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Source:
12 May 2000
NPT/CONF.2000/SR.4

2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
            12 May 2000
            Original: English



Summary record of the 4th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Tuesday, 25 April 2000, at 3 p.m.

President: Mr. Baali (Algeria)
later: Mr. Balboni Acqua (Italy)
later: Mr. Minty (South Africa)

Contents

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General debate (continued)


The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.

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General debate (continued)

6. Mr. Samhan (United Arab Emirates) ...

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8. Since 1995, there had been some positive developments, such as the accession of nine States to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, including the United Arab Emirates. His Government had taken that step on the basis of the 1995 “Resolution on the Middle East” and relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions which provided a legal basis for establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East region. Israel was the only country in the region which had not yet acceded to the Treaty and still possessed nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. That situation caused a clear military imbalance in the region and posed a continuous threat to regional peace and security, undermining the credibility of the Treaty. His Government urged the Conference to call upon the Israeli Government to give up its nuclear arsenal and implement the “Resolution on the Middle East” and to submit all its nuclear facilities to the inspection regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It also called for an end to the provision of all forms of technological and scientific assistance in support of Israeli nuclear facilities.

9. Achieving a comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East and putting an end to occupation and tension in that region, particularly in the Arab gulf region, depended mainly on countries having the necessary political will to implement their obligations to eliminate prohibited weapons, including nuclear weapons, and to work to settle conflicts and end occupation in a peaceful manner, on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations and the provisions of international law, especially the principles of mutual respect for the sovereignty of regional States, peaceful coexistence, confidence-building measures, and renunciation of the use of force.

10. Mr. Kharrazi (Islamic Republic of Iran) ...

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15. The threat posed to regional and international peace and security by Israel’s clandestine nuclear-weapon programmes was a major impediment to achieving the goals of the Treaty. Despite its intransigence, Israel benefited from unrestricted transfer of nuclear technology, equipment and material, and was fully catered to by the self-appointed guardians of non-proliferation. It was imperative to build on the 1995 “Resolution on the Middle East” and explore ways to implement it. Israel should be forced to renounce nuclear weapons, accede to the Treaty and bring all its facilities and programmes under IAEA safeguards. Those who had helped Israel to develop such weapons had a special responsibility in that regard. Since the 1995 “Resolution on the Middle East” had been part of the package solution which had secured the indefinite extension of the Treaty, it was imperative to honour that collective commitment.

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18. Mr. Aboul Gheit (Egypt) ...

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24. With regard to the situation in the Middle East, Egypt had put forward many proposals with a view to overcoming the current impasse, including the initiation of regional negotiations on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, the declaration by the States of the region of their commitment to adhere within a specified time-frame to the international instruments on nuclear non-proliferation and the prohibition of chemical and biological weapons, and the implementation of confidence-building measures in the nuclear field. Regrettably, Israel had failed to respond to those proposals. That state of affairs could not be allowed to continue. The non-proliferation Treaty would have no credibility in the region as long as one State was exempt from its provisions.

25. The 2000 Review Conference must demand that Israel should accede to the Treaty without further delay and place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards. It must adopt clear recommendations for achieving the full implementation of the “Resolution on the Middle East”. There was a need to consider the establishment of a mechanism to monitor progress in that area. His delegation believed that the nuclear-weapon States and, in particular, the States depositaries of the Treaty, as sponsors of the resolution, had a special responsibility concerning the realization of its objectives. The “Resolution on the Middle East” was an integral part of the package of commitments entered into at the 1995 Conference. Those commitments were not open to negotiation. If the situation in the Middle East was not given due regard on the pretext that to do so would burden the Conference, the credibility of the Treaty and the whole non-proliferation regime would be undermined.

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28. Mr. Balboni Acqua (Italy), Vice President, took the Chair.

29. Mr. Reyes (Colombia) ...

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31. With regard to the situation in the Middle East, the international community should maintain pressure on the only State in the region which was not a party to the Treaty to agree to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards as a contribution to confidence-building and the non-proliferation regime, and to regional and world peace. ...

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36. Mr. Shobokshi (Saudi Arabia) ...

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39. The international community must summon the political will to strengthen the non-proliferation regime, reduce the political and strategic importance of nuclear weapons in international relations and implement existing treaties that provided for disarmament and the reduction of nuclear stockpiles. The agreement to extend the Non-Proliferation Treaty indefinitely would not have been possible without the adoption by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of a number of Resolutions, including the “Resolution on the Middle East”. Since then, however, serious efforts had been made to weaken and prevent the implementation of the Resolution. In order to be successful therefore, the 2000 Conference should review all of the issues that had been agreed upon in 1995.

