Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Anthony Andanje at the 1321st Plenary Meeting of the Conference on Disarmament

Ag. Secretary General of the Conference on Disarmament,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates,

Distinguished colleagues, as this is the first time that I am taking the floor as President of the Conference on Disarmament, allow me to make a statement in this capacity.

It is with great pleasure and honour for me to preside over the Conference on Disarmament as President. Kenya attaches great importance to multilateral diplomacy. Disarmament, international peace and security is at the heart of Kenya's foreign policy.

In our increasingly interdependent world, none of the serious problems we face can be solved by any of us alone. Whatever happens in our part of the world can impact on those in other parts.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my profound appreciation for the important work carried out by my predecessors; the distinguished Ambassadors of Kazakhstan, Japan, Italy and Israel.

Their interaction has enhanced our coordination, cohesion and above all contributed immensely to the effective functioning of successive presidents. I thank them for the excellent work which is the basis of our ongoing deliberations.

I will endevour to uphold the spirit of cooperation among the P6 throughout my Presidency.

I thank the Secretariat for their invaluable contribution as an important repository of background information on the Conference on Disarmament.

Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates,

Since January, the Conference has made commendable progress in its work. The Informal Working Group was re-established and I understand, it will begin its work in late July.

Significantly, we have made steady progress under the Schedule of Activities. Work on substantive agenda items 1-4 is complete.

I have learnt that respective Coordinators are preparing their reports. Work on agenda 5, 6 and 7 commences tomorrow and will, I believe, be concluded on Friday.

The debate on the substantive agenda items has been frank, unrestrained and occasionally interactive. This is very unusual in the Conference on Disarmament. In my view, we have exceeded expectations.

The Coordinators deserve credit for their professionalism and commitment. Their background papers have been very useful and complemented by the presentions of experts. Our work has been enriched as a result.

Delegations also deserve praise for the enthusiasm they have shown and the high quality of debate that has characterized our deliberations. The degree of flexibility, openess to various reflections and perspectives has been encouraging.

As you may perhaps be aware, my Presidency will interrupted by intercessional period of four weeks. It is my intention to continue my consultations with delegations, Coordinators, Co-Chair and Vice Co-Chair of the Informal Working Group. I reaffirm my commitment to conduct my mandate in an open and transparent manner bearing in mind the interests and concerns of delegations.

I welcome proposals that can help move our work forward.

I envisage, under my Presidency, I will receive reportson substantive agenda items from Coordinators in accordance with decision CD/1978.

Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates,

I am under no illusion. The fact that our deleberations have been conducted in an informal setting is not lost on me. However, this year, unlike the preceding sixteen years, we have been able to maintain a momentum which has given impetus to our work. It is a small step. Nevertheless, it is significant and could in time lead to the attainment of our collective goal: the adoption of a program of work and commencement of disarmament negotiations.

Finally, I look forward to working with all of you.

Thank you for your attention.