In light of the recent positive steps taken by the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC) less than two weeks ago in this very room, our delegations regret having to take the floor once again to react to an initiative by Belarus on the possible establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone or space in Central and Eastern Europe.
Let me reiterate that our delegations have on a number of occasions expressed favorable attitudes toward the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones as complimentary instruments to the NPT. At the same time, and in accordance with the recently adopted Guidelines by the UNDC on the establishment of ~ on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the States of the region concerned, we continue to stress that initiating proposals on NWFZtS should not interfere with existing or evolving security arrangements and, in this regard, our States feel that their pursuit of individual and collective security should be governed by their respective security considerations.
This initiative is once again being advanced in disregard of the wishes of the overwhelming rnnjority of countries from the region, in contradiction to the above mentioned universally agreed principle. I should also like to recall that in accordance with UNDC Guidelines on NWFZVS ~aragraph 43] any proposal on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at should be considered in international fora onlv after consensus on the objective has been achieved in broad consultations among countries from the region concerned. As this group of countries has stated on numerous previous occasions, this is far from being the case in our region,
I should also like to recall that General Assembly resolution 53177H on regional disarmament, as referred to by the delegation of Belarus, was adopted against the express wishes of the countries from the region, and therefore does not reflect the principle of necessary consensus, which was reaffinned most recently in the UNDC Guidelines.
Even though our delegations do not wish to prejudge the future relevance.of similar initiatives, in view of the lack of consensus on this issue we are not in a position to accept any reference to the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central and Eastern Europe. We expect that the common position of our delegations shall be adequately reflected in the documents of the Preparatory Committee of the NPT 2000 Review Conference.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.