The Conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument with a view to prohibiting nuclear weapons resumed today, considering a newly revised draft treaty due to be sent to capitals for final approval.
Conference President Elayne Whyte Gómez (Costa Rica) said delegates had made significant progress on the revised draft over the past few days, reflecting the moral imperative to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Noting that the negotiations had resulted in more points of convergence than differences, she said the draft instrument reflected the will of countries, as well as their wish to see the major nuclear-weapon States join the instrument.
“Nuclear disarmament is a long-term commitment,” she emphasized, adding that to reach that goal, delegates had sought to negotiate a treaty that would stand the test of time. Part of that process entailed a complex quest for realistic provisions that would establish the existing political will in the form of a legal standard while remaining sufficiently flexible in adapting to possible future changes. The revised draft instrument, available on the Conference’s website at www.un.org/disarmament/ptnw/index.html, contained revised articles and developed in greater detail the steps needed to dismantle nuclear-weapon programmes, the President added.
According to the revised indicative timetable, the Conference would hold plenary meetings on 5 and 6 July to address lingering procedural matters. On 7 July, the Conference would consider the report of the Credentials Committee, take action on the draft instrument and adopt its procedural report. (See Press Release DC/3718.)
As several speakers raised points of order, South Africa’s representative said every effort must be made to meet the deadline.
Algeria’s representative, concerned that the one-day turnaround time was not enough for Member States to approve the draft instrument, expressed support for the statement by his counterpart from South Africa.
Cuba’s representative emphasized that, with less than 72 hours left to conclude the treaty, now was the time to adopt the draft instrument, taking the positions of all delegations into account.
Also speaking were representatives of Austria and Chile.
The Conference will reconvene at 10 a.m. on 5 July to continue its work.