STAUNCHING UNCONTROLLED SPREAD OF ILLICIT WEAPONS IS THRUST OF 1 OF 20 DRAFTS APPROVED IN FIRST COMMITTEE, AS VOTING CONTINUES ON BROAD RANGE OF MEASURES

29 October 2008
GA/DIS/3378

STAUNCHING UNCONTROLLED SPREAD OF ILLICIT WEAPONS IS THRUST OF 1 OF 20 DRAFTS APPROVED IN FIRST COMMITTEE, AS VOTING CONTINUES ON BROAD RANGE OF MEASURES

29 October 2008
General Assembly
GA/DIS/3378
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-third General Assembly

First Committee

20th Meeting (PM)

STAUNCHING UNCONTROLLED SPREAD OF ILLICIT WEAPONS IS THRUST OF 1 OF 20 DRAFTS

APPROVED IN FIRST COMMITTEE, AS VOTING CONTINUES ON BROAD RANGE OF MEASURES

Preventing New Weapons of Mass Destruction, Averting Outer Space Arms Race,

Seeking Deep Cuts in Arsenals, Halting Nuclear Warheads Production, Among Actions

The uncontrolled spread of illicit weapons in many of the world’s regions triggered humanitarian and socio-economic crises, posed a serious threat to peace, security and sustainable development and required the international community’s concerted effort and commitment to halt that deadly trend, according to 1 of 20 draft texts approved today by the Disarmament Committee.

Approved by an overwhelming majority of 166 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions, the draft resolution would have the General Assembly call upon all States to implement the International Tracing Instrument by, among other things, including in their national reports data on the name and contact information of the national points of contact and on national marking practices related to markings used to indicate country of manufacture or import. 

Further to that draft, the Assembly would encourage States to consider further steps to enhance international cooperation in preventing, combating and eradicating illicit brokering.  (For details of the vote, see Annex VI.)

Prior to approval of the draft as a whole, the Committee took two separate recorded votes.  The first was on operative paragraph 4, which endorsed the report of the Third Biennial Meeting of States encouraging States to implement the report’s measures.  It voted to retain that paragraph by a vote of 164 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions ( Iran, United States).  (See Annex IV.)

Next, it voted to retain operative paragraph 13, by which the Assembly would decide to convene an open-ended meeting of governmental experts for one week to address key implementation challenges and opportunities relating to particular issues and themes, including international cooperation and assistance in this field.  The vote was 164 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 1 abstention ( Iran).  (See Annex V.)

Explaining her opposition to the text, the United States’ representative said that costly meetings were not needed to advance the real objectives of the resolution, but the United States was ready to assist other States in fulfilling their obligations.  Despite her vote, the United States was still committed to the 2001 Programme of Action to combat the illicit small arms and light weapons trade and urged States to undertake steps in that direction, including destroying surplus weapons and achieving better stockpiling methods.

Action in the Committee today covered the entire range of items that has informed its debate, clustered thematically under nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction, the disarmament aspects of outer space, conventional weapons, regional disarmament and security and the United Nations disarmament machinery.

By a vote of 165 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 1 abstention (Israel), the Committee approved a draft resolution by which the Assembly would seek to prevent the emergence of new types of weapons of mass destruction that had characteristics comparable in destructive effect to those of weapons of mass destruction identified as such by the United Nations in 1948.  (See Annex I.)

The Committee also approved a draft on nuclear disarmament, which would urge nuclear-weapon States to stop the qualitative improvement, development, production and stockpiling of nuclear warheads and their delivery systems and, as an interim measure, to de-alert and deactivate immediately their nuclear weapons.  The vote was 194 in favour to 44 against, with 21 abstentions.  (See Annex VII.)

The traditional draft aimed at averting an outer space arms race received broad support, with 166 votes in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 1 abstention ( Israel).  Among its provisions is a call upon all States, particularly those with major space capabilities, to contribute actively to the objective of the peaceful use of outer space and the prevention of an outer space arms race and to refrain from actions contrary to that objective.  (See Annex II.) 

The Committee showed its consensus by approving without a vote draft resolutions on the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling, of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction; measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction; information on confidence-building measures; and regional confidence-building measures:  activities of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa.

Drafts were also approved on establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia (Annex VIII); conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels (Annex IX); and implementation of the anti-personnel mine convention, with a vote of 151 in favour to none against, with 19 abstentions.  (See Annex III.)

Approved without a vote were resolutions on the Report of the Conference on Disarmament; on confidence-building measures in the regional and subregional context; Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects; assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and collecting them; and regional disarmament.

The Committee also approved without a vote draft decisions on the Report of the Disarmament Commission; implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction; strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region; and maintenance of good-neighbourliness, stability and development in South-Eastern Europe.

Explanations of vote were made by the representatives of Algeria, Belgium, Iraq, Pakistan, France (on behalf of the European Union), Japan, Jordan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Cuba, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Iran, Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Morocco, India, Benin, Venezuela, Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Mali, Angola, Libya and Syria.

The representative of Turkey made a general statement.

Pakistan’s representative introduced three draft resolutions on regional disarmament; conventional arms control at regional and subregional levels; and confidence-building measures in the regional and subregional context.

The representative of Syria also spoke in exercise of the right to reply.

The Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Thursday, 30 October, to continue taking action on all disarmament and security-related draft resolutions.

Background

The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this afternoon to take action on all draft texts submitted under disarmament and international security agenda items.

