Approving 18 Drafts on Disarmament Measures, First Committee Urges General Assembly Call for States to Sign Nuclear-Weapon-Ban Treaty

GA/DIS/3590
27 October 2017
Seventy-second Session, 24th Meeting (PM)

Approving 18 Drafts on Disarmament Measures, First Committee Urges General Assembly Call for States to Sign Nuclear-Weapon-Ban Treaty

The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) today approved 16 draft resolutions and 2 decisions related to nuclear weapons, including one that would have the General Assembly call upon all States to take further steps and measures towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, based on the principle of undiminished and increased security for all.

Following multiple recorded votes on elements of the draft resolution “United action with renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/72/L.35), the Committee approved it, as a whole, by a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 4 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russia Federation, Syria), with 27 abstentions.

In explanation of position, the representative of Switzerland said his delegation would vote in favour of the draft text, as a whole, but had several reservations, including that language in operative paragraph 2 could undermine consensus documents agreed upon at review conferences of the Treaty on the Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said that “L.35” was full of prejudice and hypocrisy and included unacceptable paragraphs that endangered his country’s interests.

Egypt’s representative, echoing common concerns, said that while appreciating the overall objective of “L.35”, language in the draft text fell short of expectations and obligations related to the Treaty on the Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.  New Zealand’s speaker called the draft a departure from its predecessors.

Elaborating on that point, several delegates, including representatives of Algeria and Mongolia, said “L.35” had deviated from its original text in versions that had been tabled during previous sessions.  In addition, it had not included language on the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, an omission Nigeria’s delegate said was inconceivable.  “L.35”, a text Nigeria had co‑sponsored in 2016, had made a joke out of Member States who had worked tirelessly towards the adoption of the new instrument, he said.

Meanwhile, by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 38 against, with 11 abstentions, the Committee approved the draft resolution “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations” (document A/C.1/72/L.6), which would have the Assembly welcome the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and call upon all States that have not yet done so to sign and, thereafter, ratify, accept or approve the instrument.

Casting a spotlight on the growing call for unconditional security assurances, the Committee also approved the draft resolution “Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/72/L.10/Rev.1), by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to none against, with 59 abstentions.  By the text, the Assembly would appeal to States, especially those possessing nuclear weapons, to work actively towards establishing an international, legally binding instrument.

In addition, the Committee approved the draft resolution “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons” (document A/C.1/72/L.47), which would have the Assembly reiterate its request to the Conference on Disarmament to commence negotiations on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.  That draft text was approved as a whole by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 50 against, with 11 abstentions.

In addition, the Committee approved the following draft resolutions: “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East” (document A/C.1/72/L.2); “Follow‑up to nuclear disarmament obligations agreed to at the 1995, 2000 and 2010 Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” (document A/C.1/72/L.4); “Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/72/L.5); “Ethical imperatives for a nuclear-weapon-free world” (document A/C.1/72/L.17); “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (document A/C.1/72/L.19); “Reducing nuclear danger” (document A/C.1/72/L.22); “Nuclear-weapon-free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas” (document A/C.1/72/L.28); and “Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty” (document A/C.1/72/L.42).

It also approved the following draft decisions: “Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices” (document A/C.1/72/L.50) and “Nuclear disarmament verification” (document A/C.1/72/L.55).

The Committee also approved several draft resolutions without a vote, including “Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East” (document A/C.1/72/L.1); “International Day against Nuclear Tests” (document A/C.1/72/L.36); “African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty” (document A/C.1/72/L.37); and “Prohibition of the dumping of radioactive wastes” (document A/C.1/72/L.38).

Speaking in explanation of position were the representatives of Costa Rica, Russian Federation, Mexico, Ukraine, Venezuela, Pakistan, United States, Ecuador, Sweden, Chile, India, Australia, Canada, Norway and Brazil.

The representatives of the United States, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Iran and Ukraine spoke in exercise of the right of reply.

The Committee will meet again on Monday, 30 October to continue its consideration of all draft resolutions and decisions before it.

Background

The First Committee met this afternoon to conclude its debate on disarmament machinery and take action on all draft resolutions and decisions before it.  For background information, see Press Release GA/DIS/3571 of 2 October.

