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  Library :: Non-Proliferation Treaty, EU Statement on the Middle East, May 14, 1999

Statement from theEU Delegation on the Middle East


Mr, Chairman,

1. I have the honour of taking the floor on behalf of the European Union.

2. The European Union remains committed to the Resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference and to its full implementation. We continue to support efforts to establish an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction,

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nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery Systems.

3. The Resolution on the Middle East calls upon all States in the Middle East to take practical steps aimed at making progress towards this objective and to refrain from taking any measures that preclude its achievement. The European Union believes that the earliest possible accession by all States of the region which have not yet done so to the NPT and to the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions, as well as to the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty, in the pursuit of the goal of universal adherence to all these instruments, would b& an essential and highly significant contribution to regional and global peace and security. Let me recall in this connection the views of the EU contained in its joint response to General Assembly Resolution 51/41 of4 June 1997.

4. The European Union stresses the urgent priority of universal adherence to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the first of the objectives laid down in the decision on Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. The European Union calls upon all States not yet party to the Treaty to accede to the Treaty at the earliest possible date, particularly those States that operate unsafeguarded nuclear facilities. All States parties should continue to make every effort to achieve this objective.

5. The European Union remains convinced that the establishment of internationally recognized nuclear-weapon-free zones, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at aniong the States of the region concerned, enhances global and regional peace and security. The European Union considers such zones to be a valuable complementary instrument to the NPT and a way to increase security and provide legally binding assurances to the countries of the region. The European Union, therefore, once again reiterates the importance it attaches to the creation of nuclear-weapon-free zones, as well as to the establishment of zones free of all weapons of mass destruction.

6. The European Union has, over the last three years, actively participated in and constructively contributed to the in-depth study and discussion in the United Nations Disarmament Commission on nuclear-weapon-free zones and welcomes the recent agreement on guidelines for nuclear-weapons-free zones as an Important contribution to future developments in this field, including in the Middle East.

7. The European Union continues to believe that progress on these matters would be greatly facilitated by a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

8. The European Union will continue to work towards these objectives in all appropriate fora. This includes, in particular, the Strengthened Review Process and the 2000 Review Conference. The European Union will actively participate in addressing what might be done to strengthen the implementation of the Treaty and to achieve its universality, in the Middle East, in other regions of tension, as well as globally.

Thank you Mr. President