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GA/DIS/3675
27 October 2021
Seventy-sixth Session, 13th & 14th Meetings (AM & PM)

Delegates Approve 25 Draft Resolutions, Decisions on Disarmament, Non-Proliferation Issues, as First Committee Begins Action Phase

Reflecting continuing differences over how to rid the world of nuclear weapons and contain threats posed by other weapons of mass destruction, delegates voted on dozens of provisions today while approving 25 draft resolutions and decisions, including several new texts, as the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) began its action phase.

From creating a long-awaited nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East to advancing steps towards reducing threats, many delegates explained their national doctrines and approaches during the day-long voting segment.

Brazil’s representative echoed a position heard throughout the day, expressing concern about the pattern of requesting votes for the sole purpose of welcoming the entry into force in January 2021 of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  That is not a constructive approach, he said, adding that it cannot refute the growing global synergy towards a nuclear-weapon-free world or the fact that the Treaty is an irreversible reality.

Indonesia’s representative pointed out that 22 of the 61 drafts before the Committee relate to nuclear weapons, reflecting the priority of realizing a world free of them.  Indeed, charting the path forward triggered differing views among States with and without such arsenals, he said.  Those divisions were apparent in the voting on the draft resolution “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons”, which was approved by a recorded vote of 123 votes in favour to 42 against, with 16 abstentions, he noted.

France’s representative reiterated the continued opposition to that draft, on behalf of China, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States, affirming that those States will not sign or ratify the Treaty, which fails to address key issues, ignores the international security context and regional challenges and does not meet the highest standards of verification.

Austria’s delegate, who introduced the draft resolution, said the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons requires a higher standard on safeguards than the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.  It also requires States parties with nuclear arsenals to directly negotiate, conclude and maintain adequate agreements on safeguards, she added, affirming that Austria cannot support any draft resolutions seeking to backtrack on or question existing obligations under the latter instrument.

Differing positions also emerged when the Committee held separate recorded votes on 18 preambular and operative paragraphs contained in the draft resolution “Joint courses of action and future-oriented dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons”, which the Committee approved in its entirety by a recorded vote of 152 in favour to 4 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Syria), with 30 abstentions.

These provisions would request that the Assembly, among other things, stress the importance of the immediate start and early conclusion of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a fissile material cut-off treaty, and reaffirm its support for establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

Whereas most of the nuclear-weapon-related drafts were passed by recorded vote, consensus emerged in the Committee’s approval of a new draft resolution — “Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials”.

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft resolution “Prohibition of the dumping of radioactive wastes” and a new draft decision, “Nuclear disarmament verification”, by which the Assembly would request that the Secretary-General hold additional sessions of the Group of Governmental Experts in 2023 after pandemic-related postponements of meetings in 2021.

While the Committee approved the drafts “African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty” (Treaty of Pelindaba) and “Treaty on the South-East Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (Treaty of Bangkok)”, it held recorded votes on a text relating to a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East.  By 171 votes in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 6 abstentions (Cameroon, Congo, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, United States), it approved the draft “Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East”.

Following separate votes on two paragraphs, the Committee approved the draft resolution “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East” by a recorded vote of 148 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 27 abstentions.  In approving the retention of preambular paragraphs 5 and 6, the Committee would request that the Assembly, among other things, call upon all States not yet parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to accede at the earliest date, particularly those countries that operate unsafeguarded nuclear facilities.

The representative of the United States said the text on the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East inappropriately seeks to single out one State in the region while ignoring serious security challenges, including Iran’s related activities.  He urged all the region’s States to refocus their efforts towards direct dialogue and confidence-building measures instead of pursuing divisive resolutions that have long been detached from regional security and political realities.

Recorded votes were also held on the following far-reaching draft resolutions, as well as multiple provisions contained therein:  “Nuclear disarmament”; “Universal Declaration on the Achievement of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World”; and “Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world:  accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments”.

Taking action on items related to other weapons of mass destruction, the Committee approved the draft resolution “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction” by a recorded vote of 148 in favour to 8 against, with 25 abstentions.  It also approved, by separate recorded votes, the retention of several paragraphs contained therein pertaining to instances of chemical weapons use in countries including Syria and the United Kingdom.

Many delegates, including those representing Algeria, the Russian Federation and Syria, explained that the draft, which had once enjoyed consensus in the Committee, has now become a point of contention.

Egypt’s representative said the continued politicization of the draft continues to undermine its value, stressing the timely establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East would have saved the region from the horrors of chemical weapons seen in recent years.

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft resolutions “Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction” and “Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction”.

It also approved the following nuclear-weapon-related draft resolutions by recorded vote:  “Ethical imperatives for a nuclear-weapon-free world”; “Reducing nuclear danger”; “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons”; “Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons”; “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”; “Follow-up to the 2013 high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament”; “Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons”; “Nuclear-weapon-free Southern hemisphere and adjacent areas”; “Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty; and “Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices”.

Speaking in exercise of the right of reply were representatives of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iraq, Japan and Syria.

The First Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Monday, 1 November, to continue taking action on draft resolutions and decisions.

Action on Drafts

Delegates delivered general statements and introduced draft resolutions and decisions relating to nuclear weapons.

The representative of Austria, introducing the draft resolutions “Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/76/L.11) and “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” (document A/C.1/76/L.17), said the Treaty requires a higher standard on safeguards than the Non‑Proliferation Treaty.  It also requires States parties that possess nuclear weapons to directly negotiate, conclude and maintain adequate agreements on safeguards, she added.  She emphasized that, ahead of the Non‑Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, Austria cannot support any resolutions seeking to backtrack on or question existing obligations under the instrument.

The representative of Brazil introduced the draft “Brazilian‑Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials” (document A/C.1/76/L.56), describing the Agency as a landmark for international disarmament and non‑proliferation and an example of building trust among States.  He went on to state that the pattern of requesting votes for the sole purpose of welcoming the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is not constructive.  Emphasizing that the Treaty is an irreversible reality, he said indiscriminate requests for votes cannot refute the growing global synergy towards ridding the world of nuclear weapons.

The representative of Canada introduced the draft “Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices” (document A/C.1/76/L.51), emphasizing that stopping their production is key to ridding the world of nuclear weapons.

The representative of Argentina said “L.56” reflects an example of bilateral cooperation and urged all Member States to support it.

The representative of Venezuela underlined the importance of nuclear‑weapon‑free zones and of the guarantees by nuclear‑weapon States relating to non‑use, or threat to use, nuclear weapons against non‑nuclear‑weapon States.

The representative of Indonesia, noting that 22 of the 61 drafts under consideration relate to nuclear weapons, emphasized the need to mobilize all efforts to ensure progress on disarmament.

The representative of Cuba, echoing concerns about the development of new types of nuclear weapons, said the military posturing of the United States .51since 2018 undermines commitments under previous agreements.  She went on to describe the draft resolution “Nuclear disarmament” (document A/C.1/76/L.39) as one of the best on the issue of nuclear disarmament.  As for “L.58”, she said the text illustrates the determination of the international community to live in a world free of nuclear weapons, recalling the declaration of the International Court of Justice that nuclear weapons pose a threat to humanity.

The representative of Japan introduced the draft “Joint courses of action and future‑oriented dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/76/L.59), saying it indicates a realistic path to a world free of nuclear weapons.  It is essential to maintain and consolidate the Non‑Proliferation Treaty, he said, emphasizing the importance of avoiding, in 2022, a simple repetition of the 2015 Review Conference.  As the only country ever subjected to the effects of atomic bombing, Japan will continue to work towards a world free of nuclear weapons, he pledged.

The representative of Kazakhstan introduced the draft “Universal Declaration on the Achievement of a Nuclear‑Weapon‑Free World” (document A/C.1/76/L.42), saying it retains its high relevance and expressing hope that, given complex geopolitical realities, more States will support it.