Statements

The representative of Egypt said his delegation would abstain from voting on the draft resolution “United action with renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons” (A/C.1/72/L.35).  While Japan was a key partner and he appreciated the overall objective of the draft, its message suggested that nuclear disarmament was the responsibility of non‑nuclear‑weapon States.  Many paragraphs fell below expectations and obligations of the Treaty on the Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.  On the draft resolution “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions” (A/C.1/72/L.41), Egypt would cast a favourable vote as a sign of its continued support.  Turning to the draft decision “Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices” (A/C.1/72/L.50), he said while his delegation intended to vote in favour, it wanted to note that any future fissile material cut‑off treaty must address pre‑existing stockpiles.

The representative of Costa Rica expressed support for “L.35” and shared the concerns of escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.  However, it could not support the current draft text, as 2017 had marked a turning point with the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  Moreover, “L.35” was weak and did not unequivocally call for the destruction of nuclear stockpiles.

The representative of the Russian Federation said when controversial draft texts had been initially submitted, his delegation had cautioned their authors about creating alternate tracks that could have damaging consequences.  That had unfortunately become a reality.  The multiplication of parallel structures had moved the world further away from the noble goal of achieving a nuclear‑weapon‑free world.  The Russian Federation objected to draft resolution “Follow‑up to the 2013 high‑level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament” (document A/C.1/72/L.45), which contained a proposal to convene a conference in 2018 to review progress.  On the draft resolution “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations” (document A/C.1/72/L.6), he said adopting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was a mistake.  Real progress could only be achieved by ensuring equal security for all States, without any exceptions.  The step‑by‑step process must involve all States with military nuclear potential.  The Russian Federation approached nuclear disarmament with great seriousness and responsibility, and called on all Member States to engage in constructive dialogue to create effective measures toward a nuclear‑weapon‑free world based on the Non‑Proliferation Treaty and other instruments reached by consensus.  In that context, his delegation would vote against “L.6”, “L.45” and the following draft texts: “Follow‑up to nuclear disarmament obligations agreed to at the 1995, 2000 and 2010 Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” (document A/C.1/72/ L.4), “Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/72/L.5), “Ethical imperatives for a nuclear‑weapon‑free world” (document A/C.1/72/L.17), “Nuclear disarmament” (document A/C.1/72/L.18), “Towards a nuclear‑weapon‑free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (document A/C.1/72/L.19), “Nuclear‑weapon‑free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas” (document A/C.1/72/L.28) and “Follow‑up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/72/L.57).

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said that “L.35” was full of prejudice and hypocrisy and included unacceptable paragraphs that endangered his country’s interests.  His delegation could also not support “L.19” and the draft resolution Comprehensive Nuclear‑Test‑Ban Treaty “L.42”, which also encroached upon his country’s supreme interests.

The representative of Mexico said changes in “L.35” had altered the balance of previous versions and its approaches had undermined the truism of the international community.

The representative of New Zealand said her delegation would abstain from voting on “L.35”.  While it had voted in favour of previous versions of “L.35”, the current draft text was a “departure from its predecessors”.

The representative of Ukraine said his delegation would abstain from voting on “L.6” and “Towards a nuclear weapon free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (document A/C.1/72/L.19).  The full implementation of the Non‑Proliferation Treaty, which was the cornerstone of disarmament and non‑proliferation, was the only way to achieve success in disarmament, he said, noting that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation had violated the instrument.

The representative of Venezuela said his delegation would abstain from voting on “L.35”.  Language that had been previously agreed upon to achieve nuclear disarmament had been omitted and the text would weaken the Non‑Proliferation Treaty.  Citing an example, he said language in operative paragraph 2 referring to the complete elimination of nuclear arsenals to achieve article VI of the Non‑Proliferation Treaty had been removed.

The representative of Algeria said “L.35” had raised a number of serious concerns and the draft had become unbalanced.  In its current form, it was far removed from a number of commitments.  As such, it did not meet his country’s aspirations.  Operative paragraphs did not mention obligations under article VI of the Non‑Proliferation Treaty, something his delegation could not accept.  Furthermore, unlike its previous iterations, it did not call on all States, especially Annex 2 countries, to ratify the Test‑Ban Treaty.  As such, Algeria would abstain from voting on the draft text.

