Approving 15 Drafts, First Committee Calls for Crackdown on Supply Chains Giving Terrorist Groups Materials to Build Improvised Explosive Devices

GA/DIS/3592
31 October 2017
Seventy-second Session, 26th Meeting (AM)

Approving 15 Drafts, First Committee Calls for Crackdown on Supply Chains Giving Terrorist Groups Materials to Build Improvised Explosive Devices

The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) sent 14 draft resolutions and 1 draft decision to the General Assembly today, including one aimed at preventing terrorist groups from accessing materials to build improvised explosive devices.

Finding Committee‑wide agreement on that matter, delegates shared deep concerns about the use of such weapons.  Afghanistan’s representative, who tabled the draft resolution “Countering the threat posed by improvised explosive devices” (document A/C.1/72/L.15/Rev.1), said those weapons were causing devastating humanitarian consequences and were increasingly being used to target civilians.

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved “L.15/Rev.1”, by which the General Assembly would strongly encourage States to develop and adopt their own national policies on countering improvised explosive devices, including through civilian‑military cooperation.  States would also be encouraged to strengthen countermeasure capabilities, prevent their territory from being used for terrorist purposes, and combat illegal armed groups, terrorists and other unauthorized recipients in their use of such weapons.

With delegates voicing different opinions on the draft, Egypt’s representative pointed out that the language in preambular paragraph 12 raised a web of issues far removed from the text’s aims.  Meanwhile, Cuba’s representative said operative paragraph 23 lacked an appropriate framework to establish definitions of anti‑personnel mines.

Tackling other draft resolutions on conventional weapons, the Committee took action on several relating to international treaties and conventions.

The Committee approved the draft resolution “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti‑Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction” (document A/C.1/72/L.40) by a recorded vote of 158 in favour to none against, with 16 abstentions.  By the text, the Assembly would stress the importance of the full and effective implementation of and compliance with the Convention, including through the continued implementation of the action plan for the period 2014 to 2019.

While the representatives of India, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan and the Republic of Korea cited security concerns as reasons for their continued need and use of such weapons, Morocco’s delegate said his delegation had voted in favour of “L.40” because it supported the objective of the complete destruction of mines and the provision of care for civilian victims.

The Committee also approved the draft resolution “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions” (document A/C.1/72/L.41) by a recorded vote of 134 in favour to 2 against (Russian Federation, Zimbabwe), with 36 abstentions.  By the text’s provisions, the Assembly would urge all States outside the instrument to join, and all States parties in a position to do so to promote adherence to the Convention.

In approving the draft resolution “The Arms Trade Treaty” (document A/C.1/72/L.27) by a recorded vote of 144 in favour to none against, with 29 abstentions, the Committee would have the Assembly call upon all States that had not yet done so to ratify, accept, approve or accede to the instrument, in order to achieve its universalization.

Among those abstaining, Ecuador’s delegate said the instrument was unbalanced with regard to exporting and importing States.  Representing another perspective, the representative of the United States said his delegation’s abstention stemmed from his country’s current standard policy review of several conventions, including the Arms Trade Treaty.  However, the United States had robust transfer controls in place and cooperated with Member States to help prevent conventional arms from falling into the wrong hands, he said.

Approving a basket of draft resolutions on other disarmament measures and international security, the Committee took action on “Compliance with non‑proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements and commitments” (document A/C.1/72/L.7), which was approved by a vote of 165 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 11 abstentions.

By that text, the Assembly would call upon all concerned States to take concerted action to encourage the compliance by all States with their respective non‑proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements and to hold accountable those not in compliance.

Also approved today were the following draft resolutions: “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” (document A/C.1/72/L.16/Rev.1); “Assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and collecting them” (document A/C.1/72/L.21); “Problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus” (document A/C.1/72/L.43); “The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects” (document A/C.1/72/L.56/Rev.1); “Objective information on military matters, including transparency of military expenditures” (document A/C.1/72/L.24); “Relationship between disarmament and development” (document A/C.1/72/L.30); “Observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control” (document A/C.1/72/L.31); “Promotion of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation” (document A/C.1/72/L.32); “Role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament” (document A/C.1/72/L.52/Rev.1).

In addition, the Committee approved the draft decision “Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security” (document A/C.1/72/L.44).

Speaking in explanation of position were representatives of Mexico, Australia, France, Singapore, Japan, Mali, Austria, Armenia, Indonesia, Libya, Venezuela, Argentina, Poland, Cyprus, Brazil, Switzerland, Syria, Liechtenstein, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, China, Brazil and South Africa.

The Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 1 November, to continue its consideration of all draft resolutions and decisions before it.

Background

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

Action on Draft Texts

The representative of Mexico, explaining her delegation’s position on draft resolutions on disarmament aspects of outer space, agreed with the importance of preventing an arms race in outer space, and for the exploration of outer space for peaceful purposes.  The declaration of a country or several not to be the first to place weapons in outer space should not be understood as an endorsement to place weapons in that domain, which Mexico would strongly oppose.

The representative of India said her delegation had voted in favour of the draft resolution “No first placement of weapons in outer space” (document A/C.1/72/L.53), emphasizing that the legal regime to protect and preserve access to space for all needed to be enhanced.

The representative of Australia, speaking also on behalf of Canada and Japan, said delegations had abstained from voting on “L.53” because the draft resolution had not defined what constituted a weapon in outer space.  Any space objects capable of being manoeuvred could be potential weapons.  In addition, the no-first placement pledge could not be verifiable.  As such, their delegations would favour measures that had a practical rather than a political claim.  Furthermore, “L.53” was focused on space‑based weapons and did not address ground‑based arms, such as missiles and lasers.  Australia, Canada and Japan had also abstained from voting on the draft resolution “Further practical measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space” (document A/C.1/72/L.54).  Noting that the draft had called for establishing a United Nations group of governmental experts, he said non‑binding but verifiable measures were more likely to gain wider acceptance and adherence by the international community.  Those were necessary for the strengthening of the legal regime on the issue.  The outer space transparency and confidence‑building measures should be considered in the Conference on Disarmament.

The representative of France said his delegation had voted against “L.54” because the necessary conditions for a legal binding instrument had not been met.  He regretted to note the restrictive nature of the mandate of the co‑sponsors and expressed concern about the financial implications for creating another group of experts.  For its part, France was ready to work with the international community to adopt confidence‑building and transparency measures for outer space.

The representative of Singapore, noting that her delegation had voted in favour of “L.54”, said the proposed group of governmental experts needed to be transparent and inclusive, taking into account the views of all countries.

The Committee then turned to draft resolutions related to conventional weapons.

The representative of Japan, introducing the draft resolution “The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects” (document A/C.1/72/L.56/Rev.1), said it was essential to work together.  Expressing hope that it would be adopted by consensus, he said the draft’s preambular paragraph 9 had been deleted toward that aim, and called on all Member States to extend support for it.

The representative of Afghanistan, tabling the draft resolution “Countering the threat posed by improvised explosive devices” (document A/C.1/72/L.15/Rev.1), said the current text included updates on several preambular and operative paragraphs to address the threats increasingly being borne by civilians.  Noting that prior versions of “L.15/Rev.1” had been adopted by consensus, he expressed hope for the same agreement in the Committee during the current session to help the global community fight against the use of such weapons.

The representative of Mali, introducing the draft resolution “Assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and collecting them” (document A/C.1/72/L.21), said it contained several updates and used the same language as the version the General Assembly had adopted at its seventy‑first session.  “L.21” would have the Assembly encourage the international community to support the implementation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Their Ammunition and Other Related Materials.  He thanked co‑sponsors and encouraged other Member States to show their support by becoming a co‑sponsor.

The representative of Cuba said her delegation would disassociate itself from paragraphs referencing the Arms Trade Treaty in draft resolutions before the Committee.  As such, Cuba would abstain from voting on draft resolution “The Arms Trade Treaty” (document A/C.1/72/L.27) because the instrument had been adopted through a premature vote, did not enjoy consensus and was characterized by ambiguities and inconsistencies in definitions and legal gaps.  In addition, “L.27” was not balanced and favoured arms‑exporting States.

The representative of Austria, also on behalf of Liechtenstein, said even though improvised explosive devices were a loose and undefined weapons category, their delegations would vote in favour of “L.15”.  They hoped the subsequent version that would be tabled during the seventy‑third session of the General Assembly would have better language on standards so that they could join as co‑sponsors.

The representative of the Republic of Korea, referencing draft resolutions “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti‑Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction” (document A/C.1/72/L.40) and “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions” (document A/C.1/72/L.41), said her delegation sympathized with the objectives of the texts, but because of the security situation on the Korean Peninsula, it was not a party to either instrument.   While the Republic of Korea could not support the draft resolutions, it would do its utmost to limit the humanitarian consequences of cluster munitions in a collaborative manner.

