First Committee Sends 19 Resolutions, Decisions to General Assembly, Issuing Strong Calls for Clearing Path towards Nuclear-Weapon-Free World

The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) today sent 19 draft resolutions and decisions on a range of nuclear issues to the General Assembly, including 1 on establishing a Middle East zone free of atomic bombs ahead of a conference on the topic in New York in November.

Holding 45 separate recorded votes on provisions of many of the drafts, the Committee also approved one that would have the General Assembly encourage all States, in particular nuclear weapon States, to enhance transparency and mutual confidence, reduce the danger of a nuclear incident and deepen substantive discussions at the Conference on Disarmament after years of deadlock.

By a recorded vote of 148 in favour to 4 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Syria), with 26 abstentions, it approved the draft resolution Joint courses of action and future oriented dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.47/Rev.1) after separate votes on 12 of its preambular and operative paragraphs.

By the terms of that text, the Assembly would encourage all States, in particular nuclear weapon States, to take concrete measures to enhance transparency and mutual confidence, to take actions to reduce the risks of unwanted nuclear detonation and to make every effort, including declaring and maintaining moratoria on the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, as well as deepening substantive discussions in the Conference on Disarmament, to start negotiations of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. As well, the Assembly would encourage all States to immediately to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, among other actions.

Japan’s representative, introducing the text, acknowledged that there are differences in reaching common ground on nuclear disarmament, but we must persevere and find a way forward. L.47/Rev.1 aims at identifying areas of common ground and increasing momentum for the 2020 Review Conference of the Treaty for the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, he added.

By a recorded vote of 172 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions (Cameroon, United Kingdom), the Committee approved the draft resolution Establishment of a nuclear weapon free zone in the region of the Middle East (document A/C.1/74/L.1).

By its terms, the General Assembly would urge all directly concerned parties to seriously consider taking practical and urgent steps to such a zone and, as a means of promoting that objective, invite States concerned to adhere to the Non Proliferation Treaty.

By a vote of 151 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 22 abstentions, it approved the draft resolution The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East (document A/C.1/74/L.2) after separate votes on two of its preambular paragraphs.

By that text, the Assembly would call for immediate steps towards the full implementation of the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Non Proliferation Treaty. It would also reaffirm the importance of Israel’s accession to that Treaty and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

By a recorded vote of 117 in favour to 40 against, with 22 abstentions, the Committee also approved the draft resolution Nuclear disarmament (document A/C.1/74/L.19) after separate votes on three of its preambular and operative paragraphs.

By its terms, the Assembly would, in addition to urging nuclear weapon States to take measures to achieve the total elimination of all nuclear weapons and encourage efforts to establish nuclear weapon free zones in the Middle East and other parts of the world, based on agreements freely arrived at among States.

The Committee sent those texts to the Assembly in advance of a Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction, to be held in New York on 18 to 22 November following the Assembly’s decision, during its seventy third session, to request the Secretary General to convene it.

By a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 41 against, with 15 abstentions, the Committee approved the draft resolution Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.12) after separate votes on two of its operative paragraphs.

That text would have the Assembly welcome those States which have signed, ratified or acceded to that instrument, the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons with the goal of leading towards their total elimination, and call upon all others to do so as early as possible.

By a recorded vote of 177 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 4 abstentions (India, Mauritius, Syria, United States), the Committee approved the draft resolution Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (document A/C.1/74/L.24) after separate votes on two of its preambular paragraphs.

By that text, the Assembly would, among other things, condemn in the strongest terms nuclear tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea since 2006 in violation of Security Council resolutions and encourage all parties to continue dialogue.

By a vote of 132 in favour to 32 against, with 17 abstentions, the Committee approved the draft resolution Towards a nuclear weapon free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments (document A/C.1/74/L.20), after separate votes on five of its preambular and operative paragraphs.

Under its terms, the Assembly would call upon the nuclear weapon States to fulfil their commitment to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons. It would also encourage all States that are part of regional alliances that include nuclear weapon States to diminish the role of nuclear weapons in their collective security doctrines.

