SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS NUCLEAR TESTS BY INDIA AND PAKISTAN
SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS NUCLEAR TESTS BY INDIA AND PAKISTAN
3890th Meeting (AM)
SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS NUCLEAR TESTS BY INDIA AND PAKISTAN
Resolution 1172 (1998) Unanimously Adopted; Pakistan Says
It Had Been Left with No Choice but to Exercise Its Nuclear Option
The Security Council this morning condemned the nuclear tests conducted by India and by Pakistan in May, demanded that those countries refrain from further nuclear tests and urged them to become parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) without delay and without conditions.
Endorsing the Joint Communique issued by the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States at their meeting in Geneva on 4 June, the Council, by adopting unanimously resolution 1172 (1998), expressed its firm conviction that the international regime on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons should be maintained and consolidated. It recalled that in accordance with the NPT India and Pakistan cannot have the status of a nuclear-weapon State.
Expressing grave concern at the negative effect of those nuclear tests on peace and stability in South Asia and beyond, the Council urged India and Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid threatening military movements. They were also urged to resume their dialogue on all outstanding issues, particularly on all matters pertaining to peace and security, in order to remove the tensions between them. They were encouraged to find mutually acceptable solutions that address the root causes of those tensions, including Kashmir.
Calling on India and Pakistan immediately to stop their nuclear-weapon development programmes, to cease development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and any further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, the Council encouraged all States to prevent the export of equipment, materials or technology that could in any way assist their programmes for nuclear weapons or for ballistic missiles capable of delivering such weapons.
By other terms of the resolution, the Council called upon all States not to carry out any nuclear-weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion in accordance with the provisions of the CTBT and urged India and Pakistan to
participate, in a positive spirit and on the basis of the agreed mandate, in negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, with a view to reaching early agreement.
The Secretary-General was requested to report urgently to the Council on the steps taken by India and Pakistan to implement the resolution.
The Council reaffirmed its full commitment to and the crucial importance of the NPT and the CTBT as the cornerstones of the international regime on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and as essential foundations for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament.
Speaking after adoption of the resolution, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he particularly welcomed the call by the Council to India and Pakistan to resume their bilateral dialogue on the issues that had sadly divided them. He would continue with his own efforts to encourage that dialogue in the hope that it would reduce tensions and the danger of an escalation into a nuclear arms race.
Also addressing the Council Kamal Kharrazi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iran, said a number of issues could be blamed for the situation, including inadequate attention and the failure to adopt concrete actions on global nuclear disarmament. The recent developments in India and Pakistan had highlighted the imperative need to ensure the universality of the NPT. That imperative also applied to the Middle East, where Israeli intransigence in refusing to accede to the NPT and in accepting the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) safeguards had endangered the entire region.
The representative of Pakistan said it was the dereliction of its responsibilities by the Council that emboldened India to implement its hegemonic and aggressive designs. Pakistan had been left with no choice but to exercise its nuclear option to restore the strategic balance and to preserve peace. His country was ready to enter into talks with India on all matters of mutual concern, including a non-aggression pact, on the basis of a just, equitable and expeditious settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
Statements were also made by the representatives of Japan, Sweden, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Costa Rica, Kenya, United States, Brazil, Gambia, France, Gabon, China, Bahrain, Portugal, United Kingdom (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), Australia, Republic of Korea, Canada, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Mexico, Ukraine, Argentina, Norway, and Kazakhstan.
The meeting, called to order at 11:41 a.m., was adjourned at 3:02 p.m.
Council Work Programme
The Security Council met this morning to consider the following agenda
item: "The responsibility of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security".
