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        General Assembly
17 September 2004

Original: Arabic/Chinese/

Fifty-ninth session
Item 67(p),(q),(t) and (x) of the preliminary list**
General and Complete Disarmament

Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International
Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of
Nuclear Weapons


I. Introduction

1. This report is submitted pursuant to requests contained in the following resolutions adopted by the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session on 8 December 2003: 58/46, “Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons ”; 58/47, “Reducing nuclear danger”; 58/51, “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: the need for a new agenda”; 58/56, “Nuclear disarmament”.

2. In paragraph 3 of resolution 58/46, the General Assembly requested all States to inform the Secretary-General of the efforts and measures they had taken on the implementation of the resolution and nuclear disarmament, and requested the Secretary-General to apprise the General Assembly of that information at its fifty-ninth session.


III. Information received from Governments


Syrian Arab Republic

[Original: Arabic]
[30 March 2004]

53. The advisory opinion issued by the International Court of Justice on 8 July 1996 observes that the unique characteristics of nuclear weapons, and in particular their destructive capacity, their capacity to cause untold human suffering, and their ability to cause damage to generations to come, render them potentially catastrophic. According to the Court, the destructive power of nuclear weapons cannot be contained in either space or time. They have the potential to destroy all civilization and the entire ecosystem of the planet.

54. The emergence of new ideologies and the issuance of numerous threats to use these weapons in the shadow of a tense international climate highlight the need to eliminate these weapons, and demand the adoption, for the purpose of bringing this about, of a legally binding international instrument on negative security guarantees for non-nuclear-weapon States.

55. The Syrian Arab Republic, in accordance with the principles governing its policy of enhancing international peace and security and with the purposes and principles of the United Nations, and as part of its overall perspective on general and complete disarmament, has spared no effort in supporting United Nations resolutions relating to disarmament. It became a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968) and agreed to be bound by its safeguards regime. On 29 December 2003, the Syrian Arab Republic called on the Security Council to hold consultations on a serious and constructive initiative, submitted to the Security Council on behalf of the Arab Group, to make the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, based on its conviction that possession of these destructive weapons by any State in the Middle East or the world constitutes a threat to the region and is to be considered a source of grave concern to the peoples of the region and the world. The Syrian Arab Republic believes that it is urgent that through this initiative there be established a mechanism related to the concerns of the region and the world about security and international peace, and calls through it for pressure on Israel, the one State in the region that does possess an enormous arsenal of these weapons and threatens its neighbours, to comply with the resolutions of the international community.

56. The Syrian Arab Republic reaffirms General Assembly resolution 58/46, entitled “Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons ”, and calls for the adoption of practical measures for the elaboration of a phased programme for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons within a specific time frame and under effective international control.


* Reissued for technical reasons.
** A/59/50 and Corr.1.


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