1 August 2006
Press Release

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Experts report significant progress on United Nations Conventional Arms Register

NEW YORK, 31 July (Department for Disarmament Affairs) -- The 2006 Group of Governmental Experts on the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, established by the Secretary-General under General Assembly resolution 60/226, concluded its work on Friday, 28 July, making significant progress on a number of issues related to the operation and further development of the Register.

The United Nations Register, established in 1992, currently covers seven categories of conventional weapons, namely, battle tanks; armoured combat vehicles; large-calibre artillery systems; combat aircrafts; attack helicopters; warships (including submarines); and missiles and missile-launchers (including man-portable air defense systems).† The Register is reviewed periodically by governmental experts at three-year intervals.† This was the fifth review.

Notably, the Group recommended that international transfers of conventional arms involving only United Nations Member States should be reported to the Register.

Significantly, the Group also recommended that States that wish to do so could report their transfers of small arms and light weapons to the Register on the basis of an optional standardized form and, the data and information provided would be made available through the Secretary-Generalís annual consolidated report to the General Assembly on the United Nations Register.

The reporting threshold for warships and submarines was also lowered from 750 metric tons to 500 metric tons, while all naval vessels under this threshold that are armed with missiles and/or torpedoes with a range of at least 25 km would be reported to the Register.

In addition, the Group made a number of specific recommendations to improve the procedures and operation of the Register, and to strengthen the Department for Disarmament Affairs in its efforts to promote and facilitate the continued progress of the Register.† The Groupís report will be presented to the sixty-first session of the General Assembly.

The Group was chaired by Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina.† Representatives of Argentina, Brazil, China, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Senegal, South Africa, Switzerland, Uganda, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States also participated in the Group.

For further information, contact Nazir Kamal, Department for Disarmament Affairs, fax 212 963 3689, e-mail: kamaln@un.org.

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For information media • not an official record