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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 19, October 1997

UN First Committee: General Debate

United Nations First Committee (Disarmament and International Security), General Debate, 13-24 October 1997

Editor's note:the Committee agreed its Programme of Work (A/C.1/52/CRP.1) on 9 October. The Committee's schedule is as follows: general debate, 13-24 October; "structured thematic discussion", 27-31 October; "exchange of views on the rationalization of work and reform of the Committee's agenda", 3-4 November; consideration of draft resolutions, 5-7 November; action on draft resolutions, 10-18 November.
The extracts below are taken from UN Press Releases, which utilise the speakers' words as much as possible.

Statement by Abdul Abadi

"There was no alternative to the achievement of genuine and complete nuclear disarmament... It should be the absolute priority. He supported the proposal to develop a timetable for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Nothing should stand in the way of negotiations within the Conference on Disarmament. Measures related to the production of fissile material should be combined with other negotiations. ...
...the Secretary-General had confirmed the central role that the United Nations should play in achieving world security but the decision to form a special Department for Disarmament and Arms Regulation required clarification, particularly in terms of the priorities that would be allocated to it. Nuclear disarmament must remain the absolute priority. Also, such a Department should not affect the negotiations within the Conference on Disarmament or the Disarmament Commission, which was open to the participation of all Member States."
Source:United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3083, 16 October

Statement by Fernando Enrique Petrella

"Welcoming the progress made towards implementation of the CTBT, he announced that his Government had initiated the steps for parliamentary ratification of the Treaty. ...
It was also important to support the anti-personnel landmine ban which had been agreed to in Oslo. A ban on such weapons was supported by the Latin American and Caribbean Group. The countries of the Rio Group - Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Honduras, and Guyana - wanted to convert the region into one free of anti-personnel landmines.
Increased security in Latin America had meant the area was free of arms races... Democratic governments had established confidence in the region, and the decision of the United States to make the sale of weapons to the area more flexible would be met with stability. In a constructive climate, dialogue and joint military exercises were being undertaken by Argentina with Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. ..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3080, 13 October

Statement by John Campbell

"Of highest priority was the need to conclude a cut-off treaty on fissile material... A cut-off was an important corollary to the completed CTBT and was the next logical step on the path towards the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. It was also the ripest issue for a multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiation within the Conference on Disarmament. He remained deeply disappointed that the reservations of a fraction of the Conference's membership were bogging it down. A cut-off treaty was surely an outcome for which it was worth putting aside those differences, and it would be another brick in the wall of nuclear disarmament. ...
It was with considerable frustration that he had witnessed the lumbering and convulsive attempts of the Conference to find an appropriate post-CTBT role for itself...
...while the question of the approach to nuclear disarmament was a major cause of the logjam in the Conference, he was committed to the pursuit of the ultimate objective - global nuclear disarmament - through concrete interlocking steps. ...
The world's international security architecture would be poorer, if the Conference were to stagnate and decline into irrelevance... Its membership must urgently decide whether that body would make a central contribution."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3082, 15 October

Statement by Sergei Martynov

"Establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones was a major prerequisite in the effort to strengthen nuclear security in Central Europe... The initiative to establish such a zone in Central and Eastern Europe, further developed by the Minsk international conference, was a cornerstone for political and military stabilization in the region. ... On the issue of anti-personnel landmines...it would be more appropriate to conduct negotiations on such weapons through the Conference on Disarmament than in the Ottawa process."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3085, 20 October

Statement by Celso L.N. Amorim

"... Caution should be exercised, as well as self-restraint, to avoid a new arms race of sophisticated weapons among the nuclear-weapon States. ...
On 20 June, the President of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, submitted the NPT to the Brazilian Congress for approval... The option of acquiring nuclear weapons was renounced by Brazil long ago. His country had actively participated in negotiating the Treaty of Tlatelolco. The same renunciation was reaffirmed in other bilateral agreements. Now, in joining the non-proliferation regime of the NPT, his country intended to further the cause of nuclear disarmament. But, the NPT by itself did not represent a definitive solution to the nuclear problem.
...despite solemn commitments to do so under the NPT, some still argued that the elimination of nuclear weapons was not feasible. To the contrary, what was unthinkable was that the current unstable situation could be left unattended.
...Brazil and other like-minded countries intended to table a draft resolution on a nuclear-weapon-free Southern hemisphere. It was a step in the direction of freeing mankind of the nightmare of nuclear destruction."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3081, 14 October

Statement by Emil Valev

"His country had paid particular attention to the question of anti-personnel landmines, especially their indiscriminate use... His country's approach, however, contained some constraints, which reflected a realistic doctrine on national security and defence. Thus, it had taken a cautious attitude towards acceptance of measures that would impose excessive restrictions on national defence. While the Ottawa process provided a basis for achieving a widely acceptable international agreement, the Conference on Disarmament offered the most practical and effective forum for negotiating a global comprehensive ban on such weapons.
He supported the Register of Conventional Arms and called for its strengthening, as a step towards setting up a mechanism for ensuring transparency in the field of conventional armaments. He favoured the inclusion in the Register of data on military holdings and procurement through national production..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3088, 23 October

Statement by Mark Moher

"Recent achievements in the nuclear arena represented only a fraction of what was needed towards the elimination of those weapons.... The START process must be revitalized and broadened to include other nuclear-weapon States and convert promises into actions. The nuclear-weapon States must comply with their obligation under the NPT to negotiate in good faith and conclude negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament. The NPT review process must continue to be qualitatively different. Further, the Conference on Disarmament must overcome its current stalemate and move forward decisively on nuclear disarmament and a cut-off of the use of fissile material for weapons purposes. In addition, much work remained to be done in terms of security assurances and the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones.
He did not accept the view put forth by some States that vast and comprehensive progress across the board, such as towards the elimination of nuclear weapons, was a precondition for specific progress. He was committed to achieving progress wherever and whenever possible. For example, he specifically believed it was a propitious moment to finally get to work to prevent an arms race in outer space. ... The Register of Conventional Arms would continue to fall short of its potential, so long as States erratically and sporadically submitted their data. ...
The Ottawa process...proved that new approaches, new convictions, new coalitions of like-minded governments and civil society working together would produce clear and rapid results... Those countries that would be unable to sign should place unilateral restrictions on the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of anti-personnel landmines. ..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3081, 14 October

Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
Statement by Patricia Durrant (Jamaica)

"Of specific concern to CARICOM States was the danger posed by the movement of nuclear waste through the waters of the region. She called on the relevant states to take the views of the region on the matter fully into account."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3986, 21 October

