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New York -- In a last-minute plenary, before the intergovernmental negotiations commence on Monday, the President of the General Assembly provided an overview of his consultations this past week. He informed the GA that he had met with the coordinating bureaus for NAM and the G77 and China in plenary as well as with representatives from the African Group, Nordic states, Arab states, the Rio Group, CARICOM, the P5, the EU as well as the individual P5 members.

He recognized that the work of the General Assembly on the issue of UN reform was at a crossroads and thus suggested that the best way to proceed, particularly on the major points of divergence, was to convene a small ambassadorial group to commence an in-depth examination of the pending issues as well as interactive negotiations. He also specified the need to focus on the existing list of six priority items open for negotiation: terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, Human Rights Council, the Responsibility to Protect, modalities for the Peace Building Commission, management reform and the Secretariat. He also added development as a seventh item at the request of one delegation. The President noted that this was not an exhaustive list and asked that other states raise other items they deem important so long as they give top priorities to the issues listed.

While Member States expressed general support for this intergovernmental interactive process, many also expressed some reservations, maintaining the need to preserve transparency, and openness. Malaysia, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, outlined two key parameters, reiterating the need for an intergovernmental process that needed to focus on the document in its entirety and not just specific contentious issues. Ambassador Bolton emphasized U.S. support for the parameters set by NAM, also noting that the U.S. would be flexible on the format and process. States continued to express support for this format on the assumption that it would be open-ended and that other Member States would have the opportunity and channels to express their concerns if need be.

The provisional list of core participants is provided below.

G77 and China (1) -- Jamaica
NAM (3) -- South Africa, Cuba, Malaysia
African Group (3) -- Morocco, Mauritius, Mozambique
European Union (3) -- Austria, Luxembourg, UK
Arab states (1) -- Lebanon
Rio Group (1) -- Argentina
CARICOM (1) -- Grenada
JUSCANZ (1) -- Canada
Nordic group (1) -- Norway
All P5 members -- US, UK, China, Russia, France

Following Member State comments, the President made additional recommendations for participation in the core group to ensure sufficient regional representation. His suggestions are listed below.

Asia -- Pakistan, India, Iran, Japan, Korea
Africa -- Egypt, Algeria
GRULAC -- Chile, Mexico
Europe -- Switzerland, Germany

Negotiations will resume on Monday. After delegations consult with their regional groups to decide on the final composition of the core group, they will commence discussions on substantive issues. The President expects to submit a new revised draft outcome document on Tuesday September 6th reflecting a new agreement.

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