14 September 2018
The Conference on Disarmament this evening concluded its 2018 session, which was held in three parts: from 22 January to 30 March; 14 May to 29 June; and 30 July to 14 September 2018.
During the session, the Presidency of the Conference was successively assumed by Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey, each of which held the Presidency for four weeks, in line with the rotation principle.
The Conference adopted by consensus a procedural report to the United Nations General Assembly on its 2018 session. The report will be available here.
The Conference opened its 2018 session on 23 January, hearing an address by the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu, who, deeply troubled by signs that nuclear disarmament commitments might no longer be valued, said that the commitment of the United Nations Secretary-General to this Conference and to giving a new momentum and impetus to global disarmament efforts, was a reflection of the current international situation that underscored the need to reframe and modernize the long-standing disarmament and non-proliferation priorities. At the same time, continued the High Representative, it was also a recognition that deepening divisions and persistent stagnation in this field were exacerbating international tensions and creating new dangers.
United Nations Secretary-General António Gutteres urged a new vision of disarmament when he addressed the Conference on 26 February during its high-level segment. He also announced a new initiative aimed at giving greater impetus to the global disarmament agenda and addressing today’s priorities. The challenges were enormous, he said, but history showed that agreement could be reached in the sector even at the most difficult moments. Further erosion of the global framework for disarmament must be urgently reversed, stressed the Secretary-General, by advancing nuclear non-proliferation through the 2020 review process, bringing the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty into force without delay, enforcing the Chemical Weapons Convention and ensuring accountability for violations, putting the agenda for arms control and disarmament back on course, and by working together for a world free of nuclear weapons.
During the high-level segment, which took place from 26 to 28 February, the Conference heard from Foreign Ministers of the Netherlands, Switzerland, Slovenia, Spain, Senegal, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Canada, Egypt, Slovakia, Ireland, Venezuela, and Russia; dignitaries from Mexico, Myanmar, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Japan, Turkey, Iran, Romania, and South Africa; as well as from the President of the seventy-second session of the United Nations General Assembly, and the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization.
Seeking to advance its substantive work in the fulfilment of its mandate, the Conference created, by decision CD/2119 of 16 February, subsidiary bodies on its agenda items, to work on reaching an understanding on the areas of commonalities by taking into consideration all relevant views and proposals past, present and future; to deepen technical discussions and broaden areas of agreement; and to consider effective measures, including legal instruments for negotiations.
Details and documents related to the 2018 session can be found on the webpage of the Conference, while speaker-by-speaker summaries of all public meetings of the 2018 session are available here.
The 2019 session of the Council will be held in three parts, from 21 January to 29 March, from 13 May to 28 June, and from 29 July to 13 September under the Presidency of Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Viet Nam, and Zimbabwe.
For use of the information media; not an official record