Statement by Juan Larrain

"The effort to connect nuclear disarmament to a phased programme of action was not the right approach. It was important to make bilateral efforts, but he still attached importance to multilateral negotiations within United Nations bodies, especially the Conference on Disarmament. ...
He was particularly concerned about the worldwide transportation of dangerous materials, particularly nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. Such transportation should be controlled. Therefore, he called for greater information about routes, contingency plans in case of accidents and provisions for compensation in case of damage."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3088, 23 October

Statement by Sha Zukang

"Continuing research and development of missile defence systems were not conducive to international peace and security. ...
As for the issue of anti-personnel landmines, was it more important than the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons and outer space weapons? ... His country had taken a constructive and realistic attitude towards the amendment to the landmine Protocol and might ratify that Protocol at an early date. ...
Anti-personnel landmines were defensive in nature...and the humanitarian concerns about them were caused by the shortcomings of the older mines, their indiscriminate use and inadequate post-conflict demining efforts. The elimination of civilian casualties should be the sole objective. That could be achieved by clearing the older mines and banning their future use. His Government was in favour of imposing strict and reasonable restrictions on the use of anti-personnel landmines, with a view to achieving their ultimate ban in a step-by-step manner. It reserved the right, however, to use such weapons on its own territory until alternative means had been found. ..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3081, 14 October

Statement by Maria de Los Angeles Florez

"The entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the establishment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had been moments of significance...when her country ratified the Convention, it noted it could not be responsible for any chemical weapons on Guantanamo Naval Base. That was the responsibility of the United States, which was illegally occupying that portion of Cuban territory.
On the Biological Weapons Convention, she believed that the work of the fourth review conference should be used as a basis for continuing to reinforce the Convention. Her country's suspicions concerning the disregard of the Convention's provisions by a State party to it were supported by recent evidence [Editor's note: See Rebecca Johnson's Geneva Update, Disarmament Diplomacy No. 17 July-August].
Her country shared concerns voiced by a number of States on the question of anti-personnel landmines and their indiscriminate use. However, those weapons were a means of legitimate defence for many countries. ... Her country foresaw the use of such weapons only as a defensive measure, protecting the perimeter bordering the Guantanamo Naval Base. Once the United States withdrew its forces from that territory, her country would immediately remove its landmines. ..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3087, 22 October

Statement by Luis Valencia Rodriguez

"In July 1997, after the United States lifted restrictions on weapons exports to the Latin American region, his Government had sent a communication to Costa Rica suggesting that the countries of the region declare a two-year moratorium on the import of high-tech weapons. His country...was concerned about the diversion of precious resources for weapons."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3080, 13 October

Statement by Nabil Elaraby

"In August 1996, Egypt, on behalf of 28 countries, had submitted to the Conference on Disarmament a programme of action, intended to overcome the inertia related to nuclear disarmament, especially by the nuclear-weapon States. That programme should be seriously studied on a priority basis by an ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament... Clearly, the lack of political will remained the major obstacle for any advance in that direction. ...
While the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones around the globe was a concept that promoted non-proliferation within the framework of the NPT, the General Assembly had been calling without success for such a zone in the Middle East since 1974. While that resolution had been adopted by consensus annually since 1980, the progress achieved was nil. While all the Arab League States had acceded to the NPT, Israel persisted in defying repeated calls to join that Treaty and to subject its nuclear facilities to full-scope IAEA safeguards. ...
While he supported the Register of Conventional Arms as a confidence-building mechanism...it was not an arms control measure. He was disappointed at the failure to broaden the scope of the Register to cover military holdings and procurements through national production and at its failure to include an eighth category on stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. ... The international community could not expect the States of the Middle East to ignore reports of the existence of weapons of mass destruction, while continuing to support the Register. ...
The Convention concluded in Oslo contained vague language on [the] issue [of demining] and did not acknowledge the responsibility of States in the deployment of mines. He was still studying the treaty and had yet to formulate his position. ..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3083, 16 October

European Union (EU) and Other States
Statement on behalf of the EU, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Cyprus, by Arsene H. Millim (Luxembourg)

"The Union believed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) remained the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation regime, and continued to appeal for worldwide accession to the Treaty. It was pleased with the work done towards the next NPT Review Conference in the year 2000.
The CTBT, opened for signature last year, provided a strong impetus for implementation of the principles and objectives of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference... The Union welcomed the fact that 147 countries had signed, and seven had ratified it, and called on all those who had not yet done so to sign it as soon as possible.
The international community must now quickly negotiate a universal convention banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons or other explosive nuclear devices... The Conference on Disarmament should set up an ad hoc committee to conduct those negotiations. The Union welcomed the entry into force of START I and looked forward to the ratification of START II by the Russian Federation. The Union considered that the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones strengthened global, as well as regional peace and stability, and called for continued work on the establishment of such zones in South Asia and the Middle East.
...the Union welcomed the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention... It was important for all States who had not done so to sign and ratify the Convention - especially the Russian Federation...
...Stressing the importance of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, the Union called on all States to take part in it, even registering a response of 'nil', if necessary. ... The accumulation and destabilizing transfer of small arms and light weapons was a source of a growing international anxiety, and the Union welcomed the Committee on Small Arms' adoption in June 1997 of a programme for combating illicit trafficking in conventional arms.
...the Union had long supported action on anti-personnel landmines, and had undertaken all possible ways to help bring about a total ban on them. All States should endorse the objective of their complete elimination. The Union would continue to press in all the appropriate forums for such a total ban."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3080, 13 October

Statement by Poseci Bune

"His country had been the first to ratify the CTBT. ... However, the Treaty would be meaningless without rapid and positive implementation of its provisions. Therefore, he deplored the recent announcement by one nuclear-weapon State to conduct a series of sub-critical underground nuclear tests, which represented a blatant disregard of the expressed concerns of the international community. He called on the international community to begin negotiations as soon as possible on a treaty for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free world."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3081, 14 October

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
Statement by Naste Calovski

"There should be an international instrument for the limitation of conventional weapons. Perhaps the Conference on Disarmament could prepare a regional model instrument on the limitation of such weapons, based on the experience of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty) Treaty. ..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3986, 21 October

Statement by Geirge Volski

"This month, his country had signed an additional protocol with the IAEA. Unfortunately, a few days ago at a border guard garrison on Georgian territory, a dangerously high level of radiation had been detected. Ten servicemen had been exposed to radiation. The accident drew attention to the complex issues of nuclear safety. ..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3089, 24 October

Statement by Jack Wilmot

"[Ghana] regretted the failure of the international community to progress towards a universally binding treaty on the elimination of nuclear weapons. In the Disarmament Commission, for example, the nuclear-weapon States had virtually killed any meaningful discussions on the subject."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3085, 20 October