It had before it a draft resolution sponsored by Costa Rica, Japan, Slovenia and Sweden (document S/1998/476), as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Reaffirming the statements of its President of 14 May 1998 (S/PRST/1998/12) and of 29 May 1998 (S/PRST/1998/17),
"Reiterating the statement of its President of 31 January 1992 (S/23500), which stated, inter alia, that the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction constitutes a threat to international peace and security,
"Gravely concerned at the challenge that the nuclear tests conducted by India and then by Pakistan constitute to international efforts aimed at strengthening the global regime of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and also gravely concerned at the danger to peace and stability in the region,
"Deeply concerned at the risk of a nuclear arms race in South Asia, and determined to prevent such a race,
"Reaffirming the crucial importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty for global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament,
"Recalling the Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the successful outcome of that Conference,
"Affirming the need to continue to move with determination towards the full realization and effective implementation of all the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and welcoming the determination of the five nuclear-weapon States to fulfil their commitments relating to nuclear disarmament under Article VI of that Treaty,
"Mindful of its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security,
"1. Condemns the nuclear tests conducted by India on 11 and 13 May 1998 and by Pakistan on 28 and 30 May 1998;
"2. Endorses the Joint Communique issued by the Foreign Ministers of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America at their meeting in Geneva on 4 June 1998 (S/1998/473);
"3. Demands that India and Pakistan refrain from further nuclear tests and in this context calls upon all States not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion in accordance with the provisions of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty;
"4. Urges India and Pakistan to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid threatening military movements, cross-border violations, or other provocations in order to prevent an aggravation of the situation;
"5. Urges India and Pakistan to resume the dialogue between them on all outstanding issues, particularly on all matters pertaining to peace and security, in order to remove the tensions between them, and encourages them to find mutually acceptable solutions that address the root causes of those tensions, including Kashmir;
"6. Welcomes the efforts of the Secretary-General to encourage India and Pakistan to enter into dialogue;
"7. Calls upon India and Pakistan immediately to stop their nuclear weapon development programmes, to refrain from weaponisation or from the deployment of nuclear weapons, to cease development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and any further production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, to confirm their policies not to export equipment, materials or technology that could contribute to weapons of mass destruction or missiles capable of delivering them and to undertake appropriate commitments in that regard;
"8. Encourages all States to prevent the export of equipment, materials or technology that could in any way assist programmes in India or Pakistan for nuclear weapons or for ballistic missiles capable of delivering such weapons, and welcomes national policies adopted and declared in this respect;
"9. Expresses its grave concern at the negative effect of the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan on peace and stability in South Asia and beyond;
"10. Reaffirms its full commitment to and the crucial importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty as the cornerstones of the international regime on the non‑proliferation of nuclear weapons and as essential foundations for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament;
"11. Expresses its firm conviction that the international regime on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons should be maintained and consolidated and recalls that in accordance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons India or Pakistan cannot have the status of a nuclear-weapon State;
"12. Recognizes that the tests conducted by India and Pakistan constitute a serious threat to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament;
"13. Urges India and Pakistan, and all other States that have not yet done so, to become Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty without delay and without conditions;
"14.Urges India and Pakistan to participate, in a positive spirit and on the basis of the agreed mandate, in negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, with a view to reaching early agreement;
"15.Requests the Secretary-General to report urgently to the Council on the steps taken by India and Pakistan to implement the present resolution;
"16.Expresses its readiness to consider further how best to ensure the implementation of the present resolution;
"17.Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
HISASHI OWADA (Japan) said there was now a serious danger that the tensions in South Asia could heighten further and escalate to a nuclear confrontation. Another danger which had been created was that the nuclear non-proliferation regime itself was being threatened and that the international community could drift into an uncontrollable world of nuclear proliferation. The situation was of critical importance to the security of the entire international community and required its urgent attention.
He expressed concern at the serious negative effect of the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan on peace and stability in South Asia. Furthermore, the deterioration of the relationship and the risk of nuclear confrontation between the two countries could produce serious implications for the maintenance of international peace and security beyond the South Asian region. To avoid any such negative effect, the Security Council must address the situation with firm determination with a sense of urgency and with an awareness of its heavy responsibility.
Japan strongly hoped that India and Pakistan would move in the direction of a historical reconciliation through strenuous efforts to build mutual confidence rather than confrontation and arms race, he said. Japan was particularly shocked by the tests carried out by India and Pakistan, inasmuch as the Japanese people knew at first hand the unspeakable horrors of nuclear weapons and were determined not to allow the nuclear tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ever again to visit the globe. It was precisely for that reason that Japan had been placing supreme importance upon the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
He said the adoption of the resolution would be only the beginning of a long battle to consolidate the international regime of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and to secure future generations from the scourge of a nuclear tragedy. The Security Council should actively remain seized of the matter and be ready to consider further how best to ensure the implementation of the resolution.
HANS DAHLGREN (Sweden) said his Government utterly rejects the notion that nuclear weapons increase security and international standing. Today's message to India and Pakistan was very clear: nuclear testing would not give them more security -- only the opposite. Nor would it enhance their status and standing among other nations. Instead, through their own actions, those two countries had removed themselves from the mainstream of the international community. Those countries should reconsider and renounce their nuclear option and join the treaty regime.
