Ireland admitted to Conference on Disarmament
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. David Andrews T.D., has welcomed the admission of Ireland today as a full member of the Geneva based Conference on Disarmament by a unanimous decision. Ireland had been seeking membership of the Conference since 1982 and its admission now should be seen as a major recognition by the international community of the important and active role Ireland plays in international disarmament efforts.
The Minister said "Membership of the Conference on Disarmament will enable Ireland to participate in the detailed negotiating work on instruments to achieve disarmament. I believe Ireland can play a very useful and constructive role in all of the crucial negotiations conducted by the Conference".
The Conference is currently engaged in negotiations to strengthen the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. In addition it is addressing ways of banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons; formal negotiations on a treaty are expected to begin next year.
Past achievements of the Conference include the negotiation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the treaties banning chemical and biological weapons.
As a full member, Ireland will be able to participate actively in all of its working bodies and to contribute to the advancement of disarmament in all its aspects.
Note for editors
The Conference on Disarmament (CD) has existed in its present form since 1978. It is an autonomous body mandated to negotiate international disarmament treaties, and reports annually to the UN General Assembly. Admission to the body requires the consent of all members. Following this expansion, the CD will have 66 members, including all of the five nuclear weapon states (US, Russia, Great Britain, France and China) and other important countries in the disarmament area.
Ireland was admitted to full membership today together with Ecuador, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Tunisia.