Print
GA/DIS/3554
14 October 2016
Seventy-first Session, 11th Meeting (PM)

As First Committee Addresses Nuclear Weapons Concerns, States Present Views on Necessity of Legally Binding Treaty Prohibiting Atomic Bombs

Several nuclear-weapon States reiterated their opposition to a proposed legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons leading to their elimination, saying that such an instrument would not contribute to enhancing global peace and security, as the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) continued its thematic debate on those arms this afternoon and heard the introduction of two draft resolutions.

Many delegations focused their attention on a proposal by the Open-ended Working Group taking forward multilateral disarmament negotiations that the General Assembly — in the wake of an inconclusive 2015 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Review Conference — hold a meeting in 2017 to begin negotiations towards a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons with a view to their total elimination.

The Chair of the Open-ended Working Group, Thani Thongphakdi (Thailand), presenting its report to the Committee, noted how it reflected a wide range of views and proposals, identified important areas of convergence and summarized all important ideas that emerged during its substantive sessions.  While the report conveyed the recommendation of a 2017 conference, he acknowledged that some States had disagreed with that approach.

Speakers then shared their views on the effectiveness of such a treaty.  The representative of the United States argued for a pragmatic and consensus-based approach.  “The world’s nuclear weapons arsenals did not appear overnight and they will not be drawn down overnight,” he said, adding that the challenge was not so much a lack of legal instruments, but rather political and security realities.  He said a prohibition treaty would undermine existing non-proliferation and disarmament regimes and risk creating an unbridgeable divide between States.  Moreover, there was no way to effectively verify such a treaty, he said, emphasizing that the United States would vote against any resolution calling for negotiations on such an instrument.

His counterpart from France said the proposal for a prohibition treaty was dangerous in many ways.  There was no sense of having a debate on disarmament that dismissed — or stigmatized — the concerns of States that had based their security on nuclear deterrence.  Such a treaty would result in no concrete disarmament measures, nor would it add value for the security of non-nuclear-weapon States.  “The step-by-step approach is the only realistic and effective path to take,” he asserted.

The representative of the United Kingdom defended his country’s nuclear deterrent policy, citing an unpredictable international security environment.  There was a risk that States might use their nuclear capability to threaten the United Kingdom, try to constrain its decision-making in a crisis or sponsor nuclear terrorism.  Citing a recent example, he said that in the past two years, there had been a disturbing increase in the Russian Federation’s rhetoric about the use of nuclear weapons and the frequency of snap exercises. 

Speaking in favour of a prohibition treaty, speakers from non-nuclear-weapon States emphasized the importance of putting humanitarian concerns at the heart of the disarmament and non-proliferation debate.  Malawi’s representative said it was clear beyond a doubt that an overwhelming majority of States were committed to starting negotiations in 2017 on a prohibition treaty.  Now was the time for the world to act, and not when disaster struck, he added.

The representative of Mexico said it was hard to justify the cost of maintaining the world’s estimated 15,000 nuclear weapons, given commitments to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.  Recent events on the Korean Peninsula should signal the urgent need to make progress in disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, he said, adding that the only way to prevent an accidental nuclear detonation was to totally eliminate those weapons.

During the meeting, the Committee also heard the introduction of four draft resolutions, on the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, nuclear disarmament, reducing nuclear danger and on weapons of mass destruction.

Also participating in the thematic debate were representatives of the Philippines (on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Nigeria (on behalf of the African Group), Germany (on behalf of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative), Armenia (on behalf of the Collective Security Treaty Organization), Mexico, Thailand, Qatar, Switzerland, Iraq, Senegal, Austria, Netherlands, Malawi, Sweden, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Israel, Costa Rica and India.

The representatives of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Syria, United States, Republic of Korea, Libya and the United Kingdom spoke in exercise of the right of reply.

The First Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Monday, 17 October, to continue its thematic debate on nuclear weapons.

Background

The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this afternoon to continue its thematic debate on nuclear weapons.  For background, see Press Release GA/DIS/3545 of 3 October.

Presentation of Report

THANI THONGPHAKDI (Thailand), Chair of the Open-ended Working Group taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, presented its report (document A/71/371), which reflected the wide range of views and proposals expressed during its deliberations.  It identified important areas of convergences, while summarizing all important ideas that were raised during substantive sessions.

