Total Test Ban: A 'Priority Objective.' (UN General Assembly Issues December 16, 1993 Statement in Support of Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Comprehensive Test Ban) (Includes Related Article on Efforts to Achieve North Korean Compliance with Non-Proliferation)

UN Chronicle, March 1994 | Go to article overview

Total Test Ban: A 'Priority Objective.' (UN General Assembly Issues December 16, 1993 Statement in Support of Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Comprehensive Test Ban) (Includes Related Article on Efforts to Achieve North Korean Compliance with Non-Proliferation)


All States should support the multilateral negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament for a comprehensive nuclear test ban - a "priority objective" of the international community in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation - the General Assembly stated on 16 December.

Acting on the recommendation of its First Committee (Disarmament and International Security), the Assembly, by resolution 48/70, urged the Conference on Disarmament to "proceed intensively" in its negotiation of a "universal and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty".

The Assembly also stressed (48169) that pending the conclusion of such a ban, nuclear-weapon States should "suspend all nuclear-test explosions through an agreed moratorium or unilateral moratoria". Such unilateral steps announced earlier by several nuclear-weapon States were welcomed.

More controversial was a ban on nuclear weapon use, opposed by most Western countries. In adopting resolution 48/76 B by a vote of 120 to 23, with 24 abstentions, the Assembly once again asked the Conference on Disarmament to commence negotiations on the subject, providing a fourarticle draft convention prohibiting the "use or threat of use under any circumstances".

Negotiating a verifiable ban on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices was also recommended resolution (48/75 L).

In resolution 48/75 C, the Assembly requested a "short report" on nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and of vehicles for their delivery.

Welcoming bilateral steps in nuclear disarmament, the Assembly, among other things, encouraged (48/75 B) the United States, the Russian Federation Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine t "continue their cooperative effort aimed at eliminating nuclear weapon and strategic offensive arms on th basis of existing agreements".

Compliance with a wide array o arms limitation and disarmament agreements was also urged. In resolution 48/63, the Assembly called upon all States to seriously consider the implications of non-compliance with such accords for international peace and security, as well as for "prospects for further progress in the field of disarmament".

A |broader structure'

Adopting a total of 4 7 resolutions - 24 of them without a vote - the First Committee continued to deal with post-cold-war issues related to international peace and security.

Disarmament should be "integrated into the broader structure of international peace and security rather than be pursued in isolation", Under- Secretary-General for Political Affairs Marrack Goulding told the Committee on 18 October.

In launching the debate, Committee Chairman Adolf Ritter von Wagner of Germany specified that "two seemingly contradictory approaches" narrowing the focus with regard to the traditional disarmament agenda and, at the same time, widening it to "comprise broader issues of peace and security" - were to be taken by the Committee, in dealing with its 27 agenda items and 22 sub-items. "Some remarkable political developments of the recent past" should help the Committee to "approach consensus on hitherto intractable issues", he added.

On 9 December, Committee Vice- Chairman Behrouz Moradi of Iran said that with the end of the cold war, some "dormant issues" had resurfaced. Developing countries felt that "non-proliferation initiatives should not compromise the right to have access to material and technology for peaceful purposes" or "replace initiatives on comprehensive elimination of weapons of mass destruction".

Disarmament,

transparency, security

On 16 December, the Assembly acted on the bulk of the drafts recommended by the First Committee.

In resolution 48/84 A, it emphasized its commitment to preventive diplomacy and stressed the "great importance of the role of regional arrangements and organizations" in the maintenance of international peace and security.

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