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Estonia Would Like to Be Member of Conference on Disarmament


No. 50-E

At the high-level meeting of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva yesterday, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Estonia would like to become a member of the forum. “The Conference on Disarmament addresses global security concerns, and as many countries as possible should be involved in resolving them. Security problems have a universal effect. Therefore all interested countries should have the opportunity to actively participate in international disarmament negotiations as members of the forum,” he added. To date 25 countries have shown interest in becoming members of the conference.

Paet noted that the long-term deadlock in the Conference on Disarmament’s work is alarming, as it shows a lack of political will to address actual security issues and also threatens the credibility and legitimacy of the forum. “A better solution for getting out of this deadlock must be found quickly. The clear goal of the conference is to fulfil the tasks for which it was created – to hold negotiations for concluding international disarmament agreements,” he added.

Foreign Minister Paet stated that including civil society in the work of the Conference on Disarmament would also give added value. “Including intergovernmental organisations and research institutions in the resolution of disarmament-related issues would be useful for all parties,” he added.

Estonia submitted an application to become a member of the Conference on Disarmament in 2001 and has participated in the work of the forum as an observer since 2000.

The Conference on Disarmament (CD), created in 1979, is the only multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community. Some agreements that have been created within the framework of the CD are the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Convention on the Prohibition of Bacteriological and Toxin Weapons, and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The forum most recently added members in 1996, bringing the total number of members to 65.

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