General Assembly, 2004
The General Assembly took action on 14 draft resolutions and one decision dealing with the subjects discussed in this chapter.
Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation
59/64. Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons
The draft resolution was introduced by Pakistan, on behalf of the sponsors, (see page 2
for the sponsors) on 19 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 27 October (109-0-61) and by the General Assembly on 3 December (118-0-63). For the text of the resolution and the voting see pages 12
The resolution 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. It recommended that the Conference on Disarmament actively continue intensive negotiations with a view to reaching early agreement and concluding effective international arrangements to assure the non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, taking into account the widespread support for the conclusion of an international convention and giving consideration to any other proposals designed to secure the same objective.
In its statement after the vote, the Republic of Korea said that it abstained because it firmly believed that any NNWS that was party to the NPT and in full compliance with its Treaty obligations was entitled to full-fledged negative security assurances by the NWS. However, it did not believe that such negative security assurances should be provided to those parties to the NPT, if they had not fulfilled their Treaty obligations. In its view, the draft resolution continued to ignore that concern.
59/75. Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments
The draft resolution was introduced by Sweden, on behalf of the New Agenda Coalition, (see page 5
for the sponsors) on 19 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 28 October as a whole: (135-5-25) and operative paragraph 2: (153-4-5) and by the General Assembly on 3 December as a whole: (151-6-24) and operative paragraph 2: (169-4-4). For the text of the resolution and the voting see pages 32
Among other things, the resolution called upon States to fully comply with their nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation commitments and not to act in any way that may be detrimental to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation or that may lead to a new nuclear arms race; and to spare no efforts to achieve universal adherence to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in operative paragraph 2. It called upon all States parties to the NPT to accelerate implementation of the practical steps for systematic and progressive efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament agreed upon at the 2000 NPT Review Conference; and called upon the NWS to take further steps to reduce their non-strategic nuclear arsenals and not to develop new types of nuclear weapons, in accordance with their commitment to diminish the role of nuclear weapons in their security policies.
Prior to the vote, China and Spain explained their positions. China would vote affirmatively for both the draft resolution as a whole and operative paragraph 2, despite its reservations about some parts of the text. It underscored the text's failure to reflect the following points: that no first use of nuclear weapons and the prevention of an arms race in outer space would help to promote the nuclear disarmament process; that nuclear transparency was related to an international climate of peace, stability and trust and should be considered in the nuclear disarmament negotiation process; and that the concept and definition of non-strategic nuclear weapons was not clear.
Spain, which voted for operative paragraph 2, but abstained on the draft resolution as a whole, noted that this year's language was more balanced, feasible and likely to garner global consensus, but still needed improvement.
After the vote, France, speaking also on behalf of the United States and the United Kingdom explained that the draft resolution did not sufficiently reflect the progress that had been achieved in nuclear disarmament. The three countries voted against the draft resolution as a whole because they could not accept certain of its elements: mainly, that its contents did not take sufficient account of their full range of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation obligations. Particularly, it did not mention the Moscow Treaty which committed the United States and the Russian Federation to reduce their nuclear arsenals by several thousand warheads over the next decade. The Russian Federation abstained in the vote on the draft resolution as a whole and voted in favor of operative paragraph 2. It pointed out that this year's shorter text omitted the close link between strategic offensive and defensive weapons, the importance of prohibiting the deployment of outer space weapons, and progress in nuclear disarmament in light of its own efforts to reduce and destroy nuclear weapons under the Moscow Treaty. India voted against operative paragraph 2 and abstained on the draft resolution as a whole. For its part, the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free world had to be grounded in the SSOD I Programme of Action - an approach that was not fully reflected in the draft. In that connection, India would have preferred references to the non-first use of nuclear weapons and to the reduction of nuclear dangers, including de-alert measures. Ultimately, India believed that efforts to create a nuclear-weapon-free world would be constrained by the intrinsic inequality and discriminatory framework of NPT obligations as expressed in the draft resolution.
