U.N. Chief Acknowledges Staff Doubts About Disarmament Forum

Global Security Newswire Staff
Jan. 22, 2014, 9:09 a.m.

U.N. Sec­ret­ary Gen­er­al Ban Ki-moon on Tues­day ac­know­ledged his staff’s pess­im­ism about land­ing a break­through in a long-dead­locked dis­arm­a­ment for­um.

“When I con­sidered ad­dress­ing you once again today, some of our seni­or ad­visers counseled against it. They said there are little pro­spects for pro­gress this year,” the U.N. chief said in open­ing re­marks to this year’s first gath­er­ing of the Con­fer­ence on Dis­arm­a­ment in Switzer­land.

Ban said, though, that he re­mains con­vinced the Geneva ven­ue could achieve new strides.

“I de­cided to come and meet you. Why?” he said. “Be­cause I am a strong be­liev­er in mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism.

“I want you to know that I have not giv­en up hope for this noble body,” the U.N. head said. “I want to en­cour­age you to live up to the in­ter­na­tion­al com­munity’s ex­pect­a­tions.”

The 65-na­tion con­fer­ence was es­tab­lished as the primary glob­al for­um for ne­go­ti­ation of arms con­trol ac­cords. However, a pro­pos­al for an in­ter­na­tion­al pro­hib­i­tion on new nuc­le­ar-weapon fuel pro­duc­tion has held the con­sensus-driv­en body at a stand­still for more than 15 years.

The Con­fer­ence on Dis­arm­a­ment and its pre­de­cessors have pro­duced some key arms-con­trol agree­ments in the past, in­clud­ing the Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty, the Bio­lo­gic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion, and the Com­pre­hens­ive Nuc­le­ar Test-Ban Treaty.

Ban re­ferred, as well, to its crit­ic­al role in craft­ing the treaty un­der which Syr­ia is now work­ing to dis­mantle its chem­ic­al ar­sen­al.

“The Chem­ic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion is your leg­acy. The CD brought it to life,” Ban said. “The present­a­tion of the No­bel Peace Prize to the [Or­gan­iz­a­tion for the Pro­hib­i­tion of Chem­ic­al Weapons] is a re­cog­ni­tion of the im­port­ance of dis­arm­a­ment and non­pro­lif­er­a­tion for world peace. I hope you will be in­spired by this.”

States’ del­eg­ates voiced dif­fer­ing ideas on how to pur­sue sub­stant­ive move­ment in the con­fer­ence.

The United States noted that it was open to re-es­tab­lish­ing an in­form­al work­ing group to sup­port dis­cus­sions on mov­ing for­ward, but said it would do so only if an agreed agenda re­mains “elu­sive” over the course of 2014.

Ger­many, though, said the mech­an­ism should be re-launched “without fur­ther delay.”

“A sub­stant­ive sched­ule of activ­it­ies should be agreed upon for 2014,” Ger­man Am­bas­sad­or Mi­chael Biontino said in a pre­pared state­ment. “We be­lieve that the ap­proach de­veloped in the in­form­al work­ing group [last year] provides a val­id basis.”

What We're Following See More »
GOOGLE SEARCHES SPIKE
Libertarians Getting a Second Look?
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
VEEPSTAKES
Trump Floats Gingrich, Kasich as Running Mates
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Newt Gringrich is actively positioning himself as a possible VP nominee for Donald Trump, according to National Review. After a New York Times piece mentioned him as a possible running mate, he said, "It is an honor to be mentioned. We need a new Contract with America to outline a 100-day plan to take back Washington from the lobbyists, bureaucrats, unions, and leftists. After helping in 1980 with Reagan and 1995 as speaker I know we have to move boldly and decisively before the election results wear off and the establishment starts fighting us. That is my focus." Meanwhile, Trump told CNN he'd be "interested in vetting" John Kasich as well.

NO MORE CUTS
House Dems Push on Puerto Rico, Citing Zika
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

"House Democrats are stepping up pressure on Republicans to advance legislation addressing Puerto Rico’s worsening debt crisis by issuing a report arguing that austerity cuts can’t be sustained and have made the island more vulnerable to the mosquito-borne Zika virus." Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee released a report yesterday that argued "further sharp reductions in government spending can’t be a part of a legislative solution"—especially with a rainy season boosting the mosquito population and stressing an island health system already struggling to deal with the Zika virus.

Source:
USING LOCAL CELLS
Clapper: ISIS Can Stage Attacks in U.S.
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"ISIS has the capability to stage a Paris-style attack in the U.S. using local cells to strike in multiple locations and inflict dozens of casualties, according to the Obama administration's top U.S. intelligence official." Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN's Peter Bergen that such a scenario is "something we worry about a lot in the United States, that they could conjure up a raid like they did in Paris or Brussels."

Source:
WILL ANNOUNCE PICK BEFORE CONVENTION
Trump to Name VP Search Committee
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that he expected to reveal his vice presidential pick sometime in July—before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland—but added that he would soon announce a committee to handle the selection process, which would include Dr. Ben Carson." He said he's inclined to name a traditional political figure, unlike himself.

Source:
×