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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 11, December 1996

UN General Assembly resolutions on disarmament and international security

'General Assembly stresses importance of World Court Nuclear Weapon Opinion, as it adopts 48 disarmament-related texts: Resolutions also address Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones, bilateral disarmament negotiations, elimination of nuclear weapons,' General Assembly Press Release, GA/9196, 10 December 1996

On 10 December, the United Nations General Assembly voted on, or adopted without a vote, 46 resolutions and 2 decisions submitted to it in the Report of the First Committee on Disarmament and International Security (A/51/566). The Assembly's consideration of that Report is summarised item by item below.

See last issue for Rebecca Johnson's thorough account of all resolutions adopted by the First Committee on Disarmament and International Security in November for approval by the General Assembly.

Votes are given FOR:AGAINST:ABSTENTIONS. All quotes summarising content of resolutions and decisions, and all voting figures, taken from United Nations Press Release GA/9136, 10 December.

Resolutions and Decisions Adopted

New Types of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Resolution included in: First Committee's Report on Prohibiting the Development and Manufacture of New Types of Weapons of Mass Destruction, A/51/566/Add.1

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.36, 11 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] [r]eaffirmed the need for measures to prevent the emergence of new types of weapons of mass destruction..."

Objective Information on Military Matters

Resolution included in: First Committee's Report on Transparency of Military Expenditures, A/51/566/Add.2

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.47, 14 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] [r]ecommended the guidelines [of the Disarmament Commission] for objective information on military matters to all Member States for implementation, and requested them to report annually their military expenditures..."

Science and Technology in the Context of International Security and Disarmament

Resolution included in: First Committee's Report on the Role of Science and Technology in the Context of International Security and Disarmament, A/51/566/Add.3

General Assembly: 105:39:24

First Committee (L.20/Rev 1, 14 November): 81:39:22

"...the Assembly urged Member States to negotiate acceptable guidelines for international transfers of dual-use technologies and high technology with military applications."

Science and Technology in the Context of International Security and Disarmament

Resolution included in: First Committee's Report on the Role of Science and Technology in the Context of International Security, Disarmament and Other Related Fields, A/51/566/Add.4

General Assembly: 161:0:8

Abstentions: Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Federated States of Micronesia, India, Iran, Japan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, US

First Committee (L.34, 14 November): 137:0:11

Abstentions: above States minus Micronesia and plus Burkina Faso, Gabon, Namibia and Uganda

"...the Assembly invited Member States to develop international rules on transfers of high technology with military applications."

Editor's Note: Neither of the next two Reports - A/51/566/Add.5, Report on Amending the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water; and A/51/566/Add.6, on Implementation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) - contained any resolutions.

Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East

Resolution included in: First Committee's Report on the Establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone in the Middle East, A/51/566/Add.7

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.28/Rev 2, 18 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] urged all concerned parties to consider the steps needed to establish a nuclear-free-zone in the Middle East."

Nuclear-Weapon-free Zone in South Asia

Resolution included in: First Committee's Report on the Establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-free Zone in South Asia, A/51/566/Add.8

General Assembly: 156:3:8

Against: Bhutan, India, Mauritius

First Committee (L.6, 11 November): 130:3:8

Against: same three States

"...[the Assembly] reaffirmed its endorsement of the concept of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in South Asia, and welcomed the support of all five nuclear-weapon States for the proposal."

Negative Security Assurances

Resolution included in: First Committee's Report on International Arrangements to Assure Non-Nuclear-Weapon States Against the Use or Threat of Use of Nuclear Weapons, A/51/566/Add.9

General Assembly: 125:0:45

First Committee (L.30, 11 November): 100:0:43

"...the Assembly reaffirmed the need to reach early agreement on security arrangements for non-nuclear-weapon States. It appealed to all States, especially the nuclear-weapon States, to work towards a common approach and formula for a binding international instrument."

Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space

Resolution included in: First Committee's Report on Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space, A/51/566/Add.10

General Assembly: 126:0:44

First Committee (L.43, 14 November): 98:0:40

"The Assembly called on all States, particularly those with major space capabilities, to contribute actively to the prevention of an outer space arms race... It urged States conducting activities in outer space to keep the Conference on Disarmament informed on progress in relevant bilateral and multilateral negotiations."

