SCOPE OF UN CONVENTIONAL ARMS REGISTER TO REMAIN UNDER REVIEW, BY DRAFT RESOLUTION APPROVED IN FIRST COMMITTEE

31 October 2001
GA/DIS/3215

SCOPE OF UN CONVENTIONAL ARMS REGISTER TO REMAIN UNDER REVIEW, BY DRAFT RESOLUTION APPROVED IN FIRST COMMITTEE

31/10/2001
Press ReleaseGA/DIS/3215

Fifty-sixth General Assembly

First Committee

20th Meeting (PM)

SCOPE OF UN CONVENTIONAL ARMS REGISTER TO REMAIN UNDER REVIEW,

BY DRAFT RESOLUTION APPROVED IN FIRST COMMITTEE

Other Texts Address Missiles, Information Security,

Biological Weapons Convention, Latin American Regional Centre

The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) this afternoon approved a draft resolution by which the General Assembly would reaffirm its decision to keep the scope of and participation in the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms under review, with many delegations commenting that United Nations transparency measures on conventional arms should be expanded to include weapons of mass destruction.

The draft resolution, approved by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to none against, with 22 abstentions, would also have the Assembly recall its request to Member States to provide the Secretary-General with their views on transparency measures related to weapons of mass destruction.  (For details of the vote see Annex III.)

Prior to that decision, the Committee took two separate recorded votes on operative paragraphs.  Operative paragraph 4 (b), which would have the Assembly request the Secretary-General to prepare a report on the Register’s continuing operation and further development, with a view to a decision at its fifty-eighth session, was approved by a vote of 123 in favour to 4 against (Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria), with 13 abstentions (See Annex I).

Operative paragraph 6, which would have the Assembly invite the Conference on Disarmament to consider continuing its work on transparency in armaments, was approved by a vote of 123 in favour to none against, with 17 abstentions (Annex II).

Decisions were also taken on draft texts concerning:  missiles; the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (Biological Weapons Convention); information security; and the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific.

By a recorded vote of 88 in favour to none against, with 57 abstentions, the Committee approved the draft resolution on missiles, by which the Assembly, would

note with satisfaction that the panel of experts established by the Secretary-General held its first session in New York in 2001 and intends to convene two more sessions in 2002 to complete its mandate (Annex IV). 

Several delegations explained their abstentions by citing the absence in the text of any reference either to the risk of the proliferation of missiles as delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction, or efforts underway, in the context of the Missile Technology Control Regime, to formalize a draft code of conduct for combating missile proliferation.

Acting without a vote, the Committee also approved a draft decision on the Biological Weapons Convention, by which the Assembly would decide to request the Secretary-General to continue to render the necessary assistance to the depositary governments of the Convention and provide such services as might be required for the implementation of the decisions and recommendations of the Review Conferences and the 1994 Special Conference. 

Prior to the decision, several delegations expressed their full commitment to the goal of strengthening the Convention, but regretted the abrupt halt to those talks last July.  Members had hoped for a consensus resolution on the Convention, rather than a “replacement procedural decision”, to reflect the collective wish to further strengthen the decades-old treaty.  Since no one had wanted to endanger support among States parties for that highly crucial objective, they had joined consensus.

Also acting without a vote, the Committee approved a draft resolution by which the Assembly would call upon Member States to further promote at multilateral levels the consideration of existing and potential threats in the field of information security, as well as possible measures to limit the emerging threats.

A draft resolution on the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, also approved today without a vote, would have the Assembly reaffirm its strong support for the forthcoming operation and further strengthening of the Centre. 

Representatives from Pakistan, Russian Federation, Iran, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Oman, Iran, China, Algeria, Myanmar, Jordan, Cuba, United States, Japan, Republic of Korea, Belgium, and Australia spoke.

The Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Friday, 2 November, to continue taking action on all disarmament- and security-related draft texts.

