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05 MAY 2010
NPT REVIEW CONFERENCE PRESIDENT URGES STATES-PARTIES: ‘REMAIN FLEXIBLE’
NEW YORK—With negotiations entering a crucial phase on Friday, the President of the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) wants States-Parties to continue exercising the kind of flexibility that allowed them to score a major breakthrough today when they agreed to start discussions aimed at strengthening the treaty.
Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan expressed his appreciation to States-Parties who approved his proposal for the creation of three subsidiary bodies or working groups that not only effectively resolved all procedural issues but also paved the way for the conference to move to the substantive phase of the month-long negotiations on Friday.
“I wish to thank all the States-Parties for heeding my appeal for flexibility, which I have always said is a must if we want to see a successful outcome to our negotiations,” Ambassador Cabactulan said shortly after States-Parties approved his proposal creating a subsidiary body under each of the three main committees of the NPT. “We made it past the initial hurdle but we still have a long way to go.”
The resolution of all procedural issues in the 2010 Review Conference is considered a major breakthrough since it took Ambassador Cabactulan only three days to secure the agreement of States-Parties. This, compared to the 2005 Review Conference, which ended in failure after wrangling over procedural matters prevented negotiators from discussing substantive issues on the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regimes.
Under his proposal Main Committee I (Disarmament) will have a subsidiary body under Ambassador Alexander Marschik of Austria, who will steer discussions on disarmament and security assurances. Main Committee II (Non-Proliferation) will have a subsidiary body under Ambassador Alison Kelly of Ireland, who will lead discussions on regional issues, including the Middle East and the implementation of the 1995 Middle East resolution while Main Committee III (Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy) will have a subsidiary body headed by Ambassador Jose Luis Cancela of Uruguay, who will focus on the other provisions of the treaty, including withdrawal.
In his consultations before assuming the presidency, Ambassador Cabactulan, who is also the Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN, appealed to States-Parties to demonstrate maximum flexibility and a genuine desire to fully appreciate and understand where other delegations are coming from, saying the success of the 2010 Review Conference can only be achieved through compromise and mutual respect.
“It is my role as President to be a managing facilitator and an honest broker,” he said. “I am dependent and will count on the cooperation and assistance of all States-Parties as well as the assistance of others such as civil society groups and research institutions to achieve a successful 2010 NPT Review Conference.” ###
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