Israel must get rid of its nuclear weapons, UNGA majority decides

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Why did this voting take place? Did Egypt submit proof of Israel having nuclear weapons before proposing this vote?

Why voted Azerbaijan, Ecuador, and Ukraine against Israel, as they have good ties with Israel?

Why voted Micronesia and Palau in favor of Israel?

1 Answer 1


Why did this voting take place in the first place?

tl;dr: Israel is one of the few nations not to have signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the only one in the Middle East, and refuses inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The other nations are India (has nukes), Pakistan (has nukes), North Korea (withdrew, has nukes) and South Sudan (too new?). Iran has ratified but is out of compliance.

Israel will not confirm nor deny if it has nuclear weapons, however there is evidence they have had them for some time. The UNGA would like them to follow the treaty (which would involve either denying they have nuclear weapons, or getting rid of what they have) and allow inspections.

This is not without precedence. South Africa and Ukraine had previously possessed nuclear weapons and discarded them in favor of joining the treaty.

This resolution has been voted on repeatedly for a number of years.

Can you explain why Azerbaijan, Ecuador, and Ukraine voted against Israel, as they have good ties with Israel?

They are all non-nuclear states and, presumably, would prefer there not to be a nuclear war. In 1994, Ukraine ratified the Treaty and got rid of its nuclear arsenal.

Can you also explain why Micronesia and Palau voted in favor of Israel?

They are both in the Compact of Free Association with the United States. The United States is a staunch ally of Israel.

What the resolution actually says.

I couldn't find the 2022 version, but here is the 2021 version. What it calls upon Israel to do is...

Noting that 185 States have signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, including a number of States in the region...


Reaffirms the importance of Israel’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, in realizing the goal of universal adherence to the Treaty in the Middle East;

Calls upon that State to accede to the Treaty without further delay, not to develop, produce, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons, to renounce possession of nuclear weapons and to place all its unsafeguarded nuclear facilities under full- scope Agency safeguards as an important confidence-building measure among all States of the region and as a step towards enhancing peace and security

It lays out its reasons.

Cognizant that the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region of the Middle East would pose a serious threat to international peace and security,

Mindful of the immediate need for placing all nuclear facilities in the region of the Middle East under full-scope safeguards of the Agency,

Recalling the decision on principles and objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons on 11 May 1995,1 in which the Conference urged universal adherence to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons2 as an urgent priority and called upon all States not yet parties to the Treaty to accede to it at the earliest date, particularly those States that operate unsafeguarded nuclear facilities,


Noting, in this context, the relevant resolutions of the League of Arab States aiming at the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction,


Recalling that Israel remains the only State in the Middle East that has not yet become a party to the Treaty

Stressing the importance of taking confidence-building measures, in particular the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, in order to enhance peace and security in the region and to consolidate the global non-proliferation regime,

Emphasizing the need for all parties directly concerned to seriously consider taking the practical and urgent steps required for the implementation of the proposal to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and, as a means of promoting this objective, inviting the countries concerned to adhere to the Treaty and, pending the establishment of the zone, to agree to place all their nuclear activities under Agency safeguards,

  • Why are some countries marked as black? E.g., Malawi, Venezuela, Marshall Islands, etc.
    – user366312
    Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 1:03
  • 1
    @user366312 The image is a screenshot ("credit: UN WEB TV/SCREENSHOT"), possibly while voting was still ongoing. I'd guess it indicates they hadn't voted yet.
    – Schwern
    Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 1:13
  • 8
    They were indeed absent, presumably mostly due to non-payment of dues. It surprises me that voting rights can depend on monetary payments, but then, a lot of the things that go on in the UN surprise me.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 1:30
  • 5
    @ShadowTheKidWizard There is a framing problem. If one sees this as a vote "against Israel", one has to wonder what Israel did to make the other 151 UNGA members vote against them. If one sees this is a vote in favor of Israel joining the Treaty, a treaty which near enough the entire world has joined and thinks is vital to our collective safety, no such mental gymnastics are necessary. Ukraine was in a similar position to Israel in the 90s; they had nukes, and they voluntarily gave them up.
    – Schwern
    Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 17:11
  • 3
    @Schwern - The argument would presumably be that Israel didn't do anything to make people vote against it, but that people just dislike it because of its association with the United States/anti-Semitism/whatever. It's not precisely as if there is nothing there—a UN delegate accused the "Jewish lobby" of controlling social media just a few months ago—but many of the countries that spoke out against that voted for Israel to join the treaty this time, so it is not a very credible argument.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 2:45

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