14/10/2002
Press Release
GA/DIS/3232



Fifty-seventh General Assembly

First Committee

11th Meeting (AM)


‘NEW STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK’ BETWEEN UNITED STATES, RUSSIAN FEDERATION


SUBJECT OF DRAFT RESOLUTION INTRODUCED IN DISARMAMENT COMMITTEE


Other Texts Address, Among Others, Ban on Fissile Material,

Assurances to Non-Nuclear-Weapon States, Convention Banning Nuclear Weapons


Agreeing that new global challenges and threats required the building of a qualitatively new foundation for strategic relations between the Russian Federation and the United States, the General Assembly would welcome their commitment to strategic nuclear warhead reductions, under a new draft resolution introduced this morning in the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security).


Entitled "Bilateral strategic nuclear arms reductions and new strategic framework", the draft was one of 10 introduced today as the Committee entered its second phase of work.  Other introductions were made on:  security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States; a ban on fissile material; convention banning nuclear weapons; a path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons; reductions of non-strategic nuclear weapons; towards a nuclear-weapon-free world; a nuclear-weapon-free southern hemisphere; the Conference on Disarmament; and the United Nations Disarmament Fellowship Training and Advisory Services.


Introducing the new text jointly with the representative of the Russian Federation, the United States representative said that the strategic reductions pledged in the Moscow Treaty advanced the commitment of both nations under article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).  Taken together, the Moscow Treaty and the Joint Declaration of the same date highlighted the strengthening bilateral relationship, the new strategic framework, and mutual determination to work toward a peaceful world.


The representative of the Russian Federation said that the new Treaty, which enshrined agreements on the mutual reduction of total quantities of strategic nuclear warheads by 31 December 2012 to the agreed level of 1,700 to 2,200 units for each of the parties, reflected approximately a three-fold reduction compared to the level established under the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.  The signing of the Treaty was largely the result of the new strategic relations between the two countries and confirmed their willingness to work together with other States to strengthen peace and strategic security.


11th Meeting (AM)


According to another new text on reductions of non-strategic nuclear

warheads, introduced today by the New Agenda Coalition, the Assembly would agree

that the further reduction of non-strategic nuclear weapons should be accorded priority and that the reduction and elimination of non-strategic nuclear weapons should be included as an integral part of the nuclear-arms reduction and disarmament process.


The New Agenda Coalition is a group of seven countries -- Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden -- which introduced a resolution at the fifty-third General Assembly calling for a nuclear-weapon-free world.  A second Coalition text introduced today, aimed at a nuclear-weapon-free world, would have the Assembly reaffirm the growing risk that nuclear weapons could be used and call for the seamless integration of all five nuclear-weapon States into a process leading to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.


A related text would have the Assembly reaffirm the urgent need to reach an early agreement on effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.


Another text would have the Assembly urge the Conference on Disarmament to agree on a programme of work that would include the immediate commencement of negotiations on a verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.


Under the terms of additional nuclear weapons-related drafts, the Assembly would:


-- welcome the steps taken to conclude further nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties;


-- urge the Conference on Disarmament to fulfil its role as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum for the international community;


-- reiterate its request to the Conference to commence negotiations on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances;


-- and call upon States to redouble their efforts to prevent and curb the proliferation of nuclear and other mass destruction weapons, confirming and strengthening, if necessary, their policies not to transfer equipment, materials or technology that could contribute to the proliferation of those weapons, while ensuring that such policies were consistent with States' obligations under the NPT.


The draft resolution introduced today on the United Nations Disarmament Fellowship Training and Advisory Services would request the Secretary-General to continue to implement annually the Geneva-based programme within existing resources.


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11th Meeting (AM)


Committee Chairman MATIA MULUMBA SEMAKULA KIWANUKA (Uganda), on behalf of

members, expressed his condolences to people of Indonesia for the tragic events of the weekend.


