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Third Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPT Review Conference

During the period between 4 and 15 May 2009, was held at the UN headquarters in New York the Third Preparatory Committee for the 2010 Review Conference of the Nonproliferation Treaty  – NPT. The purpose of the Committee was to prepare the Review Conference in terms of assessing the implementation of each article of the NPT, and of facilitating discussion among States in order to make recommendations to the Review Conference.

This meeting was the last of three sessions before the 2010 Review Conference. Much expectation rests on the next 2010 Review Conference, since the previous Conference in 2005 failed to reach an agreement on adopting a final document.

The Committee's Chairman, Boniface Chidyausiku, Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe to the United Nations, in their opening statement urged not to miss the great opportunity to strengthen and improve the effectiveness of the NPT.

The meeting was open to all parts of the Treaty, Member States, specialized agencies, international and regional intergovernmental organizations, and NGOs. This site has been daily updated to report the sessions' progresses. The more recent information has been placed at the upper side.


Friday, 15 May - Final Session

In an informal session on Friday morning, the Committee's Chair, declared that wasn't enough time to reach an agreement on the recommendation to the Review Conference 2010. The Committee adopted a draft final procedural report and the PrepCom was closed with a few brief statements.

Despite the willing to cooperate that showed during the two week the majority of the states parties of the NPT, the Committee could not met a consensus on a final document.

The five permanents members (5P) of the UN Security Council – and the original NWS – UK, China, France, Russia and United States – issued a join statement reaffirming their commitment to work towards a nuclear disarmament.


Thursday, 14 May - Second Draft on the Recommendations on the RevCon 2010

The Chair announced that he could not find consensus on moving forward on the basis of the second draft.

Delegations like Cuba, Egypt, Iran, and United Kingdom indicated that they had issues with the text. United Kingdom expressed that its problem was minor. On the other hand, Cuba and Egypt indicated that they had major differences.

Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Russia, and South Africa delegations expressed their support to the text.

The Chair assessed that it would not be productive to produce a new draft or conduct new consultations.

Several delegations, like Mexico, the United Kingdom, the United States, Chile, Netherlands, Africa Group, Germany, and South Africa urged to continue the discussion until consensus had been reached. The Chair decided to continue the discussion on Friday morning.

Side events at conference room: Time to Outlaw the Use of Nuclear Weapons, organized by Acronym institute; towards the 2010 Conference of the States Parties to the Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, by IALANA; Disarmament Education, by Kathleen Sullivan


Wednesday, 13 May – Recommendations to the Review Conference, Middle East and Fissile Materials

During the afternoon session circulated a revised draft of recommendation. Belgium, on behalf of Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, and Turkey, presented a paper with new recommendations.

On regard the Middle East resolution, EU welcome Russia’s proposal to held a conference or meeting on implementation of the resolution. The European Union also introduced a paper on moving forward on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty.

Side events at conference room: NWD Simulation – Negotiation Article VI, by INESAP; CTBT entry into forces, by UNIDIR, and Medical and Environmental Consequences of Nuclear War, by for Social Responsibility.


Tuesday, 12 May – Recommendations to the 2010 Review Conference

The session was devoted to discuss the draft recommendations to the 2010 RevCon.

Several delegations expressed support for the Chair’s text, and understood that the text could be strengthened. Delegations including Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and South Africa, referred to it as an important basis for discussion.

The NAM, Russia, United States, United Kingdom, France, and South Korea delegations argued that the text was not reflecting the balance between the three pillars of the NPT, especially on the disarmament section.

Divergent opinions and views were expressed on the text treatment of withdrawals. Canada asked to use more wording reflecting the positions that have been expressed. Algeria suggested the text’s language had gone beyond countries' positions.

France and United Kingdom delegations indicated that would submit to the Chair some suggestions for modifications and amendments.

Iranian delegation urged the next Review Conference to preserve the delicate balance between the right and obligations that arise from the NPT.

