Where global solutions are shaped for you | News & Media | NEW TUNISIAN PRESIDENT OF CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT SUGGESTS IT SHOULD DISCUSS THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S DISARMAMENT AGENDA “SECURING OUR COMMON FUTURE”

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NEW TUNISIAN PRESIDENT OF CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT SUGGESTS IT SHOULD DISCUSS THE SECRETARY-GENERAL’S DISARMAMENT AGENDA “SECURING OUR COMMON FUTURE”

26 June 2018

The Conference on Disarmament this morning held its first plenary meeting under the presidency of Tunisia.  It also heard an address by Karin Kneissl, Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria, followed by interventions from several members of the Conference.   

In his opening statement, Walid Doudech, Permanent Representative of Tunisia and President of the Conference on Disarmament, said that the Secretary-General’s agenda for disarmament, launched in Geneva on 24 May, was an opportunity for the Conference on Disarmament, and invited States to engage in a debate on its prospects, which would take place at a plenary meeting on 7 August 2018.

The Presidency also expressed strong support to improving the dialogue with civil society organizations and welcomed opportunities to engage with civil society on the new disarmament agenda and other issues relevant to the work of the Conference on Disarmament, also outside the formal confines of the Conference.

Addressing the Conference, Karin Kneissl, Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria, shared the concerns that the Secretary-General had expressed in his disarmament agenda, in particular increasing militarization in many parts of the world, and called upon States to ratify the historic 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  The Conference, she said, must overcome 20 years of self-imposed blockage and become fit for the twenty-first century, including by having a real dialogue with civil society and academia, enlarging the membership to become truly representative, and halting an interpretation of consensus that hindered any decision making.

Many speakers congratulated Tunisia on assuming the presidency of the Conference and expressed confidence in its leadership and efforts to mitigate political polarization, and to move the work of the Conference forward.

Speaking in the discussion were Argentina, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam on behalf of the Group of 21, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Syria, Republic of Korea, Japan, China, Brazil, Australia, France, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  

Argentina recognized the constant challenges in international politics, and expressed hope that the principle of non-indifference among States would limit the principle of non-interference, thus when faced with a situation that violated international peace and security, or a commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity, would trigger a reaction against it, that would be limited by the principle of non-armed intervention.  Morocco rejected the inevitability of a repetitive debate punctuated by alarmism and frustration for the lost opportunities, and stressed that the Conference must step up to the challenge of discharging its mandate, regain the central role it played as the only multilateral negotiating forum in the field of disarmament, and above all, adapt and respond to new security challenges of the century.  There had been no sustained focus on the disarmament agenda launched by the Secretary-General in the Conference on Disarmament, noted Sri Lanka and welcomed the President’s initiative to do so, adding that it must be reflected on seriously, since the issues he had raised – while not new – had been woven together to highlight the danger that the world collectively faced.  China said that the frank exchange of views in subsidiary bodies had created a very good momentum in the Conference and hoped they would make further progress and adopt the reports that would objectively reflect the discussions and be acceptable to all sides.

Viet Nam, on behalf of the Group of 21, reiterated deep concern at the danger posed to the survival of humankind by the continued existence of nuclear weapons and of their possible use or threat of use, and reaffirmed the inalienable right of each State to develop research production and use of nuclear energy, for peaceful purposes without discrimination.

United Kingdom said that, as a North Atlantic Treaty Organization State, the United Kingdom could not support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and would not accept the argument that this Treaty contributed to the development of customary international law.  France said it would not join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as France believed it would not be effective and might create more divisions and undermine the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which was at the heart of non-proliferation regime.  Brazil expressed support to the views held by Minister Kneissl of Austria on the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, and the relevance of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

United States said that the June 28 summit between the United States and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea held in Singapore was the beginning of a process to achieve the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and that in show of good faith, the United States would suspend its military exercises with the Republic of Korea as long as productive negotiations continued.  Germany hoped that the Singapore Summit would mark the beginning of a process leading to a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization and commended this diplomatic approach which it said should be a way to approach disarmament issues worldwide.  Republic of Korea said that the Singapore Summit was not just a victory for the United States, or “North Korea and South Korea”, but an achievement for the entire peace-loving international community; hopefully, it would open a new chapter in history for peace and cooperation and leave the dark times on confrontation behind. 