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, addressing “L.59”, emphasized that the international community must not overlook Japan, describing that country as a war criminal State, speeding up militarization and secretively stockpiling plutonium.  He said Japan is therefore not entitled to take issue with his country’s right to self‑defence.  He went on to express alarm about the draft “Comprehensive Nuclear‑Test‑Ban Treaty (document A/C.1/76/L.49), saying the sponsoring countries are tabling politically motivated texts every year.  The root cause of instability on the Korean Peninsula is the hostile posture of the United States, he reiterated, pointing out the “double standard” of criticizing his country while remaining silent about large‑scale joint military exercises by the United States and “its servile forces”.

The representative of Malaysia, describing the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice as a significant milestone towards nuclear disarmament and non‑proliferation, emphasized with regard to “L.58” that the Court must be respected in the changing international security environment.  He said minor relevant updates have been added to the 2020 text.

An observer for the European Union spoke for a number of States, emphasizing that a multilateral approach to nuclear disarmament and non‑proliferation remains the best safeguard for international peace and security.  It remains a strategic priority for the European Union to support the establishment of a nuclear‑weapon‑free Middle East, which can only be established by free agreement among all regional States, he said, warning that forcing the issue risks failure.

The representative of Myanmar, introducing the draft “Nuclear disarmament” (document A/C.1/76/L.39), said its main purpose is to ensure the elimination of all nuclear weapons.  It calls on nuclear‑weapon States to establish a timeline to eliminate their arsenals and respect nuclear‑weapon‑free zones, he added.

Delegates then spoke in explanation of their positions on the various texts.

The representative of Iran said his delegation will vote in favour of the draft “Establishment of a nuclear‑weapon‑free zone in the region of the Middle East” (document A/C.1/76/L.1), which used to enjoy consensus for decades.  Iran will also vote in favour of the draft “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East” (document A/C.1/76/L.2), he added, noting that Israel is the only country in the region not to join the Non‑Proliferation Treaty.  Turning to “L.17”, he said the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons must be complemented by a comprehensive agreement to ensure the total elimination of all such weapons.  Iran will abstain on “L.51”, he noted, explaining that it advocates for negotiations in a limited manner.

The representative of France, also speaking on behalf of China, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, reaffirmed their opposition to “L.17”, saying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons fails to address key issues, ignores the international security context and regional challenges, and does not meet the highest standards of verification.  Reiterating that the five States will not sign or ratify the Treaty, he called upon all countries that support it to reflect seriously on those and other problems.  Concerning “L.51”, he said the five States continue to pursue a gradual approach to nuclear disarmament with a view to maintaining undiminished security for all and stand ready to negotiate on a fissile material cut‑off treaty.

The representative of Pakistan said his delegation would vote against preambular paragraph 3 of “L.51” and the entire draft because it has been flawed since its inception.  Banning future production of fissile material while refusing to address thousands of tons of stock is not productive, he asserted.  The text also fails to account for conventional build‑ups that directly impact the State.  Forward movement will be possible when it covers past, present and future stockpiles of fissile materials, he emphasized, describing the current draft as a tactic to deflect scrutiny on non‑compliance.  Turning to the drafts “L.7” and “L.9”, he said it is unfortunate that the sponsoring State actively intensifies nuclear danger in South Asia, expanding and modernizing its nuclear arsenal.  That State has also pursued a dangerous doctrine of limited war, of which it must be disabused, he added, while stressing that conflict between nuclear States must be avoided at all costs.

The representative of Israel said that despite reservations over the language of “L.1”, her delegation supported the draft for the sake of consensus.  It is unfortunate, however, that the Arab Group broke long‑standing practice by introducing a new draft in 2016, altering the status quo, she recalled.  Israel will vote against “L.2”, also submitted by the Arab Group, as it is an effort to divert the Committee from the real challenges in the Middle East and does not help the region’s States or the international community, she asserted.  The draft does not confront the real risks of weapons of mass destruction in the region, and its sponsors do not mention the four countries in violation of their obligations under the Non‑Proliferation Treaty, she said, pointing to Iran’s aspirations for nuclear weapons and its support for terrorist groups.  The text also diverts attention from the atrocities of Syria’s chemical weapons use, she added.

The representative of the United States said his delegation will vote against “L.2” because it inappropriately seeks to single out one State, while ignoring the serious nuclear proliferation and regional security challenges currently facing the region.  Despite its continued support for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, the United States remains concerned about Iran’s activities, he emphasized.  Yet rather than seeking to address such real nuclear proliferation concerns, the sponsors of “L.2” continue to criticize one regional State that is in full compliance with its non‑proliferation obligations, including under its International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards agreement, he noted.  Such an approach only serves to drive regional States further apart and to undermine prospects for meaningful dialogue towards the shared goal of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, he warned.  All regional States should refocus their efforts towards direct dialogue and confidence‑building measures in cooperation with their neighbours, rather than continuing their pursuit of divisive resolutions that have long been detached from regional security and political realities, he stressed.

The representative of the United Kingdom also spoke on behalf of France and the United States on “L.4” and “L.11”, saying the approach that resulted in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was deeply flawed, while emphasizing instead the need to place nuclear deterrence at the centre of any such instrument.

The representative of India said her delegation will vote in favour of “L.11” and “L.56”.  She also expressed support for the draft “African Nuclear‑Weapon‑Free Zone Treaty” (document A/C.1/76/L.19), noting her country’s friendly relations with African States.  On “L.39”, India will abstain due to certain references to the Non‑Proliferation Treaty and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, she said.  On “L.56”, she said India supports the Agency, while cautioning that such an arrangement may not replicate well in other regions and with other countries.

The representative of China said his delegation will vote against several drafts, including “L.17”, “L.34”, “L.44” and “L.58”, because of references to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  Emphasizing his delegation’s support for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, he said China is committed to not being the first to use them, threaten their use, or use them against non‑nuclear‑weapon States.  However, the disarmament process must be gradual and enjoy consensus among all stakeholders, he stressed.  He went on to state that his delegation will vote against “L.59” due to Japan’s distorted analysis of the Second World War, which portrays that country as a victim and not a predator.  However, China supports the drafting of a fissile material cut‑off treaty in the Conference on Disarmament, he said.

The representative of Malaysia said “L.59” encompasses many important issues, emphasizing the importance of preambular paragraph 4.  Unfortunately, operative paragraph 3(d) shies away from encouraging Annex 2 States to sign and ratify the Non‑Proliferation Treaty, he noted.  Malaysia will abstain on a number of paragraphs, he added, while stressing that diverging views should not discourage dialogue.  While affirming the importance of the “Treaty on the South‑East Asia Nuclear‑Weapon‑Free Zone (Bangkok Treaty)” (document A/C.1/76/L.57), he noted that no nuclear‑weapon State has signed its protocol.  While the Committee will soon approve the draft, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States must reach agreement on the biennial text, he said.

The representative of France asked for the floor a second time.

OMAR HILALE (Morocco), Chair of the First Committee, underlined the sensitivity of disarmament matters, the importance of Committee rules of procedure and the principle of mutual respect.

The Committee then took up the following draft resolutions and decisions relating to nuclear weapons:  “Establishment of a nuclear‑weapon‑free zone in the region of the Middle East” (document A/C.1/76/L.1); “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East” (document A/C.1/76/L.2); “Ethical imperatives for a nuclear‑weapon‑free world” (document A/C.1/76/L.4); “Reducing nuclear danger” (document A/C.1/76/L.7); “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons” (document A/C.1/76/L.9); “Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/76/L.11); “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.1/76/L.14).

Also before the Committee were the following drafts: “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” (document A/C.1/76/L.17); African Nuclear‑Weapon‑Free Zone Treaty” (document A/C.1/76/L.19); “Prohibition of the dumping of radioactive wastes” (document A/C.1/76/L.20); “Follow‑up to the 2013 high‑level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament” (document A/C.1/76/L.23); “Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non‑nuclear‑weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/76/L.29); “Nuclear‑weapon‑free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas” (document A/C.1/76/L.34/Rev.1); “Nuclear disarmament” (document A/C.1/76/L.39); “Nuclear disarmament verification” (document A/C.1/76/L.40); and “Universal Declaration on the Achievement of a Nuclear‑Weapon‑Free World” (document A/C.1/76/L.42).

