Allow me to begin by congratulating you on assuming the presidency of the CD and assuring you of my delegation’s full support and cooperation. We take note of your opening remarks and thank you for reaching out to the regional groups and individual delegations for informal consultations. We will engage with you constructively in advancing the CD’s work and hope that all delegations will do the same.
We also take this opportunity to thank the outgoing President, the distinguished Ambassador of Switzerland, for her sterling leadership of the CD. She steered us to a successful start of substantive work in the Subsidiary Bodies, building on the excellent foundation laid by her two predecessors: the distinguished Ambassadors of Sri Lanka and Sweden.
We hope that this positive trend of seamless coordination and cooperation between the six presidents would continue throughout the remainder of this year’s session for the smooth conduct of CD’s official business, and remain unaffected despite the statements that we have heard today raising questions regarding the current CD President.
It would be most unfortunate and regrettable if we allow our political views and persuasions regarding a fellow member state to discredit the office of the CD’s President. As we are all well aware, in accordance with Rule 9 of our Rules of Procedure, the presidency of the CD automatically rotates among all its members for a four-working-week period based on the English alphabetical order. We are not at liberty to elect or appoint a CD President by picking and choosing countries according to our likes and dislikes. Casting aspersions on the solemn office of the CD’s President and challenging its authority would have a negative effect on the smooth functioning of the CD and set a bad precedent. Despite our differences of opinion, extending due courtesies to each other and to the rotating presidency is essential for a congenial working environment in the CD.
We hope that during your presidency, the CD will continue its normal routine functioning in a productive manner. The CD should not become a victim of our posturing and politicking on issues that are not related to its substantive agenda items. Extraneous issues should neither divert the CD’s focus from its core substantive items, nor undermine the apolitical nature of the CD’s presidency.
I thank you, Mr. President.