CD negotiates annual report
Beatrice Fihn | Reaching Critical Will of WILPF
4 September 2012
The Conference on Disarmament (CD) met on Tuesday, 4 September to discuss the draft annual report.
Statements and comments on the report were delivered by Israel, G21, Switzerland, Spain, Malaysia, Australia, Ireland, United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, United States, Pakistan, and the CD President, Ambassador Hoffmann of Germany. After initial comments by delegations, the meeting was adjourned and negotiations over the final text were carried out in an informal meeting.
Outstanding issues of the report
CD President Ambassador Hoffmann of Germany noted that four areas of the draft report still required some discussion: how to reflect the statement to the CD by the Secretary-General of the United Nations; the way to reflect the messages of other dignitaries the CD had heard throughout the year; how to reflect proposals made to revitalize and improve the functioning of the CD; and how to refer to and reflect on the failure to adopt the Egyptian proposal for a programme of work.
While agreeing that the report was “a good basis,” the Ambassador of Pakistan emphasized that his delegation had submitted amendments that about which it feels “very strongly” and wanted to discuss such issues further in an informal meeting.
Support of the report
The delegations of Switzerland, Spain, Malaysia, Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, and the United States supported the existing text and announced that they were ready to adopt it as it stands. However, this did not mean that delegations thought the report was perfect. For example, Canada reminded member states that it still believes the report was “too rosy,” and New Zealand noted it would have liked concerns about the CD highlighted further. However, as the other supporters of the draft, these countries believed it was a balanced report and supported its adoption. The United Kingdom and the United States highlighted the dangers with “meddling too much” with the text and believed delegations time could be better spent on other issues, while Spain warned that attempts to temper with the balance of the text could even danger the adoption of the report.
The President ended the formal plenary and asked delegates to continue the meeting in informal mode to discuss the proposed amendments.
Next plenary meeting
The next plenary meeting will be held on Tuesday, 11 September at 10:00 in the Council Chamber.