After more than a decade of stalemate, this morning the Geneva Conference on Disarmament (CD) adopted a programme of work. In particular, the programme of work envisages the long overdue start of negotiations on a verifiable agreement prohibiting the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons (Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, or FMCT).
Additionally, it foresees substantial discussions among the 65 CD member states on issues such as ending the nuclear arms race, nuclear disarmament, preventing an arms race in outer space and negative security assurances from nuclear weapon states to non-nuclear weapon states.
On its own and also together with its EU partners, Germany continually worked towards the adoption of a CD work programme. In dialogue with the states participating in the Conference, Germany also constantly urged all CD member states (including Iran and North Korea as well as the states that have not joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty: India, Pakistan and Israel) to accept the proposals.
Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement welcoming this important step today (29 May) in Berlin:
"I am quite pleased with the breakthrough achieved at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament. Today's outcome once again highlights the welcome new momentum in the field of global disarmament. This signal comes at the right time, just a few days after North Korea's unacceptable nuclear test.
Germany has pressed for the rapid start of negotiations on a verifiable halt to the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons (FCMT). Such a treaty is essential for making nuclear disarmament irreversible and strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime."