Conference on Disarmament opens its 2021 session under the Presidency of Belgium
Turkey Objects to the Participation of Cyprus as an Observer to the 2021 Session of the Conference and Iran Objects to the Participation of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates as Observers
The Conference on Disarmament this morning opened its 2021 session under the Presidency of Ambassador Marc Pecsteen of Belgium.
At the beginning of the meeting, Mr. Pecsteen welcomed the new representatives of Bulgaria and Cameroon. The agenda of the Conference was adopted. The Conference then approved requests by Albania, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Holy See, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Czech Republic, Serbia, Slovenia and Thailand to attend the 2021 session of the Conference as observers.
Following the objection of Turkey to the request of Cyprus to participate as an observer, the President said that since there was no consensus on the request, it was therefore rejected. Regretting Turkey’s position on the request of Cyprus were Syria, Russian Federation, United States, Israel, Egypt, India, Germany, Ecuador, United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany on behalf of the European Union, Canada and France. They urged Turkey to reconsider its decision.
Following the objection of Iran to the request of Saudi Arabia to participate as an observer, the President said that since there was no consensus on the request, it was therefore rejected. Regretting Iran’s position on the request by Saudi Arabia were United States, India, Egypt, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Mexico, Canada, Morocco, Germany, Spain, France, Chile, Algeria, Iraq, Cameroon, Tunisia, Australia, Bulgaria and Iraq on behalf of the Arab Group. They urged Iran to reconsider its decision.
Bulgaria said that any Member State of the United Nations should be able to join the Conference, and stressed that the Republic of North Macedonia should be referred to using its full constitutional name.
Following the objection of Iran to the request of the United Arab Emirates to participate as an observer, the President said that since there was no consensus on the request, it was therefore rejected. Regretting Iran’s position on the request by the United Arab Emirates were Iraq, India, Mexico, United States, United Kingdom, Egypt, Canada, Morocco, Russian Federation, Germany, Chile, Spain, Norway, Netherlands, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Japan and Iraq. They urged Iran to reconsider its decision.
Iran asked those who had criticized its decision if they had expressed similar concerns when Palestine’s request had been rejected three years ago.
The President of the Conference expressed regret for the rejection of three requests by States to participate as observers. Echoing calls for these decisions to be reconsidered, he indicated his availability to facilitate consultations.
The next public plenary of the Conference on Disarmament will be held today at 3 p.m.