Compilation of reports
Reports received from States parties
[16 April 2002]
2. France reiterates the importance of establishing confidence-building and security measures in the region. The tragic events in the region highlight the importance of continuing to work for the achievement of a zone free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. The aims of the peace process, which we hope to see resumed, and of a zone free from nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction are interconnected and mutually reinforcing. In the regional context of the Middle East, a combination of the two would be particularly welcome.
3. France has spared no effort to seek to achieve those aims. We have promoted them in the framework of the political and strategic dialogue which we pursue with numerous States of the region. We appeal to all States that have not already done so to sign and ratify the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction as well as the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction. We have also urged Israel to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as part of our efforts to promote universal adherence to that instrument.
4. France voted in favour of the resolutions on the establishment of a nuclear- weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East adopted by the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth and fifty-sixth sessions. Together with its European Union partners, it also voted in favour of the resolution on the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.
5. In addition, we have reiterated the need for strict compliance with the provisions of instruments relating to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction on the part of the States parties. We have, for example, supported the efforts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to verify Iraq’s compliance with its obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions.
6. France has also continued to appeal to the States of the region that have not already done so to place all their nuclear activities under IAEA safeguards. We have encouraged the States of the region to sign and ratify additional protocols.
7. General Assembly resolution 50/66 and the relevant parts of the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference rightly refer to the means of delivery of weapons of mass destruction. This is a matter of legitimate concern for the States of the region, as for all countries. France has done everything in its power, and continues to strive, to secure universal endorsement of an international code of conduct against the proliferation of ballistic missiles.
[15 April 2002]
Since its first meeting in 1994, the Committee has emphasized that the Non-Proliferation Treaty, its aims and universal adherence thereto, without exception, are crucial for the international disarmament regime; that security and stability in the Middle East are predicated upon complete disarmament of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction; and that the Arab position vis-à-vis the extension of the Treaty is based on the universality of that instrument.
Through the periodic and regular meetings which it holds for the purpose of drawing up a draft treaty on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction and, most importantly, of nuclear weapons, the Committee has demonstrated its seriousness and willingness to help support the steps taken by the international community to promote non-proliferation and achieve peace and security at the regional and international levels. The Committee held its fifteenth meeting on 12 February 2002.
In spite of this clear and balanced Arab view and of the unified Arab position by which all Arab States have acceded to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and comply fully with the provisions of the Resolution on the Middle East adopted by both the 1995 Review and Extension Conference and, as part of an agreement providing for the indefinite extension of the Treaty, also co-sponsored by the three nuclear depositary States, Israel continues categorically to refuse to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty or even to declare its intention of doing so. It also refuses to place its nuclear facilities under the IAEA safeguards system and insists on using outmoded concepts such as the option of nuclear deterrence.
While Arab leaders have, ever since the extraordinary Arab Summit held at Cairo in June 1996, maintained that a just and comprehensive peace is a strategic option to which effect must be given in accordance with international resolutions, Israel has yet to respond to this appeal, which was renewed at the Tenth Arab Summit held at Beirut on 27 and 28 March 2002. The Summit also approved the initiative presented by His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
The Arab peace initiative, which the Arab leaders at Beirut adopted at a time of grave regional and international turmoil, emphasizes that lasting peace and stability in the region can only be achieved if Israel accedes to the Treaty and places all its nuclear installations under the comprehensive IAEA safeguards system. In that regard, the initiative also stresses the extreme importance of ridding the Middle East region of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction as a necessary and essential condition for the establishment of any future regional security arrangements.
For many years Arab States have been working and taking steps at the international level to try to rid the Middle East of nuclear weapons. I should like to refer to some of these efforts as follows:
At its fifty-sixth session, the General Assembly adopted resolution 56/21 of 29 November 2001 entitled “Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East”. This resolution, which was included on the General Assembly’s agenda for the first time in 1974 and has been adopted by consensus every year since 1980, aims at eliminating the nuclear-weapon threat from the Middle East.
At its fifty-sixth session, the General Assembly adopted resolution 56/27 of 29 November 2001 entitled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”. This resolution is proposed each year by the Arab Republic of Egypt on behalf of all Arab States and enjoys the support of an overwhelming majority of Member States. Inter alia, it calls upon Israel as the only State in the Middle East that has yet to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to do so without further delay and to place all its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards with a view to realizing the goal of universal adherence to the Treaty in the Middle East.
At its forty-fifth session, the IAEA General Conference adopted by consensus resolution GC(45)/RES/18 of 21 September 2001 on the implementation of IAEA safeguards in the Middle East, for which it won the support of all Arab States.
This broad-based support for the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East reflects the growing concern of the international community at Israel’s defiance of repeated calls for it to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and of numerous international resolutions in that regard, including Security Council resolutions.
We should like to reaffirm those parts of the guidelines issued by the 1999 substantive session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission that pertain to the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.
This situation prompted the States Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to reaffirm, in the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference, the importance of the Resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference and to recognize that the resolution would remain valid until its goals and objectives have been achieved. They also determined that the resolution was an essential element of the outcome of the 1995 Review Conference and of the basis on which the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was indefinitely extended without a vote in 1995. Consequently this resolution must be regarded as being equally important to and having the same binding force as the resolution providing for the indefinite extension of the Treaty.
In the light of the foregoing, the Arab States take the view that:
– The 2005 review process must undertake a comprehensive assessment of compliance by States parties, particularly nuclear-weapon States that approved the adoption of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, and implementation of the pledges which they made at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference and renewed at the 2000 Review Conference;
– It is necessary to stress that the continuation of the Israeli nuclear programme outside the framework of the non-proliferation regime and Israel’s refusal to accede to the Treaty or place all its nuclear installations under the IAEA safeguards system pose a direct threat to regional and international security and stability and undermine the credibility of the Treaty.
– The 2005 Review Conference must endeavour to create mechanisms for the implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East and to monitor the implementation of the recommendations made by the 2000 Conference of the Parties towards that end, with a view to achieving all of its aims and purposes.
The Arab States stress that all States Parties to the Treaty, particularly nuclear States, must take decisive action to rid the Middle East region of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction.
This request is a joint position and a firm belief of all Arab States, which are determined to eliminate nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East. The Arab States will continue their efforts to realize that noble goal, thereby making a positive and important contribution to the establishment of peace in the Middle East, a region which, particularly at the present time, is fraught with tension and tragedy as a result of Israeli practices in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, the occupied Syrian Golan and the occupied territories in southern Lebanon.