Andrews welcomes adoption of Irish resolution on Nuclear Weapons at United Nations
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr David Andrews, T.D., has welcomed the adoption in New York last Friday by the Disarmament Committee of the General Assembly of a resolution tabled by Ireland aimed at the world wide elimination of Nuclear weapons. The resolution, "Towards a nuclear weapons free world - the need for a new agenda", was tabled as a sequel to the Joint Ministerial Declaration of June 9, 1998, launched by Minister Andrews in Dublin, together with the Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia, South Africa and Sweden. The adoption of the Resolution by the Disarmament Committee, by 97 votes in favour to 19 votes against, with 32 abstentions, means that it will be considered by the Plenary Session of the General Assembly in November. The resolution has been the principal item considered by the First Committee in 1998.
The broad support for the resolution, from countries in all regions, is seen as very satisfactory, paving the way for follow up efforts next year. The main opposition came from the nuclear weapons States (China however abstained). Most notable was the abstention of all Western non-nuclear weapon NATO delegations.
The resolution underlines " that the international Community must not enter the third Millennium with the prospect that the possession of nuclear weapons will be considered legitimate for the indefinite future" and stressed that "the present juncture provided a unique opportunity to proceed to prohibit and eradicate them for all time."
It also calls upon the nuclear weapons States"to demonstrate an unequivocal commitment to the speedy and total elimination of their respective nuclear weapons and without delay to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to the elimination of these weapons, thereby fulfilling their obligations under Article Vi of the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons."
Minister Andrews said "the passage of this resolution through the First Committee is a demonstration of the world's determination to eliminate Nuclear weapons; Ireland's sponsorship of it is a clear demonstration of our continuing a policy established 30 years ago by my predecessor in office, Frank Aiken, when he first advanced his resolution on Non Proliferation which led to the conclusion of the Non Proliferation Treaty. I welcome the adoption of this resolution in the hope that all our children and grandchildren can live in a world free of the threat of Nuclear weapons."