Japan welcomed the commitment of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for complete denuclearization and, stressing the importance of its concrete actions, said that Japan would engage in close and thorough cooperation with the United States and the Republic of Korea.  Australia welcomed the commitment by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to complete denuclearization, as contained in the Singapore Declaration, and urged the country to take concrete and verifiable steps to implement its commitments.  Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said that the Singapore summit had a great significance in promoting the current trend toward peace, security and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and the world, and urged the international community to do its utmost to contribute and accelerate the current positive developments.

Syria, in a right of reply, rejected the United States attempt to assume the role of a moral judge and act as a policeman that, in their view, took unilateral and illegitimate measures to implement measures on the basis of moral selectivity.

The Conference welcomed Ambassador Carlos Mario Foradori, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the Conference on Disarmament and Ambassador Ravesa lleshi, Permanent Representative of Albania who would participate in the Conference as a non-Member State; and bid farewell to Ambassador Matthew Rowland, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom and Ambassador Michael Biontini, Permanent Representative of Germany.


The Conference on Disarmament concludes the second part of its 2018 session on Friday, 29 June.  The third and last part of its 2018 session will be held from 30 July to 14 September.  The next plenary meeting is expected to take place on Tuesday, 7 August 2018.


Opening Statement

WALID DOUDECH, Permanent Representative of Tunisia and President of the Conference, in his opening statement, reaffirmed the intention to work with all delegations – and the coordinators of subsidiary bodies - to attain the objective of agreeing on a programme of work.  Tunisia attached greatest importance to the preservation of international peace and security and disarmament, and was convinced of the primacy of the United Nations Charter, which was predicated on the peaceful resolution of disputes and cooperation between States in the face of challenges.  The Conference on Disarmament was the sole multilateral negotiating organ towards disarmament, in which a new dynamic was needed, said Mr. Doudech, who took positive note of the establishment of five subsidiary bodies and paid tribute to all the presidencies that had contributed to this achievement, namely Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland and Syria. 

The Secretary-General’s new agenda for disarmament, launched in Geneva on 24 May, was an opportunity for the Conference on Disarmament, noted the President, and invited States to submit their contributions and opinions on this new initiative in order to deepen discussions and make a headway on the issues of disarmament.  He also said that the Secretariat would open space for civil society to voice their opinions on the disarmament agenda; the consultations would be held outside of the Conference on Disarmament.

Statement by the Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria

KARIN KNEISSL, Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria, in her address to the Conference on Disarmament, said that every day, with civilians fleeing bombed cities, chemical weapons being used again, threats of nuclear weapons, it was clear that disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control were indispensable for global security.  The rules-based global order was irreplaceable and certainly urgently needed in the world today, and that was why multilateral disarmament remained a longstanding priority for Austria.  The Minister also reiterated Austria’s firm commitment to the Conference on Disarmament, and noting today’s grim situation, said it was a high time for the Conference to return to negotiating disarmament treaties.  Sharing the Secretary-General’s concerns expressed in his new disarmament agenda, in particular increasing militarization in many parts of the world, Ms. Kneissl urged all States to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty so that it could finally enter into force, and called on Russia and the United States to extend the New START and start negotiating on further cuts.

The threat of nuclear war today was more acute than at the time of the Cold War; more actors possessed nuclear weapons, and interacted with each other in a more complicated and less predictable international environment, more fraught with security risk.  The historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted in 2017 represented a powerful signal that the overwhelming majority of the world’s States was not willing to accept the precarious nuclear status quo any longer, said the Minister, noting proudly that Austria had been at the forefront of the broad international movement which had produced this Treaty.  The Treaty was fully compatible with the existing international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, she said and called upon all States present in the Conference on Disarmament to join the growing community of States that had signed and ratified the Treaty.

