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Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations in 2016



Organizational meeting

An organizational meeting of the Open-ended Working Group was convened by the Secretary-General in Geneva, on 28 January 2016 as follows:


The organizational meeting welcomed the nomination of Ambassador Thani Thongphakdi of Thailand as chair of the Open-ended working group taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. The meeting expressed support for the intention of the chair-designate to guide the work of the group in an open, transparent, comprehensive and inclusive manner. There was also general agreement on the provisional agenda submitted for consideration by the meeting.

Formal plenary meetings
(February)

At its first formal meeting on 22 February 2016, the open-ended working group elected by acclamation Ambassador Thani Thongphakdi of Thailand as Chairperson of the group, adopted the agenda, as contained in A/AC.286/1 and agreed on the proposed organization of work.

The work of the group in February was structured around two panels, as follows:

Panel I on substantively addressing concrete effective legal measures, legal provisions and norms that will need to be concluded to attain and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.

Panel II on substantively addressing recommendations on other measures that could contribute to taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations:

(i) Transparency measures related to the risks associated with existing nuclear weapons;
(ii) Measures to reduce and eliminate the risk of accidental, mistaken, unauthorized or intentional nuclear weapon detonations;
(iii) Additional measures to increase awareness and understanding of the complexity of and interrelationship between the wide range of humanitarian consequences that would result from any nuclear detonation; and
(iv) Other measures

By a letter dated 4 March, the Chair of the group advised about his intention to prepare a synthesis paper in advance of the next meeting of the group, which will encapsulate the views expressed by delegations in February as well as in papers submitted up until 7 April 2016.

Informal meetings

At an informal meeting on 21 April 2016 an advance copy of the Chair's synthesis paper was circulated. A similar event will be held in New York on the morning of Monday 25 April 2016 for the benefit of those member States who do not have a Permanent Mission in Geneva.

Formal plenary meetings
(May)

The deliberations of the Working Group were structured around six panels, as follows:

Panel I: on measures to reduce and eliminate the risk of accidental, mistaken, unauthorized or intentional nuclear weapon detonations;

Panel II: on transparency measures related to the risks associated with existing nuclear weapons;

Panel III: on additional measures to increase awareness and understanding of the complexity of and interrelationship between the wide range of humanitarian consequences that would result from any nuclear detonation;

Panel IV: on essential elements that would comprise effective legal measures, legal provisions and norms that will need to be concluded to attain and maintain a world without nuclear weapons;

Panel V: on possible pathways to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations;

Panel VI: on other measures, including reviewing the role of nuclear weapons in the security and other contexts of the twenty-first century;

Formal plenary meetings
(August)

The formal plenary meetings on 5, 16, 17 and 19 August were focussed on the consideration and adoption of the report of the group to the 71st session of the General Assembly. The group considered, in particular, the advanced version of the report (zero draft), dated 28 July 2016; as well as a revised draft report, dated 15 August 2016 and a second revision of the draft report.

The final report of the group was adopted by a non-recorded vote with 68 in favour, 22 against and 13 abstentions.

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