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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


GA/DIS/3206
17 October 2001


Fifty-sixth General Assembly
First Committee
11th Meeting (AM)

NEW SECURITY PARADIGM NEEDED FOLLOWING
11 SEPTEMBER TERRORIST ATTACK
FIRST COMMITTEE TOLD, AS GENERAL DEBATE CONCLUDES

The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) concluded its general debate this morning hearing from 12 more speakers, with several urging the international community to design a new security paradigm that would take into account the insecurity and instability emanating from the 11 September terrorist attack on the United States.

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Statements

YAW ODEI OSEI (Ghana) ...

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Nuclear weapon-free zones made important contributions to international peace and security and Ghana supported the creation of such zones, especially in Asia and the Middle East, he said. Apart from nuclear disarmament, focus should be placed on the destabilizing effects of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. While all expectations of the recent United Nations small arms Conference had not been met, the programme of action was the beginning of a process that would help address the problem.

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TAHER MUQUAIBIL (Oman) ...

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Despite multilateral efforts to make a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, Israel’s failure to sign on to nuclear-related agreements prevented the creation of such a zone, he said. Israel must sign the relevant agreements and open itself to IAEA inspections. He hoped that the Indian Ocean region could be made safe for international peace and security through multilateral efforts. He also hoped that nuclear-weapon-free zones could be created throughout the world. The United Nations Conference on small arms had made a contribution to international peace and security when it shed light on the destruction wrought by those weapons. The Conference had also made obvious the need to balance controling the flow of those weapons with the legitimate right to self-defence.

MEHMET UMIT PAMIR (Turkey) ...

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The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery was a growing threat to the international community, he said. Despite international efforts, a few countries continued to develop nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Progressive improvements in the range and accuracy of ballistic missiles made that development all the more worrying. The Middle East had the highest concentration of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and missile programmes of any region in the world. Any credible effort to solve the problem must address the issue of eliminating all weapons of mass destruction in the region. It was extremely important for all countries of the region to sign, ratify and fully implement all international treaties and agreements aimed at preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. Extreme vigilance was called for in the transfers of materials that could be used for weapons of mass destruction, especially in regions like the Middle East.

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