Court Project: United Nations Resolution 53/77W
United Nations General Assembly
79th plenary meeting
4 December 1998
Resolution 53/77 W
Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons
The General Assembly,
Recalling its resolutions 49/75 K of 15 December 1994, 51/45 M of 10 December 1996 and 52/38 O of 9 December 1997,
Convinced that the continuing existence of nuclear weapons poses a threat to all humanity and that their use would have catastrophic consequences for all life on Earth, and recognizing that the only defence against a nuclear catastrophe is the total elimination of nuclear weapons and the certainty that they will never be produced again,
Reaffirming the commitment of the international community to the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons and the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free world,
Mindful of the solemn obligations of States parties, undertaken in article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons1, particularly to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament,
Recalling the principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament adopted at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons2, and in particular the objective of determined pursuit by the nuclear-weapon States of systematic and progressive efforts to reduce nuclear weapons globally, with the ultimate goal of eliminating those weapons,
Recalling also the adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in its resolution 50/245 of 10 September 1996, and expressing its satisfaction at the increasing number of States that have signed and ratified the Treaty,
Recognizing with satisfaction that the Antarctic Treaty3 and the treaties of Tlatelolco4, Rarotonga5, Bangkok 6 and Pelindaba7 are gradually freeing the entire southern hemisphere and adjacent areas covered by those treaties from nuclear weapons,
Noting the efforts by the States possessing the largest inventories of nuclear weapons to reduce their stockpiles of such weapons through bilateral and unilateral agreements or arrangements, and calling for the intensification of such efforts to accelerate the significant reduction of nuclear-weapon arsenals,
Recognizing the need for a multilaterally negotiated and legally binding instrument to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the threat or use of nuclear weapons,
Reaffirming the central role of the Conference on Disarmament as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, and regretting the lack of progress in disarmament negotiations, particularly nuclear disarmament, in the Conference on Disarmament during its 1998 session,
Emphasizing the need for the Conference on Disarmament to commence negotiations on a phased programme for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons with a specified framework of time,
Desiring to achieve the objective of a legally binding prohibition of the development, production, testing, deployment, stockpiling, threat or use of nuclear weapons and their destruction under effective international control, Recalling the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, issued on 8 July 19968,
Taking note of the relevant portions of the note by the Secretary-General9 relating to the implementation of resolution 52/38 O,
Adopted by 123 in favour, 23 against and 23 abstentions
79th plenary meeting
4 December 1998
1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 729, No. 10485.
2/ 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Final Document, Part I(NPT/CONF.1995/32 (Part I)), annex, decision 2.
3/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 402, No. 5778.
4/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 634, No. 9068.
5/ See The United Nations Disarmament Yearbook, vol. 10: 1985 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.86.IX.7), appendix VII.
6/ Treaty on the South-East Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone.30/ A/50/426, annex.
7/ A/50/426, annex.
8/ A/51/218, annex.
9/ A/53/208 and Add.1.