Statement by Bharati Ray

"[A] careful reading of the 1997 Report on the Conference on Disarmament would show anyone why, and on what issue, it had remained deadlocked. The reason why consensus had been eluded on the objectives and agenda for a fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament was also the same - the issue of nuclear disarmament. ...
Her proposal for a time-bound, phased programme did not seek to impede the bilateral process and was not an all-or-nothing approach, as its critics had said. Rather, it aimed to focus attention on nuclear weapons and ensure that all States were bound to their elimination. Yet, efforts to address nuclear weapons multilaterally had met with constant opposition.
... Through the indefinite extension of the NPT, the nuclear-weapon States had perpetuated their retention of nuclear weapons and become more insistent on stand-alone treaties, rather than a comprehensive approach. Mere non-proliferation treaties had been promoted as disarmament measures to serve this nuclear monopoly and perpetuate inequality... Those States were also consolidating the nuclear-weapon infrastructure, which was being modernized into a smaller and more sophisticated apparatus.
Her apprehensions over the CTBT last year were coming true... That Treaty's loopholes were being exploited by some countries even before the ink has dried. Nuclear testing continued with non-explosive techniques, existing weapons were being improved and new types of weapons were being designed. The CTBT was all set to start a new technology race in the quest for more innovative and lethal nuclear weapons. The prohibition of fissile material should halt the manufacture of nuclear weapons and contribute to their progressive elimination. Yet, any such treaty would only be meaningful if it was part of a phased programme towards the elimination of those weapons, within a specified framework of time. ...
...the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones was not an answer to the threats those weapons posed. Given the global reach and deployment of those weapons, such zones could provide at best an illusion of security against weapons whose effects do not respect territorial or regional boundaries. ... While she shared the objective of banning anti-personnel landmines, she had reservations on the Convention that emerged from the Oslo meeting. Its objective could best be reached through a phased approach that would enjoy international consensus, while addressing humanitarian concerns and legitimate defence requirements. She presented a number of suggestions, including universalizing the present export moratoriums and consideration of non-lethal technologies able perform the legitimate defensive role of landmines. ..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3084, 17 October

Statement by Makarim Wibisono

"With the diminished role and utility of nuclear weapons, it was time to remove them from their alert status, renounce their use and initiate negotiations for START III in an effort to seek further, deep reductions.
There was also the need to look at negative assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States... Rationalization for the continued possession of nuclear weapons needed to be discarded. So long as their role was not viewed as illegitimate and so long as nuclear doctrines were not abandoned, [the] nuclear arms race could be resumed. Against that sombre background, it was regrettable that the Conference on Disarmament failed to reach a consensus to establish an ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament to commence negotiations for their phased reduction within a specific time-frame.
The convening of a fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament was supported by an overwhelming majority of Member States... The Secretary-General, in his reform report, called nuclear disarmament the central issue on the global agenda and said that nations had come to recognize their stake in multilateral negotiations. ...
While the Ottawa process represented a significant accomplishment, it did not provide a complete and final answer to the multitude of problems posed by anti-personnel landmines... A cautious approach that took into account the diverse perspectives of all nations was required. The magnitude of such a task could only be undertaken by the Conference on Disarmament."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3082, 15 October

Statement by Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi

"[W]hile several in the international community had demonstrated their firm determination to end the nightmare of nuclear war, the nuclear-weapon States had insisted on maintaining and developing nuclear weapons - thus paralyzing the confidence-building activities of the Conference on Disarmament and other bodies on that subject. Some States had unjustifiably suggested that nuclear disarmament was unfeasible in the foreseeable future. ...
With the insistence of the nuclear Powers to limit the scope of the CTBT, that Treaty had lost its comprehensive character and its ability to prevent further developments of nuclear weapons. The nuclear Powers, thus, were able to utilize advanced technology and further develop their nuclear stockpiles. Furthermore, they were able to produce new and more complex types of nuclear weapons through non-explosive tests. The controversy over vertical proliferation was accentuated by the sub-critical test that had been conducted by one signatory State, an action that contradicted the spirit and objectives of the Treaty. ...
According to published reports, the Middle East and North Africa imported nearly 40 per cent of the arms sold in the world, he continued. While Iran had submitted to the Register of Conventional Arms, the Middle East region, unfortunately, accounted for the lowest rate of participation in that instrument. ...
While it was expected that the Ottawa process would result in a comprehensive and balanced document to address both the security and humanitarian aspects of the problem, regrettably the final Oslo text did not meet those concerns in a clear and concrete manner. The Conference on Disarmament should establish an ad hoc committee with the mandate of negotiating a ban on those weapons."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3088, 23 October

Statement by Nizar Hamdoon

"Iraq had discharged all its obligations under Security Council resolution 687. Yet, the international community focused only on Iraq while it closed its eyes to Israel's activities. ...
While the Register of Conventional Arms was a long-awaited initiative, it had encountered various problems... Half the United Nations members were not providing the necessary information. The Register must be expanded to include the procurement of sophisticated technology with military applications.
He said progress towards the elimination of landmines must take into account the needs of national defence. ..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3089, 24 October

Statement by David Dabieli

"[T]he Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel proposed to the General Assembly a binding code of conduct for relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. ...
A similar code of conduct could advance regional security and arms control between the parties of the Middle East... Regional security dialogue and a gradual implementation of confidence-building measures, in tandem with the bilateral process between Israel and its neighbours, would pave the way for more ambitious arms control and disarmament measures. ...
...the promising work of the Multilateral Working Group on Arms Control and Regional Security (ACRS), established in the context of the peace process in Madrid in 1991, had been halted by overly ambitious and politically unrealistic agenda objectives. All concerned were called upon to demonstrate the flexibility needed to resume the talks. His Government attached considerable importance to the participation of Syria and Lebanon in the working group towards confidence-building and conventional arms control. ...
Repetition of arguments and counter-arguments would not advance the issue of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East... The regional parties did not see eye to eye on some very basic premises nor on the prerequisites and guidelines or the modalities of establishing such a zone. ...
The agenda item on the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East reflected a transparent political motivation to single out Israel... It was intended to divert attention from the true risks of proliferation in the region, deriving from such regional States as Iraq and Iran, which were engaged in ongoing clandestine efforts to preserve or to acquire military nuclear capabilities. No carefully worded, so-called 'mild resolution' addressed to his country could conceal that fact. ..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3087, 22 October

