Most of the international community supported draft resolutions calling for a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, measures to stop an arms race in outer space, and an end to the blockade of Cuba, reports Ben Norton.
By Ben Norton
Important breakthroughs have arrived at the United Nations in the search to prevent an arms race in outer space and create a nuclear weapons-free Middle East. There are just two main obstacles: the United States and Israel.
While Washington and corporate media outlets portray China and Russia as aggressive warmongering rogue states, their votes at the UN show which nations are actually expanding dangerous militarism into new frontiers.
China and Russia joined dozens of other countries in sponsoring resolutions at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) that sought to prevent armed conflict in space. Most of the international community supported these historic peace measures. The only consistent outliers were the U.S. and Israel.
Beijing and Moscow have been leading global efforts to stop the use of weapons in space. Meanwhile, Washington has unilaterally blocked the international consensus on preventing the deadly space race.
Moreover, as nearly all UN member states have united in calling for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons, the U.S. and Israel have singlehandedly undermined their peace efforts.
This roguish behavior predates the election of President Donald Trump.
At the UNGA on Nov. 7, almost every country in the world also voted to end the U.S. embargo against Cuba. This was the 28th year in row that the international community united in calling for the American noose to be taken off the neck of the Cuban people.
While 187 member states supported the resolution demanding an end to the blockade, the U.S., Israel, and Brazil’s far-right government were the lone nations to oppose it. American allies Colombia and Ukraine abstained.
Washington’s UN votes show who truly is a rogue state.
Nuclear Weapons-Free Middle East
The UNGA’s First Committee, which oversees disarmament and international security, voted on Nov. 1 to overwhelmingly approve a draft resolution entitled “Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East.”
A staggering 172 countries voted in support of this resolution. Only two nations voted against it: the U.S. and Israel. Just two more countries abstained: the United Kingdom and Cameroon.
At the same meeting, the First Committee approved a draft resolution on “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East,” which called for the region to abide by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
Given Israel is the only country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons, the UNGA resolution called on Tel Aviv to join the NPT (Israel has long refused to sign the treaty), and demanded that Israeli nuclear facilities be overseen by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.
The draft resolution was also overwhelmingly approved, with 151 votes in support and a mere six votes against — from the U.S., Israel, and Canada, along with the tiny island nations of Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands, which function as vassals of Washington at the UN.
Arms Race in Outer Space
On Nov. 5, the UNGA’s First Committee approved four resolutions “aimed at averting the militarization of outer space.”
Once again, the United States and Israel stood alone against the entire international community.
One draft resolution was titled “Prevention of an arms race in outer space.” The measure was jointly introduced by 20 nations in the Global South, including China, Cuba, Bolivia, Algeria, Congo, and Syria.
All present UN member states, 175 nations, voted in support of this resolution. The only two that opposed it were, yet again, Washington and Tel Aviv.
The committee voted on another draft resolution advancing “further practical measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space.” This was jointly introduced by 23 countries, including China, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Iran, Algeria, Armenia, South Africa and Syria.
The resolution passed with 124 vote in favor, with 41 votes against and 10 abstentions.
Another draft resolution titled “No first placement of weapons in outer space” was introduced by 17 countries, including China, Russia, Cuba, Bolivia, Vietnam, North Korea, Algeria, and Syria.
This passed with 123 votes in support, 14 votes in opposition, and 40 abstentions.
Finally, the fourth draft resolution opposed to the militarization of space, titled “Transparency and confidence?building measures in outer space activities,” was jointly introduced by five countries: China, Russia, Cuba, Suriname, and Syria.
The vast majority of member states supported the resolution, with 166 votes in favor. Once more, the US and Israel were the only nations to vote against it. Another five U.S. allies abstained: the U.K., Australia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Palau.
While the United States actively tried to sabotage international attempts at arms control and demilitarization of space, Washington’s favorite bogeymen pushed for diplomacy and peace.
Beijing emphasized in a previous meeting of the First Committee on Oct. 31 that China and Russia had jointly proposed a “treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space, the threat or use of force against outer space objects.”
Moscow’s representative said at the meeting “that Western countries are actively promoting the concept of competition in space — while simultaneously suggesting that competition will lead to a crisis in which violence will be required.”
In the Nov. 5 meeting, Russia’s representative argued that the “United States is trying to impose its rules and the idea of domination from outer space and could target objects under the excuse of combatting debris.”
Cuba pointed out that it was just one country — the U.S. — that blocked a consensus in the UN Group of Governmental Exerts on “further effective measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space.” Washington strongly opposed attempts to create a legally binding treaty that would prohibit the deployment of weapons in space.
