First Committee Seeks to Ban Development of New Types of Mass Destruction Weapons, by One of 22 Draft Texts Forwarded to General Assembly for Adoption

27 October 2011
GA/DIS/3447

First Committee Seeks to Ban Development of New Types of Mass Destruction Weapons, by One of 22 Draft Texts Forwarded to General Assembly for Adoption

27 October 2011
General Assembly
GA/DIS/3447
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-sixth General Assembly

First Committee

22nd Meeting (PM)

First Committee Seeks to Ban Development of New Types of Mass Destruction Weapons,

by One of 22 Draft Texts Forwarded to General Assembly for Adoption

 

Transparency in Armaments Text Requires 7 Separate Votes; Nuclear Disarmament

Draft, Calling for End to Qualitative Improvement of Those Weapons, Takes Three

Furthering compliance with non-proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements and commitments, consolidating the African nuclear-weapon-free zone, enhancing transparency in armaments, and banning development and manufacture of new types of weapons of mass destruction were among the aims of the 22 draft texts approved today as the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) continued its action on the 53 draft texts before it.

Recognizing that there now existed conditions for the establishment of a world free of nuclear weapons, the General Assembly would urge nuclear-weapon States to immediately stop the qualitative improvement, development, production and stockpiling of nuclear warheads and their delivery systems, and to immediately de-alert and deactivate those weapons, according to a draft resolution submitted by Myanmar and entitled “Nuclear disarmament”.  It was approved by a recorded vote of 113 in favour to 44 against, with 18 abstentions.

Prior to voting on that text, two separate recorded votes were taken to retain operative paragraphs 14 and 16.  Operative paragraph 14 would have the Assembly call for the full implementation of the action plan of the final document of the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), particularly the 22-point action plan on nuclear disarmament.  By operative paragraph 16, the Assembly would call for the immediate commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devises.

By the terms of another text, submitted by the United States, on compliance with non-proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements and commitments, the Assembly would stress that failure by States parties to comply with those agreements to which they are parties, not only adversely affected the security of States parties, but also could create security risks for other States.  It would urge all States not currently in compliance with their respective obligations to make the strategic decision to come back into compliance.

The Committee approved the text by a recorded vote of 157 in favour, with 18 abstentions.

According to a text on transparency in armaments, introduced by the Netherlands, the Assembly would invite Member States, pending further development of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, to provide additional information on procurement through national production and military holdings.  It would also invite them to provide additional information on transfers of small arms and light weapons on the basis of the optional standardized reporting form or by any other methods they deemed appropriate.  The Committee approved that text as a whole, as orally revised, by a recorded vote of 149 in favour to none against, with 25 abstentions.

Prior to voting, the Committee took six separate recorded votes on operative paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5(b), 5 as a whole, and 7.  In operative paragraph 2, the Assembly would call on Member States to provide the Secretary-General with the requested data and information for the Register by 31 May annually.  By operative paragraph 3, the Assembly would invite Member States, pending further development of the Register, to provide additional information on procurement through national production and military holdings.

By operative paragraph 4 of that same text, the Assembly would invite Member States to provide additional information on transfers of small arms and light weapons.  Operative paragraph 5 would have the Assembly reaffirm its decision to keep the scope of and participation in the Register under review, and 5(b) would have it request the Secretary-General to prepare a report on the continuing operation of the Register and its further development.  Finally, operative paragraph 7 would have the Assembly invite the Conference on Disarmament to consider continuing its work undertaken in the field of transparency in armaments.

By a text on the promotion of multilateralism in disarmament and non-proliferation, the Assembly would urge the participation of all interested States in multilateral negotiations on arms regulation, non-proliferation and disarmament in a non-discriminatory and transparent manner, and underline the importance of preserving the existing agreements on arms regulation and disarmament.  The Committee approved that draft resolution by a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 4 against (Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 49 abstentions.

Desiring to achieve the objective of a legally binding prohibition of the development, production, testing, deployment, stockpiling, threat or use of nuclear weapons and their destruction under effective international control, the Committee also approved a text, introduced by Malaysia, entitled “Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons”.  It was approved by a recorded vote of 127 in favour to 25 against, with 22 abstentions.

By another text, on the prohibition of the development and manufacture of new types of weapons of mass destruction, the Assembly would reaffirm that effective measures should be taken to prevent the emergence of new such types of weapons.  That text, introduced by Belarus, was approved by a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 1 abstention ( Israel).

The Committee also approved, without a vote, drafts on the following topics:  relationship between disarmament and development; observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control; national legislation on transfer of arms, military equipment and dual-use goods and technology; United Nations regional centres for peace and disarmament; report of the Conference on Disarmament; report of the Disarmament Commission; African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty; prohibition of the dumping of radioactive wastes; 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; illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects; strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region; developments in the field of information and  telecommunications in the context of international security; and reduction of military budgets:  Objective information on military matters, including transparency of military expenditures.

The Committee also approved without a vote the following two draft decisions:  Review of the implementation of the Declaration on the Strengthening of International Security, and role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament.

General statements and the introduction of draft texts on the clusters were made by the representatives of Cuba, Chile, Russian Federation, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Belarus, Morocco, Sweden and the United States.

Nigeria’s delegate, on behalf of the African Group, introduced a revision to the draft resolution on the prohibition on the dumping of radioactive waste.

Explanations of vote were made by the delegates of the United States, France (on behalf of the United Kingdom), Canada (on behalf of Australia and New Zealand), Pakistan, Iran, Australia, Japan, Sweden, United Kingdom, India, Spain, Netherlands, Turkey, Ukraine, Germany, Turkmenistan, Libya, Kyrgyzstan and Cuba.

The delegate of Iran spoke on a point of order.

The Committee will meet again at 3 p.m., Friday, 28 October, to continue taking action on all disarmament and security-related the draft resolutions and decisions.

Background

The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this afternoon to continue taking action on the 53 draft resolutions and decisions before it.  (For background on the Committee’s session and a summary of reports before it, see Press Release GA/DIS/3429).

