U.S. Statement IAEA General Conference
Ambassador Glyn Davies
First, I would like to reiterate that the United States is unwavering in its commitment to universality of the NPT and the goal of a Middle East free of all weapons of mass destruction. For this very reason, we are opposed to the INC resolution. This divisive resolution risks negating any chance for convening a meeting in 2012 as foreseen by NPT parties at the May NPT Review Conference in hopes of taking forward the objective of establishing a weapons of mass destruction-free zone in the Middle East.
It is also unfortunate that this resolution is being pursued at a time when peace talks in the Middle East have restarted after a long delay. The divisiveness and confrontation caused by this resolution threatens these talks just as they are being rekindled.
President Obama’s senior-most advisor for WMD issues carried to Vienna last week a proposal to avoid confrontation over this issue at this General Conference without asking any group to change its principled position. He asked for a one year break in the action on this agenda item so as to give the nascent peace process a chance to proceed without the risk that a conflict here in Vienna at the IAEA could poison the atmosphere at this delicate time in peace negotiations. Regrettably, there was no positive response to this proposal and the INC resolution was formally introduced.
As I stated earlier, the United States believes that the only way forward toward peace in the Middle East region, and toward achieving the goal of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, is through agreement among all states in the region.
To that end, we urge member states to oppose this resolution and thereby vote in favor of preserving the NPT Review Conference outcome, and in favor of not undercutting the new peace talks.
Now is not the time, and Vienna is not the place for this divisive resolution.
Thank you Mr. President.