GENEVA - 31 AUGUST 2000 -

Mr. President,

Let me, first of all, congratulate you, Ambassador Draganov - a distinguished representative of a nation with which Romania enjoys a long tradition of friendship and good neighborly relations - on your assumption of the presidency of the Conference on Disarmament. I am confident that your diplomatic skills and experience will be of greatest help in discharging the special responsibility of the President at the conclusion of a CD session.

I would also like to avail myself of this opportunity to congratulate your predecessors for the intensive and constructive efforts aimed at moving the work of the Conference forward, as well as to thank Ambassador Amorim for the kind words of welcome he addressed to me last week, upon undertaking my function as Head of the Delegation of Romania to the Conference on Disarmament.

Mr. President,

I have asked for the floor a week after the CD has again come close to a major breakthrough of the persisting stalemate existing in this hall for the past two years. Another lost chance, some will say, but the broad cross-regional appreciation expressed for the efforts aimed at seeking and building consensus for the adoption of our Program of Work, as well as the readiness of some delegations to support the proposed language, is a clear indication that the willingness to bring the CD to live up to its responsibilities as the sole multilateral negotiating body on disarmament and non-proliferation has not diminished. And I believe we should see this as a positive outcome, intended to exert a beneficial influence in the coming future and for the next session of the CD. Once again dialogue has proven to be an important tool for approaching the sensitive issues of today's international security environment, while allowing each and all countries to express specific national security concerns and preoccupations.

Mr. President,

My authorities attach particular importance to the international agreements in the fields of disarmament, non-proliferation of weapons and arms control, as these are part of our national security approach. Halting proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and of conventional armaments has for a long time been a priority for Romania. Moreover, we attach great importance to the role of the CD in fulfilling this priority, as this forum is the cradle of many international multilateral agreements which helped to secure stability, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, thus strengthening international peace.

The conclusion of the CTBT in 1996 is valid and standing proof that the CD can continue to pay its contribution to international security and peace. In October last year, the Romanian Parliament ratified the CTBT, thus providing for an important contribution to the process of nuclear disarmament to which my delegation is genuinely attached.

In the view of my authorities, starting negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty is a logical step forward to consolidate the process of nuclear disarmament. The re-establishment of the Ad-Hoc Committee on FMCT is a top priority for my delegation, which stands ready to participate in the negotiations.

We consider that the provisions and language contained in the Final Document of the NPT Review Conference 2000 gave a clear guidance on the future of nuclear disarmament and its successful conclusion. We also attach important consideration to the contribution extended to this process by the reductions of nuclear weapons and the strategic talks in the bilateral framework between the United States and the Russian Federation.

Mr. President,

My delegation also stands ready to participate in a debate concerning the issue of Transparency in Armaments, one of the non-controversial items of the Program of Work. We are witnessing a time when the multiplication of internal conflicts and crises provides ground for the emergence and consolidation of non-traditional threats which tend to take shape as a complex combination of terrorism, ethnic cleansing, organized crime and arms trafficking. Past and recent experiences show that the most affected categories are the civilian population and the international personnel providing for humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping operations.

The present situation calls for resumption of the debate on the fore-mentioned issue in the CD in order to prepare the ground for future international instruments intended to bring about restraint and responsibility both of producers and end-users, while providing for equal and undiminished security at the lowest possible level of armaments.

Mr. President,

Geneva will soon be the host of the second Conference of the States Parties to the "Convention on the Prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines and on their destruction". This Conference will further address a plague affecting without discrimination the life of a broad number of peoples, hampering their social and economic development. Romania is a signatory of the Convention and shares the view that the CD can bring an important contribution to limiting the spread of anti-personnel mines by resuming its work aimed at reaching a worldwide ban on exports of such mines, a goal which is feasible and complementary to the objective of total elimination of this category of weapons.

Mr. President,

The issues mentioned before, along with the procedural issues, such as the agenda, improved and effective functioning and membership, constitute priorities of my delegation to the CD. We stand ready to participate in the debate on other topics of interest to the delegations around this table.

To this end, the CD has to move out from the present situation and start working on the substance of the issues, at least on the non-controversial items of the agenda, in order to create better conditions for searching a mutual and generally acceptable agreement on the remaining items.

In my national capacity and as Coordinator of the East-European Group, I would like to assure you, Mr. President, of the full cooperation and support of my delegation in your efforts in discharging the important tasks before you, in order to set the most favorable conditions able to determine a rapid resumption of the work of the CD at the beginning of next year's annual session.

Thank you, Mr. President

Back to statements