|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
NPT Review Conference
14th Meeting (AM)
Text of President’s Draft Final Declaration for Non-Proliferation Treaty Review
Conference Circulated; to Be Reviewed in Closed Plenary Session
With a text of the President’s Draft Final Declaration circulating, the Chairman of the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty established the parameters for a closed negotiating plenary session to review that document section-by-section during a brief plenary meeting this morning.
Chairman Libran Cabactulan (Philippines) said that in accordance with the agreement reached on Friday, 21 May, he had released a draft of the President’s Final Declaration overnight. That text consolidated the draft reports of the three main committees and was structured in the article-by-article format of the previous review conferences.
Noting that a slightly revised version (document NPT/CONF.2010/CRP.2/Rev.1), which included an index to assist delegations in understanding where the paragraphs came from, had been available since 9 a.m., he said it was his intention to reconvene the plenary in a closed negotiating session at 11 a.m.
Expressing his belief that the draft, which includes a preamble along with the final declaration, captured the spirit of what delegations were trying to achieve, he recalled agreements reached at past review conferences — namely the “13 Practical Steps” agreed to in 2000 and the decisions reached in 1995 to “look forward as well as back” — to identify the areas in which and the means through which progress might be sought in the future, and to strengthen the Treaty’s implementation, as well as its universality.
After Iran’s representative indicated that Friday’s agreement had set an afternoon start time for the plenary review to allow delegations time to study the draft, the Chairman acknowledged that “quality should not be compromised for speed”. But he nevertheless implored delegates to begin their discussion at 11 a.m., arguing that despite the addition of the index, the draft before the Conference was not a departure from the text delegations were already familiar with.
Moreover, he indicated that he had discussed an earlier starting time with coordinators from various groups, and this was why those groups, including the Non-Aligned Movement, were currently meeting in parallel to the plenary. However, when he was informed by the representative of Egypt, which currently chairs the Movement, that its ongoing consultations needed more time, he agreed to a request to resume the plenary at 3 p.m.
Responding to that decision and noting that the text had been discussed at “extraordinary depth” over the last three weeks, the representative of the United Kingdom said it was “inconceivable” that people did not know their country’s position. If the chair had not already taken a decision, he would have urged that the plenary resume later than 11 a.m., but earlier than 3 p.m. in order for the Conference to proceed. Suggesting it was time to “move forward and stop pretending that nobody had a fixed position”, he said that, at this point, everyone should know where each delegation stood.
While he agreed that positions were well known, the Chairman said that, in light of the fact that this was a President’s draft text, more discussion was necessary to isolate “those things we can live with”. To that end, he said the closed plenary session would proceed section by section and paragraph by paragraph when necessary, with the immediate objective of seeing which paragraphs needed further movement and discussion. He asked that delegations request the floor only if it was extremely difficult to live with the section under review. He further requested that interventions be limited to two minutes.
Following further instructions by the Chairman that the plenary would be a negotiating, but not a drafting forum, Iran’s representative asked for clarification on how the negotiations would be followed up in terms of drafting revisions. The Chairman recalled that there was a drafting committee, which operated by rules that had been agreed to, and if there was a need for facilitation, it would be sought. He had merely meant to stress that while meeting in plenary, the Conference would not turn the session into a drafting meeting.
Earlier, the representatives of Trinidad and Tobago and Serbia drew attention to clarifications that should be made in the draft under article 6, paragraph 85 and article 117, respectively. Following a query by Chile’s representative regarding why paragraphs 127, 128 and 129 were in brackets under article 10, the Chairman said that issue would be explored when the plenary resumed in closed session.
Before the Conference settled on 3 p.m. for that session’s start, South Africa’s representative requested that the meeting be allowed to proceed at a pace that did not overtake ongoing consultations. The Chairman assured him that the Conference would “play it by ear” to ensure that its plenary discussion moved in sync with outside consultations.
The Chairman also announced that Trinidad and Tobago and the Central African Republic would deposit their instruments of ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty at an event scheduled for tomorrow.
The Conference will reconvene at a time and date to be announced.
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