TOTAL ELIMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS’ AIM OF DRAFT TEXT APPROVED BY FIRST COMMITTEE

GA/DIS/3288
28 October 2004

TOTAL ELIMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS’ AIM OF DRAFT TEXT APPROVED BY FIRST COMMITTEE

28/10/2004
Press Release
GA/DIS/3288

Fifty-ninth General Assembly

First Committee

19th Meeting (PM)


TOTAL ELIMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS’ AIM OF DRAFT TEXT


APPROVED BY FIRST COMMITTEE


Nine More Resolutions Recommended to General Assembly


(Issued on 29 October 2004.)


The General Assembly, expressing deep concern regarding the growing dangers posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, would reaffirm the importance of achieving the universality of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and call on States not parties to the Treaty to accede to it as non-nuclear weapon States, according to one of nine drafts approved this afternoon by the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security).


That draft resolution, entitled “A path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons,” was approved by a recorded vote of 151 in favour to 2 against (India, United States), with 16 abstentions, as the Committee continued taking action on all draft resolutions and decisions.  (For details of the vote, see Annex III.}


The Committee has organized its draft texts into subject “clusters”, and this afternoon it approved many of the texts in its clusters on nuclear weapons, disarmament machinery, other disarmament measures and international security.


Explaining his negative vote on the text, the representative of the United States noted that it asserted the importance and urgency surrounding the signing and ratifying of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).  However, his country did not support that instrument and had no plans to become a party.  In addition, the draft called for negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on an effectively verifiable fissile material cut-off treaty.  However, while his country supported such a treaty, its experts had determined that the instrument could not be made effectively verifiable.


The speaker from India had also voted against that draft resolution because he felt that the principles of non-proliferation, as enshrined in the NPT, were discriminatory.  In addition, operative paragraph 1, which called on his country to join the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon-State, was “unrealistic and unacceptable”.


A related text, called “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments”, was approved by a recorded vote of 135 in favour to 5 against (France, Latvia, Israel, United Kingdom and United States), with 25 abstentions (Annex II).  It would have the Assembly call upon all States to fully comply with commitments made vis-à-vis nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, and not to act in any way that may lead to a new nuclear arms race.


Prior to its approval as a whole, the Committee approved its second operative paragraph -- which would have the Assembly call upon all States to spare no efforts to achieve universal adherence to the NPT, and the early entry into force of the CTBT -- by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 4 against (France, India, Israel and United States), with 5 abstentions (Bhutan, Mauritius, Monaco, Pakistan and Uzbekistan) (Annex I).


Explaining his vote, the representative of China said that, although he had voted in favour of the draft, he was concerned that it did not reflect the importance of no-first-use policies on nuclear weapons, or of the prevention of an arms race in outer space.  The text had also failed to mention that nuclear transparency was essential for creating trusting and secure environments, and neglected to clearly address non-strategic nuclear weapons.


The following were also approved by a recorded votes:  a draft resolution on a follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons, 118 in favour to 28 against, with 21 abstentions (Annex V); the first operative paragraph of that draft, 156 in favour to 3 against (Israel, Russian Federation, United States) with 5 abstentions (Belarus, France, Latvia, United Kingdom and Uzbekistan) (Annex IV).


By several texts approved without a vote, the Assembly would:  invite Member States to continue to cooperate with Mongolia in consolidating and strengthening that country’s nuclear-weapon-free status; decide to establish an open-ended working group to consider the objectives and agenda for the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament; and reaffirm its strong support for the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa.


Also:  call upon the Conference on Disarmament to further intensify efforts towards agreeing on a programme of work; call on all Member States to support international efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction; and reaffirm that security in the Mediterranean region was closely linked to European and international peace and security.


The Committee will meet again at 9:30 a.m. Monday, 1 November, to continue taking action on all drafts texts.


Background


The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this afternoon to continue action on all draft resolutions and decisions on disarmament and international security.  It had before it texts related to clusters dealing with nuclear weapons; confidence-building measures, including transparency in armaments; disarmament machinery; other disarmament measures; and international security.


Expected to be acted on under cluster 1, which concerns nuclear weapons, are drafts on:  Mongolia’s international security and nuclear weapon-free status; a new agenda:  accelerating the implementation of nuclear disbarment commitments; a path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons; and follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons.


Action is also expected on a draft from cluster 6, which deals with confidence-building measures, including transparency in armaments.  From cluster 7, on disarmament machinery, action is expected on the draft resolutions on convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament; the United Nations Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa; and the report of the Conference on Disarmament.


The Committee is also expected to take up a draft decision from cluster 8, other disarmament measures, on measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.  From cluster 10, which concerns international security, action is expected a draft on strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region.


Draft Summaries


Cluster 1


According to a draft resolution on Mongolia’s international security and nuclear-weapon-free status (document A/C.1/59/L.19.Rev.1), the Assembly would endorse and support that country’s good relationship with its neighbours as an important element of strengthening regional peace, security and stability.  It would also appeal to the Member States in the region to support Mongolia’s efforts to join the relevant regional security and economic arrangements.


Expressing its grave concern at the danger to humanity posed by the possibility that nuclear weapons could be used, the Assembly would call upon all States to fully comply with commitments made to nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation and not to act in any way that may be detrimental to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation or that may lead to a new nuclear arms race, according to a draft resolution entitled “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (A/C.1/59/L.22).


The Assembly would also call upon all States to spare no efforts to achieve universal adherence to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).


By further terms, the Assembly would call upon all NPT States to accelerate the implementation of the practical steps agreed upon at the 2000 Review Conference, and upon the nuclear-weapon States to take further steps to reduce their non-strategic nuclear arsenals and not develop new types of nuclear weapons.

Additionally, it would agree to urgently strengthen efforts to resume negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material.  It would further call for the establishment of a subsidiary body within the Conference to deal with nuclear disarmament.

The draft resolution is sponsored by the New Agenda Coalition, which includes Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden.

Expressing deep concern regarding the growing dangers posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including that caused by proliferation networks, and convinced that every effort should be made to avoid nuclear war and nuclear terrorism, the Assembly would reaffirm the importance of achieving the universality of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and call on States not parties to the Treaty to accede to it as non-nuclear weapon States without delay and without conditions, according to a draft resolution entitled “A path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/59/L.23).


The Assembly would also reaffirm the importance for all States parties to the Treaty to fulfil their obligations under the NPT, and invite the nuclear-weapon States to keep United Nations Members informed on their progress in the field of nuclear disarmament.


By further terms, the Assembly would stress the importance of further developing verification capabilities, such as International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, and call upon all States to redouble their efforts to prevent and curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons.


It would also call upon all States to maintain the highest possible standards of security, safe custody, effective control and physical protection of all materials related to such weapons, so that they did not fall into the hands of terrorists.


The draft resolution is sponsored by Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Fiji, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Switzerland and Ukraine.


Convinced that the continuing existence of nuclear weapons posed a threat to all humanity and that their use would have catastrophic consequences for all life on earth, the Assembly would underline, once again, the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice that there existed 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, under a draft resolution entitled “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.1/59/L.39).


The Assembly would call, once again, 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, threat or use of nuclear weapons and providing for their elimination.  It would request all States to inform the Secretary-General of the efforts and measures they had taken to implement the present resolution and nuclear disarmament, and request the Secretary-General to apprise the Assembly of that information at its next session.


The draft resolution is sponsored by Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, Costa Rica, Cuba, Egypt, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Singapore, Viet Nam and Yemen.


Cluster 6


Concerned that continuation of disputes among States might contribute to the arms race and endanger international peace and security and the efforts of the international community to promote arms control and disarmament, the Assembly would urge strict compliance with all bilateral, regional and international agreements to which the contending States were parties, according to a draft resolution sponsored by Pakistan on confidence-building measures in the regional and sub-regional context (document A/C.1/59/L.45/Rev.1).


The Assembly would also urge that confidence-building measures should contribute to the objectives of strategic stability, consistent with the principle of undiminished security at the lowest level of armaments.


In a related provision, it would call on Member States to refrain from the use or threat of force in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.  It would also call upon Member States to pursue the ways and means of confidence- and security-building measures, as contained in the 1993 United Nations Disarmament Commission report, through sustained consultations and dialogue.


Cluster 7


By the terms of a draft resolution concerning the convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament (document A/C.1/59/L.14), sponsored by Malaysia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Assembly would decide to establish an open-ended working group, working on the basis of consensus, to consider the objectives and agenda, including the possible establishment of the preparatory committee, for that session.

It would also request that group to hold an organizational session in order to set the date for its substantive sessions, and to submit a report on its work, including possible substantive recommendations, before the end of the sixtieth session of the General Assembly.


A draft resolution sponsored by Nigeria on the United Nations Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (document A/C.1/59/L.24) would have the Assembly reaffirm its strong support for the Centre and emphasize the need to provide it with the necessary resources to enable it to strengthen its activities and carry out its programmes.  It would appeal once again to all States, as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and foundations, to make voluntary contributions to the Centre.


The Assembly would also appeal to the Centre, in cooperation with the African Union, regional and sub-regional organizations and African States, to take steps to promote the consistent implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light weapons in All Its Aspects.


A draft resolution sponsored by Myanmar on the report of the Conference on Disarmament (document A/C.1/59/L.27/Rev.1) would have the Assembly call upon the Conference to further intensify efforts in conducting consultations and in exploring possibilities with a view to reaching agreement on a programme of work.


Cluster 8


Deeply concerned by the growing risk of linkages between terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, and particularly by the fact that terrorists might seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction, the Assembly would call on all Member States to support international efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means, according to a draft resolution entitled “Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction” (document A/C.1/59/L.31).


The Assembly would urge Member States to take and strengthen national measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring mass destruction weapons, their delivery means and materials and technologies related to their manufacture.  It would invite them to inform the Secretary-General, on a voluntary basis, of the measures taken in that regard.

The draft resolution is sponsored by Afghanistan, Bhutan, Colombia, Fiji, France, India, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka.


Cluster 10


A draft resolution on strengthening security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region (document A/C.1/59/L.35) would have the Assembly reaffirm that security in that region was closely linked to European security, as well as to international peace and security.


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 there 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.


In that context, it would call for full adherence to the principles of non-interference, non-intervention, non-use of force, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the relevant resolutions.  It would also call on all States of the region that had not yet done so to adhere to all the multilaterally negotiated legal instruments related to the field of disarmament and non-proliferation, thus creating the necessary conditions for strengthening peace and cooperation in the region


The draft resolution is sponsored by Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


Action on texts


The representative of China explained the votes he would be taking on three draft resolutions on nuclear disarmament.  Stating that he believed in the thorough and complete destruction of nuclear weapons, he added that any disarmament measures, including interim steps, should work towards undiminished security for all countries and global stability.  In that context, he said that nuclear-weapon States must reduce their nuclear arsenals, never be the first to use nuclear weapons, and refrain from using such arms against non-nuclear-weapon States.  Taking steps to prevent an arms race in outer space would also be desirable, he added.


He said he supported the draft resolution on nuclear disarmament (document A/C.1/59/L.26/Rev.1) even though it had not addressed some of the aforementioned topics.  He also stated that, even though he would vote in favour of the draft entitled “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (document A/C.1/59/L.22), he had some reservations.  For example, that text did not reflect the importance of no-first-use policies or preventing an arms race in outer space.  It also failed to mention that nuclear transparency was essential for creating trusting and secure environments, and neglected to clearly address non-strategic nuclear weapons.  Turning to the draft resolution on the path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/59/L.23), he said he would abstain because the text did not mention some fundamental principles of nuclear disarmament, and advanced several measures that could be considered premature in the current international context.


The representative of Spain explained the vote he would be taking on the draft entitled “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (document A/C.1/59/L.22).  He stated that he was committed to the intertwined processes of nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.  Declaring that the draft represented a “step in the right direction”, he added that it was balanced and likely to lead to global consensus.  However, because there was also room for improvements, he would abstain from the vote.  He also told delegates that this year his delegation had decided to co-sponsor the draft resolution on the path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/59/L.23).