Committee members also had before them the following texts:  “Towards a nuclear‑weapon‑free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (document A/C.1/76/L.44); “Comprehensive Nuclear‑Test‑Ban Treaty (document A/C.1/76/L.49); “Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices” (document A/C.1/76/L.51); “Brazilian‑Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials” (document A/C.1/76/L.56); “Treaty on the South‑East Asia Nuclear‑Weapon‑Free Zone (Bangkok Treaty)” (document A/C.1/76/L.57); and “Joint courses of action and future‑oriented dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/76/L.59).

The Committee first took up the draft resolution “Establishment of a nuclear‑weapon‑free zone in the region of the Middle East” (document A/C.1/76/L.1) without a vote.  By its terms, the General Assembly would urge all parties directly concerned to seriously consider practical and urgent steps to establish such a zone and, as a means of promoting that objective, invite the countries concerned to adhere to the Non‑Proliferation Treaty.  It would, by other terms, 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.  By further terms, the Assembly would invite them to not develop, produce, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or permit their stationing on their respective territories or those under their control.

Further by that text, the Assembly would take note of resolution GC(65)/RES/14, adopted in September 2021 by the IAEA General Conference.  It would note the importance of ongoing bilateral Middle East peace negotiations in promoting mutual confidence and security in the region, including establishing a nuclear‑weapon‑free zone.  It also would invite all countries of the region, pending the zone’s establishment, to declare their support for establishing such a zone, consistent with paragraph 63(d) of the Final Document of the Tenth Special Session of the General Assembly, and to deposit those declarations with the Security Council.

The Committee approved that text by a recorded vote of 171 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 6 abstentions (Cameroon, Congo, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, United States).

It then took up the draft “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East” (document A/C.1/76/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 also, by further terms, call upon Israel to accede to the Treaty without further delay; not to develop, produce, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons; renounce possession of nuclear weapons and to place all its unsafeguarded nuclear facilities under full‑scope IAEA safeguards as an important confidence‑building measure and a step towards enhancing peace and security.

Before taking action on that draft, the Committee decided — by a recorded vote of 160 in favour to 3 against (India, Israel, Pakistan), with 9 abstentions (Bhutan, Georgia, Madagascar, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, United States), to retain preambular paragraph 5.  That provision would have the Assembly recall the decision on principles and objectives for nuclear non‑proliferation and disarmament adopted by the 1995 Review Conference of the Non‑Proliferation Treaty, which urged universal adherence to that instrument as an urgent priority.  It would call upon all non‑signatory States to accede at the earliest date, particularly those countries that operate unsafeguarded nuclear facilities.

By a recorded vote of 159 in favour to 3 against (India, Israel, Pakistan), with 6 abstentions (Bhutan, Madagascar, Panama, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, United States), the Committee decided to retain preambular paragraph 6, which would have the Assembly recognize with satisfaction that, in the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, parties undertook to make determined efforts towards universal adherence to the instrument.  It would call upon the remaining non‑signatory States to accede, 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.

The Committee approved “L.2” by a recorded vote of 148 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 27 abstentions.

It then turned to the draft “Ethical imperatives for a nuclear‑weapon‑free world” (document A/C.1/76/L.4).  By its terms, the Assembly would call upon all States to acknowledge the catastrophic humanitarian consequences and risks posed by a nuclear weapon detonation, whether by accident, miscalculation or design, and stress that all States share an ethical responsibility to take the effective measures necessary to eliminate and prohibit all nuclear weapons, given those consequences and associated risks.

The Committee decided — by a recorded vote of 113 in favour to 36 against, with 20 abstentions — to retain preambular paragraph 11, by which the Assembly would recall the adoption on 7 July 2017 of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and its entry into force on 22 January 2021, in which the ethical imperatives for nuclear disarmament are acknowledged.

By a recorded vote of 129 in favour to 37 against, with 17 abstentions, the Committee approved “L.4” in its entirety.

It then took up the draft “Reducing nuclear danger” (document A/C.1/76/L.7).  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 de‑targeting nuclear weapons or by requesting that the five nuclear‑weapon States do so.  The Assembly would 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 nuclear weapons.

By a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 50 against, with 13 abstentions, the Committee approved “L.7”.

It then took up the draft “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons” (document A/C.1/76/L.9), by which the Assembly would reiterate its request that the Conference on Disarmament commence negotiations in order to reach agreement on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances.

The Committee approved “L.9” by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 50 against, with 16 abstentions.

It went on to consider the draft resolution “Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/76/L.11).  By that text, the Assembly would stress that, in the interest of the very survival of humanity, nuclear weapons shall never be used again, under any circumstances.  It would call upon States to prevent their use and proliferation and urge States to exert all efforts to eliminate the threat of such weapons of mass destruction.

By a recorded vote of 140 in favour to 12 against, with 31 abstentions, the Committee approved “L.11”.

It then took up the draft “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.1/76/L.14).  By 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 the implementation of nuclear disarmament obligations agreed at the three review conferences.

Before action on the draft, the Committee decided — by a recorded vote of 109 in favour to 4 against (Canada, India, Israel, Federated States of Micronesia), with 58 abstentions — to retain preambular paragraph 6, by which the Assembly would reaffirm the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Non‑Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, in which the Conference reaffirmed the importance of the early realization of universal adherence to that instrument and the placement of nuclear facilities under full‑scope IAEA safeguards.

The Committee approved “L.14” by a recorded vote of 108 in favour to 44 against, with 25 abstentions.

The Committee then took up the draft “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons” (document A/C.1/76/L.17), by which the Assembly would welcome its entry into force on 22 January 2021, and confirm that the first Meeting of States Parties will be held from 22 to 24 March 2022 at the United Nations Office in Vienna.  It would call upon all States that have not yet done so to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to the Treaty at the earliest possible date, and call upon those in a position to do so to promote adherence to the instrument through bilateral, subregional, regional and multilateral contacts, outreach and other means.

The Committee approved “L.17”, as orally revised, by a recorded vote of 123 in favour to 42 against, with 16 abstentions.

It then approved, without a vote, the draft resolution “African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba)” (document A/C.1/76/L.19), which would have the Assembly recall that instrument’s entry into force on 15 July 2009.  It would, by other terms, call upon all African States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty as soon as possible.  The Assembly would also call upon African States parties to the Non‑Proliferation Treaty that have not yet done so to conclude comprehensive safeguards agreements with the IAEA, pursuant to that instrument.

Acting again without a vote, the Committee approved the draft resolution “Prohibition of the dumping of radioactive wastes” (document A/C.1/76/L.20).  By that text, the Assembly would express grave concern regarding any use of nuclear wastes that would constitute radiological warfare and have grave implications for the national security of all States.  It would call upon all States to take appropriate measures with a view to preventing any dumping of nuclear or radioactive wastes that would infringe upon the sovereignty of States.  It would also appeal to all non‑signatory States to pursue adherence to the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management as soon as possible.

The Committee then turned to the draft “Follow‑up to the 2013 high‑level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament” (document A/C.1/76/L.23), by which the Assembly would call for urgent compliance with legal obligations and fulfilment of commitments undertaken in relation to nuclear disarmament.  Also by the text, it would call for the urgent start of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on effective nuclear disarmament measures to realize the total elimination of nuclear weapons, including, in particular, a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons.

By a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 37 against, with 17 abstentions, the Committee decided to retain preambular paragraph 14 of the text by which the Assembly would express concern that improvements of existing nuclear weapons and the development of new types, as provided for in the military doctrines of some nuclear‑weapon States, violate their legal nuclear disarmament obligations, as well as their commitments to diminish the role of nuclear weapons in their military and security policies, and contravene the negative security assurances provided by the nuclear‑weapon States.

