Previous issues | Home | Contact Us | All Disarmament Issues

 
 

IN THIS ISSUE

2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) concludes with a substantive final document
..................................
General Assembly Holds Debate on Disarmament and World Security
.......................
...........
Security Council Discusses Illicit Arms Trafficking in Central African Region
..................................
Second Conference of States Parties and Signatories of Treaties that establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Mongolia takes place in New York
..................................
CTBTO holds major exhibition at UN Headquarters: Indonesia announces intention to join the Treaty
..................................
United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa adopts Convention on Small Arms Control 
..................................
West African nations work to harmonize national legislations on SALW
..................................
Caribbean Security Officials Attend Workshop on Stockpile Management
..................................
New Print and Online UNODA Publications

2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) concludes with a substantive final document

Opening of NPT Review Conference

Opening of NPT Review Conference

On 28 May 2010, the States parties meeting to review the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) adopted a substantive Final Document, which included a review of the operation of the Treaty prepared at the responsibility of the President as well as an agreed action plan containing forward-looking measures on each of the three pillars of the Treaty – nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy – and on the Middle East and other regional issues, particularly implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East.

A total of 172 States parties participated in the Conference which took place at United Nations Headquarters from 3 to 28 May 2010. Participation in the conference included one Head of State, namely the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, one Deputy Prime Minister, 29 Foreign Ministers together with other deputy ministers and government representatives amounting to more than 1300 delegates, reflecting the importance of the NPT.

Addressing the opening day of the meeting, the Secretary-General recognised that the NPT should not be considered faultless, but cited the 40-year-old Treaty as a cornerstone of the world’s nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime and declared “We need this regime as much as ever.”

Cabactulan meets SG

President of the Review Conference, Ambassador Cabactulan meets the Secretary-General.

Describing five benchmarks for success, the Secretary-General said real gains towards nuclear disarmament were needed, and he encouraged States to expand on the 13 practical steps set out in the outcome document of the 2000 Review Conference. The Secretary-General was supported by the President of the Conference when he called for concrete steps and urged that the differences between the NPT member states’ “haves” and the “have-nots” not derail a successful outcome of the Review Conference.

Some 1155 representatives from 121 NGOs participated in the NPT Review conference. In the margins of the Conference, NGOs and others held several events including exhibitions, film screenings, book launches and multiple presentations about the dangers of nuclear weapons. One session of the plenary meeting was devoted to presentations by NGOs to the NPT delegates.

The week-long General Debate was followed by 3 weeks of hard work taking place in three Main Committees and in plenary to examine the implementation of the three pillars of the NPT, namely, 1) nuclear disarmament; 2) nuclear non-proliferation; and 3) the peaceful use of nuclear energy, as well as the universality of the Treaty.

In an unprecedented move, during the last week of the Conference, the Secretary-General wrote a letter to the States parties encouraging them to step up their work with flexibility and in a cooperative spirit, to reach agreement on an outcome document that would contribute to strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime and to advance progress on nuclear disarmament.

After intense negotiations, the States parties concluded the 2010 Conference with a 64-point plan for follow-on actions addressing the three pillars of the Treaty – disarmament, non-proliferation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy – as well as the implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East.

The unanimously adopted outcome document contains steps to guide progress on nuclear disarmament, advance non-proliferation and work towards a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. The Conference resolved that the nuclear-weapon States commit to further efforts to reduce and eliminate all types of deployed and non-deployed nuclear weapons, including through unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral measures.

A separate section of the document focused on the Middle East, specifically on implementation of the 1995 Review Conference’s resolution on the Middle East. To that end the final document endorsed the convening of a conference in 2012, to be attended by all States in the Middle East, on the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at by States in the region.

Presenting the draft, which was concluded as the final document NPT/CONF.2010/50 (Vol. I), the President of the Review Conference, Libran Cabactulan, said the text had been made possible because all delegations had sought to work constructively, and because, he believed, there had been a most urgent desire to achieve a successful outcome for the 2010 Review Conference.

[Top>>]

See also: Secretary-General's Opening Speech | 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT Review Conference webpage | Final document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference |Secretary-General's Letter to NPT States Parties
3

General Assembly Holds Debate on Disarmament and World Security

Ali Abdussalam Treki addresses thematic debate on disarmament and world security

Ali Abdussalam Treki, President of the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly, addresses a morning session of the General Assembly's thematic debate on disarmament and world security.