Background

The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this afternoon to continue its third phase of work, namely decisions on all security- and disarmament-related items.

The third phase of the work of the First Committee is divided into the following clusters:  nuclear weapons; other weapons of mass destruction; outer space; conventional weapons; regional disarmament and security; confidence-building measures; disarmament machinery; other disarmament measures; related matters of disarmament and international security; and international security.

Action was expected this afternoon on draft texts concerning the following:  Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (Biological Weapons Convention), transparency in armaments; the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific; developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security; and missiles.

A draft decision sponsored by Hungary on the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and On Their Destruction (Biological Weapons Convention)(document A/C.1/56/L.11) would have the Assembly decide to request the Secretary-General to continue to render the necessary assistance to the depositary Governments of the Convention and provide such services as may be required for the implementation of the decisions and recommendations of the Review Conferences and the 1994 Special Conference. 

The Assembly would also ask him to render the necessary assistance and provide such services as may be required for the Fifth Review Conference, to be held at Geneva from 19 November to 7 December.  It would decide to include the item in the provisional agenda of its next session.

By the terms of a resolution on transparency in armaments (document A/C.1/56/L.40), the Assembly would reaffirm its determination to ensure the effective operation of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms.  It would call upon Member States, with a view towards achieving universal participation, to provide the Secretary-General by 31 May annually with the requested data and information for the Register, including nil reports if appropriate, on the continuing operation of the Register and its further development.      

The Assembly would reaffirm its decision, with a view to further development of the Register, to keep the scope of and participation in the Register under review and, to that end, recall its request to Member States to provide the Secretary-General with their views on, among others, transparency measures related to weapons of mass destruction.  It would request the Secretary-General, with the assistance of a group of governmental experts to be convened in 2003, to prepare a report on the Register's continuing operation.

The draft resolution is sponsored by Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Suriname,  Sweden, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States and Yugoslavia.     

A draft resolution on the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (document A/C.1/56/L.50) would have the Assembly reaffirm its strong support for the forthcoming operation and further strengthening of the Regional Centre.  It would underline the importance of the Kathmandu process as a powerful vehicle for the development of the practice of region-wide security and disarmament dialogue.

By a further provision, the Assembly would appeal to Member States, in particular those within the Asia-Pacific region, as well as to international governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and foundations, to make voluntary contributes, the only resource of the Regional Centre, to strengthen its programme of activities.

The draft resolution is sponsored by Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Fiji, Japan, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vanuatu.

Under a draft resolution sponsored by the Russian Federation on information security (document A/C.1/56/L.3 Rev.1), the Assembly, considering the need to prevent the illegal use of information resources or technologies or their use for criminal or terrorist purposes, would call upon Member States to promote further at multilateral levels the consideration of existing and potential threats in the field, as well as possible measures to limit the threats emerging in the field, consistent with the need to preserve the free flow of information.  

The Assembly would consider that the purpose of such measures could be served through the examination of relevant international concepts aimed at strengthening the security of global information and telecommunications systems.

It would invite all Member States to continue to inform the Secretary-General of their views on the following questions:  general appreciation of the issues; definition of basic notions related to information security; and the examination of relevant international concepts aimed at strengthening the security of global information and telecommunications systems. 

The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to consider existing and potential threats in the sphere of information security and possible cooperative measures to address them, as well as to conduct a study on the concepts aimed at strengthening the security of global information and telecommunications systems, with a group of governmental experts, to be established in 2004 on the basis of equitable geographical distribution and with the help of Member States in a position to render such assistance, and to submit a report on its outcome to the Assembly at its sixtieth session. 

With a view to considering and defining existing and potential threats in the sphere of information security and possible measures to limit them, to conduct relevant research, with the assistance of government experts appointed by him, and to submit the results of that research to the Assembly at its fifty-seventh session.   

