Mandate and objectives of the Working Group
Pursuant to United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 70/33, entitled “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations”, adopted on 7 December 2015, an Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) was established to substantively address concrete effective legal measures, legal provisions and norms that will need to be concluded to attain and maintain a world without nuclear weapons, as well as to substantively address recommendations on other measures that could contribute to taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, including but not limited to:
(a) transparency measures related to the risks associated with existing nuclear weapons;
(b) measures to reduce and eliminate the risk of accidental, mistaken, unauthorised or intentional nuclear weapon detonations; and
(c) 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.
The organization of the OEWG
Resolution 70/33 established that the OEWG should meet in Geneva in 2016 for a maximum of 15 working days, as a subsidiary body of the UNGA and in accordance with its rules of procedure. The schedule of the OEWG was as follows:
• Organizational session: January 28, 2016.
• First session: 22-26 February 2016 (where the OEWG elected by acclamation Ambassador Thani Thongphakdi of Thailand as Chair of the Working Group and adopted the Agenda: A/AC.286/1). Read the summary of the OPANAL Secretariat.
• Second session: May 2-13, 2016.
• Third session: August 22, 2016.
Resolution 70/33 established that the OEWG was open to participation of all Member States of the United Nations (operative 4), "with the participation and contribution of international organizations and civil society representatives" (operative 5).
Member States of the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) actively participated in the OEWG in their national capacity, as well as part of coalitions and as Members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), whose Presidency Pro-Tempore is currently in charge of the Dominican Republic.
Moreover, OPANAL was one of the international organizations invited to participate in the OEWG and, in order to contribute substantively to the work and discussions, the OPANAL Secretariat presented a working paper on some "articles of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, being especially relevant for the discussions of the Open-ended Working Group" (Doc. A/AC.286/WP.40).
On Tuesday, 11 May, Ambassador Luiz Filipe de Macedo Soares, Secretary-General of OPANAL, presented his statement to the OEWG (Doc. Inf.17/2016).
The Chair of the OEWG submitted to States his final report in August, which was presented to the First Committee of the General Assembly during its 71st session.
Links of interest