Section A of the Part VI of the report, he said, was devoted to a general exchange of views.  He noted that deliberations had been underpinned by deep concern about the threat to humanity posed by the existence of nuclear weapons and the catastrophic consequences of any detonation.  Section B described main approaches that were considered with regard to concrete legal measures, legal provisions and norms that would need to be concluded in order to attain – and maintain – a world without nuclear weapons.  Importantly, the Open-ended Working Group affirmed that any effective legal measures could only be aimed at strengthening the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime and at implementing Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Section C of the report addressed other measures that could help take forward disarmament negotiations, he said, including — but not limited to — transparency measures and those intended to reduce and eliminate the accidental, unauthorized or intentional detonation of nuclear weapons.  Also included were additional measures to increase awareness of the complex humanitarian consequences that would result from any nuclear detonation.

Part V of the report contained the Open-ended Working Group’s conclusions and agreed recommendations, he said.  It recommended, with widespread support, that the General Assembly convene a conference in 2017, open to all States, with the participation of international organizations and civil society, to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their elimination.  He said the Open-ended Working Group recognized that some States did not agree and recommended instead that any process to take multilateral disarmament negotiations forward must pursue practical steps and address national, international and collective security concerns.

LOURDES ORTIZ YPARRAGUIRRE (Philippines), speaking on behalf of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), reiterated a commitment to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.  Only the total elimination of such weapons could guarantee against their use or threat of use.  In the face of the lack of progress at the nuclear disarmament negotiating table in recent years, the Open-ended Working Group offered the international community an unprecedented opportunity to move the agenda forward.  In that context, ASEAN supported the call to convene a conference in 2017.

The global community, she said, had managed to set up a framework that had paved the way for global nuclear disarmament through various legal instruments.  However, that framework would remain ineffective as long as the nuclear-weapon States withheld their willingness to fill in the gaps, address the weaknesses and pursue synergies.  As such, nuclear-weapon States must once and for all bring to fruition collective efforts to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world, she said.

ABEL ADELAKUN AYOKO (Nigeria), speaking on behalf of the African Group and endorsing the statement made by the Non-Aligned Movement, reiterated the urgent need for the world, and outer space, to be free of nuclear weapons.  Expressing deep concern over the slow pace of progress towards nuclear disarmament and the lack of progress by nuclear-weapon States on eliminating their arsenals in line with their legal obligations and undertakings, he said the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, known as the Treaty of Pelindaba, reaffirmed the continent’s status, shielding it from testing and the deployment of nuclear weapons.

The African Group, he said, remained deeply disappointed at the inability to convene a conference on establishing such a zone in the Middle East, which should have taken place in 2012.  Underscoring the inalienable right of States to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, he stressed the central role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in that regard.  Nuclear-weapon States in particular should consider the humanitarian consequences of such weapons.  Calling for the Conference on Disarmament to resume substantive work, he expressed support for a legally binding instrument on negative security assurances by nuclear-weapon States to all non-nuclear-weapon States, pending the total elimination of such arms.  In closing, he noted that the African Group had submitted a draft resolution on the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty.

MICHAEL BIONTINO (Germany), speaking on behalf of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative, strongly condemned the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s recent nuclear test.  That country’s nuclear weapons programme was a clear violation of Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolutions and the Six-Party Talks’ joint statement.  The situation represented a grave challenge to the disarmament and non-proliferation regime.  He stressed the urgency of strengthening that regime, including the entry into force of the Test-Ban Treaty and the negotiation of a fissile material cut-off treaty.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, he said, had seriously threatened regional and global security.  Calling on all States to fully implement the measures set out in Security Council resolution 2270 (2016), he strongly urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to refrain from further provocations, to fully comply with its international obligations, to live up to its commitments under the Six-Party Talks’ joint statement and to cease all nuclear activities in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.

TIGRAN SAMVELIAN (Armenia), speaking on behalf of the States members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, expressed serious concern over growing instability, risks and threats in the world today.  The deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems, development of new long-range weapons, the threat of space weapons, imbalances in conventional weapons and the non-ratification of the Test-Ban Treaty posed serious threats to international peace and security while hindering progress on disarmament.  He recalled that, under the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security, security was indivisible and that the security of States was inextricably tied to other States. 