40. Saudi Arabia supported all efforts being made to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons in the Middle East. The Arab League’s efforts to prepare a draft treaty aimed at establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East were evidence of the serious commitment of the Arab States, all of which had ratified the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Those actions, however, did not guarantee the safety of the Arab States, given the continuing Israeli nuclear threat and that State’s defiance of international law, including resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and IAEA. In order to achieve stable and balanced peace in the Middle East, Israel must eliminate its arsenal of nuclear weapons, accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and subject its nuclear facilities to international safeguards.

41. Israel continued to disregard the appeals of the United Nations, IAEA, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and the Organization of the Islamic Conference to desist from producing, experimenting with or stockpiling nuclear weapons. It was the only State in the Middle East which refused to subject its nuclear and chemical weapons to IAEA inspections safeguards. Israel’s position and all its justifications for that position clearly contradicted its calls for peace; which must be based on trust and good will. Double standards towards Israel would not persuade it to do what was necessary in order to advance the Middle East peace process.

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43. The current Conference must take an integral approach to international security. The final document should put forward a vision of the future based on lessons learned from the past, stress the need to achieve international consensus, urge all States to become parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and call for the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. The final document should also include a reaffirmation of the Treaty obligation to avoid nuclear war and of the nuclear-weapon States’ commitment to make every effort to stop the nuclear arms race and reduce their arsenals as a first step towards complete and total nuclear disarmament. Such action required transparency on the part of the nuclear-weapon States.

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49. Mr. Minty (South Africa), Vice-President, took the Chair.

50. Mr. Hasmy (Malaysia) ...

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53. ... Malaysia looked forward to the establishment of other nuclear-weapon-free zones in other regions, including the Middle East and South Asia.

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60. Mr. Dorda (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) ...

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63. By assisting Israel in developing weapons of mass destruction, Washington employed double standards, since it imposed punitive sanctions on some States even though they had opened their nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and blackmailed another State, trying to prevent its acquisition of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes even though that State was a party to the NPT.

64. Israel’s development of nuclear weapons threatened an entire region, ranging from the Western Mediterranean to India. While all the Arab States were parties to the Treaty, Tel Aviv refused to accede to it and ignored the international community’s call to transform the Middle East into a nuclear-free zone. Encouraged by a super-Power, Israel, by pursuing its nuclear programme and rejecting the NPT, constituted a serious threat to international peace and security and undermined the credibility of the Treaty regime.

65. Some other recent developments were a further cause for concern. One European State had provided Israel with three submarines capable of deploying nuclear weapons, while another had negotiated with Israel secretly to sell it nuclear reactors despite Israel’s refusal to put its nuclear facilities under IAEA supervision. Furthermore, the United States had lifted its restriction on Israeli scientists conducting nuclear research in its laboratories. Such developments cast doubt on the seriousness of some States parties to the Treaty in their call for universal accession. Furthermore, one super-Power resisted all efforts to induce Israel to accede to the Treaty, while Israel opposed all United Nations resolutions calling for a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

66. With the exception of Israel, all States in the Middle East were parties to the Treaty. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya therefore called upon the Conference to stress that Israel must accede to the Treaty, without conditions or delay, and must place all its nuclear facilities under IAEA supervision; to ensure that the nuclear-weapon States undertook, under article I of the Treaty, not to transfer nuclear weapons or devices or means of control, directly or indirectly, to Israel, and not to encourage it to manufacture or acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; to stress the commitment to prohibit the transfer of all nuclear equipment and expertise to Israel until it placed its nuclear facilities under IAEA supervision; to call for the speedy transformation of the Middle East into a nuclear-weapons-free zone; and to establish a subsidiary body of the Second Committee of the Conference to review the “Resolution on the Middle East” adopted by the 1995 Conference and to put forward recommendations for its implementation.

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72. Mr. Staehelin (Switzerland) ...

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76. ... Lastly, referring to the tests conducted by India and Pakistan and the situation in the Middle East and other regions, he urged parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to be more aware of the regional aspects of non-proliferation.

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The meeting rose at 6.20 p.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza.

Any corrections to the record of this meeting and of other meetings will be issued in a corrigendum.


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