The Committee approved “L.23”, as orally revised, by a recorded vote of 138 in favour to 34 against, with 11 abstentions.

It then took up the draft “Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non‑nuclear‑weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/76/L.29).  By its terms, the Assembly would reaffirm the urgent need to reach early agreement on effective international arrangements to assure non‑nuclear‑weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.  It would also appeal to all States, especially the nuclear‑weapon nations, to work actively for a common approach leading to a legally binding international instrument and, in particular, a common formula that could be included in an international instrument of a legally binding character.

The Committee approved it by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to none against, with 62 abstentions.

It then turned to the draft “Nuclear‑weapon‑free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas” (document A/C.1/76/L.34/Rev.1), by which the Assembly would call upon all States that have not yet done so to facilitate adherence to the protocols to nuclear‑weapon‑free‑zone treaties by all relevant States.  The Assembly would, by other terms, welcome the ratifications 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 call upon the nuclear‑weapon States to not enter any reservations to the establishment of such zones.

By a recorded vote of 111 in favour to 38 against, with 18 abstentions, the Committee decided to retain preambular paragraph 6 of the text, by which the Assembly would welcome the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 22 January 2021.  It would also reaffirm the conviction that the establishment of internationally recognized nuclear‑weapon‑free zones based on arrangements freely agreed upon among the States of the region concerned enhances global and regional peace and security, strengthens the nuclear non‑proliferation regime and contributes towards the objective of nuclear disarmament.

By a recorded vote of 145 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 27 abstentions, the Committee retained operative paragraph 6 of the text, by which the Assembly would welcome measures to conclude further nuclear‑weapon‑free‑zone treaties, including steps towards the establishment of such a designated area in the Middle East.

Taking up “L.34/Rev.1” in its entirety, the Committee approved it by a recorded vote of 143 in favour to 5 against (France, Israel, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States), with 33 abstentions.

The Committee then took up the draft “Nuclear disarmament” (document A/C.1/76/L.39), by which the Assembly would welcome and encourage efforts to establish new nuclear‑weapon‑free zones in different parts of the world, including the Middle East, which is an effective measure for limiting the further spread of nuclear weapons geographically and contributes to the cause of nuclear disarmament.  By other terms, the Assembly would further encourage States parties to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon‑Free Zone (Treaty of Bangkok) and the nuclear‑weapon States to intensify ongoing efforts to resolve all outstanding issues.  It would, by further terms, urge the nuclear‑weapon States to stop immediately the qualitative improvement, development, production and stockpiling of nuclear warheads and their delivery systems, and as an interim measure, to de‑alert and deactivate immediately their nuclear weapons and to take other concrete measures to reduce further the operational status of their nuclear‑weapon systems.  It would stress that reducing deployments and operational status cannot substitute for irreversible cuts in and total elimination of nuclear weapons.  It would further call upon the nuclear‑weapon States to agree, pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, an internationally and legally binding joint undertaking not to be the first to use nuclear weapons.

Before action on the entire draft, the Committee decided to retain preambular paragraph 32 of the text by a recorded vote of 110 in favour to 39 against, with 17 abstentions.  By its terms, the Assembly would welcome the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

By a recorded vote of 162 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 9 abstentions (Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Israel, Madagascar, South Sudan, United Kingdom, United States, Zimbabwe), the Committee approved the retention of operative paragraph 16, which would have the Assembly call for the immediate start of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament to agree on a comprehensive and balanced programme of work, and on a non‑discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

Taking up “L.39” in its entirety, the Committee approved it by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 41 against, with 23 abstentions.

The Committee next considered a new draft decision, “Nuclear disarmament verification” (document A/C.1/76/L.40).  By its terms, the General Assembly would request that the Secretary‑General hold two additional sessions in 2023 to compensate for the two planned 2021 sessions postponed due to COVID‑19 travel restrictions, for a total of two weeks in 2022 and two weeks in 2023, as well as one additional informal intersessional consultative meeting in New York in 2023 to compensate for the planned 2021 meeting postponed owing to pandemic‑related travel restrictions.  The Assembly would further call upon the Secretary‑General to transmit the report of the Group of Governmental Experts to its seventy‑eighth session and to the Conference on Disarmament, under the item “General and complete disarmament” and the sub‑item “Nuclear disarmament verification”.

By a recorded vote of 178 in favour to 1 against (Spain), with 4 abstentions (Iran, Niger, South Sudan, Syria), the Committee approved “L.40”, as orally revised.

The Committee then took up the draft “Universal Declaration on the Achievement of a Nuclear‑Weapon‑Free World” (document A/C.1/76/L.42), which would have the Assembly recall the adoption of the Universal Declaration annexed to resolution 70/57.  It would further invite States, agencies and organizations of the United Nations system and intergovernmental and non‑governmental organizations to disseminate the Declaration and to promote its implementation.

Before action on the whole, the Committee decided — by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 27 against, with 24 abstentions — to retain preambular paragraph 8, by which the Assembly would note the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The Committee then approved the retention of preambular paragraph 10 by a recorded vote of 135 in favour to 2 against (Russian Federation, United States), with 32 abstentions.  By that paragraph, the Assembly would take into account the Secretary‑General’s disarmament agenda, Securing Our Common Future:  An Agenda for Disarmament.

By a recorded vote of 133 in favour to 24 against, with 25 abstentions, the Committee then approved “L.42”.

It then turned to the draft resolution “Towards a nuclear‑weapon‑free world:  accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (document A/C.1/76/L.44).  By its terms, the Assembly would call upon the nuclear‑weapon States to fulfil their commitments to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons, deployed and non‑deployed, including through unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral measures.  The Assembly would also encourage them to take concrete steps to reduce the role and significance of nuclear weapons in all military and security concepts, doctrines and policies, pending their total elimination.  It would further note with concern recent policy statements by nuclear‑weapon States relating to modernization of their nuclear weapon programmes, which undermine their commitments to nuclear disarmament and increase the risk of the use of nuclear weapons and the potential for a new arms race.

Before action, the Committee held separate recorded votes on several paragraphs contained in the text.

By a recorded vote of 138 in favour to 2 against (Russian Federation, United States), with 31 abstentions, it first approved the retention of preambular paragraph 3, by which the Assembly would welcome the Secretary‑General’s disarmament agenda, Securing Our Common Future:  An Agenda for Disarmament, and emphasize the importance of its implementation.

It also retained — by a recorded vote of 111 in favour to 36 against, with 18 abstentions — preambular paragraph 10, by which the Assembly would welcome the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The Committee then approved the retention of preambular paragraph 25 by a recorded vote of 152 in favour to 4 against (India, Israel, Pakistan, United States), with 13 abstentions.  By that paragraph’s terms, the Assembly would note with regret that the 2020 Non‑Proliferation Treaty Review Conference had to be postponed owing to the COVID‑19 pandemic.

By a recorded vote of 160 in favour to 4 against (India, Israel, Pakistan, United States), with 8 abstentions (Djibouti, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, United Kingdom), the Committee also decided to retain operative paragraph 15, by which the Assembly would call upon all States parties to spare no effort to achieve universal adherence to the Non‑Proliferation Treaty.  It would, 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.

The Committee also retained — by a recorded vote of 114 in favour to 36 against, with 17 abstentions — 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.  It would welcome in that regard the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Reverting to “L.44” in its entirety, the Committee approved the text by a recorded vote of 135 in favour to 34 against, with 15 abstentions.

The Committee then took up the draft “Comprehensive Nuclear‑Test‑Ban Treaty (document A/C.1/76/L.49), by which the General Assembly would stress the vital importance of that Treaty’s entry into force as soon as possible and urge all States to refrain from carrying out nuclear‑weapon tests in the interim.  The Assembly would reiterate its condemnation of the six nuclear tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions and urge that country’s full compliance.  It would welcome all efforts and dialogue to that end, including inter‑Korean summits and summits between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The Committee first decided — by a recorded vote of 170 in favour to none against, with 6 abstentions (India, Israel, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria) — to retain preambular paragraph 7, by which the Assembly would recall the consensus adoption of the conclusions and recommendations for follow‑up actions to the 2010 Non‑Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, in which the Conference reaffirmed, inter alia, the vital importance of the entry into force of the Test‑Ban Treaty as a core element of the international nuclear disarmament and non‑proliferation regime.