He urged all nuclear-weapon States to join discussions on making the disarmament process truly multilateral in nature.  He emphasized the role of an international legally binding instrument to guarantee a weapon-free outer space.  Concerned by the threat of terrorist organizations and criminal groups obtaining weapons of mass destruction, he said the relevant international framework needed to be refined.  Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction must be regulated by the principles of the first special session of the General Assembly on disarmament in 1978.  Any measures taken must be fair, balanced and must lead to bolstering the security of every State.  He called on the international community to begin, without delay, developing a comprehensive programme to do so, based on strict compliance by States with the principles and norms of international law and the United Nations Charter.

JORGE LOMONACO (Mexico) said that despite significant reductions in the arsenals of nuclear-weapon States, 15,000 nuclear arms continued to exist. It was difficult to justify the cost of maintaining such weapons in contrast with the commitments of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Recent events on the Korean Peninsula should signal the urgent need to make progress in disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.  There was a need for international peace based on cooperation.  Weapons of mass destruction were not bastions of stability.  In fact, the use of such arms violated the United Nations Charter and constituted a war crime.  The only way to prevent their accidental detonation was their total elimination.  For those reasons, he welcomed the work of the Open-ended Working Group and the recommendations contained in its report.  He remained open to hearing all views and proposals to address its recommendations in a constructive manner.

PORNPRAPAI GANJANARINTR (Thailand) said the existence of nuclear weapons was based on the security doctrines of deterrence, which had served to address the international security environment 70 years ago.  Such doctrines needed to be reviewed not just to address the current landscape, but to avoid provoking aggression fuelled by a nuclear arms race.  Further, the Open-ended Working Group had successfully served as an alternative forum to address issues related to nuclear weapons in a comprehensive and constructive manner.  Further, it had positively engaged more countries in the negotiations on nuclear disarmament than ever before, building upon common values and norms in trying to bridge differences in security perceptions.  Now, it was time to implement its recommendation, with a view to achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world.

ROBERT A. WOOD (United States) said his Government remained committed to disarmament and a nuclear-weapon-free world.  A pragmatic and consensus-based approach was the correct path going forward.  He disagreed with States that believed the time had come to pursue a radically different path that would simply declare a ban on such weapons.  A treaty banning nuclear weapons would not lead to further reductions because it would not include nuclear-weapon States.  It would also undermine existing non-proliferation and disarmament regimes and risk creating an unbridgeable divided between States while limiting prospects for further consensus.  Further, there was currently no capacity to effectively verify a treaty banning all such weapons.  In addition, such a treaty ran the risk of undermining regional security, he said, emphasizing that nuclear weapons still helped to maintain peace and security in some parts of the world.

“The current challenge to nuclear disarmament is not a lack of legal instruments,” he said. “The challenges to disarmament are a result of the political and security realities we presently face.”  The United States was ready to take additional steps, including bilateral reductions with the Russian Federation and a fissile material cut-off treaty.  Unfortunately, some States were unwilling to engage in further reductions, others were growing their arsenals and violations of international norms and existing agreements were making conditions for further reductions harder to achieve.  A nuclear-weapon-ban treaty would do nothing to address such challenges.  For those reasons, the United States would vote against any resolution establishing negotiations on such a treaty, he said, urging others to do the same.  “The world’s nuclear weapons arsenals did not appear overnight,” he said, “and they will not be drawn down overnight.”

LOUIS RIQUET (France) said nothing positive could come out of the growing trend towards dealing with disarmament without considering the rule of consensus or by bypassing existing fora.  There was no sense of having a debate on disarmament that dismissed or even stigmatized the concerns of States that based their security on deterrence.  No tangible progress could come from ignoring deterrence policies or from basing disarmament efforts simply on taking a humanitarian approach.  The proposal for a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons was dangerous in many ways, he said, adding that such an instrument would be ineffective and destabilizing.  It would result in no concrete disarmament measures and would have no added value for the security of non-nuclear-weapon States.  Moreover, it would call into question the integrity of the three pillars of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and also be gravely disconnected from the security environment in Europe and Asia.