He said his Government recognized the complex political and historical background to the tension in South Asia. He encouraged the two countries to resume and strengthen a political dialogue, at the request of the parties, in order to reduce tension and build confidence and security between them. The Security Council could never abdicate its responsibility for international peace and security. That was the reason why Japan and Sweden had initiated today's resolution. It was a significant response to a perilous international situation.
SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) recalled that the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the Council had at their meeting in Geneva called on India and Pakistan not to carry out further nuclear tests and to adhere to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). He stressed the readiness of his country to help India and Pakistan in their search for dialogue.
Russia felt that the economic sanctions imposed on the two countries in the wake of the nuclear tests were unjustified on humanitarian and other grounds, he said, noting that the resolution before the Council did not contain such a provision. He also drew attention to the dangers posed by the nuclear tests carried out by the two countries. The last few years had seen progress in the field of nuclear disarmament. There was need to strengthen the non-proliferation regime. Russia would continue to do everything it could to strengthen that regime and to prevent its being undermined.
DANILO TüRK (Slovenia) said the acquisition of nuclear weapons was not the way to solve problems. It would not bring the coveted status of a nuclear-weapon State. It would also not help resolve any outstanding political issues. Instead, it might spark a costly nuclear arms race which would have no benefit for security, stability or the economy of any of the contenders. The legitimate security concerns and political issues in the region needed to be addressed by dialogue and other political means.
In dealing with the present situation, he said, it was necessary for the Security Council to act with determination to prevent the reversal of important achievements in the area of nuclear non-proliferation and to strengthen the efforts towards nuclear disarmament. That was why the resolution would demand from India and Pakistan to refrain from further nuclear tests and urge them, and other States that have not done so, to adhere to the NPT and CTBT without delay and without conditions.
BERND NIEHAUS (Costa Rica) said his country had made disarmament more than just a goal, and it was now a reality. It had been disarmed for 50 years and had rejected all proposals to build up weaponry, which ran counter to peace and stability in the modern world. Arms build-up was not a substitute for true development and stability. Nuclear weapons were an irrational instrument that threatened all life on the planet. India and Pakistan were devoting financial resources to such activities and those resources were needed for development. Under the pretext of protecting security, both countries had plunged into a nuclear arms race.
There should be a vigorous appeal to both countries to cease all nuclear development of weapons and resolve all pending disputes, including the question of Kashmir, he said. The resolution was realistic, sensible and balanced and reflected a clear commitment of the Council to international stability and peace. For reasons of global balance, the Council had not protested nuclear tests in the past, but that should not set a precedent for future nuclear tests.
NJUGUNA M. MAHUGU (Kenya) said his country had continuously and vigorously pursued an active policy of nuclear non-proliferation and with others promoted the goal of complete nuclear disarmament and the elimination of such weapons. It was consequently party to the NPT and of the Pelindaba Treaty establishing the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, and a signatory to the CTBT. It was also one of the first 21 members of the Conference on Disarmament. The nuclear tests carried out by India and Pakistan would be
remembered as having dealt a serious blow to aspirations for a world free of nuclear weapons. Kenya encouraged them to exercise restraint and to refrain from carrying out any further tests.
The Kenya representative noted the assurances given by the two Governments and expected them to exercise maximum control over the deadly technology they had acquired, to remain committed to the Non-Aligned Movement's goal of nuclear disarmament and to participate with others in negotiating for a fissile material cut-off treaty at the Conference on Disarmament. It was Kenya's conviction that testing of any kind should not be carried out and that all tests posed a threat to all. The need for security assurances for the non-nuclear States and an even more urgent need for renewed efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons could not be overemphasized. Kenya looked to the nuclear weapons States "to start the ball rolling".
BILL RICHARDSON (United States) said the nuclear tests in India and Pakistan represented a serious blow to the international non-proliferation regime. The resolution before the Council did more than condemn the tests, it made clear the path both countries should take to avoid a missile arms race and resume the diplomatic dialogue which was the way to true peace. The Geneva ministerial conference was part of a continuing process that would include numerous participants in various forums to address the problems of nuclear proliferation in South Asia.