Thematic statements and additional introductions were made by the representatives of Brazil, on behalf of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), Australia, Hungary, Pakistan, Canada, India, Japan, Turkey, Indonesia, Norway, Ireland, on behalf of the New Agenda Coalition, Morocco, Nigeria, the Netherlands, and Sweden.


The Committee (Disarmament and International Security) will meet again at 10 a.m. tomorrow to continue its thematic discussion and the introduction of draft resolutions and decisions.


Background


The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this morning to begin its second phase of work, namely thematic discussion and introduction of draft resolutions and decisions.  The subject of nuclear weapons was to be the focus of today's discussion.


Draft texts were introduced on the following subjects:  bilateral strategic nuclear arms reductions and new strategic framework; nuclear-weapon-free southern hemisphere; Conference on Disarmament; security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States; a ban on fissile material; convention banning nuclear weapons; a path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons; reductions of non-strategic nuclear weapons; towards a nuclear-weapon-free world; and on the United Nations Disarmament Fellowship Training and Advisory Services.


According to the draft resolution sponsored by the Russian Federation and United States entitled "Bilateral strategic nuclear arms reductions and new strategic framework" (document A/C.1/57/L.23), the General Assembly would welcome the commitment of the two countries to strategic nuclear warhead reductions in the Moscow Treaty on 24 May, which was an important result of the new bilateral strategic relationship, and which would help establish more favourable conditions for actively promoting security and cooperation, and enhancing international stability.


The Assembly would note with satisfaction the Joint Declaration signed by those countries on that date, through which they would strengthen mutual confidence, expand transparency, share information and plans, and discuss strategic issues of mutual interest.


It would recognize that the Group of 8 industrialized countries (G-8) Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, launched by leaders at the June 2002 Kananaskis Summit, would enhance international security and safety by supporting specific cooperation projects, initially in Russia, to address non-proliferation, disarmament, counter-terrorism, and nuclear safety issues.


A draft resolution on a nuclear-weapon-free southern hemisphere (document A/C.1/57/L.34) would have the Assembly, convinced of the important role of nuclear-weapon-free zones in strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime and in extending the areas of the world that were nuclear-weapon-free, and with particular reference to the responsibilities of the nuclear-weapon States, call upon all States to support the process of nuclear disarmament and to work for the total elimination of all nuclear weapons.


The Assembly would welcome the steps taken to conclude further nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the States of the region concerned, and call upon all States to consider all relevant proposals, including those reflected in its resolutions on the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones in the Middle East and South Asia.


A draft resolution sponsored by Hungary, on the report of the Conference on Disarmament (document A/C.1/57/L.13), would have the  Assembly urge the Conference to fulfil its role as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum for the international community, in light of the evolving international situation and with a view to making early substantive progress on priority agenda items.

According to a draft resolution on the conclusion of effective arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/57/L.40), the Assembly would reaffirm the urgent need to reach an early agreement on such arrangements.  In that connection, it would appeal to all States, especially the nuclear-weapon States, to work actively towards an early agreement on a common approach and, in particular, on a common formula that could be included in an international instrument of a legally binding character.


It would recommend that further intensive efforts be devoted to the search for such a common approach or common formula and that various alternative approaches, including, in particular, those considered in the Conference on Disarmament, be further explored in order to overcome the difficulties.


A new draft resolution on a ban on fissile material for nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/57/L.44), would have the Assembly urge the Conference on Disarmament to agree on a programme of work that would include the immediate commencement of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty, banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.


Under the terms of a draft resolution on a convention to prohibit the use of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/57/L.51), the Assembly would reiterate its request to the Conference on Disarmament to commence negotiations in order to reach agreement on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances.


A draft resolution sponsored by Australia and Japan entitled "A path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons" (document A/C.1/57/L.42), would have the Assembly call upon States to redouble their efforts to prevent and curb the proliferation of nuclear and other mass destruction weapons, confirming and strengthening, if necessary, their policies not to transfer equipment, materials or technology that could contribute to the proliferation of those weapons, while ensuring that such policies were consistent with States' obligations under the NPT.