On 19 April 2010, the General Assembly held an open thematic debate entitled “Disarmament and world security: Challenges for the international community and the role of the United Nations”.

In an opening address, the Secretary-General hailed the 8 April agreement between the United States and the Russian Federation on a new nuclear arms reduction treaty as a follow-on to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). He reiterated his proposals for the banning of the production of explosive fissile materials and more frequent high-level meetings of the Security Council on the issue. He expressed hope that the new political momentum would contribute to a successful outcome of the May Review Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

In his opening statement, Ali Abdussalam Treki, President of the General Assembly, said that it had been 10 years without any tangible progress in disarmament. He hoped the agreements reached between the United States and the Russian Federation would pave the way for all those that possessed nuclear weapons to follow suit, eventually leading to a world free of such arms. He stressed that getting rid of nuclear weapons already in existence was the most important way of enforcing non-proliferation.

In recognition of their 8 April agreement made in Prague, the representatives of the Russian Federation and the United States were also given a seat at the debate’s opening. Both representatives underlined the significance of the agreed cuts, saying that they could be made while maintaining a strong security stance, and of the accord’s impetus towards fulfilling NPT obligations. They hoped that further progress would now be made in the non-proliferation regime.

Following the opening presentations, two interactive panel discussions were held, featuring policy experts as well as diplomatic officials. The morning panel, moderated by the representative of Norway, discussed “Strengthening multilateral commitments regarding WMD: the challenges and opportunities of disarmament, non-proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy”. The afternoon panel, moderated by Uruguay’s representative, discussed “Enhancing security through the reduction of arms: security needs, military expenditures, the arms trade and arms availability.”

At the conclusion of the debate, Ms. Juul (Norway), moderator of the morning session, stressed that the thematic debate had been timely, and that although there were still wide disagreements on various issues, she hoped that the debate would lay the groundwork for the upcoming NPT Review Conference. Mr. Cancela (Uruguay), moderator of the afternoon session, urged participants to take advantage of the “historic opportunity” to advance the disarmament agenda. He concluded by stating that the concept of transforming existing instruments into legally binding obligations would represent an important contribution to such progress.

[Top>>]

See also: Secretary-General's Speech | More details
3

Security Council Discusses Illicit Arms Trafficking in Central African Region

Asha-Rose Migiro addresses SC meeting

Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro addresses a Security Council meeting on the impact of illicit arms trafficking on peace and security in the Central African region. 19 March 2010 United Nations, New York.

The Security Council held a meeting on 19 March to consider the impact of illicit arms trafficking on peace and security in the Central African region.

In a presidential statement read out by Ambassador Alfred Alexis Moungara Moussotsi (Gabon), members underscored the vital importance of effective regulations and controls to prevent the illegal diversion and re-export of conventional arms. They called for the creation of a Central African subregional register of arms dealers, as well as a legally binding instrument to control small arms and light weapons, their ammunition and the equipment for their manufacture.

The Council also encouraged the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) to assist countries in the subregion to effectively implement arms embargoes imposed by the Security Council, and encouraged committees charged with monitoring embargoes in Central African and neighbouring countries to establish channels of communication with the subregional body and with the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa. Furthermore, the Council encouraged Member States to take vigorous action to restrict the supply of small arms and light weapons and ammunition to areas of instability in Central Africa, and to cooperate fully with the Chair of the United Nations fourth biennial meeting of States on implementing the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects, scheduled for June, in order to ensure a successful outcome.

In a day-long debate prior to the Council’s adoption of the presidential statement, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro urged support for a global arms trade treaty and for the implementation of community-based disarmament and confidence-building projects. She called on Central African States to make the best possible use of United Nations tools and expertise. In this regard, she mentioned UNREC’s work of providing States, subregional organizations and civil society with technical advice and capacity-building programmes, including training, legal assistance and the elaboration of regional registers and transparency instruments. Ms. Migiro welcomed the ministerial decision of UNSAC mandating the Centre to assist in drafting the subregion’s first legally binding instrument for the control of small arms. She also called on Central African States to implement global instruments such as the Programme of Action; the United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms; and the International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons.

