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Elements of Intervention by President of the Conference on Disarmament Ambassador Wang Qun
2011/03/24

Dear colleagues and friends,

I now call to order the 1218th plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament. In the light of the agreed indicative timetable as contained in document CD/WP. 566, this plenary will be devoted to an exchange of views on agenda items 1 and 2 with a general focus on nuclear disarmament.

(Introductory points on the topic under consideration today)

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I've listened with great care the statements made by Ambassadors of U.K., Germany, U.S., and particularly Ambassador of Japan. While I try to confine myself from flinging accusations at anyone, I, nevertheless, lament very much the fact that I was compelled, at our plenary on 22 March, to move to other formula, as there are, clearly on the record, explicit substantive dispute and difficulty, on the part of one delegation, to the formula of "informal meetings" of the CD.

As you may recall, at our plenary on 22 March, Ambassador Suda, in disputing the "CD document WP.565", said,

"why (do) we discuss all important agenda in the form of informal meeting? Because I recall that this is just what exactly we have done last year during the Belgium Presidency. And this year, thanks to the leadership of Canadian ambassador and Chilean ambassador, we made progress to move from the informal meeting to formal plenary meeting on all important agenda, so I don't see any particular reason why we have to go back to precedent we have already done last year. Whether there would be much additional value to repeat that process last year?"

At that juncture, I sought any possible further views from the floor, and, while realizing no requests sought from the floor, I subsequently said, "As I see none, I will continue my response to the three delegates that is Japan, Germany and Italy". After I briefly responded to Italy and Germany, I stated,

"what I am particularly concerned (about) are, in fact, the inputs , (to which) I attach great importance, by Ambassador Akio. He just said that he not only just need time, but also, I think, he virtually has difficulties, expressed doubts and seek to dispute the format of the meetings I try to schedule, that is, informal meetings, though, I think, I have already made abundantly clear in my numerous bilateral consultations and also based on the established practice and consensual approach, that it's non-controversial. But since, I think, the distinguished Ambassador of Japan has difficulties to see the format of informal meetings, arrangement I envisaged in my proposal as I put to you, as contained in document CD/WP.565, I think that, it's my impression, my understanding, clearly on the basis of such inputs from Japan, there is no consensus at this Chamber House, at this stage, on the proposal I put to you, as contained in document CD/WP. 565. So, giving that, I will not proceed on this basis".

And based on the above, I subsequently stated the following:

"since we have to start (to) work without wasting time, and giving that the proposals I tried, which I believe is good for all delegations, especially to enable participation by all countries in the relevant processes may it (be) on FMCT or other core issues, I, as President, will always remain (as) open, facilitative and accommodative as possible. I will stand ready to be guided by the members, especially their decisions. So, having said this, I will now alternatively propose another formula".

Though at a time we already put behind us CD/WP. 565 and moved to discussions on my alternative formula as contained in document CD/WP. 566, Ambassador Suda did say that I "interpret" what he "said about this proposal in CD/WP.565" and that he "just ask the questions". At this particular juncture, I cautioned him that "that's the ground we've already traversed" with the caveat that we are virtually already on CD/WP. 566, and that "I need to ensure the normal functions of me as the President".

 

Dear colleagues and friends,

These are what happened on 22 March at the Council Chamber. With due respect, I should say that facts are facts, which are not for "interpretation". They are, virtually, established, in our case, on the verbatim minutes of our plenary meeting on 22 March.

While lamenting the missed opportunity, on 22 March, for channeling all efforts and activities into CD for, inter alia, FMCT informal meetings with participation of all members, let's all adopt a forward-looking attitude, and I remain hopeful that all CD members will, in a concerted efforts, continue to explore an earliest agreed programme of work for the CD.

Having said this, I now wish to move our discussion on nuclear disarmament.

Thank you, for all your understanding.

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Concluding Remarks by Ambassador Wang Qun

Dear colleagues and friends,

I have recognized the over-whelming support, expressed today, for the document contained in CD/WP. 565 concerning CD meetings in a format of "informal meetings". In this context, I draw particular encouragement from U.S. Ambassador for her support for CD/WP. 565, though I had hoped that she or her colleagues could have done so on 22 March.

I have recognized that no delegations have sought to dispute CD/WP. 565 today. In this context, I draw particular encouragement from Japan for its new position without repeating anything to the effect that it "don't see any particular reason why we have to go back to precedent we have already done last" and questioning the "additional value to repeat the process last year".

It is based on the above two points of understanding that I will do the following:

Firstly, I will continue to the CD/WP. 566 process as agreed, without prejudice to any new or emerging consensus arrangement.

Second, given today's strong sentiment for CD/WP. 565, I will schedule an open-ended informal consultation at 10:00 a.m. at this Council Chamber tomorrow on the above document in a bit to facilitate any emerging consensus on the "informal meeting" arrangement, inter alia, on FMCT with the participation of all CD members.

I, as President, will remain as open, facilitative and accommodative as possible.

This plenary meeting stands adjourned.

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