The General Assembly would support the normalization of Balkan relations, promotion of the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace, efforts to prevent an outer space arms race, as well as United Nations disarmament fellowship, training and advisory services, by the terms of draft resolutions introduced this afternoon in the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security).
By one draft resolution, the Assembly would urge the Russian Federation and the United States to resume their bilateral negotiations to reach agreement on preventing an outer space arms race. It would call on all States to contribute to preventing such an arms race and would ask the Conference on Disarmament to intensify its consideration of the matter.
The Assembly would urge normalization of relations among all the Balkan States, by another text. It would call on them to undertake unilateral and joint activities, particularly confidence-building measures, in particular within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It would urge relevant international organizations and United Nations bodies to submit their views on the matter to the Secretary-General.
By the Indian Ocean text, the Assembly would restate its conviction that participation of all permanent members of the Security Council and major maritime users of the Indian Ocean in the work of the Ad Hoc Committee would greatly facilitate dialogue towards peace, security and stability in the region.
By the draft on United Nations disarmament fellowship, training and advisory services, the Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to continue implementing the Geneva-based programme within existing resources, and would commend him for the diligence with which the programme has been carried out.
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Statements on disarmament texts before the Committee were made by the representatives of Sweden (in his personal capacity and as President of the Review Conference of the Convention on Indiscriminate Conventional Weapons), New Zealand, Spain, Chile, Tajikistan, Bangladesh, Italy, Turkey, Ukraine, Malaysia, Germany, Austria, Georgia, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Nepal, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Egypt, Pakistan, Poland, Papua New Guinea and Iran.
The Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. tomorrow, 10 November, to begin taking action on draft resolutions and decisions relating to disarmament.
Committee Work Programme
The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this afternoon to continue its consideration of draft resolutions and decisions on disarmament. In addition to texts already introduced, it had before it draft resolutions on disarmament fellowship, training and advisory services; the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace; and preventing an arms race in outer space.
A 36-Power draft resolution on United Nations disarmament fellowship, training and advisory services (document A/C.1/50/L.11) would have the Assembly ask the Secretary-General to continue implementing the Geneva-based programme within existing resources, and would commend him for the diligence with which the programme has been carried out. It would express appreciation to the Governments of Germany and France for inviting the 1995 fellows to study selected disarmament activities.
The draft resolution is sponsored by Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Ethiopia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Moldova, Mongolia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, United States and Viet Nam.
A draft text submitted by Colombia on the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace (document A/C.1/50/L.27) reiterated its conviction that the participation of all permanent members of the Security Council and major maritime users of the Indian Ocean in the work of the Ad Hoc Committee would greatly facilitate development of a mutually beneficial dialogue towards peace, security and stability in the region.
The Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee was asked to consult with the permanent members of the Security Council and the major maritime users of the Indian Ocean and to apprise the Committee of his consultations before the 1997 regular session of the Committee. The Ad Hoc Committee was asked to submit a report on those consultations at the next General Assembly session. The Secretary-General was requested to continue to render all necessary assistance to the Committee, including the provision of summary records.
By a 20-Power draft resolution on preventing an arms race in outer space (document A/C.1/50/L.33), the Assembly would urge the Russian Federation and the United States to resume their bilateral negotiations, in order to reach early agreement on that goal. It would call on all States, particularly those with major space capabilities, to contribute to the peaceful use of outer space, to prevent an outer space arms race and to refrain from actions contrary to that objective and to the relevant existing treaties.
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The Assembly would restate the primary role of the Conference on Disarmament in negotiating a multilateral agreement or agreements on preventing an outer space arms race. It would ask that the Conference re- establish in 1996 its Ad Hoc Committee on the matter with an adequate mandate, and that it intensify its consideration of the question, with a view to concluding an agreement or agreements. Asking the Conference to continue building on areas of convergence, it would recognize the growing convergence on measures to strengthen transparency, confidence and security in the peaceful uses of space.
By other terms of the text, the Assembly would reaffirm the importance of preventing an outer space arms race, as well as the need to consolidate and reinforce the existing legal regime and to enhance its effectiveness. It would reaffirm the importance of strictly complying with existing agreements, both bilateral and multilateral, and would emphasize the need for further, verifiable measures to prevent an arms race in space.
