India congratulates you on the assumption of the Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament and is pleased to see you as representative of Chile, a country with which India has warm and close bilateral relations.
2. I wish to acknowledge the presence of H.E. Dr. Tatiana Valovaya, Secretary General of the Conference, among us today.
3. My delegation would like to thank you for sharing the draft report.
4. It is a matter of regret that one more year has passed by, without having us agreed to a Programme of Work. However, it does not mean that the Distinguished Presidencies before you did not undertake genuine efforts towards this aim. It is just that the Conference as a collective body could not achieve consensus.
5. You referred to the consensus as a rule of procedure of the Conference on Disarmament and its importance in the context of our work. For India, consensus is the most important principle which allows all members of the CD to adopt decisions which have universal and binding effect. Any derogation from the rule of consensus will not be acceptable to India. While the Conference has not been able to agree to a Programme of Work, it does not mean that the Conference on Disarmament has not been not in action. All Presidencies have tried to move our agenda forward in various ways, including through thematic debates, which is reflected in the draft report.
6. My delegation has one small comment regarding the language of Para-54. It gives an impression, even if falsely, that the Conference on Disarmament is not a major disarmament body and the dates are being adjusted for another major disarmament and non-proliferation meeting. Let me clarify that India does not object to the adjustment of schedule and fully supports any adjustment that might have to be made. However, it has to be reflected in a way that is not prejudicial to the importance and primacy of the Conference on Disarmament for us. Also, it does mention that it is being done exceptionally. However, we would like to include a sentence that it does not create a precedent for future. Our detailed comments will be shared once we receive a feedback from our capital.
7. My delegation assures you of full support and cooperation as you guide our work as the final and concluding Presidency. In cricket, the opening player gets the maximum credit and name, but in a relay race it is the last player who gets the credit. We believe that you are that player and have our best wishes for success.
I thank you Mr. President.