By a vote of 177 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 3 abstentions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Israel), the Committee also approved a draft decision Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (document A/C.1/74/L.11). By its terms, the Assembly would decide to include that topic on the provisional agenda of its seventy fifth session, under the agenda item titled General and complete disarmament.

The Committee also approved the following draft resolutions: Follow up to nuclear disarmament obligations agreed to at the 1995, 2000 and 2010 Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.4); Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non nuclear weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.6); Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.13); Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco) (document A/C.1/74/L.14); and Reducing nuclear danger (document A/C.1/74/L.17).

Also sent to the Assembly were the draft resolutions Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.18); Ethical imperatives for a nuclear weapon free world (document A/C.1/74/L.21); Nuclear weapon free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas (document A/C.1/74/L.22); African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (document A/C.1/74/L.36); and Prohibition of the dumping of radioactive wastes (document A/C.1/74/L.37).

It approved the draft decision Treaty on the South East Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (Bangkok Treaty) (document A/C.1/74/L.41).

The First Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Monday, 4 November, to hear additional statements by delegations in explanation of position under the nuclear weapons cluster and to take action on remaining resolutions and decisions.

Background

The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met this afternoon to take action on all draft resolutions and decisions before it. For background information, see Press Release GA/DIS/3624 of 10 October.

Statements

The representative of Austria introduced the draft resolution Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.12), which would have the Assembly welcome those States which have signed, ratified or acceded to that Treaty and call upon all others to do so as early as possible. Complementing the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the historical instrument is also a key component of the disarmament regime. Introducing the draft resolution Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.13), she said the Assembly would, by its terms, stress that in the interest of the very survival of humanity, atomic bombs shall never be used again, under any circumstances. Also by its terms, the Assembly would call upon States to prevent their use and proliferation and to achieve nuclear disarmament, and urge them to exert all efforts to eliminate the threat of these weapons of mass destruction. Expressing commitment to the Non Proliferation Treaty, she called on all States to vote in favour of L.12 and L.13.

The representative of the European Union, reaffirming its support for the establishment of a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East, considered the 1995 resolution stemming from the Non Proliferation Treaty’s 1995 Review Conference valid until its goals and objectives are achieved. Dialogue and confidence building measures among stakeholders is the only sustainable way to agree on a meaningful conference on this issue, with the participation of all States of the region. The European Union stands ready to facilitate dialogue and assist in the process leading to the establishment of such a zone. Meanwhile, she called on all regional States that have not yet done so to conclude comprehensive safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and accede to and abide by the Non Proliferation Treaty, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, and to subscribe to The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation.

The representative of Cuba said her delegation is co sponsoring a number of draft texts, including the draft resolution Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.12).

The representative of Egypt said delegations voting today have a clear choice to make with every vote they cast, including with regard to the draft resolutions on Establishment of a nuclear weapon free zone in the region of the Middle East (document A/C.1/74/L.1) and The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East (document A/C.1/74/L.2). It is regrettable to see consensus blocked on L.1, which has enjoyed unanimous support for decades. The draft resolution Towards a nuclear weapon free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments (document A/C.1/74/L.20), tabled by the New Agenda Coalition, is a genuine call for real progress on nuclear disarmament.

The representative of New Zealand, also speaking on behalf of Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa, introduced the draft resolution Nuclear weapon free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas (document A/C.1/74/L.22), which among other things underlines the important role of such zones in the context of non proliferation. The draft text Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (document A/C.1/74/L.24), which her country, Australia and Mexico have tabled for well over a decade, expresses deep regret that that instrument has not yet entered into force. It also calls on those States that have yet to sign and ratify the Treaty, particularly those whose ratification is required for it to enter into force, to adhere to it as soon as possible.

The representative of Japan introduced the draft resolution Joint courses of action and future oriented dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.47/Rev.1), which among other things reaffirms the commitment of States to the total elimination of nuclear weapons and to identify concrete measures to put that goal into practice. Japan recognizes there are differences in reaching common ground on nuclear disarmament, but we must persevere and find a way forward. L.47/Rev.1 aims at identifying areas of common ground and increasing momentum for the Non Proliferation Treaty’s 2020 Review Conference.

