29 October 2010
General Assembly
GA/DIS/3425

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fifth General Assembly

First Committee

22nd & 23rd Meetings (AM & PM)


Disarmament Committee Notes New Strategic Relationship between Russian Federation,

 

United States, Their Endeavour to Reduce Role, Importance Of Nuclear Weapons

 


Concluding Work for Session, First Committee Approves 17 More Drafts, Including

Divergent Texts on Conference on Disarmament, Sending 58 Texts to General Assembly


Noting with satisfaction the establishment of a new strategic relationship between the Russian Federation and the United States and the desire of the two to bring their nuclear postures into alignment with that new relationship, and their endeavour to reduce further the role and importance of nuclear weapons, the Disarmament Committee today approved a draft resolution welcoming the signing on 8 April of the Treaty between those two countries on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty).


The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security), concluded its work today with the approval of 17 draft texts.  During its session, which began on 30 September, the Committee approved a total of 55 draft resolutions and three draft decisions.  Twenty draft resolutions were approved by a recorded vote and 35 draft resolutions and three decisions were approved without a vote.


According to the terms of the new draft resolution today on bilateral reductions of strategic nuclear arms and the new framework for strategic relations, submitted by the Russian Federation and the United States, the General Assembly would welcome the fact that the successful implementation of the START Treaty by the parties resulted in the reduction of their deployed strategic nuclear weapons by approximately 30 per cent during the 15-year span of that Treaty, thereby promoting security and cooperation and strengthening international stability, according to the draft text on bilateral reductions of strategic nuclear arms and the new framework for strategic relations.


Welcoming the resolve of the Russian Federation and the United States to work together and with other States and international organizations in the interest of fulfilling their obligations under article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Assembly would support the consistent commitment of the two countries to continuing efforts for reducing strategic offensive arms as well as recognize that the New START Treaty would foster more favourable conditions for actively promoting security and cooperation and strengthening international stability. 


The Assembly would also note with approval that the Russian Federation and the United States had stopped the production of fissile materials for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, express support for the early commencement of international negotiations within the framework of an approved programme of work of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva for the conclusion of a verifiable treaty to end the production of fissile materials for use in nuclear weapons or other explosive devices.


A separate recorded vote was taken on operative paragraph 7, containing the reference to fissile material.  The Committee agreed to retain that provision by a vote of 163 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 1 abstention (Iran).


Pakistan’s representative said his country did not support the call for fissile material treaty negotiations, and thus voted against operative paragraph 7 in the draft.


Explaining his abstention, Iran’s speaker said the draft was not balanced in terms of obligations of nuclear-weapon States, and did not reflect the consensus of the 1995, 2000 and 2010 NPT Review Conferences, lacking the application of transparency, irreversibly and verifiability.  He also pointed out that one of the parties of the START Treaty had officially announced it was spending more than $100 billion for the development of, among other things, nuclear weapons facilities.  That party had only changed the status of its warheads from high-trigger alert to being kept in store rooms, he said. 


The draft resolution as a whole was approved without a vote.  Prior to those actions on the text, the Chairman announced that two [L.59 and L.60] amendments, both sponsored by Iran, had been withdrawn.  The amendment to an operative paragraph would have the Assembly stress, among other things, that reductions in deployments and in operational status could not substitute for irreversible cuts in, and the total elimination of, nuclear weapons.  The amendment to a preambular paragraph would have welcomed the resolve of the 2010 NPT Review Conference that all States parties commit to applying the principles of irreversibility, verifiability and transparency in implementation of their treaty obligations.


While the representative of Indonesia, speaking on the Non-Aligned Movement’s behalf, said the Movement anticipated the START Treaty’s early ratification and entry into force, but stressed that reductions could never substitute for cuts in nuclear weapons arsenals.  Concrete actions by nuclear-weapon States should aim to attain the goal of ridding the world of these weapons. 


Turning to disarmament machinery, the Committee had before it two draft resolutions concerning the Conference on Disarmament.  One was entitled “Report of the Conference on Disarmament”, and the other, “Follow-up to the high-level meeting held on 24 September 2010:  revitalizing the work of the Conference on disarmament and taking forward multilateral disarmament negotiations”.  Both texts were approved in their entirety without votes, but two separate votes were taken on individual provisions in the draft on the report of the Conference.


The first was on operative paragraph 2, by which the Assembly would express its appreciation for the strong support expressed at the high-level meeting for the Conference, and take into account the overwhelming call for greater flexibility with respect to commencing substantive work of the Conference without further delay on the basis of a balanced and comprehensive programme of work as reflected in document CD/1864.  The Committee agreed to retain the paragraph by a vote of 165 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 1 abstention (Iran).


A separate recorded vote was next taken on operative paragraph 6, by which the Secretary-General would be requested to provide support to the Conference.  The Committee decided to retain that paragraph by a vote of 164 in favour, with 4 abstentions (Austria, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway).


According to the draft resolution on revitalizing the Conference, the Assembly would express grave concern about the status of the disarmament machinery, including the lack of progress in the Conference for more than a decade, and, stressing the need for great efforts to advance multilateral disarmament negotiations, would also express appreciation for the participation by Ministers for Foreign Affairs and other high-level officials in the high-level meeting, and emphasize the support voiced for the urgent need to revitalize the work of multilateral disarmament bodies and advance multilateral disarmament negotiations.  It would decide to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-sixth session an item entitled “Revitalizing the work of the Conference on Disarmament and taking forward multilateral disarmament negotiations”. 


In its final action for the session, the Committee approved, by a recorded vote of 167 in favour to none against, with 1 abstention (Mexico), a wide-ranging resolution on the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects.  Prior to that action, the Committee defeated L.61 amendments by Mexico by a vote of 19 in favour to 54 against, with 70 abstentions.


Additional draft texts approved today by recorded votes were on the following:  convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament; The Hague Code of Conduct on Ballistic Missile Proliferation; follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons; and transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities.


Acting without a vote, the Committee approved texts on the following:  report of the Disarmament Commission; United Nations regional centres for peace and disarmament; on United Nations Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean; thirtieth anniversary of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research; United Nations disarmament fellowship, training and advisory services; United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific; activities of the United Nations Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa; preventing the acquisition by terrorists of radioactive sources; and consolidation of the regime established for the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin American and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco).


The Committee also approved by consensus its programme of work for 2011 (document A/C.1/65/CRP.4). 


The Committee Chair, Miloš Koterec (Slovakia), made closing remarks.


Explanations of vote on Cluster 7 (Disarmament machinery) were made by the representatives of Brazil, Italy, United States, Iran, Pakistan, China, Indonesia (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Venezuela, Turkey, Mexico, Cuba, Norway, India, Japan, Australia, France (on behalf of the United Kingdom and the United States), Slovenia, Germany and Spain.


A general statement on Cluster 1 (Nuclear weapons) drafts on today’s schedule was made by the representative of Mexico.


Explanations of vote were made by the representatives of Indonesia (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Iran, Cuba, India, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Japan, China, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Norway, Sweden, Brazil, France, Syria and Egypt.


Explanations of vote on Cluster 3 (Outer space (disarmament aspects)) were made by the representatives of Pakistan and the United States.


General statements on Cluster 4 (Conventional weapons) were made by the representatives of Colombia, Japan, United Republic of Tanzania, Belgium (on behalf of the European Union), Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago (on behalf of the Caribbean Community), Sierra Leone, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria.


Explanations of vote were made by the representatives of Egypt, Switzerland, Brazil, Australia, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, Ecuador, Paraguay, China, Cuba, Indonesia, Iran, Guyana, Mexico and Kazakhstan.


The representatives of Croatia and Nigeria thanked the Committee for its session of work.


Background


The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this afternoon to continue action on all draft resolutions and decisions submitted under the disarmament and international security agenda items.