The representative of Nigeria said his delegation had co‑sponsored the 2016 version of “L.35”, but was dismayed by the introduction of new language.  The draft had made a joke of Member States’ tireless efforts toward adopting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  The draft text’s failure to mention the adoption of that new instrument was unconceivable.  “L.35” also watered down commitments.  For those and other reasons, his delegation would abstain from voting on the draft resolution.

The representative of Mongolia said that while his delegation shared the objective of “L.35”, his delegation would abstain from voting on preambular paragraph 19 and operative paragraphs 2 and 8.  Concerns included new language and the omission of article 6 of the Non‑Proliferation Treaty and references to humanitarian consequences, he said, hoping that those considerations would be taken into account during the seventy‑third session.

The representative of Switzerland, also speaking on behalf of Sweden, said they had long supported “L.35” and continued to share its general objectives.  While they would vote in favour of the draft text as a whole, they had reservations.  They supported the inclusion of affirmative language about nuclear and ballistic missile programmes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, but regretted to note the absence of the goal of achieving total nuclear disarmament and related commitments.  For instance, operative paragraph 2 could undermine consensus documents of the Non‑Proliferation Treaty review conferences.  Switzerland and Sweden would also abstain from voting on separate paragraphs because of the draft text’s departure from Non‑Proliferation Review conference language that expressed concern about humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.  Further, he opposed any attempt to rewrite previous nuclear disarmament outcomes.

Action on Draft Texts

The Committee then considered the draft resolution “Establishment of a nuclear‑weapon‑free zone in the region of the Middle East” (document A/C.1/72/L.1), which would have the General Assembly urge all parties directly concerned to seriously consider taking the practical and urgent steps required for the implementation of the proposal to establish a nuclear‑weapon‑free zone in the region of the Middle East in accordance with the relevant Assembly resolutions.

The Committee then approved the draft without a vote.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East” (document A/C.1/72/L.2), which would have the Assembly call for immediate steps towards the full implementation of the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.  Also by the draft text, the Assembly would reaffirm the importance of Israel’s accession to that instrument, and placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

Prior to approving that draft text, as a whole, the Committee held a separate recorded vote to retain preambular paragraphs 5 and 6.

By a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 3 against (India, Israel, Pakistan), with 2 abstentions (Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), the Committee approved the retention of preambular paragraph 5, which would have the Assembly recall the decision on principles and objectives for nuclear non‑proliferation and disarmament adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference.

By a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 3 against (India, Israel, Pakistan), with 2 abstentions (Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), the Committee approved the retention of preambular paragraph 6, which would have the Assembly call upon those remaining States not party to the Non‑Proliferation Treaty to accede to it, thereby accepting an international legally binding commitment not to acquire nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices and to accept IAEA safeguards on all their nuclear activities.

Taking up the draft as a whole, the Committee approved it by a recorded vote of 150 in favour to 4 against (Canada, Israel, Micronesia, United States), with 19 abstentions.

The Committee then turned to the draft resolution “Follow‑up to nuclear disarmament obligations agreed to at the 1995, 2000 and 2010 Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” (document A/C.1/72/L.4).  By that text, the Assembly would call for practical steps, as agreed to at the 2000 Non‑Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, to be taken by all nuclear-weapon States that would lead to nuclear disarmament in a way that promoted international stability.

First, the Committee held a separate recorded vote to retain preambular paragraph 6, approving it by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 5 against (Canada, India, Israel, Micronesia, United States), with 47 abstentions.  By its terms, the Assembly would reaffirm the resolution adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference, in which the Conference reaffirmed the importance of the early realization of universal adherence to the Non‑Proliferation Treaty and placement of nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.

The Committee then approved the draft as a whole, by a recorded vote of 112 in favour to 44 against, with 15 abstentions.

It then took action on the draft resolution “Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/72/L.5), by which the Assembly would stress that the immense and uncontrollable destructive capability and indiscriminate nature of nuclear weapons caused unacceptable humanitarian consequences.  It would also, by the text, call upon all States, in their shared responsibility, to prevent the use of nuclear weapons, to prevent their vertical and horizontal proliferation and to achieve nuclear disarmament.

