DISARMAMENT COMMITTEE APPROVES TEXT WELCOMING ESTABLISHMENT OF NUCLEAR-WEAPON-FREE ZONE IN CENTRAL ASIA, AS IT CONCLUDES SESSION

30 October 2006
GA/DIS/3337

DISARMAMENT COMMITTEE APPROVES TEXT WELCOMING ESTABLISHMENT OF NUCLEAR-WEAPON-FREE ZONE IN CENTRAL ASIA, AS IT CONCLUDES SESSION

30 October 2006
General Assembly
GA/DIS/3337
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-first General Assembly

First Committee

23rd Meeting (PM)

Disarmament Committee Approves Text welcoming Establishment of nuclear-weapon-free

zone in Central Asia, as it concludes session

Seven More Draft Resolutions Recommended to General Assembly;

Ammunition Stockpiles, Disarmament Decade among Issues Addressed

The General Assembly would welcome last month’s signing in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan of a treaty establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia, under the terms of one of seven draft texts approved today by the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) on issues of nuclear and conventional weapons, regional disarmament and security, other disarmament measures and disarmament machinery, as the Committee concluded its 2006 session.

Further to the draft, the Assembly would also note the readiness of the Central Asian countries to continue consultations with the nuclear-weapon States on a number of provisions of the Treaty.  The Committee approved the draft by a vote of 128 in favour to 3 against ( France, United Kingdom, United States), with 36 abstentions (see annex II).

The Committee also approved a draft on problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus, by which the Assembly would appeal to all interested States to determine the size and nature of their surpluses, whether they represented a security risk, their means of destruction and whether external assistance was needed to eliminate that risk.  By the text, the Assembly would request the establishment of a group of governmental experts, commencing no later than 2008, to consider steps to enhance cooperation on the issue.

The Committee approved the draft by a vote of 164 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 1 abstention ( Japan) (see annex IV).

Prior to voting on the draft as a whole, the Committee voted to retain operative paragraph 7, which would establish the group of governmental experts, by a vote of 163 in favour to 2 against (Japan, United States), with no abstentions (see annex III).

The Committee also approved a text on the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, by which the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to render the necessary assistance and provide such services as may be required for the Conference, whose Preparatory Committee will hold its first session in Vienna from 30 April to 11 May 2007.

The Committee approved that draft by a vote of 163 in favour to none against, with 3 abstentions ( India, Israel, and Pakistan) (see annex I).

The Committee also approved a draft on the convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament, by which the Assembly would decide to establish an open-ended working group, working on the basis of consensus, to consider the objectives and agenda for such a session.  It would further request that the working group hold an organizational session in order to set the date for its substantive sessions in 2007 and to submit a report on its work before the end of the sixty-first session of the General Assembly.

The Committee approved the draft by a vote of 166 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 1 abstention ( Tonga) (see annex VI).

The Committee also approved a draft on the Declaration of a Fourth Disarmament Decade, by which the Assembly would express serious concern at the current disarmament, non-proliferation and international security climate and direct the Disarmament Commission, in its 2009 substantive session, to prepare elements of a draft “Declaration of the 2010s as the Fourth Disarmament Decade” and submit them to the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth session for consideration.

The Committee approved the draft by a vote of 116 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 51 abstentions (see annex V).

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved orally revised drafts on assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and collecting them and on the maintenance of international security –- good-neighbourliness, stability and development in South-Eastern Europe.

In her closing remarks, Chairperson Mona Juul said that several delegations had drawn attention to the many setbacks in disarmament and non-proliferation in recent years.  Yet, the issues were of such fundamental importance that there was no alternative but to try harder, despite the obstacles and difficulties.

In other business today, the Committee agreed on a programme of work for next year.

General statements and explanation of vote were made by the representatives of Mexico, Chile, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Cuba, Japan, Finland (on behalf of the European Union), Netherlands, Austria, China, Canada, Israel, Italy, United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, Brazil, Pakistan, Germany, Egypt, Indonesia (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), Russian Federation, Tonga and Switzerland.