Action on Draft Resolutions, Decisions

Speaking after yesterday’s approval of draft resolution “L.38” on The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation, the representative of Algeria said he attached great importance to the fight against the proliferation of ballistic missiles and their delivery systems.  He had voted against the resolution because the draft continued to be submitted without discussion and did not take into consideration proposals from other Members.  Important matters like design and development remained a vertical concern.  Further, the Conference on Disarmament in the United Nations was the only multilateral forum for discussing the subject.

The representative of the United States offered his positions on drafts L.2, L.5, L.27, L.40 and L.58.

Concerning “L.2”, on the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, he said he had voted “no” because the resolution failed to meet the fundamental tests of fairness and balance.  The resolution was confined to expressions of concern about the activities of a single country, omitting any reference to other issues related to nuclear proliferation in the region.  It did not allude to the steps that some States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in the region were taking to develop the capacity to acquire nuclear weapons and their failure to cooperate fully and transparently with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  Additionally, it did not comment on the failure of some States to conclude safeguard agreements, nor did it recommend that all States in the region sign the IAEA safeguards protocol.

On draft resolution “L.5”, on decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems, speaking also on behalf of the United Kingdom and France, he noted that they continued to disagree with the basic premise of the resolution -– that the current level of readiness of nuclear weapons increased the risk of their use, including their unintentional or accidental use.  The operational readiness of their respective nuclear weapons systems was maintained at a level consonant with their national security requirements and their obligations to their allies, within the larger context of the current global strategic situation.  They had decreased the operational readiness and alert levels of their respective forces since the early 1990s.  Additionally, their respective nuclear weapons systems were no longer targeted against any State.  Together, those steps had reduced the value of further “de-alerting” as a priority for nuclear disarmament, in their view.

He said that the present resolution unhelpfully proceeded from the presumption that lowered alert levels would automatically, and in all cases, lead to heightened international security.  The relationship between alert levels and security was complex and was not reducible to such simple formulaic responses.

Speaking on behalf of the United States and the United Kingdom on draft resolution “L.27”, on missiles, he said that the text welcomed the report of the Secretary-General on the results of the 2008 missile Group of Governmental Experts.  The report was largely descriptive in nature and clearly acknowledged the Group’s inability to reach consensus on developing a universal approach to the missile issue.  That Group had been the third to have been convened in recent years to address the issues posed by missiles.  He believed that the results of the three panels clearly showed that there was no consensus within the international community on the general topic of missiles in all their aspects.

“We therefore believe that it would be inappropriate to convene additional United Nations panels or studies on missiles, which consume scarce resources that could be spent on more fruitful discussions.  We need to stop diverting attention away from successful ongoing efforts on missile non-proliferation that have produced fruitful results,” he said.  He took the danger of missile proliferation very seriously and actively participated in international efforts to curb the spread of missiles and related equipment and technology.  Those efforts proved highly effective when conducted on a regional basis with the participation of relevant States.  That basic strategy, along with other cooperative efforts, offered the best way forward on the issue.  They voted “no” against the resolution.

Speaking on draft resolution “L.40”, on a nuclear-weapon-free southern hemisphere, also on behalf of the United Kingdom and France, he said they attached importance to the establishment of internationally-recognized nuclear-weapon-free zones.  They felt, however, that “L.40” was contradictory to propose simultaneously the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone that would be composed largely of the high seas and yet to say that it would be fully consistent with applicable principles and rules of international law relating to the freedom of the high seas and the right of passage through maritime space, including those of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.  They questioned whether the real goal of the draft resolution was the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone covering the high seas.  The ambiguity had not been successfully clarified.  For that reason, they had voted against the draft.

On “L.58”, on renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, he said the United States believed that, of all the resolutions introduced on the subject, it was the most balanced and realistic.  He noted its support for NPT, its recognition of the Treaty between the United States and Russia on Strategic Offensive Reductions, its call for the immediate commencement of negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty and its positive mention of IAEA comprehensive safeguard agreements and the Additional Protocol.  The United States, however, had continued to vote against the draft, owing to the text’s support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in the operative portion of the text.

The representative of Nigeria noted that he had intended to vote “yes” for draft resolution “L.2”, but it had been recorded as an abstention.

On draft resolution “L.5”, the representative of Belgium said that nuclear disarmament could be reached progressively and gradually with all the nuclear Powers on board.  The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had brought about significant reductions in operational readiness.  He had voted “yes” for the resolution and called upon the nuclear Powers to decrease their operational readiness.

The representative of Iraq noted that she did not abstain from the vote on draft resolution “L.2” as indicated, but had supported it as it would contribute to a solution to regional peace and security.

Also on “L.2”, the representative of Niger said he had voted “yes”, but his vote had been recorded as an abstention.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution 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.1/63/L.11), approving it without a vote.

Among its terms, the Assembly would note with satisfaction the increase in the number of States parties to the Convention and reaffirm the call on all those that have not yet ratified it to do so without delay.  It would call upon those that have not signed it to become parties at an early date.  The Assembly would urge States parties to work closely with the Implementation Support Unit of the Conference on Disarmament Secretariat and Conference Support Branch of the Office for Disarmament Affairs in fulfilling its mandate, in accordance with the decision of the Sixth Review Conference.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution on the prohibition of the development and manufacture of new types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons:  report of the Conference on Disarmament (document A/C.1/63/L.12).

