Pyongyang Presidency Praised at Arms Control Forum

North Korea today chaired the first plenary of the August-September session of the UN-backed Conference on Disarmament (CD).  UN Watch reporters monitored covered the proceedings in Geneva.

The first speaker was Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the Director General of the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) who also serves as Secretary General of the CD as well as the Personal Representative of the UN Secretary General to the CD. He said that the status quo “risks making the CD irrelevant and obsolete. He also said that “procedures such as the rotating presidency are impairing the efficiency of the conference,” although it’s doubtful he was specifically referring to North Korea.

None of the countries taking the floor followed UN Watch’s call to protest Pyongyang’s presdiency. On the contrary:

Burma (Myanmar): “Warmest congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the CD at this critical juncture. I’m confident that your great diplomatic skills and vast experience will bring great progress to this body.”

Iran:  “Thank you for how you are presiding on the CD… We support every measure to strengthen the [CD’s] position… [there’s an] urgent need of disarmament machinery today: to avoid stockpiling of nuclear weapons…”

Norway:  [We express our] “support to your presidency and we assure our full cooperation”

Nigeria: “Thank you for your election and your leadership”

For the UN’s official summary of the proceedings, click here.

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