Action on Drafts in Cluster 7:  Disarmament Machinery


The representative of Brazil said that although his country would not oppose the draft resolution on revitalizing the Conference on Disarmament (document A/C.1/65/L.34/Rev.1), it wanted to put on record its apprehension regarding its operative paragraph 4.  Original operative paragraph 4 had reproduced the title of the high-level meeting, which had taken place at United Nations Headquarters in September, using the same wording of agenda item 162 of the General Assembly.  However, the new version of the draft resolution had opened the possibility of direct action by the First Committee on the reform of the Conference on Disarmament.  It should be recalled that the Conference had been established as part of diversified machinery by means of a special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament.  Brazil wanted to alert delegations on the wisdom of attempting to reform the Conference in isolation from the other components of the disarmament machinery.


The representative of Italy, also speaking on behalf of Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia on the draft resolution on convening a fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament (document A/C.1/65/L.35), said those countries would vote in favour of the draft.  Their decision was based on the conviction that the United Nations disarmament machinery needed urgent reform to allow it to resume work on the main task of negotiating multilateral agreements.  The decision by the Secretary-General to convene a high-level meeting on the Conference on Disarmament and the summary document of that meeting, which referred to plans to hold a fourth such special General Assembly session, represented progress in that direction.  Such a session, as well as the high-level meeting, was not contradictory, but complementary, towards achieving the same goal.  The countries were confident that the resources would be found to achieve both.

The representative of the United States said that her country would support the draft resolution on the thirtieth anniversary of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) (document A/C.1/65/L.47/Rev.1), in order to underline its strong support for the Institute.  It valued its impartial action-oriented research and other activities, and assured it and its director of her country’s continued support.  The United States expected to sustain its regular funding and it encouraged Member States to continue to support that body.


The representative of Iran explained why his delegation would not participate in the vote on L.57/Rev.1.  The Conference on Disarmament should be responsive to the security concerns of all States.  The existence of nuclear weapons was the greatest threat to humanity, he added.


The representative of Pakistan said he supported Brazil’s delegation on L.34/Rev.1.


The representative of China said that, regarding L.34/Rev.1, his country would join the consensus.  China’s position was that the 24 September meeting should facilitate achievement of the Conference on Disarmament’s goal.  Members should take care of each other’s concerns in efforts to achieve effective progress.  There should be common efforts among all members with respect to the disarmament mechanisms, he said, adding that the early launch of fissile material cut-off treaty negotiations was very important, however, work should be done on, among other things, disarmament and preventing an outer space arms race.


He added that the problems of the Conference on Disarmament resulted from political factors and should be resolved by consensus.


The representative of Indonesia, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, introduced a draft resolution on convening the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament (document A/C.1/65/L.35), which would have the General Assembly emphasize the importance of multilateralism in the process of disarmament, arms control, non-proliferation and related international security matters.  It would also have the Assembly express deep concern that the fourth special session had yet to be convened, despite efforts made in that regard, and decide to convene an open-ended working group, functioning on the basis of consensus, to consider the objectives and agenda, including the possible establishment of the preparatory committee, for the fourth special session.


The representative said it was important to recall that the Millennium Declaration had also resolved to strive towards the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, including the possibility of convening a conference to find solutions to how that weapons elimination should unfold.


Explaining the Movement’s vote on L.34/Rev.1, he said disarmament efforts must be accelerated.  The Conference on Disarmament should advance negotiations towards a nuclear weapons convention, preventing an outer space arms race and a treaty banning fissile material.  He would support the draft text.


The representative of Venezuela said the delegation was convinced that respecting international norms and laws was the way to guarantee peaceful coexistence, and L.34/Rev.1 was effective in that regard.  Issues should include negative security assurances, a fissile material ban and stopping an outer space arms race, among other things.  The Conference on Disarmament must be able to fulfil its mandate.  However, he regretted that the new version of the draft text had, in operative paragraph 4, included a substantial change.  The emphasis should be on disarmament.  Any deviation of that would weaken the Conference.


He echoed Brazil’s concerns on the draft text.


The representative of Turkey, speaking on draft resolution L.57/Rev.1, said that, as in previous years, the text included the issue of expansion of the Conference on Disarmament.  Views of Member States on that issue were reflected in the report of the Conference.  Turkey believed that expansion of the Conference was not a priority at this stage and should be addressed on a case-by-case basis.  Joining consensus on the draft, despite its preambular paragraph 10, should not be construed as change in Turkey’s well-known position.


The representative of Mexico, also speaking on draft resolution L.57/Rev.1, said his country shared the spirit contained therein.  It had, however, requested a vote on its operative paragraph 6, which requested that the Secretary-General provide support to that body.  Since there was a lack of resources in the Conference, which showed inefficiency in tackling the responsibilities assigned to it, it was irresponsible to continue with an exercise that wasted resources and which had no direction until that body had began to function effectively.  Mexico would, however, go with the consensus on the draft as a whole.


Next, the Committee took up a draft resolution, on the review of the implementation of the recommendations and decisions adopted by the General Assembly at its tenth special session:  Report of the Disarmament Commission (document A/C.1/65/L.9), which would have the General Assembly, among other things, recommend that the Commission continue the consideration of the following items at its substantive session of 2011:  recommendations for achieving the objective of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons; elements of a draft declaration of the 2010s as the fourth disarmament decade; and practical confidence-building measures in the field of convention weapons.


The Assembly would request the Commission to meet for a period not exceeding three weeks during 2001, namely from 4 to 22 April, and to submit a substantive report to it at its sixty-sixth session.


The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.


The Committee took up a draft resolution on the United Nations regional centres for peace and disarmament (document A/C.1/65/L.16).  Recognizing that the changes that have taken place in the world have created new opportunities as well as posed new challenges for the pursuit of disarmament, and, in this regard, bearing in mind that the regional centres for peace and disarmament can contribute substantially to understanding and cooperation among States in each particular region in the areas of peace, disarmament and development, the Assembly, by the text, would reaffirm that, in order to achieve positive results, it is useful for the three regional centres to carry out dissemination and educational programmes that promote regional peace and security and that are aimed at changing basic attitudes with respect to peace and security and disarmament so as to support the achievement of the purposes and principles of the United Nations.


The Committee approved the text, as orally revised, without a vote.


Also acting without a vote, the Committee approved a draft resolution on the United Nations Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (document A/C.1/65/L.21).  By that text, the General Assembly would welcome the support provided by the Centre to Member States in the implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.  The draft would also have it appeal to States, in particular those within the region, and to international governmental and non-governmental organizations and foundations to make and to increase voluntary contributions to strengthen the Regional Centre. 


It approved, without a vote, a draft resolution, on Follow-up to the High-level Meeting held on 24 September 2010 – Revitalizing the Work of the Conference on Disarmament and Taking Forward Multilateral Disarmament Negotiations (document A/C.1/65/L.34/Rev.1).  By its terms, the Assembly, recognizing that the political will to advance the disarmament agenda had strengthened in recent years and that the international political climate is conducive to the promotion of multilateral disarmament and moving towards the goal of a world without nuclear weapons, but nevertheless expressing grave concern about the status of the disarmament machinery, including the lack of progress in the Conference on Disarmament for more than a decade, and stressing the need for great efforts to advance multilateral disarmament negotiations, would welcome the opportunity provided by the high—level meeting on revitalizing the work of the Conference on Disarmament.


The text would also have the Assembly express appreciation for the participation by Ministers for Foreign Affairs and other high-level officials in the high-level meeting, and emphasize the support voiced for the urgent need to revitalize the work of multilateral disarmament bodies and advance multilateral disarmament negotiations.  It would note with appreciation the suggestions made by Member States and the Secretary-General with regard to revitalizing the multilateral disarmament machinery.


