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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 30, September 1998

UNGA General Debate

General Debate, 53rd General Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 21 September - 2 October 1998.

India and Pakistan

India

Speech by Prime Minster Atal Bihari Vajpayee, 24 September

"In the closing years of the 20th century, the challenge of nuclear disarmament is another of the priorities facing the international community. We have successfully prohibited chemical and biological weapons in recent decades. The present century has witnessed the development and the tragic use of nuclear weapons. We must ensure that the legacy of this weapon of mass destruction is not carried into the next century.

For the last half-century, India has consistently pursued the objectives of international peace along with equal and legitimate security for all through global disarmament. These concepts are among the basic tenets of our national security. India has, over the years, sought to enhance its national security by promoting global nuclear disarmament, convinced that a world free of nuclear weapons enhances both global and India's national security.

The negotiations on a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty began in 1993 with a mandate that such a treaty would 'contribute effectively to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in all aspects, to the process of nuclear disarmament and therefore, to the enhancement of international peace and security'. India participated actively and constructively in the negotiations, and sought to place the Treaty in a disarmament framework by proposing its linkage with a time-bound program for the universal elimination of all nuclear weapons.

It is a matter of history that India's proposals were not accepted. The treaty, as it emerged, was not accepted by India on grounds of national security. We made explicit our objection that despite our stand having been made clear, the treaty text made India's signature and ratification a pre-condition for its entry into force.

Mindful of its deteriorating security environment which has obliged us to stand apart from the CTBT in 1996, India undertook a limited series of five underground tests, conducted on 11 and 13 May, 1998. These tests were essential for ensuring a credible nuclear deterrent for India's national security in the foreseeable future.

These tests do not signal a dilution of India's commitment to the pursuit of global nuclear disarmament. Accordingly, after concluding this limited testing program, India announced a voluntary moratorium on further underground nuclear test explosions. We conveyed our willingness to move towards a de jure formalization of this obligation. In announcing a moratorium, India has already accepted the basic obligation of the CTBT. In 1996, India could not have accepted the obligation as such a restraint would have eroded our capability and compromised our national security.

India, having harmonized its national imperatives and security obligations and desirous of continuing to cooperate with the international community is now engaged in discussions with key interlocutors on a range of issues, including the CTBT. We are prepared to bring these discussions to a successful conclusion, so that the entry into force of the CTBT is not delayed beyond September 1999. We expect that other countries, as indicated in Article XIV of the CTBT, will adhere to this Treaty without conditions.

After protracted discussions, the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva is now in a position to begin negotiations on a treaty that will prohibit the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. Once again, we are conscious that this is a partial step. Such a treaty, as and when it is concluded and enters into force, will not eliminate existing nuclear arsenals. Yet, we will participate in these negotiations in good faith in order to ensure a treaty that is non-discriminatory and meets India's security imperatives. India will pay serious attention to any other multilateral initiatives in this area, during the course of the negotiations in the CD.

As a responsible State committed to non-proliferation, India has undertaken that it shall not transfer these weapons or related know-how to other countries. We have an effective system of export controls and shall make it more stringent where necessary, including by expanding control lists of equipment and technology to make them more contemporary and effective in the context of a nuclear India. At the same time, as a developing country, we are conscious that nuclear technology has a number of peaceful applications and we shall continue to cooperate actively with other countries in this regard, in keeping with our international responsibilities.

A few weeks ago, at the Non-Aligned Summit in Durban, India proposed and the Movement agreed that an international conference be held, preferably in 1999, with the objective of arriving at an agreement, before the end of this millennium on a phased program for the complete elimination of all nuclear weapons. I call upon all members of the international community, and particularly the other nuclear-weapon States to join in this endeavor. Let us pledge that when we assemble here in the new millennium, it shall be to welcome the commitment that mankind shall never again be subjected to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons."

Source: Government of India web-site, http://www.indiagov.org

Pakistan

Speech by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, 23 September

"This year the nuclear cloud has cast its dark shadow over South Asia. Our neighbour, India, has always perceived nuclear weapons as the key to great power status and a permanent seat on the Security Council. Thirty years ago, we warned the world that India would develop nuclear weapons. Our warnings were ignored. When India conducted its first explosion in 1974, the reaction of the major powers was to impose restraints against Pakistan. We felt compelled to acquire a matching capability. Yet, even after we had done so, Pakistan continued to promote a nuclear-weapons-free zone, conventional arms restraint and a zero-missile-zone in South Asia. India rejected all these initiatives.

India's nuclear tests in May should not have come as a surprise to the world. We had warned the world several weeks before the tests. Even after India conducted its tests, the response of the major powers was weak and ambiguous. Once again, greater energy was devoted to restraining Pakistan than in responding to India. Immediately after its nuclear tests, India's leaders adopted a belligerent posture towards Pakistan. They told us that the geo-strategic balance had changed and Pakistan should abandon its principled support for Kashmiri self-determination. Pakistan faced the threat of force. We felt compelled to convince India that any military aggression against Pakistan would have the most disastrous consequences.

The world must appreciate that Pakistan did not initiate the tests. India tested to alter the strategic balance and threatened our security and sovereignty. We waited for 17 days for the world to respond. We knew that no country could provide us security assurances against a nuclear India. Thus circumstances forced us to test and establish nuclear deterrence in self defence. We have violated no international norm. Regrettably, some friendly countries have imposed sanctions and other restrictions against Pakistan. These are unjust. I ask the international community to determine who is in the wrong, and why should Pakistan be subjected to punitive measures? Pakistan's nuclear tests were conducted not to challenge the existing non-proliferation regime, nor to fulfil any great power ambition. They were designed to prevent the threat or use of force against Pakistan. Our tests in response to India thus served the cause of peace and stability in our region.

We are not insensitive to the concerns aroused by the South Asian nuclear tests. Despite the transformed strategic situation, we remain opposed to an arms race, nuclear or conventional. We have announced a unilateral moratorium on testing. We are prepared to strengthen peace and stability in the region by mutually agreed measures to avoid a war, to create a regime for nuclear restraint and conventional balance and to promote solutions to the underlying causes of conflict in particular the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. We will discuss these issues with India when our dialogue commences. We are also engaged in a dialogue with several friendly countries to advance these objectives. Pakistan has never contributed to nuclear proliferation. We will continue to adhere strictly to our policy of not exporting sensitive technologies and equipment.

Pakistan has consistently supported the conclusion of a CTBT for over 30 years. We voted for the Treaty when it was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1996. We have declared a moratorium on further testing; so has India. There is no reason why the two countries cannot adhere to the CTBT. In a nuclearized South Asia, CTBT would have relevance if Pakistan and India are both parties to the Treaty. The Non-Aligned Summit has called for universal adherence to the CTBT, specially by the nuclear-weapon States.

This demand is consistent with the Treaty's requirement, that all nuclear capable States, including India, must adhere to the CTBT before it can come into force, Pakistan will oppose, any attempt to change this fundamental requirement at the Conference of States Parties to the treaty scheduled to be held in September 1999. Such a change can only be made by consensus. Pakistan is, therefore, prepared to adhere to the CTBT before this Conference. However, Pakistan's adherence to the Treaty will take place only in conditions free from coercion or pressure. In this regard, we expect that the arbitrary restrictions imposed on Pakistan by multilateral institutions will be speedily removed. We also expect that discriminatory sanctions against Pakistan will be lifted. And we count on the full support of the world community for a just resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. On the nuclear issue, Pakistan will insist on the principle of equal treatment with India, be it in terms of status or any kind of incentives. It must also be well understood that if India were to resume nuclear testing, Pakistan will review its position, and in case we have adhered to the CTBT, invoke the supreme interests clause as provided under Article Nine of the Treaty.