Under a draft resolution sponsored by Iran entitled "Missiles" (document A/C.1/56/L.6), the Assembly, underlining the complexities involved in considering the issue of missiles in the conventional context, would note with satisfaction that the panel of experts established by the Secretary-General held its first session in New York in 2001 and intends to convene two more sessions in 2002 in order to submit a report to the Assembly at its next session.

Also, the Assembly would note with appreciation the Secretary-General's report on the subject, and request him to seek the views of Member States in the issue of missiles in all its aspects and to submit a report to the Assembly at its next session. 

Action on Texts

The representative of Pakistan said he was fully committed to the goal of strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention.  A balanced and effective protocol, acceptable to all States parties, should be concluded, as provided for in the 1994 mandate of the ad hoc committee.  He would continue to work for the fulfilment of that mandate.  He had hoped that the Assembly would adopt a consensus resolution, reflecting the collective wish to further strengthen the Convention.  Such a text could have called on the upcoming Review Conference to consider the work of the ad hoc group and decide its further course of action.  He was disappointed that it would not adopt a Biological Weapons Convention resolution but a terse decision. 

He said that while he could go along with that, he sincerely hoped that the departure from a resolution to decision would not be misinterpreted.  Enhancing the effectiveness of the Biological Weapons Convention in a comprehensive manner had remained a priority for the international community.  He was confident that all States parties would continue to work towards that goal, within the framework of the Convention.  It was only through the multilateral approach that those collective interests could be safeguarded and promoted.

The representative of China said that the negotiations on a protocol to comprehensively strengthen the effectiveness of the Biological Weapons Convention, which had lasted for almost seven years, had come to an abrupt halt last July.  He deeply regretted that development and had hoped that the current Assembly session could adopt a resolution on the Convention that would point out the reason why those negotiations had been stopped.  Such a text should have emphasized the necessity of global multilateral efforts aimed at strengthening the Convention and reconfirming the magnetism of the ad hoc committee. 

Moreover, such a text could have called upon all States parties to continue negotiations on the protocol within the framework of the ad hoc group, but because of resistance from “certain quarters”, a draft informally circulated earlier had been downgraded to a two-sentence draft decision with little substance.  He could go along with the draft decision, but he was dissatisfied with it, since it neglected the difficult situation facing the protocol negotiations.  China, in the upcoming Review Conference, would continue to work with other States parties to achieve a comprehensive strengthening of the Convention’s effectiveness.

The representative of the Russian Federation said he was committed to strengthening the regime of the Convention.  For six years, his delegation had participated most actively in the work of the ad hoc committee to establish a verification mechanism for the Convention.  He had also been disappointed at the way the situation had developed during the last session of the special group.  Under the circumstances, his preference would have been the adoption of a substantive text that would have established a political basis to continue the mandate of the special group.

He said that, taking into account the present situation, however, he had decided to go along with a “replacement procedural decision” and support consensus.  He had assumed, however, that continued negotiations in the special group would be considered most seriously during the Fifth Review Conference in November-December in Geneva.  He hoped a decision would be taken then as to how to continue.

The representative of Cuba also said he would have preferred to adopt a substantive text under the item, but he would join support for the draft decision, with the understanding that that was a “compromise formula” found, in order not to break historical consensus on the subject.  He had remained committed to strengthening the Convention, through a process that had begun some 10 years ago.  Much progress had been made in the ad hoc committee, but, unfortunately, those negotiations had been abruptly stalled by a single country, which was one of three depositaries of the Convention. 

Despite that, he said his country was still committed to those efforts and to the mandate given the ad hoc group in 1994.  It should be ensured that future measures aimed at strengthening the Convention would continue to evolve in a multilateral and non-discriminatory context, and not in situations where participation was reduced.

The representative of Iran said that his delegation had been a traditional co-sponsor of the draft resolution on the Convention.  Along with the previous speakers, he regretted that, in a very crucial year, a substantive resolution had been “shifted” to a simple decision by the Committee.  Since that action could be interpreted as a wise decision not to expose the differences and endanger consolidated support among States parties to the Convention on that highly crucial objective, he had decided to join the consensus.  He hoped, that action would stimulate serious negotiations in Geneva on how best to complete the mandate of the ad hoc group as soon as possible.