Side events at conference room: NWD Simulation – Negotiation Article VI, by INESAP; NPT Safeguards, by IAEA; and Operational Status of Nuclear Weapons Systems, by Nuclear Flashpoints.


Monday, 11 May - Fuel supply assurance, nuclear energy, and withdrawal from the Treaty

The sessions of May 11 were devoted to issues related to fuel supply assurances, multilateral approaches to fuel cycle, other issues on nuclear energy, and withdrawal from the Treaty.

On the issues of fuel supply assurances, the IAEA described progress toward establishing a three-tiered mechanism for fuel assurances. Many delegations expressed support for the IAEA’s efforts to establish a nuclear fuel bank, including the EU, US, UK, France, and Norway. Norway also expressed support for the German fuel cycle proposal. Malaysia said that the fuel bank proposal still requires additional study regarding its legal, political, technical, and economic dimensions, and Egypt observed that current efforts to create supply assurances did not seem to be arising from concerns over supply, but rather from concerns of supplier states.

About the multilateral fuel cycle approaches, Turkey, South Korea, and Indonesia delegations cautioned that multilateral approaches should not impede the right of states to make decisions about their own development of the fuel cycle.

Several delegations warned against measures that would effectively result in the denial of technology or compromise rights, including Brazil, Switzerland, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Iran. Brazil warned that multilateral approaches should not cut rights of states that adhere to comprehensive safeguards. Switzerland said it did not envisage support for proposals that in effect strengthen existing monopolies, or aim in principle at restricting the rights of states. Malaysia and Iran warned that any approach should not introduce any new non-proliferation commitments beyond the existing ones. Nigeria said any measures should not impose “unnecessary” limitations on nuclear transfers.

South Korea urged for more attention to be paid to multilateral approaches to the back end of the fuel cycle, including waste management. New Zealand said that any proposal should include measures related to safety and security of nuclear materials, especially related to transport on the high seas. Egypt argued against the concepts of proliferation-sensitive technologies and irresponsible nuclear states.

In the discussion of other nuclear energy issues, the EU proposed an action plan on promoting the responsible development of nuclear energy. Norway cautioned that nuclear energy might not always be the right way to generate electricity and welcomed the establishment of IRENA, and Austria said that in light of the economic costs and the problem of waste, nuclear power is not a sustainable solution to climate change.

In the discussion on withdrawal from the Treaty, the United States and the EU reiterated its past positions. Several delegations, including Australia, the EU, Japan, and Russia, supported the principle that nuclear materials and facilities provided to a state, while party to the Treaty, should remain in peaceful use and under safeguards after that party were to withdraw. Japan, Russia, Canada, and the EU delegations, supported the principle that a withdrawing state should remain liable for violations committed while party to the Treaty.

Several delegations expressed the view that, in the case of withdrawal, any materials supplied under Article IV should be returned to the supplying state. Russia said that any materials that could not be returned should remain under lifetime with IAEA's safeguards.

States expressed divergent views on whether any withdrawal constitutes a threat to international peace and security, and also, some delegations expressed divergent views on a response mechanism.

Side events at conference room: The United States Nuclear Posture Review, by United Stated; Are New Nuclear Warheads needed for Safety and Reliability of the US Arsenal?, by Institute for Energy and Environmental Research; What 1540 Could Be: An Equitable Approach to Nonproliferation in a Globalizing World, by Stanley Foundation

 


Friday, 8 May - Specific issues: Regional Issues and 1995 Middle East Resolution

During the last session of the first week, The PrepCom discussed on regional issues and the implementation of the resolution of Middle East.

Regarding Middle East, many delegations, including NAM, the Arab Group and China, called on Israel to join the NPT and place its nuclear facilities under safeguards. Others, like Australia, Japan and the European Union, emphasized the need to address issues on non-proliferation and to ensure that the countries of the region adhere to the non-proliferation obligations before moving towards a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone.

