5 December 2013
General Assembly
GA/11463

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

Sixty-eighth General Assembly

Plenary

60th Meeting (AM)


Capping Intensive Disarmament Committee Session, General Assembly Adopts 53 Texts


on Wide Range of Pressing International Security Concerns

 


The General Assembly, acting on the recommendations of its First Committee (Disarmament and International Security), adopted 53 texts today, reflecting both the common and divergent positions that had emerged during the session on such critical issues as nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, mainstreaming humanitarian concerns in that process, implementing the Arms Trade Treaty, and broadening the scope of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms.


Along with its 19 drafts on nuclear disarmament, including 17 resolutions and two decisions, the Assembly followed closely the Committee’s voting pattern in its passage of a raft of texts on a range of other issues, including women and disarmament, confidence-building measures in the regional and subregional context, preventing an outer space arms race, strengthening the chemical and biological weapons treaties and preventing terrorists from acquiring those weapons.


Expressing deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from the use of nuclear weapons, the Assembly, in a draft resolution on unitedaction towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, called on nuclear-weapon States to undertake further efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons, deployed and non-deployed, including through unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral measures.


By further terms of that broad text, it urged all States that had not yet done so to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and it reiterated its call for the immediate commencement of negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.  It adopted that resolution by a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 14 abstentions.


Prior to passage of the text as a whole, five separate recorded votes were taken, including on operative paragraph 2, which reaffirmed the vital importance of the universality of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and called upon all States not party to that Treaty to accede to it as non‑nuclear-weapon States promptly and without conditions.  That paragraph was retained by a recorded vote of 176 in favour to 3 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Israel), with 3 abstentions ( Bhutan, Mauritania, Pakistan).


A further contested provision, operative paragraph 8, which urged all States that had not yet done so to sign and ratify the CTBT at the earliest opportunity and reaffirmed the importance of the continued development of its verification regime, was retained by a recorded vote of 178 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 3 abstentions (India, Mauritania, Syria).

Operative paragraph 9, which calls for the immediate commencement of negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, was retained by a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 3 against ( China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Pakistan), with 7 abstentions ( Ecuador, India, Iran, Israel, Mauritania, Syria, Zimbabwe).


Likewise, operative paragraph 17, which stressed the importance of the universalization of the comprehensive safeguards agreements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and strongly reaffirming the follow-on action of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, was upheld by a recorded vote of 174 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 7 abstentions (Argentina, Brazil, India, Iran, Israel, Mauritania, Pakistan).


A new resolution emerged this session, on follow-up to the 2013 High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament.  By a recorded vote of 137 in favour to 28 against, with 20 abstentions, the Assembly called for the urgent commencement of negotiations, in the Conference on Disarmament, for the early conclusion of a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons.  It decided to convene a United Nations high-level international conference on nuclear disarmament no later than 2018 to review progress made and declared 26 September as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.


The following texts also took recorded votes in the nuclear weapons cluster: risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East; follow-up to nuclear disarmament obligations agreed at past NPT Review Conferences; towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments; reducing nuclear danger; nuclear weapons convention; follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of nuclear weapons; Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty; taking forward multilateral disarmament negotiations; fissile material cut-off treaty; nuclear disarmament; and conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of such weapons.


Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted texts on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East; missiles; Treaty on the South-East Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (Bangkok Treaty); consolidation of the regime established by the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco); African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Treaty; and prohibition of the dumping of radioactive wastes.


On other weapons of mass destruction, the Assembly adopted both texts on the Biological and Chemical Weapons Convention without votes; as well as a resolution urging all Member States to take and strengthen national measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.


 Regarding the disarmament aspects of outer space, the Assembly adopted the two resolutions recommended by the First Committee.  It adopted a text on transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities without a vote.  The resolution on preventing an arms race in outer space was adopted by a recorded vote of 180 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions ( Israel, United States).  Among its terms, the Assembly invited the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament to establish a working group under that agenda item as early as possible during its 2014 session.