The representative of France, also speaking on behalf of the United Kingdom and the United States, said the three delegations will vote against the draft resolutions Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.13) and Ethical imperatives for a nuclear weapon free world (document A/C.1/74/L.21). While the three countries are committed to working towards a world free of nuclear weapons, only by working together can all States reach that goal. He cannot vote on the draft resolution Follow up to the 2013 high level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament (document A/C.1/74/L.31) because convening such a conference will not consider the threat to international peace and security posed by nuclear proliferation alongside the non respect by some States of their obligations and the case of nuclear terrorism. L.31 also notes the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, he said, adding that progress on disarmament can only be possible through a multilateral, progressive and inclusive process that considers the current international security environment. Turning to the draft decision Treaty on the South East Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (Bangkok Treaty) (document A/C.1/74/L.41), he said it is contradictory to propose the creation of such an area that includes the high seas while also claiming it is in line with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Moreover, L.41 commends the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, he said.

The representative of the United States said his delegation will vote against L.1 because, while Washington, D.C., supports the objective of such an area in the region, it cannot turn a blind eye to the advancement of separate initiatives with different approaches. Expressing hope for consensus in the future, he called for direct dialogue among regional States. The United States will also vote against L.2, because some provisions are detrimental to achieving the goal of a Middle East free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. In addition, it is politically motivated, singles out one State, drives nations further apart and undermines confidence while diverting attention from the real threats, Iran, with its ballistic missile programme, and Syria, with its use of chemical weapons.

The representative of Israel said the Arab Group broke a consensus by convening a conference on establishing a Middle East nuclear weapon free zone. Israel will vote against L.2 because the language diverts attention from the region’s real threats and undermines attempts to face these challenges. He called for a constructive dialogue in the region that recognizes the real challenges, including instability, displacement, terrorism and violations carried out by States such as Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria, which have in the past violated their obligations, treaties and agreements. Israel will also vote against L.12, because his delegation did not participate in negotiating the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and has deep reservations and concerns. While Israel is in favour of the Test Ban Treaty, it is unable to support language in certain paragraphs of the related draft resolution L.24.

The representative of Algeria said his delegation would abstain on L.47/Rev.1 because the current language is unbalanced when compared to previous versions of the draft resolution.

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said L.24 severely distorts the essence of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and fuels confrontation. His delegation also rejects L.47/Rev.1, as Japan is in no position to poke its nose into the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, having committed war crimes against the Korean people, he said, also rejecting Security Council resolutions concerning his country cited in the draft.

The representative of Iran said his delegation will vote in favour of L.1, although it contains paragraphs referring to Middle East peace negotiations that do not in fact exist. Iran will also support L.2, which reflects the concern of a majority of States that Israel is the source of regional nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. Regarding the draft decision Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (document A/C.1/74/L.11), he said his delegation will abstain, as any such instrument should be comprehensive and non discriminatory and provide for the total and verifiable elimination of such stocks worldwide by a fixed date.

The representative of Pakistan, referring to L.2, said his country is not a party to the Non Proliferation Treaty and its delegation will vote against preambular paragraphs 5 and 6. Pakistan will also abstain from voting on the draft resolution Follow up to nuclear disarmament obligations agreed to at the 1995, 2000 and 2010 Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.4), both as a whole and on preambular paragraph 6. Pakistan will abstain from voting this year on the draft resolution Reducing nuclear danger (document A/C.1/74/L.17), as the text’s sponsor continues to expand and modernize its nuclear and conventional arsenals while also nuclearizing the Indian Ocean. Turning to L.11, he said that a treaty on fissile material would freeze the status quo to the advantage of a select few. In South Asia, this would exacerbate the strategic imbalance, he added. On L.12, he said that like other nuclear armed States, Pakistan did not participate in negotiations on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and it is not bound by its obligations. As such, his delegation would vote against it.