Pakistan voted in favour of the draft resolution because it supported the draft's call for meaningful disarmament measures and its emphasis on the Conference on Disarmament's role in that context. It abstained on operative paragraph 2 for its known stance regarding universal adherence to the NPT. Five States - Colombia, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea and Switzerland - which voted for both the draft resolution as a whole and for operative paragraph 2 explained their votes. Germany emphasized its serious concern about the threat posed by WMD and their delivery systems which NATO had to take into account when maintaining security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region on the basis of its strategic concept. Japan and Switzerland expressed the hope that the draft resolution would create favourable conditions for the 2005 NPT Review Conference. With that in mind, Japan supported the draft resolution's overall objectives, although it did not agree with all its tenets. Switzerland continued to support a realistic and pragmatic approach to disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation and stressed that its position on the draft resolution did not reflect a change in its principles on that matter. The Republic of Korea found this year's text to be balanced and more realistic as it highlighted the nuclear disarmament issues to which it attached importance - universal adherence to the NPT, early entry into force of the CTBT and negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty. Referring to the CTBT in operative paragraph 2, Colombia reiterated its known position that obligations undertaken in treaties signed by its country were binding from the time of ratification only and that it would continue to propose approaches to overcome such constitutional impediments.
59/76. A path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons
The draft resolution was introduced by Japan, on behalf of the sponsors, (see page 5
for the sponsors) on 19 October [A/C.1/59/PV.11, 3]. It was adopted by the First Committee on 28 October (151-2-16) and by the General Assembly on 3 December (165-3-16). For the text of the resolution and the voting see pages 33
The resolution called upon States not parties to the NPT to accede to the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States without delay and without conditions. It invited the nuclear-weapon States to keep the Members of the United Nations duly informed of the progress or efforts made towards nuclear disarmament; and called upon all States to maintain the highest possible standards of security, safe custody, effective control and physical protection of all materials that could contribute to nuclear and WMD proliferation in order to prevent those materials from falling into terrorists' hands.
Prior to the vote, China said that it would abstain because the draft resolution failed to mention some fundamental nuclear disarmament principles and that a few proposed measures were premature for implementation in the current international situation. Iran would also abstain due to the introduction of a significant number of substantive suggestions in the draft resolution which it felt had broad implications for the current nuclear disarmament agenda. It also noted that the stress placed on developing the CTBT verification regime in operative paragraph 8 was incomprehensible since that Treaty was not presently in force.
Two States which cast negative votes explained their positions after the vote. The United States said that it could not vote for the draft because it did not support the CTBT nor would it be a party to it. Turning to the FMCT, while it supported the negotiations, it concluded that such a treaty could not be made effectively verifiable. While India agreed with the draft resolution's objective of eliminating nuclear weapons, nonetheless, it cast a negative vote because the draft contained several NPT elements which India considered to be flawed; moreover, the call on India to join the Treaty as a non-nuclear-weapon State in operative paragraph 1 was unrealistic and unacceptable in its view.
Sweden, speaking on behalf of the NAC, and Pakistan gave their reasons for abstaining in the vote. Pakistan did not agree with several of the draft resolution's provisions. In its view, the inordinate emphasis on non-proliferation instead of nuclear disarmament represented a regression in that area; also, the draft did not represent a path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons which it purported to do. Moreover, as several paragraphs of the draft resolution were rooted in NPT elements, Pakistan could not support it. Sweden, speaking on behalf of the New Agenda Coalition, said that it would abstain because the draft did not reflect the commitments made by the States parties at the 1995 and 2000 NPT Review Conferences in their entirety.
Germany, Syria and Colombia voted affirmatively. Germany fully shared the draft resolution's commitment to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. However, it was concerned that the draft resolution did not reflect the 13 practical steps for nuclear disarmament in their entirety and this would allow for misinterpretation of the commitment to fully implement them. Although Syria supported the draft resolution, it detected some flaws in the text such as its failure to mention the Final Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference and noted that the basic nuclear disarmament principles and the importance of achieving the universality of the NPT were not fully asserted. While Colombia voted in favour of the draft resolution, it drew attention to the paragraphs that mentioned the CTBT and upheld its own familiar situation regarding ratification of the Treaty.