The Assembly would stress the central importance of 14 practical steps for the systematic and progress efforts to implement article VI of the NPT and paragraphs 3 and 4 of the 1995 decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament".


Those steps include:  the establishment of an ad hoc committee in the Conference on Disarmament as early as possible in 2003 to negotiate a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons; an unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States, as agreed at the 2000 NPT Review Conference, to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament; deep reductions by Russia and the United States in their strategic offensive arsenals; and steps by the nuclear-weapon States leading to nuclear disarmament in a way that promoted international stability, and based on the principle of undiminished security for all.


Also:  further efforts by all the nuclear-weapon States to continue to reduce their nuclear arsenals unilaterally; increased transparency by them with regard to the nuclear weapons capabilities and the implementation of related agreements under the NPT; the further reduction of non-strategic nuclear weapons; concrete agreed measures to further reduce the operational status of nuclear weapons systems; and a diminishing role for nuclear weapons in security policies to minimize the risk that those weapons would ever be used and to facilitate their total elimination.


Another new draft resolution sponsored by the New Agenda Coalition entitled “Reductions of non-strategic nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/57/L.2), would have the Assembly agree that the further reduction of non-strategic nuclear weapons should be accorded priority and that the reduction and elimination of non-strategic nuclear weapons should be included as an integral part of the nuclear-arms reduction and disarmament process.


The Assembly would agree further that the reduction of those weapons should be carried out in a transparent and irreversible manner.  It also would agree on the importance of preserving, reaffirming, implementing and building upon the 1991 and 1992 Presidential Nuclear Initiatives of the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics/Russian Federation on non-strategic nuclear weapons.


[The New Agenda Coalition is a group of seven countries -- Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden -- which introduced a resolution at the fifty-third General Assembly calling for a nuclear-weapon-free world.]


A further draft resolution sponsored by the New Agenda Coalition entitled “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  the need for a new agenda” (document A/C.1/57/L.3), would have the Assembly reaffirm the growing possibility that nuclear weapons could be used and was a continued risk for humanity and would call upon nuclear-weapon States to undertake the necessary steps towards the seamless integration of all five nuclear-weapon Stares into a process leading to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.


It would further call upon them to:  implement the NPT commitments to apply the principle of irreversibility, by destroying their nuclear warheads in the context of strategic nuclear reductions and avoid keeping them in a state that lends itself to their possible redeployment; and to increase their transparency and accountability with regard to their nuclear weapon arsenals and their implementation of disarmament measures.


Also:  to respect fully their existing commitments with regard to security assurances, pending the conclusion of multilaterally negotiated legally binding security assurances to all non-nuclear-weapon States parties; to place their fissile material no longer required for military purposes under IAEA or other relevant international verification; and to make arrangements for the disposition of such material for peaceful purposes in order to ensure that such material remains permanently outside military programmes.


The Assembly would call upon those three States that were not yet parties to the NPT and that operated unsafeguarded nuclear facilities to promptly accede to the Treaty without condition as non-nuclear-weapon States.


Those States would also be called upon:  to bring into force the required IAEA comprehensive safeguards agreements; to reverse clearly and urgently any policies to pursue any nuclear weapons development or deployment; and to refrain from any action that could undermine regional and international peace and security and the efforts of the international community towards nuclear disarmament and the prevention of nuclear weapons proliferation.


The draft resolution on the United Nations Disarmament Fellowship Training and Advisory Services (document A/C.1/57/L.38) would have the Assembly request the Secretary-General to continue to implement annually the Geneva-based programme within existing resources and to report thereon to the Assembly at its fifty-ninth session.


Thematic Statements and Introduction of Drafts


ANTONIO GUERREIRO (Brazil) spoke about the report he submitted on the issue of missiles in all its aspects (document A/57/229).  It was the first effort by the United Nations to address the topic and according to the report, there was no universal norm governing the production, transfer, acquisition, deployment, or use of missiles.  The panel agreed, however, that issues related to missiles had an immediate effect on international peace and security.  Missiles were, thus, discussed in a non-discriminatory manner.  The panel also considered the links between missiles in confidence-building measures and noted the role of the United Nations in the field.  While the results of the study seemed modest, the panel’s report was the result of hard work and provided a basis for future work.


