WP.29
Session 163 | Geneva | 24-27 Jun 2014
REPORT
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Agenda Item 4.4.
Consideration of draft Revision 3 to the 1958 Agreement

47. WP.29 noted the revised text of draft Revision 3 to the 1958 Agreement (ECE/TRANS/WP.29/2014/53) reflecting the discussion of the March 2014 session. The World Forum requested the secretariat to reintroduce the provisions of the equal authenticity of English, French and Russian languages which existed in the first unamended text of the Agreement. WP.29 decided to freeze the draft revision and requested the Contracting Parties to clarify their political and legal views on this draft revision. WP.29 agreed to resume consideration of the revision of the Agreement at its November 2014 session, awaiting the appropriate political and legal guidance.

48. The representative of the Russian Federation supported the initiative and proposed an amendment to the voting procedure by increasing the current threshold of two-thirds to a minimum of three-quarters majority as this would strengthen the rule making procedures of Contracting Parties. She voiced legal objections to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations on the proposed proxy voting. WP.29 noted that, according to OLA, the proxy voting procedure was legally acceptable in the context of the United Nations (WP.29-163-24).

49. The representative of Japan announced that the draft Revision 3 was satisfactory for his country. He expressed his preference for a four-fifths majority and stated that this view was shared by a number of Asian Contracting Parties as well as by some potential Contracting Parties to the Agreement. He announced the preparation of a concrete proposal on raising the voting majority threshold, for consideration at the November 2014 session. The representative of EU supported draft Revision 3 and recommended Contracting Parties to also initiate their procedures for legal and political assessment. The representative of Australia indicated his country’s support for a four-fifths majority and that Australia would be a co-sponsor of Japan’s proposal. He also indicated Australia’s support for proxy voting, citing the tyranny of distance as a reason some delegations had difficulty in attending WP.29.

50. The World Forum agreed to launch the procedure for a new edition of the so-called Blue Book “WP.29: How it works – How to join it” and requested the secretariat to initiate the necessary administrative steps to publish it, in the period of 2016-2017, in all official languages of the UN.