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

14 December 2001

Fifty-sixth General Assembly
86th Meeting (AM)



Several Delegations Advocate Strengthening
Coordination of Economic and Social Council, Other UN Bodies

      The General Assembly this morning adopted a resolution urging all Member States to support the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in preventing acts of terrorism committed with nuclear and other radioactive materials.

      The recorded vote on the resolution, introduced by the representative of Australia, was 150 Member States in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), and two abstentions (Côte d’Ivoire , Lao People’s Democratic Republic).  (See Annex VI.)  By further terms of the text, the Assembly called on all States in the Middle East to fully apply IAEA safeguards to all nuclear activities, adhere to international non-proliferation regimes and set up a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region.


Separate votes were taken for preambular paragraph 3 (on the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes), operative paragraph 5 (on safeguards agreements), operative paragraph 10 (on safeguards in the Middle East), and operative paragraph 12 (on Iraq’s cooperation with the Agency).


      Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency


      Further, the Assembly would stress the need for the Agency to continue pursuing activities in the areas of nuclear science, technology and applications for meeting the basic sustainable development needs of Member States.  Regarding the Middle East, the Assembly would call upon all States in the region to implement the provisions contained in the Agency General Committee resolution GC(45)/RES/18, including by applying the full scope of Agency safeguards to all nuclear activities, adhering to international non-proliferation regimes and establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region.


      Strengthening coordination of assistance

      The debate on this item took place on 27 November (for background information and a record of the meeting, see Press Release GA/9980 of 27 November).


      Sub-item:  Assistance to the Palestinian People

A resolution on assistance to the Palestinian people (document A/56/L.59) would have the Assembly urge Member States, international financial institutions, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and regional and interregional organizations to extend economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people, as rapidly and as generously as possible.  It would ask them to do so in close cooperation with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and through official Palestinian institutions. 

      The Assembly would call upon relevant organizations and agencies of the United Nations system to intensify assistance in response to the urgent needs of the Palestinian people in accordance with Palestinian priorities set forth by the Palestinian Authority.  It would ask them to emphasize national execution and capacity-building and would urge Member States to open their markets to exports of Palestinian products on the most favourable terms, consistent with appropriate trading rules, and to implement fully existing trade and cooperation agreements. 

      The Assembly would call upon the international donor community to expedite the delivery of pledged assistance to the Palestinian people to meet their urgent needs, and would stress the importance of ensuring the free passage of aid to the Palestinian people and the free movement of persons and goods. 

      Further to the text, the Assembly would suggest the convening in 2002 of a United Nations-sponsored seminar on assistance to the Palestinian people.  It would request the Secretary-General to submit a report to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session, through the ECOSOC, on the implementation of the present resolution.  It would ask that an assessment of the assistance actually received by the Palestinian people be included, as well as an assessment of the needs still unmet and specific proposals for responding effectively to them. 

      The draft resolution is sponsored by Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom. 


      Action on no-action motion


      DAVID GOVRIN (Israel) said that his country attached great importance to the IAEA.  The report of the Agency should reflect agreed-upon language.  Unfortunately the wording of paragraph 10 did not reflect a cooperative sprit.  The resolution on the application of the IAEA in the Middle East had been a consensus resolution since 1991 and represented a delicate balance reached after long negotiations.  Israel had joined this consensus because it supported the establishment of a nuclear free zone in the Middle East.  Operative paragraph 10 was selective and unbalanced.  Since it was an attempt to introduce a new interpretation, Israel would vote against operative paragraph 10 of the resolution.


* *** *

For information media - not an official record