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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/C.1/57/PV.21
25 October 2002

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-seventh session
First Committee
21st meeting
Friday, 25 October 2002, 10 a.m.
New York

Chairman:Mr. Semakula Kiwanuka ..............................(Uganda)
The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m.

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

Action on all draft resolutions submitted under all disarmament and international security agenda items

/...

The Chairman: The Committee will now proceed to take action on draft resolution A/C.1/57/L.27. A recorded vote has been requested.

I shall now call on those representatives who wish to speak in explanation of vote or position before the voting.

Mr. McGinnis (United States of America): The United States opposes the draft resolution entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”, as we have with similar texts every year since this one-sided initiative took shape.

Everyone in this room knows that the overriding political fact of the Middle East is the regrettable lack of a peace settlement between Israel and its Arab neighbours. My country’s deep concern about these circumstances and our efforts to promote an enduring reconciliation are likewise well known.

The draft resolution before us does not meet the fundamental test of fairness and balance. The text confines itself to expressions of concern about activities of a single country, whereas it omits any reference to other questions and issues that relate to the problem of nuclear-weapon proliferation in the region. For example, the draft resolution does not mention the Middle Eastern country that has been found to be not in compliance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). It likewise does not allude to the steps that some nations in the region are taking to develop the capacity to acquire nuclear weapons, even though they are parties to the NPT. Further, we do not find any comment in the text on the failure of some Middle Eastern States to fulfil their NPT obligations by concluding safeguards agreements, or a recommendation that Middle East States sign an International Atomic Energy Agency additional safeguards protocol.

The United States regrets the draft resolution’s selective use of one-sided passages from the final document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference. This political distortion does not enhance the NPT regime. In an overall sense, the draft resolution does not advance the cause of non-proliferation, and is more likely to impair it.

For all of those reasons, the United States will once again vote no. We call on others to join us in doing so.

Mr. Durrani (Pakistan): I have asked for the floor to express our support for the draft resolution entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”, which is contained in document A/C.1/57/L.27.

However, my delegation would like to express our reservations on the fifth preambular paragraph and on operative paragraph 3, which call for the universalization of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Pakistan is not a party to the NPT. As a State that possesses nuclear weapons, we cannot, obviously, accede to the NPT or accept those provisions of draft resolution A/C.1/57/L.27.

Mr. Bar (Israel): The First Committee is again called upon to vote on the draft resolution entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East” — a draft resolution that is blatantly one-sided, contentious and divisive and that undermines, rather than enhances, confidence among the States of the Middle East region.

Since this draft resolution was introduced, many developments have occurred that are related directly to nuclear proliferation and to the proliferation of other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. Not least among them is the sombre experience gained by the United Nations Special Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency Action Team. In addition, other efforts are under way in the region to acquire the capacity for weapons of mass destruction and for ballistic missiles, as our delegation pointed out during the general debate.

The bias of this draft resolution stems from its neglect of the fact that the real risk of proliferation in the Middle East emanates from countries that, despite being parties to international treaties, do not comply with their relevant international obligations. Those countries are engaged in ongoing efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles — efforts that have a destabilizing effect, not only regionally but on a global scale as well. The draft resolution chooses to ignore the profound hostility towards Israel on the part of those countries, which continue to reject any form of peaceful reconciliation and coexistence in the region. Adopting a draft resolution that does not reflect that reality will not serve the greater objective of curbing proliferation in the Middle East. Resolutions regarding the complex arms control problems in the Middle East should focus on objective ways to address them as they exist.

This draft resolution focuses entirely on one country that has never threatened its neighbours or abrogated its obligations under any disarmament treaty. Moreover, it singles out Israel in a manner in which no other United Nations Member State is being singled out in the First Committee. Singling out Israel is counterproductive to confidence-building and to peace in the region and does not lend this body any credibility.

Israel’s supreme objective is to achieve peace and security. Its non-proliferation and arms control policy is aimed at supporting that objective. The constructive approach that Israel has adopted over the years towards arms control and non-proliferation efforts was described in our statement during the general debate. It is best demonstrated by our attitude towards the draft resolution on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, despite substantive reservations regarding its modalities, and it is strongly undermined by the introduction of this biased draft resolution.