59/77. Nuclear disarmament
The draft resolution was introduced by Myanmar, on behalf of the sponsors, (see page 5
for the sponsors) on 19 October. The revised text was adopted by the First Committee on 1 November (93-42-18) and by the General Assembly on 3 December (117-43-21). For the text of the resolution and the voting see pages 39
The resolution urged the nuclear-weapon States to immediately stop the qualitative improvement, development, production and stockpiling of nuclear warheads and their delivery systems; it also urged them, as an interim measure, to de-alert and deactivate immediately their nuclear weapons and to take other concrete measures to reduce further the operational status of their nuclear-weapon systems; called upon them, pending the achievement of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, to agree on an international and legally-binding joint instrument not to be the first to use nuclear weapons, and called upon all States to conclude an internationally and legally-binding instrument on security assurances of non-use and non-threat of use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States; urged the nuclear-weapon States to commence plurilateral negotiations among themselves at an appropriate stage on further deep reductions of nuclear weapons as an effective measure of nuclear disarmament; urged them to carry out further reductions of non-strategic nuclear weapons, based on unilateral initiatives and as an integral part of the nuclear arms reduction and disarmament process; urged the Conference on Disarmament to agree on a programme of work which included the immediate commencement of negotiations on an effectively verifiable fissile material cut-off treaty with a view to their conclusion within five years; and reiterated its call upon the Conference on Disarmament to establish, on a priority basis, an ad hoc committee to deal with nuclear disarmament early in 2005 and to commence negotiations on a phased programme of nuclear disarmament leading to the eventual total elimination of nuclear weapons.
Two States that voted affirmatively for the draft resolution spoke before the vote. China said that it supported the main thrust of the draft resolution, but that some essential points were not reflected: all nuclear disarmament measures, including interim steps, must follow the principle of maintaining global strategic stability and undiminished security for all countries; the unconditional commitment by all NWS not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States or States in nuclear-weapon-free zones; further substantial, verifiable and irreversible reductions in nuclear weapons of the countries possessing the largest and most advanced nuclear arsenals; and the prevention of the weaponization and arms race in outer space. Cuba believed that the draft resolution appropriately reflected the priority given to nuclear disarmament and also fully supported its call upon the Conference on Disarmament to establish, as the highest priority, an ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament in 2005 and to commence negotiations on a phased programme leading to nuclear disarmament.
After the vote, two States explained their abstentions. India stressed its strong support for the established NAM and G-21 positions on nuclear disarmament, but had to abstain mainly because the draft resolution incorporated NPT elements. Japan firmly believed that steps towards nuclear disarmament should be realistic and progressive with the involvement of the NWS. It, therefore, would have preferred to see a different approach towards the shared goal of nuclear disarmament from that proposed in the draft resolution.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea voted in favor of the draft resolution because it supported its tenets. In its view, the primary task before the international community was the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and that task required Member States to pay due attention to any attempt by certain countries to control legitimate activities under the pretext of so-called proliferation.
59/79. Reducing nuclear danger
The draft resolution was introduced by India, on behalf of the sponsors, (see page 6
for the sponsors) on 19 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 26 October (106-46-16) and by the General Assembly on 3 December (116-46-18). For the text of the resolution and the voting see pages 45
The resolution requested the five nuclear-weapon States to take measures towards the implementation of a review of nuclear doctrines and, in that context, immediate and urgent steps to reduce the risks of unintentional and accidental use of nuclear weapons; and called upon Member States to take the necessary measures to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons in all its aspects and to promote nuclear disarmament, with the objective of eliminating nuclear weapons. It also requested the Secretary-General to intensify efforts and support initiatives that would contribute towards the full implementation of the seven recommendations identified in the report of the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters that would significantly reduce the risk of nuclear war,1
and also to continue to encourage Member States to endeavour to create conditions that would allow the emergence of an international consensus to hold an international conference as proposed in the United Nations Millennium Declaration,2
to identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers, and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session.
59/81. The Conference on Disarmament decision (CD/1547) of 11 August 1998 to establish, under item 1 of its agenda entitled "Cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament", an ad hoc committee to negotiate, on the basis of the report of the Special Coordinator (CD/1299) and the mandate contained therein, a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices
The draft resolution was introduced by Canada, on behalf of the sponsors, (see page 7
for the sponsors) on 19 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 4 November (147-1-2) and by the General Assembly on 3 December (179-2-2). For the text of the resolution and the voting see pages 48
The resolution urged the Conference on Disarmament to agree on a programme of work that included the immediate commencement of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable fissile material cut-off treaty.
Speaking before the vote, Egypt said that it supported the draft resolution because it believed that a cut-off treaty with a scope that included fissile material stockpiles for nuclear weapons' production would be an effective instrument towards nuclear disarmament.