Determined to prevent the emergence of new types of weapons of mass destruction that have characteristics comparable in destructive effect to those of weapons of mass destruction identified in the definition of weapons of mass destruction adopted by the United Nations in 1948, the Assembly would, by the terms of the text, reaffirm that effective measures should be taken to prevent the emergence of new types of weapons of mass destruction and call upon all States, immediately following any recommendations of the Conference on Disarmament, to give favourable consideration to those recommendations.

The draft resolution was approved by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 1 abstention ( Israel).  (For details of the vote, please see Annex I.)

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft resolution on measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction (document A/C.1/63/L.34).

By its terms, the Assembly, mindful of the urgent need for addressing, within the United Nations framework and through international cooperation, this threat to humanity, would call on Member States to support international efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means.  It would urge all Member States to take and strengthen national measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and materials and technologies related to their manufacture.  It would encourage cooperation among and between Member States and relevant regional and international organizations for strengthening national capacities in this regard.

The representative of Pakistan, speaking after the vote, said his delegation had joined consensus on “L.34”, but, as Pakistan previously stated in the General Assembly, the fear that terrorists and non-State actors might acquire weapons of mass destruction was recent.  Of that category of weapons, terrorist organizations were more likely to acquire chemical weapons.  That concern should not be an excuse for the global community to lower its guard vis-à-vis “dirty bombs”.  On denying means for terrorists to use weapons of mass destruction, he said States must enforce export control measures.  International assistance also required urgent attention.  To lend legitimacy, adoption of Security Council resolutions 1540 (2004) and 1673 (2006) must be taken up by a more inclusive United Nations forum.  The best action against the use of weapons of mass destruction was their elimination, and faithful implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and On Their Destruction (Chemical Weapons Convention) was essential.

The United States representative, explaining her position on “L.12”, said the global community should focus on the proliferation of known weapons of mass destruction.  In the 60 years since a definition of weapons of mass destruction was set forth, no new types of such weapons had appeared, and it remained a hypothetical situation to consider new forms.  There was no use in diverting attention, and for such reasons, the United States had voted against the resolution.

The Committee then took up a draft text on the prevention of an arms race in outer space (document A/C.1/63/L.4).

The draft text would have the Assembly, recognizing that prevention of an arms race in outer space would avert a grave danger for international peace and security, call upon all States, in particular those with major space capabilities, to contribute actively to the goal of the peaceful use of outer space and of the prevention of an arms race in outer space and to refrain from actions contrary to that goal and to the relevant existing treaties in the interest of maintaining international peace and security and promoting international cooperation.

The text would also have the Assembly urge States conducting activities in outer space to keep the Conference on Disarmament informed of the progress of bilateral and multilateral negotiations.

The draft resolution was approved by a vote of 166 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 1 abstention ( Israel).  (See Annex II.)

Speaking on behalf of the European Union on draft resolution “L.4”, the representative of France noted that all the Union members had voted in favour of it.  The prevention of an arms race in outer space was essential for achieving strategic stability.  There was a need for transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space, and the Union was working on a draft code of conduct for outer space, convinced that the development of good practices and exchange of information was essential.  It hoped to propose the project soon.  With those proposals, its members hoped that the Conference on Disarmament would be able to make a new start.  The Union would like to see the resolution on the subject better taken into account by Member States.

The representative of Japan said he also supported “L.4”, adding that the subject should be dealt with in the Conference on Disarmament, without prejudice.

The representative of Jordan, speaking on behalf of Australia and Switzerland, had previously introduced the draft resolution “L.6” on implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, and said she would like to make a technical revision.  In lines 8 and 9 of operative paragraph 9, the meeting to be attended appeared in the present text as the “ninth meeting of the States parties”, but it should read as “Review Conference of the Convention”.  She added her hope that the draft text would receive the support it had received in previous sessions. 

The representative of Lao People’s Democratic Republic said he would vote in favour of “L.6” because he supported the humanitarian aspects of the Mine-Ban Treaty.  Lao People’s Democratic Republic had participated in the Treaty process and his Government continued to express its interest in acceding to the Treaty, but at the moment, it still needed time to meet all of its provisions.

The representative of Cuba, speaking before the vote on “L.6”, said his delegation would abstain.  He fully shared the humanitarian concerns on the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel mines.  It was well known that Cuba had been subjected to an ongoing policy of hostility by a super-Power.  As such, it was not possible for Cuba to renounce its use of mines, due to the need to preserve its territorial integrity.   Cuba would continue to support all efforts, while maintaining the appropriate balance between security and humanitarian concerns.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution on the Mine-Ban Convention (document A/C.1/63/L.6), which would have the Assembly invite all States that have not signed the Convention to accede and ratify to it without delay, and invite all States that have not ratified the Convention or acceded to it to provide, on a voluntary basis, information to make global mine action efforts more effective.  It would renew its call upon all States and other relevant parties to work together to promote, support and advance the care, rehabilitation and social and economic reintegration of mine victims, mine risk education programmes and the removal and destruction of anti-personnel mines placed or stockpiled throughout the world.

By a further term of the text, the Assembly would urge all States parties to provide the Secretary-General with complete and timely information to promote transparency and compliance under the Convention.  The Assembly would also urge all States to remain seized of the issue at the highest political level and to promote adherence to the Convention through bilateral, subregional, regional and multilateral contacts, outreach, seminars and other means.

The draft resolution was approved, as orally revised, by a vote of 151 in favour to none against, with 19 abstentions.  (See Annex III.)

