UN - United Nations

12/07/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/08/2020 15:04

General Assembly, Adopting 66 First Committee Texts, Calls on States to Revitalize Stalled Disarmament Machinery, Tackle Chronic, Emerging Security Threats

The General Assembly, acting on the recommendation of its First Committee (Disarmament and International Security), adopted 66 resolutions and decisions today, including several addressing the need for multilateral action‑oriented solutions to spur denuclearization efforts, prevent an arms race in outer space and keep cyberspace safe.

Holding 100 separate recorded votes on almost two thirds of the texts before it, the Assembly acted on a range of issues, calling on Member States to galvanize efforts, from combating chemical weapon use to revitalizing the disarmament machinery, currently stalled for two decades.

General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir (Turkey) welcomed the drive to find common ground to enhance global security. Lamenting that the COVID‑19 pandemic limited the engagement of civil society, he commended efforts to engage in constructive dialogue through virtual meetings. 'We must make every second count to promote security,' he declared, urging unity amid unprecedented modalities due to the pandemic and the challenges that come with it.

Committee Rapporteur María del Rosario Estrada Girón (Guatemala), introducing its reports, said: 'This year marked an extraordinary session given the COVID‑19 constraints'. Despite the pandemic, the bureau had been able to consult with delegations to frame a realistic and flexible approach to proceed with its work in the most inclusive and transparent way. While traditional thematic discussions were not possible, States were encouraged to submit statements on the thematic clusters in written form for inclusion in a compendium of statements to be issued as an official document.

'The First Committee had one of its smoothest sessions in years and achieved its goals of contributing meaningfully to the General Assembly in the field of disarmament and international security,' she continued. The Committee held 15 in‑person meetings and 3 virtual meetings, the latter of which were the first in its history, and approved 71 draft resolutions and decisions.

Taking up an array of texts on nuclear weapons, the Assembly held separate recorded votes on many, with some atomic-bomb-possessing Member States casting abstentions or voting against several resolutions, decisions and their provisions. In adopting a resolution on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 42 against, with 14 abstentions, the Assembly called upon all States that have not yet done so to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to the instrument, which is poised to enter into force in January.

In an effort to fortify a path towards an atomic-bomb-free planet, the Assembly adopted a resolution on joint courses of action and future-oriented dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons, by a recorded vote of 150 in favour to 4 against (China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Syria), with 35 abstentions, prior to which it held separate recorded votes on 15 paragraphs. By the text's provisions, the Assembly reaffirmed that States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons - the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime and an essential foundation for the pursuit of disarmament - are committed to the ultimate goal of eliminating atomic arsenals.

Also by resolution's terms, the Assembly encouraged nuclear-weapon States to take actions to reduce the risks of detonation. It further recognized both the importance of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START Treaty) between the Russian Federation and the United States and the ongoing dialogue among parties on its potential extension in a way that contributes to strategic stability.

In adopting a resolution on ethical imperatives for a nuclear-weapon-free world, by a recorded vote of 134 in favour to 37 against, with 14 abstentions, the Assembly called upon all States to acknowledge the catastrophic humanitarian consequences and risks posed by a detonation and declared that the vast resources allocated to the modernization of arsenals could instead be redirected to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

With a view to keeping outer space free of weapons and war, the Assembly adopted, by separate recorded votes, four resolutions and decisions. By the terms of a resolution on no first placement of weapons in outer space, adopted by a recorded vote of 132 in favour to 34 against, with 21 abstentions, the Assembly urged an early commencement of substantive work based on a draft treaty proposed by China and the Russian Federation in 2008 in the Conference on Disarmament and updated in 2014.

The Assembly adopted a range of resolutions and decisions contained in the First Committee's report on general and complete disarmament. In doing so, it took action on various classes of weaponry, from handguns to weaponized toxic substances. By a recorded vote of 152 in favour to 8 against (Cambodia, China, Iran, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe) with 23 abstentions, the Assembly adopted a resolution on implementing the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and of Their Destruction. By its terms, the Assembly condemned in the strongest possible terms the use, since 2012, of chemical weapons in Iraq, Malaysia, Syria and the United Kingdom, and the recent use of a toxic chemical as a weapon against Alexei Navalny in the Russian Federation. Prior to its adoption as a whole, the Assembly decided, by separate recorded votes, to retain six of its paragraphs.

It also adopted texts on such instruments as the Arms Trade Treaty and existing conventions banning cluster munitions, biological weapons, anti-personnel mines and the use of nuclear weapons.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted two resolutions on measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction and radioactive sources.

Addressing emerging threats, the Assembly adopted, by a recorded vote of 179 in favour to 3 against (Israel, Ukraine, United States), with no abstentions, a resolution on the Conference on Disarmament's report on the prohibition of the development and manufacture of new types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons, by which it called upon States to follow recommendations on the matter.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted a resolution containing the annual report of the Conference on Disarmament, the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community with a primary role in substantive negotiations on priority issues. By its terms, the Assembly called upon the Conference on Disarmament to further intensify consultations and to explore possibilities for overcoming its ongoing deadlock of two decades by adopting and implementing a balanced and comprehensive programme of work at the earliest possible date during its 2021 session.

Adopting the First Committee's provisional programme of work and timetable for 2021 (document A/75/407) without a vote, the Assembly also approved, through several texts, new dates for meetings or sessions that had been postponed due to COVID‑19 restrictions, including one on the Disarmament Commission.

