June 19, 2012
Farewell Statement by H.E. Mr. Dian Triansyah Djani Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Indonesia, at the 2012 Session of the Conference on Disarmament
Allow me to commend the statement made by His Excellency Erkki Tuomioja, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Such an inspiring and thought-provoking statement at this critical juncture in the Conference on Disarmament’s history.
As I prepare to leave Geneva for my next assignment, may I seek your indulgence to share some points of personal reflection on the CD. Having being posted in Geneva in the late 90s, I still could recall the CD had just completed the difficult negotiations for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. However, no program of activity has moved forward since 1996.
I see a glimmer of hope that the CD will make progress when again I assumed my assignment in Geneva in March 2009. Under the Presidency of Algeria, the CD was able to adopt the Program of Work CD/1864 in May 2009. According to my Minister, I was the most successful ambassador in the history of the Indonesian Permanent Mission in Geneva, having been able to restart the CD negotiation in two months time or maybe brought luck to the CD. But my “success” was short lived. Unfortunately the CD failed to implement its Program of Work for the remainder of that year and unable to start any substantive work.
Since then, a number of constructive proposals have been put forward. A draft decision on a program of work for CD session in 2012 as contained in document CD/1933/Rev.1 proposed by Egypt last March again failed to reach consensus and prevented the commencement of substantive discussion.
We have allowed the CD to remain dormant for sixteen years. A sense of frustration in the CD is inevitable. With this circumstance, we need to ponder and ask ourselves whether CD is still relevant as the sole forum for multilateral negotiations on disarmament? Do we want to be held hostage by our own inability to reach consensus on a balanced and comprehensive program of work? Do we really want CD to lose its credibility and wither away?
Nevertheless, in the last few years we have witnessed important progress on bilateral, regional and multilateral levels. The Russian Federation and the United States negotiated and concluded a new treaty on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms. We have a consensus outcome of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Review Conference and a successful convening of the Nuclear Security Summit.
Last year, under Indonesia’s chairmanship, ASEAN member states concluded negotiations with the Nuclear Weapon States on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ). This breakthrough came after more than 10 years of negotiations. Hopefully the signing of the Protocol to the SEAWFZ Treaty could be realized soon in this very year of 2012.
Indonesia already ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty on 6 December 2011. This reaffirms Indonesia’s longstanding commitment to global nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We have expectations that others will follow suit and follow our examples. Because what is needed now is unilateral action by countries, to boost confidence when multilateral effort is lacking.
Indonesia views these positive measures are unable to answer for international call for the nuclear weapon states to undertake complete nuclear disarmament. Nuclear disarmament has always been Indonesia’s highest priority and we have always been committed to efforts towards the attainment of a world free from nuclear weapons. As a country that does not have nuclear weapons and does not even have nuclear energy for peaceful use, we have credibility to continue to push for substantive negotiations. My delegation believes that pursuing nuclear disarmament is the very rationale for the establishment of the CD.
In a message to the CD on 24 January 2012, the UN Secretary-General stated : “In 2012, the future of the Conference will be under the spotlight as never before. Lamenting the constraints of the rules of procedure or the absence of political will can no longer suffice as explanations for any further lack of progress. The General Assembly is seized of the matter, and if the Conference remains deadlocked, is ready to consider other options to move the disarmament agenda forward.” This is a strong message that the CD could at any time ceased to function, should this current situation prevails.
At the High-Level Segment of the CD on 28 February 2012, H.E. Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia mentioned that progress is possible. It is possible only through shared commitment, intensive dialogue and constructive engagement.
We have ample information, studies, works that have been done in the four priority issues of the CD. It is without question that we attach importance to all of them and wants to have movement in a balanced and equitable manner. But if we cannot have progress in all four, let us start from the most subtle one such as the Negative Security Assurances, so as to build confidence. But can the CD do that without a Program of Work?
We cannot expect miracles and wait for a conducive environment so as to have the Program of Work adopted. But a degree of flexibility of the CD member states is required in this regard. What is needed also is bold initiatives and innovative approaches. We should dare to try new ways and means less the CD becomes irrelevant. We should enlarge the membership and invite other stakeholders to attend the meetings. As Indonesia is a democratic country, I cannot explain to my domestic constituencies, that CD is the only UN institutions that NGOs are not allowed to participate actively while others have embraced the civil societies, including the Human Rights Council. The issue of nuclear and its safety affect the common people and not the prerogative of governments only.
It is sinful if we remain in a stalemate. Maybe it is high time that we review the CD and its way of doing things. I just came from an UNCTAD meeting recently where at present members are reviewing the work of UNCTAD and developed members are chanting the mantra of having result-oriented management and a result-based organization. We should have the same approach in the CD and have a result-based organization. If there is no result in the near future in the CD, then we should admit defeat and find other places, events or mechanism to pursue our dream of having a world that is free of nuclear weapon.
Mr. President and dear Colleagues,
Finally, I would like to thank you for the friendship and cooperation extended to me which I will always cherish. I congratulate past P6 Presidents that have tried their hand to reinvigorate the CD. I would like to extend my gratitude to H.E. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Secretary General of the Conference which have guided us as well as the Secretariat and of course the interpreters.
I am honored to have worked with professional ambassadors and diplomats in the CD and I wish you all the best and present colleagues with the momentous task of continuing the fight against nuclear weapons. Quoting an old proverb, “sinful are those that remain silent while dangers lurk behind”. Let us not be silent in our quest for the common good of mankind.
On a parting note, I was once asked by Indonesian dignitaries the question: “Why is the CD Chamber so dark and gloomy?” This question often elapsed me, and now after 3 years and 3 months, I have the answer. The CD Chamber will be light and warm, when the large curtain in the back of the podium is opened and that will only happen if we have a Program of Work and CD resumes substantive negotiation. As this is the first time that I see the curtain being opened, I see a glimmer of hope that the stage is set for progress and Act 1 of the drama, we call “disarmament negotiation” will commence. I hope we all will see the light of day when the curtain is opened and the stage is set for progress.
I bid you farewell and wish you good luck in your solemn endeavors.
Geneva, 19 June 2012
Photo : Ambassador Djani at the 2012 Session of the Conference on Disarmament (PTRI)