It was essential and urgent, he said, to return to an approach involving compromise and international cooperation.  There was a need for a consensus-based approach that included the full implementation of existing instruments, confidence-building measures and stronger verification methods.  France would keep setting an example through deeds, including concrete disarmament measures and transparency regarding its arsenal.  Only a gradual approach could lead to concrete progress towards a nuclear-weapon-free world, compatible with considerations of the security context.  “The step-by-step approach is the only realistic and effective path to take,” he said.

ABDULAZIZ HAMDAN AL-AHMED (Qatar) said non-proliferation and disarmament were priorities given the long-term humanitarian consequences.  In order to ensure international peace and security, Member States must do everything possible toward that goal.  The international community was facing significant challenges and must work together to achieve a nuclear-free world.  His Government was deeply concerned by lack of progress on the Conference on Disarmament and that the action plan of the 2010 Treaty Review Conference had not been respected.  The threat of the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East was another concern, as was their use by terrorist groups.  Without international efforts to create a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, countries would be encouraged to stockpile arms without international oversight, he warned.

FRANK GRÜTTER (Switzerland) said the use of nuclear weapons, whether deliberate or not, would have unacceptable humanitarian consequences.  He was particularly concerned by several trends, including the slowdown in a significant reduction in nuclear weapons and programmes currently underway to modernize arsenals.  He also voiced concerns about very weak progress in multilateral fora and a lack of political will to find compromise.  Non-Proliferation Treaty commitments were far from being fully complied with at a time of increasing challenges in the sphere of non-proliferation.  He welcomed the joint plan of action between the E3+3 and Iran, but recent nuclear tests by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had meant that continued efforts were needed.  In that difficult context, the Open-ended Working Group was an important forum to exchange views on the challenges posed by nuclear weapons and to discuss possible measures to move forward with nuclear disarmament in a multilateral way.  As such, it was regrettable that the report presented by the Chair had not been adopted by consensus.

WILLIAM ISHAYA ODISHO (Iraq), endorsing the Non-Aligned Movement and the Arab Group, said that after more than 47 years, the Non-Proliferation Treaty was not being implemented in a balanced way, with nuclear-weapon States not translating their obligations into reality.  The eradication of nuclear weapons constituted the main safeguard against the use, or threat of use, of those arms, he said, emphasizing the need to continue work towards a legally binding instrument that would ban their stockpiling and use.  Welcoming the outcome of the Open-ended Working Group, he expressed Iraq’s readiness to bring about the success of an international conference in 2017 that would arrive at a prohibition treaty.  Iraq reasserted the need for nuclear-weapon-free zones, particularly in the Middle East.  Efforts to establish such a zone in the Middle East needed to be preceded by fundamental steps, with Israel achieving nuclear disarmament and submitting its facilities to IAEA inspection.  Iraq looked forward to Annex 2 States signing the Test-Ban Treaty and welcomed, in that regard, Security Council resolution 2310 (2016).

ISIDOR MARCEL SENE (Senegal) called for a complete end to military-related nuclear activities.  That was the only way to protect the world and ensure the survival of the planet.  More than ever before, ridding the world of nuclear weapons deserved the support of all States, he said, adding that the universalization of the Non-Proliferation Treaty must be a priority.  Nuclear-weapon States must commit themselves to an irreversible, verifiable and more ambitious programme for reducing their arsenals.  Concurrently, they must extend security guarantees to non-nuclear-weapon States through a legally binding instrument, he said, emphasizing the need for a United Nations conference in 2017 to begin negotiations on a treaty prohibiting those arms.  Underlining the importance of the interdependence of disarmament and non-proliferation, the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and the right of States to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, he said expressions of faith and declarations of intent would not on their own achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.

THOMAS HAJNOCZI (Austria) said the Non-Proliferation Treaty remained the cornerstone of the nuclear disarmament regime, calling upon the signatory States to abide by the provisions.  Decrying those who had blocked efforts to make progress, he said “non-nuclear-weapon States could also follow the same logic and acquire weapons and it is a dangerous path”.  No convention or treaty had started with universality.  “Elimination cannot be achieved overnight,” he stressed, noting that all effective steps would contribute to achieving the overarching goal: a world free of nuclear weapons.