Regarding Iran, Japan referred to its nuclear program as a matter of concern, and called for the peaceful resolution of the conflict. United Kingdom linked the issue of Iran with the Security Council Resolution 1995, stating that resolving Iran’s conflict will contribute to implement the Resolution. United States said that it had no confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program.

About the implementation of the 1995 Resolution, based on a proposal of Egypt and the Arab Group, Russia supported the idea of appointing a "special coordinator" in the Middle East to coordinate a conference to discuss ways for the implementation. NAM and Indonesia expressed their support for the Egypt's proposal. Many delegations, including NAM, Malaysia, the Arab Group, Iran, and Egypt made a call to the Review Conference to adopt the decision to ban nuclear trade to Israel, pending its accession to the NPT and to including its nuclear programs under safeguards.

On the same subject, the European Union, promoted the role of the Barcelona Process, stating that it would be a forum to discuss political and technical aspects for the establishment of a NWFZ. Russia suggested regional states to take certain measures to increase confidence as steps towards the establishment of a NWFZ, including ratification of the CTBT, a decision of the regional countries about not to enrich uranium or not to reprocess plutonium, etc.

Regarding Northeast Asia, Japan and the United States declared that they continued within the Six-party talks, Canada called the Preparatory Committee to reaffirm the 1718 UN Security Council Resolution and to fulfill the Six-party talks. United States characterized the People's Republic of Korea as a threat to peace and regional security.

Regarding the South and Southeast Asia, Japan urged India and Pakistan to join the NPT. Canada stated that it will work to ensure that the expansion of nuclear cooperation with India would serve to strengthen disarmament and non-proliferation. It also made a call to India and Pakistan to put all their nuclear activities under safeguards.

China reported progress in negotiations with ASEAN in order to implement the Protocol of Bangkok Treaty.

After the morning session, the Committee Chairman, Ambassador Chidyausiku presented draft recommendations for the Review Conference, the aim of these was to identify concrete steps towards implementation of the Treaty. He warned that they were not an exhaustive summary of all proposals. The Committee would discuss these recommendations on Tuesday May 12, during the morning.

Side events at conference room: Actions to abolish nuclear weapons in France, by Le Mouvement de la Paix; An Update On The UK/Norway/ VERTIC research cooperation into the verification of nuclear, organized by UK/VERTIC/ Norway; The role of parliamentarians in advancing a nuclear, by Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non- Proliferation and Disarmament ; Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education: Yes, we can!, organized by Japan/UNODA/ CNS; Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-free Zone, by Peace Depot.


Thursday, May 7 - Iran and North Korea's issues - Export controls - Physical protection, and Terrorism

During the Thursday, May 7's sessions, the main issues were disarmament and security assurances.

Delegates from Japan read a statement signed by 29 countries reiterating their call for implementation of the recommendations of the 2002 UN Study on Disarmament and Nonproliferation Education.

The Cluster Group 2 discussed the issues of Iran, the People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Strengthened safeguards, Export controls, Security, Physical protection and Terrorism.

Regarding Iran, the United Kingdom urged the country to implement the UN-Security Council's recommendations and to join negotiations. France called Iran to stop its nuclear fuel program. China urged Iran and the United States to commit themselves in a direct negotiation.

The United Kingdom also called upon the DPRK to implement the UN-Security Council resolutions and to retake negotiations. China called for a peaceful conflict resolution and for restoring the Six-party talks.

Regarding Export controls, the European Union recommended the Review Conference to adopt the Zangger Committee's A and B Memorandums as minimum requirements for export controls. Besides of that, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) argued that the NPT States parties should refrain from restrictions on nuclear technology transfer.

Regarding Security, Physical protection, and Terrorism, the United States made a call to all states in order to transform the Proliferation Security Initiative and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism into durable international institutions.

Side events at conference room: The NPT and the Nuclear Weapons Convention, organized by ICAN/IPPNW; Voices of Experience, by GSI/UNODA; CTBT developments, by the Center on International Cooperation; Good Faith Disarmament: The Need for a Second opinion from the World Court, by IALANA, and Disarmament, Law, and Community: From the Local to the Global, by Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy.