Two years ago, new language was introduced to this draft resolution. That language is unbalanced and is a selective representation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Review Conference final document, using that Treaty for yet another political assault against Israel. That unbalanced approach remains, despite the reference made to the need for compliance by all countries with their international obligations, which refers to Iraq. The fact that, for some countries, the language of this draft resolution is considered balanced is a source of deep disappointment for us.

The First Committee should not become a venue for discrimination on political grounds. We should like to call upon representatives to vote against this draft resolution.

The Chairman: The Committee will now proceed to take a decision on draft resolution A/C.1/57/L.27.

A recorded vote has been requested. There will be two votes on this draft resolution: a separate vote on the sixth preambular paragraph and then a vote on the draft resolution as a whole.

I call on the Secretary of the Committee to conduct the voting.

Mr. Sattar (Secretary of the Committee): Draft resolution A/C.1/57/L.27, entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”, was introduced by the representative of Egypt on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the League of Arab States at the Committee’s 14th meeting, on 17 October 2002.

The Committee will first take a recorded vote on the sixth preambular paragraph of draft resolution A/C.1/57/L.27, which reads as follows:

Recognizing with satisfaction that, in the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Conference undertook to make determined efforts towards the achievement of the goal of universality of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and called upon those remaining States not parties to the Treaty to accede to it, thereby accepting an international legally binding commitment not to acquire nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices and to accept International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards on all their nuclear activities, and underlined the necessity of universal adherence to the Treaty and of strict compliance by all parties with their obligations under the Treaty”.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia

Against:

India, Israel

Abstaining:

Bhutan, Marshall Islands, Pakistan, United States of America, Vanuatu

The sixth preambular paragraph of draft resolution A/C.1/57/L.27 was retained by 153 votes to 2, with 5 abstentions.

The Chairman: I call on the Secretary of the Committee to conduct the voting on the draft resolution as a whole.

Mr. Sattar (Secretary of the Committee): The Committee will now take a decision on draft resolution A/C.1/57/L.27 as a whole.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia

Against:

Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), United States of America

Abstaining:

Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Ethiopia, India, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu

Draft resolution A/C.1/57/L.27 as a whole was adopted by 150 votes to 4, with 9 abstentions.

The Chairman: I now call on those delegations wishing to explain their position or vote on the draft resolution just adopted.

Mr. Westdal (Canada): I have asked for the floor to explain Canada’s abstention from voting on draft resolution A/C.1/57/L.27, entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”. Canadian policy regarding the universalization of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is well known. In our general statement earlier this month, we called on India, Israel and Pakistan to accede to and abide by this Treaty.

Further, Canada supports the Final Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference, which called on all States not yet party to the Treaty to accede to it as non-nuclear-weapon States. However, in our view, the draft resolution, in its operative paragraphs, fails to deal with our concerns respecting compliance with the NPT.

Canada maintained its abstention on this draft resolution, because, like last year’s text, it fails to deal appropriately with both adherence to, and full compliance with, the NPT.

Mr. Sood (India): We have asked for the floor to explain our vote on draft resolution A/C.1/57/L.27, entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”.

India abstained on the draft resolution as a whole and cast a negative vote on the sixth preambular paragraph, where it makes a reference to the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which calls for universal adherence, an issue on which India’s views are well known and have been articulated in this Committee earlier this morning and on previous occasions. We believe that it is necessary to limit the focus of this draft resolution to the region that it intends to address.

India considers that the multifarious issues in this draft resolution have received widespread consideration in the international community. We hope that it will be possible to make progress on issues involved in coming years through the positive contributions by the States of the region concerned.

Mr. Bar (Israel): Our delegation is disappointed that this draft resolution has been adopted by the First Committee. If anyone supported this draft resolution believing that it in any way alleviates the acute and pressing security demands of the region, they are doing themselves, and the people of the region, a grave disservice.

/...

The Chairman: I give the floor to those representatives who wish to make statements in explanation of vote on the draft resolution just adopted.

The meeting rose at 1.20 p.m.



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