Acting without a vote, the Committee then approved “L.49” in its entirety.

It then took up the draft “Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices” (document A/C.1/76/L.51).  By that text, the General Assembly would urge the Conference on Disarmament to agree and implement, at its earliest opportunity, a programme of work entailing the immediate start of negotiations on such a treaty.

By a recorded vote of 162 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 11 abstentions, the Committee decided to retain preambular paragraph 3, by which the Assembly would express concern about the years of stalemate in the Conference on Disarmament and regret that negotiations have not been pursued.  It would look forward to the Conference again fulfilling its role as the world’s sole multilateral forum for disarmament negotiations.

The Committee then approved “L.51” in its entirety by a recorded vote of 177 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 6 abstentions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Iran, Israel, South Sudan, Syria).

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved a new draft resolution, “Brazilian‑Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials” (document A/C.1/76/L.56).  By that text, the General Assembly would note with satisfaction that 2021 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the entry into force of the Agreement between the Republic of Argentina and the Federative Republic of Brazil for the Exclusively Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy and welcome the Agency’s continued cooperation with the IAEA.  The Assembly would note further that the Agency has proven itself as an innovative and effective bilateral confidence‑building mechanism, with positive effects for peace and security at the subregional and regional levels, and as a reference of best practice in nuclear safeguards and non‑proliferation verification.  It would, by other terms, decide to include the item “Brazilian‑Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials” in the provisional agenda of its seventy‑seventh session.

Acting again without a vote, the Committee approved the draft decision “Treaty on the South‑East Asia Nuclear‑Weapon‑Free Zone (Bangkok Treaty)” (document A/C.1/76/L.57), which would have the Assembly include the sub‑item in the provisional agenda of its seventy‑eighth session, under its agenda item “General and complete disarmament”.

The Committee then turned to the draft “Joint courses of action and future-oriented dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons” (document A/C.1/76/L.59).  By that text, the General Assembly would encourage concrete measures to enhance transparency and mutual confidence, and every effort, including deepening substantive discussions in the Conference on Disarmament, to start negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.  By other terms, the Assembly would encourage States possessing nuclear weapons to reduce the risks of nuclear detonation.  Other provisions would have the Assembly reaffirm its commitment to the complete, verifiable and irreversible abandonment of all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions.

Before action on the draft, the Committee took separate actions on the 18 paragraphs contained therein.

By a recorded vote of 150 in favour to 2 against (India, Pakistan), with 15 abstentions, it decided to retain preambular paragraph 2, by which the Assembly would reaffirm that the Non‑Proliferation Treaty is the cornerstone of the international nuclear non‑proliferation regime and an essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non‑proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.  It would also reaffirm its determination to pursue universal adherence to that instrument.

By a recorded vote of 141 in favour to none against, with 28 abstentions, the Committee also retained preambular paragraph 7, which would have the Assembly stress that effective nuclear disarmament and enhanced international security should be pursued in a mutually reinforcing manner.

In a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 1 against (Haiti), with 15 abstentions, the Committee approved retention of preambular paragraph 8, by which the Assembly would reaffirm that further strengthening the nuclear non‑proliferation regime is essential to international peace and security.

It also decided — by a recorded 163 votes in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 7 abstentions (Algeria, Iran, Mozambique, South Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela) — to retain preambular paragraph 10, by which the Assembly would recognize the importance of the decisions and the resolution on the Middle East at the 1995 Non‑Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and the final documents of the 2000 and 2010 Review Conferences.

The Committee also retained preambular paragraph 11 — by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to 2 against (China, Pakistan), with 16 abstentions — which would request that the Assembly 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 or other nuclear explosive devices.

It went on to retain — by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to none against, with 6 abstentions (Ghana, Iran, Israel, Mozambique, South Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago) — preambular paragraph 16, which would have the Assembly recognize the value of cooperative efforts across the existing multilateral disarmament machinery to support endeavours towards disarmament objectives.

The Committee then approved — by a recorded vote of 155 in favour to 1 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 14 abstentions — the retention of preambular paragraph 17.  That provision would have the Assembly recall relevant Security Council resolutions deciding that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shall abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes, and all other weapons of mass destruction and its ballistic missile programmes, in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.

Taking up the draft “L.59”, the Committee went on to retain preambular paragraph 18 by a recorded vote of 159 in favour to 2 against (Hungary, Russian Federation), with 8 abstentions (Algeria, Bahamas, China, Iran, Mozambique, South Sudan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago).  That text would have the Assembly note that efforts to integrate different generations, regions and genders into disarmament and non‑proliferation education create momentum towards realizing a world without nuclear weapons.

The Committee then approved — by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to none against, with 14 abstentions — to retain preambular paragraph 19, by which the Assembly would recognize the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from the use of nuclear weapons.

It then decided to retain preambular paragraph 20 by a recorded vote of 160 in favour to 2 against (China, Russian Federation), with 9 abstentions (Bahamas, Djibouti, Israel, Mozambique, Republic of Korea, South Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Zimbabwe).  By that text, the Assembly would welcome visits by leaders, young people and others to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Committee then retained operative paragraph 1 by a recorded vote of 135 in favour to 10 against, with 26 abstentions.  It would request that the Assembly reaffirm that all States parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty are committed to the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons, including by easing international tension, strengthening trust among nations, and the instrument’s full and steady implementation in all its aspects.

By a recorded vote of 130 in favour to none against, with 39 abstentions, the Committee decided to retain operative paragraph 3(b), by which the Assembly would encourage all States possessing nuclear weapons to reduce the risks of nuclear detonation occurring by miscalculation or misunderstanding, and to make further efforts to that end, including through transparent dialogue on nuclear doctrines and postures, military‑to‑military exchanges, hotlines or sharing of information and data.

The Committee then retained operative paragraph 3(c) by a recorded vote of 155 in favour to 2 against (China, Pakistan), with 17 abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly would encourage all States to immediately make every effort — including declaring and maintaining voluntary moratoriums on the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices — and to immediately start negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a treaty banning such materials.

Also by a recorded vote — 138 in favour to 1 against (India), with 29 abstentions — the Committee approved the retention of operative paragraph 3(d), by which the General Assembly would encourage all States, including the eight remaining countries listed in Annex 2 to the Test‑Ban Treaty that have not yet signed and/or ratified that instrument to do so without waiting for any other State, to pursue the Treaty’s entry into force.

It also decided to retain — by a recorded vote of 150 in favour to 1 against (Russian Federation), with 22 abstentions — operative paragraph 3(e), by which the Assembly would encourage all States to continue to make practical contributions to nuclear disarmament verification, including through concrete exercises, at the United Nations, in the Conference on Disarmament, and in such initiatives as the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification.

The Committee also approved — by a recorded 158 votes in favour to 2 against (China, Russian Federation), with 10 abstentions — the retention of operative paragraph 3(f), which would have the General Assembly encourage all States to facilitate efforts for nuclear disarmament and non‑proliferation education, in which the young generation can actively engage, including through dialogue platforms, mentoring, internships, fellowships, scholarships, model events and youth group activities.  It would also encourage, by other terms, raising awareness of the realities of the use of nuclear weapons, including through interactions with communities and people, including the hibakusha (those who have suffered the use of nuclear weapons), who pass on their experiences to future generations.

The Committee then decided to retain operative paragraph 5, which would request that the Assembly reaffirm the commitment to strengthening the international nuclear non‑proliferation regime, including through adherence to the IAEA’s safeguards, compliance with non—proliferation obligations and implementation of relevant resolutions of the Security Council, including resolution 1540 (2004).  It took that action by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to none against, with 19 abstentions.

