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        General Assembly
7 October 2003

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-eighth session
First Committee
3rd meeting
Tuesday, 7 October 2003, 10 a.m.
New York

President:Mr. Sareva ........................................................(Finland)
The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.

Agenda items 62 to 80 (continued )

General debate on all disarmament and international security agenda items


The Chairman : I again remind delegations kindly to limit their statements to 10 minutes for those speaking in their national capacity, and 15 minutes for those speaking on behalf of several delegations or regional groups.

Mr. Rastam (Malaysia): ...


Malaysia is committed to the promotion of nuclear disarmament. In this connection, we shall carry out our obligations as a non-nuclear-weapon State party to the NPT. We will continue to work with other Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) colleagues in realizing our aspiration for the acceptance of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in South-East Asia. We will continue to support the promotion of nuclear-weapon-free zones in other parts of the world, in particular in the Middle East. Malaysia will also continue to work with other like-minded countries to pursue follow-up action to the General Assembly resolution on the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons.


Mr. Baali (Algeria) (spoke in French ): ...


Likewise, establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones would be a considerable contribution to maintaining international peace and security. It is our hope that efforts to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones will be made in more areas, in particular in the Middle East. The absence of progress on the creation of such a zone in the Middle East is a matter of grave concern to us. This objective has not been achieved because of the refusal of Israel — the only country in the region that has not acceded to the NPT — to eliminate its nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and to place its nuclear installations under the generalized safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


Algeria also believes that security in the Mediterranean is indivisible from security in Europe and that the essential purpose of the Euro-Mediterranean space is to ensure peace and security for all and to build an edifice of cooperation and prosperity that will be profitable to all the peoples in the region. We reaffirm our commitment to the process of constructing a Euro-Mediterranean space and our conviction that joint, concerted action is the only way to reach that objective.

Nevertheless, in the eastern part of the Mediterranean the serious deterioration of the situation in occupied Palestine is a matter of grave concern. Israel’s persistence in its policy of occupation and aggression compromises any dynamic for peace and stymies any attempt to settle the conflict. Algeria continues to be committed to pursuing the peace process in the Middle East and considers it to be urgent to relaunch the peace process so that a peaceful, just and lasting settlement can be found to the conflict in the Middle East, based on the creation of a sovereign Palestinian State, with Al-Quds as its capital.


Mr. Al-Shamsi (United Arab Emirates) (spoke in Arabic ): ...


While we commend the successful regional and subregional efforts to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones in many parts of the world, we are surprised and disappointed at the unsuccessful efforts to establish a similar zone in the Middle East, because of the obstinate position of the Government of Israel. That Government insists on keeping its nuclear reactors and military arsenal outside the international safeguards regime, in order to ensure its military superiority and continue its illegitimate occupation and exploitation of the Palestinian and Arab territories. It is thus defying the principles of international law and international resolutions which prohibit its unilateral acts of aggression because they threaten our region and international peace and security.

The United Arab Emirates has acceded to the NPT, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons, based on its firm conviction of the importance of enhancing the universality of such treaties to build a world free from all forms of threat. It considers the establishment of zones free from nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction to be vital for building balanced regional and international strategic relations. Therefore, we renew our call to the international community, especially the big, influential Powers, to pressure the Government of Israel to compel it to eliminate its nuclear arsenal and accede unconditionally to the NPT, as it is the only country in the region which has not yet acceded to that Treaty. It must also subject all its nuclear facilities, be they civilian or military, to the safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in accordance with relevant international resolutions and the resolutions of the Sixth NPT Review Conference, held in 2000. We also call for the discontinuing of all scientific, technological and financial assistance to develop Israeli nuclear facilities, due to their negative impact on the peace process in the Middle East.


The meeting rose at 12.50 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.

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