Previous issues | Home | Contact Us | All Disarmament Issues

 

IN THIS ISSUE

Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters meets for its 53rd session
..................................
UN Secretary-General Meets Heads of Disarmament Agencies
.......................
...........
UN Secretary-General tells Conference on Disarmament that this year can be ‘historic’ for progress on disarmament
..................................
Convention on Cluster Munitions to enter into force in August 2010
..................................
The Eighth United Nations-Republic of Korea Joint Disarmament Conference addressed pressing issues related to global and regional disarmament and non-proliferation
..................................
Egypt Hosts United Nations Workshop on Implementing Security Council Resolution 1540 
..................................
Preparing Africa for the Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) 2010 - Regional Workshop for West Africa, Accra, Ghana, 3-4 December 2009
..................................
29th UNSAC ministerial meeting, N’Djamena, Chad, 9-13 November 2009
..................................
New Print and Online UNODA Publications

Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters meets for its 53rd session

Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters

UN Photo/Mark Garten

The 53rd session of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters met in New York from 24-26 February under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Carlo Trezza, the Special Envoy of the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

The Board continued its discussion of its agenda item “Conceptual issues leading up to the 2010 NPT Review Conference” which was first discussed at the Board’s last meeting in July 2009. It also began discussion of the second item of its 2010 agenda, namely "Follow-up action on the 2002 United Nations Study on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education". In this respect, the Board heard a presentation by an expert, Dr. William Potter, Center for Nonproliferation of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, on disarmament education.

Addressing his Board, the Secretary-General said that the voice of the Board “is especially important during what promises to be a critical year in the field of disarmament, both inside and outside the United Nations”. He commended the Board on placing disarmament and non-proliferation education on its agenda. “This, too, has enormous importance not just for the future of any single treaty, but the future of international peace and security.”

The Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters was established in 1978 pursuant to paragraph 124 of the Final Document of the Tenth Special Session of the General Assembly, and received its current mandate pursuant to General Assembly decision 54/418 of 1 December 1999.

The Secretary-General appoints the members of the Board from all regions of the world for their knowledge and experience in the field of disarmament and international security. Members serve an initial two-year term. The Director of UNIDIR is an ex officio member. The Advisory Board holds two sessions a year, alternating between New York and Geneva. The Board adopts its agenda based on requests from the Secretary-General for advice on specific disarmament issues. The Board also recommends items for consideration. The chairmanship of the Board rotates by geographical region on a yearly basis, and is responsible for submission of a report on the session to the Secretary-General. Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 38/183 O of 20 December 1983 (A/RES/38/183), the Secretary-General reports annually to the General Assembly on the activities of the Advisory Board.

[Top>>]

See also: Advisory Board | SG’s remarks
3

UN Secretary-General Meets Heads of Disarmament Agencies

Secretary-General Meets Heads of Disarmament Agencies

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with the heads of international nuclear disarmament agencies. From left to right: Ahmet Üzümcü, incoming Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW); Rogelio Pfirter, current Director-General of OPCW; Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva and Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament; Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); and Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

On 8 January 2010, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon chaired a roundtable meeting at UN Headquarters with the heads of international organizations dealing with disarmament issues. The Secretary-General reiterated that disarmament and non-proliferation will continue to be one of his top priorities and highlighted major events in the months ahead including the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Noting that the NPT is facing “a number of challenges,” the Secretary-General said that a successful outcome at the Review Conference would strengthen confidence not only in the Treaty but also for the collective global efforts to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. He also said he will continue to build support for his Action Plan for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation as well as the universality of the relevant treaties and conventions.

“I pledge to continue to do everything in my power to advance the goal of a world free of weapons of mass destruction. I look forward to working with all of you to make this a reality,” he told the gathering.

Participating in the meeting were the heads of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), and the Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament.

The participants stressed the need for renewed multilateralism in dealing with a breadth of challenges facing the disarmament and non-proliferation regimes related to nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, according to a read-out of the meeting.

[Top>>]

See also: Full remarks | IAEA | OPCW | CTBTO
3

UN Secretary-General tells Conference on Disarmament that this year can be "historic" for progress on disarmament

Palais des Nations - Geneva

On 19 January 2010, in a message to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, the Secretary-General voiced optimism that 2010 will be a “historic year” for progress on disarmament and non-proliferation goals, vowing to press ahead with efforts to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction.

“My hope is based, not on wishful thinking, but on real opportunities for concrete action,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told this year’s first plenary session of the world’s sole multilateral forum for disarmament negotiations.

“I urge the Conference to recognize the importance of this moment and demonstrate to the world its continuing relevance,” said the Secretary-General.

The Secretary-General called on the members of the Conference to put aside their differences, “focus on the global interest,” particularly the need for binding legal norms, and agree on a work programme for 2010.

“This would send a positive signal and help build momentum” in the run-up to the Review Conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in May, he said.