After the vote, several States explained their votes. The United States explained that it continued to support negotiation of an FMCT in the Conference on Disarmament, but had to oppose the draft resolution because of its call for a verification mechanism which it felt was not achievable and attempts to negotiate a verification regime would delay the conclusion of such a treaty.
Two States abstained from the vote. The United Kingdom believed that the wording in the draft resolution divided the international community whereas consensus to quickly move forward should have been the prime objective. Israel stated that in the global context, non-compliance with international obligations and the misuse and unchecked dissemination of nuclear fuel cycle capabilities were among the most pressing challenges in the nuclear non-proliferation field. It believed that an FMCT would not address and would further complicate those challenges, but that priority should be assigned to an effective non-proliferation arrangement pertaining to the nuclear fuel cycle.
Two States that voted in favour of the draft resolution expressed concern that the traditional consensus text had to be put to the vote. The Russian Federation confirmed its readiness to begin discussions on an FMCT in the Conference on Disarmament based on a broad mandate. For its part, France said that it supported FMCT negotiations in the Conference, but the objectives of such a treaty required careful consideration. It also expressed regret that the draft resolution did not note recent developments in that field.
59/83. Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons
The draft resolution was introduced by Malaysia, on behalf of the sponsors, (see page 8
for the sponsors) on 19 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 28 October as a whole: (118-28-21) and operative paragraph 1: (156-3-5) and by the General Assembly on 3 December as a whole: (132-29-24) and operative paragraph 1: (170-5-4). For the text of the resolution and the voting see pages 52
The resolution called once again upon all States to immediately fulfill the obligation under the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by commencing multilateral negotiations leading to an early conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention prohibiting the development, production, testing, deployment, stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination (operative paragraph 1). It also requested all States to inform the Secretary-General of the efforts and measures they had taken on the implementation of the present resolution and nuclear disarmament.
Explaining their affirmative votes for operative paragraph 1 and negative votes for the draft resolution as a whole, the Netherlands, speaking also on behalf of Belgium, Luxembourg, as well as Germany and Norway which associated themselves with its explanation of vote, said that it opposed the draft resolution because it referred to only one element of the International Court's advisory opinion which it felt was indivisible and had to be considered in its entirety. Furthermore, affirming its conviction that nuclear disarmament could only be achieved through a gradual process, the five countries urged the international community to focus on implementing the 13 practical steps to nuclear disarmament of the 2000 NPT Review Conference.
Japan abstained on the draft resolution as a whole because it believed that incremental progress in nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament should be made before embarking upon the multilateral negotiations that the draft resolution called upon all States to commence.
59/94. Bilateral strategic nuclear arms reductions and the new strategic framework
The draft resolution was introduced by the Russian Federation, on behalf of the sponsors, (see page 12
for the sponsors) on 20 October. It was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 3 November and by the General Assembly on 3 December. For the text of the resolution see page 70
Among other things, the resolution acknowledged the contribution that the United States of America and the Russian Federation had made to nuclear disarmament by reducing their deployed strategic warheads by about half since the end of the cold war. It also invited those two States to keep other States Members of the United Nations duly informed of their nuclear reduction activities.
Cuba reiterated that the bilateral negotiations and commitments set out by the two States in the Moscow Treaty should not replace multilateral disarmament negotiations among nuclear-weapon States, and it reaffirmed that agreements to reduce or eliminate such weapons should always be transparent, verifiable and irreversible. Turning to NPT compliance issues, Cuba believed that negotiations on a multilateral convention on nuclear disarmament that included the elements of disarmament, non-proliferation in all its aspects, verification, cooperation and assistance should begin in the Conference on Disarmament.
Other States that spoke after the vote maintained that reductions in the deployments and operational status mentioned in the draft resolution could not substitute for irreversible cuts in and the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Sweden, speaking on behalf of the New Agenda Coalition,3
remarked that it was difficult for the Assembly to confirm or verify the exact numbers and figures of those reductions as stated in the draft resolution adding that the NAC looked forward to a more thorough review of the implementation of NPT obligations and commitments, including the 13 practical steps for nuclear disarmament at the 2005 NPT Review Conference. Indonesia said that the reductions mentioned in the draft resolution did not meet the unequivocal undertaking by the two States under Article VI of the NPT, since new nuclear weapons and possibly renewed nuclear testing were on the horizon and the timeframe for the dismantlement and destruction of the remaining nuclear weapons was still unclear.
