Statement by Turkey at the First Committee of UNGA70 Thematic Discussion on Disarmament Machinery

Statement by Turkey 27.11.2015

Mr Chairman,

Turkey shares the concern vis-a-vis the lingering stalemate over the UN Disarmament Machinery.

The Conference on Disarmament, once a success story, has been dormant for too long now. The same is true about the UN Disarmament Commission. However, in view of the spectrum of security challenges the international community is facing today, enhancing the effectiveness of the relevant institutions and mechanisms should be our shared goal and priority.

And let us not lose confidence in what we have: We should keep in mind that the disarmament machinery, in the past, has been successful in producing tangible outcomes.

In our opinion, what the international community lacks toady is political will on the side of some states. In the absence of strong and shared political will for disarmament, stalemate seems unceasing, and progress far.

Mr Chariman,

Turkey believes that the problems that hamper progress in the CD are not created by its procedures or internal dynamics. CD does not operate in void. Stalemate in the CD is the reflection of the strategic bottlenecks at different yet interrelated levels. We need to look at the larger picture and refrain from assessing CD’s work in abstraction from the rest of the disarmament efforts.

Most certainly, the resumption of the substantive work of the CD with the consent of all its members, will contribute to the strengthening of international efforts for nuclear disarmament.

We should not spare any effort within the Conference that would generate better mutual understanding and confidence, while not ignoring the external developments.

As we have repeated in this room time and again, Turkey is convinced that the Conference possesses the mandate, rules of procedure, and membership to discharge its duties. Our first and foremost priority is moving CD forward by assuring that its reassumes its fundamental task: to negotiate legally binding international treaties. As known, the disarmament machinery has a clear division of tasks among various international fora. Naturally, different bodies have different working methods and membership.

Another important pillar of the UN Disarmament Machinery that has not functioned as desired, is the UN Disarmament Commission. Regrettably, the UNDC has not been able submit any substantive recommendations to the General Assembly in the course of the last fifteen years.

And again, despite the fact that it is a deliberative body, we should not forget how the UNDC once successfully formulated consensus principles, guidelines and recommendations on a number of subjects.

We look forward to seeing the UNDC resume that kind of work soon.

Mr. Chairman,

The First Committee, on the other hand, remains as a significant component of the disarmament machinery. Turkey values the institution of introducing resolutions. Nevertheless, we believe the international community needs to be mindful of not creating a self-imposed maze of duplication through the resolutions we draft and act on. We should be mindful of the absolute value added to disarmament efforts of the resolutions we introduce and act on in this Committee. We trust that our concern is shared by many members and look forward to discussions on how we can make the First Committee more efficient.

Last but not least, we regret that UNIDIR, such a broadly benefited institute, is in an institutional crisis. Turkey has voluntarily contributed to UNIDIR regularly. We support the efforts to find a sustainable solution to that.

In conclusion, Mr. Chariman,

It is time to rekindle collective efforts to revitalize the whole disarmament machinery and before I conclude, I’d like to reiterate Turkey’s readiness to contribute to the efforts to that end.

Thank you.