News

29 May 1998

TEXT: UN SECURITY COUNCIL ON PAKISTANI NUCLEAR TESTS

(UNSC calls for maximum restraint in South Asia) (700)



United Nations -- The United Nations Security Council has deplored
Pakistan's testing of nuclear devices and appealed to both India and
Pakistan to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty "without delay and without conditions."


In an official statement read by its President, Njuguna Mahugu of
Kenya, at a May 29 meeting, the Council also urged both South Asian
countries "to exercise maximum restraint and to take immediate steps
to reduce and remove tensions between them" and "resume the dialogue
between them on all outstanding issues."


The Security Council stopped short of adopting a binding resolution
requiring specific actions by either country or imposing punitive
measures because of the tests, which the Council said disregarded a de
facto moratorium on nuclear tests.


US Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson said that the
presidential statement, unanimously agreed to by all 15 Council
members, is important because "it is the major powers of the United
Nations Security Council speaking unmistakably with a strong message
that what is happening in South Asia in unacceptable."


According to Richardson, the statement is "not just a piece of paper
-- it's the international community reacting against what is
happening." He said the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests represent
"a threat to peace and security and (it is) critically important that
tempers and tensions be reduced."


British Ambassador Sir John Weston indicated that the Council will
continue to discuss the situation, especially suggestions that it
adopt a binding resolution addressing "wider issues," including
Secretary General Kofi Annan's offer of "good offices" to ease
tensions between India and Pakistan and the fear that other countries
capable of building nuclear weapons may also decide to test them.


"The key here is to persuade others who have not yet done so to
subscribe to the international non-proliferation regime, which is
supported by 149 countries and which has very strong moral as well as
legal force," the British Ambassador said.


Following is the text of the UN Security Council statement:



(begin text)



PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT



The Security Council strongly deplores the underground nuclear tests
that Pakistan conducted on 28 May 1998, despite overwhelming
international concern and calls for restraint. Reaffirming its 14 May
Presidential Statement (S/PRST/1998/12), on Indian nuclear tests of 11
and 13 May, the Security Council strongly urges India and Pakistan to
refrain from any further tests. It is of the view that testing by
India and then by Pakistan is contrary to the de facto moratorium on
the testing of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and
to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear
disarmament. The Council also expresses its concern at the effects of
this development on peace and stability in the region.


The Security Council reaffirms the crucial importance of the Treaty on
the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). The Council appeals to India and Pakistan, and
all other States which have not yet done so, to become parties to the
NPT, and to the CTBT, without delay and without conditions. The
Council also encourages India and Pakistan to participate, in a
positive spirit, in the proposed negotiations with other States for a
fissile material cut-off treaty in Geneva with a view to reaching
early agreement.


The Security Council calls upon all parties to exercise maximum
restraint and to take immediate steps to reduce and remove tensions
between them. The Council reaffirms that the sources of tension in
South Asia should be reduced and eliminated only through peaceful
dialogue and not by the use of force or other military means.


The Security Council urges India and Pakistan to resume the dialogue
between them on all outstanding issues, including all those that the
parties have already discussed, especially matters concerning peace
and security, in order to remove the tensions between them and to
enhance their economic and political cooperation. The Council calls
upon India and Pakistan to avoid any steps or statements that could
lead to farther instability or impede their bilateral dialogue.


The Security Council will remain seized of the matter.



(end text)