It then approved the draft text by a recorded vote of 134 in favour to 15 against, with 25 abstentions.

The Committee took up the draft resolution “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations” (document A/C.1/72/L.6), which would have the Assembly welcome the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by the United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination, and call upon all States that had not yet done so to sign and thereafter ratify, accept or approve the instrument.

The Committee approved the draft, as orally revised, by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 38 against, with 11 abstentions.

The Committee then took action on the draft resolution “Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non‑nuclear‑weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/72/L.10/Rev.1).  By the text, the Assembly would appeal to all States, especially the nuclear‑weapon States, to work actively towards an early agreement on a common approach and, in particular, on a common formula that could be included in an international instrument of a legally binding character.

The Committee then approved the draft, as orally revised, by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to none against, with 59 abstentions.

Following that action, it turned to the draft resolution “Ethical imperatives for a nuclear‑weapon‑free world” (document A/C.1/72/L.17), by which the Assembly would call upon all States to acknowledge the catastrophic humanitarian consequences and risks posed by a nuclear weapon detonation, whether by accident, miscalculation or design.  It would also note that all responsible States had a solemn duty to take decisions that served to protect their people and each other from the ravages of a nuclear weapon detonation.

Prior to approving that draft as a whole, the Committee held a separate recorded vote to retain preambular paragraph 11, which would have the Assembly welcome the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

By a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 37 against, with 11 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of preambular paragraph 11.

The Committee then approved the draft as a whole, by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to 36 against, with 14 abstentions.

It then took action on the draft resolution “Towards a nuclear‑weapon‑free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (document A/C.1/72/L.19), by which the Assembly would call upon nuclear‑weapon States to fulfil their commitment to undertaking further efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of such arms, deployed and non‑deployed, including through unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral measures.

Prior to approving that text as a whole, the Committee held separate recorded votes to retain preambular paragraph 10, and operative paragraphs 14 and 22.

By a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 37 against, with 10 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of preambular paragraph 10, which would have the Assembly welcome the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

By a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 4 against (India, Israel, Pakistan, United States), with 6 abstentions (Albania, Bhutan, France, Germany, Hungary, United Kingdom), the Committee approved the retention of operative paragraph 14, which would have the Assembly call upon all States parties to spare no effort to achieve the universality of the Non‑Proliferation Treaty.  By the text, the Assembly would also urge India, Israel and Pakistan to accede to the instrument as non‑nuclear‑weapon States.

By a recorded vote of 121 in favour to 37 against, with 10 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of operative paragraph 22, which would have the Assembly call upon Member States to continue to support efforts to identify, elaborate, negotiate and implement further effective legally binding measures for nuclear disarmament.

The Committee then approved the draft as a whole, by a recorded vote of 127 in favour to 32 against, with 14 abstentions.

It then took action on the draft resolution “Reducing nuclear danger” (document A/C.1/72/L.22).  By the text, the Assembly would call for a review of nuclear doctrines and, in that context, for immediate and urgent steps to reduce the risks of the unintentional and accidental use of nuclear weapons, including through de‑alerting nuclear weapons.

The Committee then approved the draft by a recorded vote of 116 in favour to 49 against, with 10 abstentions.

The Committee then considered the draft resolution “Nuclear‑weapon‑free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas” (document A/C.1/72/L.28), which would have the Assembly welcome the steps taken to conclude further nuclear‑weapon‑free zone treaties and call upon all States to consider all relevant proposals, including those on the establishment of such a zone in the Middle East.

Prior to voting on that text as a whole, the Committee held a separate recorded vote to retain preambular paragraph 6, approving it by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to 35 against, with 11 abstentions.  By its terms, the Assembly would welcome the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and reaffirm that the establishment of nuclear‑weapon‑free zones enhanced global and regional peace and security, strengthened the nuclear non‑proliferation regime and contributed towards realizing the objective of nuclear disarmament.

The Committee then approved the draft as a whole, by a recorded vote of 142 in favour to 4 against (France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States), with 29 abstentions.

