Press Release

Disarmament Commission††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††

2004 Substantive Session††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††

258th Meeting (AM)

Proposed agenda items circulated in disarmament commission,

as informal consultations continue

The Disarmament Commission, following suspension yesterday of its general debate owing to the absence of agreement on a work programme for the three-week session, today held a brief formal meeting to circulate a compilation of proposed agenda items, before proceeding to informal consultations.

Among the nuclear-related items contained in the proposals from the European Union, Japan, the Non-Aligned movement of countries, and the United States, were: †enhancing verification; strategies against illicit trafficking in weapons of mass destruction; and guidelines for nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.

In the conventional weapons sphere, proposals included best practices and regional approaches to the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons, and methodologies for verifying conventional arms control agreements.† Also suggested was an examination of verification mechanisms and instruments of international disarmament treaties and agreements.† Consideration of measures for improving the effectiveness of the disarmament machinery was also tabled.

The Commission, whose membership is universal, was created in 1952 as a deliberative body mandated to make recommendations in the field of disarmament and to follow up the decisions and recommendations of the General Assemblyís first special session devoted to disarmament (1978).

Focusing on a limited number of agenda items each session to allow for in-depth discussion, the Commission, over the years, has formulated several guidelines and recommendations, including on regional approaches to disarmament within the context of global security, verification in all its aspects, and the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones.

At its 2003 session, members had been unable to agree on concrete proposals to advance either nuclear disarmament or confidence-building in the field of conventional arms, departing from the Commissionís usual practice of completing consideration of two items in three years, with the consensus adoption of guidelines and recommendations.

The Disarmament Commission will meet again at a date and time to be announced.

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