CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT STARTS THIRD AND LAST PART OF ITS 2014 SESSION, HEARS STATEMENTS FROM ITS PRESIDENT AND THE GROUP OF 21
31 July 2014
The Conference on Disarmament this morning started the third and last part of its 2014 session, hearing statements by the President of the Conference, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on behalf of the Group of 21, and the United Kingdom.
The President of the Conference, Ambassador Anthony Andanje of Kenya, said that during the inter-sessional period he had held a number of consultations on how the work of the Conference could be moved forward. Views had been shared on the proposal to establish an informal working group on the methods of work of the Conference. Some delegations had concerns over the appointment of a “Friend of the President” in June on the issue of the expansion of the membership of the Conference. The President had received a report from one coordinator and was expecting to receive others soon all on the informal meetings that were organized pursuant to Decision CD/1978 on the Schedule of Activities.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, speaking on behalf of the Group of 21, stressed that nuclear disarmament continued to be the highest priority of the international community. It was a matter of concern that non-nuclear weapon States had been subject to nuclear threats by some nuclear weapon States. The importance of the establishment in the Middle East of a zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction was reiterated.
The United Kingdom, speaking in its capacity as coordinator for discussions on the prevention of an arms race in outer space, informed the President that it did not plan on using up any more time slots for the discussions, which had been very full and had reached their natural conclusion.
The next public plenary of the Conference will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 5 August 2014. The third and last part of the 2014 session of the Conference on Disarmament will conclude on 12 September.
Ambassador ANTHONY ANDANJE of Kenya, President of the Conference, said that during the inter-sessional period, he had consulted with delegations, coordinators, and the co-chairs and vice co-chairs of the informal working group on how to move forward the work in the Conference. This week, the President had presented a proposal to the coordinators of the regional groups. Some delegations seemed concerned over the appointment of a “Friend of the President” in June, which was why the President had provided a formulation on the role of the Friend. He was continuing to consult in order to see whether accommodation could be found. The coordinator on agenda items 1 and 2, the Ambassador of Germany, had submitted his report, while reports from other coordinators were expected soon. The President asked for views on the utility of the meetings scheduled for the first and second week of August.
DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA, speaking on behalf of the Group of 21, extended its gratitude to the Presidents of the Conference for the efforts deployed to resume substantive work and end the long impasse. The Group 21 stressed that the Conference was the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, whose nature, role and mandate ought to be preserved. Its credibility had to be maintained through the resumption of substantive work.
Nuclear disarmament continued to be the highest priority of the international community. The total elimination of nuclear weapons was the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. The Group of 21 underscored the urgent need to commence negotiations on that issue in the Conference, which would lead to the global, non-discriminatory and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons within a specified time framework. The formal proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace was welcomed. The absolute validity of multilateral diplomacy in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation was reaffirmed. The Group of 21 fully supported the goals of the resolution A/RES/68/32, and welcomed the convening of a United Nations high-level international conference on nuclear disarmament to review the progress made in that regard. It was a matter of concern that non-nuclear weapon States had been subject to nuclear threats by some nuclear weapon States, contrary to their obligations under the United Nations Charter.
The Group of 21 expressed its disappointment that the Conference had been unable to undertake substantive work on its agenda. It was necessary to implement a balanced and comprehensive programme of work on the basis of its agenda, while taking into account the security interests of all States and dealing with the core issues. The Group thus expressed its support for an early convening of the Fourth Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly devoted to Disarmament. The importance of the establishment in the Middle East of a zone free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction was also reiterated. The Group of 21 also recognized the importance of engagement with civil society.
United Kingdom, speaking in its capacity as coordinator for discussions on the prevention of an arms race in outer space, informed the President that it did not plan on using up any more time slots for the discussions, which had been very full and had reached their natural conclusion.
For use of the information media; not an official record