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CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT HEARS FROM KENYA AND BANGLADESH, CONTINUES INFORMAL DISCUSSION ON A PACKAGE CONTAINING DRAFT PROGRAMME OF WORK

11 February 2020

The Conference on Disarmament this morning held a brief plenary meeting in the presence of Tatyana Valovaya, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva and Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament.

Ambassador Rachid Belbaki of Algeria, President of the Conference on Disarmament, invited the delegations to informally discuss the package submitted the previous day, which contained draft Presidential statement on improving the functioning of the Conference (CD/WP.626), draft proposal for a programme of work for 2020 and draft decision on the designation of coordinators of subsidiary bodies and the timetable.

Since assuming the presidency, Algeria had worked in good faith with all delegations to preserve this body, which in the current situation, could only be accomplished by normalizing its work, stressed the President. The package submitted to the delegations was a result of laborious consultations and contained the elements of substantive effort that would lay a good foundation for future work in the Conference and lead to an advanced level of negotiations.

Critical interests of Member States were preserved in this package and Mr. Belbaki appealed to all delegations to preserve the vital interest of the Conference at the beginning of the new cycle of work.

Kenya welcomed the President’s non-paper on a draft programme of work and said it was carefully studying its elements. The Conference on Disarmament was the single multilateral negotiating forum for disarmament and Kenya remained hopeful that in 2020, it would adopt its programme of work. States owed it to future generations to put in place a disarmament framework that would enhance international peace and security for humanity. In the deteriorating international security environment, the relevance of the Conference was unquestionable, Kenya stressed. The 2020 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty later this year should reaffirm the indefensible role of this treaty in promoting non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Bangladesh remained a staunch supporter of the multilateral approach to disarmament, which was the country’s constitutional commitment. The Conference on Disarmament must continue to uphold its legitimacy ad credibility by breaking out of the current stalemate and engaging in substantive work. Unfortunately, despite all efforts, the consensus to begin substantive work had eluded it. This year had begun differently, with a ground-breaking and unique approach of putting in a collective effort by all six presidencies (P6). As one of the P6 members, Bangladesh supported the draft proposal and its implementation this year, so that the Conference could begin its work meaningfully and early.

The Conference approved the request by Ghana to participate in the 2020 session of the Conference as an observer.

The next plenary of the Conference on Disarmament will take place on Thursday, 13 February at 10 a.m.


For use of the information media; not an official record


DC.20.006E