The draft resolution is sponsored by Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Ukraine.
JOHAN MOLANDER (Sweden), President of the Review Conference of the Convention on Indiscriminate Conventional Weapons, said that although it had been unable to conclude a main task of consensus on anti-personnel land-mines, it achieved a breakthrough in the area of blinding laser weapons -- "a landmark event in the development of international humanitarian law". The Conference was close to final agreement on certain issues concerning land- mines.
No State could be blamed for the Conference's failure to complete its work; the number of new proposals and new positions became a major complication, he continued. Governments needed to reflect on the insights of the last Conference and consider some real short-term sacrifices, in economic terms. Even modest progress in the field was quite complex. The negotiating process kept the issue of land-mines at the forefront of the agenda, and ultimately would lead to the elimination of anti-personnel land-mines.
DANIEL RICHARD (New Zealand), speaking on the draft to expand membership of the Conference on Disarmament, (document A/C.1/50/L.21), said that it would contribute to a new focus and wider constituency of the Conference.
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MARTINEZ SALAZAR (Spain), speaking on that draft, said that he strongly supported the objectives that new members should be included in the activities and negotiations at the beginning of the next session in January 1996.
RODRIGO ESPINOSA (Chile), speaking in support of that draft, said that a central factor of international disarmament negotiations was the expansion of the Conference on Disarmament. Participation of a larger number of States representing all regions of the world in negotiating a comprehensive test-ban treaty and all other treaties was essential. The Conference should conclude the first stage of the membership expansion and reach the target of 60 countries.
RASHID ALIMOV (Tajikistan) said in support of the draft on the permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan (A/C.1/50/L.9) that conflicts had not died down, but Turkmenistan was not at the heart of any of those conflicts and not a part of any blocs. Its neutrality had already been recognized by a number of States of the region.
MOHAMMAD ZIAUDDIN (Bangladesh) said he supported the draft on permanent neutrality. It was every country's right. It had the support of the Non- Aligned Movement, which included Bangladesh. Such neutrality would contribute to strengthening peace and security in the region and confirm Turkmenistan's aspiration.
MARIO FRIDEGOTTO (Italy) said the initiative on the neutrality of Turkmenistan deserved the most careful consideration. He hoped ongoing consultations on the text would result in its approval.
MURAT ESENLI (Turkey) said he was in full agreement with the sovereign right of every State to determine its foreign policy independently. The current text would result in contributing to peace and stability in the region, and a clear endorsement would give additional impetus to Turkmenistan's desire to play an active role in mutually beneficial relations with the countries of the region.
VOLODYMYR BANDURA (Ukraine) said sovereignty and neutrality were the rights of every State. Adoption of the draft on Turkmenistan's neutrality would promote a strengthening of peace and stability on a global scale. The text was balanced in nature, and expressed the good will of one of the Member States of the United Nations.
Speaking on the draft to expand membership of the Conference on Disarmament, he said that indicated a course of events that would benefit all States, and hoped it would be adopted without a vote.
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YAHYA ZAINUDDIN (Malaysia) joined the previous speakers in welcoming the commitment of Turkmenistan to play a constructive role in the work of the international community, on the basis of positive neutrality.
CORD MEIER-KLODT (Germany) said he had listened with interest to the comprehensive introduction the Turkmenistan representative had given to that draft. He was convinced that the affirmation of that country's neutrality deserved support.
ROBERT MARSCHIK (Austria) said the draft by Turkmenistan reflected its desire to strengthen peace and security in its region and in the world.
GEORGE VOLSKI (Georgia) said universal support for the draft on Turkmenistan's neutrality was support for universal progress. In light of that country's difficult inheritance of confrontation, its neutrality was an outstanding event.
ABDUL GHAFAR OSMAN (Afghanistan) said the permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan would enhance peace and security in the region. He called for the draft to be approved by consensus.
ASKAR AITMATOV (Kyrgyzstan) said the permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan represented a logical continuation of its domestic and foreign policies and a step of great historical responsibility for its own future and the political future of the region. New forms of regional cooperation would be elaborated. His country was working on sustainable development, confidence-building measures and on putting forward a nuclear-free zone for the region.
