19 January 2017
The Conference on Disarmament, the world's single multilateral forum for disarmament negotiations, will hold the first public plenary of its 2017 session on Tuesday, 24 January at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
The session will open under the presidency of Romania. The presidency of the Conference rotates among its Member States according to the English alphabetical order, with each president holding office for four working weeks. The Russian Federation, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa and Spain will also hold the presidency during 2017. The three parts of the 2017 session of the Conference will take place from 23 January to 31 March for the first part; 15 May to 13 June for the second part; and 31 July to 15 September for the third part.
The first plenary meeting will start at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and will be attended by Kim Won-soo, Under Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, who is expected to read out the statement of the United Nations Secretary-General to the Conference.
Michael Møller, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, is the Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament and the personal representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to the Conference. He will also be attending the opening meeting.
In accordance with art.27 of its rules of procedure, the Conference on Disarmament shall adopt its agenda for the year at the beginning of each annual session. “In doing so, the Conference shall take into account the recommendations made to it by the United Nations General Assembly, the proposals presented by member States of the Conference, and the decisions of the Conference." The rules of procedure of the Conference also provide that, on the basis of its agenda, the Conference, “at the beginning of its annual session, shall establish its programme of work, which will include a schedule of its activities for that session, taking also into account the recommendations, proposals and decisions referred to in rule 27.”
In resolution A/RES/71/81, the General Assembly of the United Nations called upon the Conference on Disarmament to further intensify consultations and to explore possibilities for overcoming its ongoing deadlock of two decades by adopting and implementing a balanced and comprehensive programme of work at the earliest possible date during its 2017 session, bearing in mind the decision on the programme of work adopted by the Conference on 29 May 2009, as well as other relevant present, past and future proposals.
In resolution A/RES/71/75, the General Assembly reiterated its request to the Conference on Disarmament to commence negotiations in order to reach agreement on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances. In resolution A/RES/71/63, the General Assembly called for the immediate commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament, in the context of an agreed, comprehensive and balanced programme of work, on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices on the basis of the report of the Special Coordinator and the mandate contained therein. It also urged the Conference to commence as early as possible its substantive work during its 2017 session, on the basis of a comprehensive and balanced programme of work that takes into consideration all the real and existing priorities in the field of disarmament and arms control, including the immediate commencement of negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear weapons convention.
In resolution A/RES/71/31, the General Assembly reiterated that the Conference on Disarmament, as the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, has the primary role in the negotiation of a multilateral agreement or agreements, as appropriate, on the prevention of an arms race in outer space in all its aspects and invited the Conference on Disarmament to establish a working group under its agenda item entitled “Prevention of an arms race in outer space” as early as possible during its 2017 session. In resolution A/RES/71/30, the General Assembly recommended that the Conference on Disarmament actively continue intensive negotiations with a view to reaching early agreement and concluding effective international agreements to assure the non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, taking into account the widespread support for the conclusion of an international convention and giving consideration to any other proposals designed to secure the same objective.
Member States of the Conference
The 65 members of the Conference are Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe.
For use of the information media; not an official record