The representative of Armenia said his delegation would abstain from voting on “L.27”, which should be adopted by consensus to be more inclusive and effective.  He expressed concern that the Arms Trade Treaty could lead to situations involving political manipulation.

The representative of Indonesia, noting that her delegation would abstain from voting on “L.27”, said her country shared the spirit of the Arms Trade Treaty.  Indonesia was also carefully studying the instrument with a view to avoiding any possible inconsistencies with national law.

The representative of Egypt said his delegation would abstain from voting on “L.27” because of the Arms Trade Treaty’s shortcomings, including genuinely preventing the illicit supply of arms to terrorist groups, its lack of definitions and its reliance on arbitrary criteria.

The representative of Iran said his delegation supported measures to counter the threat posed by improvised explosive devices and would join consensus on “L.15”.  However, Iran would abstain from voting on “L.27” for several reasons, including that the call for the universalization of the Arms Trade Treaty lacked credibility.  The instrument had not been adopted by consensus due to its flaws and ignored the interests of some States, he said, citing examples of violations, including the export of billions of dollars of weapons to Israel, which that State had used in Palestine.

The representative of Libya said his country was not a party to the Mine Ban Convention, but supported and shared the international community’s concerns about those arms and their destruction.  Despite being fully aware of the damage caused by anti‑personnel mines, he said the Convention did not refer to the responsibility of occupying States to repair the damage they had caused, nor did it address the issue of providing assistance to affected countries.  For those and other reasons, his delegation would abstain from voting on “L.40”.

The representative of Morocco said his delegation would vote in favour of “L.40” because it supported the objective of the complete destruction of mines and the provision of care for civilian victims.

The representative of Venezuela said her country was not a party to the Arms Trade Treaty and would abstain from voting on “L.27”.  The imbalanced instrument could be politically manipulated, preventing it from becoming a universal treaty.  Venezuela was fully committed to eradicating the illicit trade of conventional weapons and the best way to do so was through a multilateral regime, with a non‑discriminatory and objective instrument.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution “Countering the threat posed by improvised explosive devices” (document A/C.1/72/L.15/Rev.1), by which the Assembly would urge all States to provide support to reduce the risks posed by those weapons in a manner that considered the different needs of women, girls, boys and men.  It would also urge Member States to comply fully with all relevant United Nations resolutions, including those related to preventing terrorist groups from using and accessing materials that could be used to make such weapons.

The Committee approved the draft without a vote.

The Committee turned to the draft resolution “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” (document A/C.1/72/L.16/Rev.1).  By the text, the Assembly would call upon all States that had not yet done so to take all measures to become parties to the Convention and the Protocols, with a view to ultimately achieve their universality.  It would also call upon all high contracting parties to ensure full and prompt compliance with their financial obligations under the Convention and its Protocols.

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

The Committee considered the draft resolution “Assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and collecting them” (document A/C.1/72/L.21), by which the Assembly would encourage the international community to support the implementation of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Their Ammunition and Other Related Materials.

By the terms of the text, the Assembly would also encourage the collaboration of civil society organizations in efforts of national commissions of States in the Sahelo‑Saharan region to combat the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and in the implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.  It would also call upon the international community to provide technical and financial support to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations in that regard.

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft.

The Committee took up the draft resolution “The Arms Trade Treaty” (document A/C.1/72/L.27), which would have the Assembly call upon all States that had not yet done so to ratify, accept, approve or accede to the instrument, in order to achieve its universalization.  By the terms of the text, the Assembly would call upon those States parties in a position to do so to provide assistance to requesting States in order to promote the instrument’s universalization.

The Committee approved the draft by a recorded vote of 144 in favour to none against, with 29 abstentions.

The Committee considered the draft resolution “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction” (document A/C.1/72/L.40).  By the text, the Assembly would stress the importance of the full and effective implementation of and compliance with the Convention, including through the continued implementation of the action plan for the period 2014 to 2019.

By a recorded vote of 158 in favour to none against, with 16 abstentions, the Committee approved the draft, as orally amended.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions” (document A/C.1/72/L.41), which would have the Assembly urge all States outside the instrument to join and all States parties in a position to do so to promote adherence to the Convention through bilateral, subregional and multilateral means.

The Committee approved the draft by a recorded vote of 134 in favour to 2 against (Russian Federation, Zimbabwe), with 36 abstentions.

