|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General Urges Conference to Show Its Continuing Relevance
by Strengthening Rule of Law in Disarmament Field
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva today, 19 January:
Madam President, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to greet the members of the Conference on Disarmament as it begins its 2010 session. I had planned to be with you personally. But the tragedy in Haiti has made that difficult. Thank you for your understanding.
I believe that 2010 can be a historic year for progress in disarmament and non-proliferation. My hope is based not on wishful thinking, but on real opportunities for concrete action.
We have seen critical support from leaders of key nuclear-weapon States, renewed engagement of the Security Council, and ongoing initiatives from the international community, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and civil society. I urge the Conference to recognize the importance of this moment, and demonstrate to the world its continuing relevance, especially in strengthening the rule of law in the field of disarmament.
Last year, you broke a long-standing gridlock by adopting a programme of work. This year, I urge you to put aside differences and focus on the global interest -- in particular, the compelling need for binding legal norms and the vital role of the CD (Conference on Disarmament) in building them.
I hope you will agree on a work programme as soon as possible, hopefully during this first session. This would send a positive signal and help build momentum in the run-up to the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) Review Conference and beyond.
For my part, disarmament and non-proliferation will remain a priority. I will continue to build support for my Action Plan and do everything in my power to advance our efforts towards a world free of weapons of mass destruction.
Please accept my best wishes for the success of your work.
* *** *For information media • not an official record