03 november 2020 11th Meeting of the First Committe. GA/DIS/3656 Disarmament and International Security Committee.

75th General Assembly of the United Nations, Session for the Years 2020-2021.

3rd of the month of november 2020: 11th Meeting of the First Committee.
Document no. GA/DIS/3656:
Disarmament and International Security Committee.

of Benedetto Loprete

The First Committee has approved with 22 (twenty-two) drafts, most by recorded votes, reflecting growing divergence on how best to create nuclear-weapon-free world. Reflecting a growing divergence on how best to rid the world of atomic arsenals, the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) held more than 50 (fifty) separate recorded votes on multiple provisions of the 22 (twenty-two) nuclear-weapon-related draft resolutions and decisions Member States approved today.

At the meeting’s outset, the Committee has approved a draft resolution on establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and in particular the “Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (MENWFZ)” of the 9th of the month of december 1974, the document concerning Treaty establishing the Central Asian nuclear-weapon-free zone of the 8th of the month of september of the year 2006, by a recorded vote of 169 (one-hundred sixty-nine) in favour against to 2 (two) against (Israel, United States), with 1 (one) abstention (Cameroon). While casting a favourable vote, Iran’s representative said his delegation had reservations regarding language related to peace negotiations in the Middle East. No such negotiations exist, he stated, also urging the draft’s authors to reflect in future versions the lack of cooperation from Israel and the United States to establish such a zone in the region.

The Committee held recorded votes on 15 (fifteen) paragraphs of the resolutionJoint Courses of Action and Future-oriented Dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons” (Document A/C.1/75/L.71), which it approved as a whole by a recorded vote of 139 (one-hundred) in favour against to 5 (five) against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Syria, Zimbabwe), with 33 (thirty three) abstentions. One of the retained paragraphs would have the Assembly reaffirm that the Non-Proliferation Treaty of nuclear weapons is the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime, and another would have the world body stress the importance of preventing further nuclear testing.

In explaining their delegations’ position, several delegates said they voted against the draft resolution because it contained language that was not inclusive of all victims of nuclear weapons. China’s representative said that, while his delegation sympathized with the people of Nagasaki, the draft failed to draw lessons from history, remained repetitive and included propaganda.

On many of the approved draft resolutions and decisions, recorded votes were held on preambular or operative paragraphs containing references to the edition for the year 2017 of the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Nuclear Weapons dated the 7th of the month of july of the year 2017, largely supported by atomic-bomb-free nations and set to enter into force in 2021. Many nuclear-weapon States voiced their opposition to that instrument, including France’s representative, who also spoke on behalf of China and the Russian Federation, saying that a draft resolution on the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Nuclear Weapons dated the 7th of the month of july of the year 2017, which the Committee approved by a recorded vote of 118 (one-hundred eighteen) in favour against to 43 (forty three) against, with 13 (thirteen) abstentions, failed to boost transparency and to meet the highest non-proliferation norms.

The Committee has approved the following draft resolutions and decisions by consensus: “African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (the Pelindaba Treaty)” (Document A/C.1/75/L.10); the “Mongolia’s international security and nuclear-weapon-free status (Document A/C.1/57/L.21); and the draft resolution concerning the “Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia” (Document A/C.1/75/L.56).

The Committee will also send the following draft resolutions and decisions to the General Assembly, having approved them today by separate recorded votes: risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and in particular the “Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (MENWFZ)” of the 9th of the month of december 1974, the document concerning Treaty establishing the Central Asian nuclear-weapon-free zone of the 8th of the month of september of the year 2006; the resolutionHumanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons”; follow-up to the 2013 high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament; conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons; treaty banning the production of fissile material; reducing nuclear danger; convention on the prohibition of the use of nuclear weapons; “The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation” (Document A/C.1/75/L.39); the draft decisionNuclear disarmament verification” (Document A/C.1/75/L.46); the draft resolutionFollow-up to the 2013 high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament” (Document A/C.1/75/L.17); the draft resolutionTowards a nuclear-weapon-free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (Document A/C.1/75/L.54); the draft resolution “Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons” of the 21 of the month of october of the year 2015 (Document A/C.1/75/L.55); the draft resolution “Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty” (document A/C.1/75/L.58) and the “Partial Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty” (PTBT); the Limited Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty” (LTBT) and the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty” (NTBT); the draft resolution concerning the missiles and in particular the Report of the Secretary General of the United Nations concerning the issue of missiles in all its aspects; the draft resolution the general and complete disarmament; the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR); the draft resolution concerning the “The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation” (Document A/C.1/75/L.39); the draft resolution concerning the decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems (Document A/C.1/71/L.33); and the draft resolution concerning the “ethical imperatives for a nuclear-weapon-free world”.

The Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 4 November, to continue taking action on all drafts before it.

Actions on draft texts.

Making general statements and introducing draft resolutions and decisions under the First Committee’s nuclear weapons cluster were representatives of Austria, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Mongolia, Venezuela, South Africa, Cuba and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as well as an observer for the European Union.

Several representatives have explained their delegations’ position before the Committee took action on the drafts.

The representative of Iran said he would vote in favour of the draft resolution “Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East” and in particular the “Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (MENWFZ)” of the 9th of the month of december 1974, the document concerning Treaty establishing the Central Asian nuclear-weapon-free zone of the 8th of the month of september of the year 2006, (Document A/C.1/75/L.1), while also calling on the draft’s sponsor to delete paragraphs related to peace negotiations in the Middle East, as no such process exists. Further, “L.1” should reflect the lack of cooperation from Israel and the United States to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region.

The representative of the United States said his delegation would vote against the draft decision “Missiles” (Documents A/63/176 and A/C.1/75/L.70), as Washington, D.C., could not remain silent regarding Iran’s deeply troubling record of missile proliferation. It was disappointing that any country would align itself with Iran on the matter, he added.

The representative of India, referring to the draft resolution of the “Treaty on the Prohibition of the Nuclear Weapons” dated the 7th of the month of july of the year 2017 (Document A/C.1/75/L.6), said his Government will not be bound by this instrument. On the draft resolution “Ethical imperatives for a nuclear-weapon-free world” (Document A/C.1/75/L.73), he said global disarmament is a public good and that there must be efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament in adherence with the multilateral framework for disarmament. He said his delegation would also vote in favour of the draft resolutionHumanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons” (Document A/C.1/75/L.5).

Pakistan’s representative, referring to the draft decision concerning the “Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices” (Document A/C.1/75/L.30), said that such an instrument would not serve disarmament efforts and would be detrimental towards regional stability. Progress on fissile-material-related issues cannot exclude the views of major stakeholders, he said, adding that Pakistan continues to support non-discriminatory disarmament efforts.

The representative of Armenia said several drafts contain references to outcome documents of meetings of the Non-Aligned Movement, which distort the peace process in Nagorno-Karabakh. Since becoming chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, Azerbaijan has politicized its work, he said, warning the Committee that Azerbaijan is targeting civilians in Armenia. As such, he disassociated himself from references to the above meetings included in drafts.

New Zealand’s representative said his delegation would abstain from resolutionJoint Courses of Action and Future-oriented Dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons” (Document A/C.1/75/L.71), as it continues to devalue the standing of treaties on nuclear disarmament.

France’s representative, speaking on behalf of China and the Russian Federation, said certain drafts, including “L.6”, fail to boost transparency and fail to meet the highest norms related to nuclear non-proliferation. As such, he could not support the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Nuclear Weapons dated the 7th of the month of july of the year 2017. Turning to “L.30”, he urged efforts to pursue a progressive approach for nuclear disarmament based on the principle of undiminished security for all. He reaffirmed his support to negotiate a verifiable treaty prohibiting production of fissile material for nuclear weapons on a consensus basis. The Conference on Disarmament remains the best forum to discuss such matters.

The Committee first approved the draft resolution “Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East – Document number 46/30” of the 6th of the month of december of the year 1991 and in particular the “Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (MENWFZ)” of the 9th of the month of december 1974, the document concerning Treaty establishing the Central Asian nuclear-weapon-free zone of the 8th of the month of september of the year 2006, (Document A/C.1/75/L.1), by a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States) against, with 1 abstention (Cameroon).