Austria was deeply concerned by – and unreservedly condemned - the use of chemical weapons in Syria and in other places, said Ms. Kneissl.  Noting that the Security Council had not prolonged the United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism, she urged the establishment of a new mechanism in the framework of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to identify those who had committed a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and expressed Austria’s support for the initiative by France to end impunity for those responsible for the use of chemical weapons.

Expressing concern about the urbanization of armed conflict and its devastating and well-documented impact of civilians - 92 per cent of victims were civilians -  the Minster called for concerted efforts by the international community to promote a stricter observance of international humanitarian law, and said that Austria would continue to address this issue aiming at a political declaration.  The Minster also raised concern about the ethical, political and legal questions raised by the use of artificial intelligence in the military field and the possibility to design weapons capable of selecting and killing adversaries without a human actor being involved in the operation.  

The Conference on Disarmament must overcome 20 years of self-imposed blockage, said Ms. Kneissl in closing, and become fit for the twenty-first century, including by having a real dialogue with civil society and academia, by enlarging the membership to become truly representative, and by halting an interpretation of consensus that hindered any decision making.

Statements

CARLOS MARIO FORADORI, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the Conference on Disarmament, in his first address to the Conference, recognized the constant challenges in international politics, and expressed hope that the principle of non-indifference among States would limit the principle of non-interference, thus when faced with a situation that violated international peace and security, or a commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity, would trigger a reaction against it, that would be limited by the principle of non-armed intervention.  The work in the Way Ahead Working Group in the Conference the previous year had allowed for the establishment of subsidiary bodies this year, which indicated the existence of a political will to undertake the vital technical discussions to identify commonalities and achieve progress.  The Conference must adopt sustainable approach to its future work and avoid the paralysis, thus Argentina hoped that the work of the subsidiary bodies would lay the foundation and the basis upon which a programme of work could be adopted in 2019.  While conflict was often inevitable, peace was a choice, stressed Argentina in closing.

Morocco reiterated its support for the leadership of Tunisia in the Conference and also for the work of subsidiary bodies, and wondered what should be the next steps in breaking the stalemate which had bogged down the Conference for so long.  Morocco would not accept the inevitability of a repetitive debate punctuated by alarmism and frustration for the lost opportunities, stressed the speaker, and reiterated that the negotiating nature of the Conference must be reflected in its programme of work.  It was the task of the Conference to match the legitimate expectations of the international community and its Member States, to step up to the challenge of discharging its mandate, to reiterate the central role it played as the only multilateral negotiating forum in the field of disarmament, and above all, to adapt and respond to new security challenges of the century.  In this, Morocco would remain faithful to its traditional position of moderation, openness of spirit, and a constructive commitment to the strengthening of international peace and security.

Sri Lanka noted that, in the Conference, there had been no sustained focus on the disarmament agenda launched by the Secretary-General on 24 May in Geneva.  Recognizing the importance of such deliberations in this body, Sri Lanka welcomed the President’s initiative to do so.  At the launch of his disarmament agenda, the Secretary-General had graphically captured the dilemma that humanity as whole faced today, noted Sri Lanka and agreed with his description of a “world going backwords”, which meant a lot more than just the reversal of norms.  Its centrality was the failure of disarmament, and the insecurity arising from a lack of disarmament in a broader sense, including lapses in the implementation of obligations under the relevant treaties.  The Secretary-General’ disarmament agenda should be reflected on seriously, since the issues he had raised – while not new – had been woven together to highlight the danger that the world collectively faced, and impacted not only national and global security, but human security in particular. 

Sri Lanka appreciated the refreshing addition of the notion of human security to the disarmament and non-proliferation agenda, and looked forward to the discussion on how the messages of the Secretary-General’s disarmament agenda could translate into reality in the current context.  This required the active summoning of political will, accompanied by a clear “commitment to move forward”, said Sri Lanka, noting that the work of the subsidiary bodies could possibly lead the Conference to a programme of work that had been so elusive for so long.  Progress in disarmament was both urgent and important, and the need for innovative and creative approaches was pronounced, said Sri Lanka, urging the attention to the matters of serious interest to developing countries, including the increased availability of disarmament education and fellowship, as highlighted in the Secretary-General’s agenda.