HENK COR VAN DER KWAST (Netherlands) emphasized a need to focus on effective steps and measures leading to a nuclear-weapon-free world in accordance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  He supported calls to establish preparatory committees to make recommendations for a fissile material cut-off treaty that would be negotiated by the Conference on Disarmament.  He welcomed the adoption of Security Council resolution 2310 (2016), saying the Test-Ban Treaty had set a global norm against testing.  He emphasized the importance of developing verification capacities, which would build confidence and integrate non-nuclear-weapon States into the disarmament process.  The Netherlands would engage constructively with those countries that supported a nuclear-weapon ban, but it was a moral duty to carefully assess the effectiveness and impact of new initiatives.  If such initiatives threatened to weaken the Non-Proliferation Treaty, or decrease prospects for real disarmament by creating divisions, then States and civil society must ask whether such a course of action would really lead to a nuclear-weapon-free world.  Nuclear-weapon States had a duty to lead, but their apparent inability to effectuate progress threatened the credibility of existing disarmament and non-proliferation regimes, he said, adding that security and stability concerns must never become pretexts for inaction.

LOT THAUZENI PANSIPADANA DZONZI (Malawi) called on the eight remaining Annex 2 States to ratify the Test-Ban Treaty, saying that action would cement the conviction that nuclear tests must indeed be banned once and for all.  The humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons must be at the core of all deliberations on disarmament and non-proliferation.  It was clear that an overwhelming majority of States were committed to starting negotiations in 2017 on a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, he said.  The danger posed by nuclear weapons was real and should not be ignored.  The world should not stand aloof and wait for disaster to strike before acting.  Now was the time to act, he said.

MATTHEW ROWLAND (United Kingdom) said the unpredictable international security environment demanded the maintenance of his country’s nuclear deterrent for the foreseeable future.  Other States continued to maintain nuclear arsenals and there was a risk of further proliferation.  There was also a risk that States might use their nuclear capability to threaten his country, try to constrain its decision-making in a crisis or sponsor nuclear terrorism.  Recent changes in the international security context was a reminder that it could not rule out further shifts that would put the United Kingdom or its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies under grave threat.

In the past two years, he said, there had been a disturbing increase in the Russian Federation’s rhetoric about the use of nuclear weapons and the frequency of snap exercises.  Moreover, there was a threat from countries that were actively seeking to acquire nuclear capabilities.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had stated a clear intent to develop and deploy a nuclear weapon and had continued to work towards that goal, in flagrant violation of a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions.  The decision of whether or not to maintain the United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent hinged not just on the threats faced today, but on an assessment of what the world would be like over the coming decades, he said.

EVA WALDER (Sweden) said the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons were well documented and irrefutable.  In 2015, the world had come together three times in Addis Ababa, New York and Paris, reaching global agreements on fundamental issues.  International security was very much part of that and it could not be treated separately, she said, noting that the arguments of “the time is not right” were invalid.  Calling upon countries to fulfil their pledges, she emphasized the need to conduct negotiations in a broad manner.  Emphasizing that women were more vulnerable to humanitarian consequences than men, she said it was unfortunate that they were underrepresented in multilateral platforms, particularly those related to international peace and security.

TEHMINA JANJUA (Pakistan) said most nuclear-weapon States remained opposed to the commencement of negotiations for a comprehensive convention.  Their security doctrines did not unconditionally rule out of the use of such weapons against others and they continued to stymie negotiations on negative security assurances.  The same countries had also opposed the scope of a fissile material cut-off treaty to include existing stocks in a manner that would address regional and global asymmetries.  In that regard, she stressed that a rules-based, equitable and non-discriminatory international order must be created.  That could only be achieved by addressing the security concerns of all States, making progress on weapons limitations and strengthening the non-proliferation regime.  Also important was extending negative security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States in order to ease current strains on the disarmament and non-proliferation agenda.

SHAMEEM AHSAN (Bangladesh), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said nuclear weapons posed an overriding threat to all of mankind.  The possibility of such weapons falling into the hands of terrorists or non-State actors heightened those concerns.  He expressed regret at the setback at the 2015 Treaty Review Conference, which had not achieved a consensus outcome.  He also condemned nuclear tests conducted by a member State and the protracted paralysis of the disarmament machinery, including the Conference on Disarmament.  In that regard, he was open to constructive suggestions on how to break that deadlock.  One way around the stalemate in the Conference on Disarmament was the Open-ended Working Group.  His Government supported the Open-ended Working Group’s call for concrete action toward a legally binding instrument for the prohibition of nuclear weapons.