Statement by Akira Hayashi

"[Japan] upheld its non-nuclear principles and maintained a military force only for self-defence purposes. ... He would reintroduce in the Committee this year a draft resolution aimed at achieving the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons, encouraged by support from Member States. ...
It was regrettable that the Conference on Disarmament had been unable to agree on a process to ban the production of fissile materials, particularly since the majority of States seemed to support such discussions... He hoped that next year the Conference would be able to make more progress. ... Perhaps negotiations could begin immediately on the technical aspects of a cut-off treaty for fissile materials. Such an approach had been successful in the approach of the ad hoc group of scientific experts on seismic events, prior to the commencement of the CTBT negotiations.
...it was important that the Conference grapple with the issue of landmines. ... His Government would soon decide whether or not to sign the treaty negotiated in the Ottawa process. Nevertheless, it was convinced that the international community must continue to strive to realize the universal and effective elimination of those weapons.
... Subsequent to the indefinite extension of the NPT, the first meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the year 2000 Review Conference had been held this year. At the first meeting, nuclear-weapon States had provided information on the measures they had taken for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. That was an important effort, bringing increased transparency to the nuclear disarmament process, and providing greater confidence between those States and the non-nuclear States. ..."
Source: United Nations Press Release, GA/DIS/3081, 14 October

Statement by Rajad Sukayri

"[U]nless the Register of Conventional Arms was broadened to encompass military holdings and procurement through national production, as well as stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, its effective operation could not be expected in the near future."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3986, 21 October

Statement by Akmaral Arystanbekova

"She supported the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia. ... Since broad areas of her country had suffered the effects of nuclear explosions, she understood the importance of strengthening environmental safeguards and that was another reason to strive for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the area. She was grateful to the Secretary-General for her support for such a zone, which had also been a topic in the international conference on disarmament that had taken place in Tashkent this year. ..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3082, 15 October

Statement by Mary Odinga

"[Ominous] undercurrents permeated the recent disarmament developments. For example, the Chemical Weapons Convention had entered into force with the absence of one of the major declared possessors of chemical weapons. Equally disappointing was the announcement of sub-critical testing by a key State party to the CTBT, which burst the euphoric bubble following the Treaty's signing last September."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3089, 24 October

Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Statement by Kim Chang Guk

"In the region of north-east Asia, in particular the Korean peninsula, the legacy of the cold war remained intact... South Korea was introducing up-to-date military equipment on a large scale, with a contract to buy more than $3 billion worth of AWACS aircraft and $370 million worth of 'Stinger' missiles.
France and other major Powers were also racing to sell weapons to South Korea..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3087, 22 October

Republic of Korea
Statement by Park Soo Gil

"The new adopted Protocol to the IAEA safeguards would strengthen the non-proliferation regime by improving the Agency's ability to verify the compliance of States parties to the NPT... He was working actively towards the implementation of that Protocol and urged other States to do the same. ...
...there had been progress in resolving the North Korean nuclear issue in the context of the 1994 Agreed Framework between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. That agreement had now entered the implementation stage. However, once again, the North Korean nuclear issue could only be resolved when North Korea complied fully with the IAEA safeguards, as well as with the Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, as agreed by the two sides in 1992. ...
The guidelines on small arms developed by the Disarmament Commission last year should serve as a code of conduct to enhance transparency in international arms transfers and to eradicate such transfers. But, the success of those guidelines required the enactment of national legislation.
Concerning landmines, his Government had decided to extend for an indefinite period its moratorium on their export and had contributed financially to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Clearance. Any effort to curtail the deployment of landmines, however, should take into account legitimate national security concerns. For the people of his country, many of whom lived within shelling range of the most militarized border in the world, a total ban on anti-personnel mines would actually increase, rather than reduce, the possibility of civilian death and injury by diminishing the effectiveness of military deterrence against a recurrence of war. While he supported the spirit of the Convention negotiated in Oslo, he regretted that it did not duly take into account the legitimate security concerns of the Republic of Korea."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3083, 16 October

Statement by Zamira B. Eshmambetova

"Nuclear-weapon-free zones now covered almost the whole of the southern hemisphere. Her country supported the establishment of such zones, as well as the establishment of single-State zones for countries - such as Mongolia - where the nuclear policies of neighbouring States prevented regional agreements. She supported moves to establish such a zone in central Asia and she called for United Nations assistance in setting up a conference next year in her capital to work towards the establishment of such a zone."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3087, 22 October

Lao People's Democratic Republic
Statement by Alounkeo Kittikhoun

"[He] supported the strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention. At the same time, because of the importance of biotechnology for economic development, any verification regime should take into account the security and economic interest of the developing countries that were parties to the Biological Weapons Convention. As for the NPT, it had been two years since its indefinite extension and the work towards nuclear disarmament was far from over. The Preparatory Commission...should engage immediately in substantive work for the full implementation of the obligations under the Treaty, and all States, particularly the nuclear-weapon States, should fulfil their promises...
Any agreement to ban landmines should take into account the legitimate security concerns of States, as well as their legitimate rights to self-defence."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3088, 23 October

Statement by Abdul Hafid S. Sheikh

"There were many gaps in the CTBT, as more technically-developed countries could still improve on their nuclear arsenals by conducting laboratory experiments. His country had registered its opposition at the time the Treaty was approved. No one could say that partial efforts would suffice or would slow the development of nuclear weapons. Agreements of the past had not had a big impact on nuclear arsenals."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3087, 22 October

Statement by Hasmy Agam

"Member States must be prepared to discard old and outmoded security concepts, notably the cold war doctrine of nuclear deterrence...
While bilateral and unilateral arrangements aimed at reducing the current nuclear weapons stockpiles were welcome, even the implementation of START II would render elusive the goal of a world free from nuclear weapons. ...
The CTBT, hailed by the international community, clearly lacked an explicit commitment towards the definitive end of the nuclear arms race... Far from comprehensive, it allowed the nuclear-weapon States to use advanced technology to modernize and upgrade their nuclear weapons systems through laboratory test explosions. One nuclear-weapon State recently announced plans to conduct a series of subcritical underground nuclear tests, a programme that would undoubtedly be emulated by other nuclear Powers equally eager to upgrade their own nuclear arsenals.
The Preparatory Committee, meeting this year for the NPT Review Conference in the year 2000, made little real progress in the efforts towards the agreed goal of the elimination of nuclear weapons. It was essential that future sessions make an accurate and objective assessment of compliance with the NPT obligations...
...the failure of the Conference on Disarmament to even agree on its programme of work for its 1997 session, let alone make any progress on the negotiations, was equally disappointing. Clearly, the continuing impasse reflected the differing positions between the nuclear-weapon States and the non-nuclear-weapon States on both the approaches and substantive aspects of the work of that body. That certainly raised questions about its future role and effectiveness. ... The opinion of the International Court of Justice on the total elimination of nuclear weapons was an important contribution. In light of the continuing impasse in the Conference, the sponsors of last session's draft concerning the Court's opinion would renew their call at the current session."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3080, 13 October

