OEWG on Nuclear Disarmament OEWG on Nuclear Disarmament

OEWG on Nuclear Disarmament

Mr President

Thank you.  

Please allow me to express our sincere appreciation for your Presidency’s extensive efforts in connection with the Programme of Work for the Conference’s 2022 session in consultation with the P6 plus 2 and for holding consultations with CD Members including with my delegation.

India hopes that common ground can be found this year at the CD that would enable us to pursue substantive work.

Mr. President

While we understand the need for a realistic approach, all of us would agree that over the years the Conference has achieved progress on several issues and achieved a number of common understandings. In India’s view there is a need to reflect this progress and painstakingly arrived at common understandings in our Programme of Work.

We have shared the circulated draft with our capital and are awaiting their comments, let me offer some preliminary remarks on the draft non-paper circulated on the 4th February.

  • While the draft decision is aimed at creating Subsidiary Bodies, in our view, it is a substantial dilution of the 2018 decision CD/2119 that established Subsidiary Bodies. The subsidiary bodies had clear mandates assigned to them, which resulted in focused discussions and adoption of reports by consensus.
  • We do understand your reasons and rationale for doing so, but do not want the efforts of the past presidencies and the respective coordinators to go waste. This was also eloquently put forward by the Dutch Ambassador.
  •  Mr. President, We need to build on the past gains, as was also recommended by the Subsidiary Bodies.
  • To a simple mind, the way the draft PoW is framed now, it is not clear, how this draft PoW is any different from thematic debates conducted under various Agenda Items during the last 3 years. The only difference that is apparent to us is that the thematic debates will be chaired by the respective Coordinators, instead of the Presidency of the CD.
  • The proposed draft does not contain any reference to the CD’s core mandate of negotiating legally binding instruments.  Like Brazil said, we also believe, the draft needs to signal intent to make progress.
  • While it says at PP 4 ‘recognizing that there is no consensus for launching negotiations on any issue at this time’, it unfortunately does not aspire to have negotiations now or in the future. This aspiration was reflected by the past Presidencies in their attempts while presenting a draft Programme of Work.  We hope that you too would find a way to give voice to this collective aspiration and objective.   

Mr. President

  • As regards, OP1 that contains the decision to establish subsidiary bodies quotes that it is in accordance with the Rule 23 of the CD’s Rules of Procedure. We wish to draw your kind attention to the same Rule 23, the last sentence of which  reads as follows:

The Conference shall define the mandate for each of such subsidiary bodies and provide appropriate support for their work’.

  • It should be noted that the Rules of Procedure call for the Conference to define the mandate for each of the subsidiary bodies.
  • Mr. President, as we see, there a clear requirement for defining the mandate of each of the Subsidiary Bodies in accordance with this rule. We have also carefully listened to the views of Mexico and France on this topic.
  • The mandates of the Subsidiary Bodies cannot be delegated to the Subsidiary Bodies or the respective Coordinators.
  • Mr. President, in this context, one of the long-standing core items on the agenda of the CD is FMCT. India’s position on a Fissile Material Cut OFF Treaty is well known, which we wish to reiterate today. Without diminishing the priority we attach to disarmament, India has supported the immediate commencement of negotiations in the CD of an FMCT on the basis of CD/1299 and the mandate contained therein, which remains the most suitable basis for negotiations to commence as also endorsed by the GGE on FMCT and the High-Level Expert Preparatory Group on FMCT. We note the remarks of the Dutch and French delegation on the FMCT.
  • In India’s view, the FMCT is the most opportune topic for commencement of negotiations at the Conference. We hope that the mandate for Subsidiary Bodies will be framed keeping this important point in perspective.
  • To conclude, Mr President, while we believe that the draft represents a good starting point for discussions, it needs to still address some of these important questions.
  • It is heartening that Mr President, in your remarks, that you have said you will consider the views of all delegations.
  • My delegation stands ready to support your efforts and work with other delegations to arrive at a consensus on a programme of work  and commence substantive work at the earliest.

I thank you Mr President