General Statements on Other Disarmament Measures and International Security

MARIA CARIDAD BALAGUER LABRADA (Cuba) underscored that members of the Non-Aligned Movement had submitted three draft texts:  relationship between disarmament and development (document A/C.1/66/L.6); observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control (document A/C.1/66/L.7); and promotion of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation (document A/C.1/66/L.8).

Disarmament and development, the subject of L.6, were among the most important challenges to the world, she said, and it was clear that military expenditures could be diverted to development.  Environmental norms should also be taken into account during disarmament discussions, as shown in L.7.  On L.8, she said multilateralism was the way forward in debates on disarmament-related issues.

Action on Drafts

The delegate of the United States said her country would not participate in the vote on L.6.  Disarmament and development were two distinct issues.

Not taking part in the vote on L.7, she said the draft text did not show the direct connection between the two issues it addressed: environmental issues and arms control.

The Committee then approved, without a vote, the draft resolution, on the relationship between disarmament and development (document A/C.1/66/L.6), sponsored by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.  It would have the General Assembly, bearing in mind the new challenges for the international community in the fields of development, urge the international community to devote part of the resources made available by the implementation of disarmament and arms limitation agreements to economic and social development, with a view to reducing the ever-widening gap between developed and developing countries.

The Assembly would stress the central role of the United Nations in the disarmament-development relationship and request the Secretary-General to continue to take action for the implementation of the action programme adopted at the 1987 International Conference on the Relationship between Disarmament and Development.

It would also encourage the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and to make reference to the contribution that disarmament could provide in meeting them when it reviews its progress towards this purpose in 2012.

In a related provision, the Assembly would encourage relevant regional and subregional organizations and institutions, non-governmental organizations and research institutes to incorporate these issues into their agenda.  It would reiterate its invitation to Member States to provide the Secretary-General with information regarding measures and efforts to devote part of the resources made available by the implementation of disarmament and arms limitation agreements to economic and social development.

The Committee also approved without a vote the draft resolution, on observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control (document A/C.1/66/L.7), sponsored by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, which would have the General Assembly reaffirm that international disarmament forums should take fully into account the relevant environmental norms in negotiating treaties and agreements on disarmament and arms limitation agreements, and that all States, through their actions, should contribute fully to ensuring compliance with those norms in the implementation of those instruments.

The Assembly would call upon States to adopt unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral measures so as to contribute to ensuring the application of scientific and technological progress within the framework of international security, disarmament and other related sphere, without detriment to the environment or to its selective contribution to attaining sustainable development.

The Committee had before it a draft resolution, on the promotion of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation (document A/C.1/66/L.8), sponsored by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, by which the General Assembly, concerned at the continuous erosion of multilateralism in the field of arms regulation, non-proliferation and disarmament, would reaffirm multilateralism as the core principle in negotiations in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation with a view to maintaining and strengthening universal norms and enlarging their scope.

The draft would have the Assembly urge the participation of all interested States in multilateral negotiations on arms regulation, non-proliferation and disarmament in a non-discriminatory and transparent manner; underline the importance of preserving the existing agreements on arms regulation and disarmament; and call upon all Member States to renew and fulfil their individual and collective commitments to multilateral cooperation.

The Assembly would request the States parties to the relevant instruments on weapons of mass destruction to consult and cooperate among themselves in resolving their concerns with regard to cases of non-compliance, as well as on implementation, in accordance with the procedures defined in those instruments, and to refrain from resorting or threatening to resort to unilateral actions or directing unverified non-compliance accusations against one another to resolve their concerns.

The Committee approved the draft resolution by a vote of 120 in favour to 4 against (Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 49 abstentions.

The Committee then approved, without a vote, a draft decision, on the Review of the implementation of the Strengthening of International Security (document A/C.1/66/L.12), also submitted by Indonesia, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, which would have the General Assembly decide to include the item in the provisional agenda of its sixty-eighth session.

Recognizing that disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation are essential for the maintenance of international peace and security, the Committee took up a draft resolution, on national legislation on transfer of arms, military equipment and dual-use goods and technology (document A/C.1/66/L.33), sponsored by the Netherlands, which would have the General Assembly invite Member States that are in a position to do so, without prejudice to the provisions contained in Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) and subsequent relevant Security Council resolutions, to enact or improve national legislation, regulations and procedures to exercise effective control over the transfer of arms, military equipment and dual-use goods and technology, while ensuring that such legislation, regulations and procedures are consistent with the obligations of States parties under international treaties.

The Assembly would also encourage Member States to provide, on a voluntary basis, information to the Secretary-General on their national legislation, regulations and procedures on the transfer of arms, military equipment and dual-use goods and technology, as well as the changes therein, and request the Secretary-General to make that information available to Member States.

The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.

The Committee approved without a vote a draft decision, Role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament (A/C.1/66/L.44), sponsored by India, which would have the General Assembly decide to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-seventh session an item by the same name.

The delegate of France said the United Kingdom and France supported L.6, particularly in the field of small arms and light weapons.  He felt it was necessary to clarify their position, however, on elements of the draft.

An environment that was conducive for disarmament did not solely depend on development, he said.  There was no automatic link between the two issues.  The notion whereby military expenditure represented a deviation from funds needed for development should be clarified.  The Group of Governmental Experts’ report did not attach due importance to the bilateral and multilateral actions.

On the topic of disarmament and arms control, L.7, the United Kingdom and France did not see a direct link, in contrast to what was in the draft text, between the implementation of agreement and arms control, he said.

Canada’s delegate, on behalf also of Australia and New Zealand, said he had abstained on L.8.  The countries could not agree that multilateralism was the sole way ahead, as shown in operative paragraphs 1 and 2 of the text.  A combination of regional, bilateral and other measures were needed, and she hoped the operative paragraphs in future versions of the draft would reflect that combination.  The matters at stake were simply too vital; the world could not afford to not use all available measures.

