Treaty Review Conference Briefed by Chairs of Three Main Committees, Addressing Non-Proliferation, Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones, Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy

14 May 2010

Treaty Review Conference Briefed by Chairs of Three Main Committees, Addressing Non-Proliferation, Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones, Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy

14 May 2010
Meetings Coverage
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

NPT Review Conference

11th Meeting* (AM)

Treaty Review Conference Briefed by Chairs of Three Main Committees, Addressing

Non-Proliferation, Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones, Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy

Chairmen of the three main committees of the 2010 Review Conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty presented draft interim reports today, describing substantive work done thus far on issues ranging from the strengthening of nuclear securityto the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, with a view to their inclusion in a final document, expected to be adopted next week at the close of the Review session.

Presenting the interim report for Main Committee I — which addresses implementation of Treaty provisions relating to nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and international peace and security — Chairman Boniface Chidyausiku (Zimbabwe) said the Committee held three meetings on disarmament and security assurances,during which there was a tendency to deliver general statements and then leave the room.  The Chair had submitted a draft paper to the President for consideration.  Dialogue also was held on specific issues and had yielded “useful” and “helpful” debate.  A substantive paper from that dialogue also had been submitted to the President, and the Conference would be informed about when those two papers would be distributed.

Turning to Main Committee II — which examines implementation of Treaty provisions relating to nuclear non-proliferation, safeguards and nuclear-weapon-free zones — Chairman Volodymyr Yelchenko ( Ukraine)saidthe Committee had held four plenary session between 10 and 14 May.  Its subsidiary body was examining regional issues, including implementation of the 1995 resolution on the Middle East, and had held two closed-door meetings between 11 and 14 May.  During the Committee’s interactive discussions, emphasis was placed on strengthening nuclear security and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.  It had proven “helpful” in clarifying problems raised in general debate and in working papers.

He said the Chairman’s report, including the work of the subsidiary body, had been sent to the President, who would inform the Conference about their distribution.  He expressed hope for starting deliberations on that text next week, and was confident that, with constructive contributions, the Committee would achieve consensus on it by the end of next week.  On a related point, he said the Committee, rather than meet this afternoon, would next meet on Monday, 17 May, to discuss the draft report.

Next, Takeshi Nakane (Japan), Chairman of Committee III —— which addresses implementation of Treaty provisions relating to the inalienable right of all Parties to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, without discrimination [item 16 (d) in the Conference’s organization of work] — said four meetings had been held.  Forty-three States had taken part in a general exchange of views.

In addition, the Committee had held focused discussions on 12 and 13 May on four main areas, he said:  peaceful uses of nuclear energy; nuclear safety; technical cooperation; and a multilateral approach to and supplier safeguards, including assurances for a nuclear fuel supply.  There had been “constructive” debate on each of those areas, which had led to a better understanding of views.  The Committee would hold another meeting today.

He said a draft report, based on discussions held over the last week, was being prepared, with the aim of including key elements raised by delegations.  That draft text would be forwarded to the President.

As for the Committee’s subsidiary body, which addresses “other provisions of the Treaty”, item 16 (e) of the Conference’s organization of work, Mr. Nakane said it held its first meeting on 5 May, with the participation of 16 country delegations.  Discussions had centred on Treaty articles IX and X, which deal with, respectively, the Treaty’s openness to all countries for signature, and the right of withdrawal from the Treaty in the event that extraordinary circumstances related to the subject matter of the Treaty had jeopardized the “supreme” interests of a country.  Debate on those issues had “significantly” contributed to an understanding of views and discussions would continue this afternoon.

Finally, he recalled that on 12 May, it had been decided that institutional issues would be addressed in Main Committee III.  Those issues would be taken up this afternoon.  The Chair had produced a draft report which he intended to forward to the Conference President.  The Committee would meet Tuesday and Wednesday next week to consider that draft report, which he hoped would be adopted by consensus.

Following the oral presentations, Review Conference Chair Libran Cabactulan ( Philippines) reminded delegates that, at the halfway mark of the Review, the Committees had not completed their work, but would do so next week in an “intensive” manner.  There were still meetings to be held, the outcomes of which would be included in reports.  He congratulated the Chairs and subsidiary bodies for their work and encouraged them to continue their best efforts.

The Conference then took note of the verbal reports as presented by their Chairmen.

In final business, the Conference took note of the interim report of its Credentials Committee (document NPT/CONF.2010/CC/L.1).  Presenting an overview of that report, Committee Chairman Abulkalam Momen ( Bangladesh) said that body had met twice to examine the credentials of Review Conference participants.  The interim report contained information on the status of credentials received as of 13 May.

Based on information from the Review Conference Secretariat, the Committee had decided to accept 165 State Parties’ credentials, he said, on the understanding that those that had not presented their credentials would do so as soon as possible.  The Committee would meet again at 10 a.m. on 26 May to update itself on that situation.

Closing the meeting, the Chair reminded delegates that he had urged them to respect the request for timely submission of documentation at least six weeks before the Conference and not later than 18 March 2010, to facilitate translation into the official languages and issuance.  While pleased that many had responded to that request, he said the flow of submissions had not abated.  At its halfway mark, the Conference had exceeded the total number of documents submitted at any previous Review Conference.  More than 130 documents, including 72 working papers and 46 official documents or reports had been submitted, of which more than 90 had been issued.  Documents submitted after 4 May would be issued in due course, but possibly not in all official languages.

“We are entering a crucial moment of the conference,” the Chair asserted.  As delegates considered the draft texts, they must bear in mind that the committee work was continuing.  He intended for the reports of the three Main Committees to be made available at 3 p.m. in Conference Room 2.  With that, he extended his best wishes for productive days ahead.

The Secretary-General of the Conference then informed delegates that the meeting scheduled today for Main Committee I had been cancelled.  The French delegation would hold a side event on access to nuclear energy for responsible development this afternoon.  Another event hosted by Argentina and Brazil would take place in Conference Room 2 at 1:15 p.m.

Egypt’s delegate announced that the Non-Aligned Movement States parties were invited to meet in Room 4 at 3 p.m. to begin work on the draft report, with a view to early discussion next week.

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*     The 10th Meeting was not covered.

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.