Statement under the Thematic Discussion on “Disarmament Machinery” at the First Committee of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, 26 October 2016 in Conference Room 4

Mr. Chairman,

Bangladesh aligns itself with the Statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
Bangladesh continues to voice its concern over the protracted impasse in the Conference on Disarmament (CD), the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, over the past two decades. In view of the previous significant outcomes from negotiations under the aegis of CD, we can barely conceal our disappointment with the dearth of political will and leadership to get this body break free from its current deadlock. The occasional flickers of hope we see with its Programme of Work are soon extinguished as we circle back to entrenched positions and arguments for the lack of creative and forward-leaning solutions.

We urge the Secretary General-designate to keep this issue high on his agenda among his many competing priorities, and redouble his efforts towards garnering the necessary political will required, especially among nuclear weapon states and those states with strategic interest in nuclear weapons.

The UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC), the other key pillar of the multilateral disarmament machinery, has also found any concrete outcome on its mandates elusive since 2000. We underscore the need for sustained efforts towards reaching consensus in the two parallel Working Groups under the remit of UNDC. While we remain open to the possibility of having a third work stream, we stress the need for mitigating any attenuating effect on the existing programme of work. We appreciate the efforts of the current Chairs of the two Working Groups to further advance their mandated work.

We reaffirm our support for convening the Fourth Special Session of the General Assembly devoted to Disarmament (SSOD-IV) at an early date. We believe SSOD-IV would give Member States a renewed opportunity to demonstrate our collective will and capacity to infuse dynamism into the overall disarmament machinery towards achieving meaningful and far-reaching outcomes. We thank the Chair of the Open-ended Working Group on SSOD-IV for efficiently steering our work during the two sessions this year.

Finally, we reiterate our support for the NAM proposal to convene, no later than 2018, a high-level international conference on nuclear disarmament to build on the achievements made in 2013.

I thank you.