- I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Acceding country Croatia* aligns itself with this statement.
- First, allow me once again to congratulate you on your election as Chairman of the 2012 session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC) as well as all members of the Bureau. The EU looks forward to working closely with you to achieve a successful outcome of our session.
- The EU would like to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your efforts during the last months to find an agenda agreeable for all delegations. We were encouraged to hear the many constructive views presented by delegations in the informal discussions last Friday.
- As for the agenda items, in order for the Commission to be able to fulfil its mandate, the European Union has been calling for more focused deliberations of the Commission for the next three year cycle. The Commission should direct its attention to specific subjects and avoid generic and repetitive discussions. The EU also thinks that the agenda should be well balanced, i.e. between nuclear and conventional issues, as well as between nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
- In your letter last week you made interesting proposals for both nuclear and conventional issues which we find balanced and useful. The EU considers that these proposed agenda items, although some of them still relatively general, would give a more focused direction for the discussion and a possibility for the UNDC to agree upon concrete recommendations. We are therefore ready to work on the basis of them all.
- In particular, with regard to the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, it would be useful to make an assessment on the Nuclear Weapons Free Zones as there have been a lot of developments since the adoption by the UNDC of the guidelines in 1999. Also, a lot of documentation exists, some of which were presented at the IAEA forum on the WMDFZ in the Middle East in November 2011.
- Also, with regard to the conventional weapons, we agree that confidence-building measures do require further discussion.
- Agreement in a more focused agenda is one important step towards a more successful UNDC. However, the EU also thinks that in order to truly enhance the functioning of the UNDC, it is also important to assess the role and functioning of the UNDC in the multilateral disarmament machinery. As we stated last Friday, although the EU and many other delegations would have preferred to have the role and functioning of the UNDC as one of the agenda items, we do understand that your proposal to discuss this issue in the General Debate seeks a compromise. We therefore propose that a part of the General Debate is devoted to the role and functioning of the UNDC with the understanding, that you will then submit your reflections of the issues, based on the discussion.
- The EU looks forward to presenting its more detailed views on the role and functioning of the UNDC during the General Debate, for example with regard to the need for the UNDC to become a body that would focus more on open discussion and brainstorming.
In conclusion we would like to wish you, Mr. Chairman, every success in your future work and reiterate to you the full support of the European Union.
I thank you.
* Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.