Conference on Disarmament (CD)
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Conference on Disarmament continues search for consensus to implement its agreed Programme of Work, 20 August 2009
Compiled by Acronym Geneva Intern Nafiseh Baeidi
During the final plenary meeting of the Australian presidency, 16 delegations addressed the CD.
Netherlands, Ambassador Paul van den IJssel
- Hoped that the conference will attend once more to its core business: negotiating and deliberating on substantive issues of multilateral disarmament.
- Added that although the CD has not yet been able to reach consensus on how to implement the programme of work, this has not diminished his hope and optimism or lowered his high ambitions.
- Reminded the CD that it was a Dutch president who chaired the CTBT negotiations in the final phases.
- The Netherlands continues to work towards a constructive role in the field of multilateral disarmament
- Appreciated Presidents efforts and those of the P6 and expressed the Netherlands support for Ambassador Strohal (the next president).
Morocco, Ambassador Omar Hilale
- Emphasized the importance of the CD’s consensus rule.
- Stressed the importance of all nuclear installations in his region being subject to IAEA safeguards.
- Called for progress on prevention of an arms race in outer space and towards a treaty on negative security assurances.
- Called for the implementation of the 1995 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty decision on practical steps towards a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East.
- Morocco remained convinced that nuclear disarmament was a strategic priority.
- Emphasized the need for strict compliance with CD rules of procedure.
- Expressed hope that the Conference would once again take up substantive work and resume multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament.
Colombia, Mr. Daniel Ávila Camacho
- Highlighted that the Conference had to move forwards and could not remain in the current impasse.
- Invited all to attend the second review conference of the Mine Ban convention.
Brazil, Ambassador Luiz Filipe de Macedo Soares
- Suggested that the reason the CD had not been able to adopt a decision allowing the implementation of the programme of work was that that not all member states were ready to accept a decision on the implementation unless it included a number of “precautions”, which, in the view of many, could put the Conference in a straightjacket and severely limit the prospects of making progress.
- Emphasized that the CD has collective responsibility, meaning that the Conference cannot simply blame a few delegations for their difficulties but that everyone, including those with difficulties, “must work to understand and equate’’ those problems.
Mexico, Deputy Representative Mabel Gómez Oliver
- Programme of work adopted by consensus on 29 May reflected a careful balance of interests and concerns of the 65 members of the Conference.
- That the Conference was being kept from action for procedural reasons was unfortunate and had an impact on the national security of each and every State here.
- Mexico's priority was to ensure that the Conference took up its role as a negotiating forum; moreover, what was done here had an impact on other forums.
United States, Ambassador Garold Larson
- Expressed disappointment that nearly three months after the adoption the work programme the Conference is unable to “accomplish the simple, straight-forward, procedural task of agreeing on a schedule of work.
- Said what they had seen in the past few weeks was procedural faultfinding that had cost valuable time and had thwarted the stated goals and aspirations of the international community to pursue in this multilateral forum the central questions of nuclear proliferation, arms control and disarmament.
France, Deputy Representative Sophie Moal-Makame
- Highlighted the fact that international community will face loss of confidence in its ability to function, as the Conference watches it opportunity to progress slip away.
- Expressed disappointment that no substantive work had been undertaken and warned about the permanent impact on the international disarmament.
Malaysia, Mr. Azril Abdul Aziz
- Called on delegations to remain engaged and to demonstrate flexibility so that they could find consensus.
- Said that they should not allow the conference to fall back in the quagmire that had beleaguered it during the past 10 years.
Germany, Ambassador Hellmut Hoffman
- Urged all delegations to join a procedural draft decision which enjoys very, very wide support in this hall.
Russia, Ambassador Valery Loshchinin
- In Russia's view, the provisions in document CD/1870/Rev.1 for implementing the Conference's programme of work reflected a balanced compromise that should be acceptable to all.
Japan, Ambassador Akio Suda
- Shared deep disappointment over the prolonged situation in the conference and stressed that they had to reach agreement in order to dispel dangerous skepticism about the conference.
United Kingdom, Deputy Representative Jo Adamson
- Feared that they were in the process of “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory”. In May they had broken new ground, but now they seemed to be unpicking a consensus achieved through the efforts of many in the conference.
- The United Kingdom also joined those who had said that international initiatives on disarmament in other forums showed a collective will to get on in this sphere. They should not give in. They should "just do it".
China, Ambassador Wang Qun
- Following the UK's statement added that the Conference should start its substantive work as soon as possible. China would use all efforts to ensure that, that happened, and would participate actively in the ensuing work.
Pakistan, Ambassador Zamir Akram
- Said that on 10 August Pakistan had circulated its proposals relative to document CD/1870/Rev.1 in order to convey its views to all members. That was a clear demonstration of Pakistan's constructive approach and its commitment, which remained undiminished. That remained Pakistan's official stance. Pakistan had remained engaged in discussions with the President, as a demonstration of its flexibility, and had agreed on a number of key issues. Nevertheless a number of issues remained. Pakistan would remain engaged and hoped that they would be able to reach consensus soon on a programme of work.
European Union, Ambassador Magnus Hellgren of Sweden
- Expressed profound disappointment that, nearly three months after the adoption of a programme of work, they had failed to accomplish the procedural task of agreeing on a schedule of work.
Republic of Korea, Ambassador Im Han-Taek
- Said there was still an encouraging mood.
- The countries that could not join the consensus must do it before it is too late.
Australia, CD President, Caroline Millar
- There should be no doubt: negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty would happen; and substantive, meaningful work on other agenda items would happen. That was because the overwhelming majority of States believed it was imperative to address serious disarmament and non-proliferation challenges and to do so now.
- To those unfamiliar with the arcane workings of this chamber, this situation is neither understandable nor acceptable. To those within it, it is all too familiar and dispiriting.” While she expressed disappointment with the Conference’s inability to reach consensus, she noted that the door remains open to substantive work in 2009, “however truncated and modest that might be.”
- She also noted that today was the last plenary convened under the Australian presidency, which would be passed to Austria thereafter.
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