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1 September 2005






CONFERENCE HEARS STATEMENTS FROM ITALY, ALGERIA, ISRAEL, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND INCOMING PRESIDENT
1 September 2005

The Conference on Disarmament today heard the incoming President Manuel Rodriguez Cuadros of Peru and statements from Italy, Algeria, Israel, and the United States of America. Speakers welcomed the incoming President, and also addressed the issue of progress in the talks, as well as the yearly report of the Conference to the General Assembly, which was currently being drafted. All speakers also expressed their condolences to the Governments of the United States of America and Iraq in the context of the recent tragedies and loss of life in those countries.

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The evolution of the Conference had to be examined in the light of the present international conjuncture, speakers said, and given diverging priorities in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation today, it was hardly surprising that no compromise could be found. However, such conferences represented the triumph of civil society over war and conflict. Regarding the upsides and the downsides of the present political situation, with respect to the Middle East, the situation was not entirely positive, and it was hoped the withdrawal of the Israeli occupation from Gaza would be the first step in the implementation of the Road Map. The step taken by Israel in leaving Gaza was a very bold step, and a historic one.

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Statements

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Idriss Jazaïry (Algeria) said with respect to the Presidency, it was exercised for too short and ephemeral a period. There was a need for greater continuity in the action of the entity, and the plans of Ambassador Cuadros in this regard were applauded, and the issue should be further discussed. Regarding the upsides and the downsides of the present political situation, as mentioned by the President, with respect to the Middle East, the situation was not entirely viewed as positive, and it was hoped the withdrawal of the Israeli occupation from Gaza would be the first step in the implementation of the Road Map. Acts of violence had taken place recently on both sides. The problem of the Conference was not a problem of methodology or procedure, it was a question of substance. There was a lot of sense in the necessity at some stage to try and focus on the issues that needed to be grappled with at a high level. The glass was half-full in terms of performance. It was suggested that the issues of the Conference be raised by Heads of State at the upcoming Summit in New York.

Itzhak Levanon
(Israel) said he hadn’t planned to take the floor, but his colleague had introduced into this forum matters of politics which compelled him to say that it would have been preferable for the distinguished Ambassador of Algeria to have supported what he said by saying that the step taken by Israel in leaving Gaza was a very bold step, and a historic one.

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For use of the information media; not an official record

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