MICHAEL SMITH (Australia) said that terrorism took lives in smaller groups than weapons of mass destruction, but it struck just as indiscriminately and would only be defeated through common resolve, common purpose and common action.  He extended his condolences to the Government of Indonesia and the families of the victims from many countries represented in the room, including his own. 


He said that the proliferation of nuclear weapons remained one of the most serious challenges to global peace and security.  Australia was strongly committed to curbing their spread and working towards the goal of nuclear disarmament.  Adherence to and strengthening of the nuclear non-proliferation framework was a clear element of that process.  He was pleased to co-sponsor Japan's draft resolution on the path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.  Particularly welcome were those paragraphs that gave expression to the outcome of the 2000 NPT Review Conference.


Nuclear disarmament could only be achieved through a series of balanced, incremental and reinforcing steps, he said.  The entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the start of negotiations on fissile material were critical.  Accordingly, he strongly supported the CTBT and was actively seeking to secure further signatures and ratifications.  He also drew attention to the Joint Declaration of Australia, Japan and the Netherlands on the CTBT, launched in New York last month.  That Treaty had already made a powerful contribution to non-proliferation and disarmament and was a clear expression of the international community's collective will to halt nuclear weapons test explosions. 


He said he was pleased to co-sponsor, with New Zealand, Mexico's draft on the CTBT (document A/C.1/57/L.4).  Also welcome was the introduction of the draft resolution on the Conference on Disarmament and fissile material negotiations (document A/C.1/57/L.44). 


SHERWOOD McGUINESS (United States) joined others in expressing condolences and a sense of outrage over the horrific event in Bali, Indonesia.  Regarding the subject of today's debate -- nuclear weapons -- he said his country and the Russian Federation were jointly introducing the draft resolution entitled "Bilateral Strategic Nuclear Arms Reductions and New Strategic Framework” (document A/C.1/57/L.23).  The Moscow Treaty and the Joint Declaration were positive, concrete achievements in the bilateral relationship of those countries and represented major developments in the reduction of nuclear weapons.


He said that the strategic reductions pledged in the Moscow Treaty advanced the commitment of both nations under article VI of the NPT.  Taken together, the Moscow Treaty and the Joint Declaration highlighted the strengthening bilateral relationship, the new strategic framework, and mutual determination to work toward a peaceful world.  They represented a new, positive direction, both for mutual cooperation and enhanced international security.


The new draft resolution recognized that new global challenges and threats required a qualitatively new foundation for strategic relations between the United States and the Russian Federation, based on mutual security, trust, openness, cooperation, and predictability, he explained.  It also recognized their joint determination to work together and with other nations and international organizations, to promote security, economic well being and a peaceful, prosperous, free world.  As one example of that commitment to multilateral cooperation, the draft highlighted the results of the G-8 Kananaskis Summit, at which leaders launched a global partnership against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction.


ANTON VASILIEV (Russian Federation) joined in conveying his delegation's deep condolences.  His country, together with the United States, was tabling for the first time a draft resolution on bilateral strategic nuclear arms and new strategic frameworks.  The Treaty, which concluded at the Moscow Summit in May, enshrined agreements on the mutual reduction of total quantities of strategic nuclear warheads by 31 December 2012 to the agreed level of 1,700 to 2,200 units for each of the parties.  That reflected approximately a three-fold reduction, compared to the level established under START I. 


He said that the Treaty was made possible largely because of the new strategic relations between Russia and the United States, as enshrined in the declaration adopted in May, in which both expressed their intention to build a partnership based on mutual security, trust, openness and predictability.  It also confirmed their willingness to work together with other States in order to strengthen peace and strategic security.  In view of the objective link between strategic and offensive weapons, the parties agreed in the declaration to implement several measures in the area of anti-missile defence.  Dialogue on those issues was linked to global strategic security.


