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Bangladesh to head UN disarmament conference

Diplomatic Correspondent

15 August, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Reiterating its commitment to general and complete disarmament to preserve global peace and security, Bangladesh has taken over the presidency of the UN-backed Conference on Disarmament at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva.

As the President of the Conference, Ambassador and Permanent Representative (PR) of Bangladesh, M Shameem Ahsan urged the Member States to revitalise multilateral negotiations in pursuit of the disarmament goals.  

Paying his deep tribute to the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, Ambassador Ahsan emphasised the importance of upholding and strengthening the global disarmament architecture, according to a message received from Bangladesh Permanent Mission in Geneva.

Expressing his concern over ever-growing military expenditure, Ambassador Ahsan said, “While the Covid-19 continues to rattle the global economy, particularly of the developing countries, we do not yet see any indication of cutting down military expenditure by a number of countries.”

Mentioning that the pandemic has exposed the planet’s vulnerability and its unpreparedness in facing such sudden and colossal crisis, the President of the Conference Ahsan underscored the need to focus on enhanced spending on healthcare, education and overall economic resilience building as a global solution to such emergencies.

“As a nation in development transition, Bangladesh always advocates for channeling the massive resources deployed for arms buildup to deserving imperatives of economic development,” said the PR of Bangladesh.

The Conference on Disarmament saw the enthusiastic in-person as well as virtual participation of the member states who stressed the need for addressing the challenges that have led to the stalemates in the work of the Conference as well as in arms control and disarmament.

Referring to the 50th anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty being observed this year, Ms Tatiana Valovaya, Director General of UN office in Geneva and Secretary General of the Conference on Disarmament, highlighted the importance of commencing work in the Conference to negotiate new global legal instruments to counter the erosion of the disarmament and non-proliferation measures.

It is important to note that once in nearly eleven years, the opportunity to preside over the Conference on Disarmament rotates among its member states. 

This Conference is recognised as a significant body in disarmament discourse with all nine nuclear states figuring among its 65 members.