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

Official Records

General Assembly

Sixtieth session 

First Committee

7th meeting

Friday, 7 October 2005, 10 a.m. 

New York



Mr. Choi  ……………………………………………………………………………………………..

(Republic of Korea)


    The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.

Agenda items 85 to 105 (continued)


General debate on all disarmament and international security agenda items 

  Mr. Manis (Sudan) (spoke in Arabic ): …

  As Under-Secretary-General Abe told the Committee, there is a pressing international need for the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones throughout the world. We believe that would be the best way to foster nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, thereby entrenching the pillars of international and regional peace and security. As members of the Committee know, security is indivisible. It is true that numerous States have signed or ratified treaties establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones. The signatories of such conventions represent 50 per cent of the world’s countries. However, there are many regions of the world in which tensions run high, and which need nuclear-weapon-free zones, particularly the Middle East region. Such a zone could have been established in that region had it not been for Israel’s continued refusal to subject its facilities to the international safeguards regime, thus genuinely threatening security and stability in that region of tension, as well as in the rest of the world.

 Mr. Levanon (Israel): …

  We hope the disengagement plan from Gaza that we have just carried out will alter for the better the security environment and significantly reduce the existential threats Israel is facing today.   We expect the Palestinian Authority to implement its commitment to collect small arms and light weapons from terrorist organizations, thus barring terrorists from obtaining small arms and light weapons and munitions as well as denying them financial and other resources with which to acquire them. For Israel — as well as for other States in our region and for the international community — the implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action has become even more relevant. This situation presents an opportunity for implementing the provisions set out in the Programme of Action. We consider this as a fundamental and crucial step for progress in the peace process.

  At present, some neighbouring countries and other countries in our region have resolved to develop weapons of mass destruction, thus ignoring their legal obligations and supporting terrorist organizations. The combination of these acts, together with public threats to the very existence of the State of Israel, is moving our region away from the vision of peace and security.

  The Middle East needs a restructured security architecture built on the foundation of cooperation in the field of security, whereby each State will be reassured of the safety of its population and its peaceful existence, allowing the development of normalized relations and bringing prosperity to all.

  Israel believes that the political realities in the Middle East mandate a practical step-by-step approach. This process should begin with modest confidence-building measures followed by the establishment of peaceful relations, reconciliation and good-neighbourliness, which could possibly be complemented by conventional and non-conventional arms control measures. This process could eventually lead to more ambitious goals such as the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction.

 Mr. Al-Nasser (Qatar) (spoke in Arabic ): …

    The Middle East is one of the most volatile regions of the world: given the strategic imbalances prevailing there, the double standards and the race to acquire different types of nuclear and conventional weapons, it is a region set to explode. The fact that the international community has turned a blind eye to Israel’s development of a nuclear arsenal, that it has failed to demand that Israel cease its nuclear activities, and, worse still, that it has cooperated openly or secretly with it, has created an imbalanced and abnormal situation which has prompted others to follow suit. That course of action has exacerbated the instability and tension in the region. It simply is not right to impose international sanctions on some States and exempt others from them. That approach lacks credibility since it fails to apply the same standards to all States. We therefore stress the importance of eliminating all types of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. We demand that no exceptions be made to that rule and that no State be given preferential treatment over others.

  Mr. Ba’Omar (Oman) (spoke in Arabic ): …

  My delegation is greatly concerned about the unstable security situation in the Middle East region, despite our considerable efforts to create an environment conducive to security and stability in the region by supporting all worthwhile efforts to eliminate all types of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). In this regard, allow me to point out that my country has acceded to numerous relevant international treaties and conventions, including the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. I should like to emphasize here that all conventions should reflect a global will based on transparency and credibility in order to ensure their universality.

  The question of the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East region is worthy of the attention and support of the international community because of the positive contribution it would make to international peace and security. The establishment of such a zone would not only enhance regional security and stability but would also promote international peace and security.

  We support the proposal to establish such a zone, but we would like to express our concern that one State in the region is still refusing to join the collective regional security consensus by deciding to stay out of the NPT, which has become a main feature and a cornerstone of international peace and security. This situation is not normal and could have dire consequences for international peace and security if the international community does not deal with it responsibly and seriously.

  Based on our conviction of the importance of the security and stability in the Middle East region, we call once again upon Israel to accede to the NPT and to subject all its nuclear facilities to the comprehensive safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). We call upon all States that have not yet acceded to the NPT to do so as soon as possible. We also urge all States to conclude the comprehensive safeguards agreement with the IAEA. We call for all this in the framework of fostering the principles and provisions on which the Treaty is based.

  Miss Majali (Jordan): …

  No less important in that connection is the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones. Jordan welcomes those established around the world and reiterates that the establishment of a zone free from nuclear weapons in the Middle East region is of the utmost importance, as Israel’s accession to the NPT would bring about regional peace and security. Furthermore, the implementation of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety measures in Israel’s unsafeguarded nuclear facilities would prevent the potential occurrence of nuclear accidents and the risks of radiological contamination.

  Mr. Danesh-Yazdi (Islamic Republic of Iran): …

  The actions and policies rigorously pursued by the United States without the slightest regard for the concerns of the rest of the international community clearly indicate what lies ahead if they remain unchecked. No wonder that country has been trying to throw up smokescreens at international forums: they are trying to deflect attention from their own record and actions by turning superficial concerns about the peaceful nuclear programmes of others into a politically charged debate.

    While that nuclear-weapon State cries wolf over the risk of proliferation in cases involving peaceful nuclear activities of NPT member States whose facilities fall under full-scope IAEA safeguards, ironically it has itself concluded agreements for the transfer of all kinds of nuclear technology to non-parties to the NPT. In particular, I would mention its 2000 nuclear cooperation agreement with Israel — the only non-party to the NPT in the Middle East and one whose clandestine nuclear weapon facilities are in clear contravention of its own so-called non-proliferation strategy. By transferring nuclear-weapon technology to Israel and participating in other forms of nuclear sharing, the United States is not complying with its NPT obligations. These cases are clear evidence that the so-called proliferation concern over the peaceful nuclear activities of some countries is a mere pretext for pursuing political objectives and imposing a new nuclear apartheid.

  The international community should firmly resist this discriminatory approach and should insist on the full implementation by States parties of all their commitments, particularly the unequivocal obligation of nuclear-weapon States to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. The world community should take effective measures to prevent the development of new types of nuclear weapons, to stop nuclear sharing, to prohibit the threat of use of such inhumane weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States and to renounce unlawful unilateral actions and policies.

    The meeting rose at 1.05 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.

Document symbol: A/C.1/60/PV.7
Document Type: Meeting record, Provisional verbatim record, Verbatim Record
Document Sources: General Assembly
Subject: Arms control and regional security issues
Publication Date: 07/10/2005

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