In addition, he stressed that START I would continue to operate, and, upon the consent of parties, could be extended.  So, the strategic capabilities of both countries would come under the dual implementation of those two Treaties.  Russia was planning to implement the new Treaty by the end of this year.  Strategic reductions must play an important role in strengthening the disarmament treaty regime and would become a significant contribution to strengthening the non-proliferation regime by implementing the article VI obligations of the NPT.  The joint declaration expressed a commitment to work both bilaterally and multilaterally to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, particularly in the context of combating terrorism.

CELINA DO VALLE PEREIRA (Brazil), on behalf of Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), described the historic commitment of the countries of her region to nuclear non-proliferation and expressed concern that weapons of mass destruction might get into the hands of terrorists, although she did not feel that the threat justified the possession of nuclear weapons.  She was also concerned about the nuclear developments in South Asia and called for the NPT to become a “full-fledged reality”.  She concluded by saying that the MERCOSUR countries called for the existing moratorium on nuclear tests to be maintained.


A. SZABO (Hungary), President of the Conference on Disarmament, introduced a draft text on the report of the Conference (document A/C.1/57/L.13).  He said a valuable attempt had been made at the 2002 session of the Conference to overcome the stalemate that continued to paralyze its work.  Despite those efforts, however, the Conference had been unable to agree upon a programme of work.  What was needed, he insisted, was political will, especially on behalf of the “key players”.  He maintained that the draft resolution, if adopted, would provide a stimulus to the commencement of substantive work of the Conference.


SHAUKAT UMER (Pakistan) introduced the draft resolution on the conclusion of effective arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/57/L.40).  The provision of security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States flowed from the United Nations Charter, which obligated Member States not to use or threaten to use force.  That obligation extended also to nuclear weapons, which had been underlined at the first session of the United Nations General Assembly when it declared that they must be eliminated.  He reviewed the history of demands for such security assurances. 


Yet, he said, the declarations made by four of the five nuclear-weapon States at the first special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament, and later at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference and reflected in resolution 984 of the Security Council, were considered insufficient, qualified and partial by most of the non-nuclear-weapon States.  At the end of cold war, there was a general expectation that it would become easier to extend nuclear assurances to non-possessor States.  Unfortunately, instead of becoming easier, that situation had become more complex. 


Among the reasons why, he said that the indefinite extension of the NPT had made most nuclear-weapon States presume the right to permanently retain those weapons.  Also, the commitment in the NPT for complete nuclear disarmament had remained open-ended, even after the 2000 NPT Review, which called for the elimination of those weapons.  Further, new doctrines of the possible use of nuclear weapons, contrary to Security Council resolutions, had been tabled, involving, for example, the use of nuclear weapons against the use or threat of use of biological and chemical weapons. 


He said that one nuclear-weapon State, which had formerly adhered to a policy of non-first use, had now adopted a posture of first-use of nuclear weapons.  Two non-traditional nuclear-armed States had emerged on the world scene, and another’s status remained unclear.  Under the circumstances, the conclusion of credible security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States had gained greater urgency.  The co-sponsors of the draft resolution had sought to underline and operationalize that sense of urgency.


CHRISTOPHER WESDAL (Canada) said that his Government remained deeply committed to the “promise at the heart of the NPT”.  He then introduced draft resolution on negotiations of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for weapons purposes (document A/C.1/57/L.44).  He said that it was identical to resolution 56/24J of 2001, which had been adopted without a vote by the First Committee and General Assembly.  He added that the draft resolution was essentially procedural and was anchored firmly in the expectations and current realities of the international community.  He concluded by mentioning that it already had a large number of co-sponsors from all regions, but that he would welcome more.


