14 February 2012 – A senior United Nations official called today on countries to boost their efforts and find common ground to reach an agreement and end the existing impasse within the world’s sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum.
“The level of frustration is approaching a tipping point,” said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Conference of Disarmament (CD), which began last month in Geneva. “The time left to produce tangible results during this session is shrinking rapidly.”
Mr. Tokayev stressed that in the absence of agreement on a programme of work, the conference should focus on alternative issues where common ground might be found, such as a longer presidency and broader membership.
While he acknowledged that critics may find “housekeeping” measures futile, he underlined the importance of procedural reform to generate political will. “Now is exactly the moment to effectively address issues that are long overdue,” he told the conference.
Mr. Tokayev also underscored the importance of negotiations between Member States to address concerns about respecting national security interests.
“I call on all members to pursue their national security interests by building bridges with others through a process of negotiations. I have also noted that a number of members of the conference have not yet taken a public position with regard to its future. It is important that all those present in this chamber speak up and make their stance known,” he said.
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