59/102. Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons
The draft resolution was introduced by India, on behalf of the sponsors, (see page 15
for the sponsors) on 19 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 26 October (111-46-12) and by the General Assembly on 3 December (125-48-12). For the text of the resolution and the voting see pages 86
The resolution reiterated the General Assembly's request for the Conference on Disarmament to commence negotiations in order to reach agreement on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances; and requested the Conference to report to the General Assembly on the results of those negotiations.
59/106. The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East
The draft resolution was introduced by Egypt, on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the League of Arab States, (see page 16
for the sponsors) on 19 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 27 October as a whole: (157-4-8) and preambular paragraph 6: (154-3-4) and by the General Assembly on 3 December as a whole: (170-5-9) and preambular paragraph 6: (169-6-4). For the text of the resolution and the voting see pages 91
The resolution reaffirmed the importance of Israel's accession to the Treaty on the NPT and called upon that State to accede to the Treaty without further delay and not to develop, produce, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons, and to renounce possession of nuclear weapons, and to place all its unsafeguarded nuclear facilities under full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards as an important confidence-building measure among all States of the region and as a step towards enhancing peace and security. It also requested the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session on the implementation of the resolution.
Prior to the vote, Israel, which cast negative votes for both the draft resolution as a whole and preambular paragraph 6, called the draft resolution one-sided, contentious and divisive and said it undermined confidence between the States of the region. It asserted that its text ignored evidence that States in the Middle East were not compliant with their international treaty obligations, obtained nuclear technology for military purposes under false pretexts, showed profound hostility towards Israel and refused to maintain any form of peaceful reconciliation and coexistence with it. In its view, adopting a resolution that did not reflect this reality and singled out Israel was counterproductive to confidence-building and peace in the region and did not give the First Committee any credibility. Israel concluded that resolutions regarding the complex arms control problems in the Middle East should focus on objective ways to address them as they existed which the draft resolution did not do.
After the vote, two States explained their abstentions. India said that it abstained from the two votes because it believed that the focus of the draft was not limited to the region that it intended to address. It also underscored that the draft resolution's call for universalization of the NPT was at variance with the principle that States should adhere to treaties considered to be in consonance with their national interests based on their freely exercised sovereign choice. Voting in favor of preambular paragraph 6, but abstaining from the draft as a whole, Australia, explained that it had some substantial difficulties, notably the draft resolution's emphasis on the State of Israel with no reference to other Middle East States of nuclear proliferation concern.
59/514. United Nations conference to identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers in the context of nuclear disarmament
The draft decision was introduced by Mexico, on 19 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 26 October (119-6-41) and by the General Assembly on 3 December (138-5-38). For the text of the decision and the voting see pages 101
By the terms of the draft decision, the General Assembly decided to include in the provisional agenda of its sixtieth session the item entitled "United Nations conference to identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers in the context of nuclear disarmament".
Before the vote, Germany indicated that it would abstain because it did not consider appropriate a United Nations conference at this juncture as called for in the draft decision. In that regard, it highlighted other priorities such as the full implementation of the 13 practical steps to implement article VI of the NPT and negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a fissile material cut-off treaty.
Issues related to the CTBT
59/109. Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
The draft resolution was introduced by New Zealand, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 17
for the sponsors) on 19 October. The revised draft resolution was adopted by the First Committee on 1 November (147-1-4) and by the General Assembly on 3 December (177-2-4). For the text of the resolution and the voting see pages 97
The resolution called upon all States to maintain their moratoria on nuclear-weapons test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and to refrain from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the Treaty; it also called upon all States that had not yet signed the Treaty to sign and ratify it as soon as possible; and further called upon all States that had signed but not yet ratified the Treaty, in particular those whose ratification was needed for its entry into force, to accelerate their ratification processes at the earliest. It then requested the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, to prepare a report on the efforts of States that had ratified the Treaty towards its universalization and possibilities for providing assistance on ratification procedures to States that so requested it, and to submit such a report to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session.
Before the vote, two States explained their affirmative votes. The Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union (EU) and a group of countries4
that aligned themselves with its explanation of vote, reiterated the importance of the Treaty's early entry into force and urged all States to abide by a moratorium and to refrain from any actions that were contrary to the letter and spirit of the Treaty. Israel said that it attached importance to the CTBT's objectives, but had reservations regarding the wording in operative paragraph 1. It underscored that progress was still pending on important issues such as: the verification regime, the resolution of political issues related to the Middle East and South Asian regions and reversal of the negative dynamics evolving in the ME where certain States signatories were not fully cooperative with efforts to complete and test the international monitoring element of the verification regime.
