New chairman of UN disarmament commission predicts challenges amid stalemate

Addressing a brief organizational session of the Commission, which will meet from 9 to 27 April, Elbio Rosselli of Uruguay noted that the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament has been unable to adopt a programme to make it possible to renew substantive negotiations, and the recent Review Conference on the small arms action plan had also failed to achieve solid results.Ten years ago, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) opened for signature, but it had yet to enter into force, he noted, because not enough designated countries have ratified it. In addition, no significant progress had been made on practical steps towards nuclear disarmament agreed at the 2000 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.But he said he looked forward to chairing the Commission and pledged to work closely with the heads of its two working groups. The first, dealing with nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, is chaired by Jean-Francis Regis Zinsou of Benin. The second, on confidence-building in the conventional weapons sphere, is chaired by Carlos Duarte of Brazil. read more