Acting without a vote, the Committee then took up a draft resolution on information on confidence-building measures in the field of conventional arms (document A/C.1/63/L.29).

According to the draft, the Assembly would welcome all confidence-building measures in the field of conventional arms already undertaken by Member States as well as the information on such measures voluntarily provided.  It would encourage Member States to continue to adopt confidence-building measures in the conventional weapons field and to provide information in that regard.  It would welcome the establishment of the electronic database containing information provided by Member States and request the Secretary-General to keep the database updated and to assist Member States at their request, in the organization of seminars, courses and workshops aimed at enhancing the knowledge of new developments in the field.

Speaking after the vote on “L.6”, the representative of Singapore said he voted in favour of the resolution and supported and would continue to support all initiatives against the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel mines, especially when they were directed against civilians.  At the same time, Singapore felt firmly that the legitimate right of any State to self-defence could not be disregarded.  A blanket ban on all types of anti-personnel mines might, therefore, be counter-productive.

The representative of Sri Lanka, also speaking on “L.6”, said her country was not yet in a position to accede to the Mine-Ban Convention for reasons already explained.  Despite that situation, the Sri Lankan delegation had voted in favour of the resolution.

The representative of Egypt said his abstention on “L.6” had been due to the Convention’s unbalanced nature.  It had also been developed outside the United Nations.  Basically, the Convention was lacking balance between legitimate and illegitimate use of landmines.  It made it impossible for States to meet its de-mining requirements.  Its weaknesses were also compounded by the weakness of the international system.  The potential for its universality was also questionable.

Also noting his abstention on “L.6”, the representative of Pakistan said his country needed to guard its own borders and that situation made it impossible to agree to the demands of the Mine-Ban Convention to completely reject landmines.  He pointed out that Pakistan was one of the largest contributors to mine clearance efforts in its region and it remained committed to keep its mines from causing civilian casualty.

The representative of Iran, also speaking on “L.6”, said landmines had been used irresponsibly by military groups in parts of the world.  He welcomed every effort to stop that trend.  The Mine-Ban Convention focused mainly on humanitarian concerns and ignored the legitimate uses of landmines, which remained an effective means of protection for some countries.  National and international efforts should explore alternatives to landmines, in order to reduce civilian casualties.  While he appreciated the draft’s objectives, he could not support it, so he had abstained.

On “L.6”, the representative of the Republic of Korea said he fully sympathized with the Convention, however, due to security concerns, his country was unable to accede to it.  His delegation had abstained from the vote, but it was committed to reducing civilian casualties caused by landmines.

The representative of Lebanon said she had abstained from voting on “L.6” and noted that the decision was not a contradiction of her country’s full conviction for human values.  Her delegation respected the Mine-Ban Convention, but Lebanon had not acceded to it due to self-defence concerns emanating from Israel’s aggression.  She called for more assistance on a landmine problem in southern Lebanon, and added that aid should not be linked to accession to the Convention.

In voting “yes” on “L.6”, the representative of Morocco said the resolution allowed the group to keep the subject “visible”.  Although Morocco was not a party to the Mine-Ban Convention due to security reasons, it had supported the draft.  He further expressed a commitment to support the review process for the Convention.

The representative of India, also addressing “L.6”, said he supported a landmine-free world.  India supported the approach in amended protocol II of the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed To Be Excessively Injurious or To Have Indiscriminate Effects (Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons).  He also called for the availability of more cost-effective technologies that could substitute for landmines, in order to protect country borders.  He had abstained from the vote.

The representative of Benin said he had voted “yes” on “L.6” because he supported the spirit and the letter of the resolution.  He called for universal accession to the Mine-Ban Convention.  It had been possible to clear certain post-conflict areas of his region of landmines, and some land tracts had even been made available for housing.  Certain African countries needed investment in mine clearance to reduce the scars of conflict.  He called on the international community to invest more in mine clearance and assistance in peacebuilding and peacekeeping in post-conflict areas.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution entitled the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects (document A/C.1/63/L.57).

The draft text would have the Assembly underline the fact that the issue of the illicit trade in these arms and weapons required concerted efforts at the national, regional and international levels to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit manufacture, transfer and circulation of these arms and weapons and that their uncontrolled spread in many regions of the world had a wide range of humanitarian and socio-economic consequences and posed a serious threat to peace, reconciliation, safety, security, stability and sustainable development at the individual, local, national, regional and international levels.

The draft text would also have the Assembly encourage all efforts to build national capacity for the effective implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, including those highlighted in the Third Biennial Meeting of States’ report.  The Assembly would also call upon all States to implement the International Tracing Instrument by, among other things, including in their national reports information on the name and contact information of the national points of contact and on national marking practices related to markings used to indicate country of manufacture and/or country of import.

The Committee first voted on operative paragraph 4, which reads that the Assembly “endorses the report adopted at the Third Biennial Meeting of States to Consider 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, and encourages all States to implement the measures highlighted in the report”.

It voted to retain that paragraph by 164 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions ( Iran, United States).  (See Annex IV.) 

The Committee then voted on operative paragraph 13, which reads that the Assembly “decides to convene an open-ended meeting of governmental experts for a period of one week, not later than in 2011, to address key implementation challenges and opportunities relating to particular issues and themes, including international cooperation and assistance”.

The retention of that paragraph was approved by a vote of 164 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 1 abstention ( Iran).  (See Annex V.)

