Go to Home Page
  Library Treaties Non-Proliferation Treaty, Summary of first meeting, August 19, 1997

Summary Record of the first meeting (Closed)

Held at United Nations Headquarters, New York, on Monday, 7 April 1997, at 3 p.m.

Temporary Chairman : Mr. GORKOVSKIY

(Deputy Director, Centre for Disarmament Affairs)

Chairman : Mr. PATOKALLIO (Finland)

CONTENTS

OPENING OF THE SESSION

Printer Friendly


See Also
1997 NPT Prep Com 

ELECTION OF THE CHAIRMAN

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

ORGANIZATION OF WORK

This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Office of Conference and Support Services, room DC2-794, 2 United Nations Plaza.

Any corrections to the record of this meeting will be issued in a corrigendum.

The meeting was called to order at 5.45 p.m .

OPENING OF THE SESSION

1. The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN referred to the conclusions of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference, the most recent meeting of the States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to which eight additional States had since become parties, bringing the number of States Parties to the Treaty to 186 and making it the broadest multilateral disarmament agreement. The work of the Preparatory Committee would differ from the review processes of the previous conferences and would require flexibility and a spirit of compromise by all in order to ensure the success of the 2000 Review Conference.

2. He informed the Preparatory Committee that, following informal consultations, it had been agreed that a representative of the Group of Western European and Other States would be nominated to serve as Chairman of the first session of the Preparatory Committee; a representative of the Group of Eastern European States would be nominated to serve as Chairman of the second session of the Preparatory Committee; a representative of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries would be nominated to serve as Chairman of the third session of the Preparatory Committee; and a representative of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries would be nominated to serve as President of the 2000 Review Conference.

3. He added that all groups were invited to submit, at the earliest possible date, nominations of their representatives to serve as Chairmen of the various sessions of the Preparatory Committee and as President of the 2000 Review Conference.

ELECTION OF THE CHAIRMAN

4. The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN said that Mr. Patokallio (Finland) had been nominated to serve as Chairman of the first session of the Committee.

5. Mr. Patokallio (Finland) was elected Chairman by acclamation .

6. Mr. Patokallio (Finland) took the Chair .

7. The CHAIRMAN said that, as time was short, he would not deliver his opening statement but that the text would nonetheless be available to interested delegations.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

8. The CHAIRMAN suggested oral revisions to certain items of the provisional agenda (NPT/CONF.2000/PC.I/1), as agreed in informal consultations before the meeting. First of all, the title of item 4 would be changed to "Preparatory work for the review of the operation of the Treaty in accordance with article VIII, paragraph 3, of the Treaty, taking into account the decisions and resolutions adopted by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons". Under item 5, he proposed adding "and documents" after "records" in paragraph (c) (iv) and a sub-item (v), entitled "Consideration of ways and means". Item 6, as revised, would read "Reports on substantive and procedural issues, recommendations to the next session of the Preparatory Committee and draft recommendations to the Review Conference". Item 7 (f) would be entitled "Financing of the Review Conference, including its Preparatory Committee". Lastly, item 8 would read "Adoption of the final report and recommendations of the Preparatory Committee to the Review Conference".

9. He suggested that the Committee should adopt the agenda, as orally revised.

10. The agenda, as orally revised, was adopted .

11. Sir John WESTON (United Kingdom), also speaking on behalf of the two other depositary Governments of the Treaty, namely, the United States of America and the Russian Federation, said that the Governments of those States were committed to seeking, in consultation with the other States parties, a solution to the problem posed by the participation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) in the work of the Preparatory Committee, and its capacity to exercise its rights and fulfil its obligations as a State party, in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty, by the next session of the Committee.

12. Mr. TÜRK (Slovenia), also speaking on behalf of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, noted that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) was not participating in the current session of the Committee. The Governments of the four States he had just mentioned had always considered that that State was not a party to the Treaty, since it had not deposited any instrument of notification of succession to the Treaty. Moreover, the Security Council and the General Assembly had announced that the State formerly known as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had ceased to exist and that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) could not continue automatically the membership of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the United Nations. The Arbitration Commission of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia had declared that the succession of States was governed by the principles of international law embodied in the Vienna Conventions of 1978 and 1983. According to those Conventions, the fundamental principles of equality of rights and duties with regard to the succession of States applied to all successor States. Clearly, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) could become a party to international treaties as one of the five successor States of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, only once it had given official notification of its succession, and not on the basis of its claim that it was the only State to continue the personality of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a subject of international law. Thus, the issue of its participation in the work of the Preparatory Committee could not be decided honestly and in a satisfactory manner unless the principle of equality of the five successor States of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was respected.

13. Mr. ESENLI (Turkey) also stressed that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) had not deposited an instrument of succession to the Treaty and that it still claimed to be the successor of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and to continue its international, political and legal personality. Such a claim was contrary to the Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on the question. As the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had ceased to exist, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) must submit an application in order to become a fully-fledged State Member of the United Nations and to fulfil its obligations under the Treaty.

ORGANIZATION OF WORK

14. The CHAIRMAN , referring to agenda item 5 (c) (i) on decision-making, invited the Committee to make every effort to adopt its decisions by consensus and, failing that, to take its decisions in accordance with the rules of procedure of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties, some of which should apply mutatis mutandis to the work of the Preparatory Committee.

15. He suggested that the Committee should proceed in that manner.

16. It was so decided .

17. The CHAIRMAN , referring to agenda item 5 (c) (ii) on participation, said that, during informal consultations, delegations had expressed a wish that States that were not parties to the Treaty, specialized agencies, regional intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations should participate in the work of the Committee. He suggested that the Committee should take three decisions to that end.

18. Representatives of States that were not parties to the Treaty, specialized agencies and regional intergovernmental organizations would be authorized, at their request, to participate as observers in all meetings of the Committee that were not closed meetings; to occupy a seat in the meeting room corresponding to the name plate of their country or organization, and to receive the Committee's documents. They would also have the right to submit, at their expense, documents to those participating in Committee meetings.

19. Brazil, Israel and Pakistan had submitted a request to participate in the work of the Committee as observers.

20. Representatives of non-governmental organizations would be authorized, at their request, to participate, as observers, in all Committee meetings that were not closed meetings; to occupy a seat in the public gallery; to receive Committee documents; and to make documents available, at their expense, to those participating in Committee meetings. They would also have an opportunity to make statements during each session.

21. He suggested that the Committee should follow the procedure he had just outlined.

22. It was so decided .

23. The CHAIRMAN , referring to agenda item 5 (c) (iii) on working languages, suggested that the Committee should use Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

24. It was so decided .

The meeting rose at 6.15 p.m .