Friday, February 17, 2012

Day 4 of the Fourth PrepCom

(c) Jesper Waldersten
Indications were given in the plenary that a certain narrowing of positions on the rules of procedure has been occurring in informal consultations held by the Chair, but it is not clear whether it will be sufficient to avoid the need to have recourse to a vote on the rules on the final day. Brazil warned against voting, stating that it would be "painful" and "disruptive".

The Chair went through his revised draft report on the preparatory committee process, which seemed to attract general support, with the caveat that there was no agreement on whether to include a request to the Secretariat to compile a thematic paper of Member States' views. This paper appears to be seen as a counterbalance by the sceptics to the Chair's draft paper, and was opposed by the European Union, Belize, and Switzerland, among others. Algeria, which wanted an "operational document", said the report of the prepcoms must be adopted by consensus.

Several delegations reiterated their general positions on scope and criteria to include in the future treaty. Vietnam supported the inclusion of small arms and light weapons, which seems to be a shift on their part, although they cautioned about states being too ambitious. Norway stated that the Chair's paper should be the starting point for the negotiations in July.

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