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GA/12392
6 December 2021
Seventy-sixth Session, 44th & 45th Meetings (AM & PM)

Adopting 55 First Committee Texts, General Assembly Addresses Myriad Security Threats, Urging Joint Action to Advance Stalled Denuclearization, Disarmament Efforts

Resolutions on Cultural Property, Credentials Committee Also Adopted

Stressing the enduring and pronounced threat posed by nuclear weapons, the General Assembly, acting on the recommendation of its First Committee (Disarmament and International Security), adopted 55 resolutions and decisions today, addressing the importance of ridding the world of the menace of weapons of mass destruction.

Also calling on Member States to prioritize other risk areas, including conventional arms control, terrorist access to weapons, and weaponization of outer space, the Assembly held a total of 85 separate recorded votes, including 55 on preambular and operative paragraphs.  Critical issues involving nuclear-weapon-free zones, illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, and the role of science and technology in the international security and disarmament were also addressed.

Sanna Leena Orava (Finland), Committee Rapporteur, introducing the Committee’s reports containing the texts, noted that during its action phase, the Committee approved 60 draft resolutions and decisions, 37 by recorded vote, with 66 separate votes requested.  While convening a full session was challenging due to the pandemic, she pointed out the Committee held all three traditional general, thematic and action segments, completing the former two in record time.  She recalled 137 delegations made statements in the general debate, compared to 143 in 2020 — although only 33 were delivered by women, indicating there is long way to go in achieving equal gender participation and representation.

After two years of pandemic restrictions, she expressed hope that the Committee can resume full attendance in 2022.  While cooperation was at an especially high level during the session, she noted there were still over 100 votes requested.  “This is a lot,” she said, taking time away from substantive deliberations.  She urged the Committee to make its request for votes public, as in other Committees, to enhance transparency of its work, also paying tribute to Committee Chair Omar Hilale of Morocco and his team.

Addressing proliferation of weapons and stalled denuclearization and disarmament efforts, the Assembly took up an array of drafts including “Joint courses of action and future-oriented dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons” — one of the more ardently debated texts — adopting it by a recorded vote of 158 in favour to 4 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Syria), with 27 abstentions, after voting on 18 separate paragraphs.

By that text, it encouraged concrete measures to enhance transparency and mutual confidence and every effort to start negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.  The Assembly also encouraged States possessing nuclear weapons to reduce the risks of nuclear detonation and reaffirmed its commitment to the complete, verifiable and irreversible abandonment of all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

It further adopted a draft titled “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments”, by which the Assembly called upon the nuclear-weapon States to fulfil their commitments to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of deployed and non-deployed nuclear weapons.  Noting with concern recent policy statements by nuclear‑weapon States relating to modernization of their nuclear weapon programmes, the Assembly encouraged them to take concrete steps to reduce the role and significance of nuclear weapons in all military and security concepts, doctrines and policies, pending their total elimination.

A text on reducing nuclear danger called for a review of nuclear doctrines and for the five nuclear-weapon States to take immediate and urgent steps to reduce risks of unintentional and accidental use of nuclear weapons.

Turning to other areas of concern, the Assembly adopted a text on conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels, by a recorded vote of 186 in favour to 1 against (India), with 3 abstentions (Bhutan, Russian Federation, Zimbabwe).  By its terms, the Assembly decided to give urgent consideration to this issue and requested that the Conference on Disarmament consider drawing up principles that can serve as a framework for regional conventional arms control agreements.

Addressing the danger of non-State actors, the Assembly adopted a text on measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, by which it appealed to Member States to consider early accession to and ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.  It also requested that the Secretary-General report on measures already taken by international organizations on issues relating to terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Two texts focused on preventing an arms race in outer space.  In one, the Assembly called upon all States to contribute to the objective of the peaceful use of that realm.  In a related text, “No first placement of weapons in outer space”, the Assembly urged an early commencement of substantive work based on the updated draft treaty introduced by China and the Russian Federation.

The General Assembly also deferred action on the five draft texts pending a report of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) on their programme budget implications:  “The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects”; “Problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus”; “Reducing space threats through norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours”; “Further practical measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space”; and “Promoting International Cooperation on Peaceful Uses in the Context of International Security”.

The Assembly adopted the following texts by recorded vote:  “Implementation of the Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace”; “Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East”; “Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons”; “Ethical imperatives for a nuclear-weapon-free world”; “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction”; “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction”; “Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons”; “Follow-up to nuclear disarmament obligations agreed to at the 1995, 2000 and 2010 Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons”; “Compliance with non-proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements and commitments”; “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”; and “Follow-up to the 2013 high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament”.

Also by recorded vote, the Assembly adopted the following texts:  “Promotion of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation”; “Nuclear-weapon-free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas”; “Nuclear disarmament”; new draft decision, “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions”; “Universal Declaration on the Achievement of a Nuclear‑Weapon‑Free World”; “The Arms Trade Treaty”; “Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices”; “Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons”; “Nuclear disarmament verification”, as orally revised; “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons”; “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”; and “Strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region”.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted the following texts:  “African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty”; “Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security, and advancing responsible State behaviour in the use of information and communications technologies”; “Role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament”; “Assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and collecting them”; “Prohibition of the dumping of radioactive wastes”; “Relationship between disarmament and development”; “Convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament”; “Observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control”; “Regional disarmament”; “Confidence‑building measures in the regional and subregional context”; “Youth, disarmament and non‑proliferation”; new draft resolution, “Brazilian‑Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials”; and “Transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities”.

Also acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted these subsequent texts:  “Countering the threat posed by improvised explosive devices”; “Treaty on the South‑East Asia Nuclear‑Weapon‑Free Zone (Bangkok Treaty)”; “United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa”; “United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean”; “United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific”; “Regional confidence‑building measures: activities of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa”; “United Nations regional centres for peace and disarmament”; “Report of the Conference on Disarmament”; “Disarmament Commission”; “Convention on the Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects”; “Comprehensive Nuclear‑Test‑Ban Treaty”; and “Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction”.

The Assembly also adopted a draft decision on its provisional programme of work and timetable for 2022 and took note of its report on programme planning, which contained no draft resolutions or decisions.

General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid (Maldives), in closing remarks, thanked Mr. Hilale, members of the Committee bureau, and all delegates for the work accomplished in the session.  Noting the decisions and resolutions adopted by the Assembly address the most important global issues, including consequences of the global pandemic, he called for continued focus and tireless efforts towards their implementation to inspire hope and deliver for the peoples of the world.

In an earlier meeting prior to taking action on First Committee texts, the Assembly adopted a resolution on “Return or restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin”.  By its terms, the Assembly deplored damage to the cultural heritage of countries in situations of crisis, conflict and post-conflict, particularly recent attacks on world cultural heritage sites, calling for an immediate end to such acts.

Addressing that draft, speakers said antiquity trafficking has become a global industry, especially in the Middle East, urging the international community to eradicate it as a tool to finance terrorism.  Observing that Cambodia has lost cultural properties to decades of civil war, its delegate urged museums and private collectors with Khmer cultural properties to repatriate those treasures.  Syria’s representative lamented that a terrorist campaign in his country has targeted public and private properties, historic areas, works of Syrian scholars and graves of historic people.

Also adopted was a text containing the report of the Credentials Committee, introduced by its Chair, Anna Karin Eneström (Sweden).

Also speaking were the representatives of Sweden, Greece, Egypt, Iran, Cyprus, United States, Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, Bangladesh, Philippines, Brunei Darussalam (on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Maldives, El Salvador, Venezuela, Morocco, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Ecuador, Singapore, Kuwait, Cuba, India and Haiti.

The General Assembly will convene again at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 7 December, to take up oceans and the law of the sea.

Report of Credentials Committee

First taking up the “Report of the Credentials Committee” (document A/76/550), the General Assembly adopted a draft resolution therein titled “Credentials of representatives to the seventy-sixth session of the General Assembly” without a vote.

Introducing the report, Anna Karin Eneström (Sweden) said the Committee had before it two communications on Myanmar’s representation at the Assembly’s seventy-sixth session indicating different individuals as representatives.  It also had before it two communications concerning Afghanistan’s representation indicating different individuals as representatives.  Having considered the credentials of other Member States’ representatives to the seventy-sixth session in a meeting at the beginning of December, the Committee adopted without a vote a resolution accepting those credentials.  It also recommended to the Assembly the adoption of a draft resolution entitled “Credentials of representatives to the seventy-sixth session of the General Assembly”, she said, which is contained in paragraph 15 of the report.

The representative of Colombia, speaking on behalf of several countries, said that approval of the Committee’s report for the Assembly’s seventy-sixth session should not be interpreted as tacit acknowledgment of legitimacy.

The representative of Iran said his country joined consensus on the draft resolution, but expressed reservations on the section concerning Israel.

The representative of Venezuela said the United States has failed in its interventionist policy against his country and continues to show disregard for its Government.  The United States has no legal right to decide whether any nation has demonstrated non-compliance with political structures or to impose selective criteria about democracy.

The representative of Israel, raising a point or order, said her country expected equal treatment and respect in the Assembly.  Rather than being referred to as the “Israeli regime”, the country’s proper name should be used.

Return or Restitution of Cultural Property to Countries of Origin

Next, the Assembly turned to the Secretary-General’s report titled “Return or restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin” (document A/76/321), adopting an eponymous draft resolution (document A/76/L.17) without a vote.

Introducing the draft, the representative of Greece stressed its importance at a time when unprecedented attacks are being carried out against cultural property in the Middle East and elsewhere.  Adding that looting of antiquities is now financing terrorism, he expressed concern over the theft of cultural property in areas of armed conflict.

By the draft’s text, the Assembly called on relevant United Nations and other intergovernmental organizations to coordinate with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to address return or restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin and to provide appropriate support.

Further to the text, the Assembly deplored damage to the cultural heritage of countries in situations of crisis, conflict and post-conflict, particularly recent attacks on world cultural heritage sites, calling for an immediate end to such acts.  It urged Member States to ensure all actors trading in cultural property, including auction houses, art dealers, art collectors, museum professionals and managers of online marketplaces, provide verifiable provenance documentation as well as export certificates related to any cultural property imported, exported or offered for sale, including through the Internet.

Speaking before the draft’s adoption, the representative of Egypt stressed the importance of recovering all stolen cultural property, adding that the international community should support efforts of African countries to restore looted items of national heritage.

The representative of Iran highlighted the leading role of UNESCO in combating illicit trafficking in cultural property.  He welcomed phrases in the text emphasizing the need to fight against financing of terrorism through illicit trafficking in cultural property, and the obligation of States to return such property to countries of origin.   He pointed to illegal excavations and threats to cultural heritage in Palestine, in particular the Aqsa mosque compound, by the Israeli occupation regime, along with its attempts to destroy and change the mosque’s function.

The representative of Cambodia said his country has lost cultural properties, including to private collections, over decades of civil war.  He encouraged museums and private collectors with Khmer cultural properties to repatriate them, stressing that Cambodia will continue to gather extensive evidence to document looting of its treasures.  Expressing appreciation for the United States Government’s efforts to secure the return of his country’s cultural properties from the Denver Art Museum, he said the partnership has opened an opportunity for the return of “souls” of their Khmer ancestors.

The representative of Cyprus, emphasizing that pillaging and illicit trafficking of cultural property is reaching vast proportions, said such crime is directed against history and cultural identity.  Adding that trafficking in cultural property is now a global industry, he said the international community must redouble efforts to combat it.  The current draft represents a positive step in that direction in attempting to bridge gaps in legislation at national and international levels.

The representative of Syria underscored the importance and relevance of the draft in addressing the threat to cultural heritage, noting that antiquities in the Middle East are systematically looted.  Syria has endured a savage terrorist campaign over the past several years, he said, which has targeted public and private properties as well as historic areas listed by UNESCO.  Destruction of cultural property has also included the work of Syrian scholars as well as graves of historic people, scientists and clergymen.  Artifact smuggling has been facilitated by the Turkish regime, he added, which has made Syria’s border a corridor for trafficking into that country and further afield.

The representative of the United States said trafficking in cultural property denies populations, especially indigenous peoples, objects that form a central part of their heritage.

Right of Reply

The representative of Israel objected to his country being referred to as a regime, stressing that its proper name should be used in granting it the respect and equal treatment it deserves in the Assembly.  Responding to the representative of Iran’s assertions, he said that country ignores the reality in Jerusalem, where all religions have access to holy sites.

The representative of Turkey expressed concern over the trade of cultural property, noting that threats in this area have been increasing and taking on new forms, including the financing of terrorism.  Strongly condemning the destruction of museums and places of worship, s/he denied the allegation of Syria’s delegate, who is desperate to divert attention from actions carried out by the regime.

The representative of Iran highlighted Israeli excavations in Palestinian territory, stressing that the international community must prevent continuation of this policy.

The representative of Syria said Turkey’s delegate has no right to call his country a regime and should respect its official name in the Assembly.  Thousands of foreign terrorist fighters have come to Syria, crossing the Turkish border with the support of its authorities.

The representative of Cyrus lamented that the Turkish delegate failed to deny destruction of cultural property in his country, which has suffered much damage and has yet to recover.

The representative of Turkey said she would not honour the Syrian delegate’s deluded comment with a response.

The representative of Syria objected to the use of “regime” in its title, stressing that United Nations rules should be followed.  Adding that Syria and Turkey are not on an equal footing or legitimate counterparts, as Syria is fighting terrorism, while Turkey is supporting it.  Turkey has punished 2 million Syrian citizens, cutting off their water more than 20 times, while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage.

Culture of Peace

The Assembly then turned to the Secretary‑General’s report titled “Promotion of a culture of peace and interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace” (document A/76/357) and two related draft resolutions.

RABAB FATIMA (Bangladesh), introducing the draft resolution titled “Follow‑up to the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace” (document A/76/L.19), said the text’s adoption this year assumes greater relevance and urgency as the world continues to grapple with the COVID‑19 pandemic.  In addition to technical updates, three new paragraphs — preambular paragraphs 13 and 31 and operative paragraph 11 — are included to reflect the realities of the pandemic and other important developments.  The new operative paragraph 11 calls upon States to promote the values of a culture of peace for an inclusive, resilient and sustainable recovery from the COVID‑19 pandemic.

By its terms, the Assembly encouraged Member States, United Nations entities, regional and subregional organizations to consider instituting mechanisms involving youth in promoting a culture of peace, tolerance and intercultural and interreligious dialogue and developing an understanding of respect for human dignity, pluralism and diversity that could discourage their participation in acts of terrorism, violent extremism, xenophobia and discrimination.

It also urged the authorities to provide age‑appropriate education in children’s schools that builds on a culture of peace and non‑violence, including lessons in mutual understanding, respect, tolerance, active and global citizenship, and human rights.

ENRIQUE AUSTRIA MANALO (Philippines) introduced the second draft resolution titled “Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace” (document A/76/L.21).  He joined the representative of Pakistan in pointing out the text’s two core objectives: to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue in achieving peace and stability and the full realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and to strengthen mechanisms and action for the promotion of a genuine, constructive dialogue across cultural and religious divides.  He called on States to further those aims by maintaining an open, inclusive and transparent approach throughout the negotiations process.

Noting a growing trend of xenophobia and religious intolerance, underpinned by the politics of identity, as well as the emergence of extremist ideologies in different parts of the world, especially under a continuing pandemic context, he underlined the important role of UNESCO and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue at the national, regional and international levels, and requested all States to adopt the draft resolution by consensus.

By the text, the Assembly called on Member States, which have the primary responsibility to counter discrimination and hate speech, and all relevant actors, including political and religious leaders, to promote inclusion and unity in response to the COVID‑19 pandemic and to combat racism, xenophobia, hate speech, violence, and discrimination.

It further invited Member States to promote reconciliation to help ensure durable peace, and sustained development, including by working with faith leaders and communities as well as through reconciliatory measures, acts of service and by encouraging forgiveness and compassion among individuals.  And it invited Member States to disseminate values of religious tolerance and interreligious dialogue through educational programmes.

NOOR QAMAR SULAIMAN (Brunei Darussalam), speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), highlighted that the region is one of the most diverse in the world, with more than 640 million people representing different political, economic, ethnicities and social systems.  Guided by the ASEAN Charter, the Association has continued to promote a culture of peace, fostering a caring, cohesive and equitable community.  It has initiated several frameworks to promote cooperation and confidence‑building, she said, citing the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon‑Free Zone and other ASEAN‑led mechanisms.  In 2017, ASEAN leaders adopted the Declaration on Culture of Prevention for a Peaceful, Inclusive, Resilient, Healthy and Harmonious Society, promoting six key priorities.

In March, the fourth meeting of the ASEAN Working Group on Culture of Prevention addressed post‑pandemic recovery efforts, and challenges that hinder peace, security and sustainable developments in the region, she said.  She further noted the adoption of the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Upholding Multilateralism, upholding and promoting multilateral cooperation, anchored in international law.  ASEAN is committed to the Plan of Action to implement the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership between ASEAN and the United Nations for 2021-2025, to continue upholding multilateralism and cooperation in evolving regional architecture, as well as promoting sustainable and inclusive peace and stability in the region and beyond.  Emphasizing the invaluable role of the Alliance of Civilizations in advancing intercultural and interreligious dialogue, understanding and respect among civilizations, cultures and religions, she recognized its work in coordinating the United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites.  ASEAN will continue to support the Security Council’s women, peace and security agenda, as well as its youth, peace and security agenda.

