Mideast situation – GA debate – Verbatim record (excerpts)

United Nations




Official Records



Thursday, 16 December 1993

at 3 p.m.


President: INSANALLY………………… (Guyana)


The meeting was called to order at 3.35 p.m.







The PRESIDENT:  The Assembly will now consider the report (A/48/676) of the First Committee on agenda item 71, "General and complete disarmament".

I call upon the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic, who wishes to speak in explanation of vote before the voting.

Mr. AL-ATTAR (Syrian Arab Republic) (interpretation from Arabic):  My delegation reaffirms its full support for the universal endeavour to realize an international community free from the use or threat of force and ruled by the principles of justice, freedom and peace, and it reaffirms its readiness to participate in any international good-faith efforts aimed at achieving that goal.

We would, however, draw the Assembly's attention to the fact that draft resolution E, "Transparency in armaments" (A/48/676), does not take into account the special situation that exists in the region of the Middle East, where the Arab-Israeli conflict is still going on as a result both of Israel's continuing occupation of Arab territories and its refusal to implement the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and of Israel's possession of the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction and its ability to manufacture and store the most sophisticated of weapons.  Thus Israel's purported transparency in armaments reveals only the tip of the iceberg.


The PRESIDENT:  The Assembly will now consider the report of the First Committee (A/48/679) on agenda item 74, entitled "Israeli nuclear armament".

I call on the representative of Venezuela for an explanation of vote before the voting.

Mr. TAYLHARDAT (Venezuela) (interpretation from Spanish):  Venezuela will vote in favour of the draft resolution on Israeli nuclear armament.  This reflects the firm and consistent position traditionally held by Venezuela against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and in support of nuclear disarmament.  This position is not new and we have stood by it in the past in all bodies and forums where questions have been raised that, in one way or another, directly or indirectly affect the efforts of the international community in general and of the United Nations in particular to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

In the case of the draft resolution on which we are about to vote, we are aware of the important positive developments that have arisen in the efforts to achieve a solution to the problems in the Middle East that would take account of the interests of all parties.  This positive evolution is duly recognized and recorded in the third preambular paragraph of the draft resolution and in its tone, language and import.  We feel that it is necessary, however, to pursue the efforts of the international community to ensure that all States, without exception, renounce the possession of nuclear weapons and accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

In our opinion, the draft resolution on which we are going to vote reflects the firm purpose of the international community to strengthen by all means possible the international non-proliferation regime as the most effective way of achieving our ultimate goal, the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

The PRESIDENT:  The Assembly will now take a decision on the draft resolution recommended by the First Committee in paragraph 7 of its report (document A/48/679).

The voting process has now begun.  A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Egypt, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern  Ireland, United States of America.

Abstaining:  Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chile, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Zambia.

The draft resolution was adopted by 53 votes to 45, with 65 abstentions (resolution 48/78).

The PRESIDENT:  I shall now call on those representatives who wish to explain their position on the resolution just adopted.

Mr. FEDOTOV (Russian Federation) (interpretation from Russian):  In the view of the Russian Federation the vote just taken on the draft resolution recommended in paragraph 7 of the report of the First Committee (A/48/679), entitled "Israeli nuclear armament", reflects the trend in the General Assembly to move away from, and indeed reject, confrontational decisions on issues related to the Middle East.  Such decisions are unlikely to be conducive to a good climate for the peace process.  We note that its sponsors made changes in the draft resolution compared with similar texts put before the Assembly during previous sessions.  But in our view these are insufficient to alter the resolution's one-sidedness.  Hence, my delegation abstained in the voting on this draft resolution.  This should be seen as reflecting our desire to avoid one-sided approaches to so complex an issue, a desire deriving from Russia's special responsibility as a co-sponsor of the peace process.

The Russian delegation wishes also to state that, as a consistent advocate of strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime, we believe that the accession of all States of the region to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the conversion of the Middle East to a zone free from weapons of mass destruction remain highly relevant.

Mr. CURE (Mauritius):  My delegation wishes to explain its change of vote on the draft resolution entitled "Israeli nuclear armament".  The delegation of Mauritius voted in favour of the draft resolution in the First Committee because it attaches great importance to the issue of non-proliferation and has always strongly supported the various international efforts to restrict the spread of nuclear weapons on the global and regional levels.  The recent decisions by France, China and South Africa to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons are among the latest positive developments in that regard.

My delegation feels that accession by Israel to the non-proliferation Treaty and its agreement to the safeguards regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), along with other countries of the region, would enhance the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.  In our view, the singling out of any country is detrimental to the current peace process and to the favourable prevailing climate for the ongoing negotiations.

For those reasons, my delegation abstained in the voting on this draft resolution in the General Assembly.

Mr. REPISHTI (Albania):  In explaining its vote, my delegation wishes to express some of its opinions about the resolution just adopted.

Albania decided to abstain in the voting on the draft resolution.  My delegation would like to emphasize that the adoption of such resolutions could have a negative impact on the peace-building dialogue between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel, which has just begun.  Moreover, my delegation believes that the international community's concern for the establishment of peace in the Middle East has increased and that its efforts in that regard are becoming more effective every day.

The spirit of the recent historic developments in the Middle East peace process should send a clear message not only to those living in the region but to everyone in the world.

The PRESIDENT:  May I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to conclude its consideration of agenda item 74?

It was so decided.


The PRESIDENT:  The Assembly will now consider the report (A/48/682) of the First Committee on agenda item 77, entitled "Strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region".

The Assembly will take a decision on the draft resolution recommended by the First Committee in paragraph 8 of its report.  The First Committee adopted the draft resolution without a vote.  May I consider that the Assembly wishes to do the same?

The draft resolution was adopted (resolution 48/80).

The PRESIDENT:  May I take it that it is the wish of the Assembly to conclude its consideration of agenda item 77?

It was so decided.


The meeting rose at 5.35 p.m.


This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned

within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Section,

Room C-178, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.

When the result of a recorded and/or roll-call vote is followed by an asterisk,

see the annex to the record.

Document symbol: A/48/PV.81
Document Type: Meeting record
Document Sources: General Assembly
Subject: Agenda Item, Arms control and regional security issues
Publication Date: 16/12/1993
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