The Committee then approved the draft decision on the Biological Weapons Convention (document A/C.1/56/L.11) without a vote.

The Committee then began to take action on the draft resolution concerning confidence-building measures, including transparency in armaments (document A/C.1/56/L.40).

Speaking before the vote, the representative of Libya, speaking on behalf of the League of Arab States, said he already supported such transparency measures as the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms.  In the context of the Middle East, he favoured disarmament as a tool to strengthen international security.  For a transparency mechanism to be successful, it should be balanced and non-discriminatory.  The United Nations Register was the first attempt to address transparency at the international level and there had been several problems with it, specifically that almost half of United Nations member States had not reported.

Continuing, he said the scope of the Register should be enlarged, because it was limited to seven categories of conventional arms.  An enlarged scope should include information regarding both sophisticated conventional arms and weapons of mass destruction.  That would make the Register more balanced, less discriminatory and able to attract more participants.  The Middle East was a special case, because there was a qualitative lack of balance in armaments there.  Practicing transparency in conventional arms, while ignoring more destructive weapons was imbalanced and incomplete.  He noted that Israel continued to occupy territories and possessed sophisticated weapons, and they were the only State in the region not party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).  Those problems prevented him from voting in favor of the resolution.

Also speaking before the vote, the representative of Egypt said his country had not sponsored the resolution for two years, after having been a sponsor in previous years.  Before the General Assembly resolution creating the Register, Egypt had supported the objectives underlying its creation.  In 1994, Egypt begun to abstain from voting, when a group of experts was unable to reach agreement on the further development of the register.  He hoped that stalemate would not continue.

He said that for the Register to be an effective confidence-building measure, it should be universal, comprehensive, non-discriminatory, ensure equal rights, address the security concerns of all States, and achieve the broadest degree of transparency in armaments.  The resolution did not accurately reflect the views of Egypt and many other countries, and he was unimpressed by the prospects for expanding the scope.  For those reasons, he would abstain from voting on the resolution.

The representative of Monaco said he joined the text’s co-sponsors.

The representative of Syria, speaking before the vote, also aligned himself with Libya’s comments.  He reaffirmed his total support for the position of the League of Arab States on transparency in disarmament.  He drew attention to the draft resolution’s failure to take into account the special situation of the Middle East, where the intransigence of Israel continued.  Israel refused to accept Security Council resolutions and possessed sophisticated weapons.  Israel could produce sophisticated weapons, including nuclear weapons.  In transparency measures, Israel only mentioned a part of its arsenal.  That was why he would abstain from voting on the draft resolution on transparency in armaments.

The representative of Oman, explaining his position, said that he aligned himself with Libya’s statement.  Oman had never questioned the issue of the United Nations Register on Conventional Arms being discussed before the First Committee.  Since the last session, Oman had not participated in the vote, because the Register was not conclusive.  Certain legitimate concerns, already voiced by other delegations, had to be considered.  The Register must include information on other categories of weapons.  As long as it did not, he could not support the resolution.

The representative of Iran said he would abstain from voting on the draft resolution on transparency in armaments.  The process of transparency in armaments had faced difficulty because the intentions of General Assembly resolution 46/36 L had not been fully implemented.  The United Nations Register was meant to be a first step in ushering in transparency in armaments.  Transparency measures should include nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.  The Register’s goal of being comprehensive was far from being reached and Iran was, therefore, unable to support the draft.