Presented in October 2008, the Secretary-General’s five-point proposal includes a call for the parties to the NPT to pursue negotiations on nuclear disarmament, either through a new convention or through a series of mutually reinforcing instruments backed by a credible system of verification.

He also said he would continue to build support for his December 2009 Action Plan for Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation, as well as the universality of the relevant treaties and conventions.

[Top>>]

2

Convention on Cluster Munitions to enter into force in August 2010

cluster munitions

bomblets

The Convention on Cluster Munitions, which bans the use of cluster munitions, will enter into force on 1 August 2010 following the submission of the instruments of ratification of Burkina Faso and Moldova – bringing the number of States Parties to 30 – as required by the text of the Convention for its entry into force.

This step that was welcomed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as “a major advance on the global disarmament agenda.” He called on all States that have not yet ratified to become a party to the Convention. “The United Nations is firmly committed to ending the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster munitions and mitigating the suffering they cause,” he said.

The Secretary-General said the fact that the Convention was entering into force just two years after countries adopted the treaty “demonstrates the world’s collective revulsion at the impact of these terrible weapons.”

First used during the Second World War, cluster munitions contain dozens of smaller explosives designed to disperse over an area the size of several football fields, making them inherently inaccurate. Moreover, too often they fail to detonate upon impact, creating large de facto minefields. The failure rate makes these weapons particularly dangerous for civilians, who continue to be maimed or killed for years after conflicts end. Recovery from conflict is also hampered because the munitions place roads and lands off-limits to farmers and aid workers.

[Top>>]

2

The Eighth United Nations-Republic of Korea Joint Disarmament Conference addressed pressing issues related to global and regional disarmament and non-proliferation

Eighth UN-Republic of Korea Joint Conference on Disarmament and Non-proliferation Issues, Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, 16-18 November 2009.

The Eighth United Nations-Republic of Korea Joint Conference on Disarmament and Non-proliferation Issues took place in Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, from 16 to 18 November 2009. This annual event was organized jointly by the Office for Disarmament Affairs through its Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific and the Government of the Republic of Korea. This year's Conference, with the overall theme of "Prospects for a New Era of Progress on Disarmament and Non-proliferation", addressed several critical issues in the fields of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, such as actions towards a nuclear-weapon-free world; challenges and possible solutions to nuclear non-proliferation; promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and non-proliferation challenges in Northeast Asia.

The annual conference, hosted by the Republic of Korea since 2002, has become an important forum characterized by a frank and constructive exchange of views among governments’ officials, independent experts and researchers, and civil society representatives on challenges and solutions to pressing disarmament and international security issues. It also addresses particular disarmament and non-proliferation concerns in the Asia-Pacific region. Over 40 representatives from governments, international organizations, academic and research institutions, as well as civil society around the world participated in this year’s Conference. Mr. Sergio Duarte, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, as well as Ambassador Joon Oh, Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, addressed the opening session. Mr. Duarte pointed out the relevance of the conference for both global and regional disarmament matters. “Our present joint conference … provides a timely opportunity to discuss some regional issues, especially in Northeast Asia - including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea nuclear and missile issues … and efforts to resume the six-party talks.”

During a short span of two and a half days, the conference offered an in-depth and interactive discussion on steps and actions needed to be taken towards a nuclear-weapon-free world, and on ways and means to bolster the international non-proliferation regime in the face of current challenges, including on issues essential to a successful Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to be held in May 2010. Participants addressed the expansion of the use of nuclear energy and the multilateral approach to nuclear fuel cycle, with a view to promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy while addressing possible safety, security and proliferation concerns. They further considered the issue of how to respond effectively to regional non-proliferation challenges. Participants seemed more optimistic about the possibility of making tangible progress in multilateral disarmament and noted that certain proliferation concerns are yet to be resolved. Although there is considerable common ground on many of the discussed issues, views continued to differ on how best to seek solutions acceptable to all. Nonetheless, participants recognized the crucial importance and urgency of taking concrete actions in the field of disarmament, particular nuclear disarmament, and non-proliferation. The Conference again underscored that dialogue among decision-makers, academia and civil society is central to the success of the process.

[Top>>]

See also: United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific | NPT Review Conference site

2

Egypt hosts United Nations Workshop on Implementing Security Council Resolution 1540 

UN regional workshop on implementing UNSCR 1540 (2004), 7-10 December 2009, Cairo, Egypt

A regional United Nations workshop on implementing United Nations Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) was held from 7 to 10 December in Cairo, Egypt. Hosted by the Government of Egypt, the workshop was organized by the Office for Disarmament Affairs, with financial support from the European Union and the Governments of Norway and the United States. Seventy-six participants from nine African States (Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, South Africa and Uganda) as well as representatives from France, Norway, the United States, the European Union and representatives from a number of international, regional and subregional organizations participated.

