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CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT CONTINUES DISCUSSION ON DRAFT ANNUAL REPORT

CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT CONTINUES DISCUSSION ON DRAFT ANNUAL REPORT
11 September 2012

The Conference on Disarmament, which will close its 2012 session at the end of this week, today held a brief public plenary during which it adopted some parts of its draft annual report which will be presented to the sixty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly when it opens on 18 September 2012 in New York.

The President of the Conference, Ambassador Hellmut Hoffmann of Germany, said on August 23 a draft annual report had been circulated to all delegations, followed by several plenary discussions.  Discussions were well advanced and a draft report dated September 10 had been developed.  It became clear that there were a number of difficult issues to resolve before agreement on the report could be reached.  Consensus did not mean that one agreed or supported a formulation, he noted, but that one could live with the formulation.  The President said he trusted Member States would work today in a spirit of compromise and flexibility. 

During the brief discussion delegations and the President noted that today was the anniversary of the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks against the World Trade Centre in New York.   Concerning the draft annual report, one delegation emphasized that there should not be too much criticism of the blockage of the Conference; while another said that the annual report had to recognize achievements made but also had to show that difficulties remained. 

The previous annual report of the Conference on Disarmament, on its 2011 session, can be accessed here: CD/1926.

Speaking in today’s plenary discussion were the United States, Algeria and Canada

The Conference on Disarmament will next meet in public on Thursday, 13 September at 10 a.m. when it will hear a statement by Angela Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, and adopt its annual report. The third and final part of the 2012 session of the Conference will conclude on 14 September.

Statement by President of the Conference

Ambassador HELLMUT HOFFMANN of Germany, President of the Conference on Disarmament, opened the meeting by recalling that today was the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York.  Turning to the draft annual report, he said that on August 23 a draft was circulated to all delegations which was followed by several plenary discussions.  Discussions were now well advanced and a draft report dated September 10 had been developed.  It became clear that there were a number of difficult issues to resolve before agreement on the report could be reached.  A working group had been established to draft a second version of the annual report, which had been given to the Member States for their consideration.  Member States would today consider the parts of the second draft annual report that had already been agreed upon during the formal plenary meeting.  The proposed amendments, in bold in the second draft, would be discussed in an informal plenary meeting.  The President said that consensus did not mean that one agreed or supported a formulation, he noted, but that one could live with the formulation.  The President said he trusted Member States would work today in a spirit of compromise and flexibility. 

Statements

United States
said that today was the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the World Trade Centre in New York, which was a tragedy not only for the United States but for the entire world, and that the international community needed to stay vigilant to combat terrorism.

Algeria said that it shared the thoughts of the President and of the United States on the anniversary of 9/11.  Turning to the draft annual report, Algeria said that the tone could be lightened, and that there should not be too much criticism on the blockage of the Conference.  Comments could be restricted to facts, in order not to give an impression that States were giving up on their mandate.

Canada said that it was keen that the Conference had worked hard to find a way to fulfill its mandate and have fruitful discussions.  The annual report had to recognize achievements made but also had to show that difficulties remained. 

The President of the Conference ended the formal plenary and asked delegates to continue the meeting in informal mode to discuss the proposed amendments.


For use of the information media; not an official record

DC12/033E