The representative of Iran, speaking on the draft resolution on a path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons (L.23), said that his country shared the spirit and agreed with the elements of the draft resolution.  Iran had been supportive of that resolution in previous years, including last year.  Japan, without prior consultations, had introduced many substantive changes to that text, which had implications for ongoing negotiations and on the NPT Review Conference.  In operative paragraph 8, it stressed the importance of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty’s (CTBT) verification regime, but that was not technically understandable.  The CTBT was not in force yet, and it was doubtful how it could be verified.


The representative of the United States noted that his country had not been listed as a co-sponsor of the draft resolution on Mongolia’s international security and nuclear-weapon-free status.  He requested that the record show it as a co-sponsor.


The Committee then took up the draft resolution on Mongolia’s international security and nuclear-weapon-free status (document A/C.1/59/L.19).  It was approved without a vote.


The Committee then took up the draft resolution entitled “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (A/C.1/59/L.22).  Operative paragraph 2, which reads “calls upon all states to spare no efforts to achieve universal adherence to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty” was put to a separate vote.  The paragraph was approved by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 4 against (France, India, Israel and United States), with 5 abstentions (Bhutan, Mauritius, Monaco, Pakistan and Uzbekistan) (Annex I).


The whole text was the approved by a recorded vote of 135 in favour to 5 against (France, Latvia, Israel, United Kingdom and United States), with 25 abstentions (Annex II).


The Committee then took up the draft resolution on the path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/59/L.23).  It was approved by a recorded vote of 151 in favour to 2 against (India, United States), with 16 abstentions (Annex III).


Turning to the draft resolution on a follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/59/L.39), the Committee first acted upon its first operative paragraph, which states:  “Underlines 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.”


That paragraph was approved by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 3 against (Israel, Russian Federation, United States) with 5 abstentions (Belarus, France, Latvia, United Kingdom and Uzbekistan) (Annex IV).


The draft resolution as a whole was approved by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 28 against, with 21 abstentions (Annex V).


The representative of Japan explained his vote on the draft entitled “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (document A/C.1/59/L.22).  He said the text had improved considerably from last year, and he voiced support for its overall objectives.  Nevertheless, he did not necessarily agree with all of its points.  Regarding the ICJ draft (document A/C.1/59/L.39), he said he appreciated the attitude of the Malaysian delegation, which had introduced the text.  He added that, because of the immense power of nuclear weapons to cause destruction and death, the use of such arms was contrary to humanitarian norms.


However, although he agreed that nuclear weapons should never be used again, and that the world must make continuous efforts to achieve a world free of them, he said the ICJ opinion was “complex”.  Clarifying, he said he supported the Court’s opinion and that concrete, step-by-step measures must be made to achieve progress in nuclear disarmament, but, nevertheless, he stressed that it was premature to call on all States to fulfil all of the draft’s provisions.  Specifically, incremental and steady progress was required before countries could be expected to negotiate a convention governing nuclear weapons, as called for in the draft.  That was why he had abstained.


The representative of Sweden, speaking on behalf of the New Agenda Coalition (Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden) explained her vote on the draft resolution on the path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/59/L.23).  She said the seven delegations had abstained because they believed it was essential that the commitments made during the 1995 and 2000 Review Conferences for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) be upheld in their entirety.  There had also been other differences in interpretation, which had led to the abstentions.  Knowing that the Japanese delegation, which had introduced that draft, shared her objectives, she noted that the 2005 NPT review conference was fast approaching, and that the time had come to advance common goals.  She added that the Coalition stood ready to work together with Japan and the draft resolution’s co-sponsors.


The representative of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of his country, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Norway, on the draft resolution on follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, said that the three countries supported the unanimous conclusion contained in that opinion.  They had voted in favour of operative paragraph 1 of the draft resolution.  While sharing the view that the ultimate objective of nuclear disarmament was complete elimination of nuclear weapons, it held the view that that point was only one element of the advisory opinion.  The opinion needed to be considered in its entirety.  The countries firmly believed that nuclear disarmament could not be achieved except through a staged approach.