The General Assembly postponed taking action on the following five draft texts pending a report of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) on programme budget implications: developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security; Open-ended Working Group on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 73/27 of 5 December 2018; Group of Governmental Experts on Advancing Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace in the Context of International Security established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 73/266 of 22 December 2018; illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects; and problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus.

The Assembly adopted the following texts by recorded vote: establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East; risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East; humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons; follow-up to the 2013 high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament; conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons; treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; reducing nuclear danger; The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation; nuclear disarmament verification; nuclear disarmament; towards a nuclear-weapon free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments; follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons; Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty; missiles; decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems; and measures to uphold the authority of the 1925 Geneva Protocol.

Also by recorded vote, the Assembly adopted the following texts: prevention of an arms race in outer space; reducing space threats through norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours; further practical measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space; transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities; effects of the use of armaments and ammunitions containing depleted uranium; promotion of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation; women, disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control; compliance with non-proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements and commitments; strengthening and developing the system of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation treaties/agreements; conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels; strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region; convening of the fourth special sessions of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament; and the fortieth anniversary of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted the following texts: information on confidence‑building measures in the field of conventional arms; assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and collecting them; countering the threat posed by improvised explosive devices; Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects; maintenance of international security - good neighbourliness, stability and development in South-Eastern Europe; regional disarmament; confidence-building measures in the regional and subregional context; United Nations disarmament fellowship, training and advisory services; relationship between disarmament and development; observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementing disarmament and arms control agreements; role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament; United Nations Disarmament Information Programme; and the United Nations study on disarmament and non-proliferation education.

Also without a vote, the Assembly adopted the following texts: United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa; United Nations regional centres for peace and disarmament; United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific; United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean; activities of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa; African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty; Mongolia's international security and nuclear-weapon-free status; and the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia.

The General Assembly will meet again at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, 8 December to discuss oceans and the law of the sea.

Action on Draft Resolutions

Maria del Rosario Estrada Giron (Guatemala), Committee Rapporteur, introduced the reports of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) containing 71 draft resolutions and decisions.

The Assembly first took note of the report 'Reduction of military budgets' (document A/75/390), which contained no draft resolutions or decisions.

Taking up the report 'African Nuclear‑Weapon‑Free Zone Treaty' (document A/75/391), the Assembly adopted, without a vote, an eponymous draft resolution contained therein. By its terms, the Assembly recalled the entry into force of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba) and called upon African States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the instrument. It also called upon the African States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons that have not yet done so to conclude comprehensive safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) pursuant to the instrument.

Next, the Assembly considered the report 'Prohibition of the development and manufacture of new types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons: report of the Conference on Disarmament' (document A/75/392), adopting a draft of the same name contained therein, by a recorded vote of 179 in favour to 3 against (Israel, Ukraine, United States), with no abstentions. In doing so, the Assembly reaffirmed that effective measures should be taken to prevent the emergence of new types of these weapons and requested the Conference on Disarmament to keep the matter under review with a view to making recommendations on undertaking specific negotiations.

Taking up the report 'Maintenance of international security - good‑neighbourliness, stability and development in South-Eastern Europe' (document A/75/393), the Assembly adopted, without a vote, an eponymous draft decision contained therein, by which it decided to include the item in the provisional agenda of its seventy-seventh session.

Turning to the report 'Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security' (document A/75/394), containing four draft resolutions and decisions, the Assembly decided to postpone consideration of the following texts to allow time for the review of their programme budget implications by its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary): draft resolution II, 'Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security'; draft decision I, 'Open-Ended Working Group on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 73/27 of 5 December 2018'; and draft decision II, 'Group of Governmental Experts on Advancing Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace in the Context of International Security established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 73/266 of 22 December 2018'.

Adopting draft resolution I, 'Advancing responsible State behaviour in cyberspace in the context of international security', by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 10 against, with 7 abstentions (Belarus, Cambodia, Egypt, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Myanmar, Palau), the Assembly called upon Member States to be guided by the 2010, 2013 and 2015 reports of the Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security. It also called on States to support the implementation of cooperative measures identified therein to address related emerging threats and ensure an open, interoperable, reliable and secure information and communications technology environment consistent with the need to preserve the free flow of information.

Considering the report 'Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East' (document A/75/395), the Assembly adopted a draft resolution of the same name, by a recorded vote of 174 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 1 abstention (Cameroon). Through the text, the Assembly urged all parties directly concerned to consider taking the practical and urgent steps required for the implementation of the proposal to establish such a zone and invited the countries concerned to adhere to the Non‑Proliferation Treaty.

Taking up the report 'Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons' (document A/75/396), the Assembly adopted an eponymous draft resolution contained therein, by a recorded vote of 125 in favour to none against, with 62 abstentions. By its terms, the Assembly 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.

Next, the Assembly turned to the report 'Prevention of an arms race in outer space' (document A/75/397), taking action on the three draft resolutions and one draft decision contained therein. By a recorded vote of 185 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with no abstentions, it adopted draft resolution I, 'Prevention of an arms race in outer space', by which it reaffirmed the importance and urgency of preventing an arms race in the realm and urged States conducting activities there, and nations interested in such initiatives, to keep the Conference on Disarmament informed of progress of related negotiations.

