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5 November 2013 - General Assembly - First Committee - Explanation of vote by Mr Jean-Hugues Simon-Michel, Ambassador and French Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament, on behalf of France and the United Kingdom

Resolution: "Relationship between disarmament and development"

Mr. Chairman.

I would like to deliver an explanation of position on behalf of the United Kingdom and France on draft resolution L.15 : "the relationship between disarmament and development".

The United Kingdom and France have joined consensus on this resolution. We support the mainstreaming of disarmament issues in development policy, particularly in the field of conventional weapons, small arms and light weapons (SALW) and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR).

That said, we feel it necessary to make our position clear on other aspects of this text :

— The notion of a "symbiotic relationship" between disarmament and development appears questionable to us as the conditions conducive to disarmament are not necessarily dependent on development only, as seen with the growing military expenditure of some developing countries. There is no automatic link between the two but rather a complex relationship that this notion does not accurately capture.

— Moreover, the idea according to which military expenditure directly diverts funding from development requirements would need to be nuanced, as defence investments are also necessary to develop peacekeeping, improve response to natural disasters (airborne and maritime equipment) and, under certain conditions, favour stability.

— Finally, we consider that the report of the Group of Governmental experts did not give sufficient credit to unilateral, bilateral and multilateral actions in disarmament and non-proliferation.

I thank you, Mr Chairman


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