U.S. Statement at the 2019 Session of the Conference on Disarmament

Statement by Ambassador Robert A. Wood,
United States Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament

Geneva – June 20, 2019

Today is the day many members of the Conference on Disarmament have been waiting for since May 27: the end of the disastrous and illegitimate CD presidency of the former Maduro regime in Venezuela.

This regime accomplished nothing – zero – during its presidency other than to serve as a prime example of why the CD desperately needs to change the way countries assume the presidency.

Maduro’s representatives have tried to portray Venezuela as if it were just another normal country assuming the presidency.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Maduro’s regime has cast a very dark shadow over the CD, as it has over Venezuela and its people, and thus the body’s members owe it to the institution and to the international community at large to begin a long-overdue debate about how we conduct our business and select the CD’s leadership.

The United States calls on all CD members states who share our view about the corrosive impact of Syria’s and Venezuela’s presidencies on the institution to join us in pressing for a dialogue on how to improve the working methods of the CD.