It should be made clear that it was in their own national security interests to take steps to avert an arms race, he said. The countries should refrain from deploying missiles of all types, they should also formalize the pledge not to export nuclear material and technology. They should take those measures, not only because the Council said that was important, but because the path they had started down diminished their security. The countries should understand that the tests would not make them nuclear weapon States. To officially give them that status would undermine the non-proliferation regime. The United States had also extended its offer to help resolve the conflict in Kashmir. Steps should be taken to reduce the chances that a miscalculation or misunderstanding would create a situation that neither States would want.
CELSO AMORIM (Brazil) said his Government called upon India and Pakistan to sign and ratify the CTBT and to contribute towards the entry into force of that instrument. It also appealed to them to exercise restraint, reduce tensions, promote dialogue on the peaceful settlement of all bilateral issues and to engage in a process of meaningful cooperation. Such steps would bring concrete benefits to their peoples as well as enhance their status and prestige before the international community.
He said the Rio Group deplored the conduct of nuclear tests anywhere in the world and the negative effects of any such tests on international peace, the environment and human health. The Rio Group also appealed to the international community to start immediately negotiations on nuclear disarmament with a view to set up concrete measures for the elimination of nuclear weapons thereby strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
BABOUCAR-BLAISE JAGNE (Gambia) said that continued adherence to the international regime on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons would depend on the equal treatment of all States. Having one set of rules for some and another for others could not be justified, and therefore, it was unhelpful and untenable. The world would have been a much safer and saner place if all countries played the game according to the same rules.
He said that Gambia's long established relations of cooperation and friendship with both Pakistan and India allowed it to state in no uncertain terms that common sense and goodwill would always prevail. The much dreaded arms race in South Asia should not even be contemplated.
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said his country had condemned the nuclear tests carried out by India and Pakistan. He recalled the Geneva meeting of the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council and said that they had in their joint communique presented specific proposals. Given the situation in South Asia, the nuclear non-proliferation regime should be strengthened. France called upon India, Pakistan and other States which had not done so to adhere to it unconditionally. It called upon them to join in the negotiations for a fissile material cut-off treaty at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament on the basis of the agreed mandate.
He drew attention to the regional dimension of the tests carried out by the two countries and said it was essential that they sought a peaceful solution to their differences over Kashmir and other issues and through confidence-building measures. They should adopt dialogue and avoid taking coercive measures. They must also show restraint, he added.
DENIS DANGUE REWAKA (Gabon) said the Security Council must show disapproval of all such nuclear tests. His delegation would have preferred that the meaning of operative paragraph 1 of the text reflected language of the earlier statements issued by the Council on the nuclear tests conducted by the two countries. Nevertheless, his delegation, in a constructive spirit, was associating itself with the resolution.
JASSIM MOHAMMED BUALLAY (Bahrain) said his country called on the international community to endeavour for a complete prohibition of nuclear tests because such nuclear weapons might destroy mankind as a whole. The two countries should display the utmost possible restraint in dealing with conflicts in the region. Negotiations were the best way of eliminating tension in South Asia. In the Middle East, his country had constantly called
for the region to be nuclear-free in order to avoid the effects and threat of nuclear war in the region.
QIN HUASUN (China) said the nuclear tests were conducted with total disregard of the international community. To prevent an arms race in South Asia, the foreign ministers of the permanent five members of the Council had issued a joint communique on 4 June. They expressed their deep concern to bolster the non-proliferation regime and called on the two countries to try to build confidence rather than confrontation and to hold a dialogue on the root causes of their tensions. It also called on both countries to avoid provocative acts. The resolution acknowledged the positive results of the ministerial meeting.
He added that the nuclear tests had dealt a heavy blow to non-proliferation efforts. The tests had undermined the relative peace and stability in the region. What was worse was the escalation of the Kashmir dispute. Further fighting there would bring untold suffering to the peoples in the region and hinder peace in the world at large. Both countries should be calm and restrained in their actions and they should halt any statement or movement that would escalate the situation.
ANTONIO MONTEIRO (Portugal), the Council President, said his country's position would be reflected by the statement made by the United Kingdom on behalf of the European Union.
The draft resolution was adopted unanimously as Council
resolution 1172 (1998).
Speaking after the vote, Secretary-General KOFI ANNAN said the nuclear tests carried out by India and Pakistan were unquestionably disturbing developments with far-reaching consequences for the region and for the international community. They affected the peace and stability of South Asia -- a region that had been one of the cradles of human civilization, a region with great potential for economic and social development. They also impacted seriously on the ongoing process of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament and its future and on the common security of all.
