26 May 1999

Press Release



NEW YORK, 26 May (Department for Disarmament Affairs) -- The Preparatory Committee for the 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) held its third and final session at Headquarters from 10 to 21 May 1999, under the chairmanship of Camilo Reyes Rodríguez of Colombia. Markku Reimaa of Finland and Eugeniusz Wyzner of Poland served as Vice-Chairmen. Delegations from 119 States parties to the NPT participated at the session.

The aim of the session was to finalize consideration of substantive issues, including the consideration of 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. Decisions were also taken on the organizational and procedural arrangements for the Review Conference, which will be held from 24 April to 19 May 2000 in New York. The Review Conference is part of the quinquennial review of the Treaty's operation and is the Treaty's first review since it was indefinitely extended in 1995.

The Committee endorsed unanimously the candidature of Jacob Selebi of South Africa for the presidency of the Review Conference.

During its general exchange of views, the Committee also considered proposals concerning the expected outcome of the Review Conference. It recalled that the Conference should: evaluate the results of the period under review, including the implementation of undertakings of the States parties under the Treaty; identify the areas in which, and the means through which, further progress should be sought in the future; and address specifically what might be done to strengthen the implementation of the Treaty and to achieve its universality.

Continuing its substantive consideration of all aspects of the Treaty, in accordance with agenda item 4 entitled "Preparatory work for the review of the operation of the Treaty in accordance with article VIII, paragraph 3, taking into account the decisions and the resolution on the Middle East adopted by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference", the Committee discussed: the universality of the Treaty; non-proliferation; nuclear disarmament; negotiations on a convention banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear-explosive devices; security

assurances for parties to the NPT; International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards; establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones; peaceful uses of nuclear energy; and the resolution on the Middle East adopted in 1995.

During the consideration of principles, ways and means of implementing the preamble and the articles of the Treaty and the 1995 decisions and the resolution on the Middle East, the Chairman tabled a working paper containing elements of draft recommendations. Following consultations on the paper and the submission of the written proposals by delegations, the Chairman submitted a revised version of his working paper. The Committee was unable, however, to reach agreement on any substantive recommendations to the Review Conference.

Organization of Work of 2000 Review Conference

The Committee reached agreement on the provisional agenda for the Review Conference, the allocation of items to the three main committees and on the office bearers of the Conference. Accordingly, Main Committee I, chaired by a representative of the Group of Non-Aligned and other States parties to the NPT (Colombia), will review the implementation of the provisions of the Treaty relating to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, disarmament and international security, and the issue of security assurances. Main Committee II, chaired by a representative of the Group of Eastern European States (Poland), will address the implementation of the provisions of the Treaty relating to non-proliferation, safeguards and nuclear-weapon-free zones. Main Committee III, chaired by a representative of the Western Group (Finland), will review the implementation of the provisions relating to the inalienable right of all parties to the Treaty to conduct research, to produce and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, without discrimination and in conformity with articles I and II on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

While some delegations proposed the establishment of a subsidiary body under Main Committee I, on nuclear disarmament, and under Main Committee II, on the implementation of the resolution on the Middle East adopted at the 1995 Review and Extension Conference, some suggested that such decisions should be taken by the Review Conference. It was finally decided that the question of the establishment of subsidiary bodies would be considered and resolved by the Review Conference.

Other decisions included: that the Drafting Committee would be chaired by a representative of the Group of Eastern European States, and the Credentials Committee by a representative of the Group of Non-Aligned and other States parties to the NPT; agreement on the draft rules of procedure for the Conference, as well as on the estimated costs of the Conference and the schedule of the division of costs.

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The Committee also requested that background documentation for the Conference be prepared by the United Nations Secretariat, reflecting developments related to the implementation of various provisions of the Treaty and the outcome of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference, including the decisions on "Strengthening the Review Process for the Treaty" and on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament" and the "Resolution on the Middle East".

Also, the IAEA has been tasked with preparing documentation regarding its activities relevant to articles III, IV and V of the Treaty. Further, the Committee invited the various secretariats or depositaries of the following nuclear-weapon-free zone agreements to submit memoranda on activities related to their respective treaties: the General Secretariat of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) for the 1967 Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco); the Secretariat of the South Pacific Forum for the South Pacific Nuclear-Free-Zone Treaty (Treaty of Rarotonga); the Secretariat of the Organization of African Unity for the Africa Nuclear- Weapon-Free-Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba); and the Government of Thailand for the South-East Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Bangkok Treaty).

Participation in Preparatory Committee

Of the 187 States parties to the NPT, the following 119 participated at the third session:

Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Holy See, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, and Qatar.

Also, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

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In line with the decision reached during the Committee's first session, representatives of Cuba and Israel, States not parties to the NPT, attended as observers, as did representatives of OPANAL, the European Commission, the League of Arab States and the South Pacific Forum. In addition, over 60 non- governmental organizations attended, and, in accordance with the Committee's decision taken in 1997, time was set aside at the session for their representatives to make presentations.

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