Background

The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this afternoon to conclude its third and final phase of work, namely action on all draft resolutions and decisions.

Expected to be acted on under cluster 1, which concerns nuclear weapons, are drafts on the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and its Preparatory Committee and on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia.

From cluster 4, which deals with conventional weapons, action is also expected on two drafts, one on assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and collecting them, and one on problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus.

Expected to be acted on under cluster 5, which relates to regional disarmament and security, is a draft on maintenance of international security –- good-neighbourliness, stability and development in South- Eastern Europe.

From cluster 6, which concerns other disarmament measures and international security, action is expected on a draft on the declaration of the Fourth Disarmament Decade (2008-2018).

Expected to be acted on under cluster 7, which deals with disarmament machinery, is a draft on the convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament.

Draft Summaries

A draft on the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and its Preparatory Committee (document A/C.1/61/L.21/Rev.1) would have the Assembly request the Secretary-General to render the necessary assistance and to provide such services, including summary records, as may be required for that Conference, whose first session takes place in Vienna from 30 April to 11 May 2007.

A draft resolution on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia (document A/C.1/61/L.54/Rev.1) would have the Assembly welcome the signing of the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan on 8 September 2006.  It would also note the readiness of the Central Asian countries to continue consultations with the nuclear-weapon States on a number of provisions of the Treaty.

A draft resolution on assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and collecting them (document A/C.1/61/L.25) would have the Assembly encourage the collaboration of organizations and associations of civil society in the efforts of the national commissions of the Sahelo-Saharan subregion to combat the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and in the implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all Its Aspects.  It would further have the Assembly call upon the international community to provide technical and financial support to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations to take action to combat the illicit trade.

A draft on problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus (document A/C.1/61/L.26) would have the Assembly appeal to all interested States to determine the size and nature of their surplus stockpiles of conventional ammunition, whether they represented a security risk, their means of destruction, and whether external assistance was needed to eliminate that risk.  It would encourage States in a position to do so to assist interested States in elaborating and implementing programmes to eliminate surplus stockpiles or to improve their management.  Further to the draft, the Assembly would request the establishment of a group of governmental experts, commencing no later than 2008, to consider steps to enhance cooperation on the issue of conventional ammunitions stockpiles in surplus.

A draft resolution on the maintenance of international security -– good-neighbourliness, stability and development in South-Eastern Europe (document A/C.1/61/L.46/Rev.1) would have the Assembly reaffirm the validity of the 23 February 2001 Agreement delineating the borderline between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia and Montenegro.  It would further call upon all States, relevant international organizations and the appropriate organs of the United Nations to respect and support all the principles of the Charter and the commitments of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and through further development of regional arrangements to eliminate threats to international peace and security and to help to prevent conflicts in South-Eastern Europe.

The Assembly would stress that every effort should be made to achieve a negotiated settlement in line with Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) and the contact group guiding principles, emphasize the importance of the implementation of the standards for Kosovo and fully support the work of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General and his team on the Kosovo status talks.  It would also call upon all States to intensify cooperation with and render all necessary assistance to the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to bring all at-large indictees to surrender to the Tribunal.

Seriously concerned at the current disarmament, non-proliferation and international security climate, the Assembly would direct the Disarmament Commission, in its 2009 substantive session, to prepare elements of a draft “Declaration of the 2010s as the Fourth Disarmament Decade” and submit them to the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth session for consideration, according to a draft on the Declaration of a Fourth Disarmament Decade (document A/C.1/61/L.17/Rev.1).

A draft on convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament (document A/C.1/61/L.4) would have the Assembly decide to establish an open-ended working group, working on the basis of consensus, to consider the objectives and agenda for the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament.  It would further request that Working Group hold an organizational session in order to set the date for its substantive sessions in 2007 and to submit a report on its work before the end of the sixty-first session of the General Assembly.