Nuclear deterrence between Pakistan and India will remain fragile and dangerous so long as there is a growing imbalance in conventional forces. This needs to be redressed. Above all, durable peace between Pakistan and India - and restraint in their military postures - will be, as always, critically dependent on the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute which has been the root cause of all conflicts and tensions between Pakistan and India. ...

My government is committed to resolving our problems with India through dialogue. This is all the more important in a nuclear environment in which neither side has the luxury to contemplate the use of force. In June 1997, we had agreed with India on an eight item agenda and a mechanism for the dialogue. Unfortunately, the dialogue was interrupted due to differences over modalities. I am, however, happy to say that, in a meeting which concluded a short while ago, Prime Minster Vajpayee and I have reached an agreement to resume the dialogue with the commencement of Foreign Secretary level talks, which will address at the outset, the primary issues of peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir."

Source: Associated Press of Pakistan, 23 September.

Reaction

United Nations

Statement by Secretary-General, 24 September

"I commend, with great satisfaction, the announcement by the Prime Minister of India today of his Government's readiness to successfully conclude their ongoing discussions on the CTBT so that the entry into force of the Treaty - for which the ratification of 44 States, including India, is necessary - is not delayed beyond September 1999. Following the announcement made by the Prime Minister of Pakistan yesterday, India's statement increases the momentum for implementing, under international law, the ban on the testing of nuclear explosive devices in all environments.

It is also most gratifying to note that both States are participating in the negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament to ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. These are encouraging developments for the world's progress towards nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.

I am also happy to note the announcement by the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan of their intention to resume their dialogue and seek a peaceful solution to their bilateral problems, including Kashmir. I am encouraged by the desire expressed by both leaders to make every effort to remove the sources of tension in their relations."

Source: United Nations Press Release SG/SM/6717/Rev.1;D CF/350/Rev.1

United States

Statement by President Clinton, 24 September

"Two years ago today, I was proud to be the first world leader to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) - first proposed by President Eisenhower over 40 years ago. Since then, 150 States have signed this historic treaty, including all of our NATO allies, Russia, China, Israel, Japan and South Korea. Twenty States already have ratified the CTBT including Britain, France, Germany, Australia and Brazil. It is my strong hope that India and Pakistan will join the list, and thereby reduce nuclear tensions in South Asia. I discussed this with Prime Minister Sharif on Monday [21 September] and I welcome his commitment yesterday to adhere to the treaty by next fall. I look forward to further discussion with the leaders of Pakistan and India as we emphasize our common obligation to build peace and stability.

Today also marks the 35th anniversary of the Senate bipartisan vote, 80 to 19, to approve the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT), which President Kennedy considered his greatest accomplishment as President. In 1963, Senate approval of the LTBT took place less than two months after it was signed and within seven weeks of its submission to the Senate. Contrast that with the CTBT. A year after it was submitted, the Senate has yet to take any action toward ratification.

The CTBT will ban all nuclear weapons explosions. As a result, it will constrain the development of more sophisticated and powerful nuclear weapons and give us a powerful new tool in the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The American people understand that Senate approval of the CTBT is the right thing to do. I strongly urge the Senate to give its advice and consent as early as possible next year."

Source: Text - Clinton Statement on Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, United States Information Service, 24 September.

Other Contributions

Annual Report by the UN Secretary-General

Annual Report of UN Secretary-General Annan (A/53/1), presented to the Assembly 21 September

"The Secretary-General's vision of the Organization places disarmament near the centre of its mission of peace and development. The essential role of the United Nations in that area is one of norm-setting and of strengthening and consolidating multilateral principles for disarmament. He urges universal acceptance of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty and the objectives agreed to at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The Secretary-General calls for curbs in the flow of small arms in subregions where State structures are fragile. One approach to the problem, he suggests, could be the building of a global consensus on monitoring and controlling illicit arms transfers and their links with trafficking in other contraband goods."

Source: United Nations Press Release SG/2048;GA/9443, 21 September

Argentina

Speech by Foreign Minister Guido di Tella, 21 September

"The recent nuclear tests in southern Asia had constituted a step backward with regard to regional and global security and had served to delay the economic development and well-being of the population... Argentina, together with other countries who had renounced the military use of nuclear technology, had urged the States of the region to halt the conduct of tests and adhere to the international instruments in force. Stating that Argentina was the first country, which, having mastered the nuclear fuel cycle, had chosen to limit its own use of the technology, he offered to share its experience in peaceful nuclear cooperation. ..."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9446, 21 September

Armenia

Speech by President Robert Kocharian, 25 September

"[Armenia] was deeply concerned about the possible consequences of the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan this year and believed that the coming into force of the [CTBT]...would [make] a substantial contribution to world security. His Government also supported drafting an agreement on prohibiting the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons and other explosive devices."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9453, 25 September

Australia

Speech by Penny Wensley, 22 September

"[R]ecent events in the field of non-proliferation and disarmament had brought the United Nations to a crossroads in its attempt to steer the world away from the threat of weapons of mass destruction. More work needed to be done, as it was vitally important to maintain broad-based political commitment to the norms and institutions on arms control and disarmament.

Although the balance sheet on constructing a global security architecture was impressive, she warned against serious challenges to the non-proliferation and disarmament regimes from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Iraq, as well as the recent nuclear testing conducted by India and Pakistan. Unresolved regional tensions in South Asia and the Middle East continued to thwart universal membership of the NPT. It was vitally important that the international community ensure that such events were no more than temporary deviations from accepted norms.

International non-proliferation and disarmament regimes could not be taken for granted, she said. Existing regimes required continual care, maintenance and vigilance to ensure their effectiveness. The international community must press ahead with the implementation and verification provisions of the [CTBT, Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)]... Regional institutions that worked to support international arms control and disarmament should also be supported. Australia, in collaboration with other countries, would convene an informal meeting of Foreign Ministers tomorrow in New York, to work towards an effective protocol to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention. Also, commencement of negotiations for a fissile material cut-off treaty was a logical follow-up to the CTBT, and she urged the Assembly to lend unequivocal support."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9447, 22 September

Bahrain

Speech by Foreign Minister Mohamed bin Mubarak al-Khalifa, 25 September

"...Bahrain applauded the effective role played by the Secretary-General in defusing the crisis in Iraq and sparing the region from its dangerous consequences... Bahrain reaffirmed the necessity of the fulfilment, by Iraq, of its international obligations concerning the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and the release of Kuwaiti and other prisoners of war and detainees. Any progress in that respect should be recognized as a first step towards the alleviation of the suffering of the Iraqi people. Bahrain had always emphasized the necessity of ensuring the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq and had rejected any interference in its internal affairs. ..."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9454, 25 September

Bangladesh

Speech by Foreign Minister Abdus Samad Azad, 22 September

"Some noteworthy progress had been made in the area of arms control and disarmament... The landmines Convention would soon enter into force. Also welcome was the decision of the Conference on Disarmament to establish committees on security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States, and on a ban of fissile material for nuclear weapons. For Bangladesh, the pursuit of general and complete disarmament was a constitutional commitment. As such, his Government would support any step aimed at fulfilling that objective. The nuclear tests in South Asia had been the subject of much debate and concern. In the light of his country's commitment to the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world, the announcement of a moratorium on further nuclear testing was welcome."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9447, 22 September

Belarus

Speech by Foreign Minister Ivan Antonovich, 30 September

"Regarding nuclear disarmament...Belarus had taken an unprecedented step by voluntarily and unconditionally renouncing the nuclear arsenal in its possession. Ukraine and Kazakhstan undertook similar measures at a later date. At present, nuclear-weapon-free zones covered more than half the surface of the Earth with an aggregate membership of 144 countries. However, there was still resistance to the creation of new zones. Thus, Belarus' initiative to keep Central and Eastern Europe free of nuclear weapons had been stalled. The emergence of new nuclear-capable countries also affected the situation. Moreover, there were no guarantees that other 'threshold' States would not express, in the future, their intention to join the 'nuclear club'.

