Participation of the Council in the work of the Preparatory Committee of the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 2020
From 2nd to 12th of May, the delegation of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs and the Egyptian Pugwash Association participated from Ambassador Mounir Zahran, Chairman of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Ali Al-Saidi and Dr. Yusri Abushadi, members of the Egyptian Council.
The delegation was joined by the Egyptian delegation headed by the Ambassador of Egypt in Vienna and its representative to the international organizations in Vienna. 114 States parties to the Treaty, as well as the United Nations and the IAEA participated in the work of the Committee. The Arab States participated in the meetings of the Preparatory Committee with the exception of Bahrain, Yemen, Mauritania, Somalia and 48 non-governmental organizations.
At the end of the Conference, the Chairman of the Committee presented a procedural report on the preliminary Preparatory Committee meetings, including the agenda, organization of meetings, participating delegations, observer organizations and non-governmental organizations, organization of work in the Preparatory Committees for 2018 and 2019, and the 2020 Review Conference. He also summarized the deliberations of the Preparatory Committee, His delegation (Netherlands) The Secretariat explained that it is under the assumption that in accordance with the decision to improve the mechanism of review of the treaty adopted in 2000 – that the summary prepared for the deliberations is realistic and under his responsibility and will be presented to the meeting of the second preparatory committee in Geneva which will be held from April 23rd to May 4th, 2018, this summary was made available for comments by delegations at the Committee’s last session on 12 May 2017 and not for amendment, as well as an estimate of the expenditures of the 2020 Review Conference, including the expenses of the preparatory committees.
A number of observations have been made on the Chairman’s summary of the deliberations.
1. The summary did not reflect the division of the Committee’s deliberations according to the agenda or the pillars of the treaty or the division between three main themes and other topics.
2. The Chairman of the Committee was pleased to compliment the nuclear Powers with respect to their compliance with the provisions of the Treaty in relation to the topics of nuclear participation within the framework of the NATO military alliance or in cooperation with some States that did not accede to the Treaty (eg, US cooperation with India and Israel).
3. The demands of the vast majority of non-nuclear-weapon States (the Non-Aligned Movement) to demand that Israel subject all its nuclear facilities to the comprehensive safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its accession to the Non-Proliferation Treaty have not been mentioned; and the United States must intervene to delete the signal.
4. The President took into account Egypt’s position on the lack of reference to the need to convene in the Middle East Conference prior to the 2020 Conference, and stressed the need to establish the region and implement the resolution of the 1995 Conference; which was raised by several countries, including Indonesia.
5. The Egyptian statement at the closing session clarified the above, adding that the Chairman of the Committee did not mention in the summary why the 2015 Review Conference failed, namely that three countries broke the consensus on the final document, namely the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
6. Several delegations of the Non-Aligned Movement referred to the intention of the Chairman of the Committee to reduce the role of non-nuclear states, in particular the Movement state which includes more than 120 States, which had participated in the Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations Committee in New York, which had begun in March 2017.
7. The President also did not give sufficient attention to the dangers of nuclear explosions on the humanitarian aspects, a subject which was emphasized by Austria and most delegations. The Indonesian delegation also criticized the imbalance in the presidential summary between the three pillars of the Treaty and the need not to prejudice the inherent right of non-nuclear states to the peaceful use of nuclear energy without pressures or restrictions imposed by some nuclear powers.
8. Iran criticized the lack of reference to the summation to the request of a large number of countries to invite the Secretary-General and the countries deposited for the postponed conference on the establishment of the Middle East before the start of the 2020 Conference.
9. The American delegation thanked the Chairman of the Committee for the summary prepared on his responsibility and promised to present a US paper reflecting their understanding of the process of reviewing the Treaty as a working paper for use in the Second Preparatory Committee.
10. The Delegation of Ireland made a statement on behalf of the new agenda countries (including Egypt) and called for correcting the President’s summary to reflect safely the deliberations that took place, with particular reference to the need for the nuclear states to submit periodic and genuine reports on their actions to reduce their nuclear arsenals, and criticized the paragraphs on the Agency’s role in the peaceful use of nuclear energy and its reference in the summary to the additional protocol being mandatory, while it was optional and subject to the discretion and sovereignty of Member States, individual States.
11. In spite of the objectivity of the Chairman’s summary, he was biased towards the nuclear powers not to show their violations and their deceleration in nuclear disarmament and their violations of Article I obligations with respect to nuclear participation with non-nuclear-weapon States of NATO. The Chairman of the Committee also did not refer to the convening of the Middle East Conference. However, the summary did not mention the most important interventions made by non-governmental organizations, particularly the need to amend the list of procedures of the 2020 Review Conference, especially the legal quorum for decision-making and the role of these organizations in the deliberations of the Conference on the articles of the Convention.
12. The Delegation of China criticized the inclusion of a number of topics for negotiation in the Conference on Disarmament, which had not been in operation for 20 years, and had been endorsed by the Delegation of Chile.
13. The delegation of Canada referred to the disregard of the summary of the role of women in disarmament processes and the revision of the Treaty, especially since women represented only about 20 per cent of the Preparatory Committee, while Security Council resolution 1523 called for balanced participation of women in all international forums.
14. A number of delegations called for increasing the participation of NGOs in the review process in support of the demands of our Council. The summary of the participation of 48 organizations in the work of the Committee and the dumping of 18 statements in one session is insufficient. This is support to what ECFA’s delegation asked for.