by Ambassador Vlad Lupan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to UN, at the thematic debate of the UN General Assembly First Committee,
69th session, on Conventional Weapons
New York, 22 October 2014
Since this is my first opportunity to address the 1st Committee, it is my honor to congratulate you on your assumption of the chairmanship of the First Committee and other Bureau members on their election as well. We pledge to support your leadership and the work of this Committee.
I would also like to avail myself of the opportunity to express my appreciations to Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi, Permanent Representative of Libya, for his efforts as the Chair of First Committee during the previous session.
The Republic of Moldova aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union on Conventional Weapons, while I would like to add in my national capacity some remarks of importance to my country.
We welcome the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty in December 2014. The Republic of Moldova started the ratification process, and expects to be able to conclude this procedure as soon as possible. We are committed to go ahead with the implementation of the ATT’s provisions and call other state-parties for the global, wide, transparent and effective implementation of the Treaty upon the entry into force of the document. And of course, in anticipation, we also wish success to The First Conference of States Parties of the ATT to take place in 2015.
In particular let me reiterate an important element of the Treaty that we have underlined forcefully during its adoption – there is a strong and repeatedly expressed believe by the Republic of Moldova that this Treaty should not only ensure the transparency and accountability in transfers of conventional weapons per se, it should also help preventing illicit trafficking of such arms, particularly to separatist unrecognized entities. This is of vital importance to my country and in the current dangerous and complex regional security context.
In this context, we stress again that our aim is to develop and strengthen national capacities of weapons control and adjust them to international standards, in particular improve national legislation on trade, and also practices for arms and military equipment trade, with the support of our traditional partners. We call for new partners and donors to step in these important projects.
The Republic of Moldova also remains committed to the implementation the UN Programme of Action (PoA) on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and expresses its satisfaction with the outcome of the 5th Biennial Meeting on SALW. We also welcome the UNSC resolution 2117 of 26 September 2013 on small arms and light weapons. At the same time, we recall again the security developments in the region and remind about the need for an effective SALW control mechanism in these circumstances.
The Republic of Moldova stresses yet again that today more than ever we should focus on a combination of global and regional conventional arms control arrangements, as our particular situation in Europe shows. A genuine security, progress in arms controls and disarmament, could be achieved if a complex set of measures is taken at all levels – international, regional and national.
That is why we underline that we would welcome an early progress and result on conventional arms control agreement in Europe. My country highly values the contribution of both cornerstone documents – the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and the Vienna Document on CSBMs, in ensuring military balance, security and transparency on the continent. However, legally binding provisions of a Treaty, in this particular case of the CFE Treaty regime, cannot be replaced by any politically binding commitments. Any future control regime in this respect is to be based on a legally binding system of verifiable equipment limits, include information exchange and verification measures, as well as take full account of other relevant elements of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty). Such a regional regime should be in conformity with, in our case, the OSCE Helsinki Final Act principles, leaving no place for misinterpretation. Moreover, such a conventional arms control arrangement shall only strengthen the respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of states-parties. We firmly believe that among other important elements, a new Euro-Atlantic arrangement should reinforce the principle of host-nation consent to the stationing of foreign military forces.
As an example of positive results that we would have expected from such regional arms controls regime would be the reality in which the revitalization and full operationalization of the CFE regime would have provided as a result the fulfillment of all related commitments undertaken at the OSCE Istanbul Summit in 1999 – particularly, the withdrawal of foreign military presence from Moldova, which does not enjoy the consent of the host country. And this would mean the remaining stockpiles of conventional ammunitions from Colbasna and the so-called Operative Group of Russian Forces, which guards these stockpiles. Regional arms control regimes, thus, do matter.
Moreover, the existing developments, particularly, the crisis in and around Ukraine poses a serious test for the arms control instruments and toolboxes of the UN and regional organizations under Chapter VIII of the UN. Our efforts, therefore, should focus on the implementation and strengthening of the existing commitments adopted at the UN and regional organizations. Thus, for example, a functional CFE regime would have been a valuable asset, if appropriate political will would have been displayed, to dispel concerns and defuse tensions, contributing to stabilization of the situation in and around Ukraine. Hence, UN could consider sending a political message of encouragement of the development of appropriate regional arms control tools, as a part of the global arms control effort.
In conclusion, I am reaffirming the commitment of the Republic of Moldova to continue its engagement in the issues associated with the conventional weapons control.