A more constructive approach to the issue of disarmament and arms limitation was called for... The reduction of nuclear stockpiles by the United States and the Russian Federation was to be complemented by similar efforts by other holders of nuclear weapons. Belarus could not accept the arguments that the initiative to create a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central and Eastern Europe was premature and might be only addressed in the distant future. Establishing such a zone would contribute constructively to the shaping of a new European security architecture."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9460, 30 September

Benin

Speech by Foreign Minister Kolawole Idji, 29 September

"Benin...welcomed the intention of India and Pakistan to sign the CTBT, since the possession of atomic bombs could not offer either of them a lasting victory.

Humanity would continue to be threatened as long as stockpiled nuclear weapons were not destroyed... However, while those weapons represented permanent danger, the proliferation of small arms represented permanent insecurity. In their absence, armed conflicts would be less extensive and outlaws would not enjoy the efficiency they had today. The massacres must stop, he stressed. Responsibility for that lay with the producers and exporters of small arms."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9458, 29 September

Bhutan

Speech by Foreign Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley, 30 September

"Although the recent nuclear tests in South Asia had aroused concern, he was heartened by the positive steps being taken by the concerned parties to calm the fears of the international community... His country had always condemned nuclear armament and advocated full and comprehensive elimination of all nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. He urged all participants in the disarmament processes to undertake a more realistic assessment of the prevailing global security arrangement, which had the inherent weakness of enticing States to join an exclusive club. The process must be accelerated towards complete and comprehensive denuclearization."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9459, 30 September

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Speech by Foreign Minister Jadranko Prlic, 1 October

"Bosnia and Herzegovina had ratified the [Ottawa] Convention... It now needed to continue demining on the ground - and the assistance of the international community in that endeavour was also essential."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9462, 1 October

Brazil

Speech by Foreign Minister Luiz Felipe Lampreia, 21 September

"[A] world wrought by economic instability or despair could not be a safe environment, free of the threat of war, conflict or violence, he said. Conversely, material and social progress presupposed minimal conditions of security and peaceful coexistence. He called on all nuclear-armed and capable States to take decisive steps towards disarmament. There was no justification for postponing action in the nuclear field, or in the broader fight to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction. ..."

Source: UN Press Release GA/9444, 21 September

Cameroon

Speech by Minister of External Relations Augustin Kontchou Kouomegni, 30 September

"Silencing weapons was…necessary. Banning their use through disarmament was essential, whether arms were nuclear, chemical, biological or other. The phenomenon in Africa of illicit small arms was also growing."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9459, 30 September

Canada

Speech by Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy, 25 September

"[L]ast week, Burkina Faso had deposited the fortieth ratification of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, triggering the Convention's entry into force. Canada welcomed the offer by Mozambique to host the first meeting of the States Parties to the Convention early next year. He urged those who had not already done so to sign and ratify the Convention. Canada had allocated $100 million to support efforts to rid the world of those cruel weapons.

Small arms and light weapons - cheap; easy to transport, smuggle or hide - had become the tools of choice for drug smugglers, terrorists and criminals... Canada was pursuing a three-pronged approach to the problem dealing with the illicit trade, drug trafficking and small arms proliferation. ...

There was no greater threat to security than nuclear proliferation... The nuclear tests by India and Pakistan in May had jeopardized the entire non-proliferation regime. Such acts must not be condoned or rewarded. Canada urged India and Pakistan to comply with Security Council resolution 1172 (1998), which urged them to sign the [CTBT]...without conditions; to participate purposefully in the negotiations for a fissile material cut-off treaty to stop the weaponization of their nuclear programmes; to impose strict export controls on nuclear technology; and to fully embrace the non-proliferation regime."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9453, 25 September

China

Speech by Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, 23 September

"[China] expressed regret over the nuclear tests carried out by India and Pakistan, which had escalated tensions between the two countries and dealt a heavy blow to international nuclear disarmament and the mechanism for the prevention of nuclear proliferation. He called on India and Pakistan to give up their plans to develop nuclear weapons and immediately and unconditionally accede to the [CTBT and NPT]... He appealed to the two governments to resolve their dispute over Kashmir by peaceful means.

His Government had proposed to conclude a convention on no-first-use of nuclear weapons and called for an early negotiation in the Conference on Disarmament of the fissile material cut-off treaty. His country had been among the first to sign the CTBT and he reiterated that it would abide by the provisions of the Treaty and had no intention of resuming nuclear testing. His Government continued to support the policies of: unconditional non-first-use of nuclear weapons; unconditional no-use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear States; and nuclear-free zones. He urged countries with the largest nuclear arsenals to accelerate their nuclear disarmament process."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9449, 23 September

Costa Rica

Speech by Foreign Minister Roberto Rojas, 21 September

"Costa Rica was celebrating...the fiftieth anniversary of the abolition of its army... His country supported general disarmament and the prohibition of weapons of mass destruction, and condemned nuclear testing. Likewise...there could be no justification for attacks against innocent people. The international community must make special efforts to prevent and to eliminate international terrorism."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9446, 21 September

Croatia

Speech by Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister Mate Granic, 28 September

"Croatia was particularly concerned about the problem of landmines, since it still suffered from the consequences of more than 2 million mines scattered all over the country during the imposed war... The situation adversely affected the process of return of displaced peoples and refugees, and slowed down economic reconstruction and development. Croatia had ratified the Ottawa Convention in May and strongly supported the efforts in the Conference on Disarmament to start negotiations on a global ban by building on the achievements of the Ottawa process."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9456, 28 September

Czech Republic

Speech by Foreign Minister Jan Kavan, 23 September

"The Czech Republic supported nuclear disarmament and looked forward to the complete elimination of nuclear arsenals. That was why it regarded the nuclear tests carried out in May of this year by countries considered non-nuclear States as a negative step. [H]is country supported the work in the area of chemical disarmament as well as efforts to speed up the negotiation of the verification protocol text which would strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9450, 23 September

Dominican Republic

Speech by Foreign Secretary Eduardo Latorre, 23 September

"The Dominican Republic was committed to nuclear disarmament... Recent tests had endangered world peace. All nuclear-weapon States must responsibly use and handle such weapons. The preservation of world peace demanded the establishment of nuclear-free zones."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9450, 23 September

Egypt

Speech by Foreign Minister Amre Moussa, 25 September

"[R]ecent developments had proven the failures of the non-proliferation regime in its current form and called for a need to take urgent steps to strengthen the regime and increase its efficiency through achieving its universality and avoiding a policy of double standards. Otherwise, he said, 'we will end up with a state of widespread uncertainty, deep lack of confidence, and an arms race that would in turn lead to the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons'. Based on that premise, Egypt had consistently called for the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9453, 25 September

Equatorial Guinea

Speech by Foreign Minister & Deputy Prime Minister Miguel Oyono Ndong Mifumu, 2 October

"The world did not want any more wars, yet, military industrial complexes continued to manufacture more sophisticated and deadlier weapons... Disarmament called for the same response that was being promoted as a solution to illicit drugs: the total destruction of the centres of production, distribution and sale."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9463, 2 October

European Union (EU)

Speech by Wolfgang Schüssel, President of Austria & Chair of the Council of the European Union, 22 September

"[T]he Union attached great importance to progress in the areas of disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation as a key element in the maintenance of peace and security. In that regard, the Union was deeply concerned about the grave threat to international peace and security posed by the nuclear tests carried out by India and Pakistan in May. He called on both countries to adhere to international non-proliferation regimes, in particular to sign the [CTBT]...as it stood. Also, the [NPT]...remained the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament.