GRIGORY BERDENNIKOV (Russian Federation), speaking on the draft on a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty (A/C.1/50/L.8), said he regretted that such a treaty had not been completed this year. If the current text was not adopted by consensus, that would send a most undesirable signal to the negotiations in Geneva, and could be perceived as a decrease in support.
DILLI PRASAD SITAULA (Nepal), speaking on the draft on the Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (A/C./50/L.31), said that given the extremely important role it had played since its inception, the text succeeded in bringing its work into focus. It was important that it receive wide support in order to re-energize the centre.
E.O. OLISANMOKUN (Nigeria) introduced the draft resolution on United Nations disarmament fellowship, training and advisory services programme. He said the programme was responding to the continuing need for greater expertise in disarmament, arms control and other security-related areas. It had taken the challenges of the post-cold-war era into consideration in its curriculum,
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providing courses in regional arms control and disarmament arrangements, openness and transparency, conflict-resolution and non-proliferation, preventive diplomacy and peace-keeping.
Addressing other resolutions before the Committee, he welcomed the enlarged co-sponsorship of the draft on a comprehensive test-ban treaty. Expressing support for the draft resolutions on the Conference on Disarmament's report (A/C.1/50/L.4) and on expanding the membership of the Conference (L.21), he called for a swift decision on the full participation in the Conference of the 23 States which had been admitted as members in principle.
On the draft decision on the dumping of radioactive wastes (A/C.1/50/L.22), he was happy that the text had been adopted by consensus in the past few years. Concerning the draft resolution on the regional centres for disarmament in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, he appealed to Member States to contribute generously to those centres.
On the draft resolution on the Treaty on an African nuclear-weapon-free zone (A/C.1/50/L.23), he said that that zone would help strengthen the security of the region's States against the use or threatened use of nuclear weapons. He called for adoption of the draft without a vote.
HERMAN LEONARD DE SILVA (Sri Lanka), speaking as Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Indian Ocean, introduced the draft resolution on the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace. He said the Ad Hoc Committee remained the primary and most broad-based vehicle for taking steps to ensure peace, security and stability in the region. That view was shared by the Non-Aligned Movement, which had endorsed the draft.
BERNARD GOONETILLEKE (Sri Lanka) introduced the draft resolution on preventing an arms race in outer space. It had been stated that there was no such arms race and therefore no need for the resolution, he said. Even if that were true, there was no guarantee that one would not take place. "Prevention is better than cure", he said. Advantage should be taken of the current propitious situation to reach an understanding on the question.
NASTE CALOVSKI (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) introduced a draft resolution on good neighbourly relations among Balkan States (document A/C.1/50/L.43). By the terms of the 18-Power text, the Assembly would call on the Balkan States to promote good neighbourly relations and to undertake unilateral and joint activities, particularly confidence-building measures, within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. All States of the Balkan region would be urged to normalize relations.
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By other terms of the text, the Assembly would urge relevant international organizations and United Nations bodies to submit their views on the subject to the Secretary-General. The Secretary-General would be asked to continue to seek the views of Member States, and to submit a report on his findings to the Assembly at its next session.
The draft is sponsored by Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
STELIAN STOIAN (Romania), in addressing the text on the disarmament fellowship, training and advisory services programme, said the programme was one of the United Nations activities which contributed greatly to the creation of a safer world. With the demise of the ideological confrontation, disarmament negotiations were more active than ever, requiring an increased number of negotiators. Romania was one of the countries which had benefited from the programme and was among the co-sponsors of the current draft.
MAGED A. ABDEL AZIZ (Egypt), speaking on the draft on the neutrality of Turkmenistan, said that it would enhance peace and stability in the region.
MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) said he had joined in co-sponsoring the draft on Turkmenistan's neutrality. Regarding the draft on the expansion of the Conference on Disarmament, his delegation would vote in favour of it. He also supported the draft text of a treaty on an African nuclear-weapon-free zone. One of the most important drafts was on nuclear disarmament (A/C.1/50/L.46), so that the Assembly could send a resounding message that it was not reconciled to living in a world divided by those who had nuclear weapons and those who were prohibited from having them. The draft on nuclear disarmament, however, contained in document A/C.1/50/L.17, dealt with proposals that had a marginal relevance to the promotion of nuclear disarmament. He would, therefore, be unable to support it.
