The United Nations Conference on Disarmament, a forum of 65 member countries dedicated to negotiations of disarmament (North Korea’s strong suit) just got a new president—due to an antiquated rule stating that presidency is rotated among all member states alphabetically. So Se Pyong, pictured centered above, is the North Korean ambassador heading the conference. From Canada.com:
Nuclear-armed North Korea has assumed the presidency of a key United Nations disarmament body — despite facing UN Security Council sanctions over its weapons programs.
The development comes in the same week the UN defended its decision to support Iran’s holding of an international "anti-terrorism" conference — which saw participants declaring that Western powers were the international terrorists.
UN officials point out that North Korean ambassador So Se Pyong takes on the presidency of the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament under rules that say the chair will rotate among all 65 member states in alphabetical order.
But critics said Wednesday the rules should be changed when they allow the body — whose mandate is in part to push for world nuclear disarmament — to be led by a country that the West considers to be an international nuclear renegade.
So Se Pyong said during an address Tuesday he was "very engaged in moving the conference forward," and would use his four working-weeks of presidency to seek "constructive proposals" that would strengthen the "work and the credibility" of the conference.
Makes for a great sensationalist piece, but the duration of presidency is only four weeks and given the efficacies of bureaucratic process and international bickering, that doesn’t seem like much time to do a lot of damage. But what do I know.