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The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m.
Mr. Nielsen (Denmark): ...
The EU remains committed to the full implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions on the Middle East and the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference. We continue to support efforts to establish an effectively verifiable Middle East zone that is free of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. Furthermore, we call on all States in the region that have not done so to conclude a comprehensive safeguards agreement with the IAEA, to negotiate such agreements and bring them into force as soon as possible. The European Union believes that the accession of all States in the region to the conventions banning chemical and biological weapons and to the NPT would make an essential and extremely significant contribution to peace and to regional and global security.
Mr. Hasmy (Malaysia): ...
Malaysia views the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones as an integral part of the quest to free the world from nuclear weapons, as well as to promote regional peace and stability. Having worked tirelessly with its Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) partners for the establishment of the Treaty on the South-East Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, Malaysia looks forward to the continuation of direct consultations between ASEAN and the nuclear-weapon States in the first half of 2003, with a view to encouraging the nuclear-weapon States to accede to the Treaty Protocol. My delegation also attaches great importance to the promotion of such zones and strongly supports their establishment in other parts of the world, particularly in West Asia and the Middle East, as called for in the resolution on the Middle East adopted at the 1995 NPT Review Conference and reconfirmed at the 2000 Review Conference.
Mr. Gousous (Jordan): ...
On the other side of the balance sheet, we continue to see the ongoing reluctance by the only State in the Middle East with considerable nuclear weapon capabilities, Israel, to adhere to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to place all its nuclear installations and facilities under full-scope safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Also, we see the continued reluctance by the Nuclear-Weapons States to meet their obligations in compliance with Article VI of the NPT by pursuing negotiation in good faith on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament. The lack of full agreement to the Protocol of the Biological Weapons Convention is another setback for the international cooperation. In addition, we note the absence of real genuine intentions to convene the Fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament. Finally, there is the failure so far to take practical steps towards broadening the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms to encompass military holdings and procurement through national production, as well as stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons.
Jordan has always been committed to the cause of international peace and security. Over the years, we have advocated a peaceful settlement to the conflict in the Middle East, a settlement that could lead to just, comprehensive and durable peace in the region. We realized, as did many others within and outside the region, that for durable peace to be achieved, positive steps towards confidence-building between the parties have to be taken. In addition to such steps is freeing the region of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction.
Jordan has adhered to the Chemical Weapons Convention, ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the Ottawa Convention on Anti-personnel Mines, and signed an IAEA additional protocol for safeguards. By so doing, Jordan has completed its adherence to all international instruments providing for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, as well as the prohibition of other weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological weapons. It is noteworthy in that context that the General Assembly has, over the past two decades, called upon all States in the Middle East that have not yet done so — particularly the only State in the region with nuclear-weapon capabilities — to adhere without delay to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to place all its nuclear facilities under full-scope IAEA safeguards. All the States in the Middle East, with the exception of Israel, are now parties to the NPT.
Since 1974, the General Assembly has called for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, and since then, that resolution, by being adopted by consensus, has gained increased momentum.
Furthermore, in paragraph 5 of its resolution on the Middle East, the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference called upon all States in the region to
“take practical steps in appropriate forums aimed at making progress towards, inter alia, the establishment of an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery systems, and to refrain from taking any measures that preclude the achievement of this objective”.
Jordan has been a staunch supporter of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. We regard the Register as an indispensable mechanism for achieving transparency in armaments that leads to confidence-building, especially in conflict-prone regions such as the Middle East. However, we believe that the Register will not be effective unless its scope is expanded to include military holdings and procurement through national production, as well as weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons in particular. We therefore regret the fact that the Panel of Governmental Experts failed to deal with that problem.
The meeting rose at 1.10 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.