In a recorded vote of 147 in favour to 3 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation), with 19 abstentions, the Committee decided to retain operative paragraph 6, by which the General Assembly would reaffirm the commitment to the complete, verifiable and irreversible abandonment of all nuclear weapons and programmes, as well as all other existing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges, by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions.  It would urge that country to return at an early date to, and comply fully with, the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the IAEA safeguards.

Taking up “L.59” as a whole, the Committee approved it by a recorded vote of 152 in favour to 4 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Syria), with 30 abstentions.

Following action on those drafts, several delegates spoke in explanation of their positions on various elements.

The representative of the Philippines said her delegation supports “L.59” and emphasized that all nuclear disarmament commitments are crucial and should not be based on subjective assessments.  She expressed concern about the nuclear-weapon States modernizing their arsenals.

The representative of Austria said that despite improvement in some elements of “L.59”, his delegation abstained, voting on the merit of each constituent paragraph.  Concerned about attempts to replace consensus language, as in operative paragraph 1, Austria believes discussion of nuclear disarmament is especially needed when tensions are high and, therefore, abstained on preambular paragraph 7, he said, adding that his delegation also abstained on preambular paragraph 2 because it treats disarmament in a secondary manner.  Austria voted in favour of retaining preambular paragraph 19, but clarification is needed on operative paragraphs 3b and 3d, he said.

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said he voted against “L.44” because it distorts the nature of the situation on the Korean Peninsula.  The region is still in a vicious cycle rooted in the hostile policy of the United States, he added, not because of nuclear policy, but due to that country’s antagonism towards his country for more than 70 years.  Its military threats and those of its servile forces are evolving, he said, noting the expenditure of $700 billion on weapons by the United States.  In view of that country’s alliance with the Republic of Korea, nobody can deny the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea its right to self-defence in testing, manufacturing and developing equivalent weapons systems, he emphasized.

The representative of Mexico said he abstained on “L.59” because it still contains conditions on nuclear disarmament, despite efforts to improve on the 2020 text.  It is a step backwards on commitments to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, he emphasized, while noting that his delegation is willing to continue speaking with Japan and the resolution’s co-sponsors.

The representative of Ireland said he could not vote in favour of “L.59” given its implications of conditionality applying to disarmament obligations.  He pointed out that the language on the Test-Ban Treaty language still stops short of calling for Annex 2 States to sign or ratify it.

The representative of the United Kingdom, also speaking for France and the United States, said he could not support “L.23” as it does not address the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the deterioration in the overall international security environment.  On “L.34”, he emphasized the importance of nuclear-weapon-free zones, provided they are set out as per the 1999 guidelines of the United Nations Disarmament Commission, freely arrived at by all States in the region concerned.  He said the resolution’s real goal is to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone over the high seas, an unclarified ambiguity.  Turning to “L.44”, he cautioned that the strong opposition to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will take the international community further away from a common approach to nuclear disarmament.

The representative of France spoke on behalf of China, United Kingdom, United States and the Russian Federation (the permanent five or “P5”), referring to the consensus around “L.57” and affirmed their commitment to a South-East Asia nuclear-weapon-free zone.  The “P5” are willing to engage with ASEAN Member States, he added.  Speaking in his national capacity, he noted that his delegation voted in favour of “L.59” in the interest of building bridges with various stakeholders.  Concerning preambular paragraph 15, he emphasized the importance of transparency, pointing out the reality that there is an increasing gap in the size of the arsenals of nuclear-weapon States.  However, the language in preambular paragraph 19 is nothing new, having been exploited in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, he said.

The representative of Pakistan said his delegation’s view on the Non-Proliferation Treaty remains unchanged, describing it as inherently unequal and discriminatory while emphasizing that Pakistan will not be a party to it.  Noting that his country’s arsenal exists solely to deter aggression after its neighbour introduced nuclear weapons into South Asia, he said Pakistan also does not consider itself bound by the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was negotiated outside United Nations forums.  He went on to explain that his delegation also abstained on “L.39”, voted against certain paragraphs of “L.2” while otherwise supporting the text, and against “L.17” and abstaining on “L.59” in its entirety, he said.

The representative of Switzerland, recalling his delegation’s 2019 vote in favour of “L.2” and its abstention on “L.23”, said it voted in favour of “L.56” today.  On “L.59”, he noted that his delegation voted in favour of the draft as a whole.  He expressed reservations concerning several paragraphs, saying that while some provisions can be useful for the upcoming Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, other language will not be helpful.

The representative of Ecuador said he abstained on “L.9” because the true path forward is through the universal adherence to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  Concerning “L.59”, he said that despite progress on a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, he still has reservations, even though he voted in favour of several of the draft’s provisions.  As such, Ecuador abstained on the draft in its entirety, he added, expressing regret to note the unconstructive comments made today in reference to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The representative of Iran said his delegation abstained on “L.40” because it takes a selective and limited approach to nuclear disarmament verification through the Group of Governmental Experts, the selection of whom is based on political considerations rather than clear and agreed criteria.  Iran voted in favour of “L.49”, but had several concerns, he said, pointing out that almost all nuclear-weapon States are modernizing and upgrading their arsenals.  The text contains no call to refrain from such actions, he added.  While acknowledging the potential civil and scientific benefits that might be available to States signatories from the Test-Ban Treaty’s global monitoring system, as reflected in the draft resolution, he stressed that such benefits will never distract attention from the instrument’s fundamental objectives.  He said Iran abstained on “L.59” and its 18 paragraphs for several reasons, including that the phrasing used in preambular paragraph 5 and operative paragraph 6 is contrary to the unequivocal undertaking of the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament.  In addition, the text fails to strike an acceptable balance between nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, he said, underlining the absence of any reference to the urgent need for nuclear-weapon States to fully and effectively implement their nuclear disarmament obligations.

The representative of Spain said that whereas “L.19” reflects the important role of the Treaty of Pelindaba in international peace and security, his country has decided not to sign its third Protocol because it does not contain any guarantee or safeguard that Spain has not already adopted, among other reasons.

The representative of South Africa said “L.59” falls short and introduces language that weakens implementation of Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations.  Recalling that his delegation has long warned that efforts by some States to interpret the Treaty in certain ways would undermine its principles, he said the inclusion of the phrase “where appropriate” in preambular paragraph 9 provides an opening for interpretation.  As such, “L.59” does not set a basis for the forthcoming Review Conference, and South Africa cannot support the draft, he added.

The representative of Singapore said her delegation’s abstention on “L.17” and its position on the Treaty on the Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons remain unchanged from previous sessions, as the process leading to the instrument’s adoption failed to consider the concerns of all States.  Going forward, the international community should find a realistic role for the Treaty in the disarmament architecture in which the Non-Proliferation Treaty remains at the core, she said.

The representative of New Zealand said that whereas “L.59” has improved since the seventy-fifth session, it is lacking in some regards, including the absence of calls for the Test-Ban Treaty’s swift entry into force.  He expressed regret that the draft includes operative paragraph 1, saying New Zealand abstained from the vote.

The representative of the United States said his delegation abstained on “L.1”, for a multitude of reasons.  While supporting the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, there is a significant divergence of views among the region’s States on advancing that goal, he noted, recalling that the United States worked with the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation on the ninth Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, but regional States undercut that effort with a separate conference.

The representative of the Netherlands spoke on behalf of a number of delegations, saying they voted against “L.23” because the draft does not address their concerns.  While the Non-Proliferation Treaty is the foundation of international disarmament, “L.23” fails to acknowledge its central importance and its review cycle, she noted, emphasizing that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee against their use.

The representative of Slovenia, speaking on behalf of the European Union and a number of other States, expressed support for “L.56” and hailed the Brazilian–Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials as a historic success for the region.  She encouraged the Agency to adopt the highest safeguard standards.

