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The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.
Agenda items 85 to 105 ( continued)
General debate on all disarmament and international security agenda items
Mr. Baali (Algeria) (spoke in French ): ...
However, we regret the delay in establishing a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. In the current context, it is more necessary than ever before that the international community send a strong signal to demand that Israel conform to international legality and that it remove the main — indeed, the only — obstacle to attaining that important objective and thus help strengthen peace and stability in that particularly turbulent region of the world.
Mr. Abdelaziz (Egypt) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
Non-proliferation has not fared much better. Despite the desperate need for progress towards the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, which lay at the heart of the resolution on the Middle East adopted at the NPT Review and Extension Conference in 1995 and which constituted an essential element of the basis on which the NPT was extended indefinitely, as well as the relevant paragraphs final document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference, which will remain elusive unless Israel joins the NPT, we have only witnessed regression and reneging on the commitments regarding the Middle East. These commitments are based not only on the 1995 Review Conference resolution on the Middle East but also upon many others, including Security Council resolution 687 (1991), which stated in paragraph 14 that the elimination of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was a step towards the establishment of a zone free of all such weapons in the Middle East. Are weapons of mass destruction to be prohibited for Iraq but lawful for others? Have the States concerned fulfilled their Treaty obligations or their obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions in this respect? Has the Security Council implemented this part of resolution 687 (1991) as it worked intently to ensure the implementation of its resolution 1540 (2004)?
Mr. Al-Shamsi (United Arab Emirates) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
We also wish to note that attempts by non-nuclear-weapon States to produce or acquire weapons of mass destruction — particularly in such areas of conflict as the Middle East, the Arabian Gulf region and South Asia — pose a serious threat to regional and international peace and security, heighten tensions among States and undermine c We also wish to note that attempts by non-nuclear-weapon States to produce or acquire weapons of mass destruction — particularly in such areas of conflict as the Middle East, the Arabian Gulf region and South Asia — pose a serious threat to regional and international peace and security, heighten tensions among States and undermine confidence-building measures. The United Arab Emirates, which has acceded to disarmament treaties regarding weapons of mass destruction, therefore calls for strengthening stability- and confidence-building measures among States. We also urge the relevant States to reconsider their positions vis-à-vis such weapons, exercise balanced self-restraint and resort to peaceful means to resolve regional conflicts. In that regard, we would like to emphasize the importance of the following.
First, nuclear-weapon States should comply fully with commitments under treaties and protocols regarding disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. They should work to gradually reduce the number of such weapons in a time-bound manner and limit their use of nuclear technology to the peaceful purposes, consistent with article VI of the NPT.
Secondly, the international community must respond to proposals calling for the formulation of unconditional international instruments that ensure the security of non-nuclear-weapon States and affirm their legitimate right to utilize nuclear power for peaceful purposes.
Thirdly, we must reaffirm the universality and inclusiveness of treaties pertaining to disarmament in the area of weapons of mass destruction, including the NPT. The international community should call upon States that have not yet acceded to such treaties to do so as soon as possible.
Fourthly, we must strengthen international efforts to prevent the illicit weapons trade. We welcome the international consensus reached recently on a draft international political instrument enabling States to identify and trace, in a timely manner, small arms and light weapons. We hope that the General Assembly will adopt the draft instrument in the near future and that all States will take the necessary steps to ensure its early and effective implementation.
Finally, we once again underscore the importance of strengthening international efforts aimed at establishing zones free from weapons of mass destruction, particularly in the Middle East in accordance with the resolution adopted at the 2000 NPT Review Conference and relevant resolutions of the General Assembly. In the meantime, States with influence must compel Israel to dismantle its nuclear facilities and place them under International Atomic Energy Agency inspections and safeguards. In addition, given the negative impact on the Middle East peace process and in order to guarantee the safety and security of the peoples of the region, we call upon all States to suspend all scientific and financial assistance to Israel that is being used to develop its nuclear facilities.
In conclusion, I express the hope that the First Committee’s deliberations will lead to a convergence of views on how to strengthen the Committee’s work and achieve the aspirations of our peoples to peace, security, development and regional and international stability.
Mr. Najib (Iraq) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
The Middle East region is confronting a genuine security problem. We are far removed from solid peace, and we are facing the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and missiles. This is a source of real concern. Even worse, terrorism is spreading in its most atrocious forms and in the most appalling manner, as are fanaticism and extremism.
The meeting rose at 12.35 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.