【Introduction】The Conference on Disarmament (CD), as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, has negotiated such major multilateral arms control agreements as the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, etc. The CD is based in the Council Chamber of the Palais des Nations in Geneva, and meets in an annual session, which is divided in three parts of 10, 7 and 7 weeks, respectively.
【Establishment】The CD derived its mandate from the first Special Session on Disarmament of the United Nations General Assembly (SSOD-I) in 1978 and was convened in 1979 (named the Committee on Disarmament then). It succeeded other Geneva-based negotiating fora, which include the Ten-Nation Committee on Disarmament (1960), the Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament (1962-68), and the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (1969-78). It was renamed the Conference on Disarmament in 1984.
【Agenda Items】The main agenda items of the CD include: Cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament; Prevention of nuclear war, including all related matters; Prevention of an arms race in outer space; Effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons; New types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons; Comprehensive programme of disarmament; Transparency in armaments.
【Membership】The CD has 65 members, and organized into regional groups, including Western European and Others Group, Eastern European Group, Group of 21 (mainly Non-Aligned Movement Member States), and Group of One (China). Regional groups hold internal consultation facilitated by regional coordinators, and sometimes present proposals or working papers in the name of the groups.
【Organization】 The CD is not affiliated with the UN, but is linked to the UN in various ways. The CD adopts its own agenda, taking into account the recommendations of the UN General Assembly. It reports to the General Assembly annually. The CD makes its decisions by consensus. It hold plenary meetings and informal meetings. The Presidency of the CD shall rotate among all its members; each President shall preside for a four-working-week period. The current Director-General of UNOG, Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, is the Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament as well as the Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the CD.
【China's Relationship with the CD】 In February 1980, China officially started its participation in the CD. Since 1983, China has appointed its ambassadors for disarmament affairs based in Geneva, who are successively QIAN Jiadong, FAN Guoxiang, HOU Zhitong, SHA Zukang, LI Changhe, HU Xiaodi, CHENG Jingye, WANG Qun, WU Haitao, FU Cong, LI Song.
At present, the international security field is witnessing increasingly diverse threats. The multilateralism is under attack, while instabilities and uncertainties are on the rise. Under these circumstances, the authority and effectiveness of multilateral disarmament mechanisms such as the CD should only be strengthened, rather than weakened. China supports the CD, in reaching a comprehensive and balanced programme of work, to start its substantive work at an early date. China hopes that the member states of the CD will strengthen their solidarity, and conduct the CD's work in a more pragmatic manner, so as to jointly promote new progress in the international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation process, and make new contributions to maintaining world peace and security, and upholding multilateralism and international cooperation.