Venezuela’s UN representative said “she regretted to highlight the destructive actions of certain countries that cause division and undermine progress while unilaterally proclaiming war?like intentions in outer space.”
Syria Calls for a Middle East Free of Nuclear Weapons
While the United States government and corporate media outlets portray Syria as a bloodthirsty rogue regime, Damascus helped lead calls for a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East, while Washington and Tel Aviv stood alone.
On Nov. 4, the UN General Assembly’s First Committee deliberated nuclear and chemicals weapons.
At the meeting, Syria voted for the draft resolution supporting the “establishment of a nuclear?weapon?free zone in the region of the Middle East.” Damascus’ representative emphasized that “Syria was among the first to call for a Middle East free of atomic bombs.”
“Israel will never accede to the Non?Proliferation Treaty as long as the United States and others protect its related weapons programs,” the Syrian diplomat added.
While the U.S. and Israel have accused Syria of using chemical weapons, Damascus shot back saying, “Israel possesses chemical weapons, has used biological and radiological arms against Palestine and Syria, and has facilitated related shipments to terrorists.”
“The use of weapons of mass destruction is reprehensible and immoral,” the Syrian representative added, reiterating his call for a region free of such weapons.
The Syrian diplomat added, “the Israeli regime supports terrorist organizations by supplying them with toxic chemical weapons. Meanwhile, Turkey has allowed terrorists onto its territory to be trained in the use of chemical weapons, and that the representative of the United States tried to evade his country’s responsibility in training terrorists in the use of chemical weapons.”
The UN is holding a meeting called the “Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction” in its headquarters in New York from Nov. 18 to 22.
This conference had been proposed in October 2018 by the entire Arab League, which includes Algeria, Bahrain, the Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, the Sudan, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and the State of Palestine.
A majority of UN member states, 103, voted in favor of the conference, including China, Russia, and most of the Global South; while 71 countries abstained, including most Western countries.
Once again, just three countries voted against the anti-nuclear weapons conference: the U.S., Israel and Micronesia.
Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a reporter for The Grayzone, and the producer of the “Moderate Rebels podcast,” which he co-hosts with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com, and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.
This article is from The Grayzone.
Before commenting please read Robert Parry’s Comment Policy. Allegations unsupported by facts, gross or misleading factual errors and ad hominem attacks, and abusive or rude language toward other commenters or our writers will be removed. If your comment does not immediately appear, please be patient as it is manually reviewed. For security reasons, please refrain from inserting links in your comments.
Pretty sure this vote had bi-partisan support. More official data for my opinion that we now have dangerous bi-partisan congress.
It is starting to appear that both parties present a clear and present danger to the country. A statement unconditionally supported by the congressional vote that passed the Patriot Act.
Thanks to all.
Canada voting with Israel and the US??? What is with that country???
Good article. It’s virtually impossible to explain-away statistics like that (ie; 166/2) — it’s not like it’s a 55/45% split where apologists can quibble (honestly or dishonestly) endlessly abouywhat was the right thing to do….
Rogue state, indeed! Criminal outlaw. Sick!
“Once again, just three countries voted against the anti-nuclear weapons conference: the U.S., Israel and Micronesia.”
Someone provide enlightenment. Why Micronesia?
I don’t know much about Micronesia, but the opening sentence on Micronesia’s Wikipedia article came up: (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federated_States_of_Micronesia)
And that’s not all:
Micronesia and several other small island states are economically controlled by the US, and used to create illusions of a “coalition of the willing” for aggressive US wars for Israel, to get bribes to US politicians. Among those cited by the US as supporting the 2003 Iraq invasion were Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau and Solomon Islands, which did not have standing armies.
Micronesia is a US ‘territory’ that receives a lot of $$ from the US. It will invariably vote with America, especially when it regards anything israel. A cursory search of UN rulings vis a vis israel and will reveal the stats.
Lots of hot air by UN, there are but a few chosen by Israel Iraq and Euro based that determine who the bad guys are, and those nations in truth dare not say different in private; bit players of a vast charade playing to their populations back home.
All very dramatic as they even let the chosen bad guys get up and weep their miseries before them.
Meanwhile back in majority of home nations the real wheeling and dealing between the powers that matter and them are dickering for higher shares from their resources, and how much of worth their UN votes for favorable administration of the good guys programs they will recieve.
What ME nations other than the Israel/US and NATO chosen bad guys need nuclear weapons as their allies know if push comes to shovebthey can pay US to use them against others who threaten them with imminent defeat?
