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 »
THE PLAN ALL ALONG?
Manchin Drops Objections, Clearing Way for Spending Deal
12 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate standstill over a stopgap spending bill appeared headed toward a resolution on Friday night. Senators who were holding up the measure said votes are expected later in the evening. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin had raised objections to the continuing resolution because it did not include a full year's extension of retired coal miners' health benefits," but Manchin "said he and other coal state Democrats agreed with Senate Democratic leaders during a caucus meeting Thursday that they would not block the continuing resolution, but rather use the shutdown threat as a way to highlight the health care and pension needs of the miners."

Source:
UNCLEAR WHAT CAUSED CHANGE OF HEART
Giuliani Out of Running For State
14 hours ago
BREAKING

Donald Trump transition team announced Friday afternoon that top supporter Rudy Giuliani has taken himself out of the running to be in Trump's cabinet, though CNN previously reported that it was Trump who informed the former New York City mayor that he would not be receiving a slot. While the field had seemingly been narrowed last week, it appears to be wide open once again, with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson the current favorite.

Source:
ALSO VICE-CHAIR OF TRUMP’S TRANSITION TEAM
Trump Taps Rep. McMorris Rodgers for Interior Secretary
19 hours ago
BREAKING
SHUTDOWN LOOMING
House Approves Spending Bill
1 days ago
BREAKING

The House has completed it's business for 2016 by passing a spending bill which will keep the government funded through April 28. The final vote tally was 326-96. The bill's standing in the Senate is a bit tenuous at the moment, as a trio of Democratic Senators have pledged to block the bill unless coal miners get a permanent extension on retirement and health benefits. The government runs out of money on Friday night.

HEADS TO OBAMA
Senate Approves Defense Bill
1 days ago
THE LATEST

The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act today, sending the $618 billion measure to President Obama. The president vetoed the defense authorization bill a year ago, but both houses could override his disapproval this time around.

Source:
×
×

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