On conventional weapons, a draft on transparency in armaments drew 10 separate recorded votes.  Among its terms, the Assembly reaffirmed its decision to keep the scope of and participation of the Register of Conventional Arms under review and, to that end, requested the Secretary-General, with the assistance of a group of governmental experts to be convened in 2016, to prepare a report on the Register’s continuing operation and relevance and its further development.


The draft resolution as a whole was adopted by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to none against, with 28 abstentions. Prior to its passage, separate recorded votes were taken on the sixth and seventh preambular paragraphs, and operative paragraphs 3, 5, 6(a), 6(b), 6 and 8.


In the category of other disarmament measures and international security, the Assembly considered a draft resolution on national legislation on the transfer of arms, military equipment and dual-use goods and technology, which required four separate votes for adoption.  A text on promotion of multilateralism in the areas of disarmament and non-proliferation also required a vote in that cluster.


Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted texts on women, disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control; review of the implementation of the Declaration on Strengthening of International Security; observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control; relationship between disarmament and development; role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament; developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security; and objective information on military matters, including transparency of military expenditures.


Texts were also adopted in the area of regional disarmament and security, including on conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels, which required several recorded votes, and another on implementation of the Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace, also taking a recorded vote.


Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted related resolutions on strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region; regional disarmament; confidence-building measures at the regional and subregional levels; and regional confidence-building measures: activities of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa.


Regarding the disarmament machinery, the Assembly acted without a vote to adopt draft resolutions on the Report of the Disarmament Commission; the United Nations regional centres for peace and disarmament; the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific; United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean; United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa; and Report of the Conference on Disarmament.  Also adopted without a vote was a draft decision on revitalizing the work of the Conference on Disarmament and taking forward multilateral disarmament negotiations.


Prior to its consideration of the Disarmament Committee’s reports, the Assembly adopted without a vote a draft resolution contained in the Report of the Credentials Committee (document A/68/630), following which the representative of Iran said that the delegation had joined consensus on the resolution, but it did not recognize the Israeli regime.


In other business, the Assembly considered a note of the Secretary-General (document A/68/91) concerning an appointment to the Committee on Conferences and, on the recommendation of the Groups of the African States, Asia-Pacific States and the Western European and Other States — Denmark, Japan, Mauritania, Qatar, United Republic of Tanzania and United States were appointed as members of that Committee for a period of three years beginning 1 January 2014.


Committee Rapporteur Khodadad Seifi Pargou ( Iran) introduced the First Committee’s reports.


Statements in explanation of vote across the clusters of draft resolutions and decisions were made by the representatives of Israel, Iran, Egypt, Russian Federation, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Arab Group.


During the course of the voting, the Secretariat announced that the draft resolution contained in the report on Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security (document A/68/406) would be considered following a review of any budgetary implications by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).


Background


The General Assembly met to consider reports of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) and to take action on the draft resolutions and draft decisions contained therein.


It was also expected to consider a note of the Secretary-General on the Committee on Conferences (document A/68/91), as well as a draft resolution contained in the Report of the Credentials Committee (document A/68/630).


Action on First Committee Texts


Committee Rapporteur KHODADAD SEIFI PARGOU ( Iran) then introduced the Committee’s reports summarizing the voting results on them in the First Committee.


The Assembly first took up the report on the Reduction of military budgets (documents A/68/401) containing a draft resolution entitled Objective information on military matters, including transparency of military expenditures.


The Assembly then adopted that draft text without a vote.


Then it took up the report on Implementation of the Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace (document A/68/402), containing a draft resolution of the same name, by which it reiterated its conviction that the participation of all permanent members of the Security Council and the major maritime users of the Indian Ocean in the work of the Ad Hoc Committee was important and would greatly facilitate the development of a mutually beneficial dialogue to advance peace, security and stability in the Indian Ocean region.


The Assembly adopted the draft text by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 4 against ( France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 45 abstentions.