Statement by Ahmed Mujuthaba

"[T]he cold war remained cold, because of nuclear weapons. Cold war adversaries said that the cold war was dead. However, nuclear testing continued, old arsenals were being upgraded and new ones were being invented. ...
What could one of the smallest nations on earth do to eliminate weapons of mass destruction? Countries like the Maldives could not spend money on military matters. Although international peace and security was a global concern, small States were limited in their ability to meet their security requirements. Thus, for those States, the United Nations remained the only guarantor of security."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3088, 23 October

Statement by M. Sekouba Cisse

"While he welcomed the Oslo agreement to ban anti-personnel landmines, the lack of any norms governing conventional weapons, particularly small arms, was of grave concern.
... There was a movement in the United Nations towards what could be called micro-disarmament, and that was drawing attention to the problems caused by the proliferation of small arms. Small countries must be helped. His country would soon submit a draft resolution on the subject, with the support of other countries...
An international forum was held in Mali last March to discuss the issue... Several recommendations had been made, among them establishing an integrated system to combat such weapons; establishing an international registry for them; and fostering a culture of peace. ... He also recommended a regional moratorium on exports of such weapons, which should be open to participation by all African States.
The decisions that had been made during the forum in Mali were in line with the recommendations of the Panel of Governmental Experts on Small Arms... His Government had created a national commission to combat the proliferation of small arms."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3085, 20 October

Marshall Islands
Statement by Laurence N. Edwards

"[N]uclear disarmament was important to his country, which had been the site of 67 nuclear explosions between 1946 and 1957. That was 7,000 times the yield of the atomic weapons used during the Second World War. He was encouraged by the IAEA in its process of conducting a survey in the northern areas of his country and looked forward to its report.
... The international community should work towards a convention prohibiting the production, testing, deployment, stockpiling, transfer, threat or use of nuclear weapons. Such a convention would be a major step towards the ultimate elimination of such weapons. ..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3084, 17 October

Statement by Antonio de Icaza

"[S]ignificant progress in arms control and reduction had taken place since the end of the East-West struggle. The complex verification system provided for in the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was an important starting point... He hoped that the ratification process by the Russian Federation would not be hindered by the continuation of nuclear tests.
...In the context of negotiations between the United States and the Russian Federation, the protocol to the 1993 Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START II) increased the possibility that the agreed reductions would take place, including the start of negotiations for a START III.
Those bilateral achievements, however, could not hide the exasperating lack of consensus in the international community on disarmament measures and pursuits into the next century... That lack of consensus had spread to the main multilateral deliberative body, the Conference on Disarmament. ...
Nuclear disarmament was not just a priority, but the obligation of all States. His Government had submitted to the Conference on Disarmament last June a draft mandate on an ad hoc committee on nuclear disarmament, which called on all States to undertake a phased programmed with time-frames leading to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. However, time seems to have stopped in that body on that issue... Unable to devote itself to such priorities, the Conference on Disarmament waivers between stagnation and irrelevance.
To further nuclear disarmament, he would submit a draft on consolidating the regime of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco). He welcomed the decision by concerned States to set up a regime of denuclearization in Central Asia modeled on existing treaties. ...
...nuclear disarmament should not be left exclusively to the nuclear-weapon States. Their refusal to deal with that issue in multilateral forums would not make the issue disappear. ...
Given the excessive availability of conventional weapons, he said the producers and purchasers of such weapons shared a responsibility to ensure that the quantities and level of sophistication did not exceed legitimate defence needs. He welcomed efforts to reduce the excessive accumulation of such weapons and had co-sponsored a draft that would have the Conference on Disarmament support regional conventions on conventional weapons. His Government had also undertaken initiatives leading to the anticipated conclusion this week of negotiations to combat the transfer and illicit use of such weapons in his region."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3080, 13 October

Statement by Jargalsaikhany Enkhsaikhan

"Located between two nuclear-weapon States, his country had promptly fulfilled its treaty obligation by ratifying the CTBT in July... He urged all States that had not done so to ratify it as quickly as possible. His country had submitted its two seismological and radionuclide stations to the International Monitoring System set up under the CTBT. ...
He welcomed the initiative taken by the five Central Asian states to establish such a nuclear- weapon-free zone. His country was endeavouring to make its modest contribution of a single state nuclear-weapon-free zone, reflecting the evolving reality. That had the support of all five nuclear-weapon States, and he hoped for recognition of the zone, like other nuclear-weapon-free zones, by the General Assembly."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3089, 24 October

Statement by U Mya Than

"[T]o carry out nuclear disarmament measures the nuclear-weapon States must do so in good faith... They must not attempt to circumvent existing treaty provisions in order to gain technical and strategic advantage. In that regard, he was concerned about the nuclear-weapon test carried out by one nuclear-weapon State. All such tests must be stopped..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3082, 15 October

Statement by Janardan Acharya

"Given the fervent plea for nuclear disarmament, the conclusion of a treaty on a time-bound elimination of those weapons was not only a legitimate demand, but an achievable one. It was, therefore, regrettable that the current momentum in disarmament had been severely impeded in the Conference [on Disarmament]. ...
...the Convention agreed upon in Oslo was welcome and one which Nepal would consider signing in Ottawa in December."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3084, 17 October

New Zealand
Statement by Clive Pearson

"[S]even countries had so far ratified the CTBT, which remained a priority for New Zealand, as it was a step towards nuclear disarmament. He hoped the number of ratifications would swell during the year. There should be no doubt that this treaty, and its State signatories, mean business...
Unfortunately...along with all the disarmament successes of the year, 1997 had not been a good year for the Conference on Disarmament... If the deadlock continued during the year, it would call into question the credibility of the Conference, and the body would thus have difficulty securing financial resources.
He remained committed to the Conference, but it must prove that it was still capable of delivering. There must be a greater willingness to entertain movement and engage in compromise. The Conference must fully engage in debate on nuclear disarmament and provide leadership on the issue. That debate must not be suffocated in Geneva.
Packaging nuclear disarmament into time-bound outcomes was not productive, nor was linking progress on nuclear issues to progress in other areas of arms control...
There had never been a better time to engage in nuclear disarmament... The fact that they [nuclear weapons] have not been used for 50 years does not mean that the risks are in any way lessened as time goes by. The longer we retain them, the greater the temptation of others to acquire them." Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3081, 14 October

