17 May 2005

Review Conference on Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Briefed by President on Consultations

Also Completes Election of Bureau

NEW YORK, 16 May (UN Headquarters) -- Meeting formally for the first time since the consensus adoption of its agenda on 11 May, the Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) today completed the election of its Bureau and apprised States parties of the status of consultations.

Describing consultations with the regional groups on the allocation of substantive items to the three Main Committees and on the establishment of subsidiary bodies, Conference President Sergio de Queiroz Duarte (Brazil) said the talks had so far not produced the expected results.  He understood perfectly that the current situation could not continue indefinitely.  (For details of the agenda, please see documents NPT/CONF.2005/30 and 31).

Thanking the President for his efforts to “unblock” the situation, the representative of the Russian Federation said he was “a little worried” about the situation, given that there were just 10 more days left to the Conference.  Furthermore, the current working methods had not allowed his delegation to participate in the general committee.  He asked the President to take some remedial action towards transparency in the course of his work.

Replying that he shared the delegate’s preoccupation, Mr. Duarte explained that he had been trying to resolve the procedural issues through the regional groups, including the Eastern European Group, and the chairs of the three Main Committees.  He thought he should give that one more chance, as a regional group was meeting this afternoon, immediately following the plenary.

Perhaps the issue could be revisited tomorrow, he suggested.  The Iraqi delegation had asked to address the Conference in a plenary meeting.  He, therefore, would schedule that meeting for tomorrow at 10 a.m.  He also informed States parties that the Credentials Committee would hold its first meeting tomorrow, also at 10 a.m., in Conference Room 6.

Following a request by the Australian delegation to table a working paper prepared ahead of the Conference in Vienna, the President said that the delegate, along with any others, could avail himself of that opportunity tomorrow.  He would schedule additional meetings for that purpose, if requested, as long as was necessary.  He added that 38 official documents had been circulated, and there were 37 working papers.

Elected to the post of Vice-President of the Conference were Egypt and Uganda.  The new Vice-Chairmen of the Main Committees were:  Josef Vitek (Czech Republic), Main Committee I; Saja S. Mjali (Jordan), Main Committee II; and Sylvester Ekundayo Rowe (Sierra Leone), Main Committee III.  Abdel Ibrahim (Egypt) was elected as Vice-Chairman of the Drafting Committee.

The Review Conference will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday, 17 May, to continue its work.

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