May 2006

2006 Biological Weapons Convention Preparatory Committee concludes its work

Peace and Security through DISARMAMENT

Participants from 78 States parties met in Geneva from 26 to 28 April at the Preparatory Committee for the Convention’s Sixth Review Conference Press Releases [1][2]. The Prep Com set the venue for the Review Conference, (20 November to 8 December, in Geneva), and decided that its provisional agenda would include a review of the operation of the Convention, consideration of issues identified in that review, and any possible consensus follow-up action. Ambassador Masood Khan of Pakistan, who chaired the Prep Com, will be the President of the Sixth Review Conference. Information on the Biological Weapons Convention and details of the Prep Com are available on the Department’s web site at:

Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty at Conference on Disarmament

Conference on Disarmament
On 18 May, the United States tabled a draft Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) at the Conference on Disarmament Press Release. The United States believes that the draft treaty addresses the need for essential legal measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, and to prevent Governments from developing them. The United States also noted that the issue had consistently garnered support in the General Assembly, received the support of all members, and would be the only possible avenue for progress in the Conference. For a continued thematic discussion of the FMCT issue and the Conference on Disarmament, visit the web site of the UN Office in Geneva at http://www.unog.ch

Disarmament Commission begins three-year cycle of work

unLogo
Agreement reached last December on the agenda for the Commission’s current session (10-28 April) enabled that body to begin a three-year cycle of deliberations on two items: nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation; and confidence-building measures in the area of conventional weapons. The Commission (UNDC) also agreed to allocate equitable time in 2006 in plenary meetings to the consideration of improving its working methods. At this session, the UNDC formed two working groups on those substantive items and touched on other main items, including the relationship between the Commission and other disarmament-related bodies, such as the First Committee and the Conference on Disarmament. Press releases, reports, and other documents of the UNDC are available on the Department’s web site at http://www.un.org/disarmament/HomePage/DisarmamentCommission/Sessions.shtml.

Protocol V Explosive Remnants of War to enter into force

Darfur, Farraouia

CICR/ABENSUR, Pierre

With the deposit of the twentieth instrument of consent to be bound, Protocol V on the Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons shall enter into force on 12 November 2006. Protocol V recognizes the serious post-conflict humanitarian problems caused by unexploded ordnance and abandoned explosive ordnance and addresses post-conflict remedial measures of a generic nature in order to minimize the occurrence, effects and the risk of ERW. The text and status of the Convention, including the Protocols are available on the Department’s web site at http://disarmament.un.org/TreatyStatus.nsf.
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First Annual Commemoration of Victims of Chemical Warfare Observed

On 29 April, for the first time in what will be an annual occurrence, the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons remembered the victims of chemical warfare. The UN Secretary-General called on those States that had not yet ratified or acceded to the Convention to do so without delay; and urged all to work towards its full implementation and to ensure that chemical weapons were kept out of the hands of non-State actors Press Release. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, in its tribute, stated that an effective global ban on those weapons would serve as the most fitting memorial to the victims Press Release. The Chemical Weapons Convention was the first treaty to ban an entire category of such weapons. For more information on the Convention and the event, visit the Department’s web site at: