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Report of the Secretary-General
** This reply was received after the submission of the main report.
Replies received from Governments
The Member States of the European Union hereby wish to provide the following common reply to paragraph 10 of the resolution, in which the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to continue to pursue consultations with the States of the region and other concerned States, in accordance with paragraph 7 of General Assembly resolution 46/30 of 6 December 1991 and taking into account the evolving situation in the region, and to seek from those States their views on the measures outlined in chapters III and IV of the study annexed to his report1 or other relevant measures, in order to move towards the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East.
The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union, the associated countries Cyprus, Malta and Turkey and the European Free Trade Association countries Norway and Liechtenstein align themselves with the common reply of the Member States of the European Union on General Assembly resolution 56/21.
1. The European Union recalls the principles and guidelines on the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones adopted by the United Nations Disarmament Commission at its 1999 session,2 stipulating that the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones should be based on arrangements freely arrived at by the States of the region.
2. The European Union also takes note of Security Council resolution 687 (1991), recalling the goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery.
3. The European Union further recalls the conclusion of the report of the Secretary-General of 10 October 1990,1 that the nuclear threat can be effectively and permanently eliminated only as a pattern of sound regional security relationships is developed.
4. The European Union recognizes the importance of confidence-building measures, such as nuclear-weapon-free zones, as an integral part of a comprehensive regional security arrangement, based on peaceful and friendly relations between all States in the Middle East. The European Union further stresses that the creation of a secure and stable environment for all States, which would facilitate the establishment of a zone free from weapons of mass destruction, is first and foremost the responsibility of the States in the Middle East.
5. The European Union has repeatedly called upon all States to adhere to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and recalls the decisions and the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference. The European Union equally attaches great importance to universal adherence to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty; the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction; the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction and to agreements between States and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the application of safeguards with additional protocols, and considers these treaties and agreements to be in the best interest of all States, as they constitute important steps to promoting the non-proliferation and disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, thereby contributing to international and regional confidence, stability and peace.
6. The European Union further recalls that the 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty reaffirmed its endorsement of the aims and objectives of the Middle East peace process and recognized that efforts in that regard, as well as other efforts, contribute to, inter alia, a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons as well as other weapons of mass destruction. The present situation only confirms the importance of non-proliferation efforts in that region.
7. The European Union urges the States of the region to devote themselves to efforts to develop peaceful and friendly relations, with a view to creating a secure and stable environment for all States in the region, thereby rendering possible the establishment of a zone free from all weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery in the Middle East.
* On behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the European Union.
2 Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 42 (A/54/42), annex I, sect. C.