Statement by the Foreign Minister of Estonia, Mr. Urmas Paet, at the high-level Meeting Revitalizing the Work of the Conference on Disarmament and Taking Forward Multilateral Disarmament Negotiations
At the outset I would like to commend your personal efforts in convening this timely and most necessary meeting. Alongside the NPT review conference in May, it offers another opportunity for all parties to express real political will and to restart a crucial part of the international disarmament engine that has been stalling for far too long.
Estonia fully aligns itself with the statement of the Informal Group of Observer States delivered by Thailand as well as with the European Union statement. I shall now touch upon the key points for Estonia, particularly the enlargement issue.
I am pleased to witness that Estonia is not alone in expecting that the renewed momentum in global disarmament and non-proliferation will allow us to reach the consensus needed for the Conference to fully assume its role as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum. There is no need to remind ourselves what is at stake.
There is a unique opportunity to end the stalemate and commence the long overdue negotiations for a verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for weapons purposes. It has already been encouraging to witness certain countries declaring and upholding unilateral moratoriums on the treaty.
In the new millennium the Cold War posture is no longer valid and the issue of disarmament should not remain the business of certain political groups or blocks. This is a global challenge that needs to be addressed globally and inclusively. Security is indivisible and so are the challenges that come with it. However, for nearly 12 years the Conference on Disarmament has remained smaller than one-third of the entire United Nations membership, despite the ever-growing waiting list.
Estonia considers it essential to engage all stakeholders, and we expect this high-level meeting to seriously consider the issue of expanding the membership of the Conference. We also join the call to appoint a special coordinator on expansion for next year in order to move the enlargement process forward.
Estonia is committed to being seriously engaged in the work of the CD and we are willing to contribute to the advancement of disarmament in all its aspects. We have already expressed our good will, for example, by making voluntary contributions to the UNIDIR (UN Institute for Disarmament Research) for organizing a series of seminars for disarmament diplomats.
In conclusion, let me wish you, Mr. Secretary General, much strength in making today’s conference a milestone that will lead to further activities in the very near future. It is also my hope that all participants are fully committed to this goal as the disarmament engine does not work on automatic drive, but rather on a manual gearbox, which needs constant push to stay in motion.