Taking up a report on African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (document A/68/403), it adopted the draft resolution contained therein without a vote.  By so doing, the Assembly called on African States that had not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty as soon as possible, and on African States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) that had not yet done so to conclude comprehensive safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) pursuant to that Treaty.


Next, the Assembly took up a report 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/68/404) containing a draft resolution by which it urged countries of the region that had not yet done so to sign or deposit their instruments of ratification to the Treaty’s amendments. 


The Assembly adopted the resolution without a vote.


It then took up a report on the Review of the implementation of the Declaration on the Strengthening of International Security (document A/68/405), adopting without a vote the draft decision contained therein.


The Secretariat announced that the draft resolution contained in the report on Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security (document A/68/406) would be considered following a review by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) of any budgetary implications of the text.


It next adopted, without a vote, the resolution contained in the report on the Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East (document A/68/407), by which it urged all parties directly concerned seriously to consider taking the practical and urgent steps required for the implementation of the proposal to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East.  The Assembly called on all countries of the region that had not yet done so, pending the establishment of the zone, to agree to place all their nuclear activities under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.


Following action on that text, the representative of Israel said his delegation had joined consensus as it remained committed to the eventual development of a Middle East zone free of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.  But that issue could be realistically addressed in a regional context only and by a step-by-step approach that included reconciliation among all States in the region.  Confidence-building and trust were essential preconditions towards establishment of such a verifiable zone free of mass destruction weapons and their delivery systems.  A comprehensive, durable and regional peace and the full compliance of all States with their non-proliferation obligations were also crucial.  Unfortunately, no regional dialogue existed at present in the Middle East to, among others, focus on tangible security threats.  He expressed hope that the positive implications of the democratization process budding in the region would help create an atmosphere based on trust.


The Assembly then took up a report on the Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons (document A/68/408) containing a draft resolution reaffirming 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.  By a further provision, it appealed 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.


By a recorded vote of 127 in favour to none against, with 57 abstentions, the Assembly adopted the draft resolution.


The Assembly took up a report on Prevention of an arms race in outer space(document A/68/409) containing a draft resolution by which it urged States conducting activities in outer space, as well as States interested in conducting such activities, to keep the Conference on Disarmament informed of the progress of bilateral and multilateral negotiations on the matter. 


It adopted the resolution by a recorded vote of 180 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions ( Israel, United States).


The Assembly then took up a report on the Role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament (document A/68/410), adopting the draft decision contained therein to include the item in the provisional agenda of its sixty-ninth session.


Next, the Assembly turned to the 27 draft resolutions and 2 draft decisions contained in the report on General and complete disarmament (document A/68/411).


It then adopted draft resolution I on Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to none against, with 19 abstentions. The text reaffirmed the Assembly’s determination to put an end to the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines, which killed or injured thousands of innocent people every year, and invite all States that had not signed the Convention to accede to it without delay.


It then took up a draft resolution II on the Arms Trade Treaty, by which it welcomed the instrument’s adoption and called upon States that had not yet done so to sign and ratify, accept or approve it at the earliest possible date.


Separate votes were requested on two paragraphs of the draft text.


The first, operative paragraph 1, was adopted by a recorded vote of 153 in favour, none against and 28 abstentions.


The Assembly then adopted on operative paragraph 3 by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to none against and 29 abstentions.


The Assembly adopted the resolution as a whole by a recorded vote of 152 in favour to none against, with 29 abstentions.


It then adopted draft resolution III on Follow-up to the 2013 High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament by a recorded vote of 137 in favour to 28 against, with 20 abstentions, by which it called for the urgent commencement of negotiations, in the Conference on Disarmament, for the early conclusion of a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons.  It decided to convene a United Nations high-level international conference on nuclear disarmament no later than 2018 to review progress made, and declared 26 September as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.