Statement by Mallam Daouda

"[I]n Africa illegal weapons of all types were being used to kill women, children and men. Although not an arms producer, his country remained a major victim of those deadly devices. He was, therefore, deeply convinced that the consolidation of peace and security hinged on undertaking specific disarmament measures that sought to control small and light weapons.
...Niger had associated itself with the United Nations and certain neighbours to carry out global action to combat the scourge of the illegal arms trade... It had established national import and export legislation and in 1994, a commission for the collection and control of illegal weapons, charged with minimizing the insecurities spawned by such trafficking. It had already recorded some success in its task...
...He expressed concern...that with its vast desert territory, Niger might be used by the nuclear Powers for the dumping of nuclear waste. He, therefore, sought mechanism's for the sound management of such waste."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3085, 20 October

Statement by Maria Laose-Ajayi

"[T]he accumulation of weapons continued, against the backdrop of the ever-present nuclear threat. ...
In April 1997, the new review process of the NPT had begun... The process may be new, but the old attitudes seem to persist. The request of non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the NPT was still being denied. The ability of the Treaty to stop vertical proliferation of nuclear weapons remained in doubt.
Conventional weapons were the only means by which many countries defended themselves... International action was needed for their control. Calling for control of conventional weapons, while pursuing an aggressive arms sales policy, was dishonest and a disservice to the cause of peace."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3986, 21 October

Statement by Leif Arne Ulland

"The international disarmament agenda should encompass a programme for managing disarmament, including the secure and environmentally safe handling of fissile material... His Government had drawn up a plan of action on nuclear activities and on chemical weapons in areas adjacent to its northern borders. Its goal was to achieve safe and cost-effective operations under independent control and inspection, in keeping with international guidelines. ...
On the issue of achieving a ban on the use of fissile material for nuclear weapons, he made several recommendations, including the international inspection of the stocks held by nuclear-weapon States and the creation of an international accounting mechanism. ...
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3083, 16 October

Statement by Siddique Kahn Kanju

"Major concerns remained in the field of nuclear disarmament, such as some nuclear-weapon States were still engaged in nuclear testing and research programmes, contrary to the spirit of the CTBT; non-nuclear-weapon States were still threatened by the use of nuclear weapons; threats to the strategic balance between the nuclear-weapon States could lead to a revival of a nuclear arms race, both on the ground and in outer space; and, if there were a re-emergence of great Power confrontation, it would be extremely difficult to manage nuclear deterrence.
Nuclear disarmament was, therefore, the highest priority... It was not the exclusive concern of the nuclear-weapons States. In particular, the 20 or so countries that could build such weapons should be included in disarmament negotiations. There should be an international, legally-binding multilateral agreement committing all States to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons within a fixed time-frame. There should also be a prohibition on the production of fissile material. However, his country would only support such a treaty if it did not allow unequal stockpiles of fissile materials.
He endorsed the objectives of the Chemical Weapons Convention. However...the Indian declaration that it possesses chemical weapons came as a rude surprise to Pakistan, since we had signed a bilateral declaration in 1992 affirming neither India or Pakistan possessed chemical weapons. His Government was now in a quandary, because under the Convention, India could continue to hold such weapons for another 10 years. Furthermore, [Pakistan] must now seriously question all of India's declarations, including those relating to non-development of nuclear weapons...
His country was an original party to the Treaty on Certain Conventional Weapons, and had participated in the Ottawa process as an observer. However, because of the security situation along its long borders, his country could not accept a total ban on such weapons. There were a number of other countries in such a position. ...
His country's approach to disarmament was determined by its challenging security environment... Short-range and nuclear-capable Prithvi missiles targeted Pakistan's major cities and defence assets. Its neighbour had spent billions of dollars on armaments and the planned development of the medium-range Agni - and perhaps longer-range missile systems - threatened not only his country, but the entire region."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3084, 17 October

Statement by Jaime Lopez

"Although some critics had called the nuclear disarmament proposal by the Non-Aligned Movement of countries unreasonable, calling for true nuclear disarmament was not entirely unreasonable.
The Non-Aligned Movement could hardly be considered unreasonable, when the obligation to rid the world of nuclear weapons had been in the NPT for three decades and had been enunciated by the International Court of Justice last year... Furthermore, those who had advocated true nuclear disarmament had been open to compromise. From the NPT to the CTBT, disarmament had given way to non-proliferation. ...
With the entry into force last May of the South-East Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, the world became even smaller for nuclear weapons... Regional strides had been undertaken and his Government's constitutional policy against nuclear weapons had found greater meaning. As the Committee considered the forthcoming resolution on the Nuclear-Weapon-Free Southern Hemisphere and Adjacent Areas, it should decide to strengthen it, rather than compromise and weaken it.
The Ottawa process stood fast and resisted compromise that would have betrayed the humanitarian imperative to ban the insidious anti-personnel landmine.... His Government was preparing legislation to criminalize the possession, use of or trade in anti-personnel mines and their parts. That legislation would transcend the usual territorial, legal application and apply to any violation anywhere in the world where a domestic link was present. ...
...caution was needed, lest the reform of the structures and approaches of disarmament and international security result in bringing the disarmament momentum of the last few years to a screeching halt. If the attempt to inject reform into disarmament was an intentional and clever ploy to distract and delay, then we might as well invoke divine intervention. If the price of genuine and meaningful reform would put on virtual hold any disarmament progress, then the parties must be prepared to pay that price. But, to detract ever so slightly from those disarmament efforts to deal with reform, especially if true reform was not forthcoming, would be unacceptable. The pursuit of disarmament was too urgent and the stakes far too high."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3085, 20 October

The Rio Group
Statement on behalf of the Rio Group (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Honduras and Guyana), by Saguier Caballero (Paraguay)

"[T]he Group would participate actively in the Ottawa process to ban landmines. The countries of the Group would work to make their region the first to be free of that type of weapon...
The Group had reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen confidence-building measures and measures to increase transparency in security in order to ensure a safer region... The Group had begun negotiations on an international convention that would combat the production and illicit transfer of firearms, explosives and other related materials."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3083, 16 October