General Statements on Disarmament Machinery Cluster

Ms. BALAGUER ( Cuba) reaffirmed the importance of the Conference on Disarmament as the sole multilateral forum for disarmament negotiations.  A programme of work in the Conference should be balanced, she said, as it negotiated various treaties, including preventing an arms race in outer space and a fissile material ban.

She appealed for delegates’ full support of L.20.  Regarding operative paragraph 7, she hoped consensus would be achieved.  She also hoped delegates would demonstrate flexibility and resolve in reaching a consensus on the text as a whole.

HELMUT LAGOS ( Chile) said during the debates of the Committee during the current session, concerns had been voiced on the Conference on Disarmament’s stalemate and the lack of progress achieved in the field of nuclear disarmament.  The Conference was and must remain the principal multilateral forum, he said.

He welcomed proposals that addressed issues before the Conference on Disarmament, including negative security assurances, a fissile material cut-off treaty and prevention of an arms race in outer space.  There was growing consensus shared by the international community, including the progress achieved in strengthening nuclear-weapon-free zones.

The time should be used to make progress towards the universalization of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and, in the field of transparency, related issues concerning the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

VICTOR VASILIEV ( Russian Federation ) said the disarmament machinery discussions showed that the world had reached a crossroads.  Progress would prevail or the entire disarmament machinery would collapse.  Actual results were scarce and the status quo was unacceptable.  The Russian delegation had unofficially distributed a proposal for a programme of work for the Conference on Disarmament that proposed beginning work on a fissile material cut-off treaty and continuing substantive discussions on other issues before the Conference.

He regretted that during this session, the Committee could not reach an agreement.  He encouraged delegates to keep seeking a compromise.

RI TONG IL (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) underlined the “essential point” in operative paragraph 1 of L.13/Rev.1.  As one of the “P-6” in the Conference on Disarmament, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had been working closely with the “P-5”.  He said there was a strong need for political will to make progress in the Conference.

Action on Drafts

Pakistan’s delegate expressed appreciation on the professional manner in which Cuba and China had crafted L.13/Rev.1.  The current text was a significant improvement from last year, he said, because it moved delegates towards consensus.  Pakistan had made a constructive proposal in operative paragraph 2 of the draft.  However, that proposal was not taken up.  He would vote in favour of the draft text, reflecting Pakistan’s support that the resolution was being tabled by Cuba and China.  However, on operative paragraph 2, he said his delegation could not associate with the statement that read “the decision on the programme of work adopted by the Conference on Disarmament on 29 May 2009”.

Next, the Committee approved, with oral amendments, a draft resolution, on United Nations regional centres for peace and disarmament (document A/C.1/66/L.9), submitted by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.  It would have the Assembly, recognizing that the changes that have taken place in the world have created new opportunities and posed new challenges for the pursuit of disarmament, reiterate the importance of United Nations activities at the regional level to advance disarmament and to increase the stability and security of its Member States, which could be promoted in a substantive manner by the maintenance and revitalization of the three regional centres for peace and disarmament.

The Assembly would reaffirm that it was useful for the three centres to carry out dissemination and educational programmes that promote regional peace and security and that are aimed at changing basic attitudes with respect to peace and security and disarmament so as to the achievement and purposes of the United Nations.

It would appeal to Member States in each region that are able to do so, as well as to international governmental and non-governmental organizations and foundations, to make voluntary contributions to the regional centres in their respective regions in order to strengthen their activities and initiatives.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution, on the Report of the Conference of Disarmament (document A/C.1/66/L.13/Rev.1), sponsored by China, Cuba and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, by which the General Assembly would reaffirm the role of the Conference as the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community.

The Assembly would call upon the Conference to further intensify consultations and explore possibilities, with a view to adopting a balanced and comprehensive programme of work at the earliest possible date during its 2012 session, bearing in mind the decision on the programme of work adopted by the Conference on 29 May 2009.

Stressing the urgent need for the Conference to commence its substantive work at the beginning of its 2012 session, the Assembly would express its appreciation for the strong support expressed for the Conference during its 2011 session by Ministers for Foreign Affairs and other high-level officials and take into account their calls for greater flexibility with respect to commencing the substantive work of the Conference without further delay.

The Assembly would welcome the decision of the Conference to request the current President and the incoming Presidents to conduct consultations during the intersessional period and, if possible, make recommendations, taking into account all relevant proposals, past, present and future, and to endeavour to keep the Conference membership informed of their consultations.

In a further provision, the Assembly would recognize the importance of continuing consultations on the question of expanding the Conference’s membership.

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

The Committee had before it a draft resolution, on the Report of the Disarmament Commission (A/C.1/66/L.20), sponsored by Iraq on behalf of the members of the extended Bureau of the Commission, which would have the General Assembly reaffirm the mandate of the Commission as the specialized, deliberative body within the United Nations multilateral disarmament machinery that allows for in-depth deliberations on specific disarmament topics, 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.

By further terms of the text, the Assembly would request the Disarmament Commission to continue its work in accordance with its mandate and to make every effort to achieve specific recommendations on the items on its agenda, taking into account the adopted “Ways and means to enhance the functioning of the Disarmament Commission”.  It would recommend that the Commission intensify consultations with a view to reaching agreement on the agenda items, in accordance with decision 52/492, before the start of its substantive session of 2012.

It would also request the Commission to meet for a period next exceeding three weeks during 2012 and to submit a substantive report to the General Assembly at its sixty-seventh session.

The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.

The representative of Iran said he had joined the consensus on L.13/Rev.1.  He always supported the full observance of the procedures of the Conference on Disarmament, however, he did not share the view that the 2009 decision was a comprehensive balanced programme of work.  The existence of nuclear weapons was the greatest threat, and the Conference on Disarmament should consider nuclear disarmament as its highest priority, he said.

The representative of Australia said while his delegation had joined consensus on L.13/Rev.1, operative paragraph 3 did not fully reflect the range of views expressed by Foreign Ministers in the Conference in 2011, as noted in the Conference’s annual report.

Japan’s representative said his country also had participated in the consensus on L.13/Rev.1, but was disappointed that one of the references to the programme of work had been deleted.  Japan had accepted the current text as a result of the maximum flexibility shown by relevant States.