The Committee considered the draft resolution “Problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus” (document A/C.1/72/L.43), which would have the Assembly appeal to all interested States to determine the size and nature of their surplus stockpiles, whether they represented a security risk, their means of destruction, if appropriate, and whether external assistance was needed to eliminate that risk.  The Assembly would also request the Secretary‑General to convene a related group of governmental experts in 2020.

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

The Committee then took up the draft resolution “The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects” (document A/C.1/72/L.56/Rev.1), which would have the General Assembly call upon all States to implement the International Tracing Instrument, 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 the country of manufacture and/or country of import, as applicable.

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

The representative of Ecuador said his delegation had abstained from voting on “L.27” because the instrument had several shortcomings, including an imbalance between exporting and importing States.  Nevertheless, Ecuador would continue to study the text of the Arms Trade Treaty and its implications.

The representative of Egypt said his delegation had abstained from voting on “L.40” due to the imbalanced nature of the Mine Ban Convention, which had been developed and concluded outside the United Nations.  The instrument lacked balance between humanitarian consequences and their use by countries for border protection.  On “L.15”, Egypt continued to support the draft resolution as it attempted to tackle an important threat improvised explosive devices posed.  However, he took issue with language in preambular paragraph 12, which raised a web of issues far removed from the actual scope of the draft’s objectives.

The representative of the United States said his delegation had abstained from voting on “L.27” because his country was conducting a standard policy review of several conventions, including the Arms Trade Treaty.  Nevertheless, the United States cooperated with Member States to help prevent conventional arms from falling into the wrong hands and had robust transfer controls in place.

The representative of India said regarding draft resolution “L.27” that her country had strong national export controls of defence items and fully subscribed to the objectives of Arms Trade Treaty.  Pending the conclusion of India’s review of the instrument as it related to security interests, her delegation would abstain from voting on “L.27”.  On “L.40”, India was committed to the eventual elimination of anti‑personnel mines, but had abstained from voting on the draft as it did not consider the legitimate concerns of States, especially those with long borders.

The representative of Argentina said her delegation had abstained from voting on “L.41” because her country did not possess cluster munitions, had not subscribed to the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the language in the draft was not sufficiently ambitious.

The representative of Cuba said her delegation had joined the consensus on “L.43” with several reservations, including that the language did not reflect measures to be adopted to improve stockpile management.  “L.43” should respect the rights of States to determine their surpluses according to security needs, she said, noting that Cuba maintained and applied a strict and effective national system on ammunition controls, with its stockpiles being fully consistent with legitimate national defence needs.  Cuba also supported “L.15/Rev.1”, with reservations, including that preambular paragraph 18 and operative paragraph 23 did not offer the right framework to establish definitions on anti‑personnel mines.  Her delegation had abstained from voting on “L.40”, although it shared the legitimate humanitarian concerns from the use of anti‑personnel mines.

The representative of Poland, speaking on behalf of several countries, said their delegations had abstained from voting on “L.41”.  They supported international efforts addressing the humanitarian impact of cluster munitions and supported the Convention on Cluster Munitions’ humanitarian goals, but those objectives must be balanced with States’ security concerns and military needs.

The representative of Cyprus said his delegation had abstained from voting on “L.41”.  Cyprus was a State party to 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 and was in compliance with European Union standards.  However, its ratification process of the Convention on Cluster Munitions was ongoing due to the current national security situation.

The representative of Pakistan said his country had joined the consensus on “L.15/Rev.1”, as it shared concerns about the use of improvised explosive devices by terrorist groups.  Pakistan had also voted in favour of “L.27”; however, the Arms Trade Treaty’s success and universality would depend on its non‑discriminatory implementation.  On “L.40”, he said his delegation had abstained from the vote because landmines continued to play a role in meeting security needs of many States and was an integral part of Pakistan’s defence policy.  On “L.41”, his delegation had abstained from voting because Pakistan did not respect treaties negotiated outside the United Nations framework.  On “L.43”, he said Pakistan had joined the consensus, but emphasized that the largest stockpiles were maintained by major military powers and they should take the lead in safe disposal efforts.

The representative of Brazil said his delegation had abstained from voting on “L.41”.  While it had supported efforts to address cluster munitions through the United Nations, it had not participated in the process leading to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, as it was a parallel process to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.  There were serious loopholes in the Convention on Cluster Munitions and its effectiveness had also been undermined by article 21, which pertains to relations with States not party to that instrument.

