Press Releases

    22 July 2005

    Disarmament Commission Suspends Meeting until Tomorrow, as Members Continue Consultations on Package of Decisions in Draft Report

    NEW YORK, 21 July (UN Headquarters) -- The Disarmament Commission opened briefly this afternoon in a resumed organizational meeting for an announcement by Chairman Sylvester Rowe (Sierra Leone), that the meeting would be suspended until tomorrow afternoon to allow the continuation of consultations on the package of decisions contained in the Commission’s 2005 draft report.

    That package, painstakingly negotiated since Monday, includes decisions to consider two agenda items at the Commission’s substantive session in 2006, and to hold that session for three weeks in March-April 2006.  The Chairman said he expected that the efforts made and the difficult hurdles overcome “would bring us finally to the point where we are in a position to adopt this package”.

    Two agenda items, to be considered in the usual three-year cycle aimed at elaborating guidelines or recommendations, were as follows:  “Recommendations for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in all its aspects, in particular for achieving the objective of nuclear disarmament”; and “Practical confidence-building measures in the field of conventional weapons”.

    A formulation agreed yesterday was also included in the 2006 provisional agenda, as follows:  “The issue of measures for improving the effectiveness of the methods of work of the Disarmament Commission will be considered in plenary meetings at its 2006 substantive session, with equitable time allocated to it”.

    The Chairman made a minor amendment to the draft report today by moving the text of the two agenda items from a “Chairman’s proposal”, annexed to the draft report, to a section in the body of the draft report entitled “Conclusions and recommendations”.

    With the expectation of acting on the draft this afternoon, several delegations expressed concern at the delay, insisting that members should make better use of the time.  The Chairman said he shared their concern, but hoped the spirit of conciliation and apparent success would be inspiring.  He asked delegations to be patient, adding that the postponement was part of multilateral diplomacy.  “Hopefully, we will get through tomorrow”, he said.

    The Disarmament Commission will meet again at 3 p.m. tomorrow to consider its 2005 draft report.

    * *** *