2 Mar. 2022 - Foreign Minister Kasoulides addresses UN Conference on Disarmament

Statement by H.E. Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, at the High-level Segment of the Conference on Disarmament

2 March 2022 (via video-message)

Madam President, Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates

Allow me at the outset to congratulate you on the assumption of the Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament and express Cyprus’ support and cooperation with You and the future Presidents of this year’s Conference.

Madam President,

It is with distinct pleasure that Cyprus has again the opportunity to address this august forum, after 2 years of absence. I wish in this respect, to commend the sterling efforts undertaken by P6 and personally by the previous President of the Conference, Ambassador Li Song of China, in approving all the requests submitted by UN Member States that are not Members of the Conference. Cyprus is honoured to resume its long-standing position as an Observer of the Conference.

I wish to underscore our firm position not to let bilateral issues impinge upon the decision-making process of the Conference pertaining to observership requests. Beyond being irrelevant to the subject matter of the Conference, such approaches unnecessarily politicize the discussions of the Conference and harm our collective endeavours in the Conference.

Madam President,

Cyprus attaches great value at the role of the Conference on Disarmament as the world’s only multilateral disarmament Treaty negotiating forum. We support efforts aiming at overcoming the current impasse. We congratulate the tireless efforts of the P6 that led to the adoption of a decision on the work for 2022 and establish five subsidiary bodies. It is our strong conviction that political will, increased cooperation, show of trust and confidence are indispensable to re-energize the work at the Conference in order to retain its original and primary role, that is to negotiate disarmament and arms control international Agreements. Accounting the security challenges the international community currently faces, the Conference’s items of the agenda are more relevant and its role more pertinent than ever before.

Madam President,

Cyprus is a staunch supporter of an effective and functional Treaty-based international system. Being a small State, Cyprus relies on a collective, rules-centred, legally-binding security system, which is forged by the principles of respect of the International Law, genuine cooperation and shared responsibility. To this effect, Cyprus is constructively engaged in actively participating in the various international and regional processes on the critical issues of disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation.

In this context, Cyprus, as a Member State of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, is unwaveringly committed to the full implementation and universalisation of this landmark Treaty. We long for a fruitful 10th Review Conference to strengthen the NPT, further explore the long-term consequences of any nuclear weapons use and focus on nuclear energy safety. While recognizing the right of Sates to engage in nuclear energy programs, I wish to reiterate that such activities must remain peaceful in nature and be exercised with utmost caution and transparency cognizant of the risks that a natural disaster may cause affecting local populations, as well as populations of neighbouring countries.

In reference to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Cyprus considers this Treaty of high importance and its entry into force of top priority. Cyprus has ratified the CTBT and we urge other States to do the same. In the same vein, we attach great importance to the immediate commencement of negotiations for the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament. We therefore encourage all Parties to show flexibility and facilitate the negotiation process.

Cyprus welcomes the announced agreement between the United States and the Russian Federation to extend the New START Treaty for an additional period of five years. We, also, welcome the Joint Statement issued by the Leaders of the Five Nuclear-Weapon States on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races and we second the position that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”. Those are positive signs showcasing the will of the Super Powers to build an environment of mutual understanding and cooperation and take collective measures to address issues of critical nature, as those relating to security, thus promoting our shared goal to maintain international peace and security.

We would, lastly, like to add Cyprus’ voice to the many of those advocating for an amendment to the Rules of Procedure with a view to reflect equal references to women and men.

We all bear our heavy individual and collective responsibilities to improve the security and well-being of our societies. And we do recognise the centrality of the Conference on Disarmament to this end. It is in this spirit, Madam President, that I wish to assure you and the Members of the Conference on Disarmament of Cyprus’ unequivocal support to achieve progress in the Conference.

I thank you.




©UN Photo, Antoine Tardy