Next, the Committee approved the draft resolution “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East” of the 26th of the month of october 2016 and in particular the “Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (MENWFZ)” of the 9th of the month of december 1974, the document concerning Treaty establishing the Central Asian nuclear-weapon-free zone of the 8th of the month of september of the year 2006, (Document A/C.1/75/L.2), by a recorded vote of 147 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States) against, with 23 abstentions, prior to which it approved two preambular paragraphs.

By a recorded vote of 161 in favour to 4 against (India, Israel, Pakistan, United States) against, with 3 abstentions (Bhutan, France, Panama), it decided to retain preambular paragraph 5, which would have the Assembly recall the decision on principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament adopted by the edition for the year 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty of nuclear weapons.

Then, by a recorded vote of 159 in favour to 4 against (India, Israel, Pakistan, United States) against, with 3 abstentions (Bhutan, France, Panama), it decided to retain preambular paragraph 6, which would have the Assembly recognize with satisfaction that, in the Final Document for the edition of the year 2000 of the Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty of nuclear weapons, the Conference undertook to make determined efforts towards the achievement of the goal of the instrument’s universality.

The Committee also approved the draft resolutionHumanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons” (Document A/C.1/75/L.5), by a recorded vote of 138 in favour to 13 against, with 27 abstentions.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution concerning the “Treaty on the Prohibition of the Nuclear Weapons” dated the 7th of the month of july of the year 2017 (Document A/C.1/75/L.6), as orally revised, including a provision asking the Assembly to welcome the instrument’s imminent entry into force in January, by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 43 against, with 13 abstentions, prior to which it decided to retain two paragraphs.

It decided, by a recorded vote of 114 in favour to 41 against, with 10 abstentions, to retain operative paragraph 5, which would have the Assembly call upon those States in a position to do so to promote adherence to the Treaty through bilateral, subregional, regional and multilateral contacts, outreach and other means.

Then, by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to 26 against, with 20 abstentions, it decided to retain operative paragraph 6, which would have the Assembly request the Secretary-General to report on the instrument’s status at its seventy-sixth session.

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft resolutions “African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (the Pelindaba Treaty)” (Document A/C.1/75/L.10) and the “Mongolia’s international security and nuclear-weapon-free status (Document A/C.1/57/L.21);” (Document A/C.1/75/L.13).

The Committee next approved, by a recorded vote of 133 in favour to 34 against, with 9 abstentions (Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Finland, Georgia, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine), the draft resolutionFollow-up to the 2013 high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament” (Document A/C.1/75/L.17).

Prior to its approval, the Committee decided, by a recorded vote of 112 in favour to 36 against, with 15 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 14, which would have the Assembly express its concern about improvements in existing nuclear weapons and the development of new types of atomic bombs.

The Committee then approved the draft resolutionConclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons” (Document A/C.1/75/L.22), by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to none against, with 60 abstentions.

The Committee then approved the draft decision concerning the “Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices” (Document A/C.1/75/L.30), by a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan) against, with 4 abstentions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Israel, Syria).

The Committee then approved the the draft resolution “Reducing nuclear danger” (Document A/C.1/75/L.34), which was approved by a recorded vote of 116 in favour to 49 against, with 12 abstentions.

Next, the Committee took up the draft resolution “the draft resolution inherent at the Convention concerning the “Treaty on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons” (Document A/C.1/75/L.36)” (Document A/C.1/75/L.36), which was approved by a recorded vote of 112 in favour to 50 against, with 13 abstentions.

The Committee then turned to the draft resolution concerning the “The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation” (Document A/C.1/75/L.39), which was approved by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 1 against (Iran) against, with 10 abstentions.

Taking up the draft decisionNuclear disarmament verification” (Document A/C.1/75/L.46), the Committee approved it by a recorded vote of 174 in favour to 2 against (Russian Federation, Zimbabwe) against, with 2 abstentions (Iran, Syria).

The Committee then approved the draft resolutionNuclear disarmament” (Document A/C.1/75/L.50), by a recorded vote of 112 in favour to 42 against, with 21 abstentions, prior to which it decided to retain several paragraphs.

