Statement by Ambassador (Dr.) Pankaj Sharma, Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament during the formal Plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament on January 21, 2020.

Mr. President,
H.E. Mr. Lazhar Soualem, Director General for Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Algeria
Distinguished Members of the Secretariat,
Fellow Colleagues,         

1.       Let me begin by wishing a happy New Year to all colleagues.

2.       My delegation would like to congratulate you on the assumption of the first Presidency of the CD for this year, especially from a country with which India enjoys warm bilateral relations.  My delegation assures you of its full cooperation and support in steering our deliberations to a successful outcome.

3.       I would like to welcome our new colleagues in the CD, Ambassador Leslie Norton of Canada, Ambassador Frank Tressler of Chile, Ambassador Ichiro Ogasawara of Japan, Ambassador Ahamad Faisal bin Muhamad of Malaysia, Ambassador Khalil Hashmi of Pakistan, Ambassador Ignacio S. Garcia-Ovies of Spain, Ambassador Bauman Felix of Switzerland, as well as you Mr. President.

4.       India aligns itself with the statement delivered by the G-21.  Even though the CD could not conduct substantive work last year due to a number of factors, the fact that the Annual Report of the Conference on Disarmament was adopted by the General Assembly by consensus, gives us hope and optimism that when there is will, it is possible to overcome differences and divergences.  At a time when the international security situation is going through a turbulent phase, it is all the more important that the CD upholds its vocation of negotiating legally binding instruments for strengthening international peace and security and work strictly in accordance with its mandate as recognized by SSOD-I in 1978.  Not doing so will only raise questions about the effectiveness and efficacy of this body. 

5.       It is incumbent upon the President to present a Programme of Work to the CD for consideration and adoption, in accordance with the CD’s Rules of Procedure.  Such a Programme of Work should be established at the beginning of the annual session.  In this context, we acknowledge and appreciate your efforts in consulting Member States for preparing a draft Programme of Work for the 2020 Session.   As also recalled by you, the last time in the recent history, the CD adopted a Programme of Work by consensus was under the Algerian Presidency in 2009 and, therefore, it is natural to have high expectations from you.  We have been inspired by the remarks of the Hon’ble Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria as well as your statement and the P-6 Declaration, which reinforce our belief in your positive approach towards achieving consensus on a Programme of Work. India stands ready to support your endeavour as well as those by the subsequent Presidencies during the year.        

Thank you,

Permanent Mission of India to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva