Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed today''s adoption by the Conference on Disarmament – the world''s sole multilateral forum for disarmament negotiations – of a Programme of Work for its 2009 session.
The move taken by the Conference in Geneva ends a 12-year stalemate, which will allow the body to negotiate and substantively discuss strategic disarmament and non-proliferation, according to a statement issued by Mr. Ban''s spokesperson.
“The Secretary-General is heartened that the members and in particular the President, Ambassador Idriss Jazaïry, have overcome an impasse which had for far too long prevented the Conference on Disarmament from fulfilling its mandate,” it added.
In his address to the Conference''s 65 members last week, Mr. Ban emphasized its essential role as the “main pillar of disarmament and non-proliferation.”
He voiced hope that today''s decision “will generate another important impetus to advancing disarmament and non-proliferation in general and to achieving success” at next year''s review conference of the UN-backed Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which forms the foundation of the world''s nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Following the adoption by consensus of a work programme, Mr. Jazaïry said that the Conference''s action has reinforced multilateralism and showed how to overcome “artificial barriers” separating the North and South.