Action on Draft Texts

The Committee took up the draft resolution Establishment of a nuclear weapon free zone in the region of the Middle East (document A/C.1/74/L.1). By its terms, the Assembly would urge all parties directly concerned to seriously consider taking practical and urgent steps to establish a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East, and, as a means of promoting that objective, invite the countries concerned to adhere to the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. It would call upon all countries of the region that have not yet done so, pending the establishment of the zone, to agree to place all their nuclear activities under IAEA safeguards. It would also invite countries of the region, pending the establishment of the zone, not to develop, produce, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or to permit their stationing on their territories or territories under their control. Additionally, it would invite nuclear weapon States and all other nations to assist in establishing the zone while also refraining from taking any action that runs counter to the letter and spirit of the draft resolution.

By a recorded vote of 172 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions (Cameroon, United Kingdom), the Committee approved the draft.

Next, the Committee took up the draft resolution The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East (document A/C.1/74/L.2), by which the Assembly would call for immediate steps towards full implementation of the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. It would reaffirm the importance of Israel’s accession to that Treaty and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards, in realizing the goal of universal adherence to the Treaty in the region. It would further call on Israel to accede to the Treaty without further delay.

Prior to approving that draft text, as a whole, the Committee held a separate recorded vote to retain preambular paragraphs 5 and 6.

By a recorded vote of 159 in favour to 3 against (India, Israel, Pakistan), with 5 abstentions (Bhutan, France, Nigeria, Panama, United States), the Committee approved the retention of preambular paragraph 5, by which the Assembly would recall that the 1995 Review Conference called upon all States � particularly those operating unsafeguarded nuclear facilities � to accede to that instrument.

By a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 3 against (India, Israel, Pakistan), with 4 abstentions (Bhutan, France, Panama, United States), the Committee approved the retention of preambular paragraph 6, by which the Assembly would recognize with satisfaction that the 2000 Review Conference called upon those remaining States not parties to the Treaty to accede to it, thereby accepting an international legally binding commitment not to acquire nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices and to accept IAEA safeguards on all their nuclear activities.

Taking up L.2 as a whole, the Committee approved it by a recorded vote of 151 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 22 abstentions.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution Follow up to nuclear disarmament obligations agreed to at the 1995, 2000 and 2010 Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.4). Under its terms, the Assembly would call for nuclear weapon States to take practical steps to unilaterally reduce their arsenals, increase transparency and diminish the role of nuclear weapons in their security policies. It would also urge States parties to the Treaty to follow up on implementation of nuclear disarmament obligations agreed at the three review conferences.

By a recorded vote of 109 in favour to 5 against (Canada, India, Israel, Federated States of Micronesia, United States), with 50 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of preambular paragraph 6, which would have the Assembly reaffirm the resolution on the Middle East adopted on 11 May 1995 by the 1995 Review Conference on the importance of the early realization of universal adherence to the Treaty and placement of nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.

Taking up the draft as a whole, the Committee approved it by a recorded vote of 110 in favour to 43 against, with 20 abstentions.

The Committee then took up the draft text on Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non nuclear weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.6). By its terms, the Assembly would reaffirm the urgent need to reach an early agreement on effective international arrangements to assure non nuclear weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. Noting with satisfaction that there is no objection in principle in the Conference on Disarmament to the idea of an international convention on the topic, it would appeal to all States, especially nuclear weapon States, to work actively towards early agreement on a common approach leading to a legally binding international instrument.

The Committee approved the draft by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to none against, with 63 abstentions.

The Committee turned to the draft decision Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices (document A/C.1/74/L.11). By its terms, the Assembly would decide to include that topic on the provisional agenda of its seventy fifth session, under the agenda item titled General and complete disarmament.

The Committee approved the decision by a recorded vote of 177 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 4 abstentions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Israel, Syria).

Next, the Committee considered the draft resolution Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.12), which would have the Assembly welcome those States which have signed, ratified or acceded to that instrument and call upon all others to do so as early as possible.

By a vote of 108 in favour to 40 against, with 13 abstentions, it approved the retention of operative paragraph 5, which would have the Assembly call upon those States in a position to do so to promote adherence to the Treaty through bilateral, subregional, regional and multilateral contacts, outreach and other means.

By a vote of 109 in favour to 26 against, with 23 abstentions, it approved the retention of operative paragraph 6, which would have the Assembly request the Secretary General, as depositary of the Treaty, to report to the General Assembly at its seventy fifth session on the status of signature and ratification, acceptance, approval or accession of the Treaty.