THILMEEZA HUSSAIN (Maldives) said peace is not a goal achievable on its own, but one that is built on such foundations as a healthy environment and adequate health care and housing.  At the multilateral level, States must use such foundational institutions as the United Nations to resolve differences before they become disputes.  Citing a range of challenges, she said the pandemic has laid bare the international financial system’s inadequacies, and support must reach those most in need to ensure the maintenance of a culture of peace.  Climate change poses a significant threat to small island developing States, undermining their efforts to realize the Sustainable Development Goals.  More must be done urgently in this regard.  The Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace rightly identifies Governments, civil society, media and individuals as key actors for their effective implementation.  In this vein, peace requires inclusive and thoughtful engagement between all stakeholders, and only through open dialogue can they build a shared purpose and understanding.

EGRISELDA ARACELY GONZÁLEZ LÓPEZ (El Salvador) expressed concern about the pandemic’s effect on realization of the Sustainable Development Goals and human rights, stressing that  greater solidarity is the only way to recover from the crisis, and supporting the call of the World Health Organization (WHO) for better access to vaccines, which would prevent the resurgence of COVID‑19 variants.  She also noted the importance of aid to bridge the digital divide, with the support of the United Nations, to ensure equitable access to inclusive education.  She also described national policies to support early childhood education to promote a culture of peace and build resilience.

SAMUEL MONCADA (Venezuela) stated that his country has faced difficulties in recent years as a result of a campaign of aggression, based on the illegal application of unilateral coercive measures that have threatened national peace and stability. These criminal actions, which have intensified amid the worst pandemic humanity has faced in the last 100 years, are part of a policy of calculated cruelty, he said.  To consciously deprive an entire nation of its means of subsistence is an attack against peace and a crime against humanity.  He reaffirmed his support for the implementation of the Declaration and Programme of Action, as well as the continuity of its annual resolution before the Assembly.

OMAR HILALE (Morocco), noting that the COVID‑19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of promoting a culture of peace to overcome gaps in society, welcomed the Secretary‑General’s efforts to make the United Nations the centre of multilateral efforts to fight the pandemic.  Religious leaders have an important role to play in overcoming the challenges posed by COVID-19, he said, spotlighting the Secretary‑General’s organization of a meeting of senior religious leaders in May 2020 to address the pandemic.  Morocco supports United Nations efforts to promote peace between religions and cultures; it works on the national level towards this end and in the fight against all forms of xenophobia, discrimination, and hatred.  A melting pot of different cultures, Morocco is proud to have an ancestral tradition of tolerance and peaceful coexistence.  Respect for cultural and religious diversity is part of the country’s collective consciousness.  He also stressed the importance of education, which is a key to ensuring the development of a culture of peace and to countering discrimination, hatred and extremism.

SHEIKH GHAZALI (Malaysia), stressing that exclusion and inequality breed instability, consume peace and disrupt sustainable development, noted that his country recently introduced the concept of Keluarga Malaysia or “Malaysian Family” to further strengthen the ethos of togetherness and inclusivity.  Malaysia takes an affirmative and positive approach to peace, he said, stressing that peace lies with mutual understanding, respect and tolerance among religions, cultures and peoples.  Building a culture of peace is premised on equality and inclusivity such as in ensuring that people have access to food, shelter, education and decent work, he emphasized, calling on States to ensure that the right to development is pursued and realized at the national, regional and global levels.  Defamation of religion constitutes a derogation of the right to one’s own beliefs and it is not mutually exclusive with freedom of speech and opinion, he said, underscoring that both rights must be promoted and respected in a compatible, balanced manner.

MARITZA CHAN VALVERDE (Costa Rica) said that the culture of peace teaches that “conflicts are resolved at the negotiating table, not on the battlefield”.  Peace is always an unfinished task — “a horizon in motion” — and cannot by imposed by the barrel of a gun.  Pointing out that global military spending increased by $2 trillion in 2020, she said that, as more weapons are produced, more will escape the international community’s best efforts to manage and control them.  If a fraction of military expenditure was instead used to combat the COVID‑19 pandemic, tackle the climate crisis or bolster implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the current generation could take pride in these achievements.  Unfortunately, this has not been the case, and promises made concerning the Goals continue to fall short.  Against that backdrop, she called on all States to reduce military spending and to consider how gender norms, including “militarized masculinity”, affect conflict and armed violence.  Peace is not sustainable if it is not inclusive, and women and girls are underrepresented both in the pandemic response and in other forums that make decisions pertaining to peace and security.

MOHAMED AL HASSAN (Oman), highlighting the urgent need for renewed cooperation to counter hate speech, Islamophobia, contempt of religion, misinformation, and extremist narratives, said that dialogue and cooperation are tools that build bridges for peace and reconciliation.  With peace, dialogue and understanding, people can work together to tackle climate change, the digital gap and COVID‑19.  Peace is a key component in Omar’s foreign policy, he said, adding that his country seeks to achieve peace in its relations with all countries.  Peace cannot be achieved with words, but with actions and conduct in accordance with international values principles and norms consistent with the United Nations Charter.

MOHAMMAD AAMIR KHAN (Pakistan) said that while globalization has brought people closer, it has also spawned divisions and friction among and within societies.  Due to a lack of understanding, extremist and terrorist groups have exploited the gap in understanding and tolerance to propagate such divisions.  Therefore, it is imperative to strengthen mechanisms that promote dialogue and understanding.  Noting the increase in Islamophobia in many parts of the world, he stressed that Islam is a religion of peace and should not be judged by the acts of extremists who exist in all societies.  Thus, the international community must effectively address unresolved disputes and conflicts, lack of inclusive socioeconomic development, and anti-migrant rhetoric.  To Pakistan, respecting and promoting freedom of religion and belief is not only a duty to its citizens, but also a way of life.  His country is building a welfare State that looks after its poor and needy and aims to reduce inequality by investing in human development.  It also seeks to build relations with its neighbours and others in the international community, he said, noting the opening of the Kartarpur corridor between India and Pakistan in 2019.

SHEIKHA ALMAHA MUBARAK F. J. AL-THANI (Qatar) said that her country has established institutions for the promotion of a culture of peace and intercultural and interreligious dialogues such as the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue and the Arab Cultural House in Berlin.  Given the importance of education in enhancing a culture of peace, Qatar has placed education as a top priority in all its relief and development programmes.  Noting the important role of youth in achieving peace and sustainability, she said Qatar will host in January 2022 the International Conference on Comprehensive Peace Paths for Youth, to be held virtually due to COVID‑19.  As well, Qatar will host FIFA [World Cup of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association] in 2022, the first time it will be held in the Middle East and the Arab region.

ANDRÉS EFREN MONTALVO SOSA (Ecuador) said dialogue is the best instrument for prevention of violence and conflict.  Noting the negative impact of COVID‑19 on different spheres of society, he stressed the need for access to free, reliable multilingual and science-based information to stop the virus’ spread.  While a culture of peace is entrenched in Ecuador’s laws, the threat of violence from transnational organized crime could undermine the country’s democratic institutions.  Noting that the 2030 Agenda stresses the promotion of a culture of peace, he stressed the need to employ COVID‑19 recovery strategies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

SHAUN LIM (Singapore), associating himself with ASEAN, noted Singapore is a diverse society of 5.7 million people — Chinese, Malays, Indians, Eurasians and others — living together on an island smaller than New York City, representing many of the world’s great religions.  In a 2019 Gallup poll, 95 per cent of respondents said the country was “a good place to live” for racial and ethnic minorities.  However, he noted that the country’s current harmony is built on painful lessons drawn from racial riots during the early years of independence and remains a work in progress.  The Declaration on a Culture of Peace affirms the key roles of civil society and religious bodies in developing such a culture, he said, with ground-up organizations and people of faith playing the largest role in building mutual understanding and trust.  As such, his Government works closely with the Inter-Religious Organization, led by a council of 31 leaders of 10 different faiths, building networks among them, countering religious extremism and radicalization, and promoting local and international interfaith dialogue.

FAISAL GH A. T. M. ALENEZI (Kuwait) said COVID‑19 has set back communication and dialogue between peoples, resulting in divisions.  Instead of ideas coming together, this also risks increasing intolerance and discrimination on racial and ethnic grounds.  In that regard, the international community must redouble its efforts to work together against the crisis.  Noting that Kuwait has made peace a State objective, he said dialogue, acceptance of others, tolerance are principles and values of Kuwaiti society and have been for centuries.  In the modern age, Kuwait’s Constitution has ensured freedom of expression and religious practices.  In its efforts to reinforce peace and tolerance, Kuwait created a high-level committee to strengthen tolerance and counter extremist actions and ideas.  It also participates in regional and international efforts to strengthen a culture of peace and dialogue.

PEDRO LUIS PEDROSO CUESTA (Cuba) said that while the Assembly meets to discuss peace, the use of force in international relations continues.  At same time, unilateral measures prevail even amid the most challenging conditions imposed by COVID‑19.  The implementation of unilateral measures impedes the exercise of the right to development of countries.  There can be no peace without inclusive social and economic development and as long as inequalities arise from an unjust economic order.  Moreover, there can be no peace if hate speech, racism, xenophobia and intolerance continue to be encouraged.  Haiti is committed to a culture of peace and to the promotion of Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace.  He said the impacts of the most protracted economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed against any country have intensified during the pandemic.  As a country of peace, he said Cuba will not yield to attempts to sow confusion or discredit his country.

