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        General Assembly
8 October 2001

Official Records

General Assembly
Fifty-sixth session
First Committee
3rd meeting
Monday, 8 October 2001, 10 a.m.
New York

Chairman:Mr. Erdös ..................................................................(Hungary)

The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.


Mr. Babaa (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) (spoke in Arabic ): ...


We support efforts to create nuclear-weapon-free zones on the various continents of the world. This is an important step towards achieving nuclear disarmament. We call upon the world to make greater efforts to create new nuclear-weapon-free zones. We also stress the importance of making the Middle East a nuclear-weapon-free zone. Over a year has passed since the call was made in that regard at the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and numerous relevant General Assembly resolutions have been adopted. However, the Tel Aviv regime is not respecting the appeals of the international community and is refusing to abide by the NPT to rid the region of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. That regime is also refusing to place its nuclear weapons under inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. If international efforts fail to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, then the international community will have failed in its drive for nuclear disarmament.


We attach great importance to strengthening security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region. We support every effort to make the region a bridge for cooperation between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East on the basis of the principles of equality, mutual respect for each country’s sovereignty and non-intervention in the internal affairs of others. We positively respond to calls for cooperation in confronting and resolving the problems faced by the countries of the region — including terrorism, organized crime and illicit trafficking in small arms, light weapons and drugs.


Mr. Goussous (Jordan): ...


On the other side of the balance sheet, we regrettably find such negative developments and situations as the ongoing reluctance by the only State in the Middle East with considerable nuclear-weapon capabilities, Israel, to adhere to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and to place all its nuclear installations and facilities under full-scope safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency; the continued reluctance of the nuclear-weapon States to meet their obligations in compliance with article VI of the NPT by pursuing negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament; the failure to reach agreement on the convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament; and the failure so far to take practical steps towards broadening the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms to encompass military holdings and procurement through national production, as well as stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons.

Jordan has always been committed to the cause of international peace and security. We have over the years advocated a peaceful settlement to the conflict in the Middle East that could lead to just, comprehensive and durable peace in the region. We have come to realize, as have many others within and outside the region, that for durable peace to be achieved, positive steps towards confidence-building between the parties would have to be taken, in addition to such steps as freeing the region of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction.

Jordan has adhered to the Chemical Weapons Convention, ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, ratified the Ottawa Convention on anti-personnel landmines and signed with the IAEA an Additional Protocol for safeguards. In so doing, Jordan has completed its adherence to all international instruments providing for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and for the prohibition of other weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological weapons. It is noteworthy in this context that the General Assembly has, over the last two decades, called upon all States in the Middle East that have not yet done so, particularly the only State in the region with nuclear-weapon capabilities, to adhere without delay to the nuclear non-proliferation Treaty and to place all its nuclear facilities under the full-scope safeguards of the IAEA. All the States in the Middle East, except Israel, are now parties to the NPT.

Since 1974, the General Assembly has called for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, and the resolution on that subject has gained further momentum since 1980 by being adopted by consensus. Furthermore, in the resolution on the Middle East, adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference and at the 2000 NPT Review Conference, the States parties called upon all States in the region to

Paragraph 6 of the same resolution calls upon all States party to the NPT, and in particular the nuclear-weapon States, to extend their cooperation and to exert their utmost efforts with a view to ensuring the achievement of that goal. Unfortunately, more than six years after the historic 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference and almost two years after the 2000 NPT Review Conference, no indication of such efforts has so far been felt in the region.

We cannot but reiterate our conviction, as we have time and again, that the outlook for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East is too gloomy without confidence-building between the parties involved. Confidence, however, can never be attainable with the existence of nuclear weapons in the region and without the abolition of the theory of nuclear deterrence.


Jordan has been a staunch supporter of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. We regard the Register as an indispensable mechanism for achieving transparency in armaments, which leads to confidence-building, especially in conflict-prone regions such as the Middle East. However, we believe that the Register may not be effective unless its scope is enlarged to include military holdings and procurement through national production, as well as weapons of mass destruction, in particular, nuclear weapons. We therefore regret that the Panel of Governmental Experts failed to deal with this problem.


Mr. Lint (Belgium) (spoke in French ): I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. ...


The European Union would like to reaffirm its attachment to the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference and to its full implementation. We continue to support efforts to establish an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. The Union repeats its request to the only State in the region not to have acceded to the NPT to sign and ratify it. The European Union also believes that the accession of all States in the region to the conventions banning chemical and biological weapons would make an essential and very significant contribution to peace and to regional and global security. Furthermore, we call on all States in the region which have not yet done so to conclude a full-scope safeguards agreement with the IAEA.


The meeting rose at 1.15 p.m.

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