The Secretary informed delegates that the following counties had become co-sponsors of the resolution on transparency in armaments:  Antigua and Barbados; Azerbajian; Bahamas; Bangladesh; Barbados; Burundi; Cape Verde; Cyprus; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; El Salvador; Gabon; Georgia; Jamaica; Kenya; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Mali; Marshall Islands; Micronesia (Federated States of); Monaco; Mozambique; Namibia; Nauru; Niger; Papua New Guinea; Paraguay; Peru; Republic of Korea; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Samoa; Swaziland; Tonga; Venezuela; and Zambia.

The Committee first took up operative paragraph 4(b) of the text (document A/C.1/56/L.40).  By that operative paragraph Assembly would request the Secretary-General to prepare a report on the continued functioning of the Register and its further development, with a view to a decision at its fifty-eighth session.

Operative paragraph 4 was adopted by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to 4 against (Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria), with 13 abstentions.  (For details of the vote see Annex I.)

Next, the Committee took up operative paragraph 6 of the resolution on transparency in armaments, which would have the Assembly invite the Conference on Disarmament to consider continuing its work in the field of transparency in armaments, and approved it by a recorded vote of 123 in favor to none against, with 17 abstentions (See Annex II).

The draft resolution on transparency in armaments, as a whole was approved by a vote of 121 in favour, to none against, with 22 abstentions.  (Annex III)

The representative of China, speaking after the vote, said that, in open defiance, a certain country registered its sales of weapons to the Chinese Province of Taiwan with the United Nations Register on Conventional Weapons, as a footnote.  That constituted a flagrant interference in China’s internal affairs.  By registering its sale in that way, the United States had created in the United Nations two Chinas.  That was the reason China had suspended its reporting to the Register.  The United States should rectify its mistakes, thereby making it possible for China to take part in the Register.

The representative of Algeria said he could not vote in favour of the text, although it was very important.  The resolution remained insensitive to the concerns of many countries, who wanted balanced reporting.  The need for broadening the scope of the Register continued to be ignored.  Balanced treatment was necessary; a selective approach should not continue.  The Register should be universal and global and should be broadened to include weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons.

The representative of Myanmar said transparency should be universal, non-discriminatory and done on a voluntary basis.  Transparency in weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, was also needed.  Practical, achievable measures should be addressed.  He had reservations concerning operative paragraphs 4(b) and on 6.  In operative paragraph 4b, it was premature to request the Secretary-General to prepare a report on the continued functioning of the Register and its further development.  As for operative paragraph 6, there were not yet enough reasons to invite the Conference on Disarmament to consider continuing its work in the field.  More time to study the issue was needed, which was why he had abstained in all three votes.

The representative of Jordan said his country had never refrained from reporting to the Register.  The Register represented a long-awaited attempt to strengthen international security and peace.  The scope of the Register should be expanded to include weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons.

The representative of Cuba said that he had supported the resolution on transparency in armaments.  Cuba had participated in the Register in many ways in the past but abstained from voting on operative paragraph 6 today.  With patient work, the number of countries reporting to the Register had increased and he hoped the consensus would grow.

The Secretariat then read out the following additional co-sponsors to the draft resolution on the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (document A/C.1/56/L.50): Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Samoa and Tonga.

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft.

Speaking after action on the text, the representative of Nepal said that, given the consensus on the draft, which contained an operative paragraph calling on the Secretary-General to ensure the Centre’s physical operation in Kathmandu, he deemed it appropriate to brief delegations on the latest status of the host country agreement.  His Government, as the Centre’s host, had communicated firmly to the Department for Disarmament Affairs its willingness to sign the host country agreement, as proposed by the United Nations.  It was looking forward to signing that Agreement in the first week of October.

He added that the original draft text had contained a separate paragraph welcoming that Agreement and had inserted a specific date for the physical operation of the Centre.  To his utmost disappointment, the Disarmament Department had informed his Mission on 17 October about some revisions to the agreement, one of which was unacceptable.  It concerned immunities and privileges and was unacceptable to his or any host country.