He said it was significant that the Security Council which had primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security under the Charter should speak with one voice and without delay on those developments. He thanked the sponsors of the resolution for their initiative and for their hard work to achieve a resolution which addressed the concerns of all Council members. He particularly welcomed the call to India and Pakistan to resume their bilateral dialogue on the issues that had sadly
divided them. He would continue with his own efforts to encourage that dialogue in the hope that it would reduce tensions and the danger of an escalation into a nuclear arms race.
Over the past several years, he said, there had been encouraging signs that the world might be moving towards ending the global nuclear arms race as the process of nuclear disarmament continued to be implemented in terms of the provisions of the NPT. The developments that contradicted or impeded that process must be avoided as the world moved towards the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons in a safer and better world for all and for future generations.
Sir JOHN WESTON (United Kingdom), speaking on behalf of the European Union and Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Cyprus and Iceland, said the resolution reflected the abhorrence of the international community at the recent nuclear tests carried out by India and Pakistan and its deep concern about the threat posed to peace and stability of the South Asian region by nuclear and missile proliferation. Those actions ran counter to the will expressed by the 149 signatories of the CTBT to cease nuclear testing and it ran counter to efforts to strengthen the global non-proliferation regime.
The European Union urged India and Pakistan to take early steps to demonstrate their commitment to international efforts on non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament by signing the CTBT and moving to ratify it. The countries should also commit themselves neither to assemble nuclear devices nor to deploy such devices on delivery vehicles, and to cease development and deployment of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads. The two countries should also engage in dialogue which addressed the root causes of the tension between them.
KAMAL KHARRAZI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iran, said his visits to Islamabad and New Delhi immediately before coming to New York were an indication of his country's concern as well as the importance it attached to the issue before the Council for the future of his region and for implications that it might have for international peace and security. His discussions in the two capitals had centred around the possible dangers as well as the means to try to avoid escalation of the situation.
A number of issues could be blamed for the situation, including inadequate attention and the failure to adopt concrete actions on global nuclear disarmament, he said. Unpopular insistence on the part of the nuclear States in their course, particularly after the indefinite extension of the NPT, and the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons as well as the selective approach to the implementation of the provisions of the NPT could also be blamed for the situation.
He outlined a number of areas which could serve as basis for initiatives by the two countries. They included a renewed commitment to resume and continue a comprehensive dialogue on all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, and other measures to build confidence. They should also commit themselves to refrain from conducting further nuclear tests and to engage in an immediate discussion with a representative group of NPT States and signatory States to the CTBT. The good offices of the Secretary-General should be utilized, and Iran stood ready to help and support him in his endeavour.
The recent developments in India and Pakistan had highlighted the imperative need to ensure the universality of the NPT, he said. That imperative also applied to the Middle East, where Israeli intransigence in refusing to accede to the NPT and in accepting International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) safeguards had endangered the entire region. It was necessary, therefore, that a non-discriminatory approach at the international level to the issue of non-proliferation be developed. Pressure should be exerted on Israel to join the NPT and allow the designation of the Middle East as a nuclear-weapon-free zone.
PENELOPE ANNE WENSLEY (Australia) said nuclear proliferation was the worst possible threat to international peace and stability. The Council should take action on the issue and remain seized until it was resolved. The wider membership should also be given the opportunity in such situations to give its views directly to the Council. After years of calls by the international community, the world created a non-proliferation regime and the tests by India and Pakistan directly challenged that regime.
The tests were also counter to efforts to work toward the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world, she said. The tests had also heightened the tension between the parties and hindered peace and security in the region. Australia had taken a number of steps to discourage such actions in the region. It suspended non-humanitarian aid and halted bilateral visits to India and Pakistan as well as other steps. The nuclear-weapon States should continue efforts for nuclear disarmament, she added.
LEE SEE-YOUNG (Republic of Korea) said the tests were more regrettable because they came at a time when the international community had made consistent strides towards a strengthened regime for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. The international community should rise to the challenges posed by the testing in a resolute manner. Failing to do that would undermine the effectiveness of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and would lead to the escalation of a nuclear arms race in the region and beyond.
Failure to act would also send wrong messages to other parts of the world, he added. While it was true that serious damages had been done to the cause of a safer world free of nuclear weapons, the challenges posed could be turned into an opportunity through the creative responses of the international community. The resolution should end the vicious cycle of the unfortunate events in South Asia and should lead to the beginning of undoing damages done there.