CELINA PEREIRA (Brazil) introduced the draft resolution on a nuclear-weapon-free southern hemisphere (document A/C.1/57/L.34) for the seventh consecutive year.  Her delegation was joined by New Zealand in tabling the text, which last year had 148 votes in favour.  Hopefully, this year's text would enjoy the same broad support.  There were some changes:  the text welcomed Cuba's decision to ratify the Treaty of Tlatelolco and Tonga's ratification of the Treaty of Rarotonga.  The latter ratification had completed the list of original parties to the South Pacific Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty.


She said that the further development of those zones in some regions was one of the most significant nuclear disarmament measures.  Gradually, the nuclear option in various parts of the world was being ruled out.  Extending, through the creation of new zones, the geographical space where nuclear weapons were illegal had reinforced the objective of the elimination of nuclear weapons.


RAKESH SOOD (India) introduced the draft resolution entitled “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons” (document A/C.1/57/L.51).  He expressed concern that nuclear weapons continued to be viewed as “legitimate currency of power, with some States claiming the right to possess them in perpetuity”.  That was unfortunate, he said, since the spectre of nuclear threats from nations or groups would remain strong until such weapons were completely eradicated.


He added that the international community needed to take steps towards a legally binding instrument prohibiting the use or threat of use of such weapons.  At the very least, he called for nuclear doctrines to be reoriented towards “no first use” and “non-use against non-nuclear weapon States”.  He referred to the 1996 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, which stated that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons would be contrary to the rules of international law related to armed conflict.  The opinion also advised that a multilateral agreement prohibiting the use of nuclear weapons would strengthen international security.


He added that the introduced draft resolution contained no changes from last year’s 56/25 B, except for the technical updating in the ninth preambular paragraph.  He hoped that it would receive the widest possible support and that the “key delegations” in the Conference on Disarmament would remain flexible enough to negotiate on the subject of nuclear weapons.


KUNIKO INOJUCHI (Japan) extended condolences to the Government and people of Indonesia for the terrorist attacks in Bali.  She then introduced the draft resolution entitled "a path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons" (document A/C.1/57/L.42).  She said that Japan routinely submitted resolutions about the total elimination of nuclear weapons, since it was the only country that had been attacked by them.


She summarized what was called for in the draft.  For example, it fully endorsed the NPT’s last review conference.  It also called for the stalemate at the Conference on Disarmament to be broken and a moratorium on the production of fissile material to be implemented and maintained.


MURIT ESENLI (Turkey) extended his condolences to Indonesia for the recent terrorist attack in Bali. He said that Turkey had also been a victim of terrorism and that countries had to do everything possible to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists.


IWAN WIRANATA-ATMADJA (Indonesia) thanked the delegations for their condolences.  His Government had made clear that it would keep up with its commitment to fight terrorism.  Turning to the topic of today's discussion, he said that nuclear-related issues had been a preoccupation of the Committee for several years.  The deadlock in the Conference on Disarmament had made that task even more important.  Hence, the Committee was expected to seek wider areas of agreement that had eluded it for so long, pending the resumption of talks in Geneva.  Nuclear issues were a continum, which included the non-proliferation regime, nuclear-weapon-free zones, a ban on the use of fissile material for nuclear weapons, and access to technology for peaceful purposes, as well as security assurances. 


He said that the deployed nuclear arsenals and large stockpiles were not what the nuclear-States parties to the NPT had in mind when they pursued their commitments to article VI in 1995.  Nor was that the idea behind the 2000 NPT Review, when an unequivocal undertaking was secured by the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of nuclear weapons.  Instead, strategic doctrines reiterating the importance of those weapons and promoting their development and acquisition, were incompatible with those commitments.  Concrete and credible advances, including credible cuts, were imperative. 


Of immediate concern was the danger of the use of mass destruction weapons, which could emanate from a vast array of sources, including spent fuel and other radioactive materials, he went on.  Apart from the danger of technical malfunction, and political and military decisions, the unpredictable consequences of nuclear theft and terrorism could not remain indefinitely in the realm of speculation.  The so-called “technical” nuclear weapons constituted half of the global supply.  Those were not covered by any agreement and remained on high alert status.  Continued reliance on nuclear weapons for security did not bode well for the future of international peace and security.


