Press Release

Disarmament Commission                                     

2004 Substantive Session                                   

262nd Meeting (AM)

disarmament commission continues discussions,

but no consensus reached on possible agenda

With just one week remaining in the substantive session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission and still lacking agreement on the agenda, members were informed today that adjourning the session, a proposal under consideration all week, was impossible. 

Commission Chairman Revaz Adamia (Georgia) explained that a consensus decision was the only way to adjourn the session, and it had become clear yesterday at a meeting of the Bureau that a number of delegations were against that.  Beseeching members to bring the improved weather outside into the conference room, he said he was still optimistic that, despite the time constraints, agreement could still be reached on his proposal as a basis for future work.

The proposal reads as follows:  a) “Guidelines for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in all its aspects, including, in particular, strategies for dealing with illicit activities that undermine nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation objectives”; b) Elements for verification mechanisms and instruments of conventional arms agreements; and c) Measures for improving the effectiveness of the Untied Nations disarmament machinery, without prejudice to efforts within the framework of SSODIV” (fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament).

Sharing some ideas about how to proceed, the Chairman said that, with only one week left, it was time to start to thinking about the report of the Commission to the General Assembly.  He hoped that a draft would be ready early next week, and he suggested the convening of a formal meeting on Monday morning.  Meanwhile, delegations should keep alive the hope that it was still possible to achieve some kind of consensus on the substantive items.  He strongly encouraged them to continue talking among themselves and with the Bureau.

In a general statement on behalf of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), Gabriela Martinic (Argentina) emphasized the importance those countries placed on the Commission’s deliberations.  Despite the lack of advancement, she hoped the necessary consensus would be reached on the substantive agenda items.  A frank and constructive exchange of ideas would meet that goal.  The MERCOSUR would cooperate “in every way”. 

She said that all rhetoric must be set aside and efforts must be intensified to advance that continued aim.  Multilateralism was the way forward in the new international reality.  Establishment of a constructive climate required full commitment, practical participation and political will, and the courage of the entire international community to take the necessary decisions.  She reiterated MERCOSUR’s full commitment to the functioning of the Commission, whose “deliberative and pre-negotiating” character provided a suitable framework in which to explore the possible avenues for progress in disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control.

The Disarmament Commission will meet again at 10 a.m. on Monday, 19 April.

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