13 April 2017
2017 Session, 365th Meeting (PM)

Election of Vice-President Sees Disarmament Commission Fill Final Bureau Vacancy

The Disarmament Commission elected the final member of its Bureau today, and heard presentations by the Chairs of its two working groups.

Acting by acclamation as it met briefly this afternoon, the Commission elected Marius A.C. Loko (Benin) Vice-Chair following his nomination by the Group of African States, thereby filling the last remaining vacancy on the Bureau of its 2017 substantive session.

Turning to its two working groups, the Commission heard a presentation by Wilmer Mendez (Venezuela), Chair of Working Group 1, tasked with developing recommendations for realizing the objective of nuclear disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.  He said the Working Group had held seven meetings since beginning its work on 5 April, engaging in significant and focused discussions on a non-paper drafted by the Chair of the previous session.  While some progress had been made in identifying key issues and the positions of delegations, a number of differences remained and the work had been “quite contentious”, he said.  In particular, some delegations had voiced concerns about the erosion of the past consensus and of commitments relating to non-proliferation issues.

Lachezara Stoeva (Bulgaria), Chair of Working Group 2 on practical confidence-building measures in the field of conventional weapons, said the panel had begun its sessions on 4 April and had several meetings still remaining.  She said it was also working on the basis of her predecessor’s paper — the result of two years of negotiations — and had been engaging in a constructive atmosphere.  All States were making an effort to reach consensus, although “we are not there yet”, she said, expressing hope that it would soon be able to bridge its differences.

The Disarmament Commission will reconvene at 3 p.m. on Friday, 21 April, to adopt the draft reports of its working groups, as well as the draft report of its 2017 substantive session.

For information media. Not an official record.