The representative of Myanmar said his delegation had abstained from voting on “L.40” and “L.41”.  While it supported the conventions in principle, there were constraints that were preventing Myanmar from joining them.

The representative of Switzerland said his delegation had joined the consensus on “L.15/Rev.1”, but had reservations.  The draft resolution described non‑State actors as illegal armed groups, and the terminology did not affect the rights and obligations stemming from international law and the human rights of non‑State actors.

The representative of Singapore said her delegation had voted in favour of “L.40” and supported initiatives on the prohibition of using anti‑personnel mines to target civilians.  Her delegation had also voted in favour of “L.41”, she said, as Singapore supported international efforts to address the humanitarian consequences of the use of cluster munitions.

The representative of Iran said “L.40” focused on the humanitarian consequences and did not consider any measures against the actual use of mines.  Because anti‑personnel mines were still an effective means of defence, Iran had abstained from voting on “L.40”.  Turning to “L.41”, he said the draft resolution should have considered the progressive transparency and all‑inclusive process to ensure that States’ rights to security were respected and that no individual State could obtain advantages over others.  Circumventing the United Nations disarmament machinery and creating instruments outside it was not acceptable nor in line with the Organization’s objectives.  The General Assembly should not encourage such a process.  For that reason, his delegation had abstained from voting on “L.41”.

The representative of Syria said his delegation had abstained from voting on “L.27”.  Syria was among States seeking to codify the arms trade.  Pointing out that Syria was suffering from the “bloody actions” of terrorist groups that had obtained all types of weapons in an illegal way from regional and international parties, including States parties of the Arms Trade Treaty.  The instrument had been used to guarantee the interests of some conventional weapon‑producing States, had not been adopted by consensus and did not consider the views of numerous nations, having overlooked proposals to include in the text a reference to “foreign occupation”.  The text also did not include explicit language to ensure the absolute prohibition or supply of weapons to non‑State actors and terrorist groups.  Certain States that had supported the Arms Trade Treaty’s adoption had also equipped terrorist groups with weapons.  As such, his delegation had reservations on draft resolutions containing references to the Arms Trade Treaty.

The Committee then turned to draft resolutions relating to other disarmament issues and international security.

The representative of India said suggested amendments had been included in the draft resolution “Role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament” (document A/C.1/72/L.52/Rev.1).  He expressed hope that the draft would be approved without a vote.

The representative of Cuba said her delegation had co‑sponsored draft resolutions “Relationship between disarmament and development” (document A/C.1/72/L.30), “Observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control” (document A/C.1/72/L.31) and “Promotion of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non‑proliferation” (document A/C.1/72/L.32).  With regard to “L.30”, she reiterated that disarmament and development were the main challenges faced by mankind today, and it was not acceptable to devote $1.7 billion to military spending while the world was in dire need of achieving development goals.  On “L.31”, Member States should comply strictly with environmental norms, she said, adding that the draft text was an important contribution to the quest for multilateral solutions.

The representative of Liechtenstein expressed strong support for the rule of law, including in the field of disarmament.  Legally binding multilateral instruments were key to non‑proliferation and disarmament progress.  Compliance was essential to achieve that objective, he said, noting that his delegation supported the draft resolution “Compliance with non‑proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements and commitments” (document A/C.1/72/L.7).  In that vein, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear programme was one of the most significant achievements.

The representative of the United States said his delegation would not support “L.30” because disarmament and development were two distinct issues.  Similarly, it would not support “L.31” because the United States already operated under stringent environmental controls and the issue was not relevant to the First Committee’s work.

The representative of Cuba said her delegation would abstain from voting on “L.7” because the draft lacked an approach based on cooperation.  All States must comply with provisions of agreements they had previously entered into, she said, emphasizing that “L.7” paved the way for unacceptable interpretations of State obligations.

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said his delegation would vote against “L.7” because it contained elements that jeopardized Pyongyang’s interests.  Moreover, the draft targeted the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and pushed an “impure political purpose”.

The representative of Iran said his delegation supported the fundamental principle of “L.7”, but treaty obligations should be assessed objectively and judgments should be conducted by relevant international organizations in order to prevent subjective assessments that could be used as political and foreign policy leverage.  The international community had already witnessed that in the past and were well aware of current examples.  In that context, the draft had overlooked the central role of relevant organizations, including the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as the sole bodies for the verification of compliance of non‑proliferation and disarmament agreements.  At the same time, it was ironic that Israel, one of the draft’s sponsors, was itself not a party to any of the instruments banning weapons of mass destruction.  For those reasons, his delegation would abstain from voting on “L.7”.