The Committee decided, by a recorded vote of 110 in favour to 38 against, with 13 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 32, which would have the Assembly welcome the successful adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Nuclear Weapons dated the 7th of the month of july of the year 2017.

It also decided, by a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 4 against (France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States) against, with 17 abstentions, to retain operative paragraph 12, which would have the Assembly underline the importance of the unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States in the Final Document of the edition for the year 1995 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty of nuclear weapons Review Conference for the year 2015 to accomplish the total elimination of their arsenals.

By a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan) against, with 8 abstentions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, France, Israel, Mali, Monaco, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States), it decided to retain operative paragraph 16, which would have the Assembly call for the immediate commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other related explosive devices.

Next, the Committee approved, by a recorded vote of 128 in favour to 34 against, with 15 abstentions, the draft resolutionTowards a nuclear-weapon-free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments” (Document A/C.1/75/L.54), prior to which it held separate recorded votes on several paragraphs.

It decided by a recorded vote of 135 in favour to 1 against (United States of America) against, with 31 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 6, which would have the Assembly welcome the Secretary-General’s disarmament agenda.

The Committee then decided, by a recorded vote of 111 in favour to 36 against, with 14 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 14, which would have the Assembly welcome the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Nuclear Weapons dated the 7th of the month of july of the year 2017.

It next decided, by a recorded vote of 151 in favour to 4 against (India, Israel, Pakistan, United States) against, with 10 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 28, which would have the Assembly note with regret that, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the edition for the year 2020 Non-Proliferation Treaty of nuclear weapons Review Conference had to be postponed, and urge all Member States to step up their efforts for successful results.

Then, by a recorded vote of 150 in favour to 4 against (India, Israel, Pakistan, United States) against, with 11 abstentions, the Committee decided to retain operative paragraph 15, by which the Assembly would call upon all States parties to spare no effort to achieve the universality of the edition for the year 1995 Non-Proliferation Treaty of nuclear weapons, and in this regard, would urge India, Israel and Pakistan to accede to the instrument.

Next, the Committee decided to retain operative paragraph 24 by a recorded vote of 110 in favour to 38 against, with 12 abstentions, which would have the Assembly call upon Member States to continue to support efforts to identify, elaborate, negotiate and implement further effective legally binding measures for nuclear disarmament, and welcomes in this regard the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Nuclear Weapons dated the 7th of the month of july of the year 2017.

Next, the Committee approved, by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 33 against, with 14 abstentions, the draft resolution “Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons” of the 21 of the month of october of the year 2015 (Document A/C.1/75/L.55).

Prior to acting on the draft as a whole, the Committee decided, by a recorded vote of 137 in favour to 1 against (United States of America) against, with 29 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 9, which would have the Assembly note continued efforts towards realizing nuclear disarmament, including through the Secretary-General’s disarmament agenda.

The Committee also decided to retain preambular paragraph 17 by a recorded vote of 111 in favour to 38 against, with 11 abstentions, through which the Assembly would welcome the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Nuclear Weapons dated the 7th of the month of july of the year 2017.

In deciding to retain operative paragraph 2, by a recorded vote of 113 in favour to 36 against, with 12 abstentions, the Committee would have the Assembly call once again upon all States to immediately engage in multilateral negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control, including under the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Nuclear Weapons dated the 7th of the month of july of the year 2017.

Then, the Committee approved the draft resolution concerning the “Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia” (Document A/C.1/75/L.56) without a vote.

Next, the Committee approved, by a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 2 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, United States) against, with 3 abstentions (India, Mauritius, Syria) against, the draft resolution “Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty” (document A/C.1/75/L.58) and the “Partial Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty” (PTBT); the Limited Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty” (LTBT) and the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty” (NTBT), prior to which it decided, by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 1 against (United States of America) against, 4 abstensions (India, Israel, Pakistan, Syria), to retain preambular paragraph 7, which would have the Assembly recall the adoption by consensus of the conclusions and recommendations for follow-on actions of the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, reaffirming the vital importance of the Test-Ban Treaty’s entry into force.