Resolution IV on Women, disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control was adopted without a vote. By its terms, the Assembly, recognizing the valuable contribution of women to practical disarmament measures, urged Member States to support and strengthen women’s effective participation in the field of disarmament at local, national, subregional and regional levels.


Also acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution V on Assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and collecting them without a vote.  Deeply concerned by the magnitude of human casualty and suffering, especially among children, caused by the illicit proliferation and use of small arms and light weapons, it encouraged cooperation among State organs, international organizations and civil society in combating the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons, and called on the international community to provide technical and financial support towards that goal.


Next, the Assembly turned to draft resolution VI on Follow-up to Nuclear Disarmament Obligations Agreed to at the 1995, 2000 and 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.


Among it terms, the Assembly would call on States to reduce their nuclear arsenals, increase transparency, further reduce non-strategic nuclear weapons, further reduce the operational status of nuclear-weapons systems, decrease the role for nuclear weapons in security policies and engage in the process leading to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons.  It would urge NPT States parties to follow up on the implementation of their Treaty obligations as agreed at the 1995, 2000 and 2010 Review Conferences.


The Assembly first voted on preambular paragraph 6, retaining it by a  recorded vote of 124 in favour to 5 against ( Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Palau, United States), with 50 abstentions.


It retained preambular paragraph 9 by a recorded vote of 125 in favour to 5 against ( Canada, France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 47 abstentions. 


It adopted the resolution as a whole by a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 53 against, with 9 abstentions ( Armenia, China, India, Malawi, Morocco, Nauru, Pakistan, Samoa, Togo).


Acting without a vote, it next adopted draft resolution VII on Observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control. By its terms, the Assembly reaffirmed that international disarmament forums should take fully into account relevant environmental norms in negotiating treaties and agreements on disarmament and arms limitation.  It called on States to adopt measures to ensure the application of scientific and technological progress within the framework of international security and related spheres, without detriment to the environment or to attaining sustainable development.

It adopted draft resolution VIII on Relationship between disarmament and development, also without a vote, by which it stressed the central role of the United Nations in that context and urged the international community to devote part of resources made available by disarmament and arms limitation agreements to economic and social development, with a view to reducing the ever-widening gap between developed and developing countries. 


It then adopted draft resolution IX on Promotion of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation by a recorded vote of 127 in favour to 5 against (Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Palau, United Kingdom, United States), with 52 abstentions. According to that text, the Assembly reaffirmed multilateralism as the core principle in resolving disarmament and non-proliferation concerns, and requested State parties to relevant instruments to cooperate in cases of non-compliance and to refrain from resorting or threatening to resort to unilateral actions or directing unverified non-compliance accusations against each other.


Turning to draft resolution X, entitled Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: accelerating implementation of the nuclear disarmament commitments, it first took a recorded vote on operative paragraph 9, retaining it by 168 in favour to 5 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Israel, Pakistan, United States), with 3 abstentions (Bhutan, France, United States).


By a recorded vote of 172 in favour to 4 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Israel, Russian Federation, United States), with 4 abstentions (France, India, Pakistan, United Kingdom), it retained operative paragraph 11.


It adopted the resolution as a whole by a recorded vote of 171 in favour to 7 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Israel, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States), with 5 abstentions (Bhutan, China, Federated States of Micronesia, Pakistan, Palau). By the text, the Assembly urged all States to work together to overcome obstacles within the international disarmament machinery and to immediately implement the three specific recommendations of the 2010 Review Conference Action Plan.  It also urged the Conference on Disarmament to commence without delay its substantive work to advance the agenda of nuclear disarmament.


It then adopted draft resolution XI on Reducing nuclear danger by a recorded vote of 125 in favour to 50 against, with 10 abstentions (Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, China, Georgia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Serbia, Uzbekistan), by which it called for a review of nuclear doctrines as well as for immediate and urgent steps to reduce the risks of unintentional and accidental use of nuclear weapons, including through de‑alerting and de-targeting nuclear weapons.  It requested the five nuclear-weapon States to take measures towards implementing the text.


