Continuing CHAPTER IV Regional disarmament

Nuclear-weapon-free zones

During the year, Member States, the United Nations and other multilateral and regional fora, continued their efforts to strengthen existing NWFZs or to establish new ones.
The General Assembly of the Organization of American States, at its thirty- session (Quito, 6-8 June 2004), adopted a resolution on Consolidation of the regime established by the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco).1 The resolution urged those States of the region that had not yet done so to sign or ratify the amendments to the Tlatelolco Treaty, adopted by the General Conference of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL); reaffirmed the importance of strengthening OPANAL as the appropriate legal and political forum for ensuring unqualified observance of the Treaty in its zone of application and for promoting cooperation with the agencies of other nuclear-weapon-free zones; called on those States that had not yet done so to negotiate and implement, as soon as possible, comprehensive agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as the Model Protocol Additional to the Agreements between States and the IAEA, for application of the Agency's safeguards to their nuclear activities, as stipulated in Article 13 of the Treaty of Tlatelolco.
At the thirty-fifth session of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) (Apia, Samoa, 5-7 August 2004), the Heads of State and Governments in attendance issued a communiqué which called upon the United States, as the remaining nuclear-weapon State, to ratify the Protocols to the Treaty as a means of enhancing global and regional peace and security, including global nuclear non-proliferation.2
At the Tenth ASEAN Summit (Vientiane, 29-30 November), the leaders of ASEAN countries in the Vientiane Action Programme adopted at the Summit, expressed their determination, among other things, to work towards resolving outstanding issues to ensure signing of the Protocols to the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty by the nuclear-weapon States (NWS). During the year, the States parties to the SEANWFZ Treaty, also referred to as the Bangkok Treaty, focused their efforts on setting up an institutional framework to implement the Treaty and continued consultations on the Treaty's Protocols with the NWS with a view to securing their early accession. In that connection, China announced, in April, that it had reached agreement with the members of the SEANWFZ on the Treaty and its protocols and stood ready to sign the relevant protocols once they were opened for signature.3
By the end of 2004, 19 countries had ratified the 1996 African Nuclear- Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (the Pelindaba Treaty), advancing it a step closer to the required ratifications by 28 countries for its entry into force.4 The 59th session of the General Assembly, in its resolution "Nuclear-weapon-free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas,"5 welcomed the efforts towards the completion of the ratification process of the Pelindaba Treaty, and called upon the States of the region that had not yet done so to sign and ratify it, with the aim of its early entry into force.6 The Treaty's implementing mechanism, the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE), as envisaged in the treaty, is to be situated in South Africa once the Treaty enters into force.7
Since the General Assembly first adopted a resolution on the establishment of a NWFZ in the Middle East in 1974, agreement among the States of the region to negotiate such a zone has remained elusive.8 During 2004, calls continued to be made for its establishment in that region. In the Final Document adopted at the XIV Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (Durban, South Africa, 17-19 August), the participating States reiterated their support for the establishment in the Middle East of a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction. To this end, they reaffirmed the need for the speedy establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East in accordance with Security Council Resolution 487 (1981) and paragraph 14 of Security Council Resolution 687 (1991) and the relevant General Assembly resolutions adopted by consensus. They called upon all parties concerned to take urgent and practical steps towards the fulfillment of the proposal initiated by Iran in 1974 for the establishment of such a zone. They also welcomed the initiative by President Mubarak of Egypt on the establishment of a zone free from weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, and stressed that necessary steps should be taken in different international fora for the establishment of this zone.9 The Director General of IAEA, in his report entitled "Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East," called on the states of the region to draw on the experience of NWFZs that had been established in other parts of the world.10 He also stated his intention to organize a forum on the relevance of the experience of existing NWFZs, including confidence-building and verification measures, for establishing such a zone in the region of the Middle East, and that it was expected that such a forum would be organized early in 2005.11
The Final Document of the 2004 Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement welcomed the decision by the five Central Asian States to sign the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (CANWFZ) as soon as possible.12
During the year, with assistance of the Department of Disarmament Affairs, in particular its Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, the five Central Asian States (C5), - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan13 continued their efforts to establish the CANWFZ. In order to assist the C5 to reach an early agreement on a CANWFZ treaty, the Centre organized several consultations among the C5 in New York.
The Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement, in its Final Document, reiterated the support for Mongolia's nuclear weapon-free status, and considered that the institutionalization of that status would be an important measure towards strengthening the non-proliferation regime in that region.14 The United Nations continued to assist Mongolia in taking the necessary measures to consolidate its nuclear-weapon-free status. The Regional Centre held a series of consultations with Mongolia, the five nuclear-weapon States, and other interested States on ways and means of promoting Mongolia's nuclear-weapon-free status. The Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) undertook two studies, on economic vulnerabilities and human security in Mongolia, and on ecological vulnerabilities and human security in Mongolia, respectively. The studies' findings are contained in the report of the Secretary-General on Mongolia's international security and nuclear-weapon-free status.15

1AG/RES. 2009 (XXXIV-O/04),
2Available from PIF web site:
3See Statement by Hu Xiaodi, Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs at the Third Session of the PrepCom for the 2005 NPT Review Conference, 26 April 2004. Available at cn/eng/wjb/zzjg/jks/.htm.
5A/59/85, available at http//
7Treaty of Pelindaba: African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty (ANWFZ), available from: africa/treaties.
8A/RES/3263 XXIX, 9 December 1974. Available from http;//www.un.orgDepts/dhl/resguide/gares1.htm
9"Final document of the XIV Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (Midterm Review)", (Durban, South Africa, 17-19 August 2004), p.19, available from
10"Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East" Report by the Director General of the IAEA, available from
11"Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency" in Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-ninth Session, A/59/47, 5-6.
12"Final document of the XIV Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (Midterm Review), op. cit., p.18.
13A/59/169 available from
14See footnote 26.
15A/59/364, available from