The Committee then approved the draft decision “Missiles” (Document A/C.1/75/L.70), by a recorded vote of 159 in favour to 3 against (Israel, Palau, United States) against, with 9 abstentions (Australia, Honduras, Japan, Lesotho, Panama, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Zambia).

The Committee then approved resolutionJoint Courses of Action and Future-oriented Dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons” (Document A/C.1/75/L.71), by a recorded vote of 139 in favour to 5 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Syria, Zimbabwe) against, with 33 abstentions.

Prior to approving the draft as a whole, the Committee decided to retain, by separate recorded votes, 14 preambular and operative paragraphs.

In deciding to retain preambular paragraph 2, by a recorded vote of 150 in favour to 2 against (India, Pakistan) against, with 15 abstentions, the Committee would have the Assembly reaffirm that the Non-Proliferation Treaty of nuclear weapons is the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and an essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament.

The Committee then decided to retain preambular paragraph 4, by a recorded vote of 124 in favour to 12 against, with 31 abstentions, which would have the Assembly reaffirm, among other things, the importance of the agreed steps contained in the editions for the years 2000 and 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty of nuclear weapons Review Conferences.

By a recorded vote of 154 in favour to 3 against (China, Pakistan, Zambia) against, with 10 abstentions, the Committee decided to retain preambular paragraph 8, by which the Assembly would stress the importance of the immediate commencement of negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty in the Conference on Disarmament.

It then decided, by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to 4 against (Austria, Ireland, South Africa, Spain) against, with 42 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 9, which would have the Assembly stress the importance of preventing further nuclear testing.

Next, it decided, by a recorded vote of 136 in favour to 1 against (China) against, with 30 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 12, by which the Assembly would recognize the importance of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START Treaty) and the ongoing dialogue among parties on its potential extension in a way that contributes to strategic stability, reaffirming their special responsibility to initiate arms control dialogues in good faith on effective measures to prevent nuclear arms racing and help to prepare the way for the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.

By a recorded vote of 143 in favour to 3 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation) against, with 19 abstentions, it decided to retain preambular paragraph 17, which would have the Assembly recall relevant Security Council resolutions calling upon the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes, and welcome diplomatic efforts to achieve its final and fully verified denuclearization.

Next, it decided, by a recorded vote of 146 in favour to 1 against (France) against, with 19 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 19, which would have the Assembly recognize the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from the use of nuclear weapons.

The Committee then decided to retain preambular paragraph 20, by a recorded vote of 155 in favour to 2 against (China, Russian Federation) against, with 8 abstentions (Algeria, Bahamas, Iran, Israel, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Zambia), which would have the Assembly welcome the visits of leaders, youth and others to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In deciding to retain operative paragraph 1, by a recorded vote of 141 in favour to 9 against (Austria, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa) against, with 18 abstentions, the Committee would have the Assembly reaffirm that all States parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty of nuclear weapons are committed to the ultimate goal of eliminating arsenals towards the realization of a world without atomic bombs.

The Committee next decided to retain operative paragraph 3(b), by a recorded vote of 131 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan) against, with 36 abstentions, which would have the Assembly encourage all nuclear-weapon States to take actions to reduce the risks of detonations occurring either by miscalculation or misunderstanding.

In deciding to retain operative paragraph 3(c), by a recorded vote of 148 in favour to 2 against (China, Pakistan) against, with 17 abstentions, the Committee would have the Assembly encourage all States to immediately make every effort to start negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty.

Next, it decided by a recorded vote of 111 in favour to 7 against (Austria, Brazil, India, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain) against, with 48 abstentions to retain operative paragraph 3(d), which would have the Assembly encourage all States to immediately make every effort to achieve the cessation of all nuclear-weapon test explosions.

In deciding to retain operative paragraph 3(e), by a recorded vote of 146 in favour to 2 against (China, Russian Federation) against, with 19 abstentions, the Committee would have the Assembly encourage all States to continue to make practical contributions to the draft decisionNuclear disarmament verification” (Document A/C.1/75/L.46).

