This was the second year in a row that the world's sole multilateral forum for disarmament negotiations ended its session without a work plan. The Conference President, Bulgarian Ambassador Petko Draganov, told the final meeting in Geneva today that although there was a broad measure of agreement on most elements of the work programme, the two issues of nuclear disarmament and the prevention of an arms race in outer space still had to be tackled further.
Unable to move forward on the question of when to consider each issue, the Conference has not achieved progress on any of the items on its agenda, which, in addition to nuclear disarmament and the prevention of an arms race in outer space, include the prevention of nuclear war; transparency in armaments; new types and systems of weapons of mass destruction; radiological weapons; and a global programme for disarmament.
At the outset of the 2000 session, Vladimir Petrovsky, Secretary-General of the Conference and Personal Representative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, read out a message from Mr. Annan deploring the lack of progress on disarmament and international security issues. Noting that the continuing deadlock at the Conference was part of a disturbing stagnation in the overall disarmament and non-proliferation agenda, Mr. Annan expressed hope that the Conference would continue its search for compromise.
As it concluded its session today, the Conference adopted its annual report to the United Nations General Assembly. In the report, the Conference called for its current and incoming Presidents to hold consultations during the intersessional period and to make recommendations, if possible, that could help begin work on various agenda items.
The next session of the Conference is scheduled to open on 22 January 2001 in Geneva.