It then adopted draft resolution XII on Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction without a vote, thereby urging all Member States to take and strengthen national measures, as appropriate, to prevent terrorists from acquiring those weapons, their means of delivery and materials and technologies related to their manufacture.


It adopted Draft resolution V on Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons by a recorded vote of 133 in favour to 24 against, with 25 abstentions. By so doing, it recognized that the only defence against a nuclear catastrophe was the total elimination of those weapons and the certainty that they would never be produced again.  Also by that text, the Assembly underlined the unanimous conclusion of the Court that there existed an obligation to pursue negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament.  It called on States to immediately fulfil that obligation by commencing multilateral negotiations leading to the early conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention.


It next turned to draft resolution XIV on Transparency in armaments, for which 10 separate recorded votes were requested.


By 142 in favour to none against, with 36 abstentions, the Assembly retained preambular paragraph 6 of the text.


It retained preambular paragraph 7 by a recorded vote of 143 in favour to none against, with 36 abstentions.


Next, it upheld operative paragraph 3 by a recorded vote of 150 in favour to none against, with 30 abstentions.


Operative paragraph 4 was retained by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to none against, with 25 abstentions.


Then, operative paragraph 5 was upheld by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to none against, with 26 abstentions.


Separate votes were requested for two subparagraphs of operative paragraph 6. 


The first, operative paragraph 6 (a) was retained by a recorded vote of 155 in favour to none against, with 27 abstentions.


Operative paragraph 6 (b) was upheld by a recorded vote of 155 in favour to none against, with 26 abstentions.


The Assembly then voted to retain operative paragraph 6 as a whole by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to none against, with 28 abstentions.


Operative paragraph 8 was also retained, by a recorded vote of 158 in favour to none against, with 24 abstentions.


Finally, draft resolution VIX as a whole was adopted by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to none against, with 28 abstentions.


Among its terms, the Assembly reaffirmed its determination to ensure the effective operation of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, as well as its decision, with a view to the Register’s further development, to keep the scope of and participation in it under review and, to that end, requested, among others, the Secretary-General, with the assistance of a group of governmental experts to be convened in 2016, to prepare a report on the Register’s continuing operation and relevance and its further development.


Turning to a draft resolution XV on National legislation on transfer of arms, military equipment and dual-use goods and technology, it first adopted preambular paragraph 7 by a recorded vote of 162 in favour to none against, with 17 abstentions.


Next, it adopted preambular paragraph 8 by a recorded vote of 162 in favour to none against, with 14 abstentions.


The Assembly adopted operative paragraph 1 by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to none against, with 13 abstentions.


It adopted the resolution as a whole by a recorded vote of 177 in favour to none against, with 4 abstentions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Syria, Uganda).  The resolution, by its terms, had the Assembly invite Member States to enact or improve national legislation, regulations and procedures to exercise effective control over the transfer of arms, military equipment and dual‑use goods and technology, as well as encourage them to voluntarily provide information to the Secretary-General on such measures.


Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XVI on Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, by which it stressed the importance to the Convention that all possessors of chemical weapons, chemical weapons production or development facilities, including previously declared possessor States, should be among the treaty’s States parties.


The Assembly then adopted draft resolution XVII on Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations by a recorded vote of 158 in favour to 4 against (France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States), with 20 abstentions.  By so doing, it emphasized that the universal objective of taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament remained the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons and also emphasized the importance of addressing issues related to nuclear weapons in a comprehensive, interactive and constructive manner for the advancement of multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations.


When it turned to draft resolution XVIII entitled Nuclear disarmament, it first took a recorded vote on operative paragraph 16, retaining it by 176 in favour to 2 against (Pakistan, United Kingdom), with 4 abstentions (Armenia, France, Israel, Russian Federation).