Viet Nam, speaking on behalf of the Group of 21, reiterated its deep concern at the danger posed to the survival of humankind by the continued existence of nuclear weapons and of their possible use or threat of use, and stressed that, as long as nuclear weapons existed, the risk of their use and proliferation would remain.  Noting the steps by nuclear-weapons States for the reduction of their arsenals, the Group of 21 reiterated its deep concern over the slow pace of progress towards nuclear disarmament and the total elimination of nuclear arsenals, and called for a renewal of the political will of the international community towards accelerated progress on nuclear disarmament.  The immediate, indiscriminate, and massive death and destruction caused by any nuclear weapons detonation, as well as its long-term catastrophic consequences on human health, the environment, and other vital economic resources which would endanger the life of present and future generations, was an issue of deepest concern, said the Group of 21, and then concurred with the former Secretary-General on a growing understanding of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.

The Group of 21 was very concerned about the lack of tangible progress in receiving the legally binding assurances by nuclear-weapons States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, and also expressed concerns about strategic doctrines of nuclear-weapons States which had set out the rationale for the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, stressing a genuine and urgent need to eliminate the role of nuclear weapons in strategic doctrines and security policies.  Each State had an inalienable right to develop research production and use of nuclear energy, for peaceful purposes without discrimination, said the Group of 21, and then reiterated its readiness to make constructive contributions to the work of the Conference on Disarmament.

United States congratulated Tunisia on assuming the presidency of the Conference and said that the timeframe of May 28 through June 22 was a sad period in the history of the Conference on Disarmament.  Syria’s presidency of the Conference was a travesty for multilateralism and for arms control non-proliferation in disarmament architecture, said the United States, adding that in its view, Syria’s presidency was illegitimate and its delegation had lacked the moral authority to preside over this body.  “To the regime’s enablers, you are on the wrong side of history”, said the United States, adding that the Syrian people would eventually hold them and the Syrian regime to account.  In short, the regime’s efforts to try and portray its presidency of the Conference as a normal one had been a huge failure, said the United States, reassuring the President that it would continue to call out Syria and its enablers for “the regime’s continued use of chemical weapons and its violations of its Non-Proliferation Treaty safeguards agreement”. 

The United States disagreed with the statement by the Austrian Minister Kneissl that nuclear weapons did not provide security; indeed, they did provide security for a number of countries and the United States continued to hold the view that the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty would not reduce global nuclear stockpiles.  Concerning the June 28 summit between the United States and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea held in Singapore, the United States said that President Trump had achieved the objective of receiving the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s commitment to denuclearize, and that this was the beginning of a process to achieve the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  President Trump recognized the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s need for security and was committed to ensure that a denuclearized Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was also a secure Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  In show of good faith, the United States would suspend its military exercises with the Republic of Korea as long as productive negotiations continued.  There was no change in the commitment to the defence of the Republic of Korea, reassured the United States.

MATTHEW ROWLAND, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the Conference on Disarmament, reassured the President of the United Kingdom’s support for his presidency and said that, as a North Atlantic Treaty Organization State, the United Kingdom could not support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and would not accept the argument that this Treaty contributed to the development of customary international law.  As his term in Geneva was coming to an end, Ambassador Rowland bid farewell to the Conference on Disarmament, encouraging his colleagues not to be dragged down by the poor behaviour of others or the quest for the lowest common denominator, but to rise above it, to look to construct tomorrow’s outcomes, and remember that their successors should benefit from their efforts just as they were benefitting from their predecessors. 

WALID DOUDECH, Permanent Representative of Tunisia and President of the Conference, thanked Ambassador Rowland, noting that the round of applause in the Conference reflected a high esteem of his colleagues, and wished him all success in future mission and activities.