It then turned to the draft resolution “United action with renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/72/L.35).  By the text, the Assembly would call upon all States to take further practical steps and effective measures towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, based on the principle of undiminished and increased security for all.

Prior to approving that text as a whole, the Committee held separate recorded votes to retain preambular paragraphs 19 and 20, as well as operative paragraphs 2, 5, 8, 20, 21 and 28.

By a recorded vote of 147 in favour to 1 against (South Africa), with 19 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of preambular paragraph 19, which would have the Assembly express deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons use, and reaffirm the need for all States to comply at all times with applicable international law, including international humanitarian law.

By a recorded vote of 155 in favour to 2 against (Russian Federation, South Africa), with 10 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of preambular paragraph 20, which would have the Assembly recognize that the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from the use of nuclear weapons should be fully understood by all.

By a recorded vote of 128 in favour to 7 against (Austria, Ecuador, Liechtenstein, Myanmar, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland), with 27 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of operative paragraph 2, which would have the Assembly reaffirm the unequivocal undertaking of the nuclear‑weapon States to fully implement the Non‑Proliferation Treaty, towards a safer world for all and a peaceful and secure world free of nuclear weapons.

By a recorded vote of 161 in favour to 4 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Israel, Pakistan), with 3 abstentions (Angola, Bhutan, Venezuela), the Committee approved the retention of operative paragraph 5, which would have the Assembly call upon all States that had not yet done so to accede to the Non‑Proliferation Treaty as non‑nuclear‑weapon States promptly and without any conditions to achieve its universality.

By a recorded vote of 149 in favour to 2 against (Russian Federation, South Africa), with 16 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of operative paragraph 8, which would have the Assembly emphasize that deep concerns about the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons continued to be a key factor that underpinned efforts by all States towards a world free of nuclear weapons.

By a recorded vote of 155 in favour to 4 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Pakistan), with 11 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of operative paragraph 20, which would have the Assembly stress the vital importance and urgency for all States who had not done so to declare and maintain moratoriums on the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, pending commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a treaty banning its production for those arms, as called for in document CD/1299 and the mandate contained therein.

By a recorded vote of 143 in favour to 4 against (Austria, Liechtenstein, Myanmar, Pakistan), with 22 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of operative paragraph 21, which would have the Assembly acknowledge the widespread call for the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear‑Test‑Ban Treaty and the immediate commencement of negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material.

By a recorded vote of 155 in favour to 2 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar) with 9 abstentions (Angola, Brazil, Egypt, India, Israel, Liberia, Pakistan, Venezuela, Zimbabwe), the Committee approved the retention of operative paragraph 28, which would have the Assembly stress the fundamental role of IAEA safeguards and the importance of the universalization of the comprehensive safeguards agreements.

The Committee then approved the draft as a whole, by a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 4 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russia Federation, Syria), with 27 abstentions, as orally revised.

It then took action on the draft resolution “International Day against Nuclear Tests” (document A/C.1/72/L.36).  By the text, the Assembly would invite Member States, the United Nations system, civil society, academia, the mass media and individuals to commemorate that international day.

The Committee then approved the draft without a vote.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution “African Nuclear‑Weapon‑Free Zone Treaty” (document A/C.1/72/L.37), by which the Assembly would call upon African States that had not yet done so to sign and ratify it as soon as possible.

The Committee then approved the draft without a vote.

The Committee then took action on the draft resolution “Prohibition of the dumping of radioactive wastes” (document A/C.1/72/L.38).  By the text, the Assembly would call upon all States to take appropriate measures with a view to preventing such activities.

The Committee then approved the draft without a vote.

It then had before it the draft resolution “Comprehensive Nuclear‑Test‑Ban Treaty” (document A/C.1/72/L.42), by which the Assembly would stress the vital importance and urgency of signature and ratification, without delay and without conditions, in order to achieve its earliest entry into force.  The Assembly would also urge all States to remain seized of the issue at the highest political level and, where in a position to do so, to promote adherence to the instrument through bilateral and joint outreach, seminars and other means.

Prior to approving that resolution as a whole, the Committee held a separate recorded vote to retain preambular paragraphs 4 and 7.

