UNITED NATIONS - Despite the US-led opposition, the UN General Assembly Tuesday passed with an overwhelming majority an Arab-sponsored resolution, calling on Israel not to develop, produce or possess nuclear arms and criticising the country for not being part to the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Treaty (NPT).

The resolution, introduced by Egypt, called on Israel to accede to that treaty without any further delay and not to develop, produce, test or acquire nuclear weapons, renounce possession of nuclear weapons and put its nuclear facilities under the safeguard of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency.

The resolution, passed by a 161-5 vote, noted that Israel was the only Middle Eastern country that was not party to the NPT.

The United States, Canada, Palau and Micronesia joined Israel in opposing the measure, while 18 countries abstained. Israel, which is believed to have nuclear arms, but has never admitted to it, has long been under fire from Arab countries in the region for not putting its stockpile under the international supervision.

Speaking before the vote, US representative Robert Wood condemned the resolution for failing to meet the fundamental tests of fairness and balance. “It confines itself to expressions of concern about the activities of a single country,” he said.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly passed a non-binding call on Tel Aviv to join the NPT without further delay. Israel then rebuffed the call with the foreign ministry, saying in a statement that the UN lost all its credibility regarding Israel with these types of routine votes that are ensured passage by an automatic majority and which single out Israel.

Meanwhile, India, the United States and Pakistan voted against a provision in a United Nations resolution, demanding 'promptly' accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon nations ‘without conditions’ and place all nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.

A draft resolution on achieving a nuclear weapon-free world and accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments was adopted in the UN General Assembly session by 169 votes for and seven against with 5 abstentions, including Bhutan and China.

Prior to the passage of the draft as a whole, a separate vote was also taken on operative paragraph 9 which stressed the fundamental role of the NPT in achieving nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and urged India, Israel and Pakistan to accede to it as non-nuclear states promptly and without conditions and to place all their nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.

The provision was retained by a record vote of 165 in favour with India, Israel, Pakistan, the US voting against and Bhutan, France, the United Kingdom abstaining.

India, Israel and the US also voted against the paragraph 24 which underlined the importance of a successful 2015 NPT Review Conference.

The provision was retained by a vote of 166 in favour and three abstentions from France, Pakistan and the UK.

The Assembly also retained operative paragraph 11, which urged all states to work together to overcome obstacles within the international disarmament machinery and immediately implement the three specific recommendations from the 2010 Review Conference Action Plan, by a record vote of 167 in favour to 3 against and 4 abstentions, including India.

India also voted against a provision of the resolution that would request the Conference on Disarmament to consider the formulation of principles that could serve as a framework for regional agreements on conventional arms control.

India was the sole country to vote against a draft resolution on conventional arms control at the regional and sub-regional levels. The text was adopted by 181 votes in favour and two abstentions.

The assembly turned to the draft resolution on a united action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons.