United States of America EOV - - Before the Vote

Advisory Opinion of the INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTCE, L. 37 Mr. Chairman, the United States will vote NO on L. 37, entitled "Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, " as well as on operative paragraph 1 and 2 .

Mr. Chairman, let me be frank. Despite the title and the mention of the ICJ opinion in preambular paragraph twelve and operative paragraph one, this resolution is not really about the ICJ's advisory opinion at all . It is, rather, a repetition of calls made in other resolutions for immediate multilateral negotiations on the time-bound elimination of nuclear weapons. The United States has opposed this idea in the past and will continue to do so because we remain convinced that the bilateral efforts which have already produced concrete results in the area of nuclear disarmament remain, for the time being, the only realistic approach to arms control in this highly complex field.

Mr. Chairman, this resolution not only advocates a course of action with which the United States cannot agree, it does so in a highly tendentious, not to say disingenous manner. I refer to the mischaracterization of NPT Article VI and the NPT Principles and Objectives decision ducument, which are selectively quoted in preambular paragraphs 3 and 4 by omitting crucial references to " general and complete disarmament ." This omission distorts the Article VI obligation so that it would appear to relieve non-nuclear weapon states of any disarmament responsibilities .The Court 's" advisory" opinion -- and I stress " advisory " -- is itself misrepresented. Operative paragraphs one and two, taken together, attempt to turn the ICJ's advisory opinion into a legal edict that requires immediate negotiations and their rapid conclusion in a multilateral forum.

The United States takes its NPT article VI obligations very seriously -- and reaffirmed them in the context of the 1995 extension of the Nuclear Noproliferation [Treaty]. However, the Court's statement that there exists an obligation to bring to a conclusion negotiations on nuclear disarmament does not alter the substance of Article VI duty in any way, since the responsibility to pursue negotiations in good faith inherently involves seeking a successful conclusion to negotiations.

Malaysia Resolution