GENEVA, 27 August (UN Information Service) -- The Conference on Disarmament, approaching the close of its 1998 session, this morning heard reports from its five Special Coordinators on anti-personnel landmines, prevention of an arms race in outer space, transparency in armaments, improved and effective functioning of the Conference, and review of the agenda.
The Special Coordinator on anti-personnel landmines said that while he was naturally disappointed that he had been unable to come up with a consensus, he believed the Conference should reappoint a Special Rapporteur on anti-personnel landmines next year to conclude the work and achieve consensus necessary for the Conference to take an early decision to establish a committee on this subject.
Concerning the prevention of an arms race in outer space, the Special Coordinator said there was a wide measure of support for the draft text of the mandate he had presented, although a complete consensus would require further consultations. He recommended that this text be used as a basis for further consultations with a view to taking a decision on the re-establishment of the ad hoc committee under this agenda item.
H.M.G.S. PALIHAKKARA (Sri Lanka) presented his report as Special Coordinator on prevention of an arms race in outer space, saying there continued to be the general recognition that this agenda item was one of importance and urgency and that delegations showed readiness to contribute towards the common objective in a constructive spirit. Consultations also revealed that there was no objection in principle to the re-establishment of an ad hoc committee under this agenda item. However, it was evident that further consultations would be needed as to when that decision could be taken.
Mr. Palihakkara said he had presented a draft mandate for the Ad Hoc Committee on this item in open-ended consultations. According to the draft, the Conference would ask the Ad Hoc Committee "to continue to examine and to identify, through substantive and general consideration, issues relevant to item 3 of the agenda with a view to, inter alia, agreeing on a mandate for the Ad Hoc Committee to negotiate specific measures towards the prevention of an arms race in outer space". There was a wide measure of support for the draft text, and the approaches contained therein, although a complete consensus thereon would require further consultations. He recommended that this text be used as a basis for further consultations, with a view to taking a decision on the re-establishment of the Ad Hoc Committee under this agenda item.
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