The Committee the approved L.12 by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 41 against, with 15 abstentions.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.13). By its terms, the Assembly would stress that in the interest of the very survival of humanity, nuclear weapons shall never be used again, under any circumstances, and call upon States to prevent their use and proliferation and to achieve nuclear disarmament. The Assembly would also urge States to exert all efforts to eliminate the threat of these weapons of mass destruction.

By a recorded vote of 136 in favour to 14 against, with 27 abstentions, the Committee then approved it.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco) (document A/C.1/74/L.14). By its terms, the Assembly would encourage States parties to Additional Protocols I and II to the Treaty of Tlatelolco to review their interpretative declarations thereto, reaffirming and recognizing the legitimate interests of the States that comprise the nuclear weapon free zone in Latin America and the Caribbean in receiving full and unequivocal security assurances from the nuclear weapon States.

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft resolution.

The Committee turned to the draft resolution Reducing nuclear danger (document A/C.1/74/L.17). By its terms, the Assembly would call for a review of nuclear doctrines and immediate and urgent steps to reduce the risks of unintentional and accidental use of nuclear weapons, including through de alerting and detargeting nuclear weapons, requesting the five nuclear weapon States to do so. The General Assembly would also call upon Member States to take the measures necessary to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and promote nuclear disarmament, with the goal of eliminating these arms.

The Committee then approved it by a recorded vote of 117 in favour to 49 against, with 14 abstentions.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.18). Under its terms, the Assembly would reiterate its request to the Conference on Disarmament to commence negotiations in order to reach agreement on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances, also requesting the Conference on Disarmament to report back on the results of those negotiations.

The Committee approved the draft by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 50 against, with 15 abstentions.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution Nuclear disarmament (document A/C.1/74/L.19). By its terms, the Assembly would urge all nuclear weapon States to take disarmament measures to achieve the total elimination of all nuclear weapons at the earliest possible time. The Assembly would also welcome and encourage efforts to establish new nuclear weapon free zones in different parts of the world, including the Middle East, based on agreements freely arrived at among States. By its terms, the Assembly would also urge nuclear weapon States to stop immediately the improvement, development, production and stockpiling of warheads and their delivery systems and would urge them to start plurilateral negotiations among themselves on further deep reductions of their stockpiles, in an irreversible, verifiable and transparent manner, as an effective measure of nuclear disarmament.

By a recorded vote of 108 in favour to 38 against, with 14 abstentions, it approved the retention of preambular paragraph 32, which would have the Assembly welcome the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 7 July 2017.

By a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 4 against (France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 17 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of operative paragraph 12, by which the Assembly would underline the importance of the unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their arsenals.

By a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 10 abstentions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, France, Israel, Mali, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States, Zimbabwe), the Committee then approved the retention of operative paragraph 16, by which the Assembly would call for the immediate start of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.

Taking up the draft as a whole, the Committee approved L.19 by a recorded vote of 117 in favour to 40 against, with 22 abstentions.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution Towards a nuclear weapon free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments (document A/C.1/74/L.20). By its terms, the Assembly would call upon the nuclear weapon States to fulfil their commitment to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons, urge them to decrease the operational readiness of nuclear weapon systems, and encourage them to make concrete reductions in the role of nuclear weapons in their security policies, pending their total elimination. It would also encourage all States that are part of regional alliances that include nuclear weapon States to diminish the role of nuclear weapons in their collective security doctrines and would call upon States parties to the Non Proliferation Treaty to fully implement resolutions aimed at the creation of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, among other measures.

By a recorded vote of 133 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 29 abstentions, it approved the retention of preambular paragraph 4, which would have the Assembly welcome the launch of the Secretary General’s disarmament agenda, Securing Our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament, and its implementation plan.

