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Deadlock on Disarmament is unacceptable, says UN Chief

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Geneva, 27 February 2024 (TDI): According to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, if a disarmament deal cannot come to a consensus each year, then there is something dire about its development.

He further reported that “Humanity needs the Conference on Disarmament to work successfully. The paralysis and deadlock that have come to define it is something that is not acceptable”.

Prior Role of Conference on Disarmament

Antonio Guterres reflected on the Conference on Disarmament’s previous role in framing key agreements such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NTP) and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

He asserts that these achievements were “hard fought and hard won”, further reporting that they were not marvels but a consequence of countries working together in assistance.

However, in spite of this, there has been a lack of trust on a global level, and with geopolitical division forming a “total deadlock”, it is therefore of urgent matter that the Conference be reformed.

Nuclear-Free Zone

The UN Secretary-General has also underscored the United Nations proposed New Agenda for Peace, which prioritizes prevention and disarmament at the fore of the global and security layout.

Antonio Guterres also claimed that the Conference on Disarmament is to not play a part in the continuing distrust surrounding multilateral action but to participate in finding solutions that can push humanity forward.

“The most effective disarmament tool is inclusive diplomacy. We need that diplomacy now – urgently,” he reported.

Furthermore, Indonesia, also as the president of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) signified the need to solidify the commitment to global disarmament at the High Level Segment of the CD in Geneva, Switzerland on the 26th of February.

Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi also proclaimed that Indonesia along with the ASEAN countries vow to push for the signing of the South Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) protocol by the permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The Foreign Affairs Minister thought that the CD must be versatile and receptive to the changing security terrain, including the inception of new technologies in the weapons system and modern warfare, along with forming a treaty to avert an arms race in outer space.

Also Read: High-level representatives discuss disarmament at UN Conference

New Agenda for Peace

Previously in July 2023 Antonio Guterres unveiled the New Agenda for Peace presenting twelve cemented sets of proposals for action, in five priority areas.

According to the first proposal, the Secretary-General calls for intensified measures to deter conflict on a worldwide scale and reflect on geopolitical division, highlighting democracy, and financing regional security areas.

In the second proposal Antonio Guterres calls attention to a “paradigm for prevention that addresses all forms of violence” highlighting mediation and social cohesion, making sure human rights are regarded and that a significant participation of women in decision-making is incorporated, along with accentuating the link between sustainable development, climate actions and peace.

The third proposal area maintains to update peacekeeping operations to adjust to present conflicts, a lot of which are still unsolved to this day. The fourth proposal calls for the prevention of weaponization of unfolding domains and technologies and for the advancement on reasonable innovation.

The fifth area points out the fast track reforms to the Security Council, General Assembly, the UN’s disarmament machinery, and the Peacebuilding Commission to intensify collective security.

The Conference on Disarmament has in prior Geneva-based committees, played a vital role in forming important arms limitations pacts such as the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Convention on Prohibition and Destruction of biological weapons, the Convention on the Prohibition and destruction of chemical weapons, and Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

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