It would decide to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-sixth session an item entitled “Revitalizing the work of the Conference on Disarmament and taking forward multilateral disarmament negotiations”. 


A draft resolution on convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament (document A/C.1/65/L.35) would have the Assembly emphasize the importance of multilateralism in the process of disarmament, arms control, non-proliferation and related international security matters.  It would also have the Assembly express deep concern that the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament yet to be convened despite efforts made in this regard, and decide to convene an open-ended working group, working on the basis of consensus, to consider the objectives and agenda, including the possible establishment of the preparatory commit, for the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament.


A separate recorded vote was requested on operative paragraph 3, which “requests the Secretary-General, from within available resources, to provide the Open-ended Working Group with the necessary assistance and services as may be required to discharge its tasks”.


The Committee decided to retain that provision by a vote of 164 in favour to none against, with 4 abstentions (France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States).


The Committee then approved the draft as a whole, as orally revised, by a vote of 164 to none against, with 4 abstentions (France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States).


Next, acting without a vote, the Committee approved a draft resolution on the thirtieth anniversary of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (document A/C.1/65/L.47/Rev.1), by which the Assembly would welcome the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research and recognize the importance, the timeliness and the high quality of the work of the Institute. The Assembly would emphasize the importance of the Institute as a stand-alone autonomous institution that contributes, through its research, analysis and activities, to progress in disarmament and, ultimately, to reach a safer world and would appeal to all Member States to continue to make financial contributions to the Institute in order to ensure its viability and the quality of its work over the long term.


A draft resolution on the review and implementation of the Concluding Document of the Twelfth Special Session of the General Assembly:  United Nations disarmament fellowship, training and advisory services (document A/C.1/65/L.55/Rev.1) would have the Assembly express its appreciation to all Member States and organizations that have consistently supported the programme throughout the years, thereby contributing to its success; in particular to the Governments of Germany and Japan for the continuation of extensive and highly educative study visits for the participants in the programme, to the Government of the People’s Republic of China for organizing a study visit for the fellows in the area of disarmament in 2007 and to the Government of Switzerland for organizing a study visit in 2008.


The Assembly would also, by the text, express its appreciation to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization and the James Martin Center for Non-proliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies for having organized specific study programmes in the field of disarmament in their respective areas of competence, thereby contributing to the objectives of the programme.


The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.


The Committee then turned to a draft resolution on the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (document A/C.1/65/L.56).  The draft would have the Assembly express its satisfaction for the activities carried out in the past year by the Regional Centre, and invite all States of the region to continue to support the Centre’s activities including by continuing to take part in the activities, where possible, and by proposing items for inclusion in its programme of activities in order to contribute to the implementation of measures of peace and disarmament.


The draft would also have the Assembly appeal to Member States, in particular those within the Asia-Pacific region, as well as to international governmental and non-governmental organizations and foundations, to make voluntary contributions, the only resources of the Regional Centre, to strengthen the programme of activities of the Centre and the implementation thereof.  In addition, the Assembly would, by the text, underline the importance of the Kathmandu process for the development of the practice of region-wide security and disarmament dialogues.


The Committee approved the text without a vote.


Next, the Committee then took up a draft resolution on the Report of the Conference on Disarmament (document A/C.1/65/L.57/Rev.1).  By its terms, the Assembly, convinced that the Conference, as the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community, has the primary role in substantive negotiations on priority questions of disarmament, would reaffirm that role and express its appreciation for the strong support expressed for the Conference by Ministers for Foreign Affairs and other high-level officials at the high-level meeting on revitalizing the Conference’s work and taking forward multilateral disarmament negotiations, held on 24 September. 


The Assembly would take into account the overwhelming call for greater flexibility with respect to commencing substantive work of the Conference without further delay on the basis of a balanced and comprehensive programme of work, as reflected in document CD/1864.


Further to the text, the Assembly would endorse the call by Member States at the high-level meeting, reflected in the Secretary-General’s summary, for the Conference to adopt a programme of work at the earliest possible date during its 2011 session.


The Assembly would welcome the decision of the Conference to request the current President and incoming President to conduct consultations during the intersessional period.  It would request all States members of the Conference to cooperate with the Presidents in their efforts to guide the Conference to the early commencement of substantive work, including negotiations, in its 2011 session.  It would request the Secretary-General to continue to ensure and strengthen, if needed the provision to the Conference of all necessary administrative, substantive and conference support services.


By further provisions, the Assembly would request the Conference to submit a report on its work to the General Assembly at its sixty-sixth session.  It would decide to include in the provisional item of that session the item entitled “Report of the Conference on Disarmament”. 


A separate recorded vote was taken on operative paragraph 2, by which the Assembly would express its appreciation for the strong support expressed at the high-level meeting for the Conference, and take into account the overwhelming call for greater flexibility with respect to commencing substantive work of the Conference without further delay on the basis of a balanced and comprehensive programme of work as reflected in document CD/1864.


The Committee agreed to retain that paragraph by a vote of 165 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 1 abstention (Iran).


A separate recorded vote was taken on operative paragraph 6, by which the Secretary-General would be requested to provide support to the Conference.


That provision was retained in the text by a vote of 164 in favour, to none against, with 4 abstentions (Austria, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway).

The draft resolution as a whole was approved without a vote.


Acting without a vote, the Committee next approved a draft resolution on the review and implementation of the Concluding Document of the Twelfth Special Session of the General Assembly:  Regional confidence-building measures: activities of the United Nations Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (document A/C.1/65/L.58).  According to the text, the Assembly would appeal to the international community to support the efforts undertaken by the States concerned to implement disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes.


The Assembly would also, by the text, urge other Member States and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to support the activities of the Standing Advisory Committee effectively through voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund.


Also, the Assembly would, by the text, urge the States members of the Standing Advisory Committee, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), to include a gender-equality dimension in the various meetings of the Committee relating to disarmament and international security


The representative of Pakistan, speaking on L.34/Rev.1, that his delegation shared the view that there was a need to revitalize the Conference on Disarmament, but added that the disarmament challenges went beyond the Conference.  Other important bodies, including the First Committee, also needed to be reinvigorated.  During the high-level meeting last month, the Non-Aligned Movement had asserted the need for a fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament.  While Pakistan had gone along with the resolution today, he would work towards an early convening of a fourth special session to advance multilateral disarmament negotiations.


On L.57/Rev.1, he said it was a strong preference to approve that text by consensus.  However, one of the sponsors had ignored important suggestions.  The Conference on Disarmament worked on the basis of its rules of procedure.  He voted against operative paragraph 2 and voted for the draft resolution as a whole.


The representative of China, speaking on draft resolution L.57/Rev.1, said that his country had joined the consensus on the draft resolution.  China had always supported and actively participated in the Conference’s work.  It hoped that, in the coming year, it would come out with a programme of work by consensus and would commence its work, including the negotiation of a fissile material cut-off treaty.  Proposals to weaken the Conference, through budget cuts, were not the best way to address the problems.  China had voted in favour of the draft resolution, but it was not in favour of adopting the resolution by voting.  The resolution and its method of adoption should be conducive for the Conference by highlighting consensus and breaking the stalemate, instead of highlighting differences.  Dialogue should be used.  That approach would be beneficial to all parties.  China hoped that next year, all parties would make an effort to conduct dialogue on equal footing.


The representative of Cuba, speaking on draft resolution on L.34/Rev.1, said that there was need to undertake a number of efforts to restart multilateral negotiations in the Conference and to work to make the objective of a world without nuclear weapons a reality.  There was need for an ad hoc committee to look at the issue of nuclear disarmament.  It was regrettable that the Conference, which was the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, continued without being able to make any headway on substantive issues.  The solution to that problem, however, was not to weaken that body, but instead, to show flexibility based on respect for the rules of procedure, so that a balanced programme of work could be adopted as soon as possible.  Cuba highlighted the importance of draft resolution L.35 sponsored by the Non-Aligned Movement on the convening of a fourth special session and said that the General Assembly should, as soon as possible, set that process in motion.