Taking up draft resolution II, 'Reducing space threats through norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours', the Assembly first decided, by a recorded vote of 149 in favour to 12 against, with 5 abstentions (Armenia, Belarus, Israel, Madagascar, South Africa), to retain preambular paragraph 12, stressing that uses of these technologies for purposes inconsistent with the objectives of maintaining international stability and security can lead to the perception of threats and can have destabilizing effects on peace and security on Earth.

By a recorded vote of 143 in favour to 12 against, with 10 abstentions, it decided to retain preambular paragraph 14, by which the Assembly was cognizant of the challenges of effectively verifying the capabilities of space objects, which can have both civilian and military applications.

The Assembly, by a recorded vote of 148 in favour to 13 against, with 5 abstentions (Armenia, Belarus, Israel, Pakistan, Madagascar), decided to retain operative paragraph 5, by which it encouraged Member States to study existing and potential threats and security risks to space systems, and share their ideas on the further development and implementation of norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours.

It then adopted draft resolution II as a whole, by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 12 against, with 6 abstentions (Armenia, Belarus, India, Israel, Madagascar, Palau). Through it, the Assembly affirmed that all States must conduct their activities in the exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, in conformity with international law.

Next, the Assembly considered draft resolution III, 'No first placement of weapons in outer space', first deciding, by separate recorded votes, to retain several paragraphs. By a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 48 against, with 8 abstentions (Bosnia‑Herzegovina, Brazil, Chad, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Solomon Islands, Switzerland, Turkey,) it approved the retention of preambular paragraph 5, reaffirming that practical measures should be examined and taken in the search for agreements to prevent an outer space arms race.

It decided to retain preambular paragraph 9, by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 45 against, with 7 abstentions (Bosnia‑Herzegovina, Canada, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Switzerland, Turkey), through which it welcomed the draft treaty on the matter, introduced by China and the Russian Federation at the Conference on Disarmament in 2008 and updated in 2014.

By a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 31 against, with 21 abstentions, it decided to retain preambular paragraph 11, by which it stressed the importance of the political statements made by a number of States that they would not be the first to place weapons in outer space.

Adopting draft resolution III as a whole, by a recorded vote of 132 in favour to 34 against, with 21 abstentions, the Assembly urged an early commencement of substantive work based on the updated Chinese‑Russian draft treaty.

Adopting the draft decision contained in the report on 'Further practical measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space' (document A/75/397), by a recorded vote 152 in favour to 3 against (Israel, Netherlands, United States), with 30 abstentions, the Assembly decided to include the issue as a sub‑item in the provisional agenda of its seventy‑sixth session, under the item 'Prevention of an arms race in outer space'.

Turning to the report 'Role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament' (document A/75/398), the Assembly adopted, without a vote, an eponymous draft resolution contained therein that requested the Secretary‑General to submit an updated report on the matter at its seventy‑sixth session.

The Assembly then took up the report 'General and complete disarmament' (document A/75/399), containing 36 draft resolutions and 5 draft decisions. The General Assembly decided to postpone action on draft resolution XXV, 'The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects', and draft decision IV, 'Problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus', to a later date to allow time for the review of the programme budget implications by its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).

Adopting draft resolution I, 'Humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons', by a recorded vote of 146 in favour to 13 against, with 29 abstentions, the Assembly urged States to exert all efforts to totally eliminate the threat of these weapons of mass destruction.

Taking up draft resolution II, 'Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons', the Assembly first decided, by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to 41 against, with 12 abstentions, to retain operative paragraph 5, by which it called upon States in a position to do so to promote adherence to the instrument through bilateral, subregional, regional and multilateral contacts, outreach and other means.

In deciding to retain operative paragraph 6, by a recorded vote of 125 in favour to 25 against, with 23 abstentions, the Assembly requested the Secretary‑General to report on the instrument's status at its seventy‑sixth session.

Adopting draft resolution II as a whole, by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 42 against, with 14 abstentions, the Assembly welcomed the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and called upon all States to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to it.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution III, 'Mongolia's international security and nuclear-weapon-free status', by which it endorsed and supported the country's balanced relationship with its neighbours as an important element of strengthening regional peace, security and stability. It also requested the Secretary‑General to continue to provide assistance to Mongolia in taking the necessary measures to consolidate and strengthen its independence, sovereignty and nuclear-weapon-free status.

By a recorded vote of 159 in favour to 3 against (France, Israel, United States), with 24 abstentions, the Assembly adopted draft resolution IV, 'Effects of the use of armaments and ammunitions containing depleted uranium', thereby inviting Member States and relevant international organizations to communicate to the Secretary‑General their views on the effects of their use.

Then, acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution V, 'Relationship between disarmament and development', by which it stressed the central role of the United Nations in this regard. The Assembly also urged the international community to devote part of the resources made available by implementing disarmament agreements to economic and social development.

By a recorded vote of 182 in favour to none against, with 3 abstentions (France, Israel, United States), the Assembly adopted draft resolution VI, 'Convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament'. By its terms, the Assembly recalled the Open-Ended Working Group's adoption by consensus of the recommendations on the objectives and agenda of its fourth special session devoted to disarmament.

Turning to draft resolution VII, 'Follow-up to the 2013 high-level meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament', the Assembly first decided, by recorded vote of 121 in favour to 35 against, with 16 abstentions to retain preambular paragraph 14, expressing its concern about improvements in existing nuclear weapons and the development of new types of atomic bombs.