The representative of Syria said Israel’s delegate tried to misguide the Committee with false claims to cover its nuclear programme.  He went on to note that his own delegation abstained from voting on the Test-Ban Treaty, a sensitive topic that cannot ignore the concerns of non-nuclear-weapons States, the majority of countries, and also abstained on “L.51” because the Conference on Disarmament is the only forum for negotiations on fissile materials.  While voting in favour of “L.42”, Syria abstained on preambular paragraph 9, he said, explaining that it contains a baseless accusation against his country.

The representative of Indonesia, highlighting the moral obligation of States to avoid exacerbating tension or conflict, said her delegation joined the consensus on “L.56”, but emphasized that any agreement related to control of non-nuclear materials must complement other standards, including those of the IAEA.

The representative of Egypt said his delegation abstained on “L.59” and many of its provisions due in part to linkages made between disarmament measures and the security landscape.  Moreover, some paragraphs continue to weaken language on the Non-Proliferation Treaty, reinforcing an alarming trend in that regard, he added.  By contrast, commitments are recognized in the language of preambular paragraph 4, he noted.  Indeed, Egypt regrets the lack of language on the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

The representative of Brazil said his delegation abstained on “L.59” owing to deep concerns about language that is not conducive to promoting a common understanding of critical issues.  Operative paragraph 1 implies that ridding the world of nuclear weapons hinges on easing global tensions, he noted.

The representative of Israel said her delegation voted against “L.17” because it did not participate in the process leading to the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  Expressing concern about arms control processes that fail to give due regard to security concerns, she said negotiations must be inclusive.  As such, the Treaty does not reflect legal norms applicable to non-signatory States, and its entry into force is relevant only to its signatories, she emphasized.

The representative of Jordan said his delegation had hoped that several drafts would take note of the forthcoming second session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East.

The representative of Canada, addressing “L.34”, said her delegation welcomes the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones in the Southern hemisphere and called on nuclear-weapon States to withdraw their reservations or interpretive declarations therein.  However, she expressed serious reservations about the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The representative of Argentina said his delegation abstained on “L.17”, despite its long-standing support for nuclear disarmament, because the international community must consolidate around the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which already enjoys universal acceptance, he noted, emphasizing the importance of avoiding overlap.  As for “L.59”, he said the draft contains elements that could have been strengthened, adding that he abstained on operative paragraph 5, which is confused in its goals and scope and, therefore, lacks sense.

The representative of Colombia, addressing “L.59”, emphasized that no resolution of the General Assembly has the legal force to change the provisions of binding instruments, such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  Its obligations are binding without preconditions, she said, noting that her delegation supported “L.59”.

The representative of Japan said his delegation voted in favour of “L.11” as the only country ever to have suffered the use of nuclear weapons and to recognize their humanitarian consequences.  However, it voted against “L.17”, he added, explaining that whereas the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons can be a way out of a world full of nuclear weapons, engagement with nuclear-weapon States is necessary.  Member States must not repeat the experience of the last Review Conference in 2015, he emphasized.

The representative of China said his delegation abstained on “L.4” and “L.11”.  China has advocated for the complete prohibition and destructions of nuclear weapons and pledged never to use them first, or against a non-nuclear-weapon State.  Welcoming the consensus around “L.20” on banning the dumping of nuclear waste, he warned against Japan’s plan to deposit nuclear waste water from its Fukushima Daiichi plant, saying that State should reconsider and reach agreement with its neighbours.  He said his delegation voted for “L.34” and welcomed the consensus adoption of “L.57” but is seriously concerned about the submarine agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia — a non-nuclear-weapon State — which represents a serious nuclear proliferation risk.  If the IAEA were to negotiate on safeguards with those three States, that would set a precedent, he said.

The representative of the Republic of Korea said his delegation has reservations about“L.59” because of its references to atomic bomb survivors.  That term should be rephrased to reflect all survivors, several thousand of whom are from other parts of the world, he emphasized.

The representative of Liechtenstein said his delegation abstained on “L.59” because the draft’s main sponsor has not sufficiently addressed modest calls not to undermine existing obligations.  Noting that operative paragraph 1 introduces a qualification to the clear obligations for nuclear-weapon States under article 6 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, he said it undermines the unequivocal undertaking by those nations to accomplish the total elimination of their arsenals as previously agreed.  Preambular paragraph 7 moves further away from implementing those obligations, he added, emphasizing that trend as misguided and unhelpful ahead of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.  Liechtenstein is also dissatisfied with the approach that “L.49” takes towards the urgent need for the Test-Ban Treaty’s entry into force and distances itself from any message to the effect that the international community is reducing efforts related to that goal.

The representative of India said her delegation abstained on “L.49” due to its unchanged position on the draft.  On “L.59”, she said that while her country remains committed to a nuclear-weapon-free world and a moratorium on testing, it has reservations on several paragraphs.  India voted in favour of “L.51”, as it supports the negotiation of a fissile material cut-off treaty in the Conference on Disarmament, she noted.  However, India voted against “L.44” and cannot accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, she said, emphasizing that her country is a responsible nuclear-weapon State and there is, therefore, no possibility to join the instrument as a non-nuclear-weapon State.

The representative of Sweden said her delegation abstained on “L.17”, explaining that during negotiations concerning the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, Sweden made clear that it had several remaining concerns.  She recalled that her country decided in 2019 not to sign the Treaty in its current form after consultations with Government authorities, civil society and the private sector, saying her delegation will participate as an observer at the 2022 meeting of States parties to the Treaty.

The representative of Poland introduced a draft resolution on implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, recalling that it used to enjoy unanimous international support.  Regrettably, consensus has been undermined in recent years by polarization over key matters regarding implementation.  Given the confirmed use of chemical weapons around the world in recent years, it is especially important to defend the Convention and reinforce the lack of tolerance for such unacceptable acts, he emphasized.  The draft resolution refers to critical issues including universality, national implementation and international cooperation, he noted, stressing that the international community must not remain silent on the key challenges — use of chemical weapons around the world and the pandemic situation that has affected the work of the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons.

A number of delegates then spoke in explanation of position before the vote.

The representative of Iran, addressing the draft “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction” (document A/C.1/76/L.10), said it is being used for political ends in order to deepen divisions among States parties.  He went on to emphasize the crucial need for strict observance of impartiality and the chain of custody in determining alleged use of chemical weapons.  Iran will vote against “L.10” as a number of its paragraphs are highly politicized, he said.

The representative of Syria, also referring to “L.10”, said her country has met its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, destroying its stockpile within an unprecedented time period.  Calling for the restoration of neutrality in the draft, she expressed hope that it will view Syrian efforts positively and not ignore that terrorist groups have used chemical weapons against civilians and the Syrian army.  She went on to note that Poland’s delegation ignored her concerns about the draft, which is unprecedented, and described that text as biased, saying her delegation will vote against “L.10”.

The representative of Russian Federation noted “L.10” advocates for strengthening the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, now divided due to politicization and erosion of its mandates, with a number of States pursuing parochial political agendas.  Emphasizing that his delegation harbours no illusions about a return to impartiality, he noted that the last chemical-weapons State — the United States — is still not called upon to eliminate its stocks.  The draft’s sponsors have nothing to do with reality, he said, urging States concerned about the fate of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons should vote against “L.10”, which would exacerbate existing divides.

The representative of Algeria said that for the third straight year, his delegation cannot support “L.10” and will abstain on a series of paragraphs, as they address country-specific situations and divisive decisions by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.  In the absence of significant consultations among the drafting States, Algeria calls upon them to respect the principles of the Chemical Weapons Convention, he asserted.

The representative of Cuba said she cannot support “L.10” despite sharing its general objective, adding that her delegation will abstain and vote against a number of paragraphs.  The draft ignores Syria’s cooperation in destroying its chemical weapons stocks, she asserted, pointing out that “L.10” singles out one State party without an investigation and reiterating calls to avoid politicization.

