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CD Report, 9 March 2015
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High-level week in the CD

Mia Gandenberger
9 March 2015 

From 2-9 March the Conference on Disarmament (CD) held its annual high-level segment, during which dignitaries from the Russian Federation, Algeria, Sweden, the Netherlands, Argentina, Ukraine, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Turkey, Democratic People’s Republic (DPRK), Germany, Austria, Spain, United Kingdom, Cuba, Japan, Georgia, Myanmar, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Costa Rica, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Ireland, Italy, Chile, Mongolia, Iraq, Colombia, and Finland addressed the conference. The President of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, Ambassador Bertrand De Crombrugghe of Belgium, addressed the CD to mark the sixteenth anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention.
 
The United States, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Canada, DPRK, Japan, Germany, Republic of Korea, and Ukraine participated in some of the ensuing debates.
 
Nuclear disarmament                                                             

  • Many speakers underlined the importance of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons for disarmament efforts.
  • Sweden, Argentina, Ukraine, Mexico, Austria, Ireland, Costa Rica, Chile, and Colombia highlighted the conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.
  • Austria recalled its commitment to build momentum for urgent action to achieve a world without nuclear weapons as articulated in the Austrian Pledge.
  • Lebanon, Costa Rica, Chile, and Ireland expressed their support for the Pledge.
  • Cuba recalled the Non-Aligned Movement’s proposal that calls for the beginning of negotiations of a comprehensive nuclear weapons convention in the CD.
  • Japan reiterated that 70 years after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki it is crucial that the international community achieve concrete progress on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
  • Most speakers highlighted the importance of the upcoming Review Conference of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) for the disarmament framework.
Regional issues
  • The DPRK, Republic of Korea, and Japan commented on the continuously tense situation on the Korean peninsula.
  • Japan criticized the ballistic missile launch conducted by the DPRK on 2 March 2015, saying it is in clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
  • Ukraine and Germany recalled the agreements reached under the Budapest Memorandum and voiced concern about the current situation in Eastern Ukraine.
  • The Russian Federation shared its views on these matters in rights of reply after these addresses.
  • Latvia expressed its support for diplomatic and political approaches to the Ukrainian situation that restore confidence.
  • Georgia recalled the military activities between Georgia and the Russian Federation in August 2008.
  • Algeria drew attention to the situation in Mali and the Sahel region and to efforts to achieve a peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis.
  • The Russian Federation, Lebanon, Turkey, Morocco, Qatar, Spain, and Iraq regretted that the conference to establish a zone in the Middle East free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction has not yet been convened.
  • Finland reiterated its commitment to hosting the conference on a short notice once convened.
  • The Russian Federation expressed its concern with “upgrades” of non-strategic nuclear weapons by certain states and NATO training exercises, which are in violation of the first two articles of NPT.
  • Speaking in a right of reply, the United States stressed it needs the flexibility to respond to new and emerging threats and that the NATO nuclear sharing practice is not in violation of the NPT. 
Other
  • Ireland highlighted the need to ensure equal representation and agency for women in arms control and disarmament negotiations.
  • Many states highlighted the role of civil society and some welcomed the CD Civil Society Forum, which will take place on 19 March 2015 in Geneva.
  • A number of states, including the Netherlands, Morocco, Germany, Costa Rica, Ireland, and Finland, highlighted the successful negotiations and entry into force as well as the need for successful implementation, of the Arms Trade Treaty.
  • In that context, Morocco stressed its concerns about the trafficking of small arms, light weapons, and drugs in the region.
  • Some states, including Sweden and the Netherlands, welcomed the further discussion on autonomous weapon systems that will take place from 13-17 April 2015 in Geneva. 

Next plenary
The next plenary will be held on Tuesday, 10 March at 10:00 in the Council Chamber.

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