The representative of Norway, also speaking on behalf of Austria and New Zealand on draft resolution L.57/Rev.1, said that they had abstained in the vote on its operative paragraph 6. They sympathised with the frustration of those that had called for the vote and they did not consider the funding of that body as automatic.  If the work of the Conference did not improve, the General Assembly should reconsider its funding.


The representative of Iran, on L.34/Rev.1, said the inability of the Conference on Disarmament to undertake items on its agenda rested on the nuclear-weapon States’ refusal to deal with core issues on an equal footing.  The Conference’s role concerning nuclear issues should be strengthened.  In Iran’s view, in taking forward multilateral disarmament negotiations, the international community should avoid a discriminatory process.


The representative of India, also on L.34/Rev.1, said that his country had joined consensus on that draft.  He noted that the current impasse on negotiations should not be attributed to the existing rules of procedure. 


The representative of Japan said, on L.35, that the text should not prejudice ongoing disarmament efforts.


The representative of Australia, also on L.35, said he supported the draft and hoped that efforts towards convening a fourth special session, as well as other initiatives, would move ahead, including commencing negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament.  On L.57/Rev.1’s operative paragraph 6, he said the Conference on Disarmament must return to work.  Australia was deeply concerned about the state of the Conference on Disarmament.


The representative of France (on behalf of the United Kingdom and the United States), on L.35, said the delegations had abstained from voting on both the draft and the separate vote on operative paragraph 3.  They had abstained because they felt that it prejudged the work sought by the Secretary-General in the outcome document of the high-level meeting on 24 September.  In that outcome, the Secretary-General had mandated his Advisory board to consider possible ways to revitalize the disarmament architecture.  Instead, he said consultations of the Advisory Board should be considered before further steps were taken.


The representative of Slovenia, speaking on L.35, said that his country had voted in its favour in 2007 and this year, but the reason for its vote this year was different.  This year, the international community had witnessed the high-level meeting convened by the Secretary-General, as well as the thrust for convening of the fourth special session.  Slovenia welcomed those developments and saw the two processes that were emerging as complementary in paving the way to the same goal of revitalizing the disarmament machinery.  Slovenia felt that they would make the whole process more transparent and called for the spirit of inclusiveness in channelling both processes.  It believed that the sponsors of the draft resolution shared that view.


The representative of Germany, also speaking on behalf of Denmark, Netherlands, Poland and Sweden, on draft resolution L.35, said that those countries had voted in favour of the draft resolution based on their conviction that the disarmament machinery urgently needed political impulse towards its revitalization to allow it to resume its main task of negotiating multilateral instruments.  They welcomed the momentum created by the high-level meeting.  There was an intrinsic relationship between the objectives of a fourth special session and the suggestions by Member States and the Secretary-General at the high-level meeting on revitalizing the disarmament machinery.  Follow-up measures to that meeting should be taken into account by the open-ended working group to be established in accordance with draft resolution L.35.


He said that a fourth special session and the follow-up to the high-level meeting were not contradictory, but were complementary efforts aimed at the same goal.  A fourth special session, however, could not be an alternative or a reason to postpone work to be done now.  The financial resources referred to in operative paragraph 3 of the draft resolution should be subjected to the regular budgetary procedures of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) and the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), and questions of scope and financing of the open-ended working group would be addressed and resolved in that context.  In other words, the group would be financed within existing resources, and, should it convene only in 2012, the same would apply to the budget negotiations for the biennium 2012-2013.


The representative of Spain, also speaking on draft resolution L.35, said that, as in 2007, his country had voted in favour of the draft text.  It associated itself with the explanation by the representative of Germany and was fully convinced of the urgent need for the international community to make every effort to revitalize the disarmament machinery.  It was imperative that the Conference on Disarmament begin working immediately on the responsibilities for which it was established.  That was why his country had put all its weight behind the high-level meeting convened by the Secretary-General.  It continued to believe in that initiative and was persuaded that additional effort was needed to revitalize the disarmament machinery.


Cluster 1:  Nuclear Weapons


PABLO ADRIÁN ARROCHA OLABUENAGA (Mexico) introduced four oral amendments to the draft resolution on consolidation of the regime established by the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco) (document A/C.1/65/L.51).


In preambular paragraph 7, the wording would contain the important contribution to the achievement of nuclear non-proliferation of the nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties of Tlatelolco, Rarotonga, Bangkok, Pelindaba and Central Asia, and the Antarctic Treaty and the declaration by Mongolia of its nuclear-weapon-free status.


He said that in preambular paragraph 10, the words “noting that the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), in its final document, encouraged the establishment of further nuclear-weapon-free zones, as well as the fostering of cooperation and enhanced consultation mechanisms among the existing nuclear-weapon-free zones through the establishment of concrete measures, in order to fully implement the principles and objectives of the relevant nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties” should be followed by the words “and commending the Organization for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean for its leadership in this endeavour”.


He then asked that the following words in preambular paragraph 11 be deleted: “stressing the importance of States parties of Nuclear Weapon Free Zones to expand their collaboration in strengthening existing Nuclear Weapon Free Zones, supporting the establishment of additional Nuclear Weapon Free Zones, including single Nuclear Weapon Free States, and of advancing the achievement of nuclear weapons free world, and commending the Organization for the Prohibition of  Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean for their leadership in this area”.


Lastly, he asked that a new operative paragraph 3 replace the current operative paragraph 3, and read as follows:  “encourages States that have ratified the relevant Protocols to the Treaty of Tlatelolco to review any reservation in this regard, in accordance with action 9 of the 2010 NPT Review Conference Final Document”.


He hoped the draft resolution would be approved by consensus.


The Chairman announced that amendments (documents A/C.1/65/L.59 and 60), sponsored by Iran, to the draft resolution on bilateral reductions of strategic nuclear arms and the new framework for strategic relations (document A/C.1/65/L.28/Rev.1), had been withdrawn.


The representative of Indonesia, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said, on L.28/Rev.1, that the Movement looked forward to the early ratification and entry into force of the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START).  But reductions could not substitute cuts in nuclear weapons.  He asked the Russian Federation and United States to oblige by transparency.  Moreover, such cuts should be irreversible and facilitate the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.


Further, he said, concrete actions by nuclear-weapon States should aim to attain the goal of ridding the world of nuclear weapons.  The Movement emphasized that much more remained to be done to eliminate nuclear weapons.  It urged States to accelerate efforts to fulfil their nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation obligations.


The representative of Iran, explaining his delegation’s position on L.28/Rev.1, said that since the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States, the world had been under the shadow of nuclear weapons.  The conclusion of the NPT in 1968, and its stipulation, in article VI that each nuclear-weapon State party to that Treaty should pursue negotiations in good faith on nuclear disarmament, had given hope that the world would be free of those weapons.  However, more than 40 years later, there were still thousands of nuclear warheads in existence.


The extension of the NPT had been agreed in 1995, and States had committed to fulfil their obligations under article VI, he continued.  The 2000 and 2010 NPT Review Conferences reflected the international community wish for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.  Additionally, the International Court of Justice had stated that negotiations should take place in good faith to reduce those weapons.  The Court’s advisory opinion stated that the parties to the NPT had a legal obligation to bring its goals to an early conclusion.


Iran said that L.28/Rev.1 was not a balanced text, in terms of the obligations of nuclear-weapon States, and it did not reflect the consensus of the 1995, 2000 and 2010 NPT Review Conferences, he said.  It lacked the application of transparency, irreversibly and verifiability.  It was not aimed at disarmament and the total elimination of nuclear weapons.