Prior vote on Preambular Paragraph 7, "which recognises that the fundamental task of the ad hoc committee of the Conference on Disarmament remains the conclusion of an agreement to prevent an arms race in outer space": 116:1 (US):45

Prior vote on Operative Paragraph 6, "requesting the Conference [on Disarmament] to re-establish the ad hoc committee": 117:1 (US):45

20 Resolutions and 1 Decision on General and Complete Disarmament

Resolutions included in: First Committee's Report on General and Complete Disarmament, A/51/566/Add.11

Resolution A: Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and its Preparatory Committee

General Assembly: 167:0:2

Abstentions: India, Israel

First Committee (L.3, 15 November): 142:0:2

Abstentions: same States

"...the Assembly took] note of the decision of the parties to the NPT to hold the first meeting of the Preparatory Committee in New York from 7 to 18 April 1997, for the Review Conference to be held in the year 2000."

Resolution B: Nuclear-Weapon-Free Southern Hemisphere and Adjacent Areas

General Assembly: 129:3 (France, UK, US):38

Against: France UK, US

First Committee (L.4/Rev 1, 13 November): 111:4:36

Against: Canada, France, UK, US

"...the Assembly called upon States parties and signatories to the treaties establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones in Latin America and the Caribbean, in the South Pacific, South-East Asia and Africa, to implement further cooperation, including efforts to consolidate the status of the nuclear-weapon-free Southern Hemisphere and adjacent areas."

Resolution C: Fourth Special Session of the General Assembly Devoted to Disarmament

General Assembly: 163:2:5

Against: Israel, US. Abstentions: Denmark, Latvia, Russian Federation, Takikistan, Uzn#bekistan

First Committee (L.11/Rev 2, 18 November): 137:2:1

Against: same States. Abstention: Russian Federation.

"...the Assembly decided, subject to the emergence of a consensus on its objectives and agenda, to convene that [4th Special] Session in 1999."

Resolution D: Relationship Between Disarmament and Development

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.12, 14 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] [u]rged the international community to devote resources made available by implementation of disarmament agreements to economic and social development."

Resolution E: Environmental Norms in Disarmament and Arms Control Agreements

General Assembly: 117:4:27

Against: France, Israel, UK, US

First Committee (L.14, 14 November): 116:4:26

Against: same States

"...[the Assembly] invited the Conference on Disarmament to include environmental norms and provisions in negotiating arms control and disa"mament agreemens. It called onStates to ensur that the application of science and technologyto disarmament was without detriment to the environment."

Resolution F: Illicit Transfer and Use of Conventional Arms

General Assembly: adoptedwithout a vote

First Committee (L.16, 14 November): adopted without a vote

"...the Assembly...welcome[d] adoption by the Disarmament Commission of...guidelines for international arms transfers. It...invite[d] Member States to enact national legislation to exercise control over the export and import of arms, and invite[ed] them to report to the Secretary-General by 15 April 1997 on those measures and on proposals for measures to curb the illicit transfer and use of conventional arms."

Resolution G: Nuclear Disarmament With a View to the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

General Assembly: 159:0:11

First Committee (L.17, 11 November): 132:0:11

"...the Assembly called on the nuclear-weapon States to reduce nuclear weapons with the ultimate goal of eliminating them. It urged States not party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to accede to it."

Prior vote on Preambular Paragraph 7, which "welcomes this year's adoption of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty": 161:1:5. (Against: India. Abstentions: Cuba, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Tanzania.)

Prior vote on Operative Paragraph 1, "whereby the Assembly would urge States not party to the NPT to accede to it": 161:3:2. (Against: India, Israel, Nepal. Abstentions: Brazil, Cuba.)

Resolution H: Transparency in Armaments

General Assembly: 154:0:15

First Committee (L.18, 14 November): 133:0:15

"...the Assembly called on Member States to provide data for the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. It requested their views on further development of the Register and on measures relating to weapons of mass destruction."

Prior vote on Operative Paragraph 3(b), "which requests the Secretary-General to prepare a report on the Register's continuing operation": 147:0:13

Prior vote on Operative Paragraph 5, "inviting the Conference on Disarmament to continue work in the field of transparency in armaments": 146:0:18

Resolution I: Bilateral Nuclear Arms Negotiations and Nuclear Disarmament

General Assembly: 107:37:24

First Committee (L.21, 12 November): 83:36:21

"...the Assembly called upon the Russian Federation and the United States to intensify efforts to achieve deep nuclear-weapon reductions in order to contribute to the elimination of nuclear weapons within a time-bound framework."

Resolution J: Prohibiting the Dumping of Radioactive Wastes

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.24, 11 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] [c]alled upon States to prevent dumping of radioactive wastes, and requested the Conference on Disarmament to take radioactive wastes into account in negotiations for a convention on the prohibition of nuclear weapons..."