ASHISH SHARMA (India) said every one of the world’s major religions has a home in India, noting that his country has regularly provided refuge to those who have been persecuted in foreign lands and allowed them to thrive.  Noting disconcerting trends and instances of acts of violence based on religion or belief, in particular violence against the Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh communities, he urged the United Nations and Member States to counter such violence immediately.  He called for strengthened international efforts to foster and promote a culture of peace.  Noting that intolerance, violence and hatred have almost become the norm, he expressed concern about the increase in resources made available to groups who promote such acts.  Reiterating the call to fight against violence and discrimination, he said the international community must together build a culture of peace rather than fail separately.

Mr. BONCOEUR (Haiti), noting that the culture of peace, due to its complexity, requires much more commitment and greater involvement of stakeholders, encouraged Member States, United Nations entities, regional organizations and stakeholders to do more to promote peacebuilding and sustain peace.  Education and dialogue are the most effective ways to develop a sense of universal values required for coexistence and lasting peace.  In the context of growing insecurity, violence, racism, inequality and hate speech, global solidarity is becoming more necessary than ever.  In this regard, he called for support for all initiatives to promote a culture of peace and to join the efforts of the United Nations to promote dialogue, understanding and cooperation among religions and cultures in the service of peace.  Recalling the late Pope Paul VI and his speech before the United Nations on 4 October 1965, he reminded the Assembly of the important mission of the United Nations to teach peace.  “Let us make sure that we live up to this great and noble task,” he said.

Reports of First Committee: Action on Draft Resolutions

SANNA LEENA ORAVA (Finland), Committee Rapporteur, introduced the reports of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security), noting that during the action phase, the Committee approved 60 draft resolutions and decisions, 37 of which were approved by recorded vote, with 66 separate votes requested.

While convening a full session was challenging due to the pandemic, she pointed out the Committee convened all three traditional general, thematic and action segments.  Holding 18 in‑person and three virtual debates, the session unfurled very smoothly, completing its general and thematic segments in record time.  She recalled 137 delegations made statements in the general debate, compared to 143 in 2020 — although only 33 were delivered by women, indicating there is a long way to go in achieving equal gender participation and representation.  She added that five resolutions were deferred to be considered by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) due to programme budget implications.

After two years of pandemic restrictions, she expressed hope that the Committee can resume full attendance in 2022.  While cooperation was at an especially high level during the session, she noted there were still over 100 votes requested.  “This is a lot,” she said, taking time away from substantive deliberations.  She urged the Committee to make its request for votes public, as in other Committees, to enhance transparency of its work.  She further paid tribute to Committee Chair Omar Hilale of Morocco and his team.

The Assembly first took up the report “Reduction of military budgets” (document A/76/436), which contained no draft resolutions or decisions.

Turning to the report “Implementation of the Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace” (document A/76/437), the Assembly adopted an eponymous draft resolution contained therein by a recorded vote of 133 in favour to 3 against (France, United Kingdom, United States) with 45 abstentions.  In doing so, the Assembly reiterated its conviction that the participation of all permanent members of the Security Council and the major maritime users of the zone in the work of the related Ad Hoc Committee of the Indian Ocean would greatly facilitate the development of a mutually beneficial dialogue to advance peace, security and stability in the region.

Taking up the report “African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty” (document A/76/438), the Assembly adopted without a vote an eponymous draft resolution contained therein, by which it recalled the entry into force of the instrument, known as the Treaty of Pelindaba, on 15 July 2009 and called upon all States to take all measures necessary to ensure the speedy application of the instrument to territories for which they are internationally responsible.

Next, the Assembly turned to the report “Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security” (document A/76/439), containing the draft resolution “Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security, and advancing responsible State behaviour in the use of information and communications technologies”.  In adopting the draft without a vote, the Assembly called upon Member States to be guided in their use of information and communications technologies by these the reports of the related Open‑Ended Working Group and Group of Governmental Experts.  It also supported the United Nations Open‑Ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies 2021‑2025 and underlined further that it should be consensus‑based, result‑oriented and consider the outcomes of the above-mentioned groups and add to their efforts.

Taking up the report “Establishment of a nuclear‑weapon‑free zone in the region of the Middle East” (document A/76/440), the Assembly adopted an eponymous draft resolution contained therein by a recorded vote of 178 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 2 abstentions (Cameroon, United States).  By its terms, the Assembly urged all parties directly concerned seriously to consider taking practical and urgent steps to establish such a zone, and, pending its establishment, called upon all countries of the region that have not yet done so to agree to place all their nuclear activities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

The Assembly took up the report “Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non‑nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons” (document A/76/441), containing a draft resolution of the same name.  Adopting the draft by a recorded vote of 126 in favour to none against, with 59 abstentions, the Assembly reaffirmed the urgent need to reach early agreement on effective international arrangements to assure non‑nuclear‑weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons and appealed to all countries, especially the nuclear-weapon nations, to work actively for a common approach leading to a legally binding international instrument.

The Assembly then took up the report “Prevention of an arms race in outer space” (document A/76/442) containing four draft resolutions.  The Assembly first deferred action to a later date on draft resolution III, “Further practical measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space”, and draft resolution IV, “Reducing space threats through norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours”, to allow the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) to review programme budget implications.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution I, “Prevention of an arms race in outer space”, by which it called upon all States to contribute to the objective of the peaceful use of that realm and of the prevention of an arms race therein, and to refrain from actions contrary to that goal.  The Assembly also invited the Conference on Disarmament to establish a related working group and urged States conducting space activities to inform the subsidiary body of progress on bilateral and multilateral negotiations so as to facilitate its work.

Taking up draft resolution II, “No first placement of weapons in outer space”, the Assembly first took action on three of its provisions.  It decided, by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 49 against, with 6 abstentions (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gabon, Haiti, Mauritania, Switzerland, Turkey), to retain preambular paragraph 5, by which it reaffirmed that practical measures should be examined and taken in the search for agreement on preventing an arms race in outer space in a common effort towards a common shared future for humankind.

The Assembly next decided to retain, by a recorded vote of 123 in favour to 48 against, with 4 abstentions (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gabon, Switzerland, Turkey), preambular paragraph 9, by which it welcomed both the draft treaty, introduced by China and the Russian Federation at the Conference on Disarmament in 2008, and the submission of its updated version in 2014.

By a recorded vote of 125 in favour to 31 against, with 21 abstentions, the Assembly decided to retain preambular paragraph 11, by which it stressed the importance of political statements by a number of States that they would not be the first to place weapons in outer space.

Adopting draft resolution II in its entirety, by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 35 against, with 20 abstentions, the Assembly urged an early commencement of substantive work based on the updated draft treaty introduced by China and the Russian Federation.

Taking up the report “Role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament” (document A/76/443), the Assembly acted without a vote in adopting an eponymous draft resolution contained therein.  By its terms, the Assembly invited Member States to continue to apply developments in science and technology for disarmament-related purpose and called upon them to remain vigilant in understanding related new and emerging developments that could imperil international security.  The Assembly also encouraged the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters to continue its discussions on current developments and their potential impact on international security and disarmament efforts.

The Assembly then took up the report “General and complete disarmament” (document A/76/444), containing 34 draft resolutions and three decisions.  It first decided that action would be postponed to a later date, pending the Fifth Committee’s review of related programme budget implications, on: draft resolution XXV, “The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects”; draft resolution XXVIII, “Problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus”; and draft resolution XXX, “Promoting international cooperation on peaceful uses in the context of international security”.

The representative of Cuba, speaking in explanation of position, said that in addition to maintaining its support for draft resolution XXVII, “The Arms Trade Treaty”, she disassociated herself from all references to the Arms Trade Treaty.

Taking up draft resolution I, “Ethical imperatives for a nuclear-weapon-free world”, it first decided, by a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 37 against, with 16 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 11, which recalled the adoption on 7 July 2017 of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and its entry into force on 22 January 2021, in which the ethical imperatives for nuclear disarmament are acknowledged.

Adopting the draft in its entirety by a recorded vote of 135 in favour to 37 against, with 14 abstentions, the Assembly called upon all States to acknowledge the catastrophic humanitarian consequences and risks posed by a nuclear weapon detonation and stressed that all States share an ethical responsibility to take the effective measures necessary to eliminate and prohibit all such weapons.

The Assembly then adopted — by a recorded vote of 169 in favour to none against, with 19 abstentions — draft resolution II, “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction”.  By the draft’s terms, the Assembly invited all States that have not signed the Convention to accede, and the one remaining State that has signed but not ratified it to do so without delay.

By a recorded vote of 125 in favour to 50 against, with 14 abstentions, the Assembly adopted draft resolution III, “Reducing nuclear danger”, by which it called for a review of nuclear doctrines and for immediate and urgent steps to reduce risks of unintentional and accidental use of nuclear weapons and requested the five nuclear‑weapon States to take these actions.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution IV, “Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction”, by which it appealed to Member States to consider early accession to and ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.  It also requested that the Secretary‑General report on measures already taken by international organizations on issues relating to terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The Assembly then turned to draft resolution V, “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction”, first taking action on several paragraphs.