ARNE HANG (Norway) extended his condolences to Indonesia for the recent terrorist attacks in Bali and to the countries who lost citizens in those attacks.  He continued to see the NPT as the cornerstone for international non-proliferation efforts.  The CTBT, in turn, was a key pillar of the NPT.  Non-proliferation was a high priority for his Government.  He called upon the three non-signatories and

10 non-ratifying States to fulfil their obligations as soon as possible.  He added that the verification regime of the CTBT was at the Treaty’s core.  Before concluding, he added that his Government was pleased to co-sponsor the draft resolution on a treaty banning production of fissile material.


KEVIN DOWLING (Ireland), speaking on behalf of the New Agenda Coalition, introduced two draft resolutions:  “Reductions of non-strategic nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/57/L.2), and “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  the need for a new agenda” (document A/C.1/57/L.3).  Addressing the text on a nuclear-weapon-free world, he said that now was the time to reinvigorate the wider nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation debate.  After summarizing the draft resolution’s operative paragraphs, he said that the New Agenda Coalition would welcome and continue to conduct informal consultations with other delegations to achieve the widest possible support.  He also mentioned that the Coalition would bring forward a revised version of the draft resolution later in the session.  He also welcomed Cuba’s decision to accede to the NPT and the finalization of negotiations by the Central Asian States to form a nuclear-weapon-free zone.


He said that the draft resolution on non-strategic nuclear weapons was “straightforward”.  After briefing delegates on what it called for, he said that, as with the previous draft resolution, comments from other delegations would be welcome.  Before concluding, he expressed his belief that the two resolutions would act as catalysts for meaningful progress and concrete action.


MEHIEDDINE EL KADIRI (Morocco) said that he welcomed the conclusion last May of the Moscow Treaty between the United States and Russia.  Although that effort was praiseworthy, that was no substitute for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which was "the best bet we have" against their threat.  The positive outcome of the 2000 NPT Review Conference had provided hope, but, unfortunately, very few specific results had followed.  Consensus on procedure had eluded the first preparatory meeting for the 2005 NPT Review, particularly over the issue of States parties submitting regular reports on implementation.


He said that the bioterrorist threat was another subject of great concern.  That should encourage the disarmament community to strengthen the regime against weapons of mass destruction.  He attached great importance to nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation and fully endorsed the objectives of the NPT and the CTBT.  Lifting obstacles that continued to impede the universalization of the NPT and the entry into force of the CTBT was the best way to contribute to building peace and world security.  He reiterated his full support for global efforts to facilitate the entry into force of the CTBT, whose role was to put in place the necessary structures for verifying nuclear tests.  The draft resolution on that issue also had his support, as well as the text encouraging the further establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones as an essential cornerstone.


CHUKA CHIDEBELEZE UDEDIBIA (Nigeria) expressed his condolences to Indonesia for the recent terrorist attacks in Bali.  He then introduced the draft resolution on disarmament fellowship training (document A/C.1/57/L.38).


He said that the fellowship training program had enhanced the capabilities of governmental officials throughout the world in the field of disarmament.  He added that the draft resolution already had a large number of co-sponsors, and that its version from the 56th session had been adopted without a vote.


CHRIS SANDERS (Netherlands) also expressed condolences to Indonesia for the recent terrorist attacks in Bali.  He then spoke about the successes of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms.  To mark the tenth anniversary of the Register, all delegates were invited to a symposium on disarmament affairs, sponsored by the Netherlands and Japan, with support from Canada and Germany.  The symposium would be held Tuesday in Conference Room 1 from 3 to 5:30pm.

HENRIK SALANDER (Sweden) also expressed condolences to Indonesia for the recent terrorist attacks in Bali.  He then invited delegates to a seminar on confidence-building measures, to be held on Wednesday between 1:45 and 5 pm in the Church Center.


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