By a recorded vote of 164 in favour to none against, with 11 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of preambular paragraph 4, which would have the Assembly stress the vital importance and urgency of achieving the entry into force of the Test‑Ban Treaty.

By a recorded vote of 167 in favour to none against, with 7 abstentions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Israel, Mauritius, Pakistan, Syria, United States), the Committee approved the retention of preambular paragraph 7, which would have the Assembly recall the adoption by consensus of the conclusions and recommendations of the 2010 Review Conference of the Non‑Proliferation Treaty.

Taking up the draft as a whole, the Committee approved it by a recorded vote of 174 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 4 abstentions (India, Mauritius, Syria, United States).

The Committee then had before it the draft resolution “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons” (document A/C.1/72/L.47), by which the Assembly would reiterate its request to the Conference on Disarmament to commence negotiations in order to reach an agreement on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances.  The Assembly would also, by the terms of the text, request the Conference on Disarmament to report to it on the results of those negotiations.

The Committee then approved the draft by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 50 against, with 11 abstentions.

The Committee took up draft decision “Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices” (document A/C.1/72/L.50), which would have the General Assembly welcome the commencement of the work of the high‑level fissile material cut‑off treaty expert preparatory group tasked with making recommendations on substantial elements of a future 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 document CD/1299 and the mandate contained therein.

The Committee then approved the draft by a recorded vote of 174 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 4 abstentions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Israel, Syria).

The Committee took up a draft decision “Nuclear disarmament verification” (document A/C.1/72/L.55), which would have the General Assembly include an eponymous sub‑item in the provisional agenda of its seventy‑third session, under the item “General and complete disarmament”.

The Committee then approved the draft without a vote.

The representative of Pakistan presented his delegation’s position on several drafts.  On “L.19”, he expressed dismay at the unrealistic call on Pakistan to accede to the Non‑Proliferation Treaty.  On “L.28”, his delegation had abstained from voting on the preamble paragraph 6 because it had referred to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  He had abstained from voting on “L.35” because Pakistan was not a party to the Non‑Proliferation Treaty and was not bound by its provisions and review conferences outcome documents.  Having voted against “L.50”, he said that the position endorsed by the draft text would “freeze the status quo”.  On “L.55”, he said his delegation had joined the consensus.  Still, the most relevant forum to discuss nuclear disarmament was the Conference on Disarmament.

The representative of the United States said his delegation had joined consensus on “L.1”, supporting its important goals and the consensus‑based spirit.  Speaking on behalf of France and the United Kingdom with regards to “L.2”, he noted that establishing a nuclear‑weapon‑free zone in the Middle East should be consensual.  Instead, the real goal appeared to be a nuclear‑weapon‑free zone covering the high seas.  Highlighting that no nuclear‑weapon State had participated in the negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear weapons, he said for that reason, the United States had voted against texts referring to it.

The representative of Ecuador expressed support for “L.42” and the early entry into force of the Test‑Ban Treaty.  Its entry into force would be realized once all Annex 2 States would sign and ratify it, including members of the Security Council that had already adopted resolution 2310 (2016).  His delegation had voted in favour of “L.47” because it supported the sincere endeavours to pursue the elimination of nuclear weapons.  He recalled that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was a universal legally binding instrument.

The representative of Sweden, speaking also for Switzerland, said that with regards to “L.6”, they had participated in negotiations on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and would conduct thorough assessments of the possible future signature and accession to it.  While conducting national evaluations, they would follow closely the impact of the new instrument and the consideration of “L.6”, as well other draft resolutions referring to it.

The representative of Chile said his delegation had voted in favour of “L.35” and shared concerns and condemnation of the missile programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  Those actions were a serious threat to international peace and security.  Chile had also voted in favour of “L.47” because it shared the view that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was a legitimate and relevant instrument.