He said that one of the parties to the START had officially announced for more than $100 billion towards development of nuclear weapons facilities.  They only changed the status of warheads from high-trigger alert to store rooms.  The costs saved by that went to modifying some components and to the development of warheads with a lifespan of 100 years or more.  He added that the reduction in deployment could not substitute for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.  Iran would not take part in the voting process on L.28/Rev.1 as a whole.


The Committee then took up the draft resolution on bilateral reductions of strategic nuclear arms and the new framework for strategic relations (document A/C.1/65/L.28/Rev.1), which would have the Assembly welcome the signing of the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States on Measures for Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty) on 8 April, and support the consistent commitment of the two countries to the continuation of efforts for reducing strategic offensive arms as well as recognize that the New START Treaty would foster more favourable conditions for actively promoting security and cooperation and strengthening international stability.  The Assembly would also recognize the importance of the contributions made by Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, United States and Ukraine, as States party to the START Treaty, to nuclear disarmament as part of their commitment to fulfilling their obligations under article VI of the NPT.


The text would also have the Assembly welcome the fact that the successful implementation of the START Treaty by the Parties resulted in the reduction of their deployed strategic nuclear weapons by approximately 30 per cent during the 15-year span of that Treaty, thereby promoting security and cooperation and strengthening international stability.  It would express the hope that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) would enter into force at an early date. 


By a further term of that text, the Assembly would note with approval that the Russian Federation and the United States had stopped the production of fissile materials for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, express support for the early commencement of international negotiations within the framework of an approved programme of work of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva for the conclusion of a verifiable treaty to end the production of fissile materials for use in nuclear weapons or other explosive devices.  It would encourage the nuclear-weapon States to engage the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to monitor fissile material designated by each of those States as no longer required for military purposes.

A separate recorded vote was taken on operative paragraph 7, containing the reference to fissile material. 


The Committee agreed to retain that provision by a vote of 163 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 1 abstention (Iran).


The Committee then approved the draft resolution as a whole without a vote.


Next, the Committee took up a draft resolution on The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (document A/C.1/65/L.45/Rev.1).  By its terms, the Assembly, concerned about the increasing regional and global security challenges caused, inter alia, by the ongoing proliferation of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, note with satisfaction that 131 States had already subscribed to The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation as a practical step against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and would invite all States that had not yet subscribed to the Code of Conduct to do so.  It would also welcome progress in implementation of the Code, which contributed to enhancing transparency and building confidence among States through the submission of pre-launch notifications and annual declarations on space and ballistic missile activity, and encourage the exploration of further ways and means to deal effectively with the problem of the proliferation of ballistic missiles capable of delivering mass destruction weapons.


The Committee approved the draft by a recorded vote of 149 in favour to 1 against (Iran), with 18 abstentions.


The Committee took up a draft resolution, on preventing the acquisition by terrorists of radioactive sources (document A/C.1/65/L.46/Rev.1), which would have the Assembly call upon Member States to support international efforts to prevent the acquisition and use by terrorists of radioactive materials and sources, and, if necessary, suppress such acts, in accordance with their national legal authorities and legislation and consistent with international law. 


The Assembly would urge Member States to take and strengthen national measures, as appropriate, to prevent the acquisition and use by terrorists of radioactive materials and sources, as well as terrorist attacks on nuclear plants and facilities which would result in radioactive releases, and, if necessary, suppress such acts, in particular by taking effective measures to account for, secure and physically protect such  facilities, materials and sources in accordance with their international obligations.


Member States would be encouraged to enhance their national capacities with appropriate means of detection and related architecture or systems, including through international cooperation and assistance in conformity with international law and regulations, with a view to reflecting and preventing the illicit trafficking of radioactive materials and sources.  Member States that had not yet done so would also be encouraged to become party to the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, as soon as possible, in accordance with their legal and constitutional processes.


The Assembly would invite Member States, particularly those producing and distributing radioactive sources, to support and endorse the efforts of the IAEA to enhance the safety and security of radioactive sources and to enhance the security of those sources as described in the Agency’s Nuclear Security Plan for 2010-2013.  All States would be urged to work towards following the guidance contained in the Agency’s Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and, as appropriate the guidance on the import and export of radioactive sources, and encouraged to notify the Agency’s Director General of their intention to do so.


The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.


The Committee took up a draft resolution on follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/65/L.50), which took into account the recent progress on the nuclear weapons convention and on the application of international humanitarian law to nuclear weapons.


The Committee approved the draft resolution by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to 27 against, with 22 abstentions.


Also without a vote, the Committee approved a draft resolution on the consolidation of the regime established by the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco) (document A/C.1/65/L.51), as orally amended.  By its terms, the Assembly would   welcomethe fact that the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco)is in force for the sovereign States of the region.  It would urgethe countries of the region that had not yet done so to sign or deposit their instruments of ratification of the amendments to the Treaty approved by the General Conference of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean.


The Assembly would encourage States that had ratified the relevant Protocols to the Treaty of Tlatelolco to review any reservation in this regard, in accordance with action 9 of the 2010 NPT Review Conference Final Document.  It would encourage States members of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean to continue the activities and efforts of the Agency with a view to implement the agreements reached at the first and second Conferences of States Parties and Signatories to Treaties that Establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones.


The representative of Libya said he wished to be listed as a co-sponsor of L.50 and L.45/Rev.1.


The Chairman said it was too late to do so.


The representative of Cuba said her country had abstained from voting on L.45/Rev.1.  The Code had been discussed and approved outside the United Nations and did not include all parties.  All ballistic missiles should be discussed within the United Nations system.  All Member States had the right to participate openly in the adoption of measures in that regard.  In addition, the Code did not look at the peaceful use of missiles.  Plus, its approach was limited to horizontal and did not consider vertical proliferation, including the design, development, testing and deployment.


Further, the delegate said, the text referred only to ballistic missiles and not other types of missiles.  It also omitted the question of assistance.  The draft was even further from a consensus because it did not contain any reference to relevant Security Council resolutions.  Cuba was convinced that legally binding instruments negotiated multilaterally were the best mechanisms with which to grapple with disarmament and non-proliferation issues.


The representative of India, speaking on draft resolutions on L.28/Rev.1, L.45/Rev.1 and L.46/Rev.1, said that India had joined the consensus on L.28/Rev.1 and had voted for its operative paragraph 7.  The sponsors of that draft resolution, as the countries with the largest nuclear arsenals, bore a special responsibility and his country welcomed their agreement to reduce those arsenals.  Between them, the two countries held more than 90 per cent of all nuclear weapons in the world.  Their agreement was, therefore, a step in the right direction.  There was, however, need for a step-by-step process that was multilaterally underwritten towards non-proliferation.  With regard to a fissile material cut-off treaty, India’s position was consistent:  the country supported negotiations on a verifiable treaty that met its security interest.  India was a nuclear-weapon State and a responsible member of the international community and would approach those negotiations in that context.


On the draft resolution on L.45./Rev.1, India had abstained, he went on.  There had been a proliferation of ballistic missiles in its region with adverse implications, but there was no legal regime governing those missiles.  The complexity arose from the untenable claim by some States to continue to possess and modernize those weapons.  India welcomed that the Secretary-General, in his report, stressed the important role of the United Nations in a mechanism to build consensus.  The draft resolution did not adequately recognize the need for a more inclusive approach, as had been suggested by the group of Governmental experts.  That was despite the fact that the sponsors of the draft resolution had among them experts from the group, which had adopted their report by consensus.


Turning to L.46/Rev.1, he said that India had gone along with the consensus, but that its support was without prejudice for the acquisition of spent fuel management or to its position on instruments to which India was not a party.


The representative of Uzbekistan said that his country had not been able to take part in the vote, but that it would have voted in favour of draft resolutions L.28/Rev.1 and L.35.  It would also have voted in favour of L.45/Rev.1 and would like to become one of its co-sponsors.