Several States explained their votes after the vote. The United States, which voted against the draft resolution, reiterated its established stance of not supporting the CTBT, nor becoming a party to it. However, it said that it would maintain its 1992 moratorium on nuclear testing and urged all States to maintain their existing nuclear testing moratoria.
The Syrian Arab Republic abstained from the voting because it felt that the Treaty ignored the legitimate concerns of NNWS, provided them with no security assurances against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons and prevented them from acquiring advanced technology. It also rejected the inclusion of Israel in the Middle East and South Asian group because that country unilaterally possessed nuclear and weapons of mass destruction which Syria felt impeded the efforts underway to establish a Middle East NWFZ. Despite its commitment to the CTBT, Colombia had to abstain in the voting due to its constitutional difficulties in ratifying the Treaty.
Pakistan said that it voted in favour of the draft resolution because it supported the CTBT's objectives. It held that the draft resolution's call for promoting signatures and ratifications leading to the Treaty's entry into force would be facilitated when major former supporters of the CTBT decided to restore their support for it and when the Treaty's obligations were accepted at the regional level in South Asia.
The draft resolution was introduced by the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the sponsors, (see page 3
for the sponsors) on 26 October. The revised draft resolution was adopted by the First Committee on 26 October (98-2-60) and by the General Assembly on 3 November (119-4-60). For the text of the resolution and the voting see pages 18
The resolution requested the Secretary-General to prepare a report, with the support of qualified consultants and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, as appropriate, taking into account the views expressed by Member States, to contribute to the United Nations endeavour to address the issue of missiles in all its aspects, by identifying areas where consensus could be reached, and to submit the report to the General Assembly at its sixty-first session. It also requested the Secretary-General, with the assistance of a Panel of Governmental Experts, to be established in 2007 on the basis of equitable geographical distribution, to explore further ways and means to address within the United Nations the issue of missiles in all its aspects, including identifying areas where consensus could be reached, and to submit a report to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session.
After the vote, the Netherlands, Japan, Argentina and Republic of Korea explained their abstentions. The Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union (EU) and a number of other countries5
that aligned themselves with its explanation of vote underlined that the EUs abstention was not due to a lack of commitment on the issue, but on the establishment of a new panel of experts. It was also not sure that the unchanged mandate of the third panel which would be established by the draft resolution would lead to a positive outcome in the form of agreed conclusions. Japan affirmed its commitment to the goal of ensuring the non-proliferation of missiles as delivery vehicles for WMD, but abstained from the voting because the draft resolution contained no explicit reference to concerns about the proliferation of such missiles or any acknowledgment of ongoing non-proliferation efforts, such as the process leading towards the universalization of the Hague Code of Conduct. For its part, Argentina believed that although the panel did not adopt a report, its final draft provided a good basis for the new panel's work. Republic of Korea believed that it was premature to establish another panel of governmental experts owing to the fundamental differences in perceptions and views among States concerning certain elements of missile-related issues which it felt would not be resolved immediately.
The Russian Federation and Cuba voted for the draft resolution. The Russian Federation noted that the second panel of experts had made progress, despite its failure to produce a final report. It therefore saw a need to continue to study missile-related problems within the United Nations framework. Cuba supported the idea of establishing a group of governmental experts in 2007 and held that greater involvement by third world countries in that group would make a positive contribution to the process. It also underscored that the group's work should not only emphasize measures to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles capable of carrying WMD, but also deal with the issue of high-precision cruise missiles armed with conventional high-explosive warheads.
59/91. Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation
The draft resolution was introduced by Chile, on behalf of the sponsors, (see page 11
for the sponsors) on 19 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 26 October (137-2-16) and by the General Assembly on 3 December (161-2-15). For the text of the resolution and the voting see pages 67
The resolution invited all States that had not yet subscribed to the Code to do so; and encouraged the exploration of further ways and means to deal effectively with the problem of proliferation of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.