The Union reaffirmed its commitment to the goal of totally eliminating anti-personnel landmines worldwide and welcomed the opening for signature of the [Ottawa] Convention... The Union, being the major donor to anti-mine activities, was contributing significantly to solving the problems caused by those weapons. A serious challenge to the international community was raised by the combination of internal conflicts with the proliferation of small arms. The Union had adopted a code of conduct on arms exports and was also engaged in the implementation of a programme for preventing and combating illicit trafficking in conventional arms."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9447, 22 September

Fiji

Speech by Deputy Prime Minister Taufa Vakatale, 29 September

"[Fiji] urged India and Pakistan to become parties to the [CTBT]... Fiji had been the first to ratify the Treaty after it was adopted."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9457, 29 September

Finland

Speech by Foreign Minister Tarja Halonen, 22 September

"[Finland] called for ratification and full implementation of the International Conventions on suppression of terrorism and an early finalization and acceptance of the convention on the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism. Finland deplored the nuclear test explosions by India and Pakistan and called on those countries to confirm their promises not to test again through adherence to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. ...Member States needed to control their exports and other transfers of small arms. She supported a leading role for the United Nations on that issue."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9448, 22 September

France

Speech by Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine, 23 September

"[T]he United Nations and the multilateral system did not, today, have the means necessary to address all the challenges. Yet, it must not give up. How could it restore force to its actions? First, it should reserve, for the Security Council, the monopoly of legitimate coercion in the case of threats to the peace and acts of aggression. 'Nothing should permit a State, group of States or an organisation, however powerful it may be, to have recourse to force without having received prior authorization from the Security Council, except in the case of legitimate self defence.' Compliance with Security Council resolutions was also important, particularly in connection with Iraq. ... [I]t was also important to reinforce multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation, in a framework that covered nuclear, conventional, chemical and biological weapons."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9449, 23 September

The Gambia

Speech by Foreign Minister Momodou Lamin Sedat Jobe, 28 September

"[The Gambia] welcomed the coming into force of the Ottawa Treaty banning anti-personnel landmines and joined those calling for a negotiated and phased programme for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9456, 28 September

Guatemala

Speech by Foreign Minister Eduardo Stein Barillas, 1 October

"His Government was satisfied with international disarmament efforts... Broadening its scope to include small arms and illegal trafficking was welcomed."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9462, 1 October

Guinea

Speech by Foreign Minister Lamine Kamara, 24 September

"Disarmament was...a concern for his Government... Recent developments in the international arena required the international community to take more into account the underlying causes of the arms race... As long as economic and social imbalances continued, the spectre of nuclear-weapons proliferation would remain. In West Africa, trade in small arms had destabilized the economy. He invited others to work to eliminate illicit small arms trade."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9452, 24 September

Iceland

Speech by Foreign Minister Halldor Asgrimsson, 25 September

"[T]he nuclear tests recently conducted by two countries in South Asia were of great concern, and all member States should be urged to adhere to the provisions of the Treaty on the NPT and the CTBT."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9454, 25 September

Indonesia

Speech by Foreign Minister Ali Alatas, 21 September

"[I]f the cause of disarmament, particularly nuclear disarmament, had not made substantive progress in recent years, it was largely because there were States that believed they had much to gain by their exclusive possession of nuclear arms. The unjustifiable privileges conferred on the nuclear-weapon States had given rise to a regime of discrimination and hypocrisy, as well as a situation where non-nuclear countries, wishing to enjoy the same privileges, sought to become nuclear States themselves. Thus, the NPT had not fully met its objectives, and the imbalances and the discrimination inherent in it had persisted."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9446, 21 September

Iran

Speech by President Seyed Mohammad Khatami, 21 September

"Iran had endured eight years of war, pressure and sanctions. It had fallen victim to terrorism - that ominous and sinister phenomenon of the twentieth century. Today, Iran drew on its past to contemplate a better tomorrow, while defying reactionary tendencies. Backed by principles and ideals rooted in its religious, national, historical and revolutionary heritage, Iran was marching - be it through trial or error - towards a promising future. ...

The world...needed to be liberated from the nightmare of nuclear war and weapons of mass destruction... Security, development and prosperity in the third world required the promotion of cooperation and the utilization of proven arrangements and mechanisms for confidence-building. He invited his neighbours in the Persian Gulf, who had witnessed two destructive wars in one decade, to establish a security and cooperation system in the area. ..."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9446, 21 September

Iraq

Speech by Foreign Minister Mohammed Said al-Sahaf, 30 September

"International peace and security were being affected by illogical, non-objective and discriminatory attitude towards the disarmament issues, especially towards the issue of nuclear disarmament... Some States maintained huge arsenals of weapons of mass destruction, while others were being disarmed under different pretexts. To resolve the issue, relevant international treaties and agreements must be applied in a comprehensive manner, without resort to selective and discriminatory actions.

The situation in the Middle East demonstrated a very serious imbalance of power, he said. Failing to comply with relevant Security Council resolutions, the Zionist entity possessed a huge arsenal of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, including long-range missiles. Such a situation showed disregard for the efforts of the General Assembly to free the Middle East from weapons of mass destruction and encouraged an arms race, which threatened peace and security in the region, and in the whole world.

On the blockade against Iraq, now entering its ninth year, every month caused the deaths of thousands of Iraqi citizens due to lack of medicine and food... It had also led to the grave deterioration in the infrastructure of the country. Security Council resolution 687 (1991) contained two sets of obligations: the first one demanded compliance by Iraq, and the second required the Security Council to lift the blockade when Iraq had met its obligations. The resolution required disarmament on the part of Iraq and provided for the establishment of a system of monitoring and verification of compliance.

Throughout the past seven and a half years, Iraq had cooperated with the Security Council, the United Nations Special Commission set up under Security Council resolution 687 (1991) in connection with the disposal of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (UNSCOM), and the [IAEA]... As an expression of its good faith and in order to ensure the lifting of the blockade, Iraq had met all the conditions imposed on it. All the prohibited weapons had been destroyed, along with the plants, installations and equipment related to those weapons. Since 1994, the comprehensive system of monitoring had been in place. At present, Iraq was incapable of resuming the production of prohibited weapons. However, the Security Council had taken no action to implement its own obligations towards Iraq as prescribed in article 22 of the above-mentioned resolution.

For political reasons, UNSCOM and its Chairman refrained from reporting to the Security Council the facts about Iraq's fulfilment of its obligations. Both UNSCOM and its Chairman operated under the influence of an arrogant, powerful State, which was pursuing its own political aims driven by ulterior motives which had nothing to do with the decisions of the Security Council.

The prejudiced attitudes on the part of the Special Commission and its Chairman were unacceptable... The attitude had led to an impasse which kept turning the situation in a vicious circle. Iraq had, therefore, been obliged to suspend cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA.