MICHAEL SEHAYEK-SOROKA (Israel) said his Government valued the Non-Proliferation Treaty and recognized its contribution to the non-proliferation regime.  At the same time, it was clear that the Treaty was insufficient to fully address the deliberate advancement of clandestine military nuclear programmes by States with little or no regard for the international legal obligations they had undertaken.  Nowhere was that problem more apparent than in the Middle East, he said, with four out of five cases of non-compliance emanating from the region.  Unfortunately, the Treaty had not prevented substantial violations of its obligations by those Member States and had been insufficient in remedying violations once they had been discovered.  Most notably, the Treaty had been inadequate in preventing the advancement of Iran’s nuclear programme in light of that country’s acts of concealment and duplicity.  When those violations had ultimately been discovered, the Treaty had lacked the tools to recognize and address them appropriately, he said.

JUAN CARLOS MENDOZA-GARCÍA (Costa Rica) said those who were calling for the prohibition of nuclear weapons were not nuclear-weapon States.  International peace and security could not be sustained without all States taking responsibility.  He expressed regret that nuclear-weapon States continued to fail in fulfilling their international obligations and that the Test-Ban Treaty had not entered into force yet.  Costa Rica supported the proposal to organize a conference in 2017 to negotiate a legally binding instrument, which was the most viable option.

D.B. VENKATESH VARMA (India), associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that his Government supported the negotiation of a fissile material cut-off treaty through the Conference on Disarmament.  Meanwhile, India’s position on the Non-Proliferation Treaty was well known, he said.  At the same time, the international community had a vital interest in preventing terrorists from gaining access to nuclear weapons and should therefore take a united stand.  He went on to express support for several resolutions, including one on a convention on the prohibition and use of nuclear weapons, a longstanding resolution in the First Committee that provided a step-by-step delegitimization of nuclear weapons and had enjoyed the support of the vast majority of Member States.  He then introduced a draft resolution on reducing nuclear danger, saying that his delegation welcomed the objectives of that text.  He also introduced a resolution on weapons of mass destruction, saying it reflected the concern of the risk of terrorists obtaining such weapons and he hoped the Committee would adopt this resolution by consensus.

Right of Reply

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, exercising the right of reply, decried the attacks against his country that aimed at a regime change.  “They are not hiding their intentions,” he said.  “Nobody could predict when this move will turn into a real war.”  He warned the United Kingdom against adding fuel to the fire.

The representative of Syria said the “Israeli entity violated all weapons of mass destruction treaties and constituted a threat to the entire region.”  Israeli ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads could reach areas far beyond the Middle East, he pointed out.

The representative of the United States responded to his counterpart from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  The United States’ annual joint military exercises were transparent and defence-oriented and had been designed to increase its readiness in protecting the Republic of Korea and maintaining stability on the Korean peninsula. The United States’ commitment to the defence of its allies remained ironclad.

The representative of the Republic of Korea said he wanted to take the floor once again to correct his counterpart from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea who had spoken either in delusion or conviction.  In terms of who invaded whom on 25 June, in 1950, the world knew who did what. While the delegate from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said that the Korean Peninsula was the most dangerous region in the world that was their fault.

The representative of Libya said his country had acceded to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and had adhered to all of its provisions.

The representative of the United Kingdom stressed that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was the only country posing a nuclear threat to the world.  He called upon that country to comply with the Security Council resolutions.

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said “you cannot justify the accumulation of all strategic assets” on the Korean Peninsula.  He said that every single time the United States came in, they brought nuclear power.

The representative of the United States said the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was the one threatening peace on the Korean Peninsula.  He called on them to end their threatening behaviour and abide by their international commitments.  The latest comments by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s representative were delusional.

The representative of the Republic of Korea said he flatly rejected what the delegate from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had said.  The more the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea opened his mouth, the more delusional he sounded, he said.

For information media. Not an official record.