The Assembly adopted the resolution as a whole by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to 44 against, with 17 abstentions, by which it recognized that there now existed conditions for the establishment of a world free of nuclear weapons.  Among its other terms, the text urged nuclear-weapon States to immediately stop qualitative improvement, development, production and stockpiling of nuclear warheads and their delivery systems, and to commence plurilateral negotiations among themselves to further deeply reduce nuclear weapons.


It then adopted draft resolution XIX on The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects without a vote, by which it encouraged all relevant initiatives 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 called on all States to implement the International Tracing Instrument.


Also without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XX on the Treaty on the South-East Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (Bangkok Treaty), by which it encouraged States parties to continue to engage nuclear-weapon States to resolve comprehensively outstanding issues with a view to signing the Protocol.


It then adopted draft resolution XXI on Transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities, also without a vote, by which it decided to refer the recommendations of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to the Disarmament Commission and Conference on Disarmament.  Also by the text, the Assembly would encourage Member States to review and implement the proposed such measures contained in the Report of the Group of Governmental Experts.


Draft resolution XXII on United action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons required five separate recorded votes.  The first was on operative paragraph 2, which was retained by 176 in favour to 3 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Israel), with 3 abstentions (Bhutan, Mauritania, Pakistan).


Next, operative paragraph 8 was retained by a recorded vote of 178 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 3 abstentions ( India, Mauritania, Syria).


Following that, operative paragraph 9 was upheld by a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 3 against ( China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Pakistan), with 7 abstentions ( Ecuador, India, Iran, Israel, Mauritania, Syria, Zimbabwe).


Operative paragraph 17 was retained by a recorded vote of 174 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 7 abstentions ( Argentina, Brazil, India, Iran, Israel, Mauritania, Pakistan).


The resolution as a whole was adopted by a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 14 abstentions.  Among the terms of that wide-ranging text, the Assembly called on nuclear-weapon States to undertake further efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons, deployed and non-deployed, including through unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral measures.


Next, acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XXIII on Problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus, by which it encouraged interested States to voluntarily assess whether, in conformity with their legitimate security needs, parts of their stockpiles of conventional ammunition should be considered surplus and recognized that the security of such stockpiles must be taken into consideration.  The Assembly further encouraged States to implement the recommendations of the Group of Governmental Experts pursuant to resolution 61/72 and encouraged States wishing to improve their stockpile management capacity to use the “SaferGuard” mechanism.


Draft resolution XXIV on Prohibition of the dumping of radioactive waste was adopted without a vote.  By that text, the Assembly expressed grave concern regarding any use of nuclear wastes that would constitute radiological warfare and have grave implications for the national security of all States, and called on States to prevent any dumping of nuclear or radioactive wastes that would infringe upon the sovereignty of States.


The Assembly then adopted draft resolution XXV on Regional disarmament, also without a vote.  By so doing, it stressed that sustained efforts were needed, within the framework of the Conference on Disarmament and under the umbrella of the United Nations, to make progress on the entire range of disarmament issues.  It called on States to conclude agreements, wherever possible, for nuclear non‑proliferation, disarmament and confidence-building measures.


It also adopted resolution XXVI on Confidence-building measures in the regional and subregional context without a vote, thereby urging States to comply strictly with all bilateral, regional and international agreements, including arms control and disarmament agreements.  It emphasized that the objective of confidence-building measures should be to help strengthen international peace and security and to be consistent with the principle of undiminished security at the lowest level of armaments.


When it turned to draft resolution XXVII on Conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels, itfirst retained the text’s operative paragraph 2 by a recorded vote of 145 in favour to 2 against (India, Kiribati), with 35 abstentions. 


The resolution as a whole was adopted by a recorded vote of 182 in favour to 1 against ( India), with 2 abstentions ( Bhutan, Russian Federation).  By its terms, the Assembly, among other things, held that an important objective of conventional arms control in regions of tension should be to prevent the possibility of military attack launched by surprise and to avoid aggression.


The Assembly then turned to draft decisions before it, first adopting decision I on Missiles by which it decided, without a vote, to include the item in the provisional agenda of its next session.