In adopting draft resolution VII as a whole, by a recorded vote of 143 in favour to 34 against, with 9 abstentions (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Finland, Georgia, Japan, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine), it decided to convene a United Nations high-level international conference on nuclear disarmament to review progress made.

Next, the Assembly took up the draft resolution VIII, 'Measures to uphold the authority of the 1925 Geneva Protocol', adopting it by a recorded vote of 182 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (Israel, United States). By its terms, the Assembly renewed its previous call to all States to observe strictly the principles and objectives of the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare and reaffirmed the vital necessity of upholding its provisions.

By a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 4 against (Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 51 abstentions, the Assembly adopted draft resolution IX, 'Promotion of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation', through which it reaffirmed multilateralism as the core principle in resolving disarmament and non-proliferation concerns. It also requested the States parties to relevant instruments to consult and cooperate among themselves in resolving their concerns with regard to implementation and non-compliance cases.

The Assembly next took up draft resolution X, 'Women, disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control', first deciding, by a recorded vote of 174 in favour to none against, with 5 abstentions (Armenia, Iran, Madagascar, Russian Federation, Syria), to retain preambular paragraph 5, taking note of the Secretary‑General's disarmament agenda provisions on their full and equal participation in decision-making processes and on gender parity on disarmament bodies established by the Secretariat.

It also decided, by a recorded vote of 175 in favour to none against, with 4 abstentions (Algeria, China, Madagascar, Russian Federation), to retain preambular paragraph 9, thereby recognizing that women are essential in preventing and reducing armed violence and are active players in advocating for disarmament.

The Assembly decided, by a recorded vote of 158 in favour to none against, with 20 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 13, recalling the Arms Trade Treaty's entry into force and encouraging States parties to ensure the full and equal participation of women and men in pursuing the object of the instrument's provisions.

It also decided, by a recorded vote of 155 in favour to none against, with 22 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 16, taking into consideration the impact of the COVID‑19 on progress made in gender equality, multilateral disarmament and arms control and acknowledging that the pandemic has further exacerbated the socioeconomic conditions of vulnerable groups worldwide, resulting in an alarming increase in cases of domestic and gender-based armed violence.

The Assembly then adopted draft X as whole without a vote. By its terms, the Assembly urged Member States, relevant subregional and regional organizations, the United Nations and specialized agencies to promote equal opportunities for the representation of women in all decision-making processes with regard to matters related to disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XI, 'Regional disarmament', through which it called upon States to conclude agreements for nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and confidence-building measures at regional and subregional levels.

Taking up draft resolution XII, 'Conventional arms control at the regional and subregional level', the Assembly first decided, by a recorded vote of 174 in favour to 2 against (India, Russian Federation), with 1 abstention (Madagascar), to retain preambular paragraph 7, noting with particular interest proposals for conventional arms control in South Asia and consultations among Latin American countries on agreements to strengthen peace and security.

Then, by a recorded vote of 124 in favour to 1 against (India), with 50 abstentions, the Assembly decided to retain operative paragraph 2, by which it requested the Conference on Disarmament to consider the formulation of principles that can serve as a framework for regional agreements on conventional arms control.

By a recorded vote of 183 in favour to 1 against (India), with 4 abstentions (Bhutan, Madagascar, Russian Federation, Zimbabwe), the Assembly adopted draft resolution XII as a whole. In doing so, it decided to give urgent consideration to conventional arms control issues at regional and subregional levels.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XIII, 'Confidence-building measures in the regional and subregional context'. By the text, the Assembly urged States to comply strictly with all bilateral, regional and international agreements to which they are party.

By a recorded vote of 169 in favour to none against, with 17 abstentions, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XIV, 'Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction', by which it invited all States that have not signed the instrument to accede to it without delay.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XV, 'Observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control'. By its terms, the Assembly reaffirmed that international disarmament forums should take fully into account relevant environmental norms in negotiating treaties and agreements and that all States should contribute fully to ensuring compliance with these norms in implementing instruments to which they are signatories.

Then, also acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XVI, 'Information on confidence‑building measures in the field of conventional arms', by which it encouraged Member States to continue to adopt and apply such measures and invited Member States to submit relevant information to the Secretariat.

Taking up draft resolution XVII, 'Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction', the Assembly first decided, by separate recorded votes, to retain six paragraphs. In deciding to retain preambular paragraph 6, by a recorded vote of 138 in favour to 7 against (Belarus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Zimbabwe), with 25 abstentions, the Assembly re-emphasized its support for the decision of the Director‑General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to continue the mission to establish the facts about allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria.

By a recorded vote of 101 in favour to 14 against, with 52 abstentions, the Assembly decided to retain operative paragraph 2, by which it condemned in the strongest possible terms the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon against Alexei Navalny in the Russian Federation and noted with grave concern the 6 October 2020 OPCW Technical Secretariat note on the report on activities in response to Germany's request for technical assistance.

In deciding to retain operative paragraph 3, by a recorded vote of 123 in favour to 11 against, with 31 abstentions, the Assembly condemned in the strongest possible terms that chemical weapons, since 2012, have been used in Iraq, Malaysia, Syria and the United Kingdom.

By a recorded vote of 124 in favour to 10 against, with 30 abstentions, it decided to retain operative paragraph 4, by which the Assembly took note of several OPCW fact‑finding mission reports on locations in Syria, including on the alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon.