The representative of the Russian Federation, speaking on the draft resolution on “towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments”, said that this year’s text had been shortened at the expense of things contained in last year’s resolution.  It was difficult to agree with the idea of speeding up the disarmament process.  His country had already drawn attention to why nuclear disarmament should be implemented in a staged approach.  It had supported and would continue to support a balanced approach in that respect.  Unlike last year’s text, the draft resolution was silent on the progress that had been made in the nuclear disarmament area.  His Government, for instance, was carrying out painstaking and expensive efforts to reduce its strategic nuclear weapons.  That was why his country had abstained from the draft resolution.


The representative of Colombia, speaking on the drafts under nuclear weapons, reiterated earlier statements that, in accordance with international law, its constitution and its obligations under treaties, his country could be called upon for performance on international agreements once ratification had taken place.  That had been publicly stated.  He reaffirmed the country’s commitment to the nuclear non-proliferation treaties and said that it had continued to propose ways for overcoming the impediments, so that his country could work with those treaties prior to ratification.  Those proposals had been under discussion.


The representative of India explained his votes on the draft resolution entitled “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (document A/C.1/59/L.22), the text on the path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/59/L.23), and the draft on Mongolia’s nuclear-weapon-free status (document A/C.1/59/L.19/Rev.1).  Regarding the first, he said moves towards a nuclear-weapon-free world had to be grounded in the consensus reached at the first special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament, to which all Member States had been party.  Unfortunately, the importance of that session had not been reflected in the text.  He also regretted the absence of references to reducing nuclear danger and no-first-use policies.  Declaring that efforts to create a nuclear-weapon-free world would be constrained by the discriminatory NPT, he said it was important to move towards equal and legitimate security for all.  That was why he had voted against operative paragraph 2 and abstained from the draft as a whole.


Turning to the second draft, he said he agreed with its basic objective, but had voted against it because of its flawed methods of pursuing that goal.  Agreeing that nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation were intertwined and mutually reinforcing.  He, nevertheless, felt that the principles of non-proliferation, as enshrined in the NPT, were discriminatory.  In addition, operative paragraph 1, which called on India to join the NPT as a non-nuclear-weapon-State, was “unrealistic and unacceptable”.  Addressing the third draft resolution, he said his country maintained the most friendly and fraternal ties with Mongolia. India thus fully respected Mongolia’s wishes to consolidate its nuclear-weapon-free status, and would do its best to help fulfil those desires.


The representative of Germany explained his votes on the draft resolution entitled “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (document A/C.1/59/L.22) and the text on the path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/59/L.23).  Regarding the first, he said he had voted in favour because of the commitment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to reinforce the NPT.  Since the end of the cold war, NATO had taken far-reaching steps to reduce its reliance on nuclear capabilities.  However, the continuing existence of powerful nuclear forces outside the alliance was a significant factor that the Alliance had to take into account when maintaining security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region.


Turning to the second draft resolution, he said he shared its commitment to the full implementation of the NPT by its parties.  After all, the Treaty was the essential foundation for international nuclear disarmament.  He attached particular importance to the practical steps laid out in the final document from the 2000 NPT review conference.  Unfortunately, however, the draft resolution left room for possible misinterpretation regarding commitments made to implement article VI of the NPT, since it did not adequately reflect the importance of nuclear disarmament.  Declaring that he had raised such concerns in previous years, he said that, although he had voted in favour of the draft this year, he did not interpret its selective language as detracting from the comprehensive commitment of the States parties to the NPT to implement the final document in its entirety.


The representative of Switzerland, speaking on the draft resolution entitled “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments”, said that his country had voted in support of the draft text.  It was honouring the willingness of the authors to moderate the content so as to produce a favourable content for the NPT Review Conference in 2005 and achieve significant results at that conference.  That support was not a question of changing his country’s position.  Switzerland had, on many occasions, stressed the importance of commitment to nuclear disarmament.  It would continue to do so in areas of disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.