Statement by Vladimir P. Lukin

"While his Government continued to oppose NATO expansion, it was strenuously working to transform the closed-bloc structures into an integral part of a European and universal security system. In order to prevent the emergence of new dividing lines in Europe, his Government was willing to go [its] part of the road. For example, an initiative was under consideration to change the targeting of Russian nuclear systems, so they would no longer be directed at NATO countries.
His Government was willing to undertake consistent action, together with other nuclear-weapon States, aimed at the reduction and ultimate elimination of nuclear arsenals by all the members of the 'nuclear club' . ...
It was important that the Conference on Disarmament initiate negotiations on a multilateral convention on the prohibition of the production of fissile materials... His country had already stopped the production of weapons-grade uranium and a national programme to stop the production of weapons-grade plutonium would be implemented by 1998. The decision to gradually remove from Russia' s nuclear military up to 500 tons of highly enriched uranium and up to 50 tons of weapons-grade plutonium was an effective contribution towards rendering the process of nuclear disarmament irreversible.
...the recent signing in New York of the agreements on the demarcation between the strategic and non-strategic anti-ballistic missile systems represented substantial progress towards strengthening the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. They offered Russia and the United States new opportunities to work together towards reducing their nuclear weapons to a level 80 per cent below that which existed during the cold war. The work of experts on START III would continue, with full-scale negotiations for that treaty beginning upon the entry into force of START II.
The establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones in various parts of the world significantly enhanced stability and security and promoted the narrowing of the sphere of nuclear preparations... Particularly welcome was the idea for establishing a nuclear-weapon-free space in Central and Eastern Europe. The Duma was actively engaged in ratifying the Chemical Weapons Convention and hoped to complete that process soon... Negotiations on the Biological Weapons Convention should produce a verification and compliance system that was reliable, not burdensome... In the process, it was important that the Convention be strengthened, not revised.
...he favoured the elimination of anti-personnel landmines through a gradual process that included agreed stages. While President Yeltsin had expressed support for the principle of the Convention negotiated in Oslo, Protocol II of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons balanced the interests of States and took into account their actual capabilities and security interests. A hasty prohibition, unaccompanied by measures to strengthen stability, could have a negative impact, including upon anti-terrorist activities. The proper forum for the discussion of landmines was the Conference on Disarmament...
...a number of linkages had been insisted upon by various countries in the multilateral negotiating process this year in order to shake the role of the Conference on Disarmament into taking a ' fast track' approach. Such an approach was incapable of assessing the security interests of all countries."
Source: United Nations Press Release, GA/DIS/3081, 14 October

Saudi Arabia
Statement by Saud Abdul-Aziz Al-Dail

"The Register of Conventional Arms should include weapons of mass destruction, as well as advanced technology that had military applications. The Register did not take into consideration the situation in the Middle East, which was characterized by a lack of qualitative balance because of Israel's possession of nuclear weapons."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3085, 20 October

Statement by Ibra Deguene Ka

"[T]he recent conference in Tashkent, Kazakstan showed the willingness of States to create a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia, a move that would also strengthen existing zones. However, general and complete disarmament was still a distant goal. Many States were asking what should be done now to follow up on the momentum created in the last five years. He deplored the situation of uncertainty in the Conference on Disarmament. The spirit of consensus that had always guided that body seemed to have been eclipsed by a reign of suspicion, where any proposal was viewed with caution."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3986, 21 October

Statement by Anil Kumar

"[D]isarmament was not a simple process... It was not about simply banning a category of weapons and it could not be clinically insulated from the overall political and security context in which it occurred. For example, the anti-personnel landmine ban agreed to in Oslo had been lauded as a bright success in a relatively bleak disarmament year. Yet, there were many countries not in a position to join the global ban. Even though United States President William Clinton had called for a ban on such weapons, in the end the United States was unable to sign the treaty, as it felt the ban would put its troops in South Korea at risk. That position was quite understandable.
His country's position on such weapons had been active and open... It had supported all efforts against their indiscriminate use. However, his country believed that security concerns and the right to self-defence of any country could not be disregarded. Thus, he could not support a blanket ban on such weapons."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3088, 23 October

South Africa
Statement by Peter Goosen

"[South Africa] would continue to work with States that had begun efforts to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia, and would continue to support the initiative to promote the southern hemisphere as a zone free from nuclear weapons. ...
The membership of the Conference on Disarmament should be democratized... Some had argued that the Conference could only function with a limited membership, but the weakness of that argument had been demonstrated by the negotiations that had taken place under the umbrella of existing treaties and also by the Oslo conference. The national security and other concerns of States were protected by the conference's rules of procedure, not by limited membership."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3082, 15 October

Sri Lanka
Statement by Bernard Goonetilleke

"[T]he NPT clearly expected the nuclear arms race to be ended and nuclear disarmament to take place at an early date. However, despite the passage of more than 25 years since the Treaty went into effect, nuclear weapons had not been totally eliminated. Given the obligation of nuclear-weapon States under that Treaty to pursue in good faith negotiations on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament, the position taken by some of those States since the last Review Conference was rather disturbing. While there were reductions envisaged in the START treaties, it had to be pointed out that START II had not yet been ratified by Russia and that, even once it was ratified, thousands of nuclear warheads would remain in the hands of the two major nuclear-weapon States.
To make matters worse...some nuclear-weapon States advanced the view that negotiations should first be conducted between the two major nuclear Powers, to be followed by the remaining three when the former's nuclear weapons were reduced to hundreds. They had also taken the position that nuclear disarmament should not be subjected to multilateral negotiation, thus turning the international community into mere spectators. ...
Moreover, the nuclear-weapon States seemed to overlook their Treaty obligations, as well as the recent calls made by the Non-Aligned Movement of countries, the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice and the Canberra Commission. Furthermore, they seemed to ignore the fact that the rationale put forth for retaining those weapons - namely the theory of nuclear deterrence - was being rejected by the same persons who had earlier embraced it. In addition, the Conference on Disarmament had been prevented from commencing work on the subject...
Turning to the subject of security assurances...the last Review Conference of the NPT determined that further steps should be considered in that regard, including in the form of an internationally legally binding instrument. Despite that decision, no step whatsoever had been taken for more than two years to satisfy that justifiable demand of the non-nuclear-weapon States. It was against this background that the States parties belonging to the Non-Aligned Movement and a cross-section of other States demanded that, at the next review conference, a legally binding security assurances regime be concluded. ...
Transparency...could not be selective or limited to conventional weapons alone, while ignoring the weapons of mass destruction...
While he welcomed the Canadian initiative for a convention banning anti-personnel landmines... such a measure should also take into account various aspects of defence, including alternative methods and the use of landmines by irregular forces. Given his country's security concerns, it would not be in a position to become a party to the landmine Convention in the immediate future."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3083, 16 October

Statement by Khalil Abu-Hadid

"[T]he Conference on Disarmament must set up a specialized committee in order to deal with disarmament matters, particularly aimed at negotiating a phased programme of nuclear disarmament within a specific time-frame..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3087, 22 October

Statement by Mahmoud H. Jabir

"[Tanzania] attached great importance to the establishment of the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace. Regrettably, some major permanent members of the Security Council and some major maritime users had not participated in the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Indian Ocean, which created serious implications in the region. ...
While the adoption of the CTBT last year held some promise, the Treaty lacked an explicit commitment towards a definite end to the nuclear arms race... Less than one year after the Treaty's existence, one nuclear-weapon State had announced its plans to conduct a series of sub-critical underground nuclear tests. ..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3087, 22 October

