Just like the previous speakers, my delegation would like to congratulate you on successful adoption of the report. It was made possible thanks to the immense effort undertaken by you and your team as well as the flexibility shown by all delegations in the collective spirit to reach consensus. It tested your patience to the extreme, but you did very well and always had a very calm look which was quite reassuring.
2. My delegation also expresses its sincere appreciation to the distinguished colleagues from the Secretariat and our very able and kind interpreters, who were always there with us in this arduous process.
3. As I thank you as the last President for leaving the Conference in a good state, I take this opportunity to welcome the Peoples Republic of China, as the incoming President. I assure Ambassador Li Song of all support and cooperation on behalf of my delegation and hope that we will be able to adopt a Programme of Work under his Presidency.
4. Before I conclude, Mr. President, I wish to acknowledge the significant contribution of Ambassador Robert Wood, to the world of disarmament and international security in his current role as well as his previous positions, including that in Vienna. He has ably represented his country and led a wonderful team, not only at the CD but also other disarmament forums. We have had our commonalities as well as differences in the national positionsbut they were never personal, and he always ensured that differences in country positions did not seep into personal relationships, a quality of a true diplomat. We are all birds of passage, yet I am not bidding him goodbye, as no one ever leaves the disarmament world. I am sure we will see him soon in his new incarnation.
5. On that optimistic note, I wish Ambassador Wood and his family best wishes in their future endeavours on behalf of my delegation as well as some of my predecessors, going back all the way to Ambassador Venkatesh Varma, who also had the privilege of working closely with him and has asked me to convey his best wishes to him.