The Assembly decided, by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 15 against, with 30 abstentions, to retain operative paragraph 5, by which it recalled the adoption of a decision of the Fourth Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The Assembly then decided, by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 10 against, with 35 abstentions, to retain operative paragraph 17, by which it expressed grave concern that the OPCW Technical Secretariat cannot fully verify that Syria has submitted an accurate and complete declaration.

By a recorded vote of 152 in favour to 8 against (Cambodia, China, Iran Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe), with 23 abstentions, the Assembly then adopted draft resolution XVII as a whole, by which it condemned in the strongest possible terms chemical weapon use since 2012, including as reported by the OPCW‑United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism and by the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team.

Turning to draft resolution XVIII, 'Assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons and collecting them', the Assembly first decided, by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to none against, with 19 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 16, welcoming the inclusion of these weapons in the Arms Trade Treaty's scope.

Acting without a vote, it then adopted draft resolution XVIII as a whole, by which it encouraged the international community to support the implementation of related programmes, including through greater participation of civil society.

By a recorded vote of 122 in favour to 49 against, with 14 abstentions, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XIX, 'Reducing nuclear danger', by which it called for a review of nuclear doctrines and, in this context, immediate and urgent steps to reduce the risks of unintentional and accidental use of nuclear weapons, including through de‑alerting and de-targeting.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution XX, 'Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction', by which it called upon all Member States to support related efforts and requested the Secretary‑General to compile a report on measures already taken by international organizations on issues relating to the linkage between the fight against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

In adopting draft resolution XXI, 'Countering the threat posed by improvised explosive devices', without a vote, the Assembly urged all States to increase attention to prevention efforts and to provide support to reduce risks in a manner that considers the different needs of women, girls, boys and men.

By a recorded vote of 176 in favour to 1 against (Iran), with 10 abstentions, the Assembly then adopted draft resolution XXII, 'The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation', by which it welcomed the advancement of its universalization process and encouraged the exploration of further ways to deal effectively with the problem of the spread of such devices capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.

Turning to draft resolution XXIII, 'United Nations study on disarmament and non‑proliferation education', the Assembly first decided, by a recorded vote of 176 in favour to none against, with 4 abstentions (Iran, Madagascar, Russian Federation, Syria), to retain operative paragraph 4, by which it expressed its appreciation to the Secretary‑General for his disarmament agenda.

Acting without a vote in adopting draft resolution XXIII as a whole, the Assembly encouraged Member States, United Nations and relevant specialized agencies to continue their consideration of developing and implementing policies and educational programmes for young people to increase and facilitate their constructive engagement in the field of disarmament and non‑proliferation.

The Assembly then considered draft resolution XXIV, 'Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions', first deciding, by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to none against, with 19 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 14, through which it took note of the Secretary‑General's initiative Securing Our Common Future.

In adopting draft resolution XXIV as a whole, by a recorded vote of 147 in favour to none against, with 38 abstentions, the Assembly expressed strong concern regarding the number of allegations, reports or documented evidence of the use of cluster munitions in different parts of the world, related civilian casualties and other consequences that impede the achievement of sustainable development.

Taking up draft resolution XXVI, 'Nuclear disarmament', the Assembly first decided, by a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 37 against, with 14 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 32, welcoming the successful adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 7 July 2017.

It also decided, by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to 4 against (France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 17 abstentions, to retain operative paragraph 12, by which it underlined the importance of the unequivocal undertaking by nuclear-weapon States in the Final Document of the 2000 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference to accomplish the total elimination of their arsenals.

By a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 9 abstentions (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, France, Israel, Madagascar, Monaco, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, Zimbabwe), it decided to retain operative paragraph 16, through which the Assembly called for the immediate commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other related explosive devices.

The Assembly then adopted draft resolution XXVI as a whole, by a recorded vote of 123 in favour to 41 against, with 22 abstentions. By its terms, the Assembly urged all nuclear-weapon States to take effective disarmament measures to eliminate their atomic arsenals and to stop immediately the qualitative improvement, development, production and stockpiling of warheads and their delivery systems.

Next considering draft resolution XXVII, 'The Arms Trade Treaty', the Assembly first decided, by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to none against, with 19 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 9, through which it recalled the Secretary‑General's disarmament agenda.

It also decided, by a recorded vote of 141 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 30 abstentions, to retain operative paragraph 10, by which it recognized the added value of the adoption in June 2018 of the report of the third United Nations Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action on Small Arms.

In adopting draft resolution XXVII as a whole, by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 28 abstentions, the Assembly urged States parties to the Treaty and signatories to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and encouraged further steps to enable nations to prevent and tackle the diversion of such weapons and ammunition to unauthorized end uses or end users.

Next, the Assembly considered draft resolution XXVIII, 'Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments', first deciding, by separate recorded votes, to retain five paragraphs. By a recorded vote of 145 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 30 abstentions, it decided to retain preambular paragraph 6, welcoming the Secretary‑General's disarmament agenda.

The Assembly then decided, by a recorded vote of 117 in favour to 36 against, with 14 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 14, welcoming the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

It next decided, by a recorded vote of 158 in favour to 4 against (India, Israel, Pakistan, United States), with 10 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 28, noting with regret that, owing to the pandemic, the 2020 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference had to be postponed, and urging Member States to step up efforts for successful results.

Then, by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 4 against (India, Israel, Pakistan, United States), with 10 abstentions, the Assembly decided to retain operative paragraph 15, calling upon all States parties to spare no effort to achieve the universality of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and in this regard, urging India, Israel and Pakistan to accede to the instrument as non-nuclear-weapon States.