To find a way out, he said, Iraq had welcomed a proposal for a comprehensive review, which had been submitted by the Secretary-General to the Security Council last August. Such a review was a legal and moral obligation, which the Security Council was duty-bound to discharge. However, the 40 reviews that had been carried out so far had been mere formalities. They had been arbitrary and far from comprehensive in character. Iraq was willing to participate in a new review, and it had an inalienable right to do so. He hoped that the review would be carried out without delay, and that it would be comprehensive, honest and fair. Iraq also hoped that it would be conducted under the personal supervision of the Secretary-General."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9459, 30 September

Ireland

Speech by Foreign Minister David Andrews, 23 September

"There had been no clear commitment on the part of nuclear-weapon States to proceed rapidly toward nuclear disarmament... Ireland had joined with seven like-minded States to launch the initiative on the declaration: 'Towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: A New Agenda'. A draft resolution on the matter would be presented to the General Assembly and he urged Member States to adopt it."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9450, 23 September

Israel

Speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 24 September

"Achieving lasting peace in the region...required addressing the dangers that threatened Israel beyond the horizon... Both Iran and Iraq continued their efforts to acquire non-conventional weapons and ballistic missiles with strategic reach. In the hands of rogue regimes in the Middle East, weapons of mass destruction could pose a greater threat to world peace than anything in the past. Concerted international action was needed to prevent disaster."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9451, 24 September

Japan

Speech by Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, 21 September

"The nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in May represented a formidable challenge to the nuclear non-proliferation regime... While the existing regime was not perfect, there was no feasible alternative. No country should be allowed to set back the strengthening of non-proliferation. All nations should accede to the [NPT]...without conditions, and to the [CTBT]...

Strict export controls should be implemented on equipment, materials and technologies that relate to nuclear weapons and missiles, he said. Nuclear disarmament by nuclear-weapon States was more important than ever to strengthen efforts towards non-proliferation. An early conclusion of negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty was necessary. Japan planned to take initiatives in the General Assembly to promote those objectives. ..."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9446, 21 September

Jordan

Speech by Foreign Minister Abdel-Elah Khatib, 1 October

"Weapons of mass destruction constituted a dangerous source of tension and instability in the Middle East... The ideal solution was to establish zones free from nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in affected regions, including the Middle East. Jordan called on all countries to accede to the [CTBT]... to safeguard international peace and security and to gear the world towards general and complete disarmament. He noted, 'We view with particular sensitivity the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, because Israel possesses and is developing a nuclear weapons arsenal.' The possibility of a confrontation between Israel and other States possessing weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical and biological weapons, made the region live in great fear. For this reason, he called for the establishment of a regional security mechanism and a forum to discuss that issue."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9461, 1 October

Kazakhstan

Speech by Foreign Minister Kassymjomart Tokaev, 28 September

"His country's voluntary renunciation of its nuclear heritage and firm adherence to the non-proliferation regime constituted an important prerequisite for the development of friendly relations with other countries... Several days ago, the second international conference on problems of non-proliferation had been held in Kazakhstan, at which time the last strategic missile launch silo at the former nuclear testing ground of Semipalatinsk was shut down. ... His country would...continue to work for the creation of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in Central Asia."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9456, 28 September

North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)

Speech by Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon, 28 September

"The Japanese authorities had behaved unreasonably in forcibly questioning the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's satellite launch. The country's first artificial satellite launch had been a historic event. The technology for the multi-stage rocket carrier had been entirely developed by the people of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and it would make a great contribution to safeguarding world peace.

The recent development witnessed in South-East Asia should remind the international community that disarmament, especially nuclear disarmament, should remain a priority in the United Nations agenda... Nuclear stockpiles in the world had become more sophisticated rather than being reduced. The proliferation of nuclear weapons could not be prevented as long as nuclear-weapon States pursued a monopoly of nuclear weapons. The policy of the nuclear umbrella provision pursued by the nuclear-weapon States, and double standards in dealing with nuclear issues represented one of the stumbling blocks in making nuclear disarmament a reality... The United Nations should decisively strengthen its role in the field of disarmament. In that regard, he suggested that the Organization convene the Fourth Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Disarmament."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9456, 28 September

South Korea (Republic of Korea)

Speech by Foreign Minister Hong Soon-Young, 25 September

"Citing the incidents of the DPRK's submarine infiltration into South Korean territorial waters in June and the launching of a rocket into the west Pacific Ocean in late August without any prior warning, he said his Government deplored those acts of provocation. In spite of those serious threats to his country's security, his Government would uphold its engagement policy with its neighbour. He stressed the hope that the leadership of the DPRK would put aside its defiance and respond positively to his Government's calls for dialogue and collaboration."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9453, 25 September

Kuwait

Speech by First Deputy Prime Minister Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, 25 September

"[T]he leaders of the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), whose current session was chaired by his country, had attached great importance at its last summit in December 1997 to the question of implementation by Iraq of all its obligations set forth in Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The recent NAM summit had also underscored the need for Iraq to complete its implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions. Despite those legitimate demands and sincere calls, Iraq persisted in disregarding them and in challenging the Security Council resolutions.

The long series of crises triggered by the Iraqi Government were pre-calculated attempts, from time to time, to disavow and circumvent its legal obligations... All those desperate attempts had failed, thanks to the solid coherence and firm unity of the Security Council, which insisted on full compliance by Iraq. The sad certainty was that those crises contributed to the perpetuation of the sanctions for which the Government of Iraq alone bore full responsibility. ..."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9454, 25 September

Kyrgyzstan

Speech by Foreign Minister Muratbek Imanaliev, 28 September

"Speaking about nuclear disarmament and the regime of nuclear non-proliferation, he said that following the adoption of the General Assembly resolution on the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in Central Asia at the fifty-second session, a consultative meeting was held last July in Bishkek where experts from Central Asian countries, representatives of nuclear States and of the United Nations, established a foundation for a legal framework for that initiative. ...

Regarding the proliferation of armed conflicts, he noted that they were accompanied by violence, mass exodus of refugees, illegal trafficking of arms and flagrant violations of human rights. Terrorism had long ago crossed national borders. As new phenomena of bomb and nuclear terrorism had emerged and he called for speedy conclusion of work on the draft convention for combatting acts of nuclear terrorism."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9456, 28 September

Lesotho

Speech by Foreign Minister Motosoahae Thomas Thabane, 1 October

"The lawlessness in his country had also underscored the need to control the illicit possession of small arms and light weapons... Those arms had become so commonplace that they threatened the cohesion and well-being of many societies. As many as 90 per cent of the deaths in contemporary conflicts were caused by those weapons. There were still no international standards regarding small arms; their production, trade and possession remained essentially unmonitored and unregulated. He urged the international community to find a solution to the problem.

Disarmament and in particular nuclear disarmament was of great concern to his Government... Nuclear weapons were held by a handful of States which insisted that those weapons provided security benefits, and yet reserved the right to own them uniquely for themselves. That situation was highly discriminatory, unstable and untenable. The possession of nuclear weapons by any State was a constant stimulus to other States to acquire them. In reality, they diminished the security of all States. India and Pakistan...had been led to conduct nuclear testing by the resistance of nuclear weapons States to fulfil their obligations to negotiate in good faith a total ban on all nuclear weapons."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9461, 1 October

Liberia

Speech by Foreign Minister Monie R. Captan, 25 September

"[H]e expressed concern over nuclear testing and the proliferation of conventional weapons, and called for increases in accessions to disarmament treaties, a curtailing of small arms trafficking and greater transparency in arms transfers."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9454, 25 September

Liechtenstein

Speech by Foreign Minister Andrea Willi, 25 September

"Liechtenstein condemned all nuclear tests... The international community must make every effort to create a stable and effective nuclear non-proliferation regime. If the [NPT & CTBT]...were fully implemented, they could constitute cornerstones of such a regime."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9454, 25 September

Lithuania

Speech by President Valdas Adamkus, 22 September

"Without further delay, illicit arms circulation should be forestalled by restricting the sale of small arms and light weapons in conflict zones... An effective solution to the issue of general and complete disarmament also had to be found. The nuclear arms race, which emerged in South Asia, had uncovered the resilience of the Cold War ideology of the balance of powers in the political thinking of certain States. Such reasoning was short on constructiveness, since it did not enhance international security and diverted human resources and creative powers in erroneous directions."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9448, 22 September

Luxembourg

Speech by Foreign Minister Jacques F. Poos, 25 September

"The international community...must not ignore the recent nuclear arms tests conducted in South Asia. Those actions were a threat to regional peace and security and jeopardized the non-nuclear proliferation regime. ... [T]he recent tragic discussions of Iraq's disarmament, given the Secretary-General's visit to Baghdad, called into question the Organization's credibility. The Security Council should take steps to ensure the implementation of its decisions taken in that matter. ...

