28 May 2013
Statement by H.E. Mr. Mohsen Naziri Asl
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Geneva
and President of the CD
Tuesday 28 May 2013
Mr. Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament,
Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues,
It is an honor for the Islamic Republic of Iran to assume the duties of the President of the Conference on Disarmament. The Islamic Republic of Iran in fulfilling its responsibilities of presiding over this Conference will be guided by the Rules of Procedures of the CD and is expressing its full readiness to consult with the CD members in an open and transparent manner. Although according to the current number of the CD members every 11 years a members state would assume the presidency of the CD, this responsibility is not a mere procedural one. The President has capacities and may take initiatives, while end result is relying very much on all the CD members and the success of the conference is a collective responsibility. Therefore I would like to request the members of the CD to work closely together to keep the momentum created by the useful discussion in the Conference.
Allow me to thank my predecessors, Ambassador Andras Dekany of Hungary for his utmost effort in trying break the impasse in the CD by proposing a draft Program of Work (Document CD1948). My appreciation also goes to Ambassador Sujata Mehta of India and Ambassador Triyono Wibowo of Indonesia for their dedicated efforts in conducting continued consultation with all member states of the CD seeking their views on how to advance the work of the Conference on Disarmament.
As has been agreed in the CD, during Indonesia and India’s Presidency, two core issues which were nuclear disarmament and FMCT discussed under India’s 2 Presidency. While two other core issues namely PAROS and Negative Security Assurances and other agenda items discussed under Indonesia’s Presidency. These discussions were useful and provide good opportunity for the CD members to
express their updated positions on the issues related to the agenda items.
Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues,
The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly believes that the Conference on Disarmament is the world’s sole multilateral negotiating forum on disarmament. Nuclear disarmament has always been our utmost priority and we have always been committed to efforts towards the attainment of a world free of nuclear weapons. In view of the present circumstance, Iran as the current President of the Conference on Disarmament is fully aware of the complexity to break the impasse in the Conference on Disarmament and to reach consensus on the Program of Work.
The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to spare no effort to consult member states in finding ways and means to unlock the Conference on Disarmament. The deadlock in the CD is not related to the procedural issue but it mainly created because of the lack of serious political will in the field of nuclear disarmament.
I believe that the first priority for the formal start of the work of the CD is agreement on adoption and implementation of a comprehensive and balanced program of work. Thus my priority will be to work with other members of the CD on the Program of Work. I will try to continue the constructive consultation started from the beginning of this year and meet with the interested delegations that might have helpful proposal on the Program of Work. I am also planning to have meeting with the Regional Groups to seek their views on the issue related to the CD.
For the plenary meetings, based on my plan, which is subject to your approval, today I will be in a listening mode and invite the delegations to express their views, recommendations and priorities on the issues related to the CD and their expectations from the president. The second plenary during my presidency will be devoted to the discussion on the program of work. I have something in my mind as topic for discussion for the third and forth plenary meeting during my presidency, which I will inform you and finalize them after consultation with member states in due time.
I would also continue the consultations with the delegations on “expansion of CD membership” and “participation of civil societies in the work of the CD”.
I am in the firm conviction that Multilateralism is the best tool in advancing the work of the CD and multilaterally adopted norms and agreements are the key to the collective security. The CD as the sole negotiation body in the field of disarmament can play a fundamental role in this regard.
Bearing in mind the devastative and inhumane nature of the nuclear weapons, The Conference on Disarmament, as the sole negotiating disarmament forum has the primary responsibility to negotiate and conclude multilateral treaties that ban all threats emanated from the nuclear weapons by their total destructions. I am from a group that its first priority is nuclear disarmament and I am fully committed to that goal. I am also very much committed to the CD as the sole negotiation body and during my presidency I welcome any constructive proposal that would facilitate the smooth running of this august body.
I am ready to work closely with the members of the CD to provide the grounds for the start of a process for fair and comprehensive self assessment of the work of the CD. I believe that this internal evaluation should tackle the root causes of the challenges that we are facing in the work of the CD. Simplistic approaches that put all the burden of the 16 years inactivity of the CD on the rules of procedures can not be helpful.
About the development outside the CD we should take note of the consequences of those developments including the UN high-level meeting on disarmament that is going to be held this year and also the Open Ended Working Group on “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations” which started its meetings in Geneva from last two weeks. In our view nothing should undermine the credibility and integrity of the CD. Therefore we should work together in a positive atmosphere to strengthen its work and role as the sole negotiation body in the field of disarmament, to preserve the credibility of the conference by respecting and upholding the rules of procedures of the CD and giving equal weight to the legitimate security concerns of all countries. We should bear in mind that there is no alternative for the CD.
We need to identify obstacles in reaching consensus for Program of Work by finding acceptable or agreeable variables in terms of language, methodologies, and modalities. During my Presidency I will explore all the possibilities to produce a program of work based on various drafts and proposed Program of Work that are already at hand from previous Presidency as our reference and as a basis for consultation especially I will take due consideration to the continuation of consultation on the recent draft text distributed by the outgoing President of the Conference.
Nothing should lose sight on the urgency of the Conference on Disarmament to adopt and implement a balanced and comprehensive Program of Work that includes interalia negotiation on nuclear disarmament. Therefore, I will take into account views and constructive proposals expressed by member states in the attempt to find common ground on substantive issues and procedural matters.
So the floor is open for the delegations that wish to comment on the issues related to the CD or provide recommendations to the president and share their views on the proceeding of the Conference in the coming weeks.