The draft resolution was approved as a whole by a vote of 166 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with no abstentions.  (See Annex VI.)

The Committee then took up a draft decision on the maintenance of international security –- good neighbourliness, stability and development in South-Eastern Europe (document A/C.1/63/L.3), which would have the Assembly include the item in its sixty-fifth session provisional agenda.

It approved the draft decision without a vote.

The representative of Iran, explaining his position on “L.57” after the vote, said his delegation had expressed its concerns in the informal meeting with the drafters of the text.  Unfortunately, operative paragraph 4 on the applied procedure for the draft outcome of the Third Biennial Meeting of States had fallen far short of General Assembly standards, including transparency.  As such a procedure could create an unjustifiable precedent for disarmament meetings, Iran could not agree with the draft outcome.  In that context, he regretted that the leadership of “BMS 3” [Third Biennial Meeting of States] had failed to make every effort to facilitate general agreement.  Nor was operative paragraph 13 acceptable.  However, Iran attached great importance to combating trafficking small arms and light weapons.  It had participated in relevant meetings on the matter, and would continue to do so.

The representative of Cuba said he had voted in favour of resolution “L.57”.  He regretted that, because of the position of only one delegation, it had not been possible to achieve consensus, as the text reflected a clear strategy for the eradication of the illicit small arms and light weapons trade.  There had been progress in the implementation of the 2001 Programme of Action, however, much remained to be done, and he was happy to see a follow-up mechanism in the draft.  That bore in mind his concerns brought forth by his delegation in informal consultations.  Preambular paragraph 9 should not be interpreted as establishing a priority for national implementation to the detriment of global implementation.  Regional, national and global measures were mutually reinforcing.

The representative of the United States, also explaining her vote on “L.57”, said the United States was fully committed to the Programme of Action.  Her country had upheld its obligations and encouraged others to do so.  To be successful, States must undertake steps, including destroying surplus weapons and achieving better stockpiling methods, among other things.  While the United States was ready to assist other States in fulfilling their obligations, costly meetings were not needed to advance the real objectives of the resolutions.  For such reasons, her delegation had voted “no”.

The representative of Venezuela noted some corrections to draft resolution “L.47”, on the Conference on Disarmament.

Speaking before the vote on “L.47”, the representative of Turkey said his country fully supported the efforts aimed at helping the Conference on Disarmament to resume its negotiating role as the world’s single multilateral disarmament forum.  Turkey also believed the Conference had a major role on nuclear issues, on a fissile-material cut-off treaty, and prevention of an arms race in outer space.

Also, regarding “L.47”, which had been adopted by consensus for many years, he said the text included a reference to the question of expanding the Conference on Disarmament membership.  As stated in the Conference on Disarmament report, the views of Member States on that issue were reflected in the verbatim records of the Conference.  In that respect, Turkey reiterated that the question of expanding the Conference’s membership was not a priority at present and should be addressed on a case-by-case basis, with due consideration given to the contributions of the candidates to international peace and security.  For that reason, he underlined that the last preambular paragraph should not be construed as a change in Turkey’s well-known position on this question.

The representative of the Netherlands also noted some corrections to the text of “L.48”, on the Disarmament Commission.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution entitled Report of the Conference on Disarmament (document A/C.1/63/L.47), which would have the Assembly, recognizing the need to conduct multilateral negotiations with the aim of reaching agreement on concrete issues, call upon the Conference to further intensify consultations and explore possibilities with a view to reaching an agreement on a programme of work.

The draft resolution was approved, as orally amended, without a vote.

Before the next action, the representative of the United States said he would not participate in the vote on draft resolution “L.48” on the Report of the Disarmament Commission.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution on the Report of the Disarmament Commission (document A/C.1/63/L.48), which would have the Assembly reaffirm the mandate of the Commission as the specialized, deliberative body within the United Nations multilateral disarmament machinery that allows in-depth deliberations on specific disarmament issues, leading to the submission of concrete recommendations on those issues.  It would also reaffirm the importance of further enhancing the dialogue and cooperation among the First Committee, the Disarmament Commission and the Conference on Disarmament.

The Assembly would request the Commission to meet for a period not exceeding three weeks during 2009, namely from 13 April to 1 May, and to submit a substantive report to the Assembly at its sixty-fourth session.  It would recommend that the Commission include in the agenda of its 2009 substantive session an item entitled “Elements of a draft declaration of the 2010s as the fourth disarmament decade”.  It would also recommend that the Commission intensify consultations with a view to reaching agreement on the remaining agenda items before the start of its substantive session of 2009.

The draft resolution was approved, as orally amended, without a vote.

The representative of Cuba, speaking after the vote on “L.48”, on the Disarmament Commission, said his delegation supported that resolution and lamented that the United States had not participated in its approval.  He welcomed the oral amendment to operative paragraph 8, saying that the Non-Aligned Movement had created a concrete agenda for the Commission, which Cuba fully supported.

He said the Commission should address two issues:  recommendations for attaining the goal of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and elements of a draft on the fourth disarmament decade.  Operative paragraph 7 addressed one of the two proposed topics, and he urged agreement on the Commission’s agenda.  He hoped the Movement’s proposal would receive support from all delegations, as it was in line with General Assembly resolution 52/492.

The representative of Thailand said there was no record of her country having voted “yes” on “L.57”, and she wished to have that position reflected.

