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        General Assembly
13 November 1991


Forty-sixth session
Official Records

22nd meeting
held on
Tuesday, 19 October 1991
at 3 p.m.
New York


Chairman: Mr. MROZIEWICZ (Poland)

later: Mr. ALPMAN (Turkey)


- General debate on all disarmament items (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 3.15 p.m.
AGENDA ITEMS 47 AND 65 (continued)


Mr. AL-NASSER (Qatar) (interpretation from Arabic): Although this is an item of which the first Committee has been seized for a number of years, since its inclusion on the agenda of the General Assembly in 1974, it assumes exceptional importance this year. The Middle East peace conference after which the international community aspired will be the first of its kind to consider the issue. There is no doubt that there can be no room for peace in the region unless it is free of nuclear weapons and the attendant threat to the security of the region and to international security.

From the very beginning, my delegation has supported the principle of establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones throughout the world, on the strength of our belief that freeing a number of region from nuclear weapons would work in favour of achieving the overriding objective of all, namely nuclear disarmament, and constitute a major stop towards the optimal goal of the international community, namely, general and complete disarmament under international controls. In addition to this, the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones would lead to regional disarmament.


The main condition for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East is the accession of all the States concerned to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. While we note that the States of the region are parties to the non-proliferation Treaty, we note that Israel is the only country that still refuses to accede to that Treaty. We also note, in this regard, that the movement of accession to that Treaty is broadening. In addition to South Africa's accession to the Treaty on 10 July 1991 and the negotiations between its Government and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concerning safeguards, both China and France have declared their intention to accede to the Treaty and to complete the quorum of nuclear States acceding to it.

This poses the question: why does Israel hesitate to accede to that Treaty? In this regard, I wish to refer to a book published recently entitled Samson's Option, which reveals startling secrets concerning Israel's nuclear armament and the fact that its nuclear capability was put on full alert twice in 1973. This news indicates the existence of a real nuclear threat in the region that promises nothing but overkill and devastation for the inhabitants of that region and thwarts every hope for peace and security in the region. And all that has taken place in absolute secrecy. A fact which highlights the essential role of IAEA in monitoring nuclear activities in the content of the non-proliferation Treaty.

Here I must point out that the Middle East Peace Conference would be the ideal framework for addressing the issue of non-proliferation and the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

In all our previous statements we urged that all that is needed to create such a zone in the region should be done. We have also stated that, unless there in a drastic change in the prevailing conditions in the region and unless Israel accedes to the non-proliferation Treaty, the hope of transforming the Middle East into a nuclear-weapon-free zone will be thwarted.

The international community, through the resolutions of the General Assembly, has called for the implementation of the main provisions for the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones. The States of the region have also called for refraining from the production, acquisition, development or stockpiling of nuclear weapons and the placing of all nuclear installations in the region under the IAEA's safeguards regimes. However, we note with regret that the annual report of the Agency contains no reference whatsoever to the diversion of nuclear material to military or weapon purposes. That report is based on the information volunteered by States in that regard. Given the rapid movement of the disarmament process towards the creation of a climate free of the stockpiling of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction as well as conventional weapons the international community as a whole hopes that there will be additional measures that would reinforce confidence, transparency and openness. The proposal to free the region of the threat of nuclear weapons should also apply to all other types of mass destruction weaponry.

Mr. KHAMSY (Lao People's Democratic Republic) (interpretation from French): ...


... the Conference to be convened in Madrid tomorrow, on the initiative of the United States and under the joint auspices of the Soviet Union and the United States, already promises to result in a just and honourable peace in the Middle East.

Mr. ALMUAKKAF (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) (interpretation from Arabic): ...


My delegation also welcome President Hosni Mubarak's call for a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East. However, in the teeth of all these calls by the international community for nuclear-weapon-free zones, the two racist regimes in South Africa and in occupied Palestine continue to carry out nuclear-weapon tests and exchange information on nuclear programmes. It is these two racist regimes that obstruct the ridding of the African continent
and the Middle East of this nuclear nightmare. The destruction of the nuclear weapons of these two racist regimes and the termination of their nuclear weapons development and manufacture programmes is a sine qua non for making Africa and the Middle East nuclear-weapon-free zones.

While my delegation hopes that the world will take the necessary action and strictly abide by the principle of non-proliferation it notes that certain nuclear-weapon States continue to flout that principle and give direct and indirect assistance to these two regimes in a manner that enables them to continue to produce nuclear weapons and develop further their collaboration, in their nuclear capacities and their delivery systems.

It is disturbing to note the reports of The Washington Post on 27 September 1900 and 27 October 1991 which have been confirmed by the NBC television network, regarding the joint venture by the South African regime and the Zionist entity in the development of medium-range missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads.

These two racist regimes are engaged in developing the means of intimidating neighbouring States. The Zionist entity's continued refusal to abide by the General Assembly's urging to place its nuclear installations and facilities under the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) safeguards regime is known to all. That regime continues to develop and test medium-range missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads to its targets. One of those missiles fell near the second largest city in my country. This, of course, exposed the safety and security of or country to grave dangers and showed complete disregard for the peace and security not only of the region but of the world.

The fact that these two regime possess nuclear weapons not only threatens peace and security throughout the Middle East but throughout the world. This was attested to by an article in the The New York Times of 20 October this year when it reviewed Hirsch's new book The Samson Option, which states that the number of nuclear weapons possessed by Israel far exceeds what the United States Government previously believed. The book also shows that one of Israel's potential principal targets was the Soviet Union. All this in addition to the statements made by the Israeli nuclear technician, Vanunu, to the Sunday Times of London, some time ago.

The meeting rose at 4.25 p.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of the publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, Room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.

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