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        General Assembly
11 October 2001

Official Records

General Assembly
Fifty-sixth session
First Committee
6th meeting
Thursday, 11 October 2001, 10 a.m.
New York

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

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

Agenda items 64 to 84 (continued)

General debate on all disarmament and international security items


Mr. Bakhit (Sudan) (spoke in Arabic): ...


The establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones in different parts of the world promotes international peace and security. In this respect, Sudan joined in African efforts that led to the conclusion of the Treaty of Pelindaba. Sudan supports efforts to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. The international community is also called upon to bring pressure to bear on Israel to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), especially given that this was expressed by States parties to the NPT during the sixth review conference, in 2000. The Final Document of that conference emphasized the need for Israel to accede to NPT under the comprehensive safeguards system.

We share the keen interest of the international community on transparency in the field of armament as one of the means to promote international peace and security. But we emphasize at the same time that United Nations Register of Conventional Arms still lacks the necessary transparency. It should be expanded to include weapons of mass destruction. The Register also does not take into account the serious situation in the Middle East, where Israel is continuing to expand its arsenal of modern weapons, which are used in front of the whole world against innocent, unarmed civilians in Palestine, including women and children.


Mr. Atieh (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic): ...


The Syrian Arab Republic has always stressed that it attaches great importance to the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, and it would like to express its grave concern over Israel’s insurmountable obstruction of that process. Israel refuses to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), despite the fact that the international community knows full well that by doing so it is greatly undermining the Treaty’s credibility and universality. Israel’s refusal obstructs the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, despite the good intentions of the other parties concerned and despite the other proposals that have been put forward to this effect.

The Syrian Arab Republic believes that a nuclear-weapon-free zone should be created in the Middle East.

This requires, first, the support of Israel, the only State of the region that possesses a nuclear arsenal and nuclear facilities. It must accede to the NPT, subject its nuclear installations to the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and eliminate its entire nuclear arsenal. All these measures are prerequisites to the establishment of such a zone.

Secondly, the United Nations is the appropriate forum for carrying out serious negotiations to enable all States of the Middle East to work jointly for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone. Furthermore, the Syrian Arab Republic supports the convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament in order to review and assess progress in the implementation of the outcome of the 1978 first special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament. This would offer the opportunity to review the major aspects of disarmament in order to adapt it to the new world situation. To that end, the international community and international opinion must be mobilized in favour of eliminating nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and of reducing conventional weapons.


The Syrian Arab Republic is closely following the issue of transparency in armaments in all its aspects and endorses the statement of the Arab Group. The Syrian Arab Republic feels that States Members of the United Nations must take the concerns of the Arab States into consideration in reviewing this important aspect of the Organization’s work. In considering issues related to weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons in particular, the Organization must also take into consideration the prevailing situation in the Middle East, including Israel’s occupation of Arab territories, its possession of nuclear weapons — which Arab States do not possess — and its refusal to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.


The meeting rose at 12.35 p.m.

This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-178. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.

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