Next, the Assembly decided to retain operative paragraph 24, by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 37 against, with 13 abstentions, through which it called upon Member States to continue to support efforts to identify, elaborate, negotiate and implement further effective legally binding measures for nuclear disarmament.

In adopting draft resolution XXVIII as a whole, by a recorded vote of 138 in favour to 33 against, with 15 abstentions, the Assembly called upon the nuclear-weapon States to fulfil their commitment to undertaking further efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of these bombs, deployed and non-deployed.

The Assembly then took up draft resolution XXIX, 'Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons', holding separate recorded votes on three of its paragraphs. First, it decided, by a recorded vote of 146 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 29 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 9, taking note of continued efforts towards realizing nuclear disarmament, including through the Secretary‑General's disarmament agenda.

The Assembly decided to retain preambular paragraph 17, by a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 36 against, with 13 abstentions, welcoming the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

In deciding to retain operative paragraph 2, by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to 36 against, with 13 abstentions, the Assembly called once again upon all States to immediately engage in multilateral negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control, including under the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

It then adopted draft resolution XXIX as a whole, by a recorded vote of 136 in favour to 33 against, with 15 abstentions, by which it underlined once again the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly then adopted draft resolution XXX, 'Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia', welcoming the instrument's entry into force on 21 March 2009. The Assembly further welcomed the submission at the 2015 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference of two working papers, on the instrument and on the environmental consequences of uranium mining.

Adopting draft resolution XXXI, 'Strengthening and developing the system of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation treaties and agreements', by a recorded vote of 186 in favour to none against, with 3 abstentions (Georgia, Palau, Ukraine), the Assembly expressed the need to maintain the effectiveness, efficiency and consensus-based nature of the relevant multilateral instruments.

The Assembly then turned to draft resolution XXXII, 'Transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities', deciding first to retain preambular paragraph 9, by a recorded vote of 139 in favour to 5 against (Australia, Israel, Italy, United Kingdom, United States), with 27 abstentions. By its terms, the Assembly regretted that, due to the COVID‑19 pandemic and unresolved organizational problems within the Disarmament Commission, the working group tasked with preparing recommendations on the practical implementation of these measures was not in a position to conduct its work.

In adopting the text as a whole, by a recorded vote of 176 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 6 abstentions (Australia, Georgia, Palau, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom), the Assembly stressed the importance of the 2013 report of the Group of Governmental Experts and encouraged Member States to continue to review and implement the measures contained therein.

The Assembly, acting without a vote, adopted draft resolution XXXIII, 'Preventing the acquisition by terrorists of radioactive sources'. By its terms, the Assembly called upon Member States to support international efforts to prevent these actions and, if necessary, suppress such acts, in accordance with their national legal authorities and legislation and consistent with international law.

The Assembly then took up draft resolution XXXIV, 'Joint courses of action and future‑oriented dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons', holding separate recorded votes on 15 preambular and operative paragraphs.

In deciding to retain preambular paragraph 2, by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 2 against (India, Pakistan), with 18 abstentions, the Assembly reaffirmed that the Non‑Proliferation Treaty is the cornerstone of the international nuclear non‑proliferation regime and an essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament.

The Assembly then decided to retain preambular paragraph 4, by a recorded vote of 131 in favour to 12 against, with 32 abstentions, reaffirming, among other things, the importance of the agreed steps contained in the 2000 and 2010 Non‑Proliferation Treaty review conferences.

By a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 2 against (China, Pakistan), with 10 abstentions, the Assembly decided to retain preambular paragraph 8, stressing the importance of the immediate commencement of negotiations on a fissile material cut‑off treaty in the Conference on Disarmament.

It then decided, by a recorded vote of 128 in favour to 4 against (Austria, Ireland, South Africa, Spain), with 42 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 9, stressing the importance of preventing further nuclear testing.

Next, the Assembly decided, by a recorded vote of 143 in favour to 1 against (China), with 30 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 12, recognizing the importance of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START Treaty) and the ongoing dialogue among parties on its potential extension in a way that contributes to strategic stability.

By a recorded vote of 150 in favour to 3 against (China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Russian Federation), with 19 abstentions, it decided to retain preambular paragraph 17, recalling relevant Security Council resolutions calling upon the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing programmes, and welcoming diplomatic efforts to achieve its final and fully verified denuclearization.

Next, it decided, by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 1 against (France), with 16 abstentions, to retain preambular paragraph 19, recognizing the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from the use of nuclear weapons.

The Assembly then decided to retain preambular paragraph 20, by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 2 against (China, Russian Federation), with 6 abstentions (Bahamas, Iran, Israel, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela), through which it welcomed the visits of leaders, youth and others to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two cities where nuclear weapons were used 75 years ago.

In deciding to retain operative paragraph 1, by a recorded vote of 147 in favour to 9 against (Austria, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa), with 19 abstentions, the Assembly reaffirmed that all States parties to the Non‑Proliferation Treaty are committed to the ultimate goal of eliminating arsenals towards the realization of a world without atomic bombs.

The Assembly next decided to retain operative paragraph 3(b), by a recorded vote of 139 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 37 abstentions, by which it encouraged all nuclear‑weapon States to take actions to reduce the risks of detonations occurring either by miscalculation or misunderstanding.