The representative of Egypt said his delegation will abstain on “L.10” due to its many shortcomings.  Having supported the draft in previous years, Egypt cannot support its current version, including language implying that the possession of nuclear weapons is linked to the international security situation, he emphasized.  Continued politicization of the text continues to undermine its value, he said, adding that the timely establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East could have spared the region the horror of chemical weapons seen in recent years.

The representative of Malaysia, recalling recent decisions within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, emphasized the need to protect the agency.  As such, Malaysia will vote in favour of “L.10” while abstaining on its provisions.

Turning to other weapons of mass destruction, the Committee then considered the following draft resolutions:  “Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction” (document A/C.1/76/L.8); “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction” (document A/C.1/76/L.10); and “Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction” (document A/C.1/76/L.35).

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft “Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction” (document A/C.1/76/L.8), by which the General Assembly would call upon all Member States to support related international efforts and strengthen national measures in that regard.  The Assembly would, by other terms, appeal to States to consider early accession to and ratification of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.  It would also request that the Secretary-General report on measures already taken by international organizations on issues relating to terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The Committee then took up the draft “Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction” (document A/C.1/76/L.10).  By that text, the General Assembly would, among other things, reiterate its strongest possible condemnation of the use of chemical weapons anywhere, at any time, by anyone, under any circumstances.  It would also condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon against Alexei Navalny in the Russian Federation.  By further terms, the Assembly would note with grave concern the note by the Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons of 6 October 2020 concerning the summary of the report on activities carried out in support of a request for technical assistance by Germany.

Also by that text, the Assembly would condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons since 2012 in Iraq, Malaysia, Syria and the United Kingdom, including as reported in 2020 and 2021 by the Joint Investigative Mechanism of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations.  It would also recall the adoption of decision C-25/DEC.9 of the Conference of the States Parties titled “Addressing the Possession and Use of Chemical Weapons by the Syrian Arab Republic” of 21 April 2021.  By other terms, the Assembly would note with concern that, besides the threat of possible production, acquisition and use of chemical weapons by States, the international community also faces the danger of production, acquisition and use of chemical weapons by non-State actors, including terrorists.

Before approving “L.10”, the Committee held a separate recorded vote on six preambular and operative paragraphs.

In a recorded vote of 116 in favour to 8 against (Belarus, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Venezuela), with 32 abstentions, it approved the retention of preambular paragraph 6, by which the General Assembly would re-emphasize its unequivocal support for the decision by the Director General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to continue the mission to establish the facts surrounding alleged use of chemical weapons, including toxic chemicals, for hostile purposes in Syria.  The Assembly would by further terms, stress that the safety and security of mission personnel remains the top priority, recalling their work, pursuant to Security Council resolutions 2235 (2015) and 2319 (2016), and that of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism.

The Committee then decided to retain — by a recorded vote of 86 in favour to 12 against, with 61 abstentions operative paragraph 2 — which would have the Assembly condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon against Alexei Navalny in the Russian Federation, and note with grave concern the note by the Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons of 6 October 2020 on a summary of the report on activities carried out in support of a request for technical assistance by Germany.

By a recorded vote of 110 in favour to 11 against, with 38 abstentions, the Committee retained operative paragraph 3, which would request that the Assembly also condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons since 2012 in Iraq, Malaysia, Syria and the United Kingdom, including as reported by the Joint Investigative Mechanism of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations, and by the Investigation and Identification Team of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

In a recorded vote of 105 in favour to 9 against (Belarus, China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Venezuela), with 43 abstentions, the Committee approved the retention of operative paragraph 4, by which the Assembly would take note with great concern of the reports by the fact-finding mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons regarding alleged incidents in Ltamenah and Saraqib, Syria, as well as the final report of the fact-finding mission on the incident of alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in Douma, Syria, which concluded there were reasonable grounds to believe that use of a toxic chemical as a weapon took place.

The Committee also approved — by a recorded vote of 100 in favour to 12 against, with 45 abstentions — the retention of operative paragraph 5, by which the Assembly would recall the adoption of:

(a) Decision C-SS-4/DEC.3 of the Fourth Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties, titled “Addressing the threat from chemical weapons use”, of 27 June 2018;

(b) Decision EC-94/DEC.2 of the Executive Council, titled “Addressing the possession and use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Arab Republic”, of 9 July 2020; and

(c) Decision C-25/DEC.9 of the Conference of the States Parties, titled “Addressing the possession and use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Arab Republic”, of 21 April 2021.

The Assembly would stress the importance of their implementation, in accordance with the Convention, and, accordingly, express concern about the conclusions contained in the report of the Director General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons of 14 October 2020, on the implementation of decision EC-94/DEC.2.

By a recorded vote of 106 in favour to 9 against (Belarus, China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Venezuela), with 44 abstentions, the Committee decided to retain operative paragraph 17, which would request that the Assembly express grave concern that despite the verified destruction of all 27 chemical weapons production facilities declared by Syria, the Technical Secretariat — as recently reported by the Director General in his report of 24 September 2021 — cannot fully verify that the Syria has submitted a declaration that can be considered accurate and complete in accordance with the Convention or Executive Council decision EC-M-33/DEC.1., or with the conclusion of decision C-SS-4/DEC.3, of the Fourth Review Conference, that Syria failed to declare and destroy all its chemical weapons and chemical weapons production facilities.  The Assembly would underscore the importance of full verification.

The Committee then approved “L.10” in its entirety by a recorded vote of 147 in favour to 8 against (Cambodia, China, Iran, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe), with 25 abstentions.

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft resolution “Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction” (document A/C.1/76/L.35).  By its terms, the Assembly would note the outcome and decisions reached at the treaty’s eighth Review Conference and call upon States parties to actively engage in their continued implementation efforts.  The Assembly would also call upon all States parties to participate in the exchange of information and data on confidence-building measures that they have provided to the Convention to date and invite them to make use of the new platform for electronic submission, on a voluntary basis.

Right of Reply

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, rejected “false allegations” by the United States delegate, demanding that country refrain from “pointing fingers” at others while it has stymied efforts to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and is the main obstacle to disarmament efforts worldwide.

The representative of Iraq responded to the statement by Israel’s delegate, emphasizing that his country is in compliance with all its obligations under existing international agreements.  Meanwhile, Israel was the first to violate the IAEA safeguards system by attacking Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981, he recalled, noting that the facility was used for peaceful purposes and that the international community condemned the attacks, including in the General Assembly.  Iraq calls upon the international community to exert pressure on Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty and place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards, he said.

The representative of Japan, responding to the statements by the delegate of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, said his country respects history and has contributed to international peace and security since the end of the Second World War.  Japan intends to raise awareness of the consequences of atomic bombings, he added, also noting that the IAEA has confirmed that its nuclear facilities are all for peaceful purposes.  Recalling his country’s efforts to reduce its plutonium stockpiles, he said Japan has also provided the international community with information on its activities and remains willing to discuss details with relevant parties.

The representative of Syria, responding to delegates of the United States and Israel, reiterated his condemnation of any use of chemical weapons, recalling that his country voluntarily joined the Chemical Weapons Convention.  Unfortunately, some Western countries led by the United States have politicized the file, he said, adding that they use statements that are false or sourced from terrorist groups, while manipulating the text of the Convention, a dangerous precedent.  He went on to suggest that Israel’s delegate does not know the bloody history of that country, the biggest owner of weapons of mass destruction in the region and the first to use biological weapons in the Middle East.

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said he is appalled by Japan’s moves to deceive the international community with its defensive weapons posture, misused to cover up its revanchist ambitions.  Japan is adopting a State policy to develop a pre-emptive capacity against other regional States, he asserted, warning against that country’s ambitions to become a military giant.

The representative of Japan said since end of the Second World War, his country has actively contributed to international peace and security.  Emphasizing that Japan and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea must overcome mutual mistrust, he called for them to work together for a bright future.

For information media. Not an official record.