UN funding that supports the elites of other nations chairs comes primarily from US and European sources, and UN actions as humanitarian organization enriches members states for goods and services to clean up Israel/US and Euro/ NATO nations resulting destruction s around the world.
Odd it seems that when natural emergencies such as hurricanes and earthquakes UN sends mainly European highly paid and incompetent NGO’s and actual military they call Peacekeepers, while the chosen worlds bad guys, Russia, China and even poor Cuba sends professional Doctors complete with medicine and actual food relief at their own expences.
You need water pumps to alleviate the poor thirst, well let’s see which nations can send expensive water pumps and plastic jugs, with purifiers that the people in need will pay and maintain.
Need HIV and anti maleria medicines that Cuba’s pharmaceutical and medical proffessionals who now produce worlds best, oops cannot do, breaks US and closest Allies Embargoes and takes profits out of their home firms.
UN is a farce, but it keeps many of elites dependents employed who could not find a position as rewarding outside those hollowed out UN offices and halls, and rest of the dumb and dumber supporting them as well.
Abstention is cowardly.
I want to express my sadness as a US citizen. We are a nation which has plentiful natural resources. This is a land of multiple types of natural beauty. Our citizens are still, even after all the horrifying propaganda and attempts to divide and conquer, still willing to help out other people. We have all kinds of amazing talent in our population. We should be a prosperous, thriving nation, living in peace with the rest of the world.
Our “leaders” seem unable to imagine this world or this nation as peaceful, thriving and working on behalf of the earth and all its amazing life forms. They have such an impoverished vision of what it means to live a “good” life. I think of Bezos, a man who has more money that god, and he cannot see his way clear to treating his workers with justice. Instead of excellent pay/benefits, a healthy physical and mental environment, he chooses to make his work places ever more sadistic. I have to wonder how any person comes to want to destroy other people in this way.
Our military and civilian “leaders” have no other concept of life than death. No one should have nuclear weapons and we could, as a species, get rid of them. These are people who worship a death cult. They are killing this planet and all that lives upon it. They have no brake on their behavior as far as I can tell. We have a beautiful planet and all they can think to do is kill it. We should have a thriving world, full of delight, with every person engaged, full of life giving kindness and intellect. Who doesn’t want that?
I don’t know where such people get their impoverished and cruel world view. I imagine that most of them have been horribly abused as children. Still most abuse victims doesn’t want harm to come to others. These “leaders” do. I am sorry for the great harm my nation is causing in the world and to the earth itself. I do contact US “leaders” and try to explain there is another way of living. I just want people to know that many of us in the US are trying hard to turn things around. I’m so sorry for the suffering this nation causes and I hope we can make things right.
As to where western leaders and oligarchy get their “impoverished and cruel world view,” it is the unregulated market economy, in which the lowest schemers and scammers almost always win and float to the top, buying out mass media and political parties, controlling all branches of federal government and mass media, creating a culture of worship of gold as virtue.
The unregulated market economy was the end of democracy in the US, whose founders understandably neglected to protect its institutions from economic power, because there were few and small economic concentrations in the 18th century, just a few large plantations and ships, all of which would be classified as small businesses today. The emerging middle class failed to see it coming 1870-1930, and it was too late by 1945. Now we have a loosely-organized aristocracy, which controls all of the tools of democracy that would be needed to restore democracy.
That is the end of the story of US democracy until it has been militarily pushed back to its borders and economically embargoed, causing its oligarchy to tyrannize its own citizens. But the citizens have been raised in a culture of such abject cowardice and opportunism, that they will be paid to fight each other for a century before they unify to restore democracy.
Should be no surprise. The US has become the rogue nation of the world. Tiny Israel is trying to make it as the hegemon of the Middle East with American weapons and American diplomatic support. The fools will not succeed in their efforts if they have to depend on the US to make it happen.
You really expect the US and israel to contribute to world peace??? Don’t hold your breath…
Watching the behavior of our government in the Middle East, you have to ask which is the tail and which is the dog.
America needs an honourable leader like Mr yang he’s not left and not right but on and forward is his aim make America think harder do the math and piss off the lying monstrosity they have now
“ask which is the tail and which is the dog”
The answer to that has been clear since the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty June 8, 1967, when the traitor president of the USA, Lyndon B. Johnson, betrayed 34 American sailors murdered by the Israelis. Ever since that day, successive governments of the USA have not only avoided any criticism of the beloved Israelis, they have armed and funded the multiple war crimes Israel commits daily against their Arab neighbors and the indigenous Palestinians.
Ah . . . there you have it! The pit bull(USA) and its master(Israel) with a big long leash around the dog’s neck. If the world can’t see this by now God help us all!