The representative of Venezuela, speaking on draft resolutions L.45/Rev.1 and L.46/Rev.1, said that her country had abstained from the vote on L.45/Rev.1 because it believed that The Hague Code of Conduct was restrictive in its approach and did not consider other issues that were important to developing countries.  It did not make a distinction between delivery systems and activities for development.  Effort was required to make it possible to continue to address the missiles issue within the United Nations.  In 2003, Venezuela had subscribed to The Hague Code of Conduct in the hope that it could be of help in reaching agreement to look at the delivery systems for missiles.  The way the Code of Conduct had been working, however, had led to reservations by many countries like hers.


She added that her country had joined in approving draft resolution L.46/Rev.1 in reaffirmation of its commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation and to rejecting terrorism in all its forms.  It was, however, convinced that the best way of preventing terrorists from acquiring radioactive sources was through the complete elimination of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons.  Nuclear-weapon States and those that possessed weapons of mass destruction needed to adopt steps to put a definitive end to those weapons.  Strict adherence to the commitments undertaken by the nuclear-weapon States would also help prevent terrorists from acquiring those weapons.


The representative of Japan, on L.50, said his country abstained, but he appreciated Malaysia’s commitment, as reflected in the draft.  Further practical steps involving nuclear-weapon States were needed, a point not fully reflected in the draft, which was why Japan had abstained from voting.


The representative of China said he had abstained from voting on L.45/Rev.1 because, unlike previous years when his country had supported drafts on the subject, this text had included the topic of pre-launch notification.  China had its own views and assessment on the matter, which had led to his country’s abstention on the draft.


The representative of Pakistan, on L.28/Rev.1, said his country associated itself with the statement made by the Non-Aligned Movement.  This new treaty was a step forward towards nuclear disarmament.  He looked forward to its early ratification, however, he did not support the call for fissile material treaty negotiations, and thus, had voted against operative paragraph 7 in the draft.


On L.45.Rev.1, he said the issue of missiles was complex.  It should be addressed in a multilateral forum.  The Code could not gain support of some States.  The Code did not address all security concerns, so Pakistan had abstained from voting on this draft.


The representative of Iran said that L.45/Rev.1 suffered from procedural flaws.  The Code was drafted and formed outside the United Nations, and did not represent a multilaterally negotiated text.  It also lacked transparency, was discriminatory, and exclusively focused on ballistic missiles, failing to address other types, including cruise missiles.  The draft also failed to describe a definition of ballistic missiles and contained vague language.


The Code was silent about vertical proliferation of ballistic and cruise missiles.  Finally, the right of access of all States had been neglected.


There were no substantive changes compared to the previous versions and, even worse, included in the text was a reference to Security Council 1887 (2009), with which the Non-Aligned Movement did not agree.


The representative of the Russian Federation, also speaking on L.45/Rev.1, said he had supported the draft.  He had focused on a collective search for solutions to priority tasks facing the Code and proposed to put in preambular paragraph 6, the reference to Security Council 1540 (2004).


He said that operative paragraphs 3 and 4 could have been merged, in Russia’s opinion.  Russia was keen that the Code would truly become an effective international mechanism.  He trusted that Russian approaches would be taken into account during the work on the Code itself.


The representative of Indonesia, also speaking on draft resolution L.45/Rev.1, said that his country shared the objectives of the draft, but that that noble aim did not suffice in increasing the security of States.  The only way to achieve that security was by negotiating an instrument in the form of a treaty-based regime.  Developing such an instrument should be an inclusive process involving all countries.  That would be the best approach and that was why Indonesia had sponsored other drafts in that regard.  His country hoped that The Hague Code of Conduct would one day transform into a comprehensive venue and lead to a treaty-based regime.  That would give the vast majority of developing countries the confidence to join it.  Indonesia was mindful of the threat posed by the development and proliferation of missiles, but had abstained from the vote.


The representative of Norway, speaking on draft resolution L.50, said that while the country supported the general objective of the draft resolution, it did not find its general approach conducive to nuclear disarmament.  It believed that the Conference on Disarmament provided the best arena for developing disarmament commitments.  It also had serious reservations about the draft resolution’s preambular paragraph 15. It was highly doubtful that the reference to a specific treaty — the Model Nuclear Weapons Convention — was the best way to catalyse the process towards the abolition of nuclear weapons.


The representative of Tunisia said that his country would have voted “yes” on draft resolution L.45/Rev.1 and L.50 if it had been available during the voting.


The representative of Sweden said that the delegation had voted in favour of draft resolution L.50 as it had done in the past.  It, however, stated that the draft’s preambular paragraph 15, which was added this year, should be taken as being without prejudice to any future negotiations.


The representative of Brazil, speaking on draft resolution L.28/Rev.1, said that his country had voted positively on the operative paragraph 7, which referred to the question of negotiation of a fissile material cut-off treaty in the Conference on Disarmament.  Brazil’s position on that issue was well-known.  It considered that commencing negotiations on it did not prejudge their outcome, which should take into consideration all aspects related to fissile materials. Any negotiations on fissile material for weapons should serve the causes of non-proliferation and effective nuclear disarmament.


Turning to draft resolution L.45/Rev.1, he said that although Brazil did not adhere to The Hague Code of Conduct, it had voted in favour of the draft resolution because it acknowledged and respected the fact that 131 States had already subscribed to the Code as practical a step towards eradicating weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.  The Code was a contribution to international peace and security.  Brazil welcomed the draft resolution’s preambular paragraph 8, which says that States should not be excluded from utilizing the benefits of space for peaceful purposes.  The country could not join its operative paragraph 2, which invited States not subscribed to the Code to do so.  Brazil commended France for its openness in conducting the consultations on the draft resolution.


The representative of France said that due account should be taken that Germany had co-sponsored draft resolution L.46/Rev.1. 


The representative of Uzbekistan said the delegation would like to register its vote for L.51, on the Treaty of Tlatelolco.

The representative of Syria said his country had joined the consensus on L.28/Rev.1.  He would have liked account to have been taken on the two amendments submitted by Iran, L.59 and L.60 because they were well-founded.


The representative of Egypt said, on L.45/Rev.1, that The Hague Code of Conduct represented a product of exclusive export control regimes developed outside the United Nations in a discriminatory manner.  In addition to its non-verifiable nature, it was limited in its scope.  Any consideration of missiles should take place within the context of the United Nations.  That was why Egypt supported L.18, a draft decision on missiles.


Regarding L.28/Rev.1, particularly the vote on operative paragraph 7, Egypt had voted in favour of the paragraph and joined consensus on the resolution.


In explanation of vote on drafts under Cluster 3:  Outer space (disarmament aspects of), the representative of Pakistan wanted it to be recorded that his country wished to be a co-sponsor of L.38, on transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities.


The United States representative said her country would abstain in the vote on L.38.  She appreciated the efforts of Russia to develop a resolution that reflected shared goals on transparency and confidence-building measures.  The United States would continue to pursue transparency and confidence-building measures, especially with its partners in Russia.


The Committee then took up the draft resolution, on transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities (document A/C.1/65/L.38), which would have the Assembly take note of the final report of the Secretary-General containing concrete proposals from Member States on international outer space transparency and confidence-building measures.


Also by the text, the Assembly would also request the Secretary-General to establish, on the basis of equitable geographical distribution, a group of governmental experts to conduct a study commencing in 2012 on outer space transparency and confidence-building measures, making use of the relevant reports of Secretary-General, including the report submitted to the General Assembly at its sixty-fifth session, and without prejudice to the substantive discussions on the prevention of an arms race in outer space within the framework of the Conference on Disarmament, and to submit to the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session a report containing in its annex the study of Governmental experts.


The draft resolution was approved by a vote of 167 in favour to none against, with 1 abstention (United States).