MICHAEL BIONTINO, Permanent Representative of Germany to the Conference on Disarmament, congratulated Tunisia on the assumption of the presidency of the Conference on Disarmament and assured the Presidency of the full cooperation of Germany which was committed to the value-based multilateralism and the pivotal role of the Conference on Disarmament in disarmament architecture.  All Member States must strive to make it, once again, an effective negotiating forum for multilateral arms control and disarmament.  With regards to the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Germany hoped that the Singapore summit would mark the beginning of a process leading to a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.  Germany commended this diplomatic approach which it said should be a way to approach disarmament issues worldwide, and strongly hoped that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would honour its denuclearization commitments. 

Bidding a farewell to the Conference, Ambassador Biontino said that over the past five years he had witnessed how everyone strove to make the Conference work again, and acknowledged the progress made over the years, including the establishment of subsidiary bodies earlier this year.  “All it takes for substantive process is political will by all of us”, stressed Ambassador Biontino, recalling the reasons for which States engaged in multilateral arms control, the foremost being the widespread conviction concerning the humanitarian dimension of arms control and disarmament.  For many, this went hand in hand with the security policy dimensions, he said, stressing the “higher levels of security with lower levels of armament” as one of the basic tenets of cooperative security, a paradigm which in post-Cold War Europe had proven to be successful.  Peace was a prerequisite for sustainable development around the world and it set free substantial resources for such development, said the Ambassador, recalling that rather than a grand new design - which could not succeed right now – small steps had a better chance to succeed at disarmament.

WALID DOUDECH, Permanent Representative of Tunisia and President of the Conference, noted the high esteem in which Ambassador Biontino was held by his colleagues in the Conference, and, expressing appreciation for his commitment and leadership, wished Ambassador Biontino every success in his future endeavours.

Syria, speaking in a right of reply, assured Tunisia of Syria’s support for the presidency and the mandate of the Conference on Disarmament, and recalled the great honour of holding the presidency in 1998, during which Syria had relaunched the thematic work in the Conference.  Regrettably, Syria could not repeat its prowess this time, “in view of certain Member States hindering the work of the Conference over the past few weeks”.  Certain Member States had decided not to attend the Conference on Disarmament, but others had, which had proved that the United States had failed.  “Despite the activities in the wings, we have concluded our task successfully,” said Syria, adding that the United States tried to hinder the work of the Conference, including this session, revealing “the manipulation and double standards adopted by the United States”.  Syria rejected the United States attempt to assume the role of a moral judge and act as a policeman that took unilateral and illegitimate measures to implement measures on the basis of moral selectivity. 

The accusations by the United States related to the use of chemical weapons in Syria were unfounded, said Syria, as demonstrated by the proof that Syria did not have chemical weapons while its infrastructure made it impossible to use such weapons.  The Chemical Weapons Convention, negotiated by this very Conference, clearly stated that very urgent and serious matters should be submitted to the United Nations Security Council, recalled Syria and rejected attempts by some States to manipulate the Convention by incorrectly interpreting its provisions, noting that the new investigative mechanism they were urging would come up with conclusions completely in line with the objective of such States.

Republic of Korea joined other delegations in congratulating Tunisia and expressed confidence that under its able leadership and mitigating the era of polarization, Tunisia would be able to move the Conference forward.  The work of subsidiary bodies had deepened the understanding on certain issues, and competing priorities between some delegations notwithstanding, the dialogue contributed to building the mutual trust and confidence, which was a prerequisite for future negotiations.  As for the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the Republic of Korea congratulated the success of the Singapore summit in which the two leaders had made a commitment to work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, establish mutual relations, and build the lasting and stable peace regime in the region.  This was not just a victory for the United States, or “North Korea and South Korea”, but an achievement for the entire peace-loving international community, said the Republic of Korea, hoping that it would open a new chapter in history for peace and cooperation and leave the dark times on confrontation behind.  The commitments made in the statements must be expeditiously turned into concrete actions, stressed the Republic of Korea, noting that the success in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula could bring a fresh impetus and revitalize the work of the Conference on Disarmament.