He applauded the Ottawa Conference on the prohibition of anti-personnel landmines and said that it would save many lives. Their alleged new deployment in Angola and the Former Republic of Yugoslavia was terrifying and should be vigorously condemned. ..."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9453, 25 September

Madagascar

Speech by Foreign Minister Lila Ratsifandrihamanana, 2 October

"Security could not be based on nuclear parity, but on cooperation and solidarity. Evidence of that was the Ottawa convention which had been established after the creation of nuclear-free zones. Her Government supported general disarmament and called for negotiations to begin on a treaty for the prohibition of fissile material, in accord with the Geneva Conference on Disarmament. Madagascar equally supported the Non-Aligned Movement's call for an international conference on the elimination of nuclear weapons."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9463, 2 October

Maldives

Speech by Foreign Minister Fathulla Jameel, 1 October

"Maldives had signed the [CTBT]...last year, and this morning had signed the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty... His country stressed the importance of establishing the proposed nuclear-weapons-free zone in South Asia and called on all South Asian countries to exercise maximum restraint and to contribute to the realization of that objective."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9462, 1 October

Mali

Speech by Foreign Minister Modibo Sidibe, 2 October

"Welcoming the noticeable progress in the field of controlling weapons of mass destruction, Mali was deeply concerned over the situation in the area of conventional weapons... Light arms inflicted much more damage in Africa than weapons of mass destruction. In order to reduce and contain a threat posed by small weapons, within the coming weeks the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), on the initiative of his country, was going to proclaim a moratorium on the import, export and production of light arms. That initiative had support from the OAU and the Non-Aligned Movement. The moratorium would help to enforce stricter control by governments over illegal trafficking of small arms and prevent further crises.

[T]o control illegal trafficking and establish an international legal system of control, more States should sponsor the General Assembly resolution on the assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and collecting them. The international community and the United Nations should be more involved in that issue."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9463, 2 October

Malta

Speech by Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister Guido de Marco, 29 September

"No effort must be spared to ensure universal adherence to and compliance with the relevant treaties covering not only nuclear weapons, but also all weapons of mass destruction... Malta was proud to have served on the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which established a regime of control and verification that could curb the proliferation of chemical weapons, while allowing the beneficial use of chemicals by a wide range of industries. Malta had also been among the first to sign the Ottawa Convention..."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9457, 29 September

Mexico

Speech by Foreign Minister Rosario Green, 21 September

"[T]he existence of nuclear arsenals was one of the biggest threats to the international community. Nations must set aside their concerns and move forward on the path of disarmament; the path of eliminating all nuclear weapons. Mexico condemned all nuclear testing, which only served to spread fear and create a climate conducive to a nuclear arms race. Dialogue was the irreplaceable means of achieving a solution to the issue. Mexico had signed last June a ministerial declaration which sought to define a new agenda for eliminating all instruments of mass destruction.

Mexico welcomed the growing support for international treaties intended to halt the spread of landmines and biological weapons... Those countries who had not already done so should ratify the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction. ..."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9446, 21 September

Mongolia

Speech by Acting Minister for External Relations R. Amarjargal, 25 September

"Concerning nuclear weapons, Mongolia...was situated between two nuclear powers. ... [N]on-nuclear States could, in their own way, contribute to nuclear security and enhance stability. In that context, he welcomed the efforts of Central Asian states to establish a nuclear weapon-free zone in their region. His Government also strongly opposed nuclear testing. ... [T]he recent examples of testing in South Asia could exacerbate tensions and undermine the existing nuclear non-proliferation regime and the test ban. Mongolia supported the efforts to curb the spread of conventional weapons, as well as those of a chemical or biological nature."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9454, 25 September

Morocco

Speech by Foreign Minister Abdellatif Filali, 24 September

"On Iraq, he said he hoped that the agreement between the Iraqi Government and the Secretary-General would contribute to the resumption of cooperation between that country and the United Nations. He also hoped cooperation would lead to the lifting of the Security Council embargo on Iraq and put an end to the sufferings of the Iraqi people."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9452, 24 September

Mozambique

Speech by Foreign Minister Leonardo Santos Simao, 22 September

"Mozambique was still confronted with the issue of the prevailing threat of anti-personnel landmines, which continued to disrupt the very existence of nations and peoples... His Government had signed and ratified the Ottawa Convention prohibiting those landmines and offered to host in Maputo next year, the first meeting of States Parties to the Convention."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9448, 22 September

Nepal

Speech by Deputy Prime Minister Sailaja Acharya, 29 September

"[Nepal] welcomed the setting up of ad hoc committees by the Disarmament Conference in Geneva to initiate negotiations on a fissile materials cut-off treaty... [H]er country regretted that no agreement was possible on the formation of a committee to begin negotiations on a programme for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons within a time-bound framework. Her delegation was also happy to note that the Secretary-General had recognized the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament, known as the Kathmandu Centre, as a valuable forum for meetings on regional confidence and security-building measures. As host to that Centre, Nepal urged Member States of the Asia-Pacific region to use its services."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9458, 29 September

Netherlands

Speech by Foreign Minister Jozias van Aartsen, 24 September

"[A] pillar of Dutch foreign policy was its strong desire to ban weapons of mass destruction. He also expressed concern over the transfer of small arms and landmines."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9452, 24 September

Niger

Speech by President Ibrahim Mainassara Bare, 23 September

"The recent escalation of the arms race had convinced his Government of the urgent need to convene an extraordinary session of the General Assembly on disarmament... Better methods of controlling materials used in weapons of mass destruction were needed, as were more efficient means of regulating conventional weapons. Furthermore, the success of the recent efforts to prohibit the use of landmines should encourage the international community to better regulate light arms and small weapons."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9450, 23 September

Norway

Speech by Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek, 21 September

"The realization of a humane world was a moral imperative and required new approaches and new tools... A good example was the Ottawa Convention to ban the production, transfer and use of anti-personnel landmines, which had been negotiated in Oslo. In less than two years, the Ottawa process had produced a binding international legal instrument. Norway had already made a commitment of $120 million over a five-year period to mine action programmes, including assistance to mine victims, and called on other governments to join that endeavour.

Norway had also committed considerable resources to immediate action to assist populations in war-torn societies... He supported demobilization and arms collection programmes, and proposed the establishment of a trust fund to combat the widespread proliferation and illegal use of small arms, in particular, through the collection and destruction of such weapons at the end of armed conflicts. Norway would pledge 15 million Norwegian krone (about $2 million) to the establishment of such a trust fund, and called on other countries to follow suit."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9446, 21 September

Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)

Speech by Chair of PLO Executive Committee & President of the Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat, 28 September

"Turning...to the question of nuclear disarmament and weapons of mass destruction and non-proliferation, he said an immense problem existed in his region: Israel possessed those weapons and refused to accede to the [NPT]...and place its nuclear installations under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency... Recent events in South Asia should encourage cooperation and commitment to one standard."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9456, 28 September

Poland

Speech by Foreign Minister Bronislaw Geremek, 24 September

"In terms of arms control and international peace and security, progress already made would be further consolidated if the Parliament of the Russian Federation would heed the appeals of the international community that it ratify the strategic arms reduction treaty START II.... Nothing, in Poland's opinion, justified the nuclear option, and Poland joined the world community of States in urging India and Pakistan to refrain from actions that would worsen the situation in the Indian subcontinent."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9451, 24 September

Qatar

Speech by Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassin bin Jabr al-Thani, 25 September

"[T]he condition of the Iraqi people had become one of tragic suffering under the international sanctions imposed on that country. Regardless of whether Qatar was convinced of the usefulness of those sanctions in achieving their objectives or not, and while fully asserting the need to implement relevant Security Council resolutions, it hoped the embargo imposed on the Iraqi people would be lifted to mitigate the harsh suffering and adverse humanitarian effects it entailed. ...