Action on texts

Speaking before the vote, PABLO MACEDO ( Mexico) said he supported the draft resolution on the nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia (L.54/Rev.1).  His Government was a founding member of the first nuclear-weapon-free zone and, as such, expressed solidarity with the five countries that had established the zone in Central Asia.  He hoped that other countries, especially those in the northern hemisphere, would follow suit.  The establishment of such zones took time and required the commitment of the entire international community.  He encouraged further efforts and favoured better cooperation among the nuclear-weapon-free zones.  Furthermore, the establishment of the zones was not a goal in itself, but a means to achieve comprehensive disarmament.

RODRIGO TOLEDO (Chile), explaining his vote in support of L.54/Rev.1, said that it had been more than 40 years since the signing of the first nuclear-weapon-free zone in Latin America.  That had taken place in the 1960s and in a difficult context.  He fully supported the establishment of such zones, which recognized the rights of all States to live in harmony, and the sovereign right of all independent States working for peace and security in their region.

ANDRES APOLINAR ( Dominican Republic), speaking on the draft on the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia (L.54/Rev.1), said that the establishment of such zones was an important step towards nuclear disarmament.  Since his country was part of the Tlatelolco treaty, he encouraged other countries to follow Central Asia’s example.  For that reason, he would vote in favour of the draft.

PUI LEONG ( Venezuela), also speaking on L.54/Rev.1, said that he supported efforts to strengthen international security, if they had the elimination of nuclear weapons as a goal.  One of the most effective ways was to create nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of freely entered into agreements.  Venezuela was part of the first such zone created, by the Tlatelolco treaty.  He congratulated the five Central Asian countries for establishing the first such zone in the northern hemisphere.  He supported the current draft, which would significantly help eliminate nuclear weapons and their proliferation.  Nuclear-weapon States needed to provide to all States in such zones unconditional guarantees against the use or threat of use of such weapons.

RODOLFO ELISEO BENÍTEZ VERSÓN ( Cuba), also speaking on L.54/Rev.1, said he would vote in favour of the draft.  He fully supported the signing of the treaty creating a nuclear-weapon-free zone in central Asia, which was a positive step towards nuclear disarmament and strengthening international and regional security.  Recently, the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement had reiterated the importance that all States in such zones be offered guarantees against the use or threat of use of such weapons.  He hoped that nuclear-weapon States would participate in good faith in such a consultation process.

The Secretary then read out a statement on a draft resolution on the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and its Preparatory Committee (document A/C.1/61/L.21/Rev.1), noting that it would not give rise to financial implications for the 2006-2007 biennium.

The Committee then approved the draft by a vote of 163 in favour to none against, with 3 abstentions ( India, Israel, Pakistan) (see annex I).

The Committee then approved a draft on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia (document A/C.1/61/L.54/Rev.1) by a vote of 128 in favour to 3 against (France, United Kingdom, United States), with 36 abstentions (see annex II).

Speaking after the vote, YOSHIKI MINE ( Japan), speaking also on behalf of Austria, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Malta, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland, explained his delegation’s vote on L.54/Rev.1, on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia.  He said that such a zone would be the first regional nuclear-weapon-free zone in the northern hemisphere and it signified an effort to strengthen peace and stability in the region, while also contributing to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

He added that, as stipulated, it was important that the five nuclear-weapon States be consulted during the negotiations of each treaty establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone.  His delegation would pay close attention to those future consultations among States directly concerned, as he saw a forward-looking approach as important to the future role of the Treaty.

JANNE TAALAS (Finland), speaking on behalf of the European Union and referring to his vote on L.21/Rev.1, said that he welcomed Vienna as the venue of the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and its Preparatory Committee.