Cluster 4:  Conventional Weapons


BETTY ESCORCIA (Colombia), presenting draft resolution L.32, said that the co-authors had consulted widely and tried to accommodate the views of Member States on the draft text, which now counted the support of 82 countries as co-sponsors.  The draft resolution contributed to keeping the Programme of Action process moving ahead.  That was one of the main reasons why the co-sponsors were calling for its adoption without vote.  The Programme of Action process was a consensus-based one.  Adopting the draft without a vote would contribute to reinforcing that process.  The co-sponsors regretted that there was a proposal that intended to upset that balance and called on the sponsors of that proposal to withdraw it and support the consensus.  Colombia requested Member States to renew their commitment to the Programme of Action without taking on board any amendments that might arise.  The co-sponsors would vote against any intention to amend the draft resolution and called on other delegations to do the same.


AKIO SUDA (Japan) said that, together with South Africa and Colombia, it had tabled draft resolution L.32 every year.  For the present text, they had conducted extensive consultations in a transparent and open manner and had made every effort to accommodate the concerns of delegations.  They were thankful to the over 80 co-sponsors and believed that the draft could receive the highest possible support.  Japan deeply regretted that an amendment had actually been tabled.  It was not concerned about the content of the amendment, as Japan had submitted similar language earlier, but it had found that it would not receive the acceptance from all delegations.  It was clear that the amended operative paragraph 16 could not reach consensus.  With regard to operative paragraph 20, despite its late receipt, the co-sponsors had managed to consult on it, but had come to the conclusion that it would not lead to consensus.  Indeed, proposing such an amendment not only would not achieve consensus, but would be counterproductive.  Consensus was important to tackling the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.  Japan hoped that the draft as it stood would be unanimously adopted without any amendment, and it urged all delegations to join the overwhelming support for the text.


The representative of the United Republic of Tanzania said his country had co-sponsored L.32 with hopes of achieving consensus.  The draft addressed the issue in the context of Central Africa.  His country was part of a pact on security, stability and development in the Great Lakes region that aimed at establishing peace in the region.  Borders in the region were porous, making it easy for criminals to cross them.  The resources referred to in the operative portion of the text might not be enough for joint-border operations.


The representative of Belgium, on behalf of the European Union, said he would strongly prefer that L.32 was adopted without any amendments, but rather based on a compromise on which consensus could be found.  The preservation of consensus on the implementation of the Programme of Action was important.  The Union praised the work of the draft’s authors.


The representative of Mexico, speaking on behalf of the co-sponsors of the amendments contained in document A/C.1/65/L.61, said that the original text of the omnibus resolution was a balanced document that reflected the major steps forward made at the Fourth Biennial Meeting of States.  However, various amendments had been made, which where detrimental to the efforts made over the past year and did not reflect the strides made at that meeting, which had managed to adopt, for the first time in its nine-year existence, a substantive document with the agreement of all States.  What was the point of pursuing adoption of documents by consensus if they could not be endorsed in the relevant contexts?


He said that Mexico had submitted amendments based on the final document of the last biennial meeting.  The Programme of Action was the most important document in its field, and its implementation would save thousands of lives affected by illegal weapons.  Further, Mexico was ready to continue making the utmost effort to strengthen the Programme of Action, so the United Nations would send a clear message about its responsibility in thwarting that trade.  Mexico suffered greatly from illegal arms.  The time had come to make real progress in that area.  Mexico wished to clarify that the submitted text in L.32 never enjoyed consensus, so the submission of the amendments could not be seen as breaching a consensus agreement.


RUEANNA HAYNES (Trinidad and Tobago), speaking on behalf of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on L.32, said that the members of the community had always maintained strong support for that annual resolution, and this year was no exception.  They had maintained unwavering support for the full implementation of the Programme of Action, which remained the principal international framework for combating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.  They looked forward to playing an active role in the 2011 meeting of Governmental experts and at the 2012 Programme of Action Review Conference.  At the Biennial Meeting of States on the Action Programme in June, Member States had adopted by consensus a report, which highlighted the way forward for effectively combating and eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects.  For CARICOM, the way forward necessitated an acknowledgement of all facets of the illicit trade in those weapons, including its cross-border nature and the negative socio-economic effects.  The cross-border character had led to a multiplicity of problems in the CARICOM region.  It had put illegal guns in the hands of criminals, which, in turn, had caused the murder rate in the region to rise to unacceptable levels.


That problem, she stressed, was not limited to the region.  In other regions, there had also been an increase in armed violence, as well as the expansion of the illegal trade in narcotics.  CARICOM had been consistently articulating its position on the matter in diverse forums at the United Nations.  For the region, acknowledgement of the cross-border character was an indication of the need for an integrated global response that would supplement actions at the national, regional and subregional levels in order to combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.  It was for that reason that CARICOM found it imperative to support the amendment introduced by Mexico.  That language was accepted language contained in the consensual outcome document of the Biennial Meeting of States.


SYLVESTER ROWE (Sierra Leone), speaking as one of the States most seriously affected by small arms and light weapons, said that it should not be a surprise why his country was a co-sponsor of the draft resolution.  Sierra Leone understood and respected Mexico’s views and had worked and cooperated with that country on many issues.  Today, he believed that all should work together.  He appealed to Mexico to join and support draft resolution L.32 and have the Committee approve it by consensus.


The representative of Kyrgyzstan confirmed his country’s co-sponsorship of L.32.


The representative of Nigeria said he was not a co-sponsor of L.32, but he appealed strongly for a consensus document.  The movement of illicit weapons over borders had caused many problems.  It was when lions hunted together that they always won.


The representative of Egypt said, on L.61, that at a time of international collective efforts, he was concerned that the amendments could only undermine those efforts taken to implement the Programme of Action.  Draft resolution L.32, which had been discussed and agreed to by that draft’s co-sponsors, was a balanced text.  Therefore, Egypt would vote against L.61.


Also speaking on L.61, the representative of Switzerland said that his country would vote “no” to any text not arrived at by consensus.  Draft resolution L.32 reflected the best balance to ensure the broadest support for the small arms and light weapons process and a programme of action evolved in the United Nations system.

The representative of Brazil said that any amendments to L.32 would depart from the main objective:  the implementation of the Programme of Action.  Brazil would vote against any amendments proposed for L.32.


The representative of Australia said that her country would vote against L.61.  It associated itself with the comments made earlier by Colombia and Japan.  The vote did not reflect its position on the contents of the proposed amendment, but rather on Australia’s position as a sponsor of draft resolution L.32 and as a supporter of the text as it stood.  It was concerned with preserving the spirit of the consensus and would vote against the amendment and any other amendment that might be proposed.


The representative of Venezuela said that her country would not endorse the proposed amendment, L.61, because it was an attempt to divert from the main purpose of draft resolution L.32, which was to eradicate the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons.  Her country expressed reservation to initiatives that emphasized one aspect of the issue to the detriment of the holistic vision that had already been agreed.  Illicit trade in small arms and light weapons was an important issue on the disarmament agenda, given the negative impact on States, especially those affected by internal conflict.  Venezuela reaffirmed its support for the Programme of Action as a political and balanced holistic process based on international cooperation and assistance.  Strengthening it included garnering international support for the continuing efforts and supporting comprehensive views of those endeavours.


The representative of Japan said that his country would vote against L.61 because of the background and reason given in his earlier statement.


The representative of South Africa said, on L.61, that his country supported the statement delivered by Colombia on behalf of the draft’s co-sponsors.  It was unfortunate to have to vote on a text that should unite instead of divide.  The disunity contravened the Programme of Action, which bore in mind the different situations among regions.  Differences on, among other things, legislation, marking and tracing, and border controls should not prevent consensus.  South Africa would vote against L.61.  Regardless of the outcome of L.61, he would vote in favour of L.32 as a whole.


