The Shameful U.S. Nuclear Record In 2003
Disarmament Votes At The United Nations

by John Burroughs,
Lawyers' Committee On Nuclear Policy, December 9, 2003

On December 8, 2003, the United Nations General Assembly voted on this yearís resolutions on disarmament and security. The United States consistently voted against the most important resolutions on nuclear and space disarmament:

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty: The United States cast the only vote against this resolution calling for bringing the CTBT into force. It was adopted by a vote of 173 to 1, with 4 abstentions.

Path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons: The United States and India were the only countries to vote against this resolution. Sponsored by Japan, it calls for compliance with the program for transparent, verified, and irreversible reduction and elimination of nuclear forces agreed by all states (including the United States) participating in the 2000 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference. It was adopted by a vote of 164 to 2, with 14 abstentions.

New Agenda for a nuclear-weapon-free world: Sponsored by Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden and South Africa, this resolution centers on a call for compliance with the 2000 NPT program and also addresses missile defenses, weaponization of outer space, and reduction of non-strategic weapons. It was adopted by a vote of 128 to 6, with 41 abstentions. The negative votes came from the United States, France, India, Israel, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.

Obligation of nuclear disarmament: Paragraph one of the resolution on follow-up to the 1996 opinion of the International Court of Justice underlines the Courtís unanimous conclusion that there is an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations on nuclear disarmament in all its aspects. In a separate vote, the paragraph was approved by a vote of 165 to 4, with 3 abstentions. The four countries voting no were the United States, France, Israel, and Russia.

Prevention of an arms race in outer space: This resolution calling for negotiations to prevent the weaponization of space was overwhelmingly adopted by a vote of 174 to zero. Four countries abstained: the United States, Israel, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands.

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