It decided — by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 11 against, with 26 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 6, by which the General Assembly re-emphasized its unequivocal support for the decision by the Director General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to continue the mission to establish the facts surrounding their alleged use in Syria and stressed that the safety and security of mission personnel remains the top priority.

In deciding to retain — by a recorded vote of 92 in favour to 15 against, with 54 abstentions — operative paragraph 2, the Assembly condemned in the strongest possible terms the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon against Alexei Navalny in the Russian Federation and noted with grave concern the note by the OPCW Technical Secretariat of 6 October 2020 on activities carried out supporting Germany’s request for technical assistance.

By a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 13 against, with 34 abstentions, the Assembly decided to retain operative paragraph 3, by which it condemned in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons since 2012 in Iraq, Malaysia, Syria and the United Kingdom, including as reported by the OPCW-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism and by the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team.

In a recorded vote of 111 in favour to 10 against (Belarus, China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Mali, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Venezuela), with 40 abstentions, the Assembly decided to retain operative paragraph 4, by which it took note with great concern of the reports by the OPCW fact-finding mission in Syria regarding alleged incidents in Ltamenah and Saraqib and the final report of the fact-finding mission on the incident of alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in Douma.

The Assembly decided — by a recorded vote of 108 in favour to 12 against, with 40 abstentions — to retain operative paragraph 5, by which it recalled three OPCW decisions from 2018, 2020 and 2021, regarding the threat from chemical weapons use and the possession and use of chemical weapons by Syria, and stressed the importance of their implementation.

In deciding to retain operative paragraph 17 — by a recorded vote of 109 in favour to 11 against, with 42 abstentions — the Assembly expressed grave concern that despite the verified destruction of all 27 declared chemical weapons’ production facilities, the Technical Secretariat cannot fully verify that Syria has submitted a declaration that can be considered accurate and complete.

Adopting draft resolution V in its entirety — by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to 8 against (Cambodia, China, Iran, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe), with 21 abstentions — the Assembly, among other things, reiterated its strongest possible condemnation of the use of chemical weapons and noted with concern that, besides the threat of possible production, acquisition and use of chemical weapons by States, the international community also faces the danger of production, acquisition and use of chemical weapons by non-State actors, including terrorists.

By a recorded vote of 148 in favour to 12 against, with 29 abstentions, the Assembly next adopted draft resolution VI, “Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons”.  By that draft, the Assembly stressed that, in the interest of the very survival of humanity, these weapons shall never be used again.  It called upon States to prevent their use and proliferation and to achieve nuclear disarmament and urged them to exert all efforts to eliminate the threat of such weapons of mass destruction.

Prior to taking action on draft resolution VII, “Follow-up to nuclear disarmament obligations agreed to at the 1995, 2000 and 2010 Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons”, in its entirety, the Assembly decided to retain — by a recorded vote of 113 in favour to 4 against (Canada, India, Israel, Federated States of Micronesia), with 54 abstentions — preambular paragraph 6.  By its terms, the Assembly reaffirmed the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Non‑Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, in which the Conference reaffirmed the importance of the early realization of universal adherence to that instrument and the placement of nuclear facilities under full-scope IAEA safeguards.

Adopting the draft as a whole by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to 44 against, with 17 abstentions, the Assembly called for nuclear‑weapon States to take practical steps to unilaterally reduce their arsenals, increase transparency and diminish the role of nuclear weapons in their security policies.  It also urged States parties to the Treaty to follow up on the implementation of nuclear disarmament obligations agreed at the three review conferences.

Turning to draft resolution VIII, “Assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and collecting them”, the Assembly first decided — by a recorded vote of 150 in favour to 1 against (Nauru), with 20 abstentions — to retain preambular paragraph 16.  By its terms, the Assembly welcomed the inclusion of small arms and light weapons in the scope of the Arms Trade Treaty, as well as the inclusion of international assistance in its provisions.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly then adopted the draft in its entirety, by which it encouraged cooperation among State organs, international organizations and civil society in support of programmes and projects aimed at combating the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and collecting them.

The Assembly then adopted draft resolution IX, “Compliance with non‑proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements and commitments” by a recorded vote of 174 in favour to 3 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran), with 9 abstentions (Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Egypt, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe).  By its terms, the Assembly called upon all States to include and empower women, including through capacity‑building efforts, as appropriate, to be full, equal, and meaningful participants in the design and implementation of disarmament, non‑proliferation and arms control efforts.  It also called upon all Member States to encourage and, for those nations in a position to do so, to appropriately help States that request assistance to increase their capacity to implement fully their obligations, and to support efforts aimed at resolving compliance questions by means consistent with such agreements and other applicable international law. 

By a recorded vote of 128 in favour to 42 against, with 16 abstentions, the Assembly adopted draft resolution X, “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”, by which it welcomed its entry into force on 22 January 2021, confirmed its first Meeting of States Parties will be held in March 2022 at the United Nations Office at Vienna and called upon all States that have not yet done so to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to the Treaty.  It also called upon States in a position to do so to promote adherence to the instrument through bilateral, subregional, regional and multilateral contacts, outreach and other means.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XI, “Prohibition of the dumping of radioactive wastes”, by which it expressed grave concern regarding any use of nuclear wastes that would constitute radiological warfare and have grave implications for the national security of all States.  Also by the draft’s terms, the Assembly called upon nations to take appropriate measures with a view to preventing any dumping that would infringe upon the sovereignty of States and appealed to Member States that have not yet become party to the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management to do so.

Taking up draft resolution XII, “Follow‑up to the 2013 high‑level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament”, it first decided — by a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 37 against, with 15 abstentions — to retain preambular paragraph 14.  By that provision, the Assembly expressed concern that improvements of existing nuclear weapons and the development of new types, as provided for in the military doctrines of some nuclear‑weapon States, violate their legal nuclear disarmament obligations, as well as the commitments made to diminish the role of nuclear weapons in their military and security policies, and contravene the negative security assurances provided by the nuclear‑weapon States.

The Assembly then adopted the draft in its entirety by a recorded vote of 145 in favour to 34 against, with 9 abstentions (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Finland, Georgia, Japan, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine), by which it called for urgent compliance with the legal obligations and fulfilment of nuclear disarmament commitments.  The Assembly also called for the urgent start of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on effective nuclear disarmament measures to realize the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XIII, “Relationship between disarmament and development”, by which it urged the international community to devote part of the resources made available by implementing disarmament and arms limitation agreements to economic and social development, to reduce the ever‑widening gap between developed and developing countries.  The Assembly also encouraged the international community to make reference to the contribution that disarmament could provide in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Again without a vote, it adopted draft resolution XIV, “Convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament”, by which it recalled the consensus adoption of recommendations on the objectives and agenda of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament by the Open‑ended Working Group.

Also without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XV, “Observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control”.  By that text, the Assembly reaffirmed that international disarmament forums should take fully into account the relevant environmental norms in negotiating treaties and agreements on disarmament and arms limitation, and that all States should contribute fully to ensuring compliance with such norms in implementing treaties and conventions to which they are signatory.  It also called upon States to adopt unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral measures to help ensure the application of scientific and technological progress within the framework of international security, disarmament and other related spheres.

The Assembly then adopted — by a recorded vote of 134 in favour to 4 against (Israel, Federated States of Micronesia, United Kingdom, United States), with 51 abstentions — draft resolution XVI, “Promotion of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non‑proliferation”.  By its terms, the Assembly reaffirmed multilateralism as the core principle of negotiations in the area of disarmament and non‑proliferation, maintaining and strengthening universal norms and enlarging their scope, and as the core principle in resolving disarmament and non‑proliferation concerns.

Acting without a vote, it adopted draft resolution XVII “Regional disarmament”.  By that text, the Assembly affirmed that global and regional approaches to disarmament complement each other and should therefore be pursued simultaneously to promote regional and international peace and security.  It called upon States to conclude, wherever possible, agreements on nuclear non‑proliferation, disarmament and confidence-building measures at the regional and subregional levels.

It then took up draft resolution XVIII, “Conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels”, first taking action on two paragraphs.  It decided — by a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 2 against (India, Russian Federation), with 2 abstentions (Gabon, Zimbabwe) — to retain preambular paragraph 7, by which the Assembly noted with particular interest initiatives taken in that regard around the world, in particular the start of consultations among Latin American countries and proposals for conventional arms control made in the context of South Asia.  It also recognized the relevance and value of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe as a cornerstone of European security.

By a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 1 against (India), with 52 abstentions, it decided to retain operative paragraph 2, by which the Assembly requested that the Conference on Disarmament consider formulating principles that can serve as a framework for regional agreements on conventional arms control.