The representative of Norway said he had joined consensus on “L.47”, on the Conference on Disarmament, however, he reiterated his impatience with the current state of affairs in the Conference, which had not delivered anything of substance in years.  He questioned whether it was the forum for disarmament matters.  With its 65 member States, the Conference was far from universal.  A credible body should be open to any country.  As expressed last week, if the Conference remained paralyzed, there would be stronger calls for more optimal avenues to advance the disarmament agenda.

The representative of Japan asked for a correction of the voting on “L.57”, explaining that he had voted “yes”, but that nothing had been reflected.

The representative of Albania said his delegation had missed the votes on “L.4” and “L.12”, but he would have voted in favour of both those resolutions.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution on nuclear disarmament (document A/C.1/63/L.14), which would have the Assembly urge nuclear-weapon States to stop immediately the qualitative improvement, development, production and stockpiling of nuclear warheads and their delivery systems. 

It would also urge the nuclear-weapon States, as an interim measure, to de-alert and deactivate immediately their nuclear weapons and to take other concrete measures to reduce further the operational status of their nuclear weapons systems while stressing that reductions in deployments and in operational status cannot substitute for irreversible cuts in and the total elimination of nuclear weapons among other things.

The draft resolution was approved by a vote of 104 in favour to 44 against, with 21 abstentions.  (See Annex VII.)

The Committee next turned to a draft resolution entitled establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia (document A/C.1/63/L.37), by which the Assembly, considering that such a zone would constitute an important step towards strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime, ensuring regional and international peace and security, combating international terrorism and preventing nuclear materials and technologies from falling into the hands of non-State actors, would welcome the ratification of the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia by Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The draft resolution was approved by a vote of 128 in favour to 3 against ( France, United Kingdom, United States), with 36 abstentions.  (See Annex VIII.)

The representative of Japan, explaining his position on “L.14”, said his country shared the same goal as the text:  the total elimination of nuclear weapons.  He noted its positive elements on nuclear disarmament, and that it contained a reference to NPT as a cornerstone of such efforts.  However, the draft did not contain other elements, such as the inclusion of nuclear-weapon States in the creation of an agreement towards nuclear disarmament.  Such steps should be progressive, with the involvement of nuclear-weapon States.  He would prefer to see a different approach towards that shared goal.  As such, Japan had abstained from the vote.

On “L.37”, Japan’s representative spoke also on behalf of Austria, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Malta, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland, all of whom regarded the signing of a treaty on a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia as an effort to strengthen regional peace.  That zone would be the first in the northern hemisphere.  As outlined in the 1999 report of the Disarmament Commission, it was important that the five nuclear States were consulted in negotiations of each treaty establishing such zones.  In that regard, he noted the expressed readiness of the five Central Asian States to continue consultations on various provisions in the treaty.  That forward-looking approach was important to the treaty’s future, and he encouraged those talks to take place as soon as possible.  He also encouraged the “C5” to keep countries with an interest in that process informed of those consultations.

The representative of Pakistan, explaining his vote on “L.14”, said that nuclear disarmament was the goal and he shared the views of several of the provisions, including those on negative security assurances.  But because of other issues, such as references to the NPT Review Conferences, Pakistan had abstained from voting on the resolution.

The representative of Italy, explaining his vote on “L.37”, subscribed to nuclear-weapon-free zones and pointed out that article VII of NPT stated that nothing in that treaty prevents States from making other agreements.  He supported the establishment of those zones in treaties entered upon freely by States and encouraged the Central Asian countries to continue consultations on their treaty.

The representative of India, on “L.14”, said he shared views on the issues of the elimination of nuclear weapons, but had abstained in the vote because of certain references to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The representative of Grenada said she had missed the vote on “L.37”, but she would have voted in favour of the resolution.

The representative of the United States, on behalf of the United Kingdom and France, explained that all three of the countries had been in touch with the five Central Asian States regarding the inadequacies of consultations over the treaty.  The United States had made known its availability and put forward questions to the five Central Asian countries in 2005 and then had resubmitted those questions in 2006.  The answers were key, she said.

She pointed out that article 12 of the treaty remained a concern and said that the United States had never been given a rational for that provision.  By signing and ratifying the treaty, those five countries had frozen the text and made future adjustments more difficult.  She would have preferred that those countries had not submitted the resolution to the First Committee and, therefore, France, the United Kingdom and the United States had voted against it.  But they were ready and available for discussions.

The representative of Barbados voted in favour of draft resolution “L.14” and requested that the vote be reflected in the meeting’s official records.

The Committee then took up a draft decision on the Chemical Weapons Convention (document A/C.1/63/L.17), approving it without a vote. 

According to the text, the Assembly, determined to achieve the effective prohibition of the development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and their destruction, would stress that all possessors of chemical weapons, chemical weapons production facilities or chemical weapons development facilities, including previously declared possessor States, should be among the States parties to the Convention.

The representative of Mali, on behalf of the co-sponsors of the draft resolution on the assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and collecting them (document A/C.1/63/L.41), said the text was an expression of the political will of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to, among other things, better focus on the challenges of development.  The co-sponsors would express their wish to adopt the resolution by consensus, and she also called on the international community to support the text and the issue.  The draft resolution was an important step towards international peace and security, she added.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution on the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (document A/C.1/63/L.31), which would have the Assembly call upon all States parties to the Convention that have not yet done so to express their consent to be bound by the Protocols to the Convention and the amendment extending the scope of the Convention and the Protocols thereto to include armed conflicts on a non-international character.