The representative of India said “L.2” should limit its focus to the region which intends to address.  India was not part of the Non‑Proliferation Treaty and therefore it had voted against that draft resolution.  His delegation had abstained from voting on “L.4”, he said, emphasizing that India would not join the Non‑Proliferation Treaty as a non‑nuclear‑weapon State.  On “L.6”, he said India had not participated in negotiations of the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and would not join it, nor be bound to any obligations arising from it.  While India agreed on several provisions in “L.17”, he said the global elimination of nuclear weapons required progressive steps and a universal commitment to a global multilateral disarmament framework.  His delegation had also voted against “L.19”, as the draft resolution had negated the rules of customary international law.  On “L.35”, he said Japan was the only country that had suffered from nuclear weapon attacks, and in a substantive manner the text had fallen short in several instances.  On “L.37”, he said India supported Africa’s security and it would respect the status of Africa as a region free of nuclear weapons.

The representative of Australia, speaking on behalf of a number of countries, said that as long‑standing co‑sponsors of “L.28” in previous years, the current draft had welcomed the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  The group of countries did not support that instrument and expressed deep regrets that the sponsors of it had not accepted their recommendations.  Speaking on “L.5” and “L.17”, she said those draft resolutions were unbalanced and did not consider the international security environment.  Security and humanitarian principles coexisted, and those draft resolutions did not reflect those realities and imperatives.

The representative of Canada said his delegation had abstained from voting on “L.19” for several years, as the draft text’s modified language had drawn efforts further away from the Non‑Proliferation Treaty.  The language also diminished the importance of the 2010 Review Conference.  Canada supported “L.28”, but had serious reservations regarding the recently negotiated Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which did not have the support of any nuclear‑weapon State.

The representation of Norway said achieving the total elimination of nuclear weapons would require persistence, realism and patience.  For that reason, Norway did not believe that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons would bring the international community closer to a world without nuclear weapons.  For that reason, it had voted against any draft text that had made reference to that instrument.  He particularly regretted that his delegation could not support “L.28”, which it had supported in past sessions.

The representative of Brazil said it had abstained from voting on “L.47” although it had supported it in previous years.  The adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons had eliminated the need for another instrument to negotiate a ban on atomic bombs.  Negotiating a less ambitious instrument would distract from the ultimate goal.  For the same reason, Brazil would abstain from voting on “L.10”.  However, it had voted in favour of “L.42” in light of continuing support of the integrity of the early entry in force of the Test‑Ban Treaty.  However, it regretted certain references in preambular paragraph 4 and as such would abstain from voting on that part of the draft resolution.

Right of Reply

The representative of the United States, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said the problems on the Korean Peninsula were between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the international community.  He said the representative of the Russian Federation should not distort history.   To his counterpart from Iran, he said the language in the 2015 Review Conference outcome document was biased and imposed conditions on only one regional State, which was why the United States had not supported the document.

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said the root cause of the situation on the Korean Peninsula was the United States and if that country really wanted peace, it would dismantle its nuclear weapons and join the Non‑Proliferation Treaty as a non‑nuclear State.

The delegate of the Russian Federation said that the claim that his country was violating the Non‑Proliferation Treaty was not serious.  The Russian Federation understood the difficulties Ukraine faced after the bloody coup d’etat, which had been supported by the United States and the European Union.

The delegate of Iran agreed with his counterpart from the United States that history should not be distorted.  Such a notion applied also to the outcome document of the 2015 Review Conference, which was acceptable to all Non‑Proliferation Treaty State parties in the Middle East.  Saying now that it was not acceptable to countries of the Middle East was a clear distortion of history and thus unacceptable.  Israel was the only State rejecting the outcome documents.

The representative of the United States said the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had violated countless Security Council resolutions.  Responding to the delegate of Iran, he said while the United States was a big supporter of nuclear‑weapon‑free zones, it would not happen in the Middle East until all States in the region participated.

The representative of Ukraine said the Russian Federation had invaded her country and started the war.  Despite comments made by the representative of the Russian Federation, that did not change the truth and everyone in the Committee room understood that.

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said it rejected the comments made by the delegate of United States, the country that had first produced and detonated a nuclear weapon that had killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.  Pyongyang’s nuclear deterrence was to protect itself against threats made by the United States regime.  He called on the United States to dismantle its nuclear weapon arsenal and enter the Non‑Proliferation Treaty as a non‑nuclear‑weapon State.

The representative of the Russian Federation said events happening in Ukraine represented an open wound for his country and was a painful subject.  Gradually, the whole world would understand what was happening in Ukraine.

For information media. Not an official record.