Before voting, six States explained that they would abstain from voting based on their beliefs that the Code was not the product of genuine multilateral negotiations. India said that arms control and disarmament measures should be transparent, equitable and non-discriminatory and that all Member States of the United Nations should be part of that process. Moreover, an inclusive approach would allow the subject to be dealt with in a comprehensive manner and would validate and reinforce the commitment of the larger number of States participating in that process. Pakistan emphasized that this complex issue had to be addressed in a multilateral forum so that the views and concerns of all countries could be taken into account. It also stated that the Code did not adequately address its own security concerns and that the sponsors seemed more intent on getting the draft resolution adopted than on promoting the Code. Cuba felt that the Code did not adequately reflect the main interests of a significant number of countries. In particular, the Code did not address the peaceful use of missile technology and the need for cooperation in that area; its focus was limited to horizontal proliferation while it ignored vertical proliferation; it lacked a disarmament approach, particularly nuclear disarmament; and it dealt with the missile proliferation issue selectively. Mexico was of the view that the Code did not effectively resolve the ballistic missile proliferation problem since it only dealt with part of the issue, did not include the benefits from technology transfer and international cooperation and lacked a disarmament approach. Brazil expressed disappointment with the downgrading of the Code's cooperative aspects especially the development of technology for the peaceful use of outer space and satellite launching vehicle programmes. Indonesia felt that ballistic missile proliferation would affect positions of principle related to its national security interests and therefore preferred that the issue be dealt with comprehensively under UN auspices and within its framework.
Oman said that while it supported the draft resolution, it would not participate in the voting because of the manner in which the sponsors of the draft resolution handled procedural matters.
Two States explained their negative votes. Iran argued that the sponsors' objections to modifying the draft resolution were unprecedented and contrary to the United Nations spirit. It also objected because the Code was concluded outside the United Nations framework. For its part, Egypt held that the Code did not address the missile issue in a balanced manner and could not do so without structural adjustments to its text. It pointed to lacunae in the Code such as peaceful uses, cooperation and assistance and its limited scope which did not address the development of cruise missiles or the continued presence and development of nuclear weapons.
The Syrian Arab Republic and Algeria explained their abstentions. Syria believed that the Code was discriminatory, selective and failed to address the causes of proliferation. It also argued that agreements concluded outside the UN were detrimental to and contrary to non-proliferation and undermined that concept and disarmament. Algeria stated that the draft resolution did not take into account the proposed amendments that would include vertical ballistic missile proliferation concepts such as design, development, testing and deployment as well as the United Nations role. Furthermore, Algeria felt that the treatment of the missile issue should be comprehensive, balanced and non-selective and that the United Nations remained the natural framework for negotiation and adoption of disarmament and non-proliferation instruments.
The Russian Federation and Sudan cast affirmative votes. The Russian Federation considered the Code's adoption to be the first real step towards countering the proliferation of ballistic missiles and suggested that further practical steps included the Code's universalization, gradual expansion of its sphere and future agreements by all parties involved. Sudan, as party to the Code, said that it voted affirmatively because a majority of the 117 subscribing countries believed the draft resolution would strengthen it. China voted for the draft resolution because it agreed with the Code's non-proliferation objectives. As a non-subscriber State, it expressed its intention to continue to exchange views with all sides, including the HCOC subscriber States, in a joint effort to prevent ballistic missile proliferation. China also advocated a United Nations role in the missile proliferation process.
59/66. National legislation on transfer of arms, military equipment and dual use goods and technology
The draft resolution was introduced by the Netherlands, on 22 October. It was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 27 October and by the General Assembly on 3 December. For the text of the resolution see pages 17
The resolution invited Member States that were in a position to do so, without prejudice to the provisions contained in Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), 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, while ensuring that such legislation, regulations and procedures were consistent with the obligations of States parties under international treaties. It also encouraged Member States to provide, on a voluntary basis, information to the Secretary-General on the measures described above, as well as changes therein, and requested the Secretary-General to make this information accessible to Member States.
After the vote, Cuba affirmed that the most effective export and import control regime was one negotiated and implemented in a multilateral framework supplemented by measures adopted at the national level. It added that only broad and non-discriminatory participation in those controls could guarantee the effective achievement of the pursued goals.
The Netherlands spoke on behalf of the European Union, the candidate countries of Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Croatia, the countries of the Stabilization and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries Iceland and Norway members of the European Economic Area.
The Netherlands also spoke on behalf of the candidate countries of Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Croatia, the countries of the Stabilization and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia and Montenegro, and the European Free Trade Association countries of Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area.