I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia[*], Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine and Georgia align themselves with this statement.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Canada on assuming the Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament and to pledge our full support for the remainder of the CD meetings in an inclusive, transparent and safe manner.
At the outset, let me begin by commending the hard work of the former CD Presidency of Australia in bringing this important topic to our attention last year. We regret that the unfortunate and unpredictable circumstances incurred last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic meant that we were unable to deal with this issue as it first arose. The European Union expresses its full support for the proposed technical change to the Rules of Procedures of the Conference.
In showcasing this support however, the European Union wishes to make it abundantly clear that this change is no more than linguistics, and that no new rights or obligations will befall any of the delegations of the CD membership. We are of the view that this simple technical update in the wording of Rules 10, 11, 13, 16 and 37 of the English version of the Conference’s Rules of Procedure reflects the reality of the Conference and its functioning today.
The EU appreciates the fact of life that women, like men, participate in and shape the outcome of arms control and disarmament processes, as is perhaps best illustrated through our current Conference President; Ambassador Norton.
Thank you Madam President.
[*] The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.