Tue Dec 4, 2012 3:13AM
UN Member States voted overwhelmingly to ban nuclear weapons once again on Monday as the General Assembly's First Committee report was read. A number of the same states -- however -- most notably the US and Israel -- voted against the drafts -- outlining once again the isolation of the the two states in world affairs.
On General and Complete Disarmament -- the US and three others were swamped by the votes of 172 member states. On Promotion of Multilateralism in the Area of Disarmament and NonProliferation -- it was the US and four friends who were again overwhelmed -- this time 132 to 5 with fifty abstentions. It was a long morning in the UN General Assembly for the US and Israel -- both of which -- again -- got a good look at how alone they stand on issues crucial to the world's welfare. Last Thursday was the first blast of cold water -- when the US and Israel were two of only nine member states that opposed Non-Member Observer State status for Palestine. On Monday -- with other draft resolutions concerning depleted uranium munitions -- and decreasing the operational readiness of nuclear weapons systems -- the US / Israeli bloc again stood practically alone. Another defeat dealt to Isreal on Monday was a resolution that passed on Non-Proliferation in the Middle East. Israel's massive nuclear arsenal is possibly the worst-kept secret in the Middle East. A statement by an Israeli counselor -- however -- ignored the threat posed by Israel's own warheads -- concentrating instead on other states in the region. The international community didn't agree -- passing the resolution on Proliferation with only Israel and one other state opposing. The adherence to the NPT that Israel demands can't be measured in its own case because Israel never signed the treaty. That's a point that was bound to surface in a Helsinki nuclear conference that was originally scheduled for this month -- but cancelled at the last minute by the US. In spite of the crushing defeats by vote in the UN General Assembly -- it remains unclear what impact the new resolutions will have. General Assembly resolutions which may carry the opinion and sentiment of a world majority are often met with indifference by those who do not wish to comply with them -- with little fear of any sort of reprisal.