By a recorded vote of 110 in favour to 37 against, with 12 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of preambular paragraph 12, by which the Assembly would welcome the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

By a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 3 against (India, Pakistan, United States), with 7 abstentions (Albania, France, Israel, Monaco, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom), the Committee then approved the retention of preambular paragraph 28, by which the Assembly would emphasize the vital importance of ensuring that the 2020 Review Conference of the Non Proliferation Treaty contribute to strengthening the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

By a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 4 against (India, Israel, Pakistan, United States), with 7 abstentions (Bhutan, Cote d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Hungary, Monaco, United Kingdom), the Committee then approved the retention of operative paragraph 15, by which the Assembly would call upon all States parties to spare no effort to achieve the universality of the Non Proliferation Treaty, and in that regard urge India, Israel and Pakistan to accede to the instrument as non nuclear weapon States promptly and without conditions and to place all their nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.

By a recorded vote of 111 in favour to 36 against, with 12 abstentions, the Committee then approved the retention of operative paragraph 24, by which the Assembly would call upon Member States to continue to support efforts to identify, elaborate, negotiate and implement further effective legally binding measures for nuclear disarmament, and welcomes in this regard the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Taking up the draft as a whole, the Committee approved L.20 by a recorded vote of 132 in favour to 32 against, with 17 abstentions.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution Ethical imperatives for a nuclear weapon free world (document A/C.1/74/L.21). Under its terms, the Assembly would call upon all States to acknowledge the catastrophic humanitarian consequences and risks posed by a nuclear weapon, whether by accident, miscalculation or design and would stress that all States share an ethical responsibility to take the effective measures necessary to eliminate and prohibit all nuclear weapons, given these consequences and associated risks.

By a vote of 111 in favour to 32 against, with 16 abstentions, it approved the retention of preambular paragraph 11, through which the Assembly would recall the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, in which the ethical imperatives for nuclear disarmament are acknowledged.

The Committee then approved the draft in its entirety by a recorded vote of 129 in favour to 37 against, with 12 abstentions.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution Nuclear weapon free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas (document A/C.1/74/L.22). Under its terms, the Assembly would call upon all States to facilitate adherence to the protocols to nuclear weapon free zone treaties by all relevant States that have not yet done so. The General Assembly would welcome the ratification by China, France, Russian Federation and the United Kingdom of the Protocol to the Treaty on a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in Central Asia and would call upon the nuclear weapon States to not bear any reservations to the establishment of nuclear weapon free zones.

By a recorded vote of 108 in favour to 36 against, with 14 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of preambular paragraph 6, which would have the Assembly welcome the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and its reaffirmation of the conviction that the establishment of nuclear weapon free zones enhances peace and security, strengthens the non proliferation regime and contributes towards realizing nuclear disarmament.

By a recorded vote of 135 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 30 abstentions, the Committee then approved the retention of operative paragraph 6, by which the Assembly would welcome the steps taken to conclude further nuclear weapon free zone treaties on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the States of the region concerned, and call upon all States to consider all relevant proposals, including those reflected in its resolutions, including steps taken towards the establishment of a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East.

Taking up the draft as a whole, the Committee approved L.22 by a recorded vote of 142 in favour to 5 against (France, Israel, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States), with 30 abstentions.

Next, the Committee took up the draft resolution Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (document A/C.1/74/L.24), by which the Assembly would stress the vital importance of bringing that instrument into force as soon as possible and urge all States to refrain in the interim from carrying out testing. In addition, by the text, the Assembly would condemn in the strongest terms the six nuclear tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea since 2006 in violation of Security Council resolutions, urge that country to abandon its nuclear weapons programme, reaffirm its support for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and encourage all parties to continue dialogue, including the recent inter Korean summits and summits between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

By a vote of 160 in favour to none against, with 10 abstentions (Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Nicaragua, Syria, United States), it approved the retention of preambular paragraph 4, through which the Assembly would stress the vital importance and urgency of achieving the entry into force of the Test Ban Treaty and affirm its determination, 23 years after the Treaty was opened for signature, to achieve its entry into force.

By a recorded vote of 168 in favour to none against, with 5 abstentions (India, Israel, Pakistan, Syria, United States), the Committee then approved the retention of preambular paragraph 7, by which the Assembly would recall the outcome of the 2010 Review Conference of the Non Proliferation Treaty, which among other things reaffirmed the vital importance of the entry into force of the Test Ban Treaty.