Wednesday, May 6 - Agreement about agenda and date for the 2010 Review Conference

On Thursday, May 6 speakers were: Ambassador G. Mutandiro, Zimbabwe; Suresh Chandra, Sri Lanka; Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, Republic of Namibia; Ambassador Hamad Ali Alkaabi, United Arab Emirates; Ambassador Don Pramudwinai, Thailand; Ambassador Pablo Solom Romero, Bolivia; Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari, Syria; Ambassador Fernanda Esponosa, Ecuador; Ambassador Yahya Mahmassani, The League of Arab States.

May 6 was a major breakthrough in the negotiations on the subject of the 2010 Review Conference 2010, as delegates from the 189 nations, signatories of the NPT, reached an agreement on the agenda for the next year review. This evolution increases the optimism and expectations about the upcoming process, which will review the status of implementation of the NPT and will propose steps for its strengthening.

The Committee also endorsed the Philippines Ambassador for the chairmanship of the 2010 Review Conference and decided to postpone the Conference by one week to 3 -28 may 2010.

In the Cluster Group 1, the United Kingdom presented Six conditions necessary to move towards global disarmament. Representatives of China and Russia also recommended steps to achieve the same goal. United States acknowledged its special responsibility to disarmament as a Nuclear Weapon State.

The European Union reiterated its proposal to negotiate a treaty banning short and medium range ground-to-ground missiles, and for the universalization of The Hague Code of Conduct.

United Kingdom, France and the United States submitted reports on their efforts in nuclear disarmament.

Side events at conference room: How to develop the mobilization of public opinion for nuclear disarmament and support the Nuclear Weapons Convention?, organized by Le Mouvement de la Paix; Nuclear renaissance: nonproliferation and responsibilities , by UNIDIR France; Progress of Initiatives, by Middle Powers initiatives/Austria; Consultative Group, by Nuclear Suppliers Group; New Prospects for Nuclear Abolition, organized by Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; and Article VI of the NPT: Legal issues and German perspectives, by IALANA.


Tuesday, May 5 - NGOs statement about CTBT

The second day of sessions counted on declarations by Ambassador Carmen Maria Gallardo De Hernández, El Salvador; Ambassador Volodymyr Yel'chenko, Ukranie; Ambassador Marty M. Natalegawa, Indonesia; Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant-Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation, United States of America; Fazli Çorman, Turkey; Ambassador Mona Juul, Norway; Shabbir Ahmad Chowdhury, Bangladesh; Ambassador Hoang Chi Trung, Vietnam; Ambassador Hamid Al-Bayati, Iraq; Ambassador Mohammed Loulichki, Morocco; Ambassador Gunnar Pálsson, Iceland; Celestino Migliore, The Holy See; Andreas Launer, Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Austria; Ambassador Maria Rubiales de Chamorro, Nicaragua; Gunter Frommelt Liechtenstein; Jairo Hernández, Costa Rica; Naser Alhayen, Kuwait, and Hassan Hassan, Sudan.

The afternoon session was devoted to the presentation of statements by NGOs, including a Statement coordinated by Arms Control Association, and endorsed by organizations and individuals around the world on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty - CTBT. The NPSGlobal Foundation was part of that Statement.

Side events at conference room: The cry of Creation, organized by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Kenya; Toward a Decisive Decade for Nuclear Disarmament, by Mayors for Peace; Prospects, Scope and Verification of a Fissile Material (Cutoff) Treaty , by International panel on Fissile Materials; A multilateral approach to the nuclear fuel cycle: Can it strengthen the NPT? , by UNIDIR.


Monday, May 4 - Opening Session - Balance among the three pillars - IAEA's Additional Protocol

Welcome statements was given by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and the Third Preparatory Committee Chairman, Ambassardor Boniface Chidyausiku by Zimbabwe.