JOHANNES LANDMAN ( Netherlands), explaining his delegation’s abstention on L.54/Rev.1, said that his delegation attached great importance to the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones when they were freely entered into.  It had consistently expressed support of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Asia and, in principle, welcomed the initiative.  However, the conclusion of such a Treaty without finalization did not formally establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone under Article 7 of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.  Thus, outstanding issues needed to be resolved through further consultations.

GREGOR CSORSZ (Austria), explaining his vote on L.21/Rev.1, and aligning his delegation with the statement made on behalf of the European Union by Finland, warmly welcomed Vienna as the venue choice for the first Preparatory Committee of the review cycle in the spring of 2007.  Noting that it marked the fiftieth anniversary of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), he was confident that the stage was set for fruitful discussions in a spirit of optimism.

CHENG JINGYE ( China) said that he had voted for L.54/Rev.1.  His country had consistently respected the efforts of States in the region to establish such zones in freely arrived at agreements, taking into account the reality of the region.  The establishment of such a zone was in the interest of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.  China had signed treaties creating such zones in Latin America, the South Pacific and Africa, as well as their relevant protocols.  China had also joined the consensus on creating such a zone in South-East Asia and looked forward to the treaty’s opening for signature.  China had friendly relations with the five States that had established a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia and would continue to support the efforts of States in other regions to establish such zones.

PAUL MEYER ( Canada) said that he had abstained on L.54/Rev.1.  Nuclear-weapon-free zones were an important contribution to non-proliferation and disarmament, and he was in favour of such a zone in Central Asia.  The inclusion of Kazakhstan, which had renounced such weapons, set a clear example for other regions which had had such weapons in the past.  More work was needed before that laudable enterprise could be fully realized.  He had concerns about article 12 and the impact of pre-existing security arrangements on the treaty and its core purpose.  That ambiguity had prompted his abstention.  Resolving the issue seemed straightforward, so he hoped for an expeditious solution and counted on the good will of all involved.

ALON BAR (Israel), speaking on L.54/Rev.1, said that his country naturally sympathized with the concept of nuclear-weapon-free zones, but other pertinent States with legitimate security concerns relative to that zone should be engaged to enhance the efficacy of such arrangements.  Resolutions related to such zones in international fora should strive for consensus among all relevant sides, which would reinforce such a zone.  In the absence of such a consensus, he had decided to abstain.

CARLO TREZZA ( Italy), speaking on L.54/Rev.1, acknowledged the importance of nuclear-weapon-free zones, and welcomed the decision of the five countries to establish such a zone in Central Asia.  He encouraged them to continue consultations on the treaty and on article 1 of its protocol.

JOHN DUNCAN (United Kingdom), explaining his vote against L.54/Rev.1, and speaking also on behalf of France and the United States, said that those delegations had expressed concern over the inadequacy of consultations.  Ever since December 2002 and during consultations between the five permanent Security Council members and five Central Asian states, questions were put forward and had been re-submitted in writing.  They were raised again before the signing in September of this year.  Answers to those questions were key and needed to be resolved.  His primary reservation remained article 12, stating that existing treaty obligations would not be affected.  Yet there had been no satisfactory rationale for that article.  Without that, the Treaty would have little meaning, he added.  Furthermore, future adjustments would be much more difficult. 

CRAIG MacLACHLAN ( Australia), explaining his vote on L.54/Rev.1, said that his Government was a strong supporter of nuclear-weapon-free zones when they were freely arrived at.  The agreement had been signed very recently, but certain countries had reservations.  It was, thus, not prudent to support it until his Government had fully studied all aspects of the agreement.

DAVID CARRIEDO ( Spain) said that his Government had always expressed its unequivocal support for the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones, as it believed that those zones were an important contribution to international peace and security.  However, the conclusion of the Treaty -- without finalization of the consultations with the nuclear-weapon States -- had resulted in a Treaty that did not formally establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone, as set out in article 7 of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Disarmament Convention 1999 Guidelines on nuclear-weapon-free zones.  Spain deemed it essential that those outstanding issues be resolved.

