Thursday, 21 October 2004, 10 a.m.
Mr. De Alba …………………………………………………………………..
The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.
Agenda items 57 to 72 ( continued)
Thematic discussion on item subjects and introduction and consideration of all draft resolutions submitted under all disarmament and international security items
Mr. Bar (Israel): …
Israel believes that confidence-building measures are an effective and significant instrument for improving relations and promoting good-neighbourliness in the regional and subregional contexts. Such measures must be mutually agreed upon and have the objective of enhancing States’ sense of security, thereby reducing tensions. In considering such steps, however, we must bear in mind the specific nature of conflicts, circumstances and threats in various regions. Some measures that are applicable and can contribute to stability in certain regions could have the opposite effect in other regions and could, in fact, result in reckless arms races.
Unfortunately, there have been no significant developments in the Middle East region with regard to broader participation by States in the United Nations Register or the beginning of a dialogue on regional transparency mechanisms. We hope that other countries will join us in participating in that instrument with a view to its universalization.
Israel attaches particular importance to action aimed at preventing and minimizing human suffering resulting from the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel landmines. Israel believes that an integral component of the effort to address that threat is cooperation. Cooperative initiatives in the areas of mine clearance, mine awareness and victim rehabilitation are important and contribute greatly to efforts aimed at alleviating the humanitarian problems associated with mines.
Israel has taken a number of unilateral steps as well, including ceasing all production of anti-personnel landmines, declaring a moratorium on the export of all types of anti-personnel mines and ratifying the Amended Protocol II annexed to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). Israel hopes that other nations in the region will join us in establishing cooperative mechanisms aimed at reducing the threat posed by such weapons, preferably within the context of a comprehensive regional peace.
As a high contracting party to the CCW, we see the Convention as a good example of how States can act to restrain the use of arms without compromising their vital national security interests. Israel has actively participated in the negotiations on Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War, with a view to reducing the humanitarian effects of the explosive remnants of war in post-conflict situations. We welcome the adoption of the Protocol by the States parties to the CCW, and we look forward to the continuation of the process within the framework of the Convention.
Although Israel shares the humanitarian objectives of the Ottawa Treaty, we cannot commit ourselves, owing to regional circumstances and the continued threat of terrorism, to a total ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines. We have, however, taken part in several international initiatives aimed at promoting mine awareness and support for the victims of those terrible weapons.
Finally, we cannot conclude our reference to the issue of conventional arms without mentioning the problem of terrorism. Terrorism makes no distinction with regard to its victims. All of us are threatened by that phenomenon, and all of us have a responsibility to stop it. We reiterate our call to our neighbours and other States to cease all support for the perpetrators of such crimes and especially the supply of weapons and explosives. There is no justification for the transfer of arms, mines, rockets or man-portable defence systems to terrorists. We expect all States to do everything in their power to prevent such transfer.
The formal portion of the meeting concluded at 12.35 p.m.
This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.