The General Assembly would request the Secretary-General to seek the views of Member States on creating a comprehensive, legally binding instrument establishing international standards in the trade on conventional arms, under the terms of 1 of 7 draft texts approved today by the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) on nuclear and conventional weapons.
By the terms of the draft on an arms trade treaty, introduced this year for the first time, the Assembly would also request the Secretary-General to establish a group of governmental experts, commencing in 2008, to examine the feasibility, scope and draft parameters for such an instrument.
The draft was approved by a vote of 139 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 24 abstentions (see Annex X).
Prior to approving the draft, the Committee decided to retain operative paragraph 2, which would request the Secretary-General to establish the group of governmental experts, by a vote of 133 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 26 abstentions (see Annex VIII).
The Committee also voted to retain operative paragraph 3, which would request the Secretary-General to provide the group of experts with any assistance required, by a vote of 133 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 24 abstentions (see Annex IX).
Also in the conventional arms area, the Committee approved a draft on the implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (Ottawa Convention) by a vote of 157 in favour to none against, with 15 abstentions (see Annex VII). By the text, the Assembly would renew its call upon States to work together to promote, support and advance the care, rehabilitation and social and economic reintegration of mine victims; mine-risk education programmes; and the removal and destruction of anti-personnel mines.
The Committee also approved a draft on the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects by a vote of 172 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions (see Annex VI). Under its terms, the Assembly would call upon all States to implement the international tracing instrument and would decide that the next review meeting for the 2001 Programme of Action would be held in New York no later than 2008.
A text on the renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons was approved by a vote of 168 in favour to 4 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Equatorial Guinea, India, United States), with 8 abstentions (Bhutan, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Myanmar, Pakistan) (see Annex IV).
The Committee also adopted a draft resolution on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty by a vote of 175 in favour to 2 against (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, United States), with 4 abstentions (Colombia, India, Mauritius, Syria) (see Annex V).
A draft on a nuclear-weapon-free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas was approved by a vote of 168 in favour to 3 against (France, United Kingdom, United States), with 7 abstentions (Bhutan, India, Israel, Marshall Islands, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Spain) (see Annex III).
Prior to voting on the draft as a whole, the Committee voted to retain the words “and South Asia” in operative paragraph 5 by a vote of 160 in favour to 2 against ( India, Pakistan), with 11 abstentions (see Annex I).
Operative paragraph 5 as a whole was retained by a vote of 161 in favour to 1 against (India), with 9 abstentions (Bhutan, France, Israel, Marshall Islands, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Spain, United Kingdom, United States) (see Annex II).
Acting without a vote, the Committee approved a draft on Mongolia’s international security and nuclear-weapon-free status.
Statements were made today by Finland (speaking on behalf of the European Union), Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Spain, Syria, France, United Kingdom, Colombia, Iran, Venezuela, India, United States, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel, Nigeria, Jamaica, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, China, Switzerland, Morocco, Singapore, Myanmar, Algeria, Libya, Russian Federation, Costa Rica and Republic of Korea.
The Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Friday, 27 October, to continue action on all disarmament and security-related draft texts. (ends)
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