Mark Henley

Geneva, Switzerland

Delegates stand for a moment's silence for victims of a bombing in Kabul at the Conference on Disarmament on its opening session of the year. Ban Ki-Moon, UN secretary general, addressed the delegates and, as expected, issued a strong rebuke to the conference, chastising its failures, and urging it to face 'the realities of the 21st Century'. He went on to say that 'the pervasive cycle of pessimism in this body must still be overcome or else the CD will be overtaken by events'. At centre is Ambassador Jorge Lomonaco of Mexico who attempted in 2015 to stir the conference to action. He failed like many before. Deadlock has prevented agreement at the conference since it negotiated the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.The Conference on Disarmament, established in 1979, is the only forum for nations to discuss multilateral arms control and disarmament issues. It has a primary focus nuclear weapons control and disarmament. 65 countries, and 38 observer nations, convene annually at the United Nations' Palais des Nations building for three sessions of talks totalling 24 weeks.
Conference on Disarmament. Year 35, 2014 Session 1, Plenary meeting 1302. Presidency of Israel.

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Mark Henley
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Switzerland
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