Nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East – First Cttee debate – Verbatim record (excerpts)

Official Records

General Assembly

Forty-ninth session

First Committee

10th meeting

Monday, 24 October 1994, 3 p.m.

New York

Chairman: Mr. Valencia Rodriguez ……………………….. (Ecuador)

The meeting was called to order at 3.15 p.m.

Agenda items 53 to 66, 68 to 72 and 153 (continued)

General debate on all disarmament and international security items

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Mr. Bystricky (Slovakia): …

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We welcome as one of the positive events the recent progress in the peace process in the Middle East. Slovakia supports that process aimed at reaching a comprehensive and final peaceful settlement in that part of the world. In this regard, my country is of the opinion that the new realities should be reflected in the relevant United Nations resolutions, some of which have become outdated.

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Mr. Biloa Tang (Cameroon) (interpretation from French): …

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The entry into force of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, the conclusion of the treaty on the denuclearization of Africa and the beginning of negotiations on a treaty making the South Atlantic a nuclear-weapon-free zone constitute real progress in the area of regional nuclear disarmament and of strengthening confidence between States. We encourage the countries of South Asia to expedite negotiations with a view to the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone, and we encourage the countries of the Middle East, once peace has been restored, to do the same.

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Ms. Lodhi (Pakistan): …

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A viable way of achieving non-proliferation goals in the Middle East as well as in South Asia would be to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones. The creation of such zones would promote regional security and global non-proliferation goals, including the universal acceptance of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction.

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Mr. Al-Battashi (Oman) (interpretation from Arabic): …

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As a case in point, we refer here to the Middle East region, where the threat of such weapons is a telling example of the extremely dangerous nature of these overkill weapons.  The arsenals of nuclear weapons that are the monopoly of some in the region are cause for great concern. The fact that some are dedicated to acquiring components for this most dangerous weapon not only threatens the security of the region but also poses a very real threat to the security of the world we all live in. From this rostrum, we call once again, and hope that the call is clear enough, for narrow, unilateralist policies – that are not only egotistical but also obsolete, bankrupt, anachronistic and redundant, the residue of a past of competition, monopoly and indifference – to be renounced.

In our view, the ideal way to transform the Middle East into a nuclear-weapon-free zone and to rid it of all other weapons of mass destruction – which are no less dangerous – lies, firstly, in desisting from the horrific stockpiling of those weapons with the aim of achieving dominance and imposing hegemony over one of the most important regions of the world. Secondly, there must be a total and absolute commitment to the principles of good-neighbourliness, peaceful coexistence and mutual benefits.  In order to achieve this, there is an urgent need to engage forthwith in the business of confidence-building.

My country, as a developing nation, has taken it upon itself, since joining the international Organization in 1971, to adhere to these principles and policies, which have continued to prove fruitful in terms of our mutually beneficial relations with all peace-loving nations.  

Among the prerequisites for ridding the Middle East of nuclear weapons is that the party concerned must place its nuclear installations under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards regime. Peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved through stockpiling weapons or by intimidating one’s neighbours. It can be achieved, simply, through respect for the principles of international law in word and in deed.

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Mr. Batu (Turkey): …

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The growing number of ethnic conflicts has amply demonstrated the vital role of regional arms control and disarmament efforts in buttressing the global quest for enhanced stability and security. There is now a pressing need to broaden the scope of arms-control and other security-building endeavours to embrace all the regions of the world. In this context, the Middle East is of particular importance for my country.

The historic breakthrough in the peace process which promises concord and cooperation between the Palestinians and Israel and between Israel and its Arab neighbours will contribute to the search for a new security structure and measures in the Middle East. The chances for disarmament, arms-control and confidence- building measures are now better than ever. We are participating actively in the activities of the working group on arms control and regional security established as part of the Middle East peace process. We are pleased to observe the growing acceptance of the need to complement the peace process with the eventual establishment of confidence- and security-building measures. We are aware that the divergent interests and the different priorities within the regional process and the complexities of the region’s political landscape make these efforts a difficult undertaking. However, we are convinced that the progressive developments in the peace process will also create the necessary conditions for increased and shared security.

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The meeting rose at 7.20 p.m.


Document symbol: A/C.1/49/PV.10
Document Type: Meeting record
Document Sources: General Assembly
Subject: Arms control and regional security issues
Publication Date: 24/10/1994
2021-10-20T18:37:10-04:00
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