India congratulates you on assuming the Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament and assures you of all support and cooperation as you guide our work in the coming weeks.
2. “Comprehensive Programme of Disarmament” forms an important component of the agenda of the Conference on Disarmament.
3. In the context of the Programme of Action, the SSOD-I had noted and I quote “There is also a need to prepare through agreed procedures, a comprehensive disarmament programme. That programme, passing through all the necessary stages, should lead to general and complete disarmament under effective international control. Procedures for watching over the fulfilment of the obligations thus assumed had also to be agreed upon. That is the purpose of the Programme of Action.” Unquote.
4. India believes that the intent of this agenda item is to elaborate a programme which would place specific measures relating to disarmament into a carefully considered plan, setting out objectives, priorities and timeframes. The CD should evolve the main principles of a Comprehensive Programme of Disarmament which are global, non-discriminatory and of universal acceptance. This would not only reinforce the role of the CD as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum but also uphold the central role and primary responsibility of the UN in the sphere of disarmament in accordance with its Charter. At the same time, India has maintained that agreement on a comprehensive programme of disarmament should not be a precondition for making progress on other agenda items, including on nuclear disarmament.
5. The UN General Assembly in its resolution 75/83 has called upon the Conference on Disarmament to further intensify consultations and to explore possibilities for overcoming its ongoing deadlock of two decades by adopting and implementing a balanced and comprehensive programme of work at the earliest possible date during its 2021 session, bearing in mind the decision on the programme of work adopted by the Conference on 29 May 2009, as well as other relevant present, past and future proposals.
6. India has supported the calls by the NAM and the G-21 for adoption of a comprehensive and balanced programme of work and stands ready to work towards this aim so as to enable the CD to discharge its mandate by negotiating legally binding instruments based on its agreed agenda.
Thank you, Madam President.