27 May 2005

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference Holds Brief Open Meeting; Speakers Say Consensus Still Possible on Outcome Text

NEW YORK, 26 May (UN Headquarters) -- When the Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) met briefly this morning to review the schedule for the Conference’s conclusion tomorrow, speakers underlined the need for a consensus outcome text and expressed the hope that, despite divergent views, agreement was still possible.

Japan’s speaker, highlighting once again the grave challenges facing the landmark Treaty, urged all States parties to deploy all possible efforts to convey a consensus message to preserve the Treaty.  Each State party was responsible for the Conference’s success.  An agreed document was indeed achievable.

Similarly, Luxembourg’s speaker, on behalf of the European Union, said he had imposed on delegations the same instruction to work towards consensus.  Egypt’s representative, as Coordinator of the Arab Group, assured parties that the Group was fully ready to cooperate on a consensus outcome document.

Conference President Sergio de Queiroz Duarte explained that the Chairs of the three main committees would present their reports in a formal meeting tomorrow morning.  That would be followed, either in the morning or the afternoon, by consideration and adoption of final text(s) and concluding statements.

The agenda for the three main committees, adopted on 11 May, after the preparatory process and well into the Conference itself allocated the following substantive items, as follows:  Main Committee I, nuclear disarmament and security assurances, led by the New Agenda Coalition; Main Committee II, regional issues, including the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, under the helm of the Western European and Other States Group; and Main Committee III, headed by the non-aligned movement, on implementation of the Treaty’s provisions related to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

In connection with the agenda’s adoption, the President had made a statement, as follows:  “It is understood that the review will be conducted in the light of the decisions and the resolution of previous Conferences, and allow for discussion of any issue raised by States parties”.

In other business today, the Vice-Chairman of the Credentials Committee, Ivan Piperkov, said that, in two meetings, the Committee had been able to approve the credentials of 149 States parties.  The remaining credentials would be kept under review, and the Committee would meet again today in that regard at 5 p.m.

Four requests had been received from intergovernmental organizations wishing to address the Conference.  Those were the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Committee.

At the close of the meeting, Mr. Duarte announced the resumption of informal consultations for the remainder of the day.

The NPT Review Conference will meet again, in two meetings tomorrow, to hear the reports of its main committees and to conclude its review.

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