Statement by Turkey at the Conference on Disarmament Plenary
I would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the Presidency. You can count on my delegation’s full support. Further, I thank your predecessor, the distinguished Permanent Representative of Myanmar.
I also would like to congratulate the Acting High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Mr Kim Won-soo and wish him success in his endeavors.
Another heartfelt congratulation is for Director General of UNOG Mr Michael Möller, who has just been appointed as the Secretary General of the Conference of Disarmament. I thank him for his continuing engagement with the CD and wish him every success.
In order to address today’s challenges and enhance our security in a volatile environment, multilateral efforts towards disarmament are indispensable.
Our ability to respond effectively to the pressing challenges to international peace and security depends heavily on how we make best use of international fora, including the Conference on Disarmament.
The Conference on Disarmament has a special responsibility regarding the disarmament agenda. There is a considerable heritage. CD has successfully negotiated treaties in the past that contributed to a safer and more peaceful world.
The stark truth is that, the Conference on Disarmament has been unable to fulfil its mandate for too long.
We should all strive to maintain the relevance of the Conference by fulfilling its fundamental task: That is to undertake disarmament negotiations. CD agenda is comprehensive and flexible, enabling us to address all issues in the field of arms control and disarmament.
Turkey would not like to see the Conference’s role to be shifting away. In this regard, we hope that the Conference will resume substantive work as early as possible.
In our view recent informal discussions in the framework of the Informal Working Group on Programme of Work is an important attestation to our collective endeavor to find a way that would commend consensus.
An essential step, in this respect, will be the commencement of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and universally and effectively verifiable treaty to ban the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. This will serveboth disarmament and non-proliferation purposes.
It will further pave the way for parallel advances in the other core agenda items. We welcome, in this respect, the consensus report of the Group of Governmental Experts on this issue. We hope that the report will help us to understand this technically complex and multifaceted issue better and more in depth.
Regarding the state of affairs in the CD, Turkey is convinced that the challenges are not created by its procedures, membership or internal dynamics. And the consensus rule is paramount in this regard.
So, we have to study carefully the state of affairs. Unfortunately,
there is a certain malaise throughout the disarmament fora and machinery, both at international and regional levels.
In our understanding, stalemate in the CD is the reflection of the strategic bottlenecks at different yet interrelated levels. The work of the CD can not be evaluated in abstraction from the rest of the disarmament efforts.
But we also have to assess whether the deadlock of Conference on Disarmament or a healthy functioning of it serves us better.
We should not allow past failures to deter us. There are challenges, but we need to strive to overcome the current impasse.
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