Resolution K: Regional Disarmament

General Assembly: 170:0:1

Abstention India

First Committee (L.31, 14 November): 145:0:1

Abstention: same State

"...[the Assembly called] on States to conclude agreements for nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and confidence-building measures at the regional and subregional levels. It...stress[ed] the need for sustained efforts, within the framework of the Conference on Disarmament and under the umbrella of the United Nations, to make progress on the entire range of disarmament issues. It...also affirm[ed] that global and regional approaches to disarmament complement...each other and should, therefore, be pursued simultaneously."

Resolution L: Curbing the Illicit Traffic in Small Arms

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.35, 13 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] [e]ncouraged the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to curb the circulation of small arms, and encouraged national commissions against the proliferation of small arms in the Saharo-Sahelian subregion..."

Resolution M: Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat of Use or Use of Nuclear Weapons

General Assembly vote: 115:22:32

Against: Albania, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sprain, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, UK, US.

First Committee vote (L.37, 14 November): 94:22:29

Against: same States, minus Albania and plus Greece.

"...the Assembly underlined the unanimous opinion of the Court that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament, and it called on all States to fulfil that obligation immediately."

Prior vote on Operative Paragraph 3, "citing the existence of an obligation to pursue good-faith negotiations aimed at nuclear disarmament": 139:7:20 (Against: France, Latvia, Monaco, Romania, Turkey, UK, US.)

Prior vote on Operative Paragraph 4, "calling on States to 'fulfil that obligation immediately'": 110:27:29

Resolution N: Practical Disarmament Measures

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.38/Rev 1, 15 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] [s]tressed the importance of practical disarmament measures in areas affected by conflict, including collection and disposal of small arms and light weapons, reintegration of former combatants, and demining..."

Resolution O: Nuclear Disarmament

General Assembly vote: 110:39:20

First Committee vote (L.39, 11 November ): 87:38:20

"...the Assembly urged the nuclear-weapon States to stop qualitative improvement and stockpiling of nuclear warheads and delivery systems. It called on them to undertake phased reductions of nuclear weapons with a view to their total elimination within a timebound framework."

Resolution P: Measures to Uphold the Authority of 1925 Geneva Protocol

General Assembly: 165:0:7

Abstentions: Belarus, Israel, Kazakstan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, US.

First Committee (L.41, 11 November): 132:0:10

Abstentions: above States plus Kyrgyz Republic, Marshall Islands and Ukraine.

"...the Assembly renewed its call to all States to observe the principles and objectives of the 1925 Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare. It called on States maintaining reservations to the Protocol to withdraw them."

Resolution Q: Conventional Arms Control at the Regional and Subregional Levels

General Assembly: 164:1:2

Against: India. Abstentions: Cuba, Libya.

First Committee (L.44/Rev 1, 14 November): 144:1:4

Against: same State. Abstentions: same States plus Brazil and Venezuela.

"...the Assembly...request[ed] the Conference on Disarmament to consider formulating principles that could serve as a frameework for regional agreements on conventional arms control."

Resolution R: Bilateral Nuclear Arms Negotiations and Nuclear Disarmament

General Assembly: 160:0:11

First Committee (L.45, 12 November): 129:0:12

"...[the Assembly] encouraged the Russian Federation, the United States, Belarus, Kazakstan and Ukraine to continue cooperative efforts aimed at eliminating nuclear weapons and strategic offensive arms."

Resolution S: An International Agreement to Ban Anti-Personnel Landmines

General Assembly: 155:0:10

Abstentions: Belarus, China, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Israel, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Syria, Turkey

First Committee (L.46, 13 November): 140:0:10

Abstentions: same States

"The Assembly...urged States to pursue an effective agreement to ban the use, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines. It urged them to accede to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and to its amended Protocol II."

Resolution T: Status of the Chemical Weapons Convention

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.48/Rev 1, 18 November): adopted without a vote

"...the Assembly called on States to sign and/or ratify the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction without delay. It stressed the importance of the United States and the Russian Federation being among the original States parties to the Convention."

Decision on Item on Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and of Vehicles for Their Delivery in All its Aspects

General Assembly: 121:0:52

First Committee (L.7, 15 November): 92:0:53

"...the Assembly decided to include the item on the provisional agenda of its 1997 session."

Six Resolutions on Review and Implementation of Twelfth Special Session of the UNGA

Resolutions included in: First Committee's Report of Review and Implementation of the Concluding Document of the Twelfth Special Session of the General Assembly, A/51/566/Add.12

Resolution A: United Nations Disarmament Information Programme

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.8, 14 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] [r]ecommended that the United Nations Disarmament Information Programme focus on informing, educating and generating public understanding for multilateral disarmament action..."

Resolution B: United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and Pacific

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.10, 15 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] [r]eaffirmed its support for the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific..."

Resolution C: Regional Confidence-Building Measures

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.15, 15 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] [w]elcomed the Non-Aggression Pact between States members of the Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa..."

