Am 20. Jänner beginnt in Genf im Palais der Nationen wieder die sogenannte Abrüstungskonferenz. Dort geht es ausnahmsweise einmal auch einmal um die Massenvernichtungswaffen der USA und der anderen kleineren Besitzer von Overkill-Kapazitäten.
CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT TO OPEN 2003 SESSION ON 20 JANUARY (Reissued as received.)
GENEVA, 16 January (UN Information Service) — The Conference on Disarmament, the world’s sole multilateral forum for disarmament negotiations, will open its 2003 session on Monday, 20 January, at the Palais des Nations. The first public plenary will take place at 10 a.m. Tuesday, 21 January. The session will open under the presidency of Ambassador Rakesh Sood, Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament. The presidency of the Conference rotates amongst its Member States according to the English alphabetical order; each President holds office for four working weeks. During 2003, the presidency of the Conference also will be held by Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, and Israel. The Conference’s annual session is divided into three parts. The first part of the session will conclude on 28 March; the second will run from 12 May to 27 June; and the third will be held from 28 July to 10 September. In accordance with its rules of procedure, the Conference „shall adopt its agenda for the year at the beginning of the session. In doing so, the Conference shall take into account the recommendations made to it by the United Nations General Assembly, the proposals by its Members, and decisions of the Conference.“ In 2002, the Conference was not able to reach agreement on a programme of work — the fourth consecutive year during which it was unable to do so — and so was unable to start work on substantive issues. While there was agreement on most of the elements of a programme, the main differences remained on the matter of prevention of an arms race in outer space. However, in February 2002, the Conference appointed a Special Coordinator on review of its agenda, a Special Coordinator on expansion of its membership, and a Special Coordinator on improved and effective functioning of the Conference. The agenda of the Conference for 2002 included the following items: cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament; prevention of nuclear war, including all related matters; prevention of an arms race in outer space; effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons; new types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons (radiological weapons); a comprehensive programme of disarmament; transparency in armaments; and consideration and adoption of the annual report and any other report, as appropriate, to the General Assembly of the United Nations. The Conference on Disarmament works by consensus. During the 2002 session, a number of proposals on the Conference’s programme of work were submitted, including a proposal presented by five former Presidents of the Conference — the so-called „Five Ambassadors“ initiative — launched by the Ambassadors of Algeria, Belgium, Chile, Sweden, and Colombia, which had provided a glimmer of hope that the deadlock could be overcome. Basing itself on the proposal by Ambassador Celso Amorim of August 2000 (document CD/1624), the proposal sought to bridge the gaps between Member States of the Conference on the main stumbling blocks of prevention of an arms race in outer space and nuclear disarmament. At its 2002 adjournment the Conference instructed its current an incoming Presidents to conduct consultations during the intersessional period and, if possible, make recommendations, taking into account all existing proposals and discussions held in the 2002 session. In his concluding statement for 2002, Conference President Andras Szabo of Hungary also said the Conference had come very close to reaching agreement on the establishment of three Ad Hoc Committees — on the issues of a treaty banning production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; on nuclear disarmament; and on negative security assurances, as well as on their respective mandates. The same applied to the appointment of Special Coordinators on the topics of a comprehensive programme of disarmament and transparency in armaments. Furthermore, a new proposal by the German presidency to revisit the issue of radiological weapons in the light of the new threats, and to appoint a Special Coordinator to this end was discussed. However, deep controversies persisted on how to deal with the item on prevention of an arms race in outer space. In this connection, he emphasized that from the point of view of the future work of the Conference, the question of whether and how quickly these differences could be overcome remained critical. All these issues are likely to receive continuing consideration during this year’s session. The Conference’s public plenaries, usually held on Thursday mornings, also generally feature statements by member countries on their priority issues on the Conference’s agenda and on the ways and means of breaking the negotiating impasse in the Conference. Member States of the Conference The 66 members of the Conference are Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal. Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe. Moreover, States not Members of the Conference may submit requests for participation in its work. Accordingly, the following non-Member States were invited by the Conference to participate in its 2002 session: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, the Holy See, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Monaco, Oman, the Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, Sudan, Thailand and Yemen. * *** *
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