The representative of New Zealand said the delegation understood what had led to L.61.  Consensus on the Programme of Action was hard-won and should not be abandoned lightly.  Regarding the outcome of the Fourth Biennial Meeting of States, New Zealand felt that the amendments in L.61 need not be mutually exclusive.  He hoped over the coming months to work towards achieving consensus.


The representative of Ecuador would vote against L.61.  The text in L.32 represented consensus among all members in this room.  The type of proposal embodied in L.61 detracts from that consensus.

The representative of Paraguay said consensus on L.32 was important, and her country would vote against any amendments.


The representative of China said that if L.61 was put to a vote, his country would not participate in the two amendments contained therein.  If draft resolution L.32 was put to a vote, China would vote in its favour because it did not believe that the differences with regard to operative paragraphs 16 and 20 constituted issues that would lead to a vote or amendment.  It did not believe that the problem constituted one which compelled the need to come up with amendments and come up with a vote on those amendments.  That kind of issue should have been resolved through consultation and dialogue.  China supported the statement made earlier by Nigeria.


The Committee then took up amendments to document A/C.1/65/L.32, the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects (document A/C.1/65/L.61), introduced by Mexico, which would have the Assembly replace operative paragraph 16 with the following text:  “Recognizes the urgent need to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons across borders because of the harmful effects of those activities on the security of each State, subregion and region and of the world as a whole, endangering not only the well-being of peoples, but also their social and economic development”.  It would also replace operative paragraph 20 with the following text:  “Recommends that the 2012 Review Conference assess and, as necessary, strengthen the follow-up mechanism of the Programme of Action”.


The Committee rejected the amendments contained in L.61 by a recorded vote of 19 in favour to 54 against, with 70 abstentions.


The Committee then turned to the draft resolution on the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects (document A/C.1/65/L.32), which would have the Assembly underlinethe fact that the issue of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects requires concerted efforts at the national, regional and international levels to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit manufacture, transfer and circulation of small arms and light weapons and that their uncontrolled spread in many regions of the world has a wide range of humanitarian and socio-economic consequences and poses a serious threat to peace, reconciliation, safety, security, stability and sustainable development at the individual, local, national, regional and international levels.


The Assembly would also encourageall initiatives, including those of the United Nations, other international organizations, regional and subregional organizations, non-governmental organizations and civil society, for the successful implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects,and call upon all Member States to contribute towards the continued implementation of the Programme of Action at the national, regional and global levels.


It would further encourageall efforts to build national capacity for the effective implementation of the Programme of Action, including those highlighted in the report of the Fourth Biennial Meeting of States, and decidethat, in conformity with General Assembly resolution 64/50, the open-ended meeting of Governmental experts, convened to address key implementation challenges and opportunities relating to particular issues and themes, including international cooperation and assistance, shall be held in New York from 9 to 13 May 2011.

The Assembly would also calluponall States to implement the International Tracing Instrument by, inter alia, including in their national reports the name and contact information of the national points of contact and information on national marking practices used to indicate country of manufacture and/or country of import, as applicable.  By the draft, the Assembly would also recognize the urgent need to maintain and enhance national controls to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.


Before acting on the draft, a representative of the First Committee secretariat read out, in its entirety, an oral statement in connection with that draft resolution.  The statement, he said, was made in accordance with rule 153 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly.


He said that in operative paragraphs 6, 17, 18 and 20 of the draft, the General Assembly would decide that, in conformity with the General Assembly resolution 64/50, the open-ended meeting of Governmental experts, convened to address key implementation challenges and opportunities relating to particular issues and themes, including international cooperation and assistance, shall be held in New York from 9 to 13 May 2011; recall its decision to convene a conference to review progress made in implementing the Programme of Action, for a period of two weeks in New York in 2012; and decide to convene a preparatory committee for the Review Conference for no longer than a total of five working days in New York in early 2012.


In addition, the Assembly would recognize that, to strengthen the implementation of the Programme of Action, the 2012 Review Conference may consider recommending convening a further open-ended meeting of Governmental experts.  It would recall that the meetings, indicated in operative paragraphs 6 and 17, were mandated by it in its resolution 63/72.  Therefore, resources for the open-ended meeting of the Governmental experts to be held in New York in May 2011 in accordance with operative paragraph 6 of the draft had been already included in the programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011 and the meeting had been included in the calendar of conferences and meetings of the United Nations for 2011.


He said that, regarding convening a conference, for a period of two weeks in New York in 2012, to review progress made in implementing the Programme of Action, as recalled in operative paragraph 17 of the draft, resources required to service the conference, which had been estimated at $429,500 in 2008 before the adoption of draft resolution A/C.1/63/L.57 (General Assembly resolution 63/72), would be considered in the context of the preparation of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013.


He said pursuant to operative paragraph 18 of the present draft, it was envisaged that the preparatory committee would hold one session in New York, for five days, tentatively in March 2012, thus requiring interpretation services from and into six official languages for 10 meetings and the translation into the six official languages for 62 documents, totalling 135,000 words.  The total resources required to service the preparatory committee in 2012 were estimated at $954,400, including $949,400 for meetings and documentation services under section 2, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council Affairs and Conference Management, and $5,000 under section 28D, Office of Central Support Services for costs of sound technical and technical support costs during the meetings.


He also said as, in accordance with operative paragraph 20 of the draft, the General Assembly would recognize that the 2012 Review Conference may consider recommending convening a further open-ended meeting of the Governmental experts.  It was envisaged that the open-ended meeting of the Governmental experts would hold one session in New York for five days and would require interpretation services from and into six official languages for 10 meetings and the translation into the six official languages for 17 documents, totalling 23,000 words.  The total resources required to service the preparatory committee in 2013 were estimated at $272,700, including $267,700 for meetings and document services under section 2, General Assembly and Economic and Social Council Affairs and Conference Management, and $5,000 under section 28D, Office of Central Support Services for costs of sound technical and technical support costs during the meetings.


He concluded by saying that as those requirements were, however, subjected to the conclusions of the 2012 Review Conference, which would consider whether to recommend the convening of a further open-ended meeting of Governmental experts, the Secretary-General would submit updated financial implications through established procedures at a later stage.


The Committee then approved the draft resolution by a vote of 167 in favour to none against, with 1 abstention (Mexico).


The representative of Cuba supported L.32.  Her country was active in the Fourth Biennial Meeting of States.  The draft referred to that meeting’s final document.  The final documents of those meetings should be negotiated with transparency and inclusion. 


The representative of Indonesia said L.32 was a balanced text.  There was an urgent need to address the problem of the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.  Cross-border issues, as well as brokering, marking and tracing, needed attention; continued and vigorous efforts were needed.  His country had voted for the text.


The representative of Iran said, on L.32, that operative paragraph 4 did not reflect the fact that the report was submitted without being negotiated.


The representative of Guyana, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said that the group had voted in favour of L.32.  She was committed to multilateralism.


The representative of Mexico said his delegation had abstained in that vote because it regretted that discussions did not produce language that could be agreed upon.  The quest for consensus should be addressed in the future.  Mexico reiterated its full commitment to the Programme of Action, which would save thousands of lives around the world.


The representative of Kazakhstan said that the Treaty on the nuclear-weapon- free zone in Central Asia did not have a short name; its full name should be included in all United Nations documents.


The Committee then adopted a programme of work (document A/C.1/65/CRP.4) by consensus.


Committee Chairman MILOŠ KOTEREC (Slovakia), in concluding remarks, noted that this year, the Committee had finished its work in four weeks with 23 meetings.  Statements had been made by 107 delegations in the General Debate, and 98 delegations had intervened in the thematic discussions.  The Committee had approved 55 draft resolutions and three draft decisions.  Twenty draft resolutions had been approved by a recorded vote and 35 draft resolutions and three decisions had been approved without a vote.


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For information media • not an official record