Speakers at the morning session were : Ambassador Abelardo Moreno Fernández, Cuba; Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs on behalf of the European Union Tomáš Pojar, Czech Republic; Ambassador Christer Ahlström, Sweden; Ambassador Anatoly Antonov, Russian Federation; Ambassador Cheng Jingye, People's Republic of China; Colleen Swords, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada; Ambassador Maged A. Abdelaziz, Egypt; John Sullivan, Assistant Secretary, Arms Control and Counter Proliferation Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia; Dr. Joan Mosley, New Zealand; Ambassador Nurbek Jeenbaev, Kyrgyzstan; Ambassador Mourad Benmehidi, Algeria; Ambassador Oh Joon, Republic of Korea; Ambassador Jurg Streuli, Switzerland; and Ambassador Lawrence O. Obisakin, Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group.

Afternoon Session: Ambassador Luiz Filipe de Macedo Soares, Brazil; Ambassador Ahmed Al-Jarman, United Arab Emirates; Alison Kelly, Director Head of Irland Delegation; Ambassador Masahiko Shibayama, Japan; Vilmos Cserveny by IAEA; Ambassador Pablo Macedo, Mexico; Ambassador Byrganym Aitimova, Kazakhstan; Ambassador Leslie Gumbi, South Africa; Ambassador Hamidon Ali, Malaysia; Ambassador John Duncan, United Kingdom; Deputy Foreign-Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini; Ambassador Jorge Valero, Venezuela; Jalel Snoussi, Tunisia; Minister Diego Limeres, Argentina; Ambassador J. Enkhsaikhan, Mongolia; Director of the Department of Legal Affairs Ministry of Foreign affairs Ahmad Hassan Al-Hamadi, Qatar; Ambassador Bukun-Olu Onemola, Nigeria; Ambassador Philip R.O. Owade Kenya, and Ambassador Eric Danon, France.

Most delegations stressed the importance of keeping a balance between the three pillars of the treaty (Disarmament, Non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy).

During the general debate, several delegations expressed their support to the IAEA Additional Protocol, including Russia, Canada, Australia, the European Union, and New Zealand. In addition, the IAEA announced that it has reached the required funds for the establishment of the Nuclear Fuel Bank.

Concerning disarmament, the majority of delegations welcomed the new commitment of United States to ratify the Treaty of Complete Prohibition of Nuclear Tests - CTBT and negotiations with Russia to extend the START.

Side events at conference room: US prospects for Nuclear Free Future, organized by Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Renewable Energy: Cheaper, Safer, Smarter than Nuclear Energy, by Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and Evaluating Obama: Progress on global abolition, by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.


Sources

PrepCom 2009 Website
Reaching Critical Will - NPT News in Brief by Ray Acheson, and The Blog
Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, comments by Rebecca Johnson
Reuters

 

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, at achieving the further goal of achieving a general and complete nuclear disarmament, and at promoting cooperation for peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

The Treaty is regarded as the cornerstone of the global nonproliferation and it represents the only binding multilateral commitment to the goal of disarmament by the Nuclear-Weapon States.

The NPT was opened for signature in 1968 and came into force in 1970.

Currently, 189 countries are part of NPT.


Review Conference

The NPT establishes that a Review Conference must be held every five years.

Since 1970, the year of entry into force of the NPT, all Review Conferences have tried to agree on a final document with the results of the evaluation on the implementation of the NPT’s articles and make recommendations on steps to reinforce the treaty.


Preparatory     Committee

There are three sessions of the Preparatory Committee conducted successivley in the three years prior to a Review Conference. The goal is to assess the implementation of each article of the NPT, the Action Plan agreed during the former Review Conference and also to facilitate discussion among States with a view to making recommendations to the next Review Conference.

The PrepCom should make every effort to produce, by the end of the sessions, a consensus report containing recommendations to the Review Conference In addition, the Committee agrees a provisional agenda and performs all the procedures relating to the organization.

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