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        General Assembly
3 October 2002

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-seventh session
First Committee
5th meeting
Tuesday, 3 October 2002, 10 a.m.
New York

Chairman:Mr. Kiwanuka ..................................................(Uganda)

The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.

Agenda items 57, 58 and 60 to 73 ( continued)

General debate on all disarmament and international security agenda items


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


The Middle East is one of the most dangerous and tense regions in the world as a result of the suppression and the military terrorism carried out by an occupying State that possesses a superior military arsenal — in quality and quantity — of conventional and non-conventional weapons. In that context, the United Arab Emirates affirms that peace and security cannot be achieved in the region as long as Israel, the occupying Power, possesses nuclear weapons. Therefore, we call upon the international community — in particular the great Powers — to exert pressure on Israel to compel it to accede unconditionally to the NPT, as it is the only country in the region that has not yet done so, and to urge Israel to abstain from producing nuclear weapons and to subject all its nuclear facilities to the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency. This should be carried out in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy, including the resolutions of the Sixth Review Conference of the NPT, held in 2000, and, in particular, those related to the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone, especially in the Middle East. We also call on the international community to pressure Israel to refrain from the use of internationally proscribed and non-conventional weapons against Palestinian citizens in the occupied territories, which has caused the killing of many civilians and the maiming and disabling of dozens of persons, including children and women, in clear violation of international laws and norms.


The United Arab Emirates has always supported international efforts aimed at maintaining peace and at preventing armed conflicts in areas of tension throughout the world. My country has contributed to peacekeeping operations, the provision of relief assistance, the rebuilding of national institutions destroyed by war, and the removal of anti-personnel landmines in the occupied Palestinian territories, in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Somalia. We stress the importance of examining the political, economic, human and social causes of conflicts and of working within the framework of international and regional partnerships to uproot such causes and to create the political and economic conditions that will eliminate the causes of conflicts and establish peace and security.


Mr. El Kadiri (Morocco) (spoke in French ): ...


Finally, Morocco is very keen to see the Middle East become a nuclear-weapon-free zone. The current situation there calls for the international community to devote special attention to efforts aimed at relaunching the Middle East peace process and at the creation of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in that highly sensitive region. In this respect, it is deplorable to note that the establishment of such a zone continues to be blocked by a single State of that region — Israel — which is not yet a party to the NPT and refuses to subject its nuclear facilities to the comprehensive safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency.


Mr. Atieh (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic): ...


Recently, there has been increased discussion of the seriousness of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and of the possibility that international terrorists may acquire such weapons. It is well known that this danger is not restricted to a specific region, but threatens various regions of the world. It is regrettable that some international circles are undertaking an unjust campaign against Arab and Islamic countries, while ignoring others and turning a blind eye to Israel’s possession of weapons of mass destruction, in particular a huge nuclear arsenal, and to its rejection of the establishment of the Middle East as a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction, above all nuclear weapons. This is occurring at a time when the countries of the region have declared their readiness to create such a zone in the Middle East.

Today more than ever before, we call for every effort to be made, under the auspices of the United Nations, to make our region a zone free from weapons of mass destruction, if we are really seeking to establish true peace and security in the region and the world. We affirm that Arab States are prepared to establish such a zone, if Israel agrees and begins to place all its nuclear facilities under the International Atomic Energy Agency’s full-scope safeguards regime, just as all other Arab and Islamic countries in the Middle East have done and in accordance with what was affirmed by the 1998 Durban Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.


Syria follows with interest the issue of transparency in armaments as a whole. In that context, Syria would like to reaffirm the position of the Arab Group in that regard. Syria believes that it is necessary for the members of the United Nations to take into account issues of interest to Arab countries in discussions about this important aspect of the work of the Organization. The United Nations Register should include weapons of mass destruction, and nuclear weapons in particular. They should also take into account the current situation in the Middle East, the continuing Israeli occupation of Arab lands, Israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons and its refusal to place its nuclear facilities under full-scope IAEA safeguards. It should also be noted that Arab countries have not acquired nuclear weapons.


The meeting rose at 12.10 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.

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