19 May 1998

Press Release



(Delayed in transmission; issued as received.)

GENEVA, 11 May (UN Information Service) -- The Preparatory Committee for the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in the year 2000, held its second session in Geneva from 27 April to 8 May under the chairmanship of Eugeniusz Wyzner of Poland. Andelfo Garcia Gonzalez (Colombia) and Markku Reimaa (Finland) served as Vice-Chairmen.

Of the 186 States parties to the Treaty, 97 States participated in the work of the Preparatory Committee at its second session. The open plenary meetings of the Committee were also attended by Brazil and Israel as observers; by representatives of five specialized agencies and regional intergovernmental organizations (Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, South Pacific Forum, League of Arab States, Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty Organization); and by representatives of 76 non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Time was set aside for 13 presentations by representatives of non-governmental organizations.

Pursuant to the decision on the strengthened review process for the Treaty, the task of the Preparatory Committee is to consider principles, objectives and ways to promote the full implementation of the Treaty, as well as its universality, and to make recommendations thereon to the Review Conference. The Committee is also required to make procedural preparations for the Review Conference.

The Committee continued the process of reviewing the operation of the Treaty, taking into account the decisions and the resolution on the Middle East adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference. Following a brief general exchange of views on all aspects of the Treaty, most of the Committee meetings were devoted to a substantive discussion on the following issues: universality of the Treaty, nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear

Press Release DC/2607 19 May 1998

disarmament, the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones, safeguards, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Specific time was also allocated for discussions on security assurances for parties to the NPT; the resolution on the Middle East; and on a non-discriminatory and universally applicable convention banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

The Committee also addressed procedural issues relating to the organization of the 2000 Review Conference, including the draft rules of procedure of the Review Conference, financing of the Conference, and background documentation. The Committee reaffirmed its agreement to convene the Review Conference from 24 April to 19 May 2000 in New York. The Review Conference will be presided over by a representative of the Group of Non- Aligned States parties.

The Preparatory Committee will hold its third session from 12 to 23 April 1999 in New York. It decided to elect Garcia Gonzalez (Colombia), representative of the Group of Non-Aligned States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as Chairman of that session.

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