would lead to concluding irreversible bilateral and multilateral treaties on nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament. Those States must implement the pledges they made in accordance with the NPT and in the final declarations of the review conferences of the NPT, including moving forward towards concluding a multilateral agreement that would create security safeguards for countries that do not possess nuclear weapons, and commitment to implement the subparagraphs of article 6 of the final document of the sixth review conference of the year 2000, and paragraph 4 (c) for 1995 concerning setting up a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Here we would like to emphasize the importance of making advances in reducing strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons, in terms of unilateral, bilateral and collective initiatives as an integral part of the process of reducing nuclear-weapon capacity. In addition, reducing nuclear-weapon capacity will bring about confidence and transparency among nuclear-weapons States and will advance the efforts towards putting an end to and preventing threats from the possession of such weapons.
It is very important for the international community and particularly the major States, to fulfil their responsibilities to put all forms of pressure on the Israelis to make them adhere, without delay, to the NPT and to submit all of their nuclear facilities to the full scope of the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), particularly since that is the only regime in the Middle East that suffers from the greatest degree of conflict and tension and yet still remains outside these obligations. According to reports from many sources, Israel possesses hundreds of nuclear weapons, with the means to fire them into any area in the Arab region as well as in Europe and Central Asia. Many mass media sources have pointed out this week that Israel is also developing submarines to fire these missiles from the sea. This shows the seriousness of Israel’s stance which is deliberately being ignored by some major States.
Since 1981, the Committee has considered an item entitled “Strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region”. My country has long called for making that region a zone of security and peace where all our peoples can live in mutual respect and harmony, working together to make the Mediterranean Sea a sea of peace and communications, a bridge between continents and a crossroads for all cultures and civilizations. However, that will not be achieved unless all foreign military fleets in the area are withdrawn and all military bases that have no reason to exist in the region are closed, especially after the end of the cold war. We reaffirm the importance of respect for the sovereignty of all States in the region, of non-interference in their internal affairs and respect for their particularities, of the settlement of all disputes by peaceful means through dialogue, rather than the use or the threat of use of force, punitive measures or the threat of such measures, of ending foreign occupation and of respect of peoples’ right to self-determination and independence. The Tripoli meeting of the 5+5 dialogue among the countries of the western Mediterranean, held in May 2002, and the summit that followed it in Tunisia, embody the spirit of cooperation and are important steps towards full cooperation among the region’s countries to assist actively in promoting international peace and security in the Mediterranean basin.
Mr. Hassan (Sudan) (spoke in Arabic): ...
It is true that a number of States signed the treaties on nuclear-weapon-free zones or are parties to them. Those States represent only 50 per cent of the world’s surface area. However, there are many inflamed countries where nuclear-weapon-free zones need to be created, particularly in the Middle East, where such a zone could be created were it not for Israel’s refusal to submit its nuclear installations to international controls. That situation is a threat to regional and international peace and security.
The meeting rose at 5.15 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.