It would also emphasize the importance of universalization of the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War (Protocol V) and welcome the additional ratifications and acceptances of or accessions to the Convention as well as the consents to be found by the Protocols thereto among other points.

The draft resolution was approved without a vote.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution on the assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and collecting them (document A/C.1/63/L.41), approving it without a vote.

By its terms, the Assembly, deeply concerned by the magnitude of human casualty and suffering, especially among children, caused by the illicit proliferation and use of small arms and light weapons, would, among other things, call upon the international community to provide technical and financial support to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations to take action to help combat the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

Speaking before the vote on regional confidence-building measures:  activities of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (document A/C.1/63/L.46), the representative of Angola said that, during the general debate, his delegation had underscored the importance that the countries in the subregion attached to trust and confidence-building measures and the spread of small arms and light weapons.  Progress had been made in the adoption of those measures, as noted in the draft.  The problem of security in Central Africa was well known, and the States in the region needed assistance to achieve disarmament.  He urged the adoption of the resolution without a vote.

The representative of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union before the vote on strengthening security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region (document A/C.1/63/L.18), said the Union hoped it would be adopted without a vote.  He underlined his attachment to provisions acknowledging efforts undertaken in the Euro-Mediterranean framework, notably the code of conduct on counter-terrorism adopted in 2005.  The Union’s satisfaction with Libya’s decisions relating to weapons of mass destruction equipment still held, and he was satisfied that implementation of the additional protocol, and transparency measures beyond that instrument, had allowed IAEA to conclude that there were no more pending questions concerning verification in Libya.

On the Euro-Mediterranean process, he said he was pleased at progress embedded in the Paris Declaration, which launched a strengthened partnership for the Mediterranean, marking a “new stage” in its transformation into a peaceful area.  He renewed the Union’s call to Mediterranean States that had not done so to become parties to all legally-binding instruments negotiated multilaterally in the disarmament and non-proliferation field.

The representative of Pakistan then took the floor to introduce three draft resolutions.  Presenting the first draft resolution, A/C.1/63/L.8 on regional disarmament, he said the text took note of proposals for disarmament at both regional and subregional levels, and recognized the link between regional disarmament and enhanced security.  Further, the draft affirmed that regional disarmament approaches complemented each other, and it called on States to conclude agreements, where possible.  It also supported confidence-building measures, among other things.

Turning to draft resolution A/C.1/63/L.9 on conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels, he said that, despite its significance, the issue had not received due attention.  States should be “sharply focused” on conventional balance and arms control.  The preambular portion of the draft highlighted several important concepts, such as the crucial role of arms control in peace and security, and threats to peace in the post-cold war era.  It also noted, with particular interest, initiatives taken in various regions, including Latin America.  The operative portion requested the Conference on Disarmament to consider formulating principles to serve as the framework for regional commitments.

Resolution A/C.1/63/L.10 entitled confidence-building measures in the regional and subregional context recognized the need for dialogue to avert conflict, and welcomed peace processes in various regions to resolve disputes bilaterally, or through third-party mediation, he said, introducing the text.  Further, it called on States to reaffirm their commitment to peaceful dispute settlement under Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter, and it urged them to strictly comply with all bilateral, regional and international arms control agreements.  It underlined that confidence-building measures should contribute to strategic stability objectives, among other things.

The Committee then turned to “L.8” on regional disarmament, by which the Assembly would stress that sustained efforts were needed, within the Conference on Disarmament framework and under the umbrella of the United Nations, to make progress on the entire range of disarmament issues.

Also under the draft’s terms, the Assembly would, among other things, call upon States to conclude agreements, for nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and confidence-building measures at the regional and subregional levels.

The draft resolution was approved without a vote.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution on conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels (document A/C.1/63/L.9).

Convinced that conventional arms control needed to be pursued primarily in the regional and subregional contexts since most threats to peace and security in the post-cold-war era arise among States located in the same region or subregion, the draft text would have the Assembly decide to give urgent consideration to the issues involved in conventional arms control at those levels.

The Assembly would also request the Conference on Disarmament to consider the formulation of principles that can serve as a framework for regional agreements on conventional arms control.

The draft resolution was approved by a vote of 166 in favour to 1 against ( India), with 1 abstention ( Bhutan).  (See Annex IX.)

Also acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft resolution on confidence-building measures in the regional and subregional context (document A/C.1/63/L.10), which would have the Assembly call upon Member States to refrain from the use or threat of use of force in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.

Also by that text, the Assembly would also call upon Member States to pursue the ways and means set out in the 1993 Disarmament Commission’s report through sustained consultations and dialogue, and would urge States to comply strictly with all bilateral, regional and international agreements, including arms control and disarmament agreements, to which they are party.

The Committee then took up a draft decision on the strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region (document A/C.1/63/L.18), approving it without a vote.  It would have the Assembly call upon all States of the Mediterranean region that have not yet done so to adhere to all the multilaterally negotiated legal instruments related to the field of disarmament and non-proliferation thus creating the necessary conditions for strengthening peace and cooperation in the region.

It would also encourage all States of the region to favour the necessary conditions for strengthening the confidence-building measures among them by promoting genuine openness and transparency on all military matters, by participating inter-alia, in the United Nations system for the standardized reporting of military expenditures and by providing accurate data and information to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms among other things.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution entitled regional confidence-building measures:  activities of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (document A/C.1/63/L.46), approving it without a vote.