General Statements on Nuclear Weapons Cluster

MAUNG WAI ( Myanmar ) said that in the cluster on nuclear weapons, he had the honour to introduce the draft resolution, entitled “Nuclear disarmament” (document A/C.1/66/L.49), on behalf of the 37 sponsors and co-sponsors.  Nuclear weapons posed the greatest threat to the existence of mankind.  To save the world from that great danger, the international community needed to act in a step-by-step process, leading to the total elimination of nuclear weapon and also to the absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of those weapons.

He recalled that the International Court of Justice, on 8 July 1996, had issued an advisory opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons, unanimously expressing that there existed an obligation of all States to pursue in good faith and conclude negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament.  His delegation was now introducing the traditional annual resolution on nuclear disarmament in that context.  Once again, the resolution recalled the statement on the total elimination of nuclear weapons that was adopted at the sixteenth ministerial conference of the Non-Aligned Movement.  The draft also welcomed the ongoing efforts by Member States of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the nuclear weapons States, and encouraged the nuclear-weapon States to sign the Protocol of a Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapons Treaty (Bangkok Treaty) at the earliest.

He drew attention to preambular paragraph 11, and said that the word “signing” should be replaced with “entry into force”, in order to reflect the recent progress in that field.  The whole paragraph would read as follows:  “taking note of the entry into force of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America, in order to achieve further deep cuts should be irreversible, verifiable and transparent”.

He further noted that L.49 called on the Conference on Disarmament to commence negotiations on a phased programme of nuclear disarmament leading to the total elimination of nuclear weapons within a specified framework of time.  Pending the total elimination of those weapons, the draft resolution again called on nuclear-weapon States to assure non-nuclear-weapon States of the non-use and non-threat of use of nuclear weapons in a legally binding instrument.  Non-nuclear-weapon States had a legitimate right to a legally binding instrument on security assurances of the non-use and non-threat of use of nuclear weapons against them.

The draft resolution had enjoyed overwhelming support, and he invited all Member States to join the efforts to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world by supporting the text on nuclear disarmament, as orally amended.

The representative of Tuvalu said her delegation had intended to co-sponsor L.40/Rev.1, and asked that it be reflected in the official records of the meeting.

Action on Drafts

Speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of Pakistan said his delegation had consistently supported the goals of nuclear disarmament, as well as the total elimination of nuclear weapons.  His delegation supported L.49, however, he noted that the draft contained unnecessary references to the full implementation of the action plan of the last NPT conference.  In line with its well-known position, Pakistan would abstain from voting on operative paragraph 14 of L.49.  As for operative paragraph 16, which called for immediate commencement of negotiations for a fissile material cut-off treaty, Pakistan would abstain from that paragraph, as well as from the resolution as a whole, in line with his delegation’s clear and unambiguous position.

Also speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, on behalf of the African Group, the representative of Nigeria introduced a revision to L.53, on the prohibition of the dumping of radioactive waste.  He said the oral revision concerned preambular paragraph 9, and consisted of the following:  the last words in the ninth preambular paragraph, “and convening by the Secretary-General of the High-Level meeting on Nuclear Safety and Security in New York on 22 September 2011”, should be separated from the ninth and converted into a separate, tenth preambular paragraph.  The word “and” at the beginning of the new tenth preambular paragraph should be replaced by the word “notes”.

He said it would then read:  “convening by the Secretary-General of the High-Level meeting on Nuclear Safety and Security in New York on 22 September 2011”.  He hoped that with that oral revision, L.53 could be adopted without a vote, as in the past.

Desiring to achieve the objective of a legally binding prohibition of the development, production, testing, deployment, stockpiling, threat or use of nuclear weapons and their destruction under effective international control, the Committee took up a draft resolution, Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons (A/C.1/66/L.42), introduced by Malaysia, which would have the General Assembly underline, once again, the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.

It would call upon all States immediately to fulfil that obligation by commencing multilateral negotiations leading to an early conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention prohibiting the development, production, testing, deployment, stockpiling, transfer, treat or use of nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination.

The Committee approved the draft resolution by a recorded vote of 127 in favour to 25 against, with 22 abstentions.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution on nuclear disarmament (document A/C.1/66/L.49), tabled by Myanmar.

By that text, the Assembly would reaffirm that, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, States should refrain from the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in settling their disputes in international relations.

Seized of the danger of the use of weapons of mass destruction, particularly by nuclear weapons, in terrorist acts, and the urgent need for concerted efforts to control and overcome it, the General Assembly would recognize that the time was now opportune for all nuclear-weapon States to take effective disarmament measures to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons at the earliest possible time.

The Assembly would urge the nuclear-weapon States to stop immediately 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 and to take concrete measures to reduce further the operational status of their nuclear-weapon systems.

Further to that wide-ranging text, the Assembly would call upon the nuclear-weapon States to undertake the step-by-step reduction of the nuclear threat and to carry out effective nuclear disarmament measures, with a view to achieving the total elimination of those weapons within a specified framework of time.

The Assembly would also call upon the nuclear-weapon States, pending the achievement of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, to agree on an internationally and legally binding instrument on a joint undertaking not to be the first to use nuclear weapons.

It would also call for the immediate commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices on the basis of the report of the Special Coordinator and the mandate contained therein.

First, the Committee took a separate recorded vote on operative paragraph 14 of L.49, which would have the Assembly call for the full implementation of the action plan as set out in the conclusions and recommendation for follow-up actions of the final document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, particularly the 22-point action plan on nuclear disarmament.

The Committee retained operative paragraph 14 by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to none against, with 14 abstentions.

The Committee also decided to take a separate recorded vote on operative paragraph 16, by which the Assembly would call for the immediate commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devises on the basis of the report of the Special Coordinator and the mandate contained therein.

The Committee retained operative paragraph 16 by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 1 against ( Pakistan), with 6 abstentions ( France, Israel, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan).

