REPORT OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL
TO THE TWENTY-SIXTH SESSION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE OF FOREIGN MINISTERS
OUAGADOUGOU – BURKINA FASO, 28 JUNE – 1 JULY 1999
A – Development in the International situation and steps taken for general and complete disarmament and its relation to the security of Islamic States
- In the light of the successive and numerous developments and changes witnessed by; and still taking place at the International arena, Islamic States have become aware of the importance of unifying their efforts and positions towards the issue of general and comprehensive disarmament within the framework of the organisation of the Islamic Conference; aimed at elaborating a unified official stand thereon.
- The organization of the Islamic Conference considers the issue of disarmament as one of the issues which govern the present and future of this planet. It is also one of the issues of concern to the entire international community and the Islamic States in particular in view of the woes they suffer from because of the war machine manufactured by the their enemies since the colonization era to date; not to mention the modern technology which rendered the weapons of mass destruction as well as the conventional weapons. Therefore, the Member States have been keen to follow up the development of this important issue at all international fora especially the UN.
- The issue of disarmament was included for the first time in the agenda of the Eighteenth Session of Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers. The latter adopted resolution N°.18/-28/P which deals with several aspects of the interrelated issues of security, disarmament and development and their effects on the Member States. The Conference inter-alia, consider the major role and responsibility of the United Nations in the field of disarmament and international security. It emphasized the need to intensify efforts with a view to initiating a process of multilateral negotiations on priority basis, pursuant to the provision s of paragraph 50 of the final Document of the 1978 Special Session of the U.N. General Assembly devoted to disarmament (SSODI).
- The conference also welcomed the agreement between the two super powers on the elimination of medium range missiles in Europe (INF Treaty) and considered as a step towards the avowed goal of reduction by 50% of strategic weapons of these countries and as a part of the process heralding a new era of complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
- Islamic Conferences adopted several resolutions underlining the necessity of eliminating the weapons of mass destruction particularly nuclear weapons in confirmation of the declared Islamic position with regard to the issue. These resolutions came as a contribution to the realization of this process which represented and still represent a dream to the nation of the world. They indicated that the destruction of these should constitute the sole means of establishing a safe world free from them. They also reiterated the right of all the states to acquire the required technology and an equipment for peaceful uses of weapons. They considered that all Member States have an alienable right to the useful users of nuclear weapons for economic and social development purposes.
- Islamic Conferences underlined the importance of the intensification by Member States of their efforts at the disarmament Conference in Geneva with a view of to establishing an adhoc committee on the elaboration of a timetable for a reduction of nuclear weapons with the aim; of their complete elimination. In their relevant resolutions, they have also called on nuclear tests taking into consideration the harmful effects they inflict the environment and international peace. They also called for the speedy conclusion of the comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. In addition they stressed the importance of ensuring the adherence of all States to the Treaty of Non Proliferation of Nuclear weapons and requested Nuclear States to, fulfil the obligation to which they are committed.
- It is the view of the OIC that the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva is the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community. It therefore, has a central role in substantive negotiations on priority questions of disarmament. The OIC’s endeavours in this field are essentially aimed at facilitating better coordination among members States so that they could make appreciable bearing on the negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament an the consideration of these issues by the U.N. General Assembly.
- The eighteen Session of the Islamic Summit Conference and the twenty-fifth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers called on the international to seek the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, and in particular nuclear weapons and to redouble their efforts to, reach solutions to all issues of disarmament. Both sessions reiterated the imperceptible right of all states to develop peaceful uses of nuclear energy for their economic and social development.
- At its 49th Session, the U.N. General Assembly considered the Report of the Conference on Disarmament for 1994. The General Assembly considered that the present international climate should give additional impetus to multilateral negotiations with the aim of reaching concrete agreements and welcomed the determination of the Conference on Disarmament to fulfil its role as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community by making early substantive progress on priority items of its agenda.
- The convention adopted by the meeting on complete and effective prohibition of development , production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons has remained opened to signing since the special ceremony held on January 1993. This convention, a fruit of many years of intensive negotiations in the Conference on disarmament, constitutes a significant historic achievement in the fields of arms control and disarmament.
- The developments witnessed by the world of following the collapse of the former Soviet Union had a deep effect in changing the international political climate with regard to the realization of international peace and security. The question of the prohibition of the development of manufacture of new type of weapons of mass destruction remain under consideration of the U.N. disarmament fora.
- On January 3, 1993 in Moscow, Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Georges Bush sign the new Strategic Arms reduction Treaty (START-II). This treaty covers reductions and limitation on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBVM’s) and ICBM launchers, submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBM’s) and SLBM launchers, heavy bombers, ICBM warheads, SLBM warheads and heavy bomber armaments.
- The Secretary General urges the Member States to continue coordination and cooperation in all fora in order to implement the recommendations and measures adopted by the international community contained in the Final Document of the first special session of the U.N. General Assembly on disarmament.
B – Establishment of nuclear Weapon free zones in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia
- This subject was included as a separate item on the Agenda of all Islamic Conferences of Foreign Ministers since 1996. Thereafter, the Islamic Conferences were keen to, adopt resolutions on this subject calling up all states, particularly the States of the region concerned, to respond positively and effectively to the to the proposals for the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. They have confirmed the determination of the Member States to take measures to prevent nuclear proliferation on a non-discriminatory and universal basis.
- These resolutions welcomed the progress made towards the conclusion of a treaty for the establishment of a nuclear free zone in Africa. They urged all States especially weapon States to exert pressure on Israel to become party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. They also welcomed the various proposals made by Pakistan to keep the South Asian region free of nuclear weapons including the proposed 5-nation consultations to ensure nuclear non-proliferation in the region. They also welcomed the decision of the Asean States to work towards the realization of South East Asia as a nuclear-weapon-free-zone.
