Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed today``s adoption by the Conference on Disarmament " the world``s sole multilateral forum for disarmament negotiations " of a Programme of Work for its 2009 session.
The move taken by the Conference in Geneva ends a 12-year stalemate, which will allow the body to negotiate and substantively discuss strategic disarmament and non-proliferation, according to a statement issued by Mr. Ban``s spokesperson.
The Secretary-General is heartened that the members and in particular the President, Ambassador Idriss JazaÃ¯ry, have overcome an impasse which had for far too long prevented the Conference on Disarmament from fulfilling its mandate, it added.
In his address to the Conference``s 65 members last week, Mr. Ban emphasized its essential role as the main pillar of disarmament and non-proliferation.
He voiced hope that today``s decision will generate another important impetus to advancing disarmament and non-proliferation in general and to achieving success at next year``s review conference of the UN-backed Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which forms the foundation of the world``s nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Following the adoption by consensus of a work programme, Mr. JazaÃ¯ry said that the Conference``s action has reinforced multilateralism and showed how to overcome artificial barriers separating the North and South.