In deciding to retain operative paragraph 3(c), by a recorded vote of 158 in favour to 2 against (China, Pakistan), with 17 abstentions, the Assembly encouraged all States to immediately make every effort to start negotiations on a fissile material cut‑off treaty.

Next, it decided by a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 7 against (Austria, Brazil, India, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain), with 46 abstentions, to retain operative paragraph 3(d), by which it encouraged all States to immediately make every effort to achieve the cessation of all nuclear‑weapon test explosions.

In deciding to retain operative paragraph 3(e), by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to 2 against (China, Russian Federation), with 18 abstentions, the Assembly encouraged all States to continue to make practical contributions to nuclear disarmament verification.

It then decided, by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 2 against (China, Russian Federation), with 7 abstentions (Algeria, Bahamas, Israel, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela), to retain operative paragraph 3(f), through which it encouraged all States to facilitate efforts on nuclear disarmament and non‑proliferation education and to raise awareness of the realities of the use of nuclear weapons, including through visits by leaders, youth and others, including the hibakusha, those who have suffered the use of nuclear weapons.

The Assembly decided to retain operative paragraph 5, by a recorded vote of 146 in favour to 3 against (China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Russian Federation), with 24 abstentions. Through the terms of the paragraph, the Assembly reaffirmed the commitment to strengthening the international regime for non‑proliferation and to achieve, among other things, the complete denuclearization of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Then, the Assembly approved draft resolution XXXIV as a whole, by a recorded vote of 150 in favour to 4 against (China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Syria), with 35 abstentions. Through it, the Assembly, among other things, encouraged all States to end nuclear testing and to conduct dialogue regarding the possible impact of developments in science and technology on arms control, disarmament and non‑proliferation. It also encouraged nuclear‑weapon States to clearly set out their policies and doctrines at international forums and to conduct candid dialogue on the relationship between nuclear disarmament and security.

Taking up draft resolution XXXV, 'Decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems', the Assembly first decided to retain preambular paragraph 8, by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 2 against (Russian Federation, United States), with 7 abstentions (France, India, Israel, Madagascar, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom), by which it recalled the adoption by consensus of the conclusions and recommendations for follow‑on actions by the 2010 Non‑Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.

In adopting the text as a whole, by a recorded vote of 176 in favour to 5 against (France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States, Zimbabwe), with 4 abstentions (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Republic of Korea), the Assembly called for practical and concrete steps to be taken, unilaterally, bilaterally or multilaterally, to decrease the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems, with a view to ensuring that all nuclear weapons are removed from high‑alert status.

The Assembly then considered draft resolution XXXVI, 'Ethical imperatives for a nuclear‑weapon‑free world', first deciding to retain, by a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 33 against, with 17 abstentions, preambular paragraph 11, recalling the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

By a recorded vote of 134 in favour to 37 against, with 14 abstentions, it adopted the text as a whole, by which it called upon all States to acknowledge the catastrophic humanitarian consequences and risks posed by a nuclear weapon detonation and declared that the vast resources allocated to the modernization of nuclear weapons arsenals could instead be redirected to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

By a recorded vote of 184 in favour to 1 against (Pakistan), with 4 abstentions (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran, Israel, Syria), the Assembly adopted draft decision I, 'Treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices', deciding to include the issue as a sub‑item in the provisional agenda of its seventy‑sixth session, under the item 'General and complete disarmament'.

In adopting draft decision II, 'Nuclear disarmament verification', by a recorded vote of 184 in favour to 1 against (Russian Federation), with 2 abstentions (Iran, Syria), the Assembly decided to include the issue as a sub‑item in the provisional agenda of its seventy‑sixth session, under the item 'General and complete disarmament'.

Adopting draft decision III, 'Compliance with non‑proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements and commitments', by a recorded vote of 177 in favour to 1 against (Iran), with 9 abstentions (Belarus, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Egypt, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe), the Assembly decided to include the issue as a sub‑item in the provisional agenda of its seventy‑sixth session, under the item 'General and complete disarmament.'

Next, by a recorded vote of 174 in favour to 3 against (Israel, Palau, United States), with 6 abstentions (Australia, Japan, Panama, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay), the Assembly adopted draft decision V, 'Missiles', deciding to include this issue as an item in the provisional agenda of its seventy‑seventh session.

The Assembly then considered the report 'Review and implementation of the Concluding Document of the Twelfth Special Session of the General Assembly' (document A/75/400), which contained eight draft resolutions.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly first adopted draft resolution I, 'United Nations disarmament fellowship, training and advisory services'. By the terms of the text, the Assembly reaffirmed its decisions contained in annex IV to the Concluding Document of the Twelfth Special Session and the guidelines it approved in its resolution 33/71 E of 14 December 1978. It also noted with satisfaction that the programme has trained 1,033 officials from 170 Member States throughout its 40 years of existence, many of whom hold positions of responsibility in the field of disarmament within their own Governments.

Next, by a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 50 against, with 14 abstentions, the Assembly adopted draft resolution II, 'Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons'. By its terms, the Assembly reiterated its request to the Conference on Disarmament to commence negotiations in order to reach agreement on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution III, 'United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa', through which it urged all States; international, governmental and non‑governmental organizations; and foundations to make voluntary contributions to enable it to implement programmes and activities and meet the needs of African States.

Adopting draft resolution IV, 'United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean', without a vote, the Assembly reiterated its strong support and encouraged the further creation of peace, disarmament and development activities in all countries of the region.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution V, 'United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific', by which it expressed satisfaction at activities carried out and invited all States of the region to continue to show their support.