Adopting draft resolution XVIII in its entirety by a recorded vote of 186 in favour to 1 against (India), with 3 abstentions (Bhutan, Russian Federation, Zimbabwe), the General Assembly decided to give urgent consideration to issues involved in conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels and requested that the Conference on Disarmament consider drawing up principles that can serve as a framework for regional agreements on conventional arms control.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XIX, “Confidence‑building measures in the regional and sub‑regional context”.  By that text, the Assembly called upon Member States to refrain from the use or threat of use of force, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.  It also called upon them to pursue confidence- and security-building measures through consultations and dialogue, and urged them to comply strictly with all bilateral, regional and international agreements — including arms control and disarmament agreements — to which they are party.

Turning to draft resolution XX, “Nuclear‑weapon‑free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas”, the Assembly first decided — by a recorded vote of 112 in favour to 38 against, with 19 abstentions — to retain preambular paragraph 6, by which it welcomed the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 22 January 2021.  The Assembly also reaffirmed the conviction that the establishment of internationally recognized nuclear‑weapon-free zones enhances global and regional peace and security, strengthens the nuclear non‑proliferation regime and contributes towards the objective of nuclear disarmament.

By a recorded vote of 149 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 26 abstentions, the Assembly decided to retain operative paragraph 6, by which it welcomed measures to conclude further nuclear‑weapon‑free‑zone treaties, including steps towards the establishment of such a designated area in the Middle East.

Taking up draft resolution XX in its entirety, the Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 149 in favour to 5 against (France, Israel, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States), with 31 abstentions.  By its terms, the Assembly called upon all States that have not yet done so to facilitate adherence to the protocols to nuclear‑weapon-free‑zone treaties by all relevant States and welcomed the ratifications by China, France, Russian Federation and the United Kingdom of the Protocol to the Treaty on a Nuclear‑Weapon‑Free Zone in Central Asia.  The Assembly also called upon the nuclear­‑weapon States to not enter any reservations to the establishment of such zones.

It then took up draft resolution XXI, “Youth, disarmament and non‑proliferation”, by which the Assembly would call upon Member States, the United Nations and other organizations to consider developing and implementing policies and programmes for young people to increase and facilitate their constructive engagement in the field of disarmament and non‑proliferation.  It would also note the formal plenary meeting on youth and disarmament by the Conference on Disarmament, held on 12 August, during which youth participants expressed their readiness to contribute to consideration of disarmament and non‑proliferation issues.

Before action on that draft, the Assembly approved the retention of preambular paragraph 10, by a recorded vote of 172 in favour to none against, with 4 abstentions (Gabon, Iran, Russian Federation, Syria).  By its terms, the Assembly noted Action 38 of the disarmament agenda, put forward by the Secretary-General, which describes the young generation as the ultimate force for change and proposes actions to promote youth engagement.

The Assembly then adopted the draft in its entirety without a vote.

Turning to draft resolution XXII “Nuclear disarmament”, the Assembly first took action on two paragraphs.  It decided to retain preambular paragraph 32 of the text by a recorded vote of 117 in favour to 39 against, with 16 abstentions.  By its terms, the Assembly welcomed the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

By a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 9 abstentions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, France, Gabon, Iran, Israel, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, United Kingdom, United States), the Assembly approved the retention of operative paragraph 16, by which it called for the immediate start of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament to agree on a comprehensive and balanced programme of work, and on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

Taking up draft resolution XXII in its entirety, the Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 124 in favour to 41 against, with 22 abstentions.  By its terms, the Assembly welcomed and encouraged efforts to establish new nuclear-weapon-free zones in different parts of the world, including the Middle East.  By further terms, it urged the nuclear-weapon States to stop immediately the qualitative improvement, development, production and stockpiling of nuclear warheads and their delivery systems, and as an interim measure, to de-alert and deactivate immediately their nuclear weapons and to take other concrete measures to reduce further the operational status of their nuclear-weapon systems.

The Assembly then turned to the new draft decision XXIII, “Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions”, by a recorded vote of 146 in favour to 1 against (Russian Federation), with 37 abstentions.  By its terms, the Assembly urged all States not party to the Convention to ratify or accede to it as soon as possible.  It also urged all States parties in a position to do so to promote adherence to the Convention through bilateral, subregional and multilateral contacts, outreach and other means.  Also by that text, the Assembly expressed strong concern regarding the number of allegations, reports or documented evidence of cluster munitions use in different parts of the world, related civilian casualties and other consequences that impede realization of sustainable development.  It further urged all States parties to provide the Secretary-General with complete and timely information as required under article 7 of the Convention in order to promote transparency and compliance.

It then considered draft resolution XXIV, “Universal Declaration on the Achievement of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World”, first taking action on two paragraphs.  It decided — by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to 27 against, with 23 abstentions — to retain preambular paragraph 8, by which it noted the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The Assembly then approved the retention of preambular paragraph 10 by a recorded vote of 141 in favour to 3 against (France, Russian Federation, United States), with 30 abstentions.  By that paragraph, the Assembly took into account the Secretary‑General’s disarmament agenda, Securing Our Common Future:  An Agenda for Disarmament.

By a recorded vote of 141 in favour to 22 against, with 24 abstentions, it adopted the draft in its entirety, by which the Assembly recalled the adoption of the Universal Declaration annexed to resolution 70/57.  It further invited States, agencies and organizations of the United Nations system and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to disseminate the Declaration and to promote its implementation.

It then turned to draft resolution XXVI, “Towards a nuclear‑weapon‑free world:  accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments”.  By its terms, the Assembly would call upon the nuclear‑weapon States to fulfil their commitments to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons, deployed and non‑deployed, including through unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral measures.  The Assembly would also encourage them to take concrete steps to reduce the role and significance of nuclear weapons in all military and security concepts, doctrines and policies, pending their total elimination.  It would further note with concern recent policy statements by nuclear‑weapon States relating to modernization of their nuclear weapon programmes, which undermine their commitments to nuclear disarmament and increase the risk of the use of nuclear weapons and the potential for a new arms race.

Before action, the Assembly held separate recorded votes on three paragraphs contained in the text.  By a recorded vote of 146 in favour to 2 against (Russian Federation, United States), with 28 abstentions, it first approved the retention of preambular paragraph 3, by which the Assembly welcomed the Secretary‑General’s disarmament agenda, Securing Our Common Future:  An Agenda for Disarmament, and emphasized the importance of its implementation.

It also retained — by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 37 against, with 19 abstentions — preambular paragraph 10, by which the Assembly welcomed the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The Assembly then approved the retention of preambular paragraph 25 by a recorded vote of 161 in favour to 4 against (India, Israel, Pakistan, United States), with 10 abstentions (Djibouti, France, Gabon, Georgia, Greece, Madagascar, Netherlands, Poland, Russian Federation, United Kingdom).  By that paragraph’s terms, the Assembly noted with regret that the 2020 Non‑Proliferation Treaty Review Conference had to be postponed owing to the COVID‑19 pandemic.

By a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 4 against (India, Israel, Pakistan, United States), with 9 abstentions (Djibouti, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Madagascar, Monaco, United Kingdom), the Assembly decided to retain operative paragraph 15, by which it called upon all States parties to spare no effort to achieve universal adherence to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  In that regard, the Assembly urged India, Israel and Pakistan to accede to the instrument as non-nuclear-weapon States promptly and without conditions, and to place all their nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.

The Assembly also retained — by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 37 against, with 19 abstentions — operative paragraph 24, by which it called upon Member States to continue to support efforts to identify, elaborate, negotiate and implement further effective legally binding measures for nuclear disarmament.  It welcomed in that regard the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Reverting to draft resolution XXVI in its entirety, the Assembly adopted the text by a recorded vote of 140 in favour to 34 against, with 15 abstentions.

The Assembly then took up draft resolution XXVII, “The Arms Trade Treaty”, by which it would recognize that consolidation of that instrument’s institutional structure provides a framework for supporting further work under the Treaty, in particular its effective implementation.  In that regard, the Assembly would express concern about the unpaid assessed contributions of States and the potential adverse implications for Treaty processes, and call upon States that have not yet done so to address their financial obligations under the Treaty in a prompt and timely manner.

Also by that text, the Assembly would further stress the vital importance of full and effective implementation of and compliance with all provisions of the instrument, and urge States parties to meet their Treaty obligations, thereby contributing to international and regional peace, security and stability, to reducing human suffering and to the promotion of cooperation, transparency and responsible action.

Before taking action on that draft, the Assembly decided — by a recorded vote of 159 in favour to 1 against (Russian Federation), with 14 abstentions — to retain preambular paragraph 9, by which it recalled the Secretary‑General’s disarmament agenda, Securing Our Common Future:  An Agenda for Disarmament, in particular the section titled “Disarmament that saves lives”.

The Assembly then retained — by a recorded vote of 149 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 21 abstentions — preambular paragraph 10, by which it recognized the negative impact of the illicit and unregulated trade in conventional arms and related ammunition on the lives of women, men, girls and boys, and that the Arms Trade Treaty was the first international agreement to identify and call upon States to address the link between conventional arms transfers and the risk of serious gender-based violence and serious acts of violence against women and children.

By a recorded vote of 162 in favour to none against, with 24 abstentions, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XXVII as a whole.