The representative of France said his delegation would abstain from any draft resolutions containing explicit references to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The Committee then turned to the draft resolution “Compliance with non‑proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements and commitments” (document A/C.1/72/L.7).  By the terms of the text, the General Assembly would call upon all concerned States to take concerted action, in a manner consistent with relevant international law; to encourage, through bilateral and multilateral means, the compliance by all States with their respective non‑proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements and with other agreed obligations; and to hold those not in compliance with such agreements accountable for their non‑compliance in a manner consistent with the Charter of the United Nations.

By a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 11 abstentions, the Committee approved the draft.

The Committee took up the draft resolution “Objective information on military matters, including transparency of military expenditures” (document A/C.1/72/L.24).  The Assembly would, by the text’s terms, invite Member States in a position to do so to supplement their reports, on a voluntary basis, with explanatory remarks regarding submitted data to explain or clarify the figures provided in the reporting forms, such as the total military expenditures as a share of gross domestic product, major changes from previous reports and any additional information reflecting their defence policy, military strategies and doctrines.

The Committee approved the draft without a vote.

The Committee then considered the draft resolution “Relationship between disarmament and development” (document A/C.1/72/L.30).  By the text, the Assembly would 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.

Acting without a vote, the Committee then approved the draft.

The Committee turned to the draft resolution “Observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control” (document A/C.1/72/L.31), by which 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 spheres, without detriment to the environment.

Also acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft.

It then took action on the draft resolution “Promotion of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non‑proliferation” (document A/C.1/72/L.32).  By the text, the Assembly would call upon all Member States to renew and fulfil their individual and collective commitments to multilateral cooperation as an important means of pursuing and achieving their common objectives in the area of disarmament and non‑proliferation.

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

The Committee then took up a draft decision on “Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security” (document A/C.1/72/L.44), by which the Assembly would include that item in the provisional agenda of its seventy‑third session.

By a recorded vote of 173 in favour to none against, with 1 abstention (Ukraine), the Committee approved the draft.

The Committee then considered the draft resolution “Role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament” (document A/C.1/72/L.52/Rev.1).  By its terms, the Assembly would invite Member States to continue efforts to apply developments in science and technology for disarmament‑related purposes, including the verification of disarmament, arms control and non‑proliferation instruments, and to make related technologies available to interested States.

The Committee approved the draft without a vote.

The representative of Ecuador said his delegation had abstained from voting on “L.7” because of several concerns.  Operative paragraph 7 could be interpreted as a possible justification of the application of unilateral sanctions outside the framework of the United Nations Charter.  Compliance should be in good faith and any amendment to agreements must be with the free consent of parties to them.

The representative of Pakistan said his delegation had voted in favour of “L.7” and shared the view that all States should comply with the treaty obligations in order to achieve global peace and security.  The question of compliance should be strictly applied to legal provisions of relevant treaties.  Agreed‑upon obligations were only those made by States voluntarily and in exercise of their sovereignty.

The representative of China said his delegation had voted in favour of “L.7” because nations should faithfully uphold treaty provisions without double standards.  For its part, China opposed using compliance as a political tool.

The representative of Brazil said her delegation had voted in favour of “L.7” because treaties should be fully implemented and compliance should not be selective.  Similarly, full compliance of article VI of the Treaty on the Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons should be upheld.  Effective verification mechanisms translated into effective compliance, she said, noting her delegation’s desire to see the language found in General Assembly resolution 66/49 in operative paragraph 6 of the draft resolution.

The representative of Venezuela said her delegation had abstained from voting on “L.7” because it was unbalanced and did not consider the responsibility of nuclear‑weapon States, and did not address concerns about the use of weapons of mass destruction.  She reiterated Venezuela’s commitment to adopt multilateral measures leading to the total elimination of nuclear weapons under the Non‑Proliferation Treaty framework.

The representative of South Africa said his delegation had voted in favour of “L.7” given that compliance with non‑proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements were critical to maintain confidence in the multilateral system.  However, he was deeply concerned about the selective focus taken on certain agreements in the arms control environment.  Such imbalance caused divisions that could undermine the goals of certain instruments, he said, citing the Arms Trade Treaty as an example of that situation.

For information media. Not an official record.