By its terms, the Assembly, convinced that resources released by disarmament can be devoted to economic and social development and the protection of the environment, would appeal to the international community to support the efforts undertaken by the States concerned to implement disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes.  The Assembly would urge Member States and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to support the activities of the Standing Advisory Committee, including through provision of the assistance needed to ensure the success of their regular biennial meetings.

The representative of Libya explaining his vote on “L.18” said that joining consensus did not mean that he agreed with everything in the text, notably preambular paragraph 5.  Libya had not taken part in the Paris summit mentioned in the text, as that initiative had not allowed for the participation of Arab States along the Mediterranean.  It should have included Arab League States.  As such, he had abstained from joining the consensus and asked that Libya’s views be taken into account in the future.

The representative of Venezuela said she had voted in favour of “L.9”, as she was convinced of the importance of promoting complete disarmament, which must be addressed in a balanced manner.  Also, States must bear in mind the particularities of subregions.  Initiatives on conventional weapons should not underestimate the importance of the defence of States within their regional defence policies, including the right to self-defence.  States should be able to determine their own defence needs.  Finally, she said any international effort to strengthen conventional arms control should bear in mind the true priorities of disarmament.  Weapons of mass destruction continued to constitute the biggest threat to peace and security.

The representative of India, explaining his vote on “L.9”, said that the resolution requested the Conference on Disarmament to consider formulation of principles on arms control.  As the Conference was the single multilateral disarmament forum for negotiating instruments for global application, his delegation had voted against the resolution.  In 1993, the Disarmament Commission had adopted guidelines for regional disarmament, and there was no need for the Conference to engage itself on that same subject.  Furthermore, as States’ security concerns often extended beyond narrowly defined regions, the idea of balanced defence capabilities in subregions was unacceptable.

Right of Reply

The representative of Syria, speaking in exercise of right of reply, said he had heard the representative of France yesterday, speaking in explanation of vote on draft resolution “L.2” concerning the danger of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.  In that context, he recalled the two rights of reply he had made on 6 and 14 October.  He first advised his French colleague to review the book issued by the Stockholm International Institute for Peace Research, which stated that Syria and all Arab States, and including those in the Middle East, had acceded in the early years to NPT.  The only exception was Israel.  Given that, the call for the regional States to accede to that Treaty was out of place and “turned a blind eye” to Israel.  It was no secret that the Israeli nuclear arsenal exceeded the British one, and was close to that of France.  It was helped by western States.

He reminded the French delegate that her country had provided Israel with a reactor able to make nuclear weapons.  However, France was no longer the only country that helped Israel produce weapons of mass destruction, and he would like to hear statements by those States in which they admitted guilt and sought atonement.  The only way to free the area of weapons of mass destruction was to impel Israel to accede to NPT as a non-nuclear party, and place its installations under International Atomic Energy Agency control.

ANNEX I

Vote on New Types of Weapons of Mass Destruction

The draft resolution on Prohibition of the development and manufacture of new types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons:  report of the Conference on Disarmament (document A/C.1/63/L.12*) was approved by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 1 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, 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, 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, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, 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:  Israel.

Absent:  Albania, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Nauru, Palau, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

ANNEX II

Vote on Outer Space Arms Race

The draft resolution on Prevention of an arms race in outer space (document A/C.1/63/L.4) was approved by a recorded vote of 166 in favour to 1 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, 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, 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, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, 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:  Israel.

Absent:  Albania, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lesotho, Nauru, Palau, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

ANNEX III

Vote on Mine-Ban Convention

The draft resolution on Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (document A/C.1/63/L.6) was approved by a recorded vote of 151 in favour to none against, with 19 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, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, 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, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  None.

Abstain:  Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Syria, Tajikistan, United States, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam.

Absent:  Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lesotho, Nauru, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

ANNEX IV

Vote on Illicit Small Arms Trade, Operative Paragraph 4

Operative paragraph 4 of the draft resolution on the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects (document A/C.1/63/L.57*) was approved by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to none against, with 2 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, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, 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:  None.

Abstain:  Iran, United States.

Absent:  Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lesotho, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

ANNEX V

Vote on Illicit Small Arms Trade, Operative Paragraph 13

Operative paragraph 13 of the draft resolution on the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects (document A/C.1/63/L.57*) 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, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, 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:  Iran.

Absent:  Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lesotho, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

ANNEX VI

Vote on Illicit Small Arms Trade

The draft resolution as a whole on the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects (document A/C.1/63/L.57*) was approved by a recorded vote of 166 in favour to 1 against, 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, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, 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, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, 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.

Absent:  Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Kiribati, Lesotho, Nauru, Palau, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

ANNEX VII

Vote on Nuclear Disarmament

The draft resolution on nuclear disarmament (document A/C.1/63/L.14) was approved by a recorded vote of 104 in favour to 44 against, with 21 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.

Abstain:  Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Montenegro, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Serbia, Sweden, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.

Absent:  Barbados, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lesotho, Nauru, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

ANNEX VIII

Vote on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia

The draft resolution on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia (document A/C.1/63/L.37) 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, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, 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, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey.

Absent:  Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lesotho, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

ANNEX IX

Vote on Conventional Arms Control at Regional, Subregional Levels

The draft resolution on conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels (document A/C.1/63/L.9) was approved 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, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, 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, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  India.

Abstain:  Bhutan.

Absent:  Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Nauru, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Viet Nam.

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