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

Official Records

General Assembly

Fifty-ninth session

47th plenary meeting

Monday, 1 November 2004, 9.30 a.m.

New York


Mr. Ping  …………………………



    The meeting was called to order at 9.45 a.m.



 Agenda item 14 



  Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency



    Note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (A/59/295)



    Draft resolution (A/59/L.18)



  The President (spoke in French): I invite Mr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to introduce the report of the Agency for the year 2003.

  Mr. ElBaradei (International Atomic Energy Agency: …

  Pursuant to the mandate given to me by the IAEA General Conference, I have continued my consultations with the States of the Middle East region on the application of full-scope safeguards to all nuclear activities in the Middle East and on the development of model agreements. Once again, I regret to report that I have not been in a position to make progress on those fronts.

  The General Conference has also asked me to organize a forum on the relevance of the experience of other regions with existing nuclear-weapon-free zones — including confidence-building and verification measures — for establishing such a zone in the region of the Middle East. Based on my consultations with States of the region, including during my recent visit to Israel, I intend to organize such a forum early next year, and further consultations are in progress towards that end. I earnestly hope for this forum to be the beginning of a much-needed dialogue among States of the region on a security structure that would undergird efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement in the region.

 Mr. Aboul Atta (Egypt) (spoke in Arabic): …

  Egypt has put forward many initiatives at the international and regional levels to counter the threat of nuclear proliferation. Twenty-five years ago, we called for the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. The President of Egypt has also called for a Middle East zone free of all weapons of mass destruction. Egypt, through the IAEA, continues to call for implementation of comprehensive Agency safeguards for all nuclear installations in the Middle East, without exception.

  Despite all those initiatives to promote security and stability in the region, Israel, one of the States of the region, has shown no desire to act in a serious constructive manner to counter the threat of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. It continually rejects all initiatives to submit its nuclear facilities to the Agency’s international safeguards. That situation negatively impacts on all efforts to tackle nuclear non-proliferation in general, in particular efforts in the Middle East, and requires the international community to redouble its efforts to eradicate the threat of nuclear proliferation to international peace and security and to seek to apply the Agency’s comprehensive safeguards throughout the Middle East. We believe that the forum that the Director General is to hold early next year is an encouraging first step in tackling some of the issues related to establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. We therefore express our support for this initiative and declare our intention to participate therein.

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

    The provisions of the NPT and of the IAEA Statute with regard to the right to nuclear technology, as well as the imperative of technology cooperation and sharing among those who have accepted the obligations of non-proliferation, attest to the wisdom and understanding of the drafters of those two important documents. However, we should not allow the idea to become entrenched that membership in the NPT and in the IAEA safeguards regime in fact constitutes an impediment to peaceful use, while non-membership is rewarded by acquiescence, as in the case of the development of one of the world’s largest nuclear-weapon stockpiles, located in the Middle East. If anything, the failure of the only party outside the NPT in the Middle East to accept the obligations of the Treaty and of the safeguards regime should have resulted in punishment under the most severe restrictions, rather than the reward of impunity.

    The meeting rose 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.


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