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


Fifty-ninth General Assembly
First Committee
18th Meeting (PM)
GA/DIS/3287
28 October 2004

SECURITY ASSURANCES FOR NON-NUCLEAR-WEAPON STATES, MIDDLE EAST NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION AMONG ISSUES, AS FIRST COMMITTEE APPROVIES 21 DRAFT TEXT

Outer Space Arms Race, Disarmament and Development,
Chemical Weapons Convention, Regional Disarmament Also Addressed

(Issued on 28 October.)


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Background

When the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this afternoon to continue its third and final phase of work, namely action on all draft resolutions and decisions, it had before it texts related to nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction, outer space, conventional weapons, regional disarmament and security, confidence-building measures, disarmament machinery, other disarmament measures, and international security.

Expected to be acted on under cluster 1, which concerns nuclear weapons, are drafts on:  bilateral strategic nuclear arms reductions; the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East; and effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.

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Draft Summaries

Cluster 1

According to a draft resolution on the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East (document A/C.1/59/L.37), the Assembly, noting that Israel remained the only State in the Middle East that had not yet become party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), would call upon it to accede to the Treaty without further delay and not to develop, produce, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons, and to renounce possession of nuclear weapons and to place all its un-safeguarded nuclear facilities under full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, as an important confidence-building measure among all States of the region and as a step towards enhancing peace and security.

The draft resolution is sponsored by Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

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Action on texts

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The representative of Israel, in explanation before the vote on the draft resolution on the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, said that the resolution was blatantly one-sided and undermined confidence between the States of the region.  Efforts were under way by some countries of the region to acquire weapons of mass destruction.  The imbalance of the resolution stemmed from the fact that the real risk was from those countries that, despite being parties to international treaties, were not honouring their obligations.  It ignored evidence of those abuses.  Many of those countries had refused any form of co-existence with Israel.  The draft text would not serve the region.  It singled out Israel in a manner that no other MemberState was being singled out in the United Nations.  Such singling out did not lend the United Nations any credibility.  Israel’s commitment had been best demonstrated by its support for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region, despite its reservations.

Taking up the draft resolution on the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East (document A/C.1/59/L.37), the Committee first voted on preambular paragraph 6, which reads, “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”.

That paragraph was approved by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to 3 against (India, Israel, United States), with 4 abstentions (Bhutan, Mauritius, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea) (Annex I).

The draft as a whole was approved by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 4 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and United States), with 8 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Ethiopia, India, Nauru, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago) (Annex II).

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ANNEX I

Vote on Preambular Paragraph 6/Middle East

The sixth preambular paragraph of the draft resolution on the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East (document A/C.1/59/L.37) was retained by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to 3 against, with 4 abstentions, as follows:

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, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, 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, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  India, Israel, United States.

Abstain:  Bhutan, Mauritius, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea.

Absent:  Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Kiribati, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Palau, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

ANNEX II

Vote on Middle East Nuclear Proliferation

The draft resolution on the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East (document A/C.1/59/L.37) was approved by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 4 against, with 8 abstentions, as follows:

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, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, 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 Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, United States.

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

Absent:  Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominica, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Kiribati, Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Palau, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

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