Statement by Md. Rafiqul Alam Molla, Counsellor of Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN, Thematic Debate: “Disarmament Machinery”, First Committee 78th Session United Nations General, 25 October 2023

Mr. Chair,

Bangladesh aligns itself with the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

We wish to add the following remarks in our national capacity.

Bangladesh stands as a steadfast advocate for multilateralism in the quest for general and complete disarmament. Given the intricate security challenges prevailing in today’s world, we recognize that there is no alternative to multilateral cooperation. It is our shared goal to bolster the effectiveness of the United Nations’ disarmament machineries.

We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the work of the three mutually reinforcing fora of multilateral disarmament machinery: the UN General Assembly’s First Committee, the Conference on Disarmament, and the UN Disarmament Commission. As a global community, we have a collective duty to uphold their centrality and legitimacy to ensure that these forums remain pertinent, delivering outcomes that align with their agreed-upon mandates.

These machineries have successfully delivered landmark treaties and normative frameworks through their established procedures.

We appreciate the continued support of the UN Secretary-General and the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs in this regard.


Mr. Chair,

We are deeply concerned over the erosion of the rules-based multilateral system in the field of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control. Bangladesh feels that the key problem is the lack of political will by some countries to achieve progress, especially on nuclear disarmament.

We share our profound frustration and concerns, like many other delegations, over the prolonged state of paralysis of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) as sole disarmament negotiating body. We can no longer afford to be caught in the never-ending loop of repeating past activities that have repeatedly failed to bring us any closer to an agreement on a Program of Work.

It is imperative to internalize that this continued impasse is entirely unsustainable. Not only does it seriously undermine the CD’s credibility, but it also poses a growing threat to its relevance and stature in the international community. We must act decisively to break free from this paralyzing cycle.

Mr. Chair,

Bangladesh welcomes the resumption of the UNDC’s work in 2022, and particularly the adoption of “recommendations to promote practical implementation of Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures (TCBMs) in outer space.” However, it is indeed regrettable that the UNDC was unable to reach a consensus on another critical agenda item: “Recommendations for achieving the objective of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.”

We look forward to the new cycle of the UNDC, starting from the 2024 Session, and sincerely hope that the UNDC can fulfill its mandate by adopting mutually agreed substantive recommendations during this period.

Bangladesh reiterates its call to UN Member States to enable the Commission to advance the discussions on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and outer space.


Mr. Chair,

Bangladesh strongly advocates for a more focused and efficient First Committee, dedicated to non-proliferation and disarmament by minimizing redundancy and duplication. We emphasize the critical need to comprehensively review the Committee’s working methods with a view to enhancing efficiency and relevance.

We appreciate the work of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and commend the institute for their high-quality independent research and timely discussions on issues within the field of disarmament. We also recognize the useful learning resources developed by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA).


Mr. Chair,

In the realm of disarmament, advancing gender equality and empowering women and girls is a key priority for Bangladesh. We join the call for equal engagement and meaningful participation of women at all levels of disarmament initiatives and forums.

Finally, Mr. Chair, 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 it would give Member States a new opportunity to demonstrate their collective will to reinvigorate overall disarmament machinery.

I thank you.