It then took up draft resolution XXIX, “Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices”, first deciding — by a recorded vote of 166 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 11 abstentions, the Assembly decided to retain preambular paragraph 3.  By that provision, the Assembly expressed concern about the years of stalemate in the Conference on Disarmament and regretted that negotiations have not been pursued.  The Assembly also looked forward to the Conference again fulfilling its role as the world’s sole multilateral forum for disarmament negotiations.

Adopting the draft in its entirety — by a recorded vote of 182 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 5 abstentions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Syria) — the Assembly urged the Conference on Disarmament to agree and implement, at its earliest opportunity, a programme of work entailing the immediate start of negotiations on such a treaty.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly then adopted the new draft resolution XXXI, “Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials”.  By that text, the Assembly noted with satisfaction that 2021 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the entry into force of the Agreement between Argentina and Brazil for the Exclusively Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy and welcomed the Agency’s continued cooperation with IAEA.  The Assembly noted further that the Agency has proven itself as an innovative and effective bilateral confidence-building mechanism, with positive effects for peace and security at the subregional and regional levels, and as a reference of best practice in nuclear safeguards and non‑proliferation verification.

Turning to draft resolution XXXII, “Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons”, the Assembly first took action on several paragraphs contained therein.  It first decided — by a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 2 against (Russian Federation, United States), with 29 abstentions — to retain preambular paragraph 9, by which it noted continued efforts towards nuclear disarmament, including through the Secretary-General’s disarmament agenda, Securing Our Common Future:  An Agenda for Disarmament.

The Assembly then approved the retention of preambular paragraph 17 by a recorded vote of 116 in favour to 36 against, with 18 abstentions.  By its terms, the Assembly recalled the adoption, and welcomed the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which have contributed to the objective of a legally binding prohibition of the development, production, testing, deployment, stockpiling, threat or use of nuclear weapons and their destruction under effective international control.

It went on to retain, by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to 36 against, with 15 abstentions, operative paragraph 2, by which it called once again upon all States to immediately engage in multilateral negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control, including under the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Then, by a recorded vote of 143 in favour to 33 against, with 14 abstentions, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XXXII in its entirety.  By that text, the Assembly called upon all States to immediately engage in negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament under strict and effective international control, including under the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  The Assembly underlined once again the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice that there exists an obligation to pursue such negotiations in good faith.

The Assembly then turned to draft resolution XXXIII, “Joint courses of action and future-oriented dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons”.  Before considering the draft as a whole, the Assembly first held separate recorded votes on 18 paragraphs.

By a recorded vote of 155 in favour to 2 against (India, Pakistan), with 16 abstentions, it decided to retain preambular paragraph 2, by which it reaffirmed that the Non-Proliferation Treaty is the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and an essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

By a recorded vote of 143 in favour to none against, with 28 abstentions, the Assembly also retained preambular paragraph 7, by which it stressed that effective nuclear disarmament and enhanced international security should be pursued in a mutually reinforcing manner.

In a recorded vote of 160 in favour to none against, with 12 abstentions, the Assembly approved retention of preambular paragraph 8, by which it reaffirmed that further strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime is essential to international peace and security.

It also decided — by a recorded 163 votes in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 7 abstentions (Algeria, Gabon, India, Iran, Mozambique, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela) — to retain preambular paragraph 10, by which it recognized the importance of the decisions and the resolution on the Middle East at the 1995 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and the final documents of the 2000 and 2010 Review Conferences.

The Assembly also retained preambular paragraph 11 — by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to 3 against (China, Israel, Pakistan), with 16 abstentions — by which it stressed the importance of the immediate start and early conclusion of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

It went on to retain — by a recorded vote of 168 in favour to none against, with 5 abstentions (Gabon, Iran, Israel, Mozambique, Trinidad and Tobago) — preambular paragraph 16, by which the Assembly recognized the value of cooperative efforts across the existing multilateral disarmament machinery to support endeavours towards disarmament objectives.

The Assembly then approved — by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 14 abstentions — the retention of preambular paragraph 17.  By that provision, the Assembly recalled relevant Security Council resolutions deciding that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shall abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes, and all other weapons of mass destruction and its ballistic missile programmes, in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.

Continuing onto preambular paragraph 18 of draft resolution XXXVII, the Assembly approved its retention by a recorded vote of 161 in favour to 2 against (Hungary, Russian Federation), with 6 abstentions (Algeria, Bahamas, China, Iran, Mozambique, Trinidad and Tobago).  By the provision’s terms, the Assembly noted that efforts to integrate different generations, regions and genders into disarmament and non-proliferation education create momentum towards realizing a world without nuclear weapons.

The Assembly then approved — by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 1 against (France), with 16 abstentions — the retention of preambular paragraph 19, by which the Assembly recognized the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from the use of nuclear weapons.

It then decided to retain preambular paragraph 20 by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 2 against (China, Russian Federation), with 9 abstentions (Bahamas, Burundi, Gabon, Israel, Mozambique, Republic of Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Zimbabwe), by which the Assembly welcomed visits by leaders, young people and others to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Turning to operative provisions of draft resolution XXXVII, the Assembly then retained operative paragraph 1 by a recorded vote of 133 in favour to 10 against (Austria, Brazil, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa), with 24 abstentions, by which it reaffirmed that all States parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty are committed to the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons, including by easing international tension, strengthening trust among nations, and the instrument’s full and steady implementation in all its aspects.

By a recorded vote of 129 in favour to none against, with 39 abstentions, the Assembly decided to retain operative paragraph 3(b), by which it encouraged all States possessing nuclear weapons to reduce the risks of nuclear detonation occurring by miscalculation or misunderstanding, and to make further efforts to that end, including through transparent dialogue on nuclear doctrines and postures, military-to-military exchanges, hotlines or sharing of information and data.

The Assembly retained operative paragraph 3(c) by a recorded vote of 152 in favour to 2 against (China, Pakistan), with 17 abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly encouraged all States to immediately make every effort — including declaring and maintaining voluntary moratoriums on the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices — and to immediately start negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a treaty banning such materials.

Also by a recorded vote — 138 in favour to 2 against (India, Nigeria), with 29 abstentions — the Assembly approved the retention of operative paragraph 3(d), by which it encouraged all States, including the eight remaining countries listed in Annex 2 to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty that have not yet signed and/or ratified that instrument to do so without waiting for any other State, to pursue the Treaty’s entry into force.

It also decided to retain — by a recorded vote of 147 in favour to 1 against (Russian Federation), with 23 abstentions — operative paragraph 3(e), by which the Assembly encouraged all States to continue to make practical contributions to nuclear disarmament verification at the United Nations, in the Conference on Disarmament and in such initiatives as the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification.

The Assembly also approved — by a recorded 162 votes in favour to 2 against (China, Russian Federation), with 9 abstentions (Algeria, Bahamas, Burundi, Gabon, Mozambique, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela) — the retention of operative paragraph 3(f), by which it encouraged all States to facilitate efforts for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation education.  It would also encourage, by other terms, raising awareness of the realities of the use of nuclear weapons, including through interactions with communities and people, including the hibakusha (those who have suffered the use of nuclear weapons), who pass on their experiences to future generations.

The Assembly then — by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to none against, with 19 abstentions — decided to retain operative paragraph 5, by which it reaffirmed the commitment to strengthening the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, including through adherence to the IAEA safeguards, compliance with non—proliferation obligations and implementation of relevant resolutions of the Security Council, including resolution 1540 (2004).

In a recorded vote of 151 in favour to 3 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation), with 19 abstentions, the Assembly decided to retain operative paragraph 6, by which it reaffirmed the commitment to the complete, verifiable and irreversible abandonment of all nuclear weapons and programmes, as well as all other existing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges, by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions.  It urged that country to return at an early date to, and comply fully with, the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the IAEA safeguards.

Taking up draft resolution XXXIII as a whole, the Committee approved it by a recorded vote of 158 in favour to 4 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Syria), with 27 abstentions.  By that text, it encouraged concrete measures to enhance transparency and mutual confidence and every effort to start negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.  The Assembly also encouraged States possessing nuclear weapons to reduce the risks of nuclear detonation and reaffirmed its commitment to the complete, verifiable and irreversible abandonment of all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XXXIV, “Transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities”, by which it encouraged Member States to continue to review and implement the transparency and confidence-building measures proposed in the 2013 report of the related Group of Governmental Experts.  It also decided to convene a joint half-day panel discussion of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) and the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) to address possible challenges to space security and sustainability.

The Assembly then took up draft decision I, “Nuclear disarmament verification”, adopting it by a recorded vote of 187 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (Iran, Syria).  By its terms, the Assembly requested that the Secretary-General hold two additional sessions in 2023 to compensate for the two planned 2021 sessions postponed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, for a total of two weeks in 2022 and two weeks in 2023, as well as one additional informal intersessional consultative meeting in New York in 2023 to compensate for the planned 2021 meeting postponed owing to pandemic-related travel restrictions.  The Assembly would further call upon the Secretary-General to transmit the report of the Group of Governmental Experts to its seventy-eighth session and to the Conference on Disarmament, under the item “General and complete disarmament” and the sub-item “Nuclear disarmament verification”.