JOSE ARTUR DENOT MEDEIROS ( Brazil), explaining his vote in favour of L.54/Rev.1, said that he remained fully convinced that nuclear-weapon-free zones -- when freely arrived at -- contributed to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.  The draft deserved the full support of the international community.  He welcomed the Treaty and hoped that the General Assembly could welcome the act of establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone and encourage nuclear-weapon States to continue to engage with Central Asian countries on provisions of the Treaty.

KHALIL HASHMI (Pakistan), speaking on the draft on the 2010 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, L.21, said his country subscribed to that treaty’s objectives, even though it was not part of it.  Pakistan was fulfilling the treaty’s norms and was prepared to act in consonance with its general obligations.  Because of ground realities, it could not be expected to adhere to the treaty as a non-nuclear weapon State.  The current disarmament and non-proliferation regime was facing challenges.  He hoped that the Review Conference would explore ways to normalize relations between nuclear and non-nuclear-weapon States and make the treaty a living one that was responsive to today’s realities.

BERNHARD BRASACK ( Germany), explaining his abstention on L.54/Rev.1, said he had been ready to vote for the draft as a signal of support for nuclear-weapon-free zones and as a way to promote disarmament, stability and confidence.  Nevertheless, he shared the concern of the Netherlands and other delegations and had abstained to show his disappointment that suggestions that could have bridged differences were not taken into account by the draft’s sponsors.  He hoped that in the next year all sides would work to allow the accession of all relevant parties to the Semipalatinsk Treaty.

KHALED SHAMAA ( Egypt) said that he supported the nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia and other regions as a way to achieve nuclear disarmament.  He hoped for the establishment of such a zone as soon as possible in the Middle East, as part of efforts to preserve the Non-Proliferation Treaty and lasting peace in the Middle East.  For that reason, he had supported the draft.

WITJAKSONO ADJI ( Indonesia) said he had voted in favour of L.54/Rev.1, which he hoped could be strengthened to provide a strong signal on establishing such zones.  As had been determined by the Disarmament Commission in 1996, it was up to the States in the region to decide on the terms governing such zones, and it was the prerogative of nuclear-weapon States whether or not to adopt assurances to members of such zones in the form of protocols.

ANTON VASILIEV ( Russian Federation), explaining his vote on L.54/Rev.1, congratulated the five countries of Central Asia for their successful completion of years of work and the signing of a Treaty.  He welcomed the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone as an important step for strengthening the non-proliferation regime.  It was a historic moment -- though not a simple one.

The Treaty was a significant step in the world’s effort to keep nuclear weapons from falling into terrorist hands, he said.  After the signing of the treaty, there still remained the task of ensuring its practical application however, and the Russian Federation called upon all States to help with that process.

The Secretary then read out a statement on a draft resolution on the assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and collecting them (document A/C.1/61/L.25), noting that it would not give rise to financial implications under the budget for the biennium 2006-2007.

The Committee then approved the draft, as orally revised, without a vote.

The Secretary then read out a statement on a draft resolution on problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus (document A/C.1/61/L.26), noting that its adoption would give rise to no additional requirements under the budget for the 2006-2007 biennium.

The Committee then voted to retain operative paragraph 7 by a vote of 163 in favour to 2 against ( Japan, United States), with no abstentions (see annex III).

The Committee then approved the draft as a whole by a vote of 164 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 1 abstention ( Japan) (see annex IV).

Speaking after the vote, YOSHIKI MINE (Japan), explaining his vote on L.26, said that he attached great importance to resolving the problems of ammunition, as he viewed that as inseparable from the issue of conventional weapons.  He recommended that in-depth discussions be continued, so that those issues could be adequately addressed.  However, to date, regional and global discussions had not been developed sufficiently and there was not yet a common understanding.  Thus, an expert group would be premature.  He voiced concern over the expansion of the United Nations budget, as Japan could not accept the uncontrollable expansion of the budget.

