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The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.
Agenda items 57 to 72 ( continued)
Thematic discussion on item subjects and introduction and consideration of all draft resolutions submitted under all disarmament and international security items
The Chairman (spoke in Spanish ): I call on the representative of Egypt to introduce draft resolutions A/C.1/59/L.8 and A/C.1/59/L.37.
Mrs. Elmarassy (Egypt) (spoke in Arabic ): I am pleased, on behalf of the members of the League of Arab States, to submit a draft resolution entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East” and contained in document A/C.1/59/L.37.
The draft resolution reflects the concerns of the countries of the Middle East and of the international community as a whole over the continued existence of nuclear facilities in the region that are not under the comprehensive safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and therefore heighten the danger of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. That danger has been stressed at the Review Conferences of the States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the most recent of which was held in 2000.
The draft resolution emphasizes the need for the relevant countries to make every effort to ensure the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and the accession of all countries of the region to the NPT and their adherence to all of its provisions. It also calls on Israel, the only State of the region that not yet become party to the NPT, to do so immediately and to place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards. Furthermore, it requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session on the implementation of the present resolution.
I also want to present the draft resolution contained in document A/C.1/59/L.8, entitled “Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East”, which Egypt has submitted for over 25 years and which enjoys widespread support.
The draft resolution also stresses the need for the relevant parties to adopt practical measures to ensure that the Middle East is free of nuclear weapons and to place all nuclear activities in the region under IAEA safeguards. It invites all countries of the region, pending the establishment of the nuclear-weapon-free zone, not to develop, produce, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or permit their stationing on their territories.
Mr. Al-Shafi (Qatar) (spoke in Arabic ): As this is the first time that I am taking the floor, I am pleased to join preceding speakers in congratulating you, Sir, on your election to chair the First Committee. I wish you every success in your work.
In previous resolutions, in particular resolution 58/34, the General Assembly urged all parties directly concerned to consider seriously taking the practical measures required for the implementation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East. While awaiting the establishment of that zone, the countries of the region should solemnly declare that they will refrain from producing or acquiring or possessing nuclear weapons or explosives, not place their nuclear weapons on the territory of third parties, ensure their compliance with the guidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), declare their support for establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone and deposit such declarations with the Security Council for consideration.
In paragraphs 10 and 11 of resolution 58/34, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to continue to pursue consultations with the States of the region and other concerned States in order to create a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and requested him to submit a report on that subject at the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly.
The delegation of Qatar insists that the States of the region must comply with the basic provisions of that resolution and other relevant resolutions. We welcome initiatives for general and complete disarmament, including in the Middle East, in particular initiatives to declare the Middle East a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
Given Qatar’s commitment to international agreements, we have undertaken to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), adopted on 10 September 1996. Qatar continues to reaffirm in international forums its sincere wish to see the Middle East made a nuclear-weapon-free zone and a zone free of weapons of mass destruction.
We recall the address of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar to the General Assembly at the current session, on 21 September. He stressed the need to make the Middle East, without exception, a nuclear-weapon-free zone and a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in order to ensure the security, stability and prosperity of all countries of the region.
Qatar considers that other States of the region that are parties to disarmament treaties and agreements must abide by their commitment to strengthen international peace and security, consolidate stability and democracy and improve relations among the States of the region. This, however, can be done only if Israel accedes to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), submits all its nuclear facilities to the comprehensive safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and abides by Security Council resolution 487 (1981). That resolution explicitly demands that Israel immediately place its nuclear facilities under the supervision of the safeguards regime of the IAEA. We encourage Member States to exert pressure on Israel to abide by the wishes of the international community and to implement the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. Israel is the sole State in the Middle East which has not yet signed the NPT and which has not yet submitted its nuclear facilities to international verification and control. This is contributing to insecurity in the region, which is continually threatened by those lethal weapons.
Last but not least, Qatar considers that accession by States to disarmament treaties and conventions and the commitment to abide by them can guarantee regional and international peace and security. Qatar welcomes all initiatives aimed at achieving general and complete disarmament, particularly in the Middle East. We insist that the Middle East be a zone free from all weapons of mass destruction. We also insist on the importance of the role of the United Nations to that end.
The meeting rose at 1.55 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.