The representative of France, speaking on behalf of his country, the United Kingdom and the United States on the draft resolution “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments”, which they voted against, said that the draft text contained many elements that did not command consensus and were not acceptable.  The new title of the resolution did not reflect the progress, which was being made towards nuclear disarmament, and the content did not take due account of the full range of obligations of all towards nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.


As stated last year, he continued, the three countries remained fully committed to meeting their obligations under article VI of the NPT.  They had taken significant measures on nuclear disarmament and supported nuclear weapons reduction worldwide.  The draft resolution did not take sufficient account of that progress.  Although last year’s resolution mentioned the Moscow Treaty, this year’s draft text did not, despite the fact that the Treaty committed the United States and the Russian Federation to reduce their nuclear arsenals by several thousand warheads over the next decade.


The representative of Syria explained his vote on the draft resolution on the path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/59/L.23). 

Regretting that the final document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference was not mentioned in the draft’s second operative paragraph, he said that omission made him question the text’s intentions towards true nuclear disarmament.  Also, the draft failed to assert the basic principles of nuclear disarmament and the necessity of making the NPT universal.  In that context, he expressed hope that the draft would be improved in the future.


The representative of Pakistan explained his votes on the draft entitled “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (document A/C.1/59/L.22) and the draft resolution on the path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/59/L.23).  Regarding the first, he said the draft had improved considerably from last year’s version.  In addition, he appreciated that the text called for meaningful disarmament measures, emphasized the role of the Conference on Disarmament, and had eliminated elements from previous versions to which he had objected in the past.  In that context, he said he had voted in favour of the draft as a whole, but had abstained from operative paragraph 2 for “reasons that were well-known”.


Regarding the second draft resolution, he said he had abstained because he had not agreed with several provisions.  For example, the draft placed inordinate emphasis on non-proliferation and very little on disarmament.  That represented a major regression, and did not allow for a true path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which the draft claimed to be.  He also could not endorse some of the preambular paragraphs, some of which focused on the NPT.


The representative from the United States pointed out that the draft resolution on the path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/59/L.23) asserted the importance and urgency surrounding the signing and ratifying of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).  However, his country did not support that instrument and had no plans to become a party.  In addition, the draft resolution called for negotiations on an effectively verifiable fissile material cut-off treaty in the Conference on Disarmament.  That was problematic because, while his country supported such a treaty, its experts had determined that the instrument could not be made effectively verifiable.  Acknowledging the good intentions of the draft resolution, and realizing that the co-sponsors had striven to make the language more balanced, he, nevertheless, had been forced to vote against it again.


The representative of the Republic of Korea, speaking on the draft resolution entitled “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments”, said that this year’s resolution took a balanced and more realistic approach.  It highlighted specific areas relevant to disarmament, including beginning or negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty.  Although it left room for further improvements, his delegation had decided to support it.


The representative of Israel, explaining his vote before the vote on the draft resolution on the report of the Conference on Disarmament, said that his country decided to join the consensus to the resolution despite its feeling that it did not reflect the full scope of the work that took place this year.  The reality had not been fully reflected in the resolution.


The Committee then took up the draft resolution concerning the convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament (document A/C.1/59/L.14).  It was approved without a vote.


Next, the Committee took up the draft resolution sponsored by Nigeria on the United Nations Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (document A/C.1/59/L.24).  It was approved without a vote.


The Committee took action on the draft resolution on the report of the Conference on Disarmament (document A/C.1/59/L.27/Rev.1).  It was approved without a vote.


The Committee then took up the draft resolution on measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction (document A/C.1/59/L.31). The text was approved without a vote.


Speaking after the vote, the representative of Pakistan said that, after March 1995, when a terrorist group had attacked the Tokyo subway system with chemical agents, the world had realized that it had to deal with the possibility of terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction.  In that context, he told delegates he had supported the objectives of the resolution on preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.  However, its language could have been improved to present a more objective view of reality.


