Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita, formally reiterated, Wednesday, the full support of Morocco to the efforts of the Conference on Disarmament, a body distinguished by the uniqueness of its mandate in the United Nations system. Speaking in video conference at the High-Level Segment of the Conference on Disarmament, Bourita also reaffirmed the support of the Kingdom to multilateral initiatives, within the framework of the United Nations, to curb the arms race, strengthen the effectiveness of arms control and disarmament agreements, revive the multilateral disarmament mechanisms, and back the action of the international community to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and eliminate weapons of mass destruction. He also recalled the Kingdom’s commitment to the principle of non-use of force for the settlement of disputes between States, noting that the Kingdom encourages all initiatives and actions promoting a peaceful settlement of conflicts. The Minister also pointed out that “the Conference on Disarmament is not just about reaffirming commitments. It serves to advance them, continuously, being the only UN body empowered to negotiate legal instruments on disarmament”. However, it must be noted, he added, that the last significant contribution of the Conference on Disarmament to the consolidation of the international legal framework on disarmament was in 1996. Since then, the Conference on Disarmament has not managed to regain the role and place it should have. Yet, the Minister stressed, the Conference was designed to be the sole negotiating body of the United Nations in the field of disarmament. “Its legitimacy, expertise and mandate are inescapable. No one can deny it: the Conference on Disarmament is a valuable achievement for the international community,” he said. In order to move forward, Bourita said, it is necessary to stop looking back nostalgically at the history and the golden age of this Conference, in order to consider the present and the future of this body with pragmatism, but also with ambition. “The fault lines that prevent, within this Conference, the emergence of a consensual political will to move forward, should not discourage us,” said the Minister, noting that “we must learn from the past and not wait for major disasters or historical conflagrations to take up the role that should be ours”. He underlined: “The current context reminds us with force”. The Minister noted, in this regard, that to date, the multilateral disarmament system unfortunately remains much more reactive than proactive, adding that “we react collectively, too often and – as history shows – only when major events have already occurred”. For the Minister, “we must first of all reiterate our sincere and deep faith in the virtues of negotiation and multilateralism”. “Multilateralism is the other name for peace. Negotiation is the only tool that allows the resolution of all disputes, in a peaceful manner,” he pleaded. Bourita noted, in this sense, that Morocco believes deeply in the virtues of negotiation and the multilateral system, adding that the history of Morocco, its geography, the decisive choices made by HM King Mohammed VI, especially in foreign policy, illustrate the vocation of the Kingdom of Morocco and its relationship to its regional and international environment. Morocco is a force for peace, as shown by the action it has taken in various conflicts in the world, near and far, as well as the wise and constructive role it is playing today in the resolution of the crisis in Libya, he continued. Morocco’s vocation, he said, is to bring together, unite and federate, noting that this vocation, which is also a voluntary ambition, Morocco has always put it at the disposal of this Conference and will continue to do so. Secondly, the impression that the issues of disarmament and non-proliferation no longer have the same priority in the United Nations agenda is false, he added, stating that, “certainly, in recent years, our collective efforts have been more mobilized by climate change, migration, health and food security. But these concerns do not negate the primary objective of international peace and security”. On the contrary, all these issues, fundamental and essential, participate in a direct or indirect way to international peace and security, said the Minister. “However, it is now up to us to put the issues of disarmament and non-proliferation at the top of our priorities,” he said. Bourita said that Morocco is determined to make its contribution to the collective efforts of the international community, as illustrated by its Presidency in New York of the 1st Committee of the General Assembly during its 76th Session, the OPCW in The Hague, but also in Vienna, during the Presidency of the IAEA General Assembly and still currently the Group of 77. “Our involvement in various fora in The Hague, New York, Geneva and Vienna, as well as regionally and bilaterally with some partners, shows our determination to contribute tirelessly to building a safer and more stable world,” he said. Thirdly, the Minister explained, “there is no doubt that the 1979 Decalogue is the founding text of the Committee on Disarmament – which became the Conference on Disarmament in 1984. However, like any document, the Decalogue is not set in stone”. He indicated that its strength lies in its consensual and referential dimension, and its relevance in its potential at an international juncture more charged than ever with global challenges”. Hence the need, insisted Bourita, to depart from the dogmatic approach that has prevailed in recent years to the perception of the problem of the modus operandi of the achievement of its objectives and its action plan. History, he said, “will remember not so much the lyricism of our commitments to disarmament as our inability to overcome our differences, to understand the current threats, to be realistic and lucid. Our successive failures to adopt our programme of work contain the seeds of the weakening of our Conference”. He added: “Our Conference is not just a laboratory of ideas. It is a body for action and negotiation. We are ready to continue to work with all members to ensure that the Conference on Disarmament recovers its original vocation and fully regains its rightful place in the United Nations system, i.e., a pillar without which the system risks being erased”.
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