Taking up the draft as a whole, the Committee approved L.24 by a recorded vote of 177 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 4 abstentions (India, Mauritius, Syria, United States).

The Committee then took up the draft resolution African Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty (document A/C.1/74/L.36). Under its terms, the Assembly would call upon African States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba) as soon as possible. As well, it would call upon the States contemplated in Protocol III to the Treaty that have not yet done so to take all measures necessary to ensure the speedy application of the Treaty to territories for which they are internationally responsible and which lie within the limits of the geographical zone established in the Treaty.

The Committee approved the draft without a vote.

The Committee turned to the draft resolution Prohibition of the dumping of radioactive wastes (document A/C.1/74/L.37). By its terms, the Assembly would call upon all States to take appropriate measures to prevent any dumping of nuclear or radioactive waste that would infringe upon the sovereignty of States.

The Committee approved the draft without a vote.

The Committee then approved the draft decision Treaty on the South East Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (Bangkok Treaty) (document A/C.1/74/L.41) that would have the Assembly include, in the provisional agenda of its seventy sixth session, under the item entitled General and complete disarmament, a sub item titled Treaty on the South East Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (Bangkok Treaty).

The Committee approved the draft without a vote.

The Committee then turned its attention to the draft resolution Joint courses of action and future oriented dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons (document A/C.1/74/L.47/Rev.1). By the terms of that text, the Assembly would encourage all States, in particular nuclear weapon States, to take concrete measures to enhance transparency and mutual confidence, to take actions to reduce the risks of unwanted nuclear detonation and to make every effort, including declaring and maintaining moratoria on the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, as well as deepening substantive discussions in the Conference on Disarmament, to start negotiations of a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. As well, the Assembly would encourage all States to immediately to sign and ratify the Test Ban Treaty, among other actions.

Prior to taking action on the draft resolution, the Committee held separate recorded votes on several preambular and operative paragraphs.

By a recorded vote of 149 in favour to 2 against (India, Pakistan), with 16 abstentions, the Committee then approved the retention of preambular paragraph 2, by which the Assembly would reaffirm that the Non Proliferation Treaty is the essential foundation to realize the common goal of a world free of nuclear weapons, stress that nuclear disarmament, nuclear non proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy are mutually reinforcing and are essential for maintaining and strengthening the instrument’s regime and reaffirm its determination to further enhance its universality.

By a recorded vote of 158 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 7 abstentions (Austria, India, Ireland, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste), the Committee then approved the retention of preambular paragraph 4, which would have the Assembly emphasize the importance of a successful outcome of the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Non Proliferation Treaty and the need for all States to comply with their nuclear disarmament and non proliferation obligations under that Treaty.

By a recorded vote of 155 in favour to 2 against (Pakistan, Russian Federation), with 8 abstentions (Costa Rica, Ecuador, Iran, Israel, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste, United States), the Committee then approved the retention of preambular paragraph 8, by which the Assembly would stress the importance of the immediate start and early conclusion of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons.

By a recorded vote of 150 in favour to 3 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation), with 9 abstentions (Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Iran, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste, United States, Venezuela), the Committee then approved the retention of preambular paragraph 16, which would have the Assembly welcome recent diplomatic efforts to achieve the dismantlement of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, including through the meetings between the President of the United States and the Chairman of the Workers’ Party of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

By a recorded vote of 147 in favour to none against, with 18 abstentions, the Committee then approved the retention of preambular paragraph 18, which would have the Assembly recognize the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from the use of nuclear weapons.

By a recorded vote of 155 in favour to 2 against (China, Russian Federation), with 5 abstentions (Israel, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste, United States), the Committee then approved the retention of preambular paragraph 19, by which the Assembly would welcome the visits of leaders, youth and others to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

By a vote of 133 in favour to 7 against (Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa), with 20 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of operative paragraph 1, through which the Assembly would reaffirm that all States parties to the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons are committed to the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons, including through the easing of international tension, as well as the strengthening of trust between States and of the international regime for nuclear non proliferation, and to full and steady implementation of the Treaty in all its aspects, including article VI of the Treaty, towards the realization of a world without nuclear weapons.