WILMER MENDEZ ( Venezuela) explaining his vote in favour of L26, on conventional ammunition stockpiles, said that regulations needed to be adopted before the exporting of those occurred.  Furthermore, they needed to be properly tracked.

The Committee then approved a draft on maintenance of international security –- good-neighbourliness, stability and development in South-Eastern Europe (document A/C.1/61/L.46/Rev.1), as orally revised, without a vote.

Before the vote, JANNE TAALAS ( Finland), speaking on behalf of the European Union and explaining his abstention on L.17, said that his delegation was a staunch supporter of effective multilateral action in the field of arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament.  Although it did wish to contribute to the development of a stronger international community, well-functioning international institutions and a rules-based international order, it was not yet convinced of the added value of this year’s General Assembly setting the agenda for the Disarmament Convention session in 2009.

RODOLFO ELISEO BENÍTEZ VERSÓN ( Cuba), also speaking on L.17/Rev.1, said he would vote for the draft because it came at a timely moment.  Its adoption would make it possible to have a proper preparation process.  The proposed decade could help mobilize international efforts to emerge from the current stagnation in international security and disarmament and move forward.  Declaring such a decade would be a step forward in promoting multilateralism, in light of the dangerous tendency of some States to resort with more frequency to unilateralism.

The Committee then approved a draft on the declaration of a Fourth Disarmament Decade (2008-2018) (document A/C.1/61/L.17/Rev.1) by a vote of 116 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 51 abstentions (see annex V).

After the vote, FRANCESCO QUATTRINI ( Switzerland), explaining his abstention on L.17/Rev.1, said that he was aware of the difficulties faced by international fora in negotiating disarmament issues.  Though his delegation appreciated the spirit and intentions of Sierra Leone, the sponsor of the draft, it was not convinced of the resolution’s usefulness.

Speaking before the vote on the next cluster, WITJAKSONO ADJI (Indonesia), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the cumulative effect of negative developments in disarmament and non-proliferation had resulted in the continuation of the nuclear arms race, as well as the planning for a new generation of nuclear weapons and the distinct danger of terrorists obtaining such weapons.  The final objective should be complete disarmament and the immediate goal the elimination of the danger of nuclear weapons.  In spite of the best efforts of the international community, there had not been adequate results with the existing disarmament machinery, and there was an urgent need for it to be revitalized.  The role of the United Nations in that area must be strengthened.

He said that the substantive session of the open-ended working group was the appropriate forum to begin working on such a special session.  Substantive sessions would provide each Member State with the opportunity to provide contributions to shared objectives for maintenance of international peace and security.  The Non-Aligned Movement was willing to work with all Member States during the upcoming substantive sessions of the open-ended working group.

The Committee then approved a draft on the convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament (document A/C.1/61/L.4) by a vote of 166 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 1 abstention (Tonga) (see annex VI).

ILAISIPA ALIPATE ( Tonga) said she had accidentally pressed the abstain button.  She intended to vote against the draft.

The Committee then adopted its 2007 draft programme of work and timetable (document A/C.1/61/CRP.6/Rev.1).

Chairperson’s Statement

MONA JUUL ( Norway) said that several delegations had drawn attention to the many setbacks in disarmament and non-proliferation in recent years.  The issues were of such fundamental importance that there was no alternative but to try harder, despite the obstacles and difficulties.  In assessing the work of the First Committee, she noted room for continued improvement regarding the repetitive nature of the work, but it was being acknowledged that a resolution remained valid until it was replaced and did not need to happen every year.  New, relevant issues had been introduced, like the text on an Arms Trade Treaty, which was healthy for the Committee’s work.

From the outset, she had been determined to improve the Committee’s working methods.  At the United Nations, time was a costly commodity, but the Committee had been able to use its time better than in previous years.  Delegations had, by and large, respected the decision to start meetings on time.  There had been some delays, but they were not due to poor organization.  Rather, it had been due to the fact that delegates took greater interest in particular debates.

