UN Conference on Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons - 23rd Meeting

Conference to negotiate legally binding instrument banning nuclear weapons approves revised Indicative timetable at 23rd meeting.
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Briefly resuming its discussion today, the Conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons approved a revised indicative timetable for the week of 3‑7 July (document A/CONF.229/2017/3/Add.3) and heard reports on progress made in the ongoing negotiations.

“This is a historic opportunity,” Conference President Elayne Whyte Gómez (Costa Rica) said, highlighting the intense efforts undertaken by delegations during negotiations on the draft instrument.

Working group facilitators provided progress reports on discussions about articles of the draft instrument. Ireland’s representative, facilitating discussions on Articles 2 to 5, reported constructive engagement in the negotiations. Among other updates, she said one State had expressed a reservation on Article 3, on safeguards, and all delegations would be sending the draft to their capitals for feedback.

Chile’s representative, facilitator of talks on Articles 6 to 8, said negotiations had been conducted in a spirit of collaboration. Discussions on Article 7 had involved some compromises, and consensus was close on Article 8.

Thailand’s representative, facilitating negotiations on Articles 9 to 21, expressed hope that the draft would reflect the views shared during the negotiations. Highlighting some of the issues, he said there was broad agreement that the draft instrument should be signed at Headquarters.

According to the indicative timetable, the revised draft instrument would be introduced during a plenary meeting on 3 July. Plenary meetings would also be held on 5 and 6 July to address lingering procedural matters. On 7 July, the Conference would consider the report of the Credentials Committee, take action on the draft instrument and adopt its procedural report.

During the meeting, some delegates raised several issues and sought clarification on elements of the timetable. Cuba’s representative expressed concern about the number of simultaneous meetings, saying it was difficult for smaller delegations to cover them all.

The representative of the Netherlands said that in some areas, changes or amendments to the draft instrument did not reflect his country’s position, but his delegation would nevertheless continue to engage constructively in the negotiations.

Responding to a procedural question about the timetable, Conference President Whyte Gómez (Costa Rica) told by Egypt’s representative that there was a deadline on the morning of Thursday, 6 July, to have the draft ready for dispatch to capitals ahead of the scheduled adoption of the instrument on Friday, 7 July.

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