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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Statement by Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov at the Plenary Meeting of the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, 28 February2017



1 March 201719:19
398-01-03-2017


Resultado de imagem para pictures of Gennady Gatilov
Distinguished Mr. President,
Distinguished colleagues,
I am pleased to have the opportunity to address such a representative audience. The fact that high ranking officials of Member States as well as of non-Members consider it to be an honor to speak at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) proves the authority, relevance and promising future of this forum when it comes to strengthening and improving the international legal framework that the system of global strategic stability and international security is built upon. There is no doubt that each State wishes to be heard. Each member of international community is seeking to ensure its national security interests are firmly secured and do not slide into dependency on instant political considerations. In our view it gives a special value to the CD, where all participants can hold an insightful dialogue on equal terms dealing with the most sensitive security issues and seek solutions to complex problems of arms control, disarmament and WMD non-proliferation.
We are all here united by the noble goal to ensure global and regional security and stability in a sustainable way. We are positive that elaborating efficient and viable instruments of arms control under the aegis of the United Nations, as well as strengthening the existing regimes of WMD non-proliferation contributes to achieving this goal.

We have all the instruments necessary for such work. They are – a comprehensive “triad” of the United Nations, unique by its expert potential and experience accumulated – the UNGA First Committee, the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and the UN Disarmament Commission. It is significant that all the elements of this mechanism are closely interconnected, dynamically complementing one another and set to operate based on the common agenda. In accordance with their respective mandates they are designed to fulfill specific functions, which would be rather problematic to “delegate” to some other body or structure on different principles and rules of procedure.
A special place in this disarmament system which has proved its efficiency belongs to the CD – a single negotiating body which served as the venue for elaborating a whole series of basic international agreements in the field of non-proliferation and arms control. We cannot but be seriously worried by the attempts initiated several years ago to erode the established system by way of pulling certain agenda items out of the CD and putting them to the United Nations General Assembly.
Mistaken are those who think that a change of venue or, even more than that, of the rules of procedure, can facilitate bridging States’ approaches to addressing arms control issues. Due to such misapprehensions we risk to be thrown decades backwards, when the international community was only tentatively identifying possible institutional framework and modalities of solving issues in the field of arms control, disarmament and WMD non-proliferation and was just getting closer to a conclusion, logical and now universally recognized, about inevitability and invariability of the comprehensive and consensus-based approach to the issues of disarmament.
This universally recognized principle, requiring scrupulous work to ensure that interests of all sides are respected and to eliminate factors that negatively affect strategic stability, is embedded in the decisions of the First UNGA Special Session devoted to disarmament. In particular, there is no doubt, that any attempts to reach a “global nuclear zero” in an allegedly “easy short cut” way through decisions taken in haste by the UN General Assembly are doomed for failure from the start. The positive experience of Russia and the US undertaking reductions of strategic offensive arms, effective and unprecedented in scale, proves that any decision in this sensitive area needs a meticulous comprehensive preparatory work and mutually accepted compromises.
Thus, a viable alternative to the disarmament “triad” and the CD in particular is not seen either under current circumstances or in the future. We are convinced that the CD negotiating potential is far from being exhausted.
Undoubtedly, we share serious concerns over the long-lasting “impasse” of the CD. Recent years have witnessed numerous initiatives aimed at overcoming the deadlock in its negotiating work. None of them, though, has been realized in full. However, it is encouraging to see that States being aware of their responsibility for the forum’s future do not give up and continue seeking the way out. Thus, the decision made by the CD under Romanian Presidency to establish a Working Group to find effective solutions on the Programme of Work (PoW) represents a first step towards an agreed PoW at the 2017 CD session, though it falls short of meeting hopes and aspirations of some delegations.
In our turn, we have also been undertaking efforts in recent years to find possible compromises on the draft PoW building on the basis of both the traditional CD agenda items and new topics that could potentially unite all the States.
In this regard, I would like to emphasize the relevance of the initiative put forward by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to elaborate in the CD an international convention on the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism and of our respective proposal on the PoW. This Russian proposal takes into account the interests of all States and, as we believe, has certain chances to be approved. The Russia-China draft treaty on the prevention of placement of weapons in outer space and of the threat or use of force against outer space objects (PPWT) is also “at the table” of the CD.   It enjoys wide international support and is now best prepared for negotiations.
I would like to underscore that these two initiatives do not belong to the realm of abstract ideas and calls for action. Both have already been formalized in shape of specific documents. What we need to proceed to effective negotiations on them is to demonstrate a political will. By doing so we would be able to contribute to the revitalization of the robust functioning of the CD not only in words, but in deeds.
Distinguished colleagues,
I would like to assure you that the Russian delegation in its capacity of the CD Presidency in February-March will exercise its duties impartially. It will put maximum efforts to find areas of convergence on the PoW with a view of reaching a mutually acceptable compromise based on opinions expressed by the CD delegations. In our turn, we call upon all to exercise flexibility.
I wish every success to all of you.

Thank you for your attention.
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At midday on Friday 5 February, 2016 Julian Assange, John Jones QC, Melinda Taylor, Jennifer Robinson and Baltasar Garzon will be speaking at a press conference at the Frontline Club on the decision made by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on the Assange case.

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