Acting without a vote, it went on to adopt draft decision II, “Countering the threat posed by improvised explosive devices”.  By that text, the Assembly decided to include the sub-item “Countering the threat posed by improvised explosive devices” in the provisional agenda of its seventy-seventh session, under the item “General and complete disarmament”.

Again acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft decision III, “Treaty on the South-East Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (Bangkok Treaty)”, by which it decided to include the sub-item in the provisional agenda of its seventy-eighth session, under its agenda item “General and complete disarmament”.

The Assembly then took up the report “Review and implementation of the Concluding Document of the Twelfth Special Session of the General Assembly” (document A/76/445), containing six draft resolutions.

It first adopted draft resolution I, “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons”, by a recorded vote of 125 in favour to 50 against, with 13 abstentions.  By its terms, the Assembly reiterated its request that the Conference on Disarmament commence negotiations in order to reach agreement on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly next adopted draft resolution II, “United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa”.  By its terms, the Assembly commended the Regional Centre for the support and assistance it provided to African States, upon request, on the Arms Trade Treaty, including by organizing subregional and regional seminars and workshops.  The Assembly urged all States, as well as international, governmental and non-governmental organizations and foundations, to make voluntary contributions to enable the Regional Centre to carry out its programmes and activities while meeting the needs of African States.  It urged, in particular, States members of the African Union to make voluntary contributions to the trust fund for the Regional Centre, in conformity with the decision taken by the Executive Council of the African Union, in Khartoum in January 2006.

Also without a vote, it adopted draft resolution III, “United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean”.  By its provisions, the General Assembly reiterated its strong support for the role of that Regional Centre in the promotion of activities of the United Nations at the regional and subregional levels to strengthen peace, disarmament, stability, security and development among its Member States.

The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, draft resolution IV, “United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific”.  By its terms, the Assembly appealed to Member States, in particular those within the Asia-Pacific region, as well as to international governmental and non-governmental organizations and foundations, to make voluntary contributions to strengthen its programme of activities and the implementation thereof.  It further reaffirmed strong support for the role of the Regional Centre in promoting United Nations activities to strengthen regional peace, stability and security.  The Assembly also underlined the importance of the Kathmandu process for region-wide security and disarmament dialogues.

Also without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution V, “Regional confidence-building measures:  activities of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa”, by which the General Assembly reaffirmed its support for confidence-building efforts in Central Africa and encourage States members of the Standing Advisory Committee to pursue discussions on conflict prevention initiatives.

Again without a vote, the Assembly then adopted, as orally revised, draft resolution VI, “United Nations regional centres for peace and disarmament”.  By its terms, the Assembly reaffirmed that it is useful for the three regional centres to carry out dissemination and educational programmes that promote regional peace and security, aimed at changing basic attitudes on peace and security and disarmament.  The Assembly also appealed to Member States in each region that are able to do so to make voluntary contributions to the regional centres in their respective regions in order to strengthen their activities and initiatives.

Turning to the report “Review of the implementation of the recommendations and decisions adopted by the General Assembly at its tenth special session” (document A/76/446), the Assembly took action on the one draft decision and one draft resolution contained therein.

Without a vote, it adopted the draft resolution “Report of the Conference on Disarmament”.  By its terms, the Assembly called upon the Conference on Disarmament to further intensify consultations and explore possibilities for overcoming its ongoing deadlock of two decades by adopting and implementing a balanced and comprehensive programme of work at the earliest possible date during its 2021 session, bearing in mind the decision on the programme of work adopted by the Conference on 29 May 2009, as well as other relevant present, past and future proposals.  The Assembly also requested that the current President and successive presidents of the Conference on Disarmament cooperate with States members in the effort to guide the Conference to the early commencement of its substantive work, including negotiations, at its 2022 session.

Again without a vote, it adopted the draft decision “Disarmament Commission”, by which the Assembly decided that the body will hold a substantive session from 4 to 22 April 2022.  It also decided that the Disarmament Commission will submit a substantive report to the Assembly at its seventy-seventh session.

Turning to the report “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East” (document A/76/447), the Assembly took up an eponymous draft resolution contained therein, first taking action on two paragraphs.  It decided — by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 3 against (India, Israel, Pakistan), with 7 abstentions (Bhutan, France, Gabon, Georgia, Madagascar, Panama, United States), to retain preambular paragraph 5.  By that provision, the Assembly recalled the decision on principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which urged universal adherence to that instrument as an urgent priority.

By a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 3 against (India, Israel, Pakistan), with 7 abstentions (Bhutan, France, Gabon, Georgia, Madagascar, Panama, United States), it decided to retain preambular paragraph 6, by which the Assembly recognized with satisfaction that, in the Final Document of the 2000 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, parties undertook to make determined efforts towards universal adherence to the instrument and called upon the remaining non-signatory States to accede.

Adopting the draft resolution in its entirety — by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 24 abstentions — the Assembly called for immediate steps towards full implementation of the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  It also, by further terms, called upon Israel to accede to the Treaty without further delay; not to develop, produce, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons; to renounce possession of nuclear weapons and to place all its unsafeguarded nuclear facilities under full-scope IAEA safeguards as an important confidence-building measure and a step towards enhancing peace and security.

The Assembly then took up the report “Convention on the 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/76/448), containing an eponymous draft resolution.  Adopting that draft without a vote, the Assembly called upon all States that have not yet done so to accede as soon as possible with the goal of achieving universal adherence.  The Assembly, by other terms, recalled the technical decision of 3 May 2021 by the High Contracting Parties to the Convention to organize a total of 20 days of meetings of the Group of Governmental Experts related to emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems, to be held in Geneva in 2021.

Next, it took up the report “Strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region” (document A/76/449), which contained an eponymous draft resolution.  By the draft’s terms, the Assembly would reaffirm that security in the Mediterranean is closely linked to European security and to international peace and security.  Also by the text, the Assembly would invite Mediterranean countries to consolidate efforts to eliminate all causes of tension in the region and promote just and lasting solutions through peaceful means, thereby ensuring the withdrawal of foreign forces of occupation and respecting the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries therein.  The Assembly would, by other terms, further highlight the importance for all countries of the Mediterranean region adhering to the relevant multilaterally negotiated legal instruments relating to disarmament and non-proliferation.

Before action on that draft, the Assembly decided to retain operative paragraph 2 of the text by a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 1 abstention (Gabon).  By its terms, the Assembly invited Mediterranean countries to consolidate their efforts in order to contribute actively to the elimination of all causes of tension in the region and to the promotion of just and lasting solutions to the persistent problems of the region through peaceful means, thus ensuring the withdrawal of foreign forces of occupation while respecting the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries of the Mediterranean and the right of their peoples to self-determination.  The Assembly also called for full adherence to the principles of non-interference, non-intervention, non-use of force or threat of use of force and inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force.

By a recorded vote of 170 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions (Gabon, Ireland), the Assembly retained operative paragraph 5, by which it highlighted the importance for all countries of the Mediterranean region adhering to the relevant multilaterally negotiated legal instruments relating to disarmament and non-proliferation, thus creating the conditions necessary for strengthening peace and cooperation in the region.

The Assembly then adopted the draft, in its entirety, by a recorded vote of 182 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 1 abstention (Israel).

Turning next to the report “Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty” (document A/76/450), containing an eponymous draft resolution, the Assembly first decided — by a recorded vote of 176 in favour to none against, with 5 abstentions (Gabon, India, Israel, Pakistan, Syria) — to retain preambular paragraph 7.  By that provision, the Assembly recalled the consensus adoption of the conclusions and recommendations for follow-up actions to the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, in which the Conference reaffirmed, inter alia, the vital importance of the entry into force of the Test-Ban Treaty as a core element of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime.

The Assembly then adopted the draft in its entirety by a recorded vote of 182 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 3 abstentions (India, Mauritius, Syria).  By its terms, the Assembly stressed the vital importance of that Treaty’s entry into force as soon as possible and urged all States to refrain from carrying out nuclear-weapon tests in the interim.  It also reiterated its condemnation of the six nuclear tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions and urged that country’s full compliance.  It welcomed all efforts and dialogue to that end, including inter-Korean summits and summits between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Next, the Assembly took up the report “Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction” (document A/76/451), adopting without a vote the eponymous draft resolution contained therein.  By its terms, the Assembly noted the outcome and decisions reached at the instrument’s eighth Review Conference and called upon States parties to actively engage in their continued implementation efforts.  The Assembly also called upon all States parties to participate in the exchange of information and data on confidence-building measures that they have provided to the Convention to date and invite them to make use of the new platform for electronic submission, on a voluntary basis.

Taking up the report “Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly” (document A/76/452), the Assembly adopted, without a vote, the draft decision “Provisional programme of work and timetable of the First Committee for 2022” contained therein.

It then took note of the report “Programme Planning” (document A/76/453), which contained no draft resolutions or decisions.

For information media. Not an official record.