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


Fifty-eighth General Assembly
First Committee
3rd Meeting (AM)
GA/DIS/3249
7 October 2003


ANACHRONISTIC, COLD WAR-ERA THINKING IMPEDES DISARMAMENT EFFORTS, FIRST COMMITTEE TOLD, AS GENERAL DEBATE CONTINUES


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Background

The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this morning to continue its general debate on the whole range of arms limitation and security arrangements.

Statements

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ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) ...

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The convening of a fourth special session devoted to disarmament, a United Nations conference on nuclear dangers, and the renewal of the Conference on Disarmament were best forums in which to resolve the global dimension of the nuclear disarmament problem.  Those forums must not be allowed to remain in a constant state of deadlock.  Unilateral and bilateral initiatives, however necessary and useful, should be used to buttress multilateral efforts, and not to replace them.  Further, respect for the principle of irreversibility would give even more relevance to those initiatives.  The CTBT should be both universal and operational.  Establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones was another considerable contribution to international peace and security.

In that regard, he said he was gravely concerned about the absence of a programme for such a zone in the Middle East.  That objective had not been achieved, because of Israel’s refusal to eliminate its nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, and to place its nuclear installations under IAEA safeguards.  ...

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ABDULAZIZ NASSER AL-SHAMSI (United Arab Emirates) ... In the context of the Middle East, he expressed disappointment that the “obstinate position” of Israel was preventing the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region.

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