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Pakistan's position on Implementation of the Programme of Work, 25 August 2009

Compiled by Acronym Geneva Intern Nafiseh Baeidi

Pakistan's Position on Draft Decision on the Implementation of Programme of Work

Pakistan addressed a letter dated 21 August to the new CD President, transmitting its official position on the implementation of the programme of work and emphasizing the importance principle of equal and balanced allocation of time for four core issues:
"The Conference will ensure, without any discrimination balanced outcomes in the consideration of all agenda items, particularly the four core issues, while recognizing the principle of undiminished security for all."’

New CD President, Ambassador Strohal of Austria said that, this year had been an unusual one for the Conference.  Although they had been able to adopt a programme of work but after three months its adoption had not been implemented yet.
But at the same time he was convinced that progress was still possible.

During the conference Chile, Canada, Italy, France made statements on the prevailing stalemate, while Algeria, Kazakhstan, Russia spoke about nuclear weapon free zones and outer space security.

Canada, Deputy Representative Geoff Gartshore

  • Believed that Conference should remain faithful to the CD/1864-which was a compromise, consensus decision.
  • Recalled that CD 1864 said that the programme of work did not characterize how much progress should be achieved or how the outcomes among the four core issue areas should be balanced, because progress and outcomes are unpredictable.
  • Noted that in adopting CD/1864, the CD “opted not to use the word ‘principle’ anywhere in the text,” because “matters of ‘principle’ and their possible interpretations may be different among the delegations.
  • In Canada’s view those who cannot live with the proposed implementation of the programme of work were calling into question their commitment to the programme of work.
  • Canada said if they could not agree to implement a programme of work now, then the world would draw the appropriate conclusions about the ability of the Conference to undertake substantive work.
  • Canada was convinced that progress was still possible.


Chile, Ambassador Carlos Portales

  • Said it was unfortunate that although three months had gone by since they had adopted the programme of work; they had not yet been able to reach the necessary consensus to implement it. And said national security “does not exist in isolation and cannot be invoked to undermine or affect that of others.”
  • He asked, “What better way to preserve this national security than by making this negotiating body move forward through the rule of consensus’’.
  • Chile had not given up on their optimism and everyone in the Conference should redouble their efforts.


Kazakhstan, Ambassador Mukhtar Tileuberdi

  • Noted that Kazakhstan became a member of the conference 10 years ago with a significant contribution to disarmament process.
  • Kazakhstan stopped all nuclear tests and closed Semipalatinsk nuclear testing site.
  • Kazakhstan continues its efforts towards a nuclear weapon free world and offered the IAEA proposal on setting up in its territory the Nuclear Fuel Bank, for civilian projects.
  • Kazakhstan always stands for substantive negotiations on disarmament issues.


Italy, Ambassador Giovanni Manfredi

  • Italy was extremely disappointed to see the Conference on Disarmament stalled once again and deplored this situation in the strongest terms.
  • This was not a proper use of the consensus rule. Consensus rule allowed everyone to safeguard their paramount national interests. But here and now they were not faced with such a situation.
  • This situation is “demeaning to the prestige of the Conference and is in fact jeopardizing its very existence. It is undermining its relevance within the community of multilateral institutions.
  • The programme of work had been a document of substance, since then they had been unable to agree on minor logistics.


France, Ambassador Eric Danon

  • Expressed disappointment on what was currently happening in the Conference on Disarmament. A country had killed the hope of the Conference to be able to begin its work.
  • Emphasized that the “issue of space is of paramount importance to us and will be so in the forthcoming weeks and months, apart from nuclear problems.”
  • Said that his delegation is very pleased with the events surrounding Pelindaba” and pleased to see the implementation of this Treaty.”


Algeria, Deputy Representative Boualem Chebihi

  • Noted that Algeria had been one of the first states of the African Union which had ratified the Pelindaba Treaty when it first entered into force.
  • Said that the African continent is reflecting its active commitment to the global combat in order to preserve humanity from the specter of nuclear war.
  • The establishment of nuclear weapon free areas strengthened peace and security and a world which is free of weapons of mass destruction.”


Russia, Ambassador Valery Loschinin

  • Russia supports a rapid start of substantive work on the basis of the agreed programme of work.
  • Recalled that the Russian and Chinese delegations have prepared a document for the CD called “Basic issues and comments on the draft agreement to prevent the placement of weapons in space, or the use of force or threat of force against objects in space.”
  • Russian delegation provided “a renewed report of the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on measures to ensure transparency and strengthening of confidence in outer space activities,” on the basis of the resolution 63/68 of the General Assembly.
  • The Russian and Chinese delegations urged the CD members to send in their proposals on the issue of confidence-building measures in outer space at the beginning of the General Assembly this year.
  • These documents “will provide a good starting basis” for discussions in working group three at the CD when it begins substantive work.


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