He said the draft on small arms (A/C.1/50/L.7) connoted a partial approach to promoting peace and security in various parts of the world. The attempt to cement the disarmament process in an artificial manner would promote great instability. It was necessary to obtain the views of Member States on the issue of control of small arms and light weapons, and only after receiving those views could the Assembly identify the issues on which further action was needed. He hoped to submit amendments to that draft resolution, along with a few other countries.
The draft on science and technology (A/C.1/50/L.13) was an important draft which underlined several important principles to promote the transfers of science and technology for development, he said. However, the text could
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lead to interpretations which would endorse the unilateral regimes and restraints imposed by certain States against the Non-Aligned and developing countries. He would suggest some changes to affirm the legitimate right of States to acquire technology, to affirm that any standards be non- discriminatory, multilaterally negotiated and universally acceptable.
He said the draft on fissile materials (A/C.1/50/L.15), carefully formulated by Canada, contained certain provisions which sought to endorse the view that the proposed treaty would only apply to a prohibition of the future production of fissile materials and would not cover stockpiles. It was his position that the treaty should prohibit future production of fissile materials as well as provide for the diminished stockpiles of such material. He had suggested certain minor changes to that effect, and hoped those proposals would be accepted. If not, he would consider submitting amendments to safeguard his position with regard to the scope of the treaty.
LUDWIK DEMBINSKI (Poland) welcomed Turkmenistan's desire to become a permanently neutral State and called for consensus approval of the related draft resolution.
KAPPA YARKA (Papua New Guinea) said he wished to respond to comments made on Tuesday morning by France and the United Kingdom regarding the draft resolution on a halt to nuclear testing (A/C.1/50/L.3). Both representatives had referred to early statements by co-sponsors and supporters as representing emotional polemics and lacking in factual information. However, those statements were factual, and reflected international public opinion against nuclear testing. During the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Review Conference, the nuclear-weapon States did commit themselves to undertakings that were violated by the nuclear tests conducted by China and France.
Some amount of emotion could be expressed at one time or another, he said. That was even more appropriate when one's life was threatened. If the representatives of France and the United Kingdom claimed they had no emotions, thy must be unique human beings. If France wanted to continue nuclear testing, it should do so in metropolitan France. It had no right to do so in the South Pacific. As for the health and environmental effects of testing, he said that if one lived through the experience, one would know what it was like to be subjected to the effects of such tests.
BEHROUZ MORADI (Iran) said both his country and Turkmenistan were committed to regional security. Iran therefore attached great importance to the draft resolution on Turkmenistan's permanent neutrality.
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LUVSANGIIN ERDENECHULUUN (Mongolia), Committee Chairman, presented a grouping of draft resolutions before the Committee under 11 clusters, by subject matter.
According to a text distributed during the meeting, the clusters are based on the following themes: 1. nuclear weapons; 2. other weapons of mass destruction; 3. conventional weapons; 4. regional disarmament and security; 5. confidence-building measures, including transparency in armaments; 6. outer space (disarmament aspects); 7. disarmament machinery; 8. other disarmament measures; 9. related matters of disarmament and international security; 10. international security; 11 draft resolutions entailing programme budget implications.
The Committee approved the thematic clustering of the draft resolutions.
SOHRAB KHERADI, Committee Secretary, announced the names of the countries which had joined as new co-sponsors of draft resolutions and decisions. Among those texts already introduced, they are: for the draft resolution on a halt to nuclear testing, Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica; on small arms, Costa Rica; on a comprehensive test-ban treaty, Senegal, United Republic of Tanzania and Mauritius; on the permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan, the Czech Republic; on the role of science and technology, Ecuador; on Disarmament Week (A/C.1/50/L.16), Jordan and South Africa.
Other added co-sponsors of drafts were: on the regional centres for disarmament in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean (A/C.1/50/L.24), Bangladesh and Trinidad and Tobago; on illicit traffic in small arms, Belize; on the Convention on Indiscriminate Conventional Weapons (L.34), Jordan; and on good neighbourly relations among Balkan States, Bulgaria. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia became co-sponsor of the texts on security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region (A/C.1/50/L.36/Rev.1), regional disarmament (A/C.1/50/L.38), and conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels (A/C.1/50/L.40).
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