I would like to begin by congratulating you on assuming the Presidency of the CD. You can count on my delegation’s full support and cooperation.
We thank you for circulating the first draft of the CD’s Annual Report right at the start of your presidency last week. The draft is structured on the established format and, notwithstanding the blanks that need to be filled with respect to the reports of the Subsidiary Bodies, it covers all the requisite details in an objective and factual manner. It is indeed a solid basis for further work. We would continue to engage with you and with all other Member States in a constructive manner for its timely approval by the Conference.
The key to the smooth adoption of the report, which needs agreement by consensus, is to avoid the insertion of subjective political judgements. We all know the divergence of views that exist on almost all substantive issues considered in this body.
If each one of us was to insist on reflecting our respective national positions in the report, it would turn into a protracted and futile drafting exercise, without contributing anything towards overcoming the substantive differences that are preventing progress.
Over the years, we have established a stock phrase to reflect our national positions in the report, stating that: “all views and positions are duly recorded in the plenary records”. This approach has enabled us to always adopt an annual report in the CD. We sincerely hope that this tradition would continue.
We would suggest using this same approach for reflecting the stance on other issues, that are not related to the CD’s substantive agenda items. Our political views towards fellow member states notwithstanding, we should not question each other’s suitability to hold the Presidency, which rotates automatically on the basis of alphabetic order in accordance with our Rules of Procedure. We earnestly hope that a solution can be found that is satisfactory for all concerned parties, and which neither damages the working methods of the CD nor sets a bad precedent.
A significant activity that was held in the Conference this year pertains to the five Subsidiary Bodies that dealt with all issues on our agenda. My delegation participated actively in all the deliberations held in the Subsidiary Bodies and made substantive contributions. We found these discussions extremely useful and productive. They provided an opportunity to delve deeper into the respective issues and to develop a better understanding of each other’s perspectives. Credit goes to each one of the five Coordinators for facilitating such rich and substantive discussions.
Let me emphasize here that the reports of the five Subsidiary Bodies have to be agreed by consensus before they can be presented to the CD for consideration. Paragraph no. 5 of Decision CD/2119 makes that crystal clear. The aim of the Subsidiary Bodies’ reports should be to accurately and faithfully reflect the wide ranging discussions, whilst respecting the diversity of our respective positions. We have to remain mindful of each delegation’s sensitivities, concerns and national security interests.
Let me conclude by reiterating my delegation’s continued commitment to engage constructively in the finalization of the reports of the five Subsidiary Bodies as well as the CD’s Annual Report.
I thank you, Madam President.