He said his Parliament had met with and discussed the matter with the United Nations Legal Counsel and it had been agreed to go ahead with the prior text and start talks on a new provision, so that physical operation of the Centre could proceed.  Meanwhile, the Permanent Mission had not been provided with any additional information on that so far.  His only intention was to see the Regional Centre function physically from Kathmandu without further delay.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution on information security (document A/C.1/56/L.3/Rev.1) without a vote.

The representative of Iran introduced the draft resolution entitled “Missiles” (document A/C.1/56/L.6).  He said his delegation had introduced the draft for the third consecutive year.  The structure and fundamentals of those three texts had been based on four major pillars, including the need for the international community to consider the issues, which had not been rightly placed on the disarmament agenda.  With the support of the international community, that vital issue was being considered for the first time ever within the United Nations.  There was also a need for a balanced approach towards the issues of missiles.  Any such measure should be non-discriminatory, multilateral and universal in nature.

He said the issue should not be addressed in isolation.  Initiation of a comprehensive study in the United Nations should focus on how to address the missiles issue and what measures could be envisaged.  The draft resolution was again constructed on those essential components.  The only changes had been procedural in nature.

The representative of Pakistan, speaking before the vote said he welcomed the text and would vote in favour of it.  He had supported the development of a global treaty on missiles and, accordingly, had proposed that topic as a separate item for inclusion in the agenda of the Conference on Disarmament.  He could not subscribe, however, to any restrictive forces of those States proliferating missiles, yet seeking to prevent missile capability by others.  Pending approval of a legal instrument, he was ready to consider global measures aimed at reducing missile-related threats at all levels, which could range from de-alerting nuclear weapons and systems to the transfer of sensitive technologies.

Such measures, he said, should be accompanied by alternative ones for maintaining military balance, especially in volatile regions, and enhancing cooperation in the relevant technologies for peaceful purposes.  There were elements missing from the draft resolution.  Although the text had his support, it should have acknowledged the central security danger posed by missiles, arising from the existing deployment of missiles equipped with nuclear weapons by the major Powers.  Unilateral and discriminatory measures maintained by certain States, in the context of missiles, should also promote the peaceful uses of the technologies involved.

By a recorded vote of 88 in favour to none against, with 57 abstentions, the Committee approved the draft resolution on missiles (document A/C.1/56/L.6) (Annex IV).

Speaking after the vote, the representative of the United States said the text had raised a number of concerns for his country.  Last year’s resolution had requested the Secretary-General to appoint a panel of governmental experts and report to the Assembly at the current session.  The Secretary-General had proceeded to do so and the Panel’s work was in midstream.  It was probably not wise to call for Member States to submit further views until the two-year study was completed.  He remained concerned about the draft’s overall political intent, which could be to divert attention and resources from ongoing missile non-proliferation efforts, including the draft code of conduct.

He said his country took the issue very seriously and had actively participated in many international efforts to curb the spread of missiles and related technology.  He encouraged all concerned Member States to cooperate in the common cause.  Past efforts had often proved highly effective when conducted on a regional basis and included interested States.  That had been far more productive than a broad and vague approach, such as the one embodied in the draft resolution.  For that reason, the United States had again abstained.

The representative of Japan said that the proliferation of missiles as delivery vehicles for weapons of mass destruction was a matter of concern to Japan.  It was threatening international and regional peace and security.  His country, therefore, had been striving  to reduce that threat by preventing such proliferation.  He had abstained in the voting on the draft just approved, since it had neither referred to concern about the proliferation of missiles as delivery vehicles for weapons of mass destruction, nor recognized the efforts underway, in which Japan was participating.

The representative of the Republic of Korea said he wished to explain his abstention.  The proliferation of missiles as a means to deliver weapons of mass destruction had threatened stability at all levels.  Test-fires had underscored the urgent need for the international community to address that proliferation concern.  Given the complexity of the issue, a step-by-step approach was most practical.  The international community had undertaken various such efforts at bilateral and multilateral levels.  It should build upon the achievements made to date.