Japan welcomed the Tunisian presidency and commended the interactive discussions in the subsidiary bodies, which Japan would consider successful if they added value to the last year’s work of the Way Ahead Working Group.  Japan welcomed the commitment of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for complete denuclearization and, stressing the importance of concrete actions by the country, said that Japan would engage in close and thorough cooperation with the United States and the Republic of Korea.

China congratulated Tunisia on assuming the presidency of the Conference which would enjoy China’s full support, and said that the frank exchange of views in subsidiary bodies had created a very good momentum in the Conference.  China hoped that the subsidiary bodies would make further progress leading towards the adoption of the reports that would objectively reflect the discussions and be acceptable to all sides.

Brazil aligned itself with the views presented by Minister Kneissl of Austria on the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, and with her description of the relevance of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  Brazil welcomed Ambassador Foradori of Argentina and Ambassador Lleshi of Morocco to the Conference on Disarmament, and wished Ambassadors Rowland and Biontino all the best in their future endeavours.   

Australia was looking forward to working with Tunisia as the President of the Conference and welcomed the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s commitment to complete denuclearization contained in the Singapore Declaration, which was a step in the right direction.  “North Korea must now take concrete and verifiable steps to implement its commitments”, said Australia, reaffirming its commitment to working with partners in support of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.  Australia bid farewell to Ambassadors Rowland and Biontino who epitomized the value of leadership and were both “lifters” as they volunteered for multiple positions, had always done their bit, and always shared their experience.

United States speaking in a right of reply, bid farewell to Ambassadors of Germany and the United Kingdom, and, recalling earlier statement by Syria which had claimed that it had “succeeded in its presidency”, noted that the country was an international pariah, had no credibility, and had repeatedly violated the Chemical Weapons Convention.  If there had been any attempts to politicize the Conference during its presidency, it was by the presidency itself, said the United States, adding that the “charges of the violations of the Rules of Procedure were just ridiculous”.  Syria’s use of chemical weapons against its own people was not in doubt, and the regime would be held accountable for the crimes against its own people, concluded the United States.

France was very pleased to see Tunisia presiding the work of this forum and said that finally the Conference would be able to resume dialogue in a calm setting.  With regards to the appeal by Minister Kneissl of Austria to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, France said that joining a ban treaty would not be effective, as it would not reduce the arsenals, strengthen the security of any State, or contribute to international peace and security.  To the contrary, the Ban Treaty might create more divisions and undermine the Non-Proliferation Treaty which was at the heart of non-proliferation regime.  For this reason, France would not join the Treaty.

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea extended its full support and cooperation to Tunisia during its presidency of the Conference on Disarmament and expressed doubt about the political motivation of statements on the Singapore summit by some States, as they had picked out only the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for concrete action, in terms of peace, stability and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea recalled the commitments of the North and the South to turning the Korean Peninsula into a nuclear-free zone through the complete denuclearization, as contained in the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration.  Recalling the commitments arising from the Singapore summit with the United States, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said that this summit had a great significance in promoting the current trend toward peace, security and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and the world.  The international community must do its utmost to encourage and accelerate the current positive developments in the Korean Peninsula, said Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and rejected any misled speculation on the prospect of the agreement that undermined the efforts of the States concerned.

Syria, in a right of reply to the statement by the United States, said that the Chemical Weapons Convention, negotiated and adopted by this Conference, had established the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which was concerned with the follow up on the implementation of the Convention and represented the best place for the discussion of the allegations levied against Syria by the United States.

WALID DOUDECH, Permanent Representative of Tunisia and President of the Conference, in his closing remarks, reiterated the call to the delegations to pursue a debate on the Secretary-General disarmament agenda, and in particular the prospects it offered to the Conference on Disarmament.  This discussion would take place at the plenary meeting on 7 August 2018.


For use of the information media; not an official record

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