Resolution D: Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons

General Assembly: 114:31:27

First Committee (L.19/Rev 1, 11 November): 76:26:24

"...the Assembly again requested the Conference on Disarmament to begin negotiations for an international convention to prohibit the use of nuclear weapons."

Resolution E: United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.26/Rev 1,14 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] [r]eaffirmed its support for the Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa..."

Resolution F: United Nations Disarmament Fellowship, Training and Advisory Services

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.32, 14 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] [r]equested the Secretary-Gen6ral to continue/to implement the Geneva-based United Nations Disarmament Fellowship, Training and Advisory Services Programme.."

Three Resolutions on Review and Implementation of Tenth Special Session of the UNGA

Resolutions included in: First Committee's Report on the Review and Implementation of the Recommendations and Decisions Adopted by the General Assembly at its Tenth Special Session, A/51/566/Add.13

Resolution A: Expanding the Membership of the Conference on Disarmament

General Assembly: 171:0:2

Abstentions: Turkey, US

First Committee (L.1, 15 November): 144:0:2

Abstentions: same States

"...[the Assembly] recognised the legitimate aspirations of all countries to participate fully in the work of the Conference on Disarmament."

Resolution B: Disarmament Commission

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.5/Rev 1, 14 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] [w]elcomed adoption by the Disarmament Commission of its guidelines for international arms transfers and invited Member States to enact legislation to control export and import of arms..."

Resolution C: Report of the Conference on Disarmament

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.25, 14 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] [r]eaffirmed the role of the Conference on Disarmament as the international community's single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, and welcomed its decision to expand its membership with 23 new members..."

Risk of Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East

Resolution included in: First Committee's Report on the Risk of Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East, A/51/566/Add.14

General Assembly: 129:3:32

Against: Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, US

First Committee (L.27/Rev 2, 18 November): 98:2:32

Against: Israel, US

"...the Assembly called upon Israel to accede without further delay to the...NPT...and to place its nuclear facilities under...IAEA...safeguards."

Prior vote on Preambular Paragraph 6, which "recalls that the Conference on Disarmament urged universal adherence to the NPT as an urgent priority": 155:2:8 (Against: India, Israel)

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons

Resolution included in: First Committee's Report on the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, A/51/566/Add.15

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.40, 13 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] [c]alled upon States to become parties to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons)..."

Security and Cooperation in the Mediterranean

Resolution included in: First Committee's Report on Strengthening Security and Cooperation in the Mediterranean Region, A/51/566/Add.16

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.33, 14 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly encouraged] support for the convening of a Conference on Security and Cooperation in the region. It...call[ed] on regional States to adhere to all the multilaterally negotiated legal instruments for disarmament. ..."

Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace

Resolution included in: First Committee's Report on Implementation of the Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace, A/51.566/Add.17

General Assembly vote: 131:3:37

Against: France, UK, US

First Committee (L.13, 14 November): 106:3:35

Against: same States

"The Assembly again stated its conviction that participation by all the permanent members of the Security Council and the major maritime users of the Indian Ocean in the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on that ocean would help advance peace, security and stability in the region."

Latin America Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (Tlatelolco) Treaty

Resolution included in: First Committee's Report on the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco), A/51/566/Add.18

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.9, 11 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] welcomed recent steps for consolidation of the regime of military denuclearization established by the Treaty..."

Africa Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (Pelindaba) Treaty

Resolution included in: First Committee's Report on the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba), A/51/566/Add.19

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.23, 11 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] called upon African States to sign and ratify the...Treaty..."

Biological Weapons Convention

Resolution included in: First Committee's Report on the Biological Weapons Convention, A/51/566/Add.20

General Assembly: adopted without a vote

First Committee (L.2, 11 November): adopted without a vote

"...[the Assembly] called on States that have not yet signed the Convention on the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) Weapons and on Their Destruction, to become parties at an early date."

Resolution & Decision on Maintenance of International Security

Resolution and Decision included in: First Committee's Report on the Maintenance of International Security, A/51/566/Add.21

Resolution on Preventing the Violent Disintegration of States

General Assembly: 162:0:8

Abstentions: Algeria, Armenia, China, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Pakistan, Tanzania

First Committee (L.42/Rev 1, 15 November): 137:0:7

Abstentions: same States minus Armenia

"The Assembly called on States and international organizations to continue actions aimed at preventing the violent disintegration of States..."

Decision on the Review of the Implementation of the Declaration of the Strengthening of International Security

General Assembly: 118:0:53

First Committee (L.22, 15 November): 95:0:51

"...[the Assembly] decided to include the item...in its 1997 provisional agenda."

© 1999 The Acronym Institute.

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