It then adopted draft decision II on a Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices to include the item in the provisional agenda of its next session, by recorded vote of 179 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 5 abstentions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Israel, Syria, Zimbabwe).


Speaking after that action, the representative of Israel said that the compliance of States with their international nuclear non-proliferation obligations, an essential prerequisite for the proposed fissile material cut-off treaty, was far from proven.  Indeed, several States in the Middle East had an exceptional track record of non-compliance.


The representative of Iran said it had joined the consensus on that text only in relation to the document’s procedural nature.  Iran’s position on banning fissile material and other nuclear explosive devices was clear.  The most serious threat to international peace and security and the survival of civilization was the continued existence of and proliferation of nuclear weapons.  There were no legal, political or security reasons to justify their continued presence.  He strongly supported their total elimination, which was the only guarantee against their use.  The best and first way to achieve that goal was through the early conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention that was irreversible and transparent. 


He also strongly supported the call to the Assembly in draft resolution II in document A/68/412 for adoption of a balanced, comprehensive programme of work in the Conference on Disarmament towards a comprehensive nuclear weapons convention.  He felt that any instrument banning the production of fissile material and providing for its total elimination should be comprehensive and non‑discriminatory; cover the past, present and future production; and provide for the declaration and total elimination of all stockpiles by a fixed date.  Further, it should oblige all nuclear-weapons-holding States and parties to completely end production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and to declare and destroy all such stockpiles in a transparent and internationally verifiable manner.


The representative of Egypt said the treaty was important step towards nuclear disarmament.  Assembly resolution 67/53 did not provide for adequate clearing of stockpiles and lacked vital operative language.  He welcomed the establishment of a governmental expert group to make recommendations on the proposed text.  Egypt was keen to contribute substantively to those deliberations to ensure that the Treaty took into consideration both nuclear disarmament and non-nuclear proliferation objectives. 


The Assembly then took up the report on the Review and implementation of the Concluding Document of the Twelfth Special Session of the General Assembly (document A/68/412), which contained six draft resolutions.


The Assembly adopted draft resolution I on United Nations regional centres for peace and disarmament without a vote.


It then adopted draft resolution II on the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons by a vote of 126 in favour, 49 against, with 9 abstentions ( Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Japan, Malawi, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Serbia, Uzbekistan).


Acting without a vote, it adopted draft resolution III on the  United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and disarmament in Asia and the Pacific; draft resolution IV on the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean; draft resolution V on the United Nations Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa; and draft resolution VI on Regional confidence-building measures: Activities of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa.


Taking up the report on the Review of the implementation of the recommendations and decisions adopted by the General Assembly at the tenth special session (document A/68/413), the Assembly had before it two draft resolutions.


It adopted both — draft resolution I on the Report of the Disarmament Commission and draft resolution II on the Report of the Conference on Disarmament,without a vote.


Following that action, the representative of the Russian Federation said that Tajikistan joined the statement of likeminded States on the Conference on Disarmament.


The Assembly then took up a report on the Risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East (document A/68/414), which contained a draft resolution of the same name that required three separate recorded votes. 


The first was on preambular paragraph 5, which was retained by a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 2 against ( India, Israel), with 2 abstentions ( Bhutan, Pakistan).


Next, preambular paragraph 6 was retained by a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 2 against ( India, Israel), with 2 abstentions ( Bhutan, Pakistan).


The Assembly then adopted the draft resolution as a whole by 169 in favour to 5 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Palau, United States), with 6 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, India, Panama).


By its terms, the Assembly emphasized the need for all parties to take practical and urgent steps to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and call upon Israel to accede to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty without further delay.  It also called on that State not to develop, produce, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons, to renounce the possession of nuclear weapons and to place all its unsafeguarded nuclear facilities under full-scope Agency safeguards as an important confidence-building measure among all States of the region and as a step towards enhancing peace and security.