The Committee approved the draft resolution as a whole by a recorded vote of 113 in favour to 44 against, with 18 abstentions.

A draft resolution on the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba) (document A/C.1/66/L.51), was introduced by Nigeria on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Group of African States.

By that text, the Assembly would recall the statement made by the President of the Security Council on behalf of the members of the Council on 12 April 1996, affirming that the signature of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty constituted an important contribution by the African countries to the maintenance of international peace and security.

Further, the draft would have the Assembly call upon African States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty as soon as possible.  It would call upon the States contemplated in Protocol III to the Treaty that have not yet done so to take all necessary measures to ensure the speedy application of the Treaty to territories for which they are, de jure or de facto, internationally responsible and that lie within the limits of the geographical zone established in the Treaty.

A related provision would have the Assembly call upon the African States parties to NPT that have not yet done so to conclude comprehensive safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) pursuant to the Treaty, thereby satisfying the requirements of Article 9 (b) of and Annex II to the Treaty of Pelindaba, and to conclude additional protocols to their safeguards agreements on the basis of the Model Protocol approved by the Board of Governors of the Agency on 15 May 1997.

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

The Committee turned next to the draft resolution on prohibition of the dumping of radioactive wastes (document A/C.1/66/L.53).

By its terms, the Assembly would call upon all States to take appropriate measures with a view to preventing any dumping of nuclear or radioactive wastes that would infringe upon the sovereignty of States; request the Conference on Disarmament to take into account, in the negotiations for a convention on the prohibition of radiological weapons, radioactive wastes as part of the scope of the convention; and appeals to all Member States that have not yet taken the necessary steps to become party to the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management to do so as soon as possible.

It approved the draft, as orally revised, without a vote.

The representative of Belarus asked it to be noted that the delegation would have abstained on L.42

Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote on L.42, the representative of Japan said that his delegation highly appreciated Malaysia’s sincere efforts and firm commitment to the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament, which had led to the L.42 proposal.  His delegation also believed that nuclear weapons, because of their immense power of destruction and injury to human beings, were clearly contrary to the humanitarianism that supplied the philosophical foundation of international law.  Nuclear weapons should never be used again, and the international community should work towards ridding the world of them.

He said he supported the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the obligation to pursue nuclear disarmament and to conclude negotiations on the matter in good faith.  For that, the international community must take concrete measures to achieve step-by-step progress in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.  However, his delegation believed that such progress should be made prior to embarking upon the negotiations, which operative paragraph 2 of the resolution called upon all States to commence.  That was the reason for Japan’s abstention on that draft resolution.

As for L.49, he said that Japan shared the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which was the main focus of the draft resolution.  However, his delegation attached the highest priority to united actions by the international community, including the nuclear-weapon States, in order to steadily implement concrete measures towards nuclear disarmament.  The difference between Japan’s standpoint and the approach of that resolution remained large.  Therefore, as it had done last year, his delegation abstained from voting on L.49.

Also speaking in explanation of vote, Sweden’s representative said his delegation wished to make a few short remarks in order to clarify its position on draft resolution L.42.  Sweden had voted in favour of that resolution, as it had done in the past.  However, concerning preambular paragraph 15, that the General Assembly would “take note” of the “Model Nuclear Weapons Convention”, Sweden believed that that was done without prejudice to any future process on a nuclear weapons convention, or on a framework of separate, mutually reinforcing instruments.

The representative of the United Kingdom, also speaking on behalf of France, explained that those delegations had voted “no” on L.49 as a whole, however, on operative paragraph 16, which called for the immediate commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament for a treaty banning the production of fissile material, they had abstained because, in accordance with standing practice, they only “moved one place” when voting on individual paragraph, from the way they voted on a text as a whole.

She said the delegation of the United States had just asked to join the United Kingdom and France in encouraging the early progress of the ongoing efforts between States members of ASEAN and the nuclear-weapon States, and encouraged the nuclear-weapon States in their early signing of the Protocol to the Treaty on the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (Bangkok Treaty).

Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote on L.49, the representative of India said his delegation attached the highest priority to nuclear disarmament and shared the main objective of the resolution, however, his delegation had been “constrained” to abstain on the resolution because of certain references to NPT on which India’s position was well known.  However, he said that position should not be seen as an opposition to other aspects of the resolution.

Regarding L.51, he said India respected the sovereignty and choice of non- nuclear-weapon States to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones, freely arrived at by the States of the region concerned.  India enjoyed friendly and mutually beneficial relationships with the countries of the African continent, and respected the sovereign choice of States.  He conveyed unambiguous respect for the creation of an African nuclear-weapon-free zone.

Also speaking in explanation of vote after the vote on L.51, the representative of Spain said the entry into force of the Pelindaba Treaty was an important contribution.  For those reasons, Spain had always expressed support for its objectives.  Spain was also prepared to make all necessary efforts to make sure that States parties acquired sufficient capacity to ensure the effective implementation on their respective territories.  The Government of Spain had decided not to sign the Treaty, which, at the time, had been communicated to the depository.  The Pelindaba Treaty did not contain provisions for safeguards in the field of disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation that Spain had not already adopted for the entirety of the Spanish territory.  Spain was nuclear weapon-free, and had joined consensus on the draft since 1997.

She said that while her delegation was not able to support the consensus on operative paragraph 4, she had joined the consensus adoption of the draft, and she called on the sponsors of the draft to hold transparent consultations in good faith to find better balance language, so that it could be acceptable to all parties.  She clarified that Spain did not wish to modify the Pelindaba Treaty, but merely to modify operative paragraph 4 of L.51 regarding that treaty.

The representative of the Netherlands, speaking on L.49, said his delegation was committed to the full implementation of the Action Plan of the 2010 NPT Review Conference.  It contained actions on all the three NPT pillars, namely disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy.  In particular, non-proliferation and disarmament were facets of the same diamond.  Both were equally important and reinforced each other.  It was important, therefore, to work together for all elements of the action plan.

The delegate of Turkey requested a correction on the vote of her delegation on L.49’s operative paragraph 16, from an abstention to a “yes”.

