We learnt through the G-21 Chair, who attended the Presidential consultations held yesterday, that two of the five Coordinators of Subsidiary Bodies refused to meet the President of the Conference on his invitation. We understand that the President wanted to consult with all of the five Coordinators of the Subsidiary Bodies to update himself on the latest state of play and to provide the requisite guidance, harmonizing with them his efforts for drafting a Programme of Work.
The President was well within his rights to do so. As required under Rule 29 of the CD’s Rules of Procedure, it is the responsibility of the President to draft a Programme of Work and present it for the Conference’s consideration.
Also, it is clearly stipulated in Para-2 of Decision CD/2119 of 16 February 2018 that, I quote, “Each subsidiary body will be chaired by a coordinator appointed by the Conference, under the guidance of the President on the basis of equitable regional distribution.” unquote.
We find it unfortunate and regrettable that two of the Coordinators have chosen to ignore the terms of a Decision of the CD. We should not allow our political views regarding a fellow member state to discredit the office of the CD’s President. Nor should it be a reason to implement the decisions of the CD selectively. If these two Coordinators were not comfortable in working with one of the six Presidents of this year, they should not have volunteered for these positions in the first place.
As stated by my delegation at the last plenary, the CD should not become a victim of our posturing and politicking on issues that are not related to its substantive agenda. Extraneous issues should not undermine the automatically rotating presidency and the smooth functioning of the CD.
We sincerely hope that the refusal by the two Coordinators to engage with the current President would not prove to be the unraveling of the hard won consensus based on a delicately balanced and carefully crafted compromise to hold substantive work in the CD.
I thank you, Mr. President.