The most serious problem was the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction - chemical, biological and especially nuclear... Qatar was shocked by the disturbing developments resulting from the nuclear weapons tests by India and Pakistan, and the inherent threat of the unleashing of a nuclear and conventional arms race between them. The position of Qatar called for the exercise of wisdom, and the prompt signing by all States of the treaties on the prohibition of nuclear tests and limiting the proliferation of those weapons of mass destruction. At the same time, there must be a serious effort to reduce such weapons to pave the way towards their complete elimination. In that regard, Israel was the only nuclear-weapon State in the region and the only State that had refused so far to sign the treaties to prohibit and prevent the proliferation of such weapons. Qatar had also signed the convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction prompted by its belief in the prohibition of landmines and aware of the numerous humanitarian tragedies resulting from their use."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9454, 25 September

Russia

Speech by Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, 22 September

"The international community had developed a unique arsenal of political and diplomatic tools intended for resolution of every international problem... The settlement of the Iraqi crisis which had erupted earlier this year by political means, the joint efforts of many States and the participation of the Secretary-General, showed that constructive and active diplomacy was more efficient than reliance on military force alone. Concerted action on the part of the world community was required to unblock the crisis situation in Iraq. ...

Speaking about nuclear non-proliferation and reduction of nuclear weapons arsenals, he said that the new head of the Russian Government, Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, would seek the early ratification by the Duma of the 1993 Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START II). Likewise, it was important for the United States to ratify all the documents relating to that Treaty. Serious consideration should be given to President Yeltsin's proposal, which called on the nuclear Powers to deploy nuclear weapons exclusively within the boundaries of their national territories. Strong action was also required to prevent nuclear terrorism. His country had submitted a draft convention to combat acts of nuclear terrorism, and he hoped that it would be adopted at the current session of the General Assembly."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9447, 22 September

Samoa

Speech by Tuiloma Neroni Slade, 29 September

"Our Pacific region is one of peace...but our security and environment had been put under threat by explosions and the testing of far too many nuclear weapons. Samoa would continue with its quest for a total ban through the development and implementation of the South Pacific nuclear-free-zone treaty, and it called for the active participation and support of all nuclear weapons States for the treaty and its protocols. Samoa condemned the underground testing in India and Pakistan earlier this year, and joined with others in urging that they commit to a lasting moratorium by becoming parties to the [CTBT & NPT]..."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9458, 29 September

Saudi Arabia

Speech by Assistant Foreign Minister Nizar O. Madani, 29 September

"On Iraq, he said Saudi Arabia's position had two fundamental bases - guaranteeing the comprehensive, total, indivisible and non-selective compliance of the Iraqi Government with the resolutions of international legality and insuring the preservation of Iraq's independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, as well as alleviating the sufferings of the Iraqi people. Since the responsibility for the suffering of the Iraqi people lay solely on the shoulders of their Government, the only way to rid Iraq and its people of their dilemma and to allay the fears of neighbouring states was to commit to implementing all Security Council resolutions and to refrain from policies of manipulation and manoeuvres intended to circumvent those resolutions. ...

On disarmament, he said his country was greatly worried because of Israel's continued refusal to join the NPT, thus keeping its nuclear programmes outside the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency...and constituting a serious threat to the region. While rejecting double standards that allowed Israel to be excluded from nuclear disarmament, Saudi Arabia had also expressed its concern over the nuclear tests in South Asia, begun by India and followed by Pakistan. His country believed in the need to increase the effectiveness of the NPT through the activation and universalization of the IAEA regime of guarantees. It also considered it of the utmost importance to establish the necessary controls and measures to assist in achieving progress towards comprehensive disarmament of all weapons of mass destruction."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9458, 29 September

Senegal

Speech by Foreign Minister Jacques Baudin, 30 September

"The efforts to bring about general disarmament remained a major element in strengthening international security... Global disarmament, however, was still a long-range objective. In Africa, illicit trafficking in small and light arms had become a major scourge. There was need to work out an international convention to fight that problem."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9460, 30 September

Slovakia

Speech by Foreign Minister Zdenka Kramplova, 24 September

"Slovakia had placed great emphasis on the issue of arms control and disarmament in the framework of international peace and security issues... It supported the idea of the exclusively peaceful use of nuclear energy and advocated preparation of a multilateral treaty banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons and other explosive devices. Discussing the issue of landmines, she said 'we believe that the opening of negotiations of a landmines ban at the Conference on Disarmament could be a very important step towards full elimination of this kind of weapon'. In the area of chemical and biological weapons, Slovakia supported the improvement of the Biological Weapons Convention verification system and, equally, the elimination of the illegal transfer of those weapons."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9452, 24 September

Slovenia

Speech by Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek, 30 September

"The international community had to start a global process of mine clearing operations and physical and mental rehabilitation of the millions of mine victims throughout the world. Slovenia had already established an international trust fund with such a purpose for Bosnia-Herzegovina and he invited other countries to join in that effort."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9460, 30 September

South Africa

Speech by President Nelson Mandela, 21 September

"[W]hile the fifty-third session of the Assembly marked the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human beings continued to be afflicted by wars and violent conflicts. Humankind had not attained their freedom from fear of death by weapons of mass destruction or conventional arms. ...

Despite countless initiatives and resolutions, still there was no concrete proposal accepted by the nuclear-weapons States on a speedy, final and total elimination of nuclear weapons and capabilities... In an attempt to chart the progressive steps required to eliminate those weapons, South Africa, Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia and Sweden would submit a draft resolution to the First Committee…entitled: 'Towards a nuclear weapon free world; the need for a new agenda.' He called on all Member States to seriously consider the resolution and to give it their support. ..."

Source: UN Press Release GA/9444, 21 September

Spain

Speech by Foreign Minister Abel Matutes, 23 September

"His country had signed the Convention for the Repression of Terrorist Attacks with Bombs, and hoped that the proposed convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism could be adopted. ...

As the chief aim of the Organization was the maintenance of peace and security, it was of utmost importance...that next year the international community conclude negotiations of the protocol on verification of biological weapons. Also, Spain was optimistic on the start of negotiations on the treaty to ban the production of fissionable material for nuclear weapons manufacturing."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9450, 23 September

Sri Lanka

Speech by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, 21 September

"[T]he Non-Aligned Movement had recently expressed its concern with the issue of global nuclear disarmament and had consistently called for the Conference on Disarmament to establish, as the highest priority, an ad hoc committee to commence negotiations for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons within a time-bound framework. 'The longer we shirk our responsibility, the greater the danger that looms ahead', she said. ..."

Source: UN Press Release GA/9444, 21 September

Sudan

Speech by Minister for External Affairs Mustafa Osman Ismail, 29 September

"In the wake of the explosions in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, his Government had welcomed contacts between Sudanese and American security authorities and assured them of their full cooperation... Then, on the evening of 20 August, the Sudanese people were shocked by a grave act of terrorism, as heinous and cowardly as those in Kenya and Tanzania. The 'El-Shifa' pharmaceutical plant, which produced essential and life-saving medicines for children, women and the elderly in Sudan, and a model of Sudan's economic development, was completely destroyed. A few minutes later, Sudan watched the President of the United States on television stating that American armed forces had launched air strikes against the Sudan and Afghanistan, destroying in the Sudan, a chemical weapons plant linked to Osama bin Laden.