Ukraine’s representative said his delegation was in favour of a nuclear-weapon-free world, but had voted against L.49 because some paragraphs were not entirely balanced.  He had voted in favour during the recorded votes on two paragraphs, on the Review Conferences and on a fissile material cut-off treaty.  Thus, he requested that the Secretariat record that his delegation’s vote be changed from an abstention to a “yes”.

Germany’s delegate said his country had voted in favour of retaining operative paragraph 14 of L.49 because it ensured a balance of the three pillars of NPT.

General Statements on Other Weapons of Mass Destruction Cluster

NIKOLAI OVSYANKO ( Belarus) said “other” forms of weapons of mass destruction should be banned and, in that perspective, Belarus had submitted a draft text on those weapons and their delivery systems.

He said that the matter of the prohibition of those weapons had been before the international community for four decades.  From the humanitarian and financial standpoint, it was important to outlaw weapons of mass destruction at the source, rather than fight against their prevention or the consequences of their use.  Proof of the development of new weapons of mass destruction had not been discovered.  He hoped the draft text before the Committee would be approved unanimously.  And he believed the issue of those weapons should remain before the First Committee and the Conference on Disarmament.

Action on Drafts

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, 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.1/66/L.24) would have the General Assembly call upon all States, immediately following any recommendations of the Conference on Disarmament, to give favourable consideration to those recommendations.

The draft text would have the Assembly request the Conference on Disarmament, without prejudice to further overview of its agenda, to keep the matter under review, as appropriate, with a view to making, when necessary, recommendations on undertaking specific negotiations on identified types of such weapons.

The Committee approved the draft resolution by a vote of 173 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 1 abstention ( Israel).

The United States delegate said her delegation voted “no” because the international community should focus its efforts on known types of weapons of mass destruction under existing treaties.  Since the 1948 definition of weapons of mass destruction had been set forth, none had appeared or seemed to be appearing on the horizon.

Turkmenistan’s speaker said his was a co-sponsor of L.24, and he requested the Secretariat rectify the matter.

General Statements on Conventional Weapons Cluster

BOUCHAIB ELOUMNI ( Morocco) said the absence of regulation of the small arms and light weapons trade had triggered instability in Africa.  Capacities to respond to that problem had tested, not only the efficacy of the disarmament field, but also of the entire United Nations disarmament machinery.  His delegation had supported efforts to control those weapons, including indentifying and tracing initiatives.  He supported an arms trade treaty, which should be broadened to include that class of weapons.  Regional and subregional cooperation was an essential tool in combating the scourge of those weapons.  The illicit trade and links between weapons and terrorists groups were among the reasons to strengthen regional efforts.  As a result of those views, Morocco would support L.18 and L.43.

Action on Drafts

Libya’s representative said the delegation had joined consensus on L.17, however, Libya was not a part of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.  The draft text did not take into account of mines left by foreign countries or of every nation’s right to self-defence.  Dealing with those issues needed sincere cooperation, which took into account the interests of all nations, especially developing ones.  The most important issue of all, however, was the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons.

Kyrgyzstan’s representative said his delegation wanted to co-sponsor L.43.  Then, acting without a vote, the Committee approved, as orally revised, the draft resolution submitted by Bulgaria and Sweden on 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) (document A/C.1/66/L.17).

The draft text would have the Assembly call on all States that have not yet done so to take all measures to become parties, as soon as possible, to the Convention and the Protocols thereto, as amended, with a view to achieving the widest possible adherence to these instruments at an early date and so as to ultimately achieve their universality.

Also by the draft, the Assembly would call on 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 of a non-international character, and it would emphasize the importance of the universalization of the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War (Protocol V).

The Assembly would also welcome the commitment by States parties to continue to address the humanitarian problems caused by certain specific types of munitions in all their aspects, including cluster munitions, with a view to minimizing their humanitarian impact.  It would also note that, in conformity with Article 8 of the Convention, conferences may be convened to examine amendments to the Convention or to any of the Protocols thereto, to examine additional protocols concerning other categories of conventional weapons not covered by existing Protocols, or to review the scope and application of the Convention and the Protocols thereto and to examine any proposed amendments or additional protocols.

The Committee then approved, also without a vote, a draft resolution, sponsored by the States members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), on assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and collecting them (document A/C.1/66/L.18).

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, the draft text would have the Assembly invite the Secretary-General and States and organizations in a position to do so to continue to provide assistance for curbing the illicit traffic in those weapons and collecting them.

Concerned by the negative impact that the illicit proliferation and use of those weapons continue to have on the efforts of States in the Sahelo-Saharan subregion in the areas of poverty eradication, sustainable development and the maintenance of peace, security and stability, the Assembly would encourage the countries in that subregion to facilitate the effective functioning of national commissions to combat the illicit proliferation of those weapons.

Also, the Assembly would call upon the international community to provide technical and financial support to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations to take action to help to combat the illicit trade of these weapons.

The Committee then approved, without a vote and as orally revised, a draft resolution, sponsored by Japan, on the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects (document A/C.1/66/L.43).

Emphasizing the importance of the continued and full implementation of the 2001 United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, the General Assembly would underline the fact that the issue of that illicit trade requires concerted efforts at the national, regional and international levels to prevent it, and that those weapons’ uncontrolled spread in many regions of the world has a wide range of humanitarian and socio-economic consequences and poses a serious threat to peace, reconciliation, safety, security, stability and sustainable development at the individual, local, national, regional and international levels.

The Assembly would also recognize the urgent need to maintain and enhance national controls, in accordance with the Programme of Action, and to eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, including their diversion to unauthorized recipients, taking into account, inter alia, their adverse humanitarian and socio-economic consequences on the affected States.  It would call upon all States to implement the International Tracing Instrument by, inter alia, including in their national reports the name and contact information of the national points of contact and information on national marking practices used to indicate country of manufacture and/or country of import, as applicable.

