The High Level Consultation Mechanism hereby proposed would provide the highest political intervention to address specific issues, which would be decided by States parties at its annual Preparatory Committee meetings or its 5-yearly Review Conferences.
High Level Consultation Meeting Towards Universality of the Treaty
There exists a need to find constructive and innovative ideas in order to actively promote the universality of the Treaty, the cornerstone of international peace and security. It is the responsibility of all NPT States parties to pursue activities aimed at the eventual universality of the Treaty.
Ongoing efforts regarding the promotion of universality are welcomed. There are, however, inevitable stumbling blocks which occasionally appear and are difficult to surmount. With this in mind, an appropriate mechanism should be sought in order to complement and support the existing efforts towards universality.
Ongoing dialogue with the four States still outside the Treaty (Cuba, India, Israel and Pakistan) would pave the way for accession to the Treaty when circumstances would allow. It would likewise engage these States in a systematic and constructive way, allowing all States parties to the NPT to actively participate in a process towards universality - to which all are committed. Indeed, if the international or respective regional situations were to deteriorate, it would be even more important to already have set in place a mechanism through which these States could discuss relevant issues with NPT States parties.
This mechanism could be useful at a time when the situations in the Middle East and South Asia are particularly difficult.
High Level Consultation Meeting
Our delegation proposes that there should be an annual high-level meeting between representatives of the NPT States parties and the four countries still outside the Treaty. This interaction would be based on an understanding that ongoing consultation and dialogue is needed in order to resolve outstanding issues preventing these countries from acceding at an early date.
The interaction would necessarily be a reciprocal exchange of ideas and views regarding the possible membership of the four. In this engagement, States parties of the NPT would present arguments on the benefits of NPT membership. Likewise, the four would be asked to provide information to States parties on their needs and ideas regarding their possible membership in the Treaty. A "finger pointing" exercise assigning blame would be avoided at all costs. The goal would be to promote meaningful dialogue between NPT members and non-members.
Specifically, this would entail:
- "A yearly invitation by the depository States of the NPT to the four non-States parties to discuss NPT-related concerns in a high-level forum;
- "The meeting would be convened and chaired by the current Chairman of the respective PrepCom or RevCon;
- "Participants would include the Depositary States, the three PrepCom Chairs, the RevCon Chair of the respective five-yearly cycle of the NPT review process, and the four non-States parties on an individual basis;
- "Ideally, this consultation would take place within the three months preceding a PrepCom or RevCon;
- "In the "off year" in which a PrepCom or RevCon did not take place, the Chairman of the previous RevCon would chair the meeting;
- "Further details would be subject and open to suggestion and agreement by States parties.
It is acknowledged that each State outside of the Treaty has a unique political and security context, which would be appropriately taken into consideration in the consultation mechanism. This exercise would require the cooperation of all States parties to deliver a simple but coherent message - that the universality of the NPT is in the interest of every nation of the world.
If this mechanism were to receive the unanimous support of delegations at this meeting of States parties, we would recommend that discussions begin immediately to make the appropriate preparations to allow this consultation mechanism to convene as soon as possible, with a second one following in the beginning of 2000. Failing consensus at this meeting, we request that the Chairman of this Preparatory Committee recommend to the Chairman of the Review Conference, that this mechanism be submitted for adoption at the RevCon session in 2000. It would then enter into effect in 2001.
The proposed language, subject to refinement and agreement is as follows:
- "Realising the importance of preserving the integrity of the Treaty, and the urgency and importance of achieving the universality of the Treaty, the Third Preparatory Committee Meeting decides to establish a High Level Consultation Meeting Towards the Universality of the Treaty, and to report annually its progress to the future meetings of States parties of the Review Conference and Preparatory Committee meetings for consideration by States parties."
In the event that this proposal could not be agreed for adoption at this meeting, the appropriate language is proposed to be inserted in the Draft Chairman's Working paper as paragraph 5 bis as follows:
- "Realising the importance of preserving the integrity of the Treaty, and the urgency and importance of achieving the universality of the Treaty, the 2000 Review Conference decides to establish a High Level Consultations Meeting Towards the Universality of the Treaty, and to report annually its progress to the future meetings of States parties of the Review Conference and Preparatory Committee meetings for consideration by States parties."
Our delegation requests that this working paper be added to the list of official documents of this PrepCom.