- The Islamic Conferences appealed to the Member States to cooperate at and outside the United Nations to promote the establishment of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.
- The Eighth Islamic Summit Conference and the Twenty-fifth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers underlined the determination of the Member States to take measures to prevent nuclear proliferation on a non-discriminatory and universal basis. They also appealed to all States, especially the concerned ones of the region, to give a favourable response to the proposals aimed at establishing nuclear-free-zones in Africa, the Middle and South Asia. Both Conferences welcomed anew the initiatives of some Member States to establish zones free of weapons of mass destruction. They also appealed to all States and the nuclear ones in particular, to exert pressure on the Israeli entity to sign the N.P.T.
- The two Conferences called on the international community and the Security Council to compel Israel to comply with UN resolutions particularly Security Council resolution N°. 487 (1981), to accede to the treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclears, to implement the resolutions of the International Atonomic Energy Agency (IAEA) calling for the subjection of all Israeli Atomic facilities to IAEA Comprehensive Saveguards System, to obtain Israel’s renunciation of nuclear armament and to, submit a full report on its stockpile of nuclear weapons to the Security Council and the IAEA as such steps are essential for the establishment a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and primarily nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
- Both Conferences appealed to all Member States and notably the States concerned to respond to the proposals aimed at establishing zones free of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia and South East Asia. They also welcomed the proposals made by Pakistan with regard to the holding of five-nation consultations with the aim of preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region and establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons in South Asia.
- The General Assembly adopted on 16 December 1993 Resolution 48/78 on Israeli nuclear armament by which it inter alia called upon Israel to renounce possession of nuclear weapons an d to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
- On December 1993, the United Nations General Assembly adopted without a vote, Resolution N°. 48/71 on the establishment of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the region of the Middle East by which it urged all parties directly concerned to consider seriously taking practical and urgent steps required for the implementation of the proposal to establish a nuclear free zone in the region of the Middle East. It also called upon all countries of the region that have not done so, pending the establishment of the Zone to agree to place all their nuclear activities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.
- The Secretary General is of the view that the Member States should coordinate efforts in all relevant fora to support the concept of the establishment of nuclear weapon Free Zones in these regions in order to save the Islamic world from the dangers of weapons while confirming the rights of Islamic States to obtain modern technology and to use nuclear weapons for peaceful means.
C – Strengthening of the security of non-nuclear weapon States against the treat or use of nuclear weapons
- Nuclear weapons pose the greatest threat to mankind and human civilization. The International community became aware of this fact ever since it felt the magnitude of human and material losses caused by such weapons. It is the right of non-nuclear states including all Islamic States, to seek the realization of sustained security for their nations. Indeed they express permanent concern over the continued nuclear arms race, the probability of use of nuclear weapons against them by states that produce or posses such weapons.
- The international community should elaborate effective measures to ensure the security of non-nuclear weapons States against the use of such weapons. Such measures are bound to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons pending the success of the intensive efforts exerted by non-nuclear weapons States and the international and regional organizations for the realization of complete and comprehensive disarmament in the world.
- The Eighth Summit Conference and the Twenty-fifth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers reaffirmed relevant Islamic resolutions in this regard. The two resolutions adopted by the two sessions in this respect, invited the States including those members of the Conference on Disarmament to work urgently towards a binding agreement on an international convention to assure non-nuclear weapon States against the use of nuclear weapons.
- The United Nations General Assembly reaffirmed in all its sessions the importance of conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear states against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. It reaffirmed the urgent need to reach an early agreement on effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear weapon states against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.
- The Secretary General believes that the apprehensions entertained by non-nuclear weapons States from the use of such weapons are justified. These states including Islamic ones, are faced, in addition to the presence of such an entity as Israel with its nuclear weapons and the support of the most important power without international control, with enough problems.
- The Secretary General calls once more on Member States and all non-nuclear weapons States to continue their endeavours at the Conference on Disarmament and all international fora, which discuss the nuclear field, the weapons of mass destruction, and the complete and comprehensive elimination of such weapons and their launching and targeting systems. He also invites the States that have not yet signed relevant international agreements to do so as soon as possible so that the international community may be in a position to implement them.
D – Regional arms controls and disarmament and Regional military balance
- The Eighth Summit Conference and the Twenty-fifth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers paid particular attention to this issue. In this connection, the two conferences reiterated their recognition of the need for enhancing regional security and stability through the settlement of outstanding disputes and the establishment of equitable an d verifiable balance of armaments at lower levels. They called upon the international community and the states concerned to adopt measures would ease global and regional tensions and result in a just and lasting resolution of outstanding conflicts and disputes thus facilitating meaningful and regional military balance and regional disarmament.
- The United Nations General Assembly has repeatedly affirmed that global and regional approaches to disarmament complement each other and should therefore be pursued simultaneously to promote regional and international peace and security. It has also welcomed the initiatives towards disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and security undertaken by some countries at the regional and sub-regional levels.
- The Secretary General is of the view that the OIC Member States should coordinate their efforts at the United Nations, especially at the Conference on Disarmament aimed at realizing arms control, disarmament and military balance at regional and sub-regional levels in the regions which take place in order to convince States in other parts of the world to undertake similar steps that would contribute, if applied, to establish real world peace and less armed and more balanced regions as well as removed from disputes and tension.
- The Secretary General submits this report to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers for consideration and appropriate decision.