Statement delivered by Ms. Rachita Bhandari, Counsellor (Disarmament) at the Subsidiary Body-2 Meeting to discuss the draft report of 2018 Session Statement delivered by Ms. Rachita Bhandari, Counsellor (Disarmament) at the Subsidiary Body-2 Meeting to discuss the draft report of 2018 Session

Statement delivered by Ms. Rachita Bhandari, Counsellor (Disarmament) at the Subsidiary Body-2 Meeting to discuss the draft report of 2018 Session

Permanent Mission of India 
to the Conference on Disarmament

Subsidiary Body 2: Draft report of 2018 Session Remarks by India 

Thank you, Mr. Coordinator, the Indian delegation thanks you for sharing the draft report of Subsidiary Body 2 with us along with your letter of 3rd August.  We appreciate the efforts put in by you and your team in drafting this report and assure you of our constructive support towards agreement on this document. Since we are discussing the draft report, I will take this opportunity to make a few comments: 

Firstly, on page-1 in para-2, it is mentioned in part-1(B) that there are divergences of views on different issues. We agree with that assessment of yours, Mr. Coordinator and would only add that these divergences of views were also reflected in the discussions held in part-1(C). In fact, such divergences have been reflected throughout our discussions and therefore, in our view, this must be clearly reflected in the chapeau sentence.  

  Secondly, on page-1, under commonalities, the general section, the first bullet point, we observe the inclusion of the word ‘possible’ before instrument and the use of the word ‘instrument’ instead of a legally-binding instrument or treaty. That does not, in our view, accurately reflect the understanding in the room. If I do understand correctly, I do not recall any delegation speaking out against the negotiation of a legally-binding instrument or treaty to address the subject matter under discussion. While, in our view, the scope of the treaty has been clearly delineated by the Shannon mandate, we believe that the caveat inserted at the beginning of the sentence stating ‘without prejudice to the scope’ would have been enough to address the concerns of certain delegations in the room. It is abundantly clear that the word ‘possible’ has been included by a delegation or delegations that are not keen or willing to negotiate a treaty in the first place.  It is very important, Mr. Coordinator, not to dilute certain common understandings in this room.  We have to be very clear what exactly we are talking about. We would propose deleting the word ‘possible’ from both the first and the last bullet under general commonalities, as well as elsewhere in the report.  We would also propose using the word treaty or legally-binding instrument rather than just instrument.  Needless to say, these changes should be made across the report so as to maintain consistency and uniformity.    

Thirdly, on the last bullet point under general commonalities, we would like the sentence to read as follows: ‘The conference on Disarmament is the most appropriate forum to negotiate a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices based on CD/1299 and the mandate contained therein’.  We therefore concur with the proposals made by the delegations of the Russian Federation, France and Egypt who have spoken before me on similar lines. 

Fourthly, on page-2, under verification, bullet-2, we would propose deletion of the words ‘or voluntary provided in addition to verification requirements’, as in our view, declarations should necessarily be pursuant to the verification regime. The fact that any State may wish to provide any additional information as a voluntary transparency measure would be just that – a voluntary transparency measure that cannot be subject to the verification regime of the treaty.  

Fifthly, again under verification, bullet-4, the reference to Body/Bodies creates confusion. While it is correct that some delegations have spoken of the IAEA and others, including mine, have spoken of an FMCTO, eventually, it should be one Body that should be tasked with verification. The mandate for verification should be clear and vested in one Body only rather than spread over two or more Bodies. We would therefore suggest deleting the word Bodies altogether. This change would also have to be made in the second last para on page-4. 

Sixthly, on page-3, under scope, para-1, line-8, after the sentence – ‘The point was made that therefore there was no need for a new mandate’, we would propose inserting another sentence stating – ‘These delegations called for the immediate commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) on the basis of CD/1299 and the mandate contained therein’.   

In the same para, line-9, we would propose inserting at the beginning of the sentence ‘According to those delegations’ so that it would read as follows:  ‘According to those delegations, a distinction was made with regard to the different categories of stocks’ and so on.    

Similarly, in the following sentence, we would propose inserting ‘by some delegations’ so that the sentence would read as follows: ‘Also, suggestions were made by some delegations as to how to deal with the different categories’ and so on. 

Lastly, in part-3 on possible areas of future work, Mr. Coordinator, though you have listed out certain select areas, we feel that this may require further discussion in the room.  We of course completely agree with you that work under Subsidiary Body 2 should be continued. My delegation assures you of all support as you lead us in this important task.   

I thank you, Mr Coordinator.