15 May 2009 The committee preparing for next year’s United Nations-backed conference of States parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty today agreed on a president and an agenda for the May 2010 meeting in New York.
Ambassador Boniface G. Chidyausiku of Zimbabwe, the chairman of the preparatory committee’s third session, held in New York from 4-15 May, said full agreement on the agenda was a “good omen” for next year’s review of the 1970 treaty which must be reviewed every five years.
Speaking to reporters in New York, he noted that previous preparatory meetings had been unable to agree on agendas, causing delays at the main review sessions. Agenda discussions took up three weeks of the 2005 review, he said.
“There’s a lot of good will, good political will in the air,” he said, citing specifically “the current relations between the US and the Russian Federation, and the willingness of the US administration to engage in the international community.”
The committee agreed on Libran N. Cabactulan, Ambassador of the Philippines to the United Arab Emirates, as president of the 2010 conference.
The agenda includes elaboration on the three pillars of the treaty – disarmament, non-proliferation, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy – and discussions on nuclear-free zones.
Opened for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970 and was extended indefinitely in May 1995. A total of 190 parties have joined the Treaty. More countries have ratified the NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement, according to the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs.
Mr. Chidyausiku said that he had hoped the committee would offer recommendations to serve as “guidance” for the full review next year but the members were not able to agree on wording due to a lack of time.
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