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CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT HEARS STATEMENTS FROM CZECH REPUBLIC ON BEHALF OF OBSERVER STATES AND FROM BULGARIA
17 June 2014

The Conference on Disarmament this morning heard statements by the Czech Republic, speaking on behalf of the Informal Group of Observer States to the Conference, and by Bulgaria.

The President of the Conference, Ambassador Mukhtar Tileuberdi of Kazakhstan, informed that he had appointed Ambassador Filloreta Kodra of Albania as the Friend of the President on the issue of the enlargement of the Conference, a function she would perform until the end of 2014.

The Czech Republic, speaking on behalf of the Informal Group of Observer States to the Conference, appreciated the President’s deliberate interest in the functioning of the Conference, and his understanding of the need to expand the Conference in order to ensure universality of its instruments.  The Czech Republic and the Informal Group welcomed the President’s decision to appoint a Friend of the President for enlargement, who would have the possibility to foster convergent aspects and seek a common basis for future endeavors.

Bulgaria expressed its strong support for the expansion of the Conference, reminding that increasing the Conference’s membership had been envisioned when the forum had been created.  The Conference had already been enlarged several times, and it should now adjust to the twenty-first century.


The next public plenary of the Conference will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 24 June.


Statements

Ambassador MUKHTAR TILEUBERDI of Kazakhstan, President of the Conference, stated that he had decided to appoint the Ambassador of Albania, Ms. Filloreta Kodra, as the Friend of the President on the issue of the enlargement of the Conference.  The President hoped that her appointment would help build the bridge between members and observers.  Ambassador Kodra would perform the function until the end of 2014.  The President of the Conference expressed hope that all delegations would extend their cooperation to Ambassador.

CZECH REPUBLIC, speaking on behalf of the Informal Group of Observer States to the Conference, appreciated the President’s deliberate interest in the functioning of the Conference, and his understanding of the need to expand the Conference in order to ensure universality of its instruments.  They thanked Michael Møller, Acting Secretary-General of the Conference, for the four proposals on revitalizing the Conference introduced on 20 May.

The Informal Group of Observer States believed that both the idea of identifying areas of common ground with a view eventually to produce framework conventions and the idea of negotiating politically binding instruments were very promising.  At the same time, it attached great importance to the question of working methods that provided a procedural basis for substantive work.  They were particularly of the view that the length of the tenure of the presidency should be re-evaluated and revised.  It was well known that the fundamental course of the Informal Group was the expansion of the membership of the Conference, but sufficient time had not been devoted to that question.  The Conference had neither included it into its schedule of activities, nor featured it in the programme of discussions in the plenaries.  It had been more than a decade that the Conference had consulted that question and more than 14 years without action being taken on the issue of enlargement.  That was why the Informal Group welcomed and appreciated the President’s decision to appoint a Friend of the President for enlargement, who would have the possibility to foster convergent aspects and seek a common basis for future endeavors.  The Informal Group reaffirmed its commitment to contribute to the re-start of the disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control efforts, which were long overdue. 

BULGARIA expressed appreciation for the President’s commitment and thanked him for conducting a wide range of consultations.  Expanding the Conference’s membership had been envisioned when the forum had been created, and the Conference had already been enlarged on several occasions. The Conference should be adjusted to the realities of the twenty-first century, which was  why Bulgaria was a strong supporter of enlargement.  Bulgaria stressed that when there was will there was a way.


For use of the information media; not an official record

DC14/022E