Israel’s delegate said his country wondered if the distance between New York and the Middle East had been unnaturally stretched.  With four of five cases of non-compliance in the Middle East, Israel’s safety was challenged.  It also showed how some States treated their commitments in the international arena.  He said his country expected that the cases of Iran and Syria would have been included in the draft text.  He called upon all delegates to remain “undistracted” about the true situation in the region.


Iran’s representative said his country had voted in favour of the draft text, adding that there was only one obstacle to the establishment of such a zone in the Middle East.  Despite repeated calls by the international community, including by the IAEA, Israel had still not acceded to the Treaty on the Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.  The failure to convene a 2012 conference on establishing the Middle East zone challenged the credibility of the non‑proliferation regime.  There should be no further delays in holding such as conference and in establishing such a zone.


The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said he had joined the consensus on the text for the termination of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.  Responding to the statement made by Israel’s representative, he said the Assembly was discussing proliferation in the Middle East and not in Asia.  Therefore, there was no reason for Israel to name the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  Doing so was totally misleading.  Israel was a nuclear-weapon State, yet it would never answer questions about its position on nuclear weapons manufacturing.  Rather, its policy was to never confirm nor deny.  Israel manufactured weapons under the total umbrella of the United States, which had a double standard of always pointing to the nuclear weapons of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea but never to those of Israel.  


The Assembly then took up a report on the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (document A/68/415), which contained a draft resolution calling on States that had yet to do so to take all measures to become parties to that Convention as soon as possible.


Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted the draft text.


The Assembly then turned to a report on Strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region (document A/68/416), which contained a draft resolution, also adopted without a vote.


Turning the resolution on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) contained in a report by the same name (document A/68/417), the Assembly first voted to retain preambular paragraph 6 by 178 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 4 abstentions (India, Israel, Pakistan, Mauritius).


Then, by a recorded vote of 181 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 3 abstentions (India, Mauritius, Syria), it adopted the draft resolution as a whole, thereby stressing the vital importance and urgency of signature and ratification of the Treaty, and urging all States not to carry out nuclear weapon test explosions or acts that would defeat its object and purpose.


Israel’s delegate said his country voted in favour of the draft resolution, however, it could not support some of the language in preambular paragraph 6 and operative paragraph 1.  The CTBT and NPT could not be linked, he said.  Israel was dedicated to the Test-Ban Treaty and the enhancement of international peace and security.  Further steps were needed to complete its verification regime, which must be robust and immune to abuse, and allow each State to protect its national security interests. 


The Assembly then took up a report on the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (document A/68/418) and adopted without a vote the draft resolution contained therein.  By so doing, it encouraged States parties to provide appropriate information on their implementation of article X of the Convention and to collaborate to offer assistance or training in support of the legislative and other implementation measures of States parties needed to ensure their compliance.


Next, the Assembly considered a report on Revitalizing the work of the Conference on Disarmament and taking forward multilateral disarmament negotiations (document A/68/419) and adopted without a vote the draft decision it contained.


It next adopted, also without a vote, the draft decisions contained in the reports on the Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/68/589) and the Proposed programme of work and timetable of the First Committee for 2014.  It took note of the report on the First Committee under its item on programme planning (document A/68/420).


Speaking on behalf of the Group of Arab States, Saudi Arabia’s delegate said all countries in the group were party to the NPT and had promoted disarmament in the region.  The international community had backed the Arab initiative to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, yet the 2012 conference on establishing such a zone had been delayed.


He said that the Arab Group had proposed concrete suggestions aimed at creating a nuclear-weapon-free zone that was also free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.  The Group’s member States had participated in relevant meetings as a signal of openness to engage in dialogue to convene the postponed 2012 conference.  Israel was the only party that had not joined the NPT, thereby undermining international peace and security.  It continued to refuse to comply with international resolutions, including regarding a Middle East nuclear‑weapon-free zone.  The Arab Group was reassured that it did not stand alone.  The conference to establish the zone must not be further delayed, and the Group was now asking the General Assembly to speed up the process.


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For information media • not an official record