ROBERT FOWLER (Canada) said India and Pakistan had returned the world to the dark threat of nuclear terror. The Council should not add India and Pakistan to the list of official nuclear States. If that number could be raised to seven, then other countries would want to join the club. Non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the NPT also had a responsibility. Over the past 30 years, those States had acted responsibly, foregoing nuclear weapons of their own while working multilaterally in support of nuclear disarmament.
The Security Council and the international community needed to invalidate the concept of nuclear weapons as a currency of modern geopolitical authority, he said. Countries that deliberately undermined peace and security and flout the will of the international community had voided their claim to Security Council membership, let alone a permanent place in the management of the post-cold war world. The international community must re-commit to putting nuclear disarmament back on track urgently. The future credibility of the non-proliferation process depended not only on renunciation by the two countries of their weapons programmes, but also on the good-faith performance of the nuclear-weapon States. They must keep their end of the NPT bargain, a promise that not all had treated with the same urgency.
NABIL ELARABY (Egypt) said the tests conducted by India and Pakistan had caused deep concern for the entire international community, and they constituted a setback for reaching universality in the non-proliferation regime. The historical record of the non-proliferation regime had clearly emphasized the need for the provision of security safeguards for the non-nuclear-weapon States for their protection. Recent developments required that the Council reviewed the entire situation regarding such protection. The resolution had not dealt with the issue or provided protection.
It was more urgent now than ever before that an agreement be reached on the issue of safeguards, he said. The Council without any ambiguity should decide that the use or threat of the use of nuclear arms constituted a threat to international peace and security. The Council should provide urgent assistance to States which might be so threatened. That Council action should not be subject to veto. States should be guided by the opinion of the International Court of Justice. He expressed its deep concern over the lack of universality of the non-proliferation regime and regretted that Israel remained outside the regime, and had also not submitted to IAEA safeguards.
Egypt had for a long time urged the designation of the Middle East as a nuclear-weapon-free zone, he said, adding that security and peace could not prevail if there was imbalance in regional security.
YACUB YOUSIF AL-HOSANI (United Arab Emirates) said competition to accrue nuclear weapons still existed, particularly for States that had disputes with their neighbours or States that were seeking to retain non-legitimate control of territory in violation of international law. The aspiration for non-proliferation was not easy to achieve when there were a number of countries seeking to test nuclear weapons. His country had a particular fear of what happened in South Asia because the tests were very close to its region. Continued nuclear armament would only lead to tragedy and destruction.
He added that underground nuclear tests did nothing to ensure security, they only increased tension in the region. Those States should display restraint and return to dialogue. The Council exercised a double standard by making an exception for Israel. Israel was the only country with nuclear weapons in the Middle East. The Council should make the non-proliferation regime binding for all States. Israel's possession of nuclear weapons was a stumbling block to a just and lasting peace in the region.
MICHAEL POWLES (New Zealand) said his country considered that nuclear weapons had no legitimate place in the world. New Zealand had called for urgent progress towards a nuclear-weapon-free future, and repeated that call now. The International Court of Justice had confirmed in a unanimous decision the obligations to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control. That obligation applied just as much to India and Pakistan as it did to other States.
The actions of India and Pakistan in testing nuclear devices, planning for weaponization and deployment of nuclear weapons and claiming an entitlement to nuclear-weapon status, were inconsistent with that obligation, he said. At a time when countries like his own wanted to accelerate the pace of nuclear disarmament, India and Pakistan were looking backwards to an era of nuclear arms build up, confrontation and deterrence. If the two countries wanted to repair the damage they had caused to their international standing, they must forthwith renounce their nuclear-weapon programmes, and adhere unconditionally to the CTBT and the NPT, as well as engage in multilateral negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty.
He urged the Security Council to act decisively and effectively to defuse the dangerous situation and to uphold nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
MANUEL TELLO (Mexico) said the new situation in South Asia was a source of profound concern for the entire international community. India and Pakistan must strive to design mechanisms that would enable them to find solutions to their historical differences in order to restore trust and stability between them and ultimately in the rest of the region. Mexico was convinced that dialogue and negotiation were the primary means to resolve differences. Mexico called upon on all countries that had not yet done so to accede to the NPT and CTBT.
