3651st Meeting of Security Council: African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty

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12-Apr-1996 00:04:38
Signing of African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty in Cairo praised by Security Council as ‘Historic’ at 3651st Security Council meeting.

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Presidential Statement Also Notes Adoption of `Cairo Declaration.'

The signing of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (The Treaty of Pelindaba) on 11 April in Cairo was an important contribution by African countries to the maintenance of international peace and security, stated the Security Council this afternoon.

In a statement read by its President, Juan Somavia (Chile), the Council said the "historic event" formalized the commitment demonstrated 32 years ago when the Organization of African Unity (OAU) declared Africa a denuclearized zone. The Council encouraged such regional disarmament efforts and said it would support any international and regional efforts to achieve the universality of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

The Council said it considered the signing of the Treaty by more than 40 African countries, as well as the signing of the relevant protocols to the Treaty by the majority of the nuclear-weapon States, important steps towards its effective and early implementation. The Council emphasized the importance of early ratification to speed the Treaty's entry into force. The Council also noted the adoption of "The Cairo Declaration" at the signing ceremony. The Declaration emphasizes that the establishment of nuclear- weapon-free zones, especially in regions of tension, such as the Middle East, enhances global and regional peace and security. Further, it invites African States to ratify the Treaty as soon as possible and calls on the nuclear- weapon States to sign and ratify the Treaty's relevant protocols and pursue the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

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