That was the American version... What was Sudan's explanation? [T]he factory produced medicines and nothing but medicines and it belonged to the private sector. It was owned by a Sudanese businessman and had no link whatsoever with Osama bin Laden.

The principal rule of law stipulated that the accused was innocent until proven guilty... However, in the present situation, the Sudan was accused, condemned and punished by the United States. Thus, the United States had acted as the adversary, jury and judge. Some of those who supported the demand for a fact-finding mission included the League of Arab States, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the Group of 77 developing countries and China. Nevertheless, the United States continued to oppose the dispatch of a fact-finding mission by the Security Council.

The soil was there, the remnants and the rubble of the factory were there... The fact-finding mission could easily collect samples from the soil, examine the machines, look into documents, and establish the facts about the production and ownership of the factory. That was the sole demand of the Sudan. Last week, the Group of Arab States presented a draft resolution to the Security Council, not seeking to condemn the United States for its violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a Member State, but requesting the dispatch of a fact-finding mission to verify the American allegations.

The Sudan had been perplexed by the provocative statement made recently by the spokesman of the United States Government announcing the donation of $25,000 to the victims of floods in the Sudan... The statement claimed that, despite its differences with the Sudanese Government, the United States Government was concerned about the welfare of the Sudanese people. The United States had launched 17 cruise missiles to destroy the factory, each of which cost $1 million - a total of $17 million to destroy the factory. Then, the United States contributed $25,000 to the flood victims, while the damage caused by the floods was estimated to exceed $40 million. Had the Administration of the United States been genuinely concerned with the welfare and well-being of the Sudanese people, it would not have attacked and destroyed one of their main economic entities, which produced over 50 per cent of Sudan's requirements for essential and life-saving medicines."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9457, 29 September

Sweden

Speech by Foreign Minister Lene Hjelm-Wallén, 23 September

"[T]he nuclear ambitions of India and Pakistan, exposed by tests in May 1998, endangered peace, security and stability in the region, and threatened international non-proliferation and disarmament efforts. The possession of nuclear weapons by any State could not be indefinitely accepted as legitimate. Sweden would co-sponsor a resolution at this session of the Assembly calling for a new, forceful impetus for nuclear disarmament. It also supported increased efforts to rid the world of other weapons of mass destruction, and initiatives aimed at small arms reduction."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9450, 23 September

Syria

Speech by Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara', 29 September

"[W]ith the end of [the] Cold War many people believed the world would be a more stable and secure place. Yet, nuclear weapons, unparalleled in their destructive capability, had proliferated and now extended to India and Pakistan. That proliferation had gained 'a kind of legitimate pretext' with the silence about Israel's possession of nuclear weapons during the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the [NPT]...

His country, among many others, had urged the five nuclear powers to ensure that every country joined the NPT so that the world would be spared a new nuclear armaments race, he said. Unfortunately, that urgent call had fallen on deaf ears. Syria - and all Arab countries - wanted the Middle East to be an area free of nuclear armaments."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9457, 29 September

Tajikistan

Speech by Foreign Minister Talbak Nazarov, 30 September

"Tajikistan had joined the initiative to establish a nuclear-free zone in Central Asia. He supported the urgent appeal of the Security Council for India and Pakistan to accede to the [CTBT & NPT]..."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9459, 30 September

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Speech by Foreign Minister Rashid Abdullah Al-Noaimi, 23 September

"He considered it necessary to continue upgrading the food-for-oil programme and improve its operation to meet the humanitarian needs and requirements of the Iraqi people. At the same time, he urged the Iraqi Government to complete its implementation of all the relevant Security Council resolutions, particularly those relating to the release of prisoners of war and detainees, and the restitution of Kuwaiti property, so as to ensure the lifting of sanctions and enable it to resume its normal role at the regional and international level. ...

The establishment of a zone free of all kinds of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and Arab Gulf regions was a requirement that complemented the peace process and represented a major factor in regional security and stability... Accordingly, it behoved the international community to demand that Israel accede to the [NPT]...and subject its nuclear installations to the control and safeguards regime of the [IAEA]... Achievements at the international level in world disarmament had not, so far, been global in their coverage, especially since the world was still witnessing an arms race in nuclear testing. Such a race would not lead to the settlement of existing differences between States, but rather an imbalance in regional security, as seen between India and Pakistan. Therefore, he urged both countries to exercise self-restraint, renounce the use of force and resume discussions and negotiations to reduce tensions and solve their present disputes. The United Arab Emirates also called on nuclear-weapons States, and those in possession of such kinds of dangerous weapons, to reconsider their policies, refrain from double standards and promote the adoption of confidence-building measures between States."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9449, 23 September

Ukraine

Speech by Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, 23 September

"As a nation that had inherited the world's third largest nuclear arsenal and voluntarily renounced it, and that had suffered from one of the largest disasters of the century in Chernobyl, the issue of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation had a special meaning for Ukraine... Ukraine had made the unprecedented and exemplary decision to initiate practical nuclear disarmament, and had strictly honoured its obligations. Therefore, it believed it had the moral right to urge other countries, first of all nuclear ones, to continue further reduction, and to totally destroy their nuclear potentials. The world community should take effective measures to create reliable mechanisms for non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and control over the implementation of respective international agreements. The [NPT]...was the only internationally binding document, which consolidated the world community around the concept of global security."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9450, 23 September

United Kingdom

Speech by Prime Minister Tony Blair, 21 September

"[T]he international community faces [a]...serious challenge in Iraq. The Security Council is unanimous in insisting that Iraq resumes cooperation with the UN. Kofi Annan courageously reached an important agreement with the Iraqi leadership about UNSCOM earlier this year. Again, this agreement has to be honoured and we will play our part in ensuring that it is."

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office Daily Bulletin, 21 September.

United States

Speech by President Clinton, 21 September

"[A]s every person in this room knows, the promise of our time is attended by perils. ...

We still are bedeviled by ethnic, racial, religious and tribal hatreds; by the spread of weapons of mass destruction; by the almost frantic effort of too many States to acquire such weapons; and, despite all efforts to contain it, terrorism is not fading away with the end of the 20th century. ...

[T]errorism has a new face in the 1990s. Today terrorists take advantage of greater openness and the explosion of information and weapons technology. The new technologies of terror and their increasing availability, along with the increasing nobility of terrorists, raise chilling prospects of vulnerability to chemical, biological, and other kinds of attacks, bringing each of us into the category of possible victim. This is a threat to all humankind. ...

If terrorism is at the top of the American agenda - and should be at the top of the world's agenda - what, then, are the concrete steps we can take together to protect our common destiny. What are our common obligations? At least, I believe they are these: to give terrorists no support, no sanctuary, no financial assistance; to bring pressure on States that do; to act together to step up extradition and prosecution; to sign the Global Anti-Terror Conventions; to strengthen the [BWC and]…enforce the [CWC]; to promote stronger domestic laws and control the manufacture and export of explosives; to raise international standards for airport security; to combat the conditions that spread violence and despair. ..."

Source: Text - President Clinton remarks to the 53rd UN General Assembly, United States Information Service, 21 September.

Uzbekistan

Speech by Alisher Vohidov, 2 October

"In further efforts to assure regional security, his country supported a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia... The issue had taken on new importance in light of the recent nuclear testing in South Asia."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9464, 2 October

Zambia

Speech by Foreign Minister Keli Walubita, 30 September

"[T]he Conference on Disarmament must establish an ad hoc committee to begin negotiations on a phased programme for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons within a specified time-frame. The issue of the fissile material cut-off treaty must also be resolved and it must include the existing stocks as a measure of confidence-building and transparency. Furthermore, the convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament was now overdue."

Source: United Nations Press Release GA/9460, 30 September

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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