September 2006

Central Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty Signed

Memorial of nuclear tests victims

On 8 September Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan signed a legally binding nuclear-weapon-free-zone treaty that commits the region's rich uranium deposits to peaceful uses. By adopting the nuclear-free pact, the first mutual security pact among all five Central Asian nations, the signatories agreed that they would neither acquire nuclear weapons nor allow them within their borders. The UN Secretary-General welcomed the free zone and the efforts of the Central Asian States to strengthen the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, reinforce global efforts to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world, and greatly enhance global and regional peace and security. He also urged the five Central Asian States to engage with the nuclear-weapon States who expressed concerns about aspects of the nuclear-free zone treaty with a view to bridging differences and ensuring the Treaty’s effective implementation. Full statement of the SG

UN Secretary General looks ahead after the Small Arms Review Conference ended without an agreement

The Secretary-General expressed disappointment that the United Nations Conference to review the implementation of the Programme of Action on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons ended without agreeing on an outcome document. The Conference succeeded in recalling the issue of small arms and light weapons to the attention of the international community, which clearly remains committed to the Programme of Action as the main framework for measures to curtail the illegal trade in these weapons. Delegates from all parts of the world reaffirmed that the most urgent task is to take firm steps to control illicit arms brokers. This issue will be studied in depth by a United Nations intergovernmental expert group, which will hold its first session in November.

2006 Group of Governmental Experts Review the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms

Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 60/226, the 2006 Group of Governmental Experts reviewing the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms concluded its review of the Register on 28 July, which was carried out over three sessions this year. Under the guidance of its chair, Ambassador Roberto García Moritán, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina, the Group made significant progress on a number of issues related to the operation and further development of the Register. Notably, the Group recommended that international transfers of conventional arms involving only United Nations Member States should be reported to the Register and Member States that wished to do so could also submit data on transfers of small arms and light weapons as part of additional background information, using the standardized reporting form adopted by the Group.
Please click for a press release reviewing other significant recommendations. For the Report of the Group, click A/61/261, and scroll down to "Report of the 2006 GGE". For the Annual Report (A/61/159), on the right navigation bar, click on "Reports of the SG" .

First Security Council resolution 1540 Seminar in the Asia/Pacific Region

On 12-13 July a UN Seminar entitled “Implementing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 in Asia and the Pacific” took place in Beijing, China. The seminar was the first outreach seminar of the 1540 Committee in the Asia-Pacific region. Resolution 1540, inter alia, decided that all States would establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of such weapons and means of delivery, in particular for terrorist purposes, including by establishing appropriate controls over related materials, and adopt legislative measures in that respect. The 1540 Committee was established to monitor implementation of the resolution. The participants shared their experience in preparing national reports, focusing on such items as export controls, international assistance and lessons learnt, which had been highlighted in the follow-on Security Council resolution 1673 (2006). That resolution extended the Committee for a period of two years, until 27 April 2008.

United Nations Conference on Nuclear Proliferation and
Disarmament Issues Yokohama, Japan, 21-23 August

Participants from Governments, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and the press attended the eighteenth United Nations conference on disarmament issues in Yokohama, Japan, from 21 to 23 August 2006.
In view of the growing threats to global and regional security arising from nuclear proliferation risks, the conference addressed problems and challenges of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, examining issues of compliance, verification, nuclear fuel cycle and peaceful use of nuclear energy. Regional issues such as the nuclear programmes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Iran, and related approaches such as the six-party talks, and the Five plus One proposal were also addressed. The conference additionally discussed ways to eradicate the nuclear black market and to regain confidence in multilateral efforts towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.