Thematic Discussion on "Disarmament Machinery"

-- 22.10.2009
Mr. Chairman,

An effective multilateral disarmament machinery is essential for international peace and security. The UN General Assembly and its First Committee, the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and the UN Disarmament Commission are all part of this complex machinery. Turkey supports and actively contributes to the work of these important bodies.

We consider the First Committee of the General Assembly as an important forum for consultations on non-proliferation and disarmament issues and adoption of resolutions in this field. Likewise, we consider that the CD has a crucial role in addressing today's global security challenges. We sincerely hope that the CD will be able to resume its negotiating role as the primary multilateral disarmament forum. To this end, Turkey welcomes the adoption of the Program of Work of the Conference on Disarmament earlier this year. We expect the remaining obstacles standing on the way of implementation of this Program of Work to be removed soon, so that the CD could embark on its substantive work on the commencement of the fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT) negotiations, parallel advances on negative security assurances as well as prevention of arms race in outer space.

Taking this opportunity, Mr. Chairman, I would like to reiterate Turkey's well-known position on the expansion of the CD membership.

We are of the view that the question of expansion of the CD membership is not a priority at this stage. At a time when the CD has not yet overcome the existing stalemate, we should all strive to work towards ensuring the effective functioning of the CD rather than dedicating our precious time and energy on other matters of less urgency.

This in no way should be construed as Turkey's categorical opposition to the enlargement of the CD. However, we believe that this matter should be addressed on a case-by-case basis, with due consideration to the contributions of candidates to international peace and security.

The UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC) is another universal body on disarmament issues. We support the work of the UNDC and would like this body to assume a more active role in promoting our common objectives in this field.

Mr. Chairman,

The current disarmament machinery has been able to develop various instruments containing important obligations and commitments in the field of disarmament. However, we believe that this machinery could and should do better. It is incumbent on all of us to work diligently towards this goal. We believe that the emerging favourable international atmosphere presents a unique opportunity which should be seized.