By a recorded vote of 145 in favour to 3 against (China, Pakistan, Russian Federation), with 15 abstentions, the Committee then approved the retention of operative paragraph 3(c), by which the Assembly would encourage all States to immediately make every effort to start negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons.

By a vote of 132 in favour to 5 against (Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico, United States), with 21 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of operative paragraph 3(d), by which the Assembly would encourage all States, including the remaining States in annex 2 to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, to immediately make every effort, including maintaining all existing moratoriums on nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and declaring their political will to do so, as well as through continued support for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, to sign and ratify the instrument.

By a recorded vote of 139 in favour to 2 against (China, Russian Federation), with 20 abstentions, the Committee then approved the retention of operative paragraph 3(e), by which the Assembly would encourage all States to continue to make practical contributions to nuclear disarmament verification at the United Nations and the Conference on Disarmament and in the framework of the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification.

By a recorded vote of 151 in favour to 2 against (China, Russian Federation), with 8 abstentions (Algeria, Bolivia, Israel, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste, United States, Zimbabwe), the Committee then approved the retention of operative paragraph 3(f), by which the Assembly would encourage States to facilitate nuclear disarmament and non proliferation education, including interactions with the hibakusha (those who have suffered the use of nuclear weapons).

By a recorded vote of 149 in favour to 3 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation), with 10 abstentions (Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, India, Iran, Mexico, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste), the Committee then approved the retention of operative paragraph 5, by which the Assembly would reaffirm the commitment to strengthening the international non proliferation regime and to achieving the complete dismantlement of all nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and related programmes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions. It would also call on that country to return to full compliance with the Non Proliferation Treaty.

Taking up the draft as a whole, the Committee approved L.47/Rev.1 by a vote of 148 in favour to 4 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Syria), with 26 abstentions.

The representative of China said his delegation voted against L.47/Rev.1 for several reasons. Noting that the Test Ban Treaty has always maintained a balanced plan within the Conference on Disarmament, he said a moratorium is not practical and cannot be verified. He rejected the idea of visiting areas of nuclear bombings, even though he expressed sympathy for the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, adding that learning from history and how to prevent tragedy is more important that an invitation to visit. China adheres to the aspiration of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula achieved through dialogue and negotiations. Turning to L.13, he recognizes the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, stands for their complete prohibition and destruction and rejects their use or the threat of their use.

The representative of Mexico said her delegation she voted against L.47/Rev.1 because the language used in some of the paragraphs reinterprets previous agreements adopted within the Non Proliferation Treaty, especially provisions stemming from article VI, by which State parties undertake to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control. There are also preconditions to meet disarmament obligations and some of the draft resolution’s language fails to recognize differences between nuclear armed and non nuclear weapon States.

The representative of Sweden said his delegation abstained on resolution L.12. Even though his delegation participated in treaty negotiations, it analyzed the consequences of accession to the instrument and has refrained from signing it in its current form. Instead, Sweden intends to become an observer State to follow developments.

The representative of Liechtenstein said it did not support resolution L.47/Rev.1 and abstained despite the major changes in the provisions compared to the 2018 version. Operational paragraph 1 is unacceptable as it introduces a qualification to the clear obligations for nuclear weapon States under article VI of the Non Proliferation Treaty and undermines the undertaking by nuclear weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals as agreed.

The representative of Brazil said his delegation supports the Test Ban Treaty, but abstained from voting on resolution L.24. Turning to L.47/Rev.1, he commended Japan for drawing attention to the issue of achieving a world free of nuclear weapons, yet he remained concerned about the language of some provisions, adding that a moratorium on nuclear testing is not a substitute to the entry into force of the Test Ban Treaty.

The representative of Spain, highlighting the importance of the Treaty of Pelindaba, said that after fully studying it, his delegation decided not to sign it because several provisions are already featured in other instruments that Spain has already joined.

The representative of Ireland said that his delegation was unable to vote in favour of L.47/Rev.1 because some of its elements reinterpreted non proliferation undertakings. Conditionality cannot apply to non proliferation obligations, he said, adding that the text also failed to comprehensively address the gender perspective.

Source: United Nations