All States, particularly the nuclear-weapon States had an obligation to initiate and conclude negotiations on nuclear disarmament, he said. The statement of the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council at their meeting in Geneva, if put into effect, would help break the deadlock in the negotiations on nuclear disarmament. The historic advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 8 July 1996 unequivocally established that there existed an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control. He stressed the need to maintain the international non-proliferation regime and to restore the NPT's credibility.
VOLODYMYR YEL'CHENKO (Ukraine) said his country found inadmissable any actions that could aggravate tensions in the South Asian region and possibly cause a major conflict between the two States. In that connection, Ukraine welcomed the declared readiness of India's and Pakistan's leadership for negotiating the disputable issues and it was ready to support that process.
Any other course of action or attempts to preserve the status quo should be deemed unacceptable, he said. Should that scenario take place, Ukraine would seek consultations with the nuclear Powers, which provided the relevant security, for a new reading of those assurances in view of the latest developments. India and Pakistan should put aside their nuclear ambitions and not allow the further aggravation of the situation in the region.
FERNANDO PETRELLA (Argentina), stating that his country had signed the CTBT, urged those States which had not done so to sign it and also the NPT. His country's message today was based on its experience. After achieving the mastery of nuclear technology, it had understood its dangers. Argentina had embarked on a programme of cooperation with Brazil. The President of Brazil visited a nuclear enrichment plant in Argentina and the following year the Argentine President had similarly inspected Brazil's facilities. He paid tribute to Mexico's efforts in the achievement of a nuclear-free-zone in Latin America. To enhance South-South cooperation, Argentina had helped in the installation of nuclear reactors in some third world countries like Egypt.
He said Argentina supported the resolution of the Council and efforts of the Secretary-General to restore dialogue between India and Pakistan. Member States should not stand idly by in the face of proliferation of nuclear weapons. He hoped the two countries would take advantage of confidence-building measures and take the steps expected of them.
SVEIN AASS (Norway) said the decisions by India and Pakistan to carry out underground nuclear tests were in clear defiance of international norms and constituted a serious threat to the global nuclear non-proliferation regime as well as to peace and stability. The tests underlined the crucial importance of that regime. There was an urgent need to establish a channel for constructive dialogue between the international community and New Delhi and Islamabad and to convince the two countries to renounce their nuclear weapons programmes. It was vital to ensure that the situation in South Asia would not deteriorate further to the point of serious instability or war.
SERGEY AGEYEV (Kazakhstan) said that the recent nuclear tests by India and Pakistan had dealt a blow to non-proliferation efforts and to international security. Conducting such tests only led to an escalation of tensions. The countries should display responsibility and restraint in their actions and they should adhere to the NPT and the CTBT.
AHMAD KAMAL (Pakistan) said his country had kept the Secretary-General and the Security Council fully informed at all stages of the developments pertaining to the current grave security crisis in South Asia. To some extent, he said, the dereliction of its responsibilities by the Security Council had emboldened India to implement its hegemonic and aggressive designs, by crossing the nuclear threshold, threatening the use of nuclear weapons against Pakistan, and resorting to nuclear blackmail to impose a military solution on Kashmir.
Faced with those ominous developments resulting from India's deliberate and calculated actions to alter the strategic equation, Pakistan was left with no choice but to exercise its nuclear option in its supreme national interest, to restore the strategic balance and to preserve peace, he said. He expressed regret that the Council had paid no heed to its warnings about India's illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.
The adoption of the resolution by the Council would further marginalize its role, not only in dealing effectively with the security crisis in South Asia, but on global security issues as a whole. The Council's action was devoid of realism as well as legality and morality. The resolution was a transparent exercise in self-assurance by the official five nuclear Power States to seek legitimacy for their possession of lethal arsenals of weapons of mass destruction. For the first time, the Council was being asked to play a role in enforcing non-proliferation.
He said the resolution did not take into account the fact that besides India and Pakistan, there were other States, non-parties to the NPT, which possessed nuclear weapons and had so acknowledged. A highly skewed and self-defeating approach had been taken by the Council in trying to handle non-proliferation, which was strictly not within its competence.
Pakistan would continue to base its conduct and actions on the principles of the Charter, he said. It would continue to comply with its obligations under the Charter and international law. It would seek a just resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with Security Council resolutions. It was ready to enter into talks with India on all matters of mutual concern, including a non-aggression pact, on the basis of a just, equitable and expeditious settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
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