5 May 2000

Press Release



The 2000 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) this morning heard the preliminary reports by the Chairmen of its three Main Committees and the Credentials Committee on the progress of work within their respective areas of competence.

Conference President Abdallah Baali (Algeria) informed the delegates that yesterday the Drafting Committee had considered the question of overlap of issues between its Committees, particularly with regard to Main Committees I and II. The General Committee decided that both Committees should address the issue of compliance/non-compliance in relation to the articles allocated to them. That involved Main Committee I addressing the issues relating to articles I and II of the Treaty, and Main Committee II addressing issues involved in article III. The Conference agreed with that proposal.

[Article I of the Treaty concerns the commitment of each nuclear-weapon State not to transfer to other countries or assist them in manufacturing or acquiring such nuclear weapons or explosive devices or control over them. Article II concerns the commitment of each non-nuclear-weapon State party not to receive the transfer of such nuclear weapons or explosive devices, and not to manufacture or acquire them or seek assistance in their manufacture. Article III concerns the acceptance by each non-nuclear-weapon State party of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, including those for fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities.]

Reporting on the work accomplished in Committee I, its Chairman, Camilo Reyes (Columbia), said that four meetings had been held so far. Following consultations, the Chairman had submitted a paper referring to the questions allocated to the Committee. Discussions on that document would continue in the future. The subsidiary body of Committee I had held two meetings. Proposals had also been made on the working paper of the body. On a positive note, it was possible to say that a debate had taken shape in the Committee, concentrating on the substance.

The Chairman of Committee II, Adam Kobieracki (Poland), said that a lively discussion had taken place during three plenary meetings of that body. Fifteen working papers and six conference-room papers had been submitted by delegations. The Committee was now proceeding to an item-by-item discussion of questions on its agenda, which included safeguards, export controls and the physical protection and activities of nuclear-weapon and other States. The question of

Conference of Parties to NPT - 2 - Press Release DC/2706 12th Meeting (AM) 5 May 2000

nuclear-weapon-free zones would be discussed at the next meeting. Given the wealth of material, the Committee was in a good position to proceed to the drafting stage.

Turning to the activities of Subsidiary Body II, he said that, in accordance with its mandate, it had held two out of four meetings. The Middle East, South Asia and other regional issues had been discussed. Working papers and proposals of direct relevance to that body had been submitted. The Chairman of the Subsidiary Body intended to submit the draft report early next week.

Markku Reimaa (Finland), Chairman of Main Committee III, said the major issue in discussions was the peaceful use of nuclear energy, including maritime transport of such energy, nuclear safety and technical cooperation. The strengthening of relevant conventions, the question of liability and nuclear energy in sustainable development had also been discussed. The IAEA had made a statement on technology transfer activities and technical cooperation. The first meeting of the Open-ended Drafting Group would be held today at 11:30 a.m., during which time an initial draft report would be circulated to delegations. He felt that the task entrusted to the Committee would be fulfilled within the allocated time frame.

Makmur Widido (Indonesia), Chairman of the Credentials Committee, said that, based on information received by the Secretary-General of the Conference, his Committee had decided to accept the credentials of 139 State parties participating in the Conference, including those of Liechtenstein, which were received this morning. That acceptance was based on the understanding that those delegations, which had not presented their credentials in the form required by the rules of procedure, would do so as soon as possible. The Committee would keep the receipt of credentials under review and meet again, based on the status of submissions.

The next plenary meeting of the Conference is scheduled for Wednesday, 10 May, at 10 a.m.

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