She said that the cluster approach had been valuable, and further improvements were possible.  Occasionally, the debates had been fragmented and overlapping, which was an organizational challenge that could be overcome.  The Secretariat was the collective memory, and she would assist next year’s secretary in rectifying the problems.  The participation of experts had improved the quality of the meetings.  Some adjustments were needed to secure optimal interactive dialogue.  Civil society had contributed fruitfully, and there was considerable interest in the exchange of views with non-governmental organizations.

She said that the current session had been a reasonably successful one.  She expressed her sincere appreciation to all members of the Committee for their cooperation throughout, and thanked all delegations for their cooperation and support in using the allocated time and facilities in an efficient manner.  The First Committee had again set a benchmark for other committees to follow in its use of time and conference facilities, particularly in its use of the rolling list of speakers for the general debate and interactive discussions. 

She thanked fellow Bureau members, whose collective wisdom and experience were instrumental in allowing the effective discharge of the chair’s functions.  She also expressed profound gratitude to Under-Secretary General for Disarmament Affairs, Nobuyaki Tanaka, to his staff, and to the Secretary and all the colleagues of the Secretariat for their tireless efforts throughout the past month. 

She also thanked the interpreters, translators, record keepers, press officers, document officers, conference officers and sound engineers who had been diligently working behind the scenes in order to support the Committee.

WITJAKSONO ADJI ( Indonesia), speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, extended his gratitude to the Chair for her able and effective leadership in steering the Committee’s work.  It was a historic milestone as she was the first woman to be appointed.  He further congratulated the Committee on its improved working methods and hoped that those would be retained and further developed in forthcoming sessions.  Furthermore, it was crucial that panel discussions of non-governmental organizations and experts be maintained, as they underscored the growing relevance of the First Committee to Member States.

The Non-Aligned Movement had submitted six drafts and had received overwhelming support.  He was pleased that some were even adopted without a vote.  To conclude, the Non-Aligned Movement remained committed to promoting international peace and security through disarmament measures.  He believed that multilaterally agreed solutions within the Charter of the United Nations were the only sustainable way to address international security issues.

Mr. TAALAS ( Finland), speaking on behalf of the European Union, thanked the Chair for her dignity in carrying out the First Committee’s tasks.  He also congratulated the Secretariat for its efficiency and skill –- both of which had facilitated the Committee’s work this year.

ANNEX I

Vote on Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference

The draft resolution on the 2010 Review Conference of the parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (document A/C.1/61/L.21/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to none against, with 3 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  None.

Abstain:  India, Israel, Pakistan.

Absent:  Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Namibia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

ANNEX II

Vote on Central Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone

The draft resolution on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia (document A/C.1/61/L.54/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 128 in favour to 3 against, with 36 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  France, United Kingdom, United States.

Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey.

Absent:  Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Gambia, Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Namibia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

ANNEX III

Vote on Operative Paragraph 7/ Conventional Ammunition Stockpiles

Operative paragraph 7 of the draft resolution on problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus (document A/C.1/61/L.26) was approved by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 2 against, with no abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Japan, United States.

Abstain:  None.

Absent:  Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

ANNEX IV

Vote on Conventional Ammunition Stockpiles

The draft resolution on problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus (document A/C.1/61/L.26) was approved by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 1 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  United States.

Abstain:  Japan.

Absent:  Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

ANNEX V

Vote on Fourth Disarmament Decade

The draft resolution on the Declaration of the Fourth Disarmament Decade (document A/C.1/61/L.17/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 116 in favour to 1 against, with 51 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  United States.

Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

Absent:  Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Namibia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

ANNEX VI

Vote on Special Session on Disarmament

The draft resolution on the convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament (document A/C.1/61/L.4) was adopted by a recorded vote of 166 in favour to 1 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  United States.

Abstain:  Tonga.

Absent:  Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Montenegro, Namibia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.