Action on Drafts on Regional Disarmament and Security Cluster

Iran’s delegation would not participate in the voting on L.22.  Given the continued crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the draft text had not accurately reflected the situation in the region and was far from reality.

The Committee approved, without a vote a draft resolution on Strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region (document A/C.1/66/L.22).  By its terms, the Assembly would 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 conditions necessary for strengthening peace and cooperation in the region.

The Assembly would express its satisfaction at the continuing efforts by Mediterranean countries to contribute actively to the elimination of all causes of tension in the region and to the promotion of just and lasting solutions to the persistent problems of the region through peaceful means, thus ensuring the withdrawal of foreign forces of occupation and respecting the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries of the Mediterranean and the right of peoples to self-determination, and therefore, calls for full adherence to the principles of non-interference, non-intervention, non-use of force or threat of use of force, and the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, in accordance with the Charter and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.

Also by the text, the Assembly would encourage Mediterranean countries to strengthen further their cooperation in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the possible resort by terrorists to weapons of mass destruction, taking into account the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, and in combating international crime and illicit arms transfers and illicit drug production, consumption and trafficking, which pose a serious threat to peace, security and stability in the region, and therefore, to the improvement of the current political, economic and social situation and which jeopardize friendly relations among States, hinder the development of international cooperation and result in the destruction of human rights, fundamental freedoms and the democratic basis of pluralistic society.

The Assembly would reaffirm that security in the Mediterranean is closely linked to European security as well as to international peace and security.

General Statements on Other Disarmament Measures and International Security

Ms. BALAGUER ( Cuba) said her delegation had decided to co-sponsor L.30, which emphasized the prevention of the use of information and telecommunications by criminals or terrorists.  Information and telecommunications could be used as a weapon, she said.  A negative use of telecommunications systems could undermine the principles enshrined by the United Nations.

The United States’ act of aggression against her country had created dangerous situations, including the use of military airplanes to broadcast hours of content on radio frequencies in Cuba.  Programmes had called for political attacks, assassinations and other criminal acts, she said.  Those illegally broadcast programmes were acts of aggression, she said, and hoped L.30 would receive the broad support of Member States.

JONAS NORLING (Sweden), speaking on behalf of Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Switzerland, had joined the consensus on L.30.  However, owing to recent developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security, he stressed some relevant aspects in relation to Internet governance and related issues.  The Internet should remain open and free, and the same universal rights should be enjoyed online and offline.  The Internet’s role was primarily a positive one.  Human rights aspects should permeate all issues of Internet governance, however, the current draft text did not include direct references to a human rights-based approach.

Governance of the Internet, he said, should be based on a multi-stakeholder approach, including private sector and civil society actors.  That was particularly important in guaranteeing human rights aspects in discussions on norms or rules of behaviour for the Internet.  Clear prominence should be given to human rights, he concluded.

LAURA KENNEDY ( United States) pointed to L.47/Rev.1 as a resolution her country had sponsored for years.  She said there were currently 66 sponsors and she highlighted two new operative paragraphs, 5 and 6.

Action on Drafts

Kyrgyzstan’s delegate requested that his delegation join the sponsor list for L.30.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution sponsored by the Netherlands on transparency in armaments (document A/C.1/66/L.29) would have the General Assembly call upon Member States to provide the Secretary-General, by 31 May annually, with the requested data and information for the Register, including nil reports if appropriate.

The Assembly would invite Member States, pending further development of the Register, to provide additional information on procurement through national production and military holdings and to make use of the “Remarks” column in the standardized reporting form to provide additional information, such as types or models.  It would also invite them to provide additional information on transfers of small arms and light weapons on the basis of the optional standardized reporting form, as adopted by the 2006 group of governmental experts, or by any other methods they deem appropriate.

Further to the text, the Assembly would reaffirm its decision to keep the Register’s scope and participation under review.  To that end, it would it would request Member States to provide the Secretary-General with their views on the Register’s continuing operation and further development and on transparency measures related to weapons of mass destruction.  It would request the Secretary-General, with the assistance of a group of governmental experts, to be convened in 2012, within available resources, to prepare a report on the Register’s continuing operation and its further development.  The Assembly would invite the Conference on Disarmament to continue its work in the field of transparency in armaments.

Prior to voting on the draft text as a whole, separate recorded votes were taken on operative paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5(b), 5 as a whole, 7, and finally, the text as a whole.

Operative paragraph 2 would have the General Assembly call upon Member States, with a view to achieving universal participation, to provide the Secretary-General, by 31 May annually, with the requested data and information for the Register, including nil reports if appropriate, on the basis of resolutions 46/36 L and 47/52 L, the recommendations contained in paragraph 64 of the 1997 report of the Secretary-General on the continuing operation of the Register and its further development, the recommendations contained in paragraph 94 of the 2000 report of the Secretary-General and the appendices and annexes thereto, the recommendations contained in paragraphs 112 to 114 of the 2003 report of the Secretary-General,  the recommendations contained in paragraphs 123 to 127 of the 2006 report of the Secretary-General, and the recommendations contained in paragraphs 71 to 75 of the 2009 report of the Secretary-General.

The Committee approved the inclusion of operative paragraph 2 by a recorded vote of 150 in favour to none against, with 24 abstentions.

Operative paragraph 3 would have the Assembly invite Member States in a position to do so, pending further development of the Register, to provide additional information on procurement through national production and military holdings and to make use of the “Remarks” column in the standardized reporting form to provide additional information, such as types or models.

The Committee approved the inclusion of operative paragraph 3 by a recorded vote of 150 in favour to none against, with 23 abstentions.

Operative paragraph 4 would have the Assembly invite Member States in a position to do so to provide additional information on transfers of small arms and light weapons on the basis of the optional standardized reporting form, as adopted by the 2006 group of governmental experts, or by any other methods they deem appropriate.

The Committee approved the inclusion of operative paragraph 4 by a recorded vote of 151 in favour to none against, with 23 abstentions.

