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UN completes preparations for NPT review conference

Preparatory committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons /NPT/ completed its third, final session at the UN headquarters on Friday.

Preliminary coordination of the agenda of the upcoming forum and its programme was the main result of the two-week session, head of the Russian delegation, director of the department for security and disarmament of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Ulyanov told Itar-Tass.

"Perhaps, it's the most important thing. We won't have to waste time on procedural issues later," Ulyanov said. He called for not dramatizing the committee's failure to work out recommendations for the review conference concerning practical moves to strengthen the NPT regime.

According to Ulyanov, few participants believed that it would be possible. "Coordination of this document requires at least several weeks, but even in that event the chances would have been slim, given the differences in opinions and many states' defending their individual position in the toughest manner," he said.

The diplomat noted hot debates over nuclear disarmament, whose slow rate had been criticized by a number of states that had no nuclear weapons of their own, as well as over the conference which would address the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

Earlier this week, Ulyanov said Russia was not ready to give up nuclear weapons because at the present stage, it was a legitimate means of deterrence and protection of national interests. He also said the conference over a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, which was to have been held in 2012, can take place on December 1.

Peru's Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations Enrique Roman Morey who chaired the preparatory committee's session told a news conference at the UN headquarters on Friday that the long-awaited forum on a nuclear-free zone would take place in the near future. He said he believed it would take place before the end of this year.

Summing up the Committee's session, Roman Morey said the participants had discussed important issues, such as nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear energy, as well as humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons,

The Non-Proliferation Treaty became effective on March 5, 1970. It has been signed by 189 states. Israel, India and Pakistan did not sign. North Korea withdrew from the NPT before carrying out its first nuclear test in 2006.

The next NPT review conference is scheduled for May 2015.

Russia satisfied with NPT preparations

Moscow is satisfied with the results of preparations for the conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, said the Russian Foreign Ministry on Saturday.

"The third session is a very important stage of NPT review process that lays the foundation for a successful conference next year," said the Ministry.

The two-week constructive preparation led to a consensus decision on the conference agenda, which "will allow to start a detailed discussion of the issue without delay".

"The Russian side is going to continue its best efforts to ensure success of the current review cycle," said the Ministry.

The mentioned session with participation of 127 member countries and more than 60 non-governmental observing organizations closed in New York on Friday, May 9. According to Russia, the chief goal of the upcoming conference is confirmation of the members' adherence to the NPT and "indivisible nature of the treaty", as well as further strengthening of the agreement on the basis of the 2010 plan of actions composed of "the three main NPT components: non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear energy".

[Source: Itar Tass, United Nations, 10May14]

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