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New York, 2 April 2012


His Excellency Mr. Enrique Roman-Morey,
Distinguished delegates,

I am glad to be here this morning, at the opening of the 2012 session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC), as this important body begins a new three-year-cycle.

Let me start my brief message by welcoming and congratulating Ms. Angela Kane, the recently appointed High-Representative for Disarmament, and wishing her well in her new post.

I am certain that Ms Kane’s impressive professional record will continue in her new capacity.

While commending the positive efforts of His Excellency Hamid Al Bayati of Iraq, as Chair of the 2011 session of UNDC, I wish to congratulate His Excellency Mr. Enrique Roman-Morey for his election as Chairperson of this UNDC session.

I am sure that his profound experience in the area of disarmament will reflect very positively on the work of this session, and the prospects for its successful conclusion.

I also wish to also congratulate the members of the Bureau.

There is no doubt that the United Nations bodies comprising its disarmament machinery are currently at a crucial juncture.

They face serious challenges imposed by a lack of political will and a growing resistance to initiative and compromise.

In the case of UNDC and the Conference on Disarmament, this has brought the work of both bodies to a stalemate for over a decade.

This situation cannot, and indeed should not, be sustained.

Against that background, I cannot stress more the responsibility and opportunity we all share today to bring the disarmament machinery, including UNDC, back on track.

Yet, it is only with leadership, dedication to our collective objectives, and compromise that this can be achieved.

In past years, UNDC has not only provided a valuable platform for important deliberations on disarmament priority topics, but also a platform for agreement on various important documents and guidelines, which continue to serve as key references today.

It was thus a source of concern to see that, for the 12th consecutive year, Member States could not arrive at an agreement over an outcome for the session in 2011.

Given the history underlying the creation of the United Nations disarmament machinery, including the UNDC, at the 1978 First Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly dedicated to Disarmament, and highlighting the achievements arrived at by this body, I found it essential to be here today, to communicate a message of support and encouragement, inviting you all to exert every effort required to seize the opportunity present at this session.

In order to face this serious challenge, and revive those crucial multilateral bodies, I wish to ask you all to work together in a spirit of constructive cooperation and compromise.

Let your work be guided by the intention of making this session a solid building block in a successful three-year-cycle, which can bring results contributing to international security and stability.

Along with my office, I remain willing to extend any help, as you Mr. Chairman might see appropriate, to support your important endeavor.

Thank you.