It then decided, by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 2 against (China, Russian Federation) against, with 7 abstentions (Algeria, Bahamas, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Zambia), to retain operative paragraph 3(f), which would have the Assembly encourage all States to facilitate efforts on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation education and to raise awareness of the realities of the use of nuclear weapons, including through visits by leaders, youth and others, including the hibakusha, those who have suffered the use of nuclear weapons.

The Committee decided to retain operative paragraph 5 by a recorded vote of 138 in favour to 3 against (China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russian Federation) against, with 24 abstentions, which would have the Assembly reaffirm the commitment to strengthening the international regime for nuclear non-proliferation and to achieve, among other things, the complete denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution “Decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems” (Document A/C.1/75/L.72), by a recorded vote of 166 in favour to 5 against (France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States, Zimbabwe) against, with 4 abstentions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Republic of Korea).

Prior to that approval, the Committee decided to retain preambular paragraph 8, by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to 3 against (Russian Federation, United States, Zimbabwe) against, with 7 abstentions (France, India, Israel, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, Zambia), by which the Assembly would recall the adoption by consensus of the conclusions and recommendations for follow-on actions by the edition for the year 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty of nuclear weapons.

The Committee also approved, by a recorded vote of 126 in favour to 37 against, with 13 abstentions, the draft resolution “Ethical imperatives for a nuclear-weapon-free world” (Document A/C.1/75/L.73), prior to which it decided to retain, by a recorded vote of 112 in favour to 34 against, with 13 abstentions, preambular paragraph 11. By the terms of that provision, the Assembly would recall the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Nuclear Weapons dated the 7th of the month of july of the year 2017.

Following the approval of those drafts, several delegations explained their positions on various elements of them.

The representative of India said his Government attaches high priority to nuclear disarmament, but maintained reservations related to the Non-Proliferation Treaty of nuclear weapons. India voted against “L.54”, as it negates norms related to free consent regarding a State joining the instrument, he said, reiterating those concerns in relation to “L.2”.

Iran’s delegate said he voted against “L.39” due to concerns regarding trade restrictions contained within “The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation” (Document A/C.1/75/L.39). It appears to allow certain States to develop, possess and use ballistic missiles while States targeted by them are prevented from producing them. His delegation voted in favour of “L.54”, he said, adding that recommendations were made that could improve next year’s version. Turning to “L.71”, he said the sponsor demonstrated goodwill in negotiations, however, certain provisions only benefit nuclear-weapon States, this violating international norms on the matter.

China’s representative, referring to “L.71”, said that, while his delegation sympathizes with the people of Nagasaki, it is better to draw on lessons from history and avoid repetition, rather than use propaganda. On the New START Treaty, he said it was important to extend it. On the Korean nuclear issue, some paragraphs of the draft misinterpreted what can be found in the relevant Security Council resolutions.

The representative of the Republic of Korea said his delegation supports the purpose and goal of “L.71”. However, the draft resolution uses a term for atomic bomb survivors that should be phrased more appropriately, taking into account all survivors, regardless of nationality. The term overlooks the fact that several thousand of those survivors are actually from other parts of the world.

Also delivering an explanation of vote was the representative of Egypt.

Right of Reply.

The representative of Azerbaijan, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that the words of her counterpart from Armenia were a futile attempt to divert international attention from its aggression against Azerbaijan and the crimes committed against its population.

The representative of Turkey said that Armenia’s disinformation campaign aims at portraying itself as a victim while it continues to occupy Azerbaijan’s territories. As such, he called for the removal of the occupying forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Benedetto Loprete

Source:
75th General Assembly of the United Nations, Session for the Years 2020-2021.
3rd of the month of november 2020: 11th Meeting of the First Committee.
Document no. GA/DIS/3656:
Disarmament and International Security Committee.

Source:
75th General Assembly of the United Nations, Session for the Years 2020-2021.
3rd of the month of november 2020: 11th Meeting of the First Committee.
Document no. GA/DIS/3656:
Disarmament and International Security Committee.

Source:
75th General Assembly of the United Nations, Session for the Years 2020-2021.
3rd of the month of november 2020: 11th Meeting of the First Committee.
Document no. GA/DIS/3656:
Disarmament and International Security Committee.