Statement by Asda Jayanama

"Complimenting the NPT, the Bangkok Treaty had entered into force in March, clearly representing the commitment of the 10 countries of the region to keep the area free from nuclear weapons. He urged the nuclear-weapon States to join their efforts. ...
He was dismayed that the fourth special session of the General Assembly had not yet been convened and that there was, as yet, no date set for such a session. He urged all parties concerned to agree on this as quickly as possible. He also applauded the work of the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, noting the usefulness of the Kathmandu process."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3084, 17 October

Statement by Ali Hachani

"[Tunisia] had followed the Ottawa process as an observer. While it would work towards ending the suffering caused by such weapons, he believed that the right of countries to use such weapons to defend their borders should be taken into consideration. ..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3088, 23 October

Statement by Tuluy Tanc

"While the result of the Oslo conference was welcome, Committee statements last week indicated that the convention fell short of achieving universality. For one thing, it left out one-fourth of the world's land mass. Furthermore, the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva was the most appropriate forum for addressing the problem. ...
... Since its establishment in 1992, the Register of Conventional Arms had significantly contributed to promoting openness and transparency in military matters. As stated in the Secretary-General's recent report, however, in order for the Register to fulfil its potential, it must increase participation and expand its scope. All neighbours, including those in the Middle East, should participate in the Register. A similar system had been adopted within the framework of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in July 1997.
...he supported the new programme measures contained in the [IAEA] '93 + 2 Programme' successfully finalized in June 1997. He particularly supported the measures involving broader access to information, as well as physical access including no-notice inspections and the use of environmental sampling methods. The safe transport of radioactive materials required a separate, legally binding measure. In attaching the highest priority to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, his country had joined the Missile Technology Control Regime last April."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3087, 22 October

Statement by Ihor Kharchenko

"[W]orld security could not be stable as long as nuclear weapons were relied upon... The removal of nuclear weapons from Ukraine should be emulated by all States, primarily the nuclear-weapon States, in order to ensure that weapon's removal from the face of the planet. That effort could be best elaborated in a programme of complete nuclear disarmament in the Conference on Disarmament. At the same time, a number of relevant steps could be immediately undertaken such as: nuclear forces could be taken off alert; warheads could be removed from delivery vehicles; and the deployment of non- strategic nuclear weapons could be stopped. In addition, all nuclear-weapon testing could be banned...
The reductions of nuclear forces and the subsequent dismantling of nuclear warheads produced a growing amount of nuclear fissile materials, which might be reused for military purposes. The storage sites of those materials were a permanent source of environmental and terrorist threats to all nations. A cut-off treaty, therefore, should not be limited only to the ban of such production, but for the reduction of fissile stocks. ...
While he shared the noble aspirations of the Ottawa process and commended its results, the Conference on Disarmament could best negotiate an agreement that would include a number of States not yet ready to sign the agreement reached in Oslo."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3084, 17 October

United States
Statement by John D. Holum, Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA)

"[T]he pace of nuclear disarmament was picking up, largely because the countries whose arms were directly involved had moved in bold but practical increments. START I reductions were ahead of schedule and the Russian Federation and the United States had cleared away all remaining obstacles to the Duma's ratification of START II. With steps being set for early Russian ratification and entry into force of START II, it was possible to move on to even deeper reductions and more comprehensive controls on nuclear arms. In the Committee, Russian and American delegations would urge the adoption of a resolution supporting that process on which so much of the world' s future security rested.
...the practical approach called for the consolidation and realization of past achievements, through entry into force and compliance, enforcement and implementation. Respective governments, for example, needed to secure approval for ratifications and commitments to such organizations as the IAEA were crucial. Each country had the responsibility of applying the powerful new safeguards adopted in May to the real world, by upgrading bilateral agreements with the IAEA. The United Nations had a vital role in stimulating governments to take compliance seriously. A United States-sponsored resolution this year in the Committee would re-emphasize that point. ...
...the United States had not given up on the negotiation for a ban on the production of fissile material for weapons purposes. ... How could reduced roles for nuclear weapons be achieved if it was not even possible to begin discussing a cap on their indispensable contents? ...
... While the United States had worked diligently to find an outcome to the Ottawa process, the result was one which it welcomed, but could not join. ... But, all countries in a position to do so should sign the Convention, and then turn to the critical landmine work that lay ahead. ...
The Conference on Disarmament was in the grip of a linkage virus... The linkage disease proposed to stall the proven step-by-step approach by the United States and Russia - that was in fact bringing nuclear disarmament closer - and drag all possible progress on other issues into the same morass. That linkage virus had paralyzed the Conference. We will see if it proves to be fatal, he added.
...the United States was reorganizing its arms control operations by integrating the 38-year old Arms Control and Disarmament Agency into the Department of State. That step would enhance the role of arms control and non-proliferation in United States foreign policy. Independent policy advocacy and compliance reviews would be preserved, as the Department's senior arms control official would report directly to the President and the national security leadership."
Source: United Nations Press Release, GA/DIS/3081, 14 October

Statement by Jorge Perez-Otermin

"[H]e could not believe that it was impossible for nuclear weapons to be completely eliminated by the year 2025. ... A positive step would be the complete denuclearization of the southern hemisphere, by combining existing nuclear- weapon-free zones.
He was concerned about the decision of the United States to lift restrictions on exports of weapons to Latin America. The region was in the midst of a period of peace and stability. He hoped that would not be disrupted by an influx of weapons, as such weapons tended to have a force of their own. He was concerned, too, about the world trade in weapons and the international transport of dangerous materials. In that context, his country had recently adopted a law banning the passage within its territory of any kind of dangerous waste."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3082, 15 October

Statement by Ramon Escovar-Salom

"[Venezuela] believed firmly in the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones and warmly welcomed the initiatives for the establishment of such a zone in Central Asia. He hailed the political will demonstrated by Mongolia in its wish to free itself from nuclear weapons, and of the initiative for such a zone in South Asia.
Concerning international arrangements to provide guarantees to non-nuclear-weapon States against the threat or use of nuclear weapons, he appealed to States to arrive at a speedy agreement on a common formula which could be included in a legally binding international instrument. ...
... While he could not at the time go along with the agreement reached in Oslo to ban anti-personnel landmines, that agreement was of great significance and he was open to further dialogue on that matter."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3986, 21 October

Statement by Cavins Mugaviri

"Last year...his delegation had expressed its suspicions over a flawed CTBT text which was snatched away from the Conference and dragged to the General Assembly for adoption. It was procedurally wrong to bypass the Conference. Meanwhile, nuclear testing continued unabated, so long as it did not entail explosions.
The fear that bypassing the Conference might become a precedent was confirmed by the current impasse on nuclear disarmament in the Conference..."
Source: United Nations Press Release GA/DIS/3089, 24 October

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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