He said his Government had participated in the expert panel, whose first session was a starting point in dealing with missiles in all its aspects, including ballistic missiles.  Since the draft resolution had failed to address some of those issues, he had abstained in the vote, but remained committed to helping the panel.

The representative of Belgium, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said that, like last year, the Union had abstained.  The reason, once again, was not that the Union had not shared the concerns with respect to the risks associated with missile technology, but the text had not taken a stand on the essential matters, such as the proliferation of missiles and missile technology and had not made any reference to the multilateral and concrete initiatives aimed at combating that proliferation problem.  The Union had regretted that that element had not found its place in the text this year.

He said that, given the Union’s opposition to the proliferation of missiles that could deliver weapons of mass destruction, it had favoured a comprehensive approach towards strengthening multilateral disarmament and arms control.  It, therefore, had intensified efforts towards combating the proliferation of ballistic missiles.  The draft code of conduct was the most concrete and ambitious initiative in that regard and provided the best opportunity for short-term results.  The Union vigorously supported efforts aimed at making universal that draft code, initiated last September in Ottawa by the members of the Missile Technology Control Regime.

The code would be a subject of international negotiations in 2002 as part of a transparent and inclusive process open equally to all States, he said.  That

would be a politically binding document, once adopted, and of real interest to the United Nations.  The Union, therefore, had been unable to support the present text, but that should not be interpreted as a lack of commitment to the work of the group of experts in the United Nations.

The representative of Australia said she agreed that the issue had warranted the attention of the international community and the United Nations, but she continued to have a number of substantive difficulties with the draft text, including the absence of an expression of concern over the proliferation of ballistic missiles.  Nevertheless, as a strong and active supporter of such efforts, her country was pleased that an Australian expert was participating in the United Nations panel, which could raise awareness of the potentially destabilizing impact of missile proliferation on global security.  She added that she wished to register her strong support for the draft code of conduct and urged all countries to sign it when it was launched in 2002.

The representative of Cuba said he supported the draft just approved, as it had addressed a very important issue that must be debated by the Assembly and discussed in a non-discriminatory and multilateral context.  All States should participate in those discussions.  Until now, the context for the debate had been limited to a small number of countries, but the debate was particularly important now that plans were underway to develop a new ballistic missile defence system, which would result in even greater proliferation of those systems for military purposes.  His country was against those plans.

(annexes follow)

ANNEX I

Vote on Operative Paragraph 4(b)/Transparency

Operative paragraph 4(b) of the draft resolution on transparency in armaments (document A/C.1/56/L.40) was approved by a recorded vote of 123 in favour to 4 against, with 13 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Zambia.

Against:  Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria.

Abstain:  Algeria, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Mauritania, Myanmar, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen.

Absent:  Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Honduras, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malawi, Morocco, Nauru, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.

(END OF ANNEX I)

ANNEX II

Vote on Operative Paragraph 6/Transparency

Operative paragraph 6 of the draft resolution on transparency in armaments (document A/C.1/56/L.40) was approved by a recorded vote of 123 in favour to none against, with 17 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Zambia.

Against:  None.

Abstain:  Algeria, China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Mexico, Myanmar, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen.

Absent:  Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Honduras, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malawi, Nauru, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.

(END OF ANNEX II)

ANNEX III

Vote on Transparency in Armaments

The draft resolution in transparency in armaments (document A/C.1/56/L.40) was approved by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to none against, with 22 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Zambia.

Against:  None.

Abstain:  Algeria, Bahrain, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Pakistan, Qatar, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.

Absent:  Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Honduras, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malawi, Nauru, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.

(END OF ANNEX III)

ANNEX IV

Vote on Missiles

The draft resolution on missiles (document A/C.1/56/L.6) was approved by a recorded vote of 88 in favour to none against, with 57 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  None.

Abstain:  Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Yugoslavia.

Absent:  Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chad, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Honduras, Kiribati, Malawi, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

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For information media. Not an official record.