U.N. Chief Acknowledges Staff Doubts About Disarmament Forum

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
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 »
Spicer Excludes NYT, CNN, BuzzFeed from Press Gaggle
4 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
SANS PROOF
NRA Chief: Leftist Protesters Are Paid
5 hours ago
UPDATE
EXECUTIVE ORDER
Trump: Agencies Should Recommend Regulations to Repeal
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS
NEW TRAVEL BAN COMING SOON
Trump Still on Campaign Rhetoric
8 hours ago
UPDATE
“WE’RE CHANGING IT”
Trump Rails On Obamacare
8 hours ago
UPDATE

After spending a few minutes re-litigating the Democratic primary, Donald Trump turned his focus to Obamacare. “I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe” he said. “I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work.” He finished, "so we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login