On Day 10 of the negotiations, the Chair of the main committee dealing with treaty goals and objectives circulated only a compilation of state submissions and then adjourned the meeting. He finally circulated an additional document--his own rolling text--on goals and objectives in the afternoon. Subsequent discussions were split between the No-No delegations (e.g. Russia and friends) that wanted the treaty only to focus on illicit trade, and the Enlightened, which wanted it to save lives and limbs.
|© Jesper Waldersten|
As could be predicted, the room was also split on whether to include a non-circumvention clause. France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK supported the structure of the chair's paper and the inclusion of the non-circumvention clause and accepted the Chair’s text as a starting point. India claimed it was unprecedented in terms of its placement in such treaties. Iran, Malaysia, and Pakistan were not in favour of such a clause. China was doubtful. USA stated its support for a non-circumvention clause but not necessarily in the scope provision. Singapore suggested it could be moved to the implementation section.
Syria stated that the UN register does not include most modern weaponry. It suggested including modern weapons, particularly “electromagnetic weapons” (including missiles and projectiles), as a separate distinct category. Iraq also wanted to cover modern weapons.
Also during the debate, Cuba and Russia called for definitions of the items included in the scope provision. This is surely another attempt to mire the negotiations in detail, since, in all likelihood, there is insufficient time to agree on definitions for each of the items referred to. Indeed, the bigger--and central--question is now whether there is sufficient negotiating time to conclude a treaty. Only ten days (ostensibly 60 hours of active, open negotiations) remain, of which 7.5 days are only supposed to be in single, not parallel, sessions.
To quote Frank Bruno, "Boxing is just show business with blood." Shadow boxing, in contrast, is defined as "making a show of tackling a problem or opponent while avoiding any direct engagement." Which paradigm are we in? It's not yet clear. What is probable is that on Monday, it's "seconds out, round 11".