Stating that the best guarantee against the threat of use of weapons of mass destruction lay in their elimination, he said the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was doing important work in that regard.  Unfortunately, however, many chemical weapons were not being destroyed by possessor States, and the remaining huge quantities were dangerous.  He expressed regret that a compliance mechanism that would have elevated the Biological Weapons Convention to the same footing as the Chemical Weapons Convention had been “scuttled” because of a minority veto.  A revival of that process would be helpful.  He also said the international community should address the root causes of terrorism, which included injustice and deprivation.


Also speaking on the draft resolution on measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, the representative of Brazil noted that the text mentioned Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) as a document that addressed the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  However, coming from a country whose approval led to that Council resolution’s adoption, he felt the need to emphasize that it specifically addressed the threat of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists and other non-State actors.


The representative of the Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union on the draft resolution on strengthening security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region, said that the Union welcomed the draft resolution, which all its members had co-sponsored.  The Union attached great importance to the issues of security, non-proliferation and disarmament in the Mediterranean region.  As stated in the European Union Strategy against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction adopted by its leaders in December 2003, “security in Europe is closely linked to security and stability in the Mediterranean”.  That concept was specifically mentioned in operative paragraph 1 of the draft resolution.


The Barcelona or Euromed process, launched in 1995 as the Mediterranean dimension of the European Union’s external policy, had made a major contribution to the establishment and development of a global partnership between the European Union, its member countries and the Mediterranean partners, he continued.  That partnership included engagements regarding non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, disarmament, nuclear weapon-free zones, verification, conventional weapons and confidence building measures.  The Union attached particular importance to the goal of transforming the Mediterranean region into a sea of peace, stability, cooperation and development, as well as security.


The Union welcomed Libya’s decision to eliminate all material, equipment and programmes, which led to the production of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, together with the practical steps it had undertaken to implement that decision.  The case of Libya demonstrated that the problems of proliferation could, with goodwill, be tackled through discussion and engagement; that countries could abandon programmes voluntarily and peacefully; and that States had nothing to fear from coming forward and admitting non-compliance.


The Committee approved the draft resolution on strengthening security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region (document A/C.1/59/L.35) without a vote.


ANNEX I


Vote on Operative Paragraph 2/Nuclear Weapon-Free World


Operative paragraph 2 of the draft resolution towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament agreements (document A/C.1/59/L.22) was approved by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 4 against, with 5 abstentions, as follows:


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


Against:  France, India, Israel, United States.


Abstain:  Bhutan, Mauritius, Monaco, Pakistan, Uzbekistan.


Absent:  Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Federated States of Micronesia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


ANNEX II


Vote on A Nuclear-Weapon-Free World


The draft resolution on “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  Accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments (document A/C.1/59/L.22) was approved by a recorded vote of 135 in favour to 5 against, with 25 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Gabon, Germany, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  France, Israel, Latvia, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  Australia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, CzechRepublic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Italy, Monaco, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Uzbekistan.


Absent:  Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominica, Federated States of Micronesia, Gambia, Ghana, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Namibia, Nauru, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


ANNEX III


Vote on Path to Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons


The draft resolution on a path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/59/L.23) was approved by a recorded vote of 151 in favour to 2 against, with 16 abstentions, as follows:


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


Against:  India, United States.


Abstain:  Bhutan, Brazil, China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Malta, Mexico, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sweden.


Absent:  Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominica, Gambia, Kiribati, Malawi, Mauritania, Namibia, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


ANNEX IV


Vote on Operative Paragraph 1/International Court of Justice Opinion


Operative paragraph 1 of the draft resolution on the International Court of Justice advisory opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/59/L.39) was approved by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 3 against, with 5 abstentions, as follows:


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


Against:  Israel, Russian Federation, United States.


Abstain:  Belarus, France, Latvia, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan.


Absent:  Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Gambia, Kiribati, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


ANNEX V


Vote on International Court of Justice Opinion


The draft resolution on a follow-up to the International Court of Justice advisory opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/59/L.39) was approved by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 28 against, with 21 abstentions, as follows:


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


Against:  Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro, Switzerland, Uzbekistan.


Absent:  Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Gambia, Kiribati, Malawi, Mauritania, Namibia, Nauru, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


* *** *


For information media. Not an official record.