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


Preparatory Committee for 2005 NPT Review
Third Session
3rd Meeting (AM)
DC/2921
27 April 2004

NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY BEING USED AS 'COVER' BY FOUR STATES
FOR DEVELOPMENT OF WEAPONS PROGRAMME, PREPARATORY COMMITTEE TOLD


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Background

The Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), meeting in its third and final session before the Conference, this morning continued its general debate.  This afternoon, it was expected to hear statements from non-governmental organizations and the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Statements

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GHOLAM ALI KHOSHROO, Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs of Iran, said that, despite the end of the cold war, some nuclear-weapon States seemed to think that they were too powerful to concern themselves with disarmament.  Even worse, they were developing new types of nuclear weapons to be used in conventional warfare.  Without the cold war’s “balance of terror”, the possibility of nuclear weapons being used against non-nuclear-weapon States seemed very real.  And for that reason, the NPT review process needed to establish a subsidiary body to monitor the disarmament progress of nuclear-weapon States.

He also criticized States outside the non-proliferation regime that continued to acquire nuclear weapons.  Such countries, especially when their political affiliations protected them from sanctions, represented the “most important threat to the credibility of the NPT regime”.  In that context, he drew attention to Israel, the State that prevented the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.  So long as the countries of the region were threatened by Israel, which was bolstered by the unconditional support of one nuclear-weapon State, the NPT review process would have to remain seized of the matter.

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ABDULAZIZ AL SHAMSI (United Arab Emirates) said as a party to the NPT, his country was very concerned about the international community’s leniency towards Israel’s refusal to accede to the Treaty.  It was the only State in the region that possessed nuclear weapons.  Its possession of those weapons contributed to the perpetuation of the present tension and conflict in the region, tension that was also caused by its occupation of the Arab and Palestinian territories.  He was convinced that the transparency and universality of multilateral disarmament were for the benefit of economic and social development of humanity.

Therefore, while welcoming the decision by Libya to subject its nuclear facilities to the safeguards of the IAEA, he called on the international community to deal with what he termed “the nuclear weapons exceptionalism of Israel”, which, if not corrected, posed a direct threat to regional and international peace and security and would result in a disaster.  To that end, he called on the meeting to recommend that the 2005 Review Conference establish a subsidiary body to explore ways of effective and serious implementation of the 1995 Review Conference resolution on the Middle East, which was an inseparable provision of the NPT.  He stressed the responsibility of States parties to the Treaty to exert all efforts to compel Israel to accede unconditionally to the NPT and comply with the provisions on the Middle East resolution.

That compliance, he went on, included:  dismantling all of Israel’s military nuclear facilities and subjecting them to the safeguard of the IAEA, like other countries in the region; refraining from delivering to that country all financial and technical assistance used in nuclear activities; and ensuring its compliance, thus making the region free of nuclear weapons.

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ORLANDO REQUEIJO GUAL (Cuba) ...

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Referring to the work of the present session, he said it should focus on nuclear disarmament, security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States, and the Middle East.  On security assurances, he maintained that they should be enshrined without delay in an unconditional, legally binding, and universal international instrument.  In the meantime, a new subsidiary body should be created to address such a mechanism.

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LOTFI BOUCHAARA (Morocco) ...

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Making the NPT universal would greatly increase its potency.  Currently, however, in the Middle East, Israel’s refusal to accede to the Treaty was creating much discord.  As the only State in the region to possess nuclear weapons, its transgressions needed to be addressed during this session and the Review Conference.  In that context, he called for a stronger role for the IAEA.  He also called for more dialogue, vigilance and solidarity, which would prevent the erosion of the NPT regime.

MOHAMED EZZELDINE ABDEL-MONEIM, Assistant Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs, Egypt, on behalf of the Arab Group, said the meeting was taking place in difficult and complex circumstances, with major challenges to international relations.  Even the effectiveness of multilateral institutions was being called into question.  As a result, member States should reaffirm that the NPT was the cornerstone of the non-proliferation regime and of nuclear disarmament.  The Arab countries were still firmly committed to the international collective security regime and those States, for some time, had been adopting measures to promote nuclear disarmament and had all ratified the NPT.  Israel was the only country in the region that had not adhered to the NPT, thus threatening security and jeopardizing the regime.

He pressed all countries possessing nuclear weapons to undertake efforts to find a solution to the “Israeli situation”, by reaffirming its non-adherence to the NPT, as well as its failure to agree to the commitments flowing from it.  Efforts should be intensified to compel Israel to adhere to the NPT and comply with the resolution on the Middle East, which had been adopted at the 1995 Review Conference as part of the package allowing for the Treaty’s indefinite extension, and leading to the creation of a Middle East nuclear-weapon-free zone.  The upcoming review must emphasize the importance of Israel’s adherence to the NPT, since such a step would bring the parties closer to realizing a solution of the situation there.  Also, the transfer to Israel of know-how and technologies, as well as of equipment, must cease.

The Arab States, which did not have nuclear weapons, were playing a role in the security of the region, while those that had those weapons, instead of working to eliminate them, were intending to develop a new generation of nuclear arms, he said.  In that connection, the Arab States joined with the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in wishing to establish a body for the 2005 review that would consider issues specifically pertaining to nuclear disarmament.


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