It then adopted, without a vote, draft resolution VI, 'Regional confidence‑building measures: activities of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa'. Through the terms of the text, the Assembly reaffirmed its support for efforts aimed at promoting such measures in order to ease tensions and conflicts in Central Africa. It also appealed to the international community to support efforts to implement disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes.

The Assembly next adopted draft resolution VII, 'United Nations Disarmament Information Programme', without a vote. Through the text, it recommended that the programme continue to inform, educate and generate public understanding of the importance of multilateral action and support for it, including action by the United Nations and the Conference on Disarmament, in the field of arms control and disarmament.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolution VIII, 'United Nations regional centres for peace and disarmament', through which it reiterated the importance of the Organization's activities to advance disarmament and increase the stability and security of its Member States. In addition, the Assembly commended the three regional centres for sustained support provided to Member States for more than 30 years in implementing disarmament, arms control and non‑proliferation activities.

The Assembly then turned to the report 'Review of the implementation of the recommendations and decisions adopted by the General Assembly at its tenth special session' (document A/75/401), containing two draft resolutions and one draft decision.

Taking up draft resolution I, 'Fortieth anniversary of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research', the Assembly first decided to retain operative paragraph 8, by a recorded vote of 171 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 3 abstentions (Israel, Japan, Madagascar), inviting the Secretary‑General to submit, in the context of the 2022 programme budget, a proposal for an increase in the subvention.

Adopting the text as whole, by a recorded vote of 180 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (Israel, United States), the Assembly appealed to Member States to continue to make financial contributions and requested the Secretary‑General to continue to provide accommodation in the Palais des Nations in Geneva at the reduced rate established to cover operational expenses only.

Next, the Assembly adopted draft resolution II, 'Report of the Conference on Disarmament', without a vote. By its terms, the Assembly reaffirmed the role of the Conference on Disarmament as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community. It also called upon the Conference to further intensify consultations and to explore possibilities for overcoming its ongoing deadlock and implementing a balanced and comprehensive programme of work.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly then adopted the draft decision 'Disarmament Commission', deciding that it shall hold its substantive and organizational sessions in 2021.

The representative of the Russian Federation, delivering an explanation of position after all action on the abovementioned report, recalled that Moscow had disassociated from consensus on the draft decision 'Disarmament Commission' as the Commission is unable to properly conduct its work until participation issues are resolved.

The Assembly then turned to the report 'The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East' (document A/75/402), containing an eponymous draft resolution. First, by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 3 against (India, Israel, Pakistan), with 6 abstentions (Bhutan, France, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Panama, United States), it decided to retain preambular paragraph 5, recalling the decision on principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Then, it decided to retain preambular paragraph 6, by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 3 against (India, Israel, Pakistan), with 5 abstentions (Bhutan, France, Madagascar, Panama, United States), by which it recognized that, in the Final Document of the 2000 review, the Conference undertook to make determined efforts towards the achievement of the goal of the instrument's universality.

Adopting the text as a whole, by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 25 abstentions, the Assembly reiterated that the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference remains valid until its objectives are achieved. It also called for immediate steps towards its full implementation and reaffirmed the importance of Israel's accession to the instrument.

Turning to the report 'Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects' (document A/75/403), the Assembly adopted, without a vote, an eponymous draft resolution contained therein, by which it called upon all States that have not yet done so to join the instrument.

Considering the report 'Strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region' (document A/75/404), containing an eponymous draft resolution, it first decided to retain operative paragraph 2, by a recorded vote of 174 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 1 abstention (Madagascar). Through it, the Assembly expressed satisfaction at the continuing efforts in the region to contribute actively to the elimination of all causes of tension, thus ensuring the withdrawal of foreign forces of occupation.

By a recorded vote of 174 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 1 abstention (Madagascar), the Assembly decided to retain operative paragraph 5, calling upon all States of the region that have not yet done so to adhere to all the multilaterally negotiated legal disarmament and non‑proliferation instruments in force.

In adopting the draft as a whole, by a recorded vote of 181 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (Israel, United States), the Assembly, among other things, encouraged the Mediterranean countries to further strengthen their cooperation in combating terrorism, international crime, illegal arms transfers and illicit drug production, consumption and trafficking, which pose a serious threat to peace, security and stability in the region, jeopardize friendly relations among States and result in the destruction of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Assembly then took up the report 'Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty' (document A/75/405), containing an eponymous draft resolution. The Assembly first decided, by a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 5 abstentions (India, Israel, Madagascar, Pakistan, Syria), to retain preambular paragraph 7, through which it recalled the adoption by consensus of the conclusions and recommendations for follow-on actions of the 2010 Non‑Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, reaffirming the vital importance of the Test-Ban Treaty's entry into force.

Adopting the draft as a whole, by a recorded vote of 182 in favour to 2 against (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, United States), with 3 abstentions (India, Mauritius, Syria), the Assembly urged all States not to carry out nuclear-weapon test explosions and to refrain from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the Treaty. It also urged all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the instrument as soon as possible.

Turning to the report 'Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction' (document A/75/406), the Assembly adopted, without a vote, an eponymous draft resolution contained therein. By its terms, the Assembly noted the consensus outcome of the eighth review conference and called upon States parties to participate and actively engage in their continued implementation.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted the draft decision 'Provisional programme of work and timetable of the First Committee for 2021', contained in the report 'Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly' (document A/75/407).