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28 October 2008 - Explanation of vote on the resolution " The risk of nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East " (L.2) - Statement by Mrs Sophie Moal-Makame

63th session of the United Nations General Assembly
First Committee
Statement by Mrs Sophie Moal-Makame, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on behalf on the European Union


Mr. Chairman,

I am speaking on behalf of the European Union on draft resolution L.2 entitled "the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East".

[Standard wording on association]

Mr. Chairman,

The European Union intents to vote in favor of this draft resolution.

The EU is fully committed to the implementation of resolutions on the Middle East adopted by the Security Council and the 1995 NPT Review Conference.

The EU supports the objective of universalization of the NPT. This is a well-known and constant position.

The EU is also in favor of the creation, in the Middle East, of a WMDFZ, including nuclear weapons and their vectors. We call upon all states of the region to accede to the NPT, if they have not already done so, as NNWS. But we also call upon them to accede to the BTWC and CWC and to conclude with the IAEA a full scope safeguard agreement and an additional protocol.

For more than 10 years , the EU is involved, with Mediterranean States, in the Barcelona process which has allowed to find common grounds on a wide range of questions and which objective, among others, is to work towards the establishment of a WMDFZ, including their vectors, in the Middle East.

The past 13th of July, Mediterranean and European Union heads of States and governments have met in Paris for the launching of the Union for the Mediterranean. This ambitious initiative aims at gathering all these states sharing the same objective: revitalize the efforts in order to transform the Mediterranean into a peaceful, democratic, cooperative and prosperous area. The creation of a WMDFZ and their vectors, resting on verification instruments, is one objective of this initiative.

Since the last General Assembly, the European Union, has tried hard to continue this work and the rapprochement around the objective of a WMDFZ in the Middle East. Along with the European Institute of Security Studies, it has organized, last spring in Paris, an informal forum which has allowed the gathering of representatives from States of the region, the EU, the Arab league, the Council Secretariat of the EU, national authorities in charge of nuclear questions, universities and think tanks. The European Union will wish to continue this exercise. Other initiatives took place in several EU countries on the same subject.

In addition, the EU wishes to recall that guidelines exist since 1999 to establish nuclear weapon-free-zones and that they must be the subject of consultations between all parties. This is particularly true in the Middle East.

Moreover, the EU feels that a NWFZ in the Middle East must be effectively verifiable. There is no doubt that the IAEA will have a major role to play in this regard. That is why it is important that all States in the region sign, ratify and implement an additional protocol and fully cooperate with the Agency. Equally, it goes without saying that the resolution of cases that violate the obligations of non-proliferation in the region is essential if we wish to witness the realization of the NWFZ project in Middle East. In this regard, the EU expresses its preoccupation regarding the absence, in this draft resolution, of references to certain relevant developments concerning nuclear proliferation in the Middle-East, that continue stand in the way of the objective sought.

The EU deplores the persistent failure from Iran to comply with the demands of the Security Council and of the IAEA Governors Council by refusing to suspend the enrichment, to make light of all its past and present activities and to accord to the IAEA the access and the cooperation that it is asking to settle the pending questions mentioned in its reports in order to restore trust. The EU remains committed to find rapidly a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear dossier and reaffirms its firm commitment in favor of a double approach. We exhort Iran to open the way for negotiations by conforming itself to Resolutions 1737, 1747,1803 and 1835 of CSNU. We reaffirm our support to propositions presented to Iran in June 2006 the General Secretary and high representative of the EU and developed in a revised offer given to Iran on the 14th of June.

Besides, the UE has noted the comments made by the general director of the IAEA relative to the allegations concerning a non-declared nuclear installation in Syria. The EU welcomes the fact that the IAEA has decided to carry out investigations concerning it and highlights its desire to witness the full cooperation of Syria with the Agency in order to allow it to fulfil its mandate in satisfying conditions. The EU is still waiting for the IAEA inspection report.

Mr. Chairman,

The objective to create a NWFZ in the Middle east cannot be reached unless all States of the area are convinced that their security will not be diminished but enhanced in becoming part of such a mechanism. This supposes a dialogue between parties, peace negotiations and the installation of trust.

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