The Cairo workshop was the fifth regional workshop organized by the Office for Disarmament Affairs on the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) since 2008. Consistent with the objectives of resolution 1540 (2004), the workshop aimed to enhance national capacities for the management of export-control processes at a practical level, and to improve information- and experience-sharing between participating countries. The workshop also facilitated assistance related to the resolution’s implementation. The workshop sessions were characterized by open discussions, including on challenges experienced by States. Invited co-sponsors and international organizations outlined in their presentations specific types of assistance that could be obtained through their existing programmes for the promotion of full implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).

On the last day of the workshop, the 1540 Committee Vice-Chairman from the United Kingdom and the 1540 experts met with each delegation of the participating countries to discuss next steps in implementing resolution 1540 (2004) and explore their needs for assistance. In addition, the representatives of the European Union, the United States, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), World Custom Organization (WCO), the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and the Center for International Trade and Security (CITS) offered bilateral discussions to all delegations of participating States.

[ Top>>]

2

Preparing Africa for the Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) 2010 - Regional Workshop for West Africa, Accra, Ghana, 3-4 December 2009

NPT workshop in Ghana

The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS - Pretoria) jointly organized a West-African Regional Workshop on “Preparing Africa for the Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) 2010”. The conference took place in Accra, Ghana, on 3 and 4 December 2009, and was funded by the Governments of Norway and the United Kingdom.

The meeting brought together participants from a range of West African governments and civil society organizations, as well as government representatives from the United Kingdom and South Africa to discuss the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its relevance to African countries, in order to prepare for the May 2010 Review Conference. The workshop focused on nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the latter being of particular interest to a growing number of African Countries.

A round-table discussions on the forthcoming 2010 NPT Review Conference was held and raised awareness of the need for international instruments related to nuclear weapons such as the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) to enter into force as soon as possible.

[Top>>]

2

29th UNSAC Ministerial Meeting, N’Djamena, Chad, 9-13 November 2009

29th ministerial meeting of the UN Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa, 9-13 November 2009, N'Djamena, Chad

 

 

 

 

 

 

From left to right: UNODA representative, Ms. A. Marcaillou; Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chad, H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat; Secretary of the meeting, Ms. J. Seck Diouf; Rapporteur, Representative of Equatorial Guinea

The UN Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC) held its 29th ministerial meeting from 9 to 13 November 2009 in N’Djamena, Chad, under the presidency of H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chad. Ministers and other high-level government officials of the Committee’s 11 member States participated in the meeting: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Sao Tome and Principe.

During the meeting, the member States received a first draft of the legal instrument on the control, in Central Africa, of small arms and light weapons, their ammunition and all equipment that might be used in their manufacture”, prepared by the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC), which also serves as the Secretariat of the Committee. The Committee decided to devote the 30th ministerial meeting to the further consideration of the draft legal instrument.

For the first time, the ministerial meeting had on its agenda an item on “Women, Peace and Security”. In order to strengthen their implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) and actively prepare for its upcoming Tenth Anniversary in October 2010, UNSAC members agreed on the following concrete measures: designation by each member State of focal points in relevant Ministries (Foreign Affairs, Interior or Security, and Defence) as stipulated by UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000); ensuring the inclusion of women in their national delegations attending major disarmament and non-proliferation conferences; women’s participation in National Commissions on small arms and light weapons; and reaffirmation by the Member States of their commitments to implement the four UN Security Council resolutions related to Women, Peace and Security - namely, 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1889 (2009) - and to comply with their reporting requirements.

The meeting also reviewed the latest developments of the geopolitical and security situation in Central Africa, discussed maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, and promoted disarmament and arms limitation activities in Central Africa.

The Committee’s next ministerial meeting will take place in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, from 26 to 30 April 2010.   

[Top>>]

See also: UNSAC

2

New Print and Online UNODA Publications

OP 18 Disarmament Yearbook 2009 (Part I)

UNODA Occasional Paper No. 18

United Nations
Disarmament Yearbook,
Vol. 34 (Part I): 2009

Released on 4 March 2010 in print and electronic formats:

UNODA Occasional Paper No. 18: Ways to Strengthen the Field of Verification

• Features presentations made at the fifty-first session of the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters held from 18 to 20 February 2009 in New York.

• James Acton, Associate in the Non-Proliferation Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, made a presentation entitled “Verifying zero: long-term aims, short-term steps”.

• Andreas Persbo, Acting Executive Director of the Verification, Research, Training and Information Centre, spoke of “Nuclear arms control in the 2010s—verification challenges”.  

* * *

Released on 29 March 2010 in print and electronic formats:

United Nations Disarmament Yearbook - Disarmament Resolutions and Decisions of the Sixty-fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Volume 34 (Part I): 2009

• Compiles the resolutions and decisions of the previous General Assembly, their voting patterns in the General Assembly and the First Committee, lead sponsors, sponsors and co-sponsors, references to First Committee report and dates of adoption.

• Contains a quick view of votes by cluster for an easy handle on resolution numbers, titles and votes in the First Committee and in the Assembly.

Part II of the Yearbook summarizes main multilateral issues under consideration and is forthcoming in early autumn, 2010.

[Top>>]

2


Copyright © 2010 UN Office for Disarmament Affairs.