Operative paragraph 5(b) would have the Assembly reaffirm its decision, with a view to further development of the Register, to keep the scope of, and participation in, the Register under review and, to that end, among other things, would request the Secretary-General with the assistance of a group of governmental experts to be convened in 2012, within available resources, on the basis of equitable geographical representation, to prepare a report on the continuing operation of the Register and its further development, taking into account the work of the Conference on Disarmament, relevant deliberations within the United Nations, the views expressed by Member States and the reports of the Secretary-General on the continuing operation of the Register and its further development with a view to taking a decision at its sixty-eighth session.

The Committee approved the inclusion of operative paragraph 5(b) by a recorded vote of 150 in favour to none against, with 23 abstentions.

Operative paragraph 5, as a whole, would have the Assembly reaffirm its decision, with a view to further development of the Register, to keep the scope of and participation in the Register under review and, to that end, (a) Recalls its request to Member States to provide the Secretary-General with their views on the continuing operation of the Register and its further development and on transparency measures related to weapons of mass destruction; (b) request the Secretary-General with the assistance of a group of governmental experts to be convened in 2012, within available resources, on the basis of equitable geographical representation, to prepare a report on the continuing operation of the Register and its further development, taking into account the work of the Conference on Disarmament, relevant deliberations within the United Nations, the views expressed by Member States and the reports of the Secretary-General on the continuing operation of the Register and its further development with a view to taking a decision at its sixty-eighth session; (c) Requests the Secretary-General to continue to assist Member States to build capacity to submit meaningful reports, including capacity to report on small arms and light weapons.

The Committee approved the inclusion of operative paragraph 5, as a whole, by a recorded vote of 149 in favour to none against, with 25 abstentions.

Operative paragraph 7 would have the Assembly invite the Conference on Disarmament to consider continuing its work undertaken in the field of transparency in armaments.

The Committee approved the inclusion of operative paragraph 7 by a recorded vote of 150 in favour to none against, with 23 abstentions.

The Committee approved the draft text L.29 as a whole, as orally revised, by a recorded vote of 149 in favour to none against, with 25 abstentions.

The Committee approved without a vote, as orally revised, a draft resolution, entitled “Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security” (document A/C.1/66/L.30).

By the draft text, the General Assembly, expressing concern that information technologies can potentially be used for purposes that are inconsistent with the objectives of maintaining international stability and security may adversely affect the integrity of the infrastructure of States to the detriment of their security in both civil and military fields, would ask the Secretary-General, with the assistance of a group of government experts to be established in 2012, to continue studying existing and potential threats in the sphere of international security and possible cooperation measures to address them, including norms, rules or principles of responsible behaviour of States and confidence-building measures in information science.

Further to the text, the Assembly would call upon Member States to promote further, at multilateral levels, the consideration of existing and potential threats in the field of information security, as well as possible strategies to address the threats emerging in this field, consistent with the need to preserve the free flow of information.

The Committee also approved without a vote, as orally revised, a draft resolution, sponsored by Germany and Romania, on objective information on military matters, including transparency of military expenditures (document A/C.1/66/L.35).  The draft text would have the General Assembly, emphasizing the continuing importance of the Standardized Instrument for Reporting Military Expenditures under the current political and economic circumstances, call upon Member States, with a view to achieving the broadest possible participation, to provide the Secretary-General, by 30 April annually, with their military expenditures for the latest fiscal year for which data are available, using preferably and to the extent possible, one of the reporting forms, including nil report if appropriate, on the basis of recommendations contained in paragraphs 68 to 71 of the 2011 report of the Secretary-General on the operation of the Standardized Instrument and Annex 2 thereto, or as appropriate, any other format developed in conjunction with similar reporting to other international or regional organizations.

Further to the text, the Assembly would endorse the report of the Secretary-General on the operation and further development of the Standardized Instrument, the recommendations contained in the consensus report of the 2010/2011 group of governmental experts and the new name of the instrument “United Nations Report on Military Expenditures”.

The delegate of Iran made a point of order that his delegation had requested a vote on L.47/Rev.1 by an e-mail message.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution, sponsored by the United States, on compliance with non-proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements and commitments (A/C.1/66/L.47/Rev.1).

Stressing that failure by States parties to comply with non-proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements to which they are parties and with other agreed obligations, not only adversely affects the security of States parties, but also can create security risks for other States relying on the constraints and commitments stipulated in those agreements, the General Assembly would urge all States to implement and to comply fully with their respective obligations, and those States not currently in compliance with their respective obligations and commitments to make the strategic decision to come back into compliance.

The Assembly would call upon Member States to support efforts aimed at the resolution of compliance questions by means consistent with such agreements and international law.  It would welcome the role that the United Nations has played, and continues to play, in restoring the integrity of, and fostering negotiations on, certain arms limitation and disarmament and non-proliferation agreements and in the removal of threats to peace.

The Committee approved the draft text by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to none against, with 18 abstentions.

Cuba’s delegate said her delegation had, for years, supported the draft resolution on objective information on military matters, and she did again this year, joining the consensus on the draft text L.35.

Iran’s delegate, addressing his remarks to L.47/Rev.1, said his country believed all States should comply, on a non-discriminatory basis, to treaties to which they were a party.  Unofficial assessments of non-compliance cases or the use of such assessment on which to base foreign policy would undermine international disarmament efforts.

Like the sponsor of the draft text, he urged those States that were not in compliance to make a strategic decision to fulfil fully and immediately their obligations.  Further, continued failure by a State to comply with their NPT obligations would undermine the effectiveness of the Treaty.

He urged the sponsor of the draft text to comply fully and immediately with the April 2012 deadline for the total destruction of its chemical weapons stockpiles.  The draft resolution L.47/Rev.1 continued to suffer shortcomings.  He pointed out that consultations and cooperation among State parties to relevant instruments regarding compliance were essential in promoting multilateralism, as was full implementation of those principles.  However, those issues had been ignored in the draft text.  None of the internationally-agreed texts were included in the draft resolution either, he said.

It was ironic that a State that had not joined any of the international conventions on weapons of mass destruction was a co-sponsor of that draft text, he said.  For those reasons, his delegation had abstained from the voting.

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