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Conference on Disarmament Holds First Meeting under the Presidency of Senegal

The Conference on Disarmament this morning held its first public plenary under the Presidency of Senegal.  

Youssoupha Ndiaye, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Senegal to the United Nations Office at Geneva, speaking on behalf of the Senegalese Presidency, explained that the Permanent Representative of Senegal could not be at the Conference today due to an ongoing visit to Geneva by the Senegalese President Macky Sall. Senegal acknowledged the efforts of the Romanian and Russian Presidencies to reach an agreement on a programme of work. Like its predecessors, Senegal would try to use an innovative approach in order to move the Conference forward. Senegal invited all Member States of the Conference to conduct a profound introspection on the causes of the ongoing impasse.  In Senegal’s opinion, it was primarily the ethical crisis on the international stage that had led to the lack of confidence and trust between different actors. Violations of international conventions elaborated in the Conference and the lack of sanctions for them, as well as the necessity to revise the existing documents and adapt them to current realities, were also factors which had caused the current stalemate.   Mr. Ndiaye stressed that Senegal was calling for a continuous, frank and loyal dialogue among the actors of the international community, who should have the common interest of the entire humanity in mind.  As a non-permanent Member State of the Security Council in 2016-2017, Senegal dealt with issues such as the eradication of violent extremism and the respect of international legal instruments in the combat against terrorism and usage of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Senegal was pleased to have worked together with the Netherlands on holding, in Dakar on 20 and 21 February 2017, a regional preparatory workshop on the revision of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Recommendations from Dakar would be presented in a working paper which could be used as a roadmap for further regional consultations, to be held in Chile and in Indonesia. Senegal highlighted the unstable security context in Sahel, which was dealing with both ecological and terrorist challenges.   All stakeholders in the Conference and beyond needed to act responsibly, and all parties ought to make some sacrifices. The dialogue on disarmament needed to be strengthened. Finally, Senegal reiterated its readiness to work together with all Member States and the regional groups with the view of supporting the working group on the way ahead.         The next public plenary of the Conference will be held on Tuesday, 28 March at 10 a.m.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).