The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Antonio Maria Costa and Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna, said the illegal arms trade was valued at an estimated $200 million to $300 million annually. Africa was the most profitable market for arms smuggling and suffered the greatest number of casualties, he said.

In addition to Council members and a dozen other Member States, the Secretary-General of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and representatives of the African Union and the European Union also delivered statements.

[Top>>]

See also: Presidential Statement | Deputy Secretary-General's Statement

2

Second Conference of States Parties and Signatories of Treaties that establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Mongolia takes place in New York

Alfredo Labbé

President of the Conference: Alfredo Labbé (front, centre), Director for International and Human Security of Chile, presides over the Second Conference of States Parties and Signatories to Treaties that Establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and Mongolia.

On 30 April 2010, the Second Conference of States Parties and Signatories of Treaties that establish Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones (NWFZs) and Mongolia was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Conference aimed at promoting NWFZs as indispensable instruments to preserve and foster international peace and security and to further global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation through the establishment of such zones. Invitees to the Conference included 115 States parties and signatories, 76 NPT States parties as observers, four other Member States of the United Nations as well as 14 Intergovernmental Organizations and Specialized Agencies and 21 NGOs.

In his opening statement, Secretary-General Ban, Ki Moon underlined the role of the UN in disarmament and non-proliferation and reiterated that NWFZs were key in laying the foundations for the abolition of nuclear weapons and their proliferation.

The Secretary-General referred to the NWFZs as beacons of hope for a nuclear-weapon-free world and called the establishment of such zones the success story of the nuclear disarmament movement. He commended NWFZ States parties and signatories on this success and urged them to make their leadership a model for the future. The Secretary-General emphasized that while some States saw nuclear weapons as vital to their national security, indispensable for deterrence, and as symbols of international status and independence, States Parties and signatories of the NWFZ knew better. He further stated that the goal should be to make the entire world a NWFZ.

The Conference adopted, by consensus, an Outcome Document, which reiterated the goals and the value of the establishment of NWFZ for global nuclear disarmament. In this regard it is noteworthy, that the success and the positive outcome of the Conference were of particular importance to the 2010 NPT Review Conference, which followed immediately thereafter (3-28 May). The successful adoption of the Outcome Document was, as a result, repeatedly acknowledged during the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

Currently, there are five NWFZs including 115 Member States. These cover Africa; Central Asia; Latin America and the Caribbean; South-East Asia and the South Pacific. In addition, Mongolia is recognized as the only single State with a nuclear-weapon-free status. Both the Treaty on a NWFZ in Central Asia and the African NWFZ (Treaty of Pelindaba) came into effect in 2009.

[Top>>]

See also: Secretary-General's Speech | Outcome Document | NWFZ page of UNODA

2

CTBTO holds major exhibition at UN Headquarters: Indonesia announces intention to join the Treaty

Group photo at the opening of the exhibition "Putting an End to Nuclear Explosions"

Group photo at the opening of the exhibition "Putting an End to Nuclear Explosions". From left to right: United Nations Messenger of Peace and renowned Hollywood actor Michael Douglas; Foreign Minister of Indonesia Marty M. Natalegawa; United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Foreign Minister of Morocco Fassi Fihri; and United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Sergio Duarte. 04 May 2010. United Nations, New York.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organisation staged a major exhibition in the visitors lobby of the UN Headquarters in New York for the months of May and June 2010.

The exhibition illustrates the complex history of nuclear testing – from the first nuclear test conducted by the United States in 1945 to the last one in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 2009. It also depicts the efforts towards prohibiting nuclear testing, culminating in the adoption of the CTBT in 1996.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the exhibit on 4 May and said “Putting an end to nuclear explosions is more than the name of this exhibition – it is one of the longest-standing goals of the United Nations”. The opening took place on the second day of the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Over 300 guests were in attendance including foreign ministers, ambassadors, high-level delegates to the conference, representatives of disarmament NGOs and the civil society as well as the international media.

At the opening ceremony Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said the Treaty “is a strong non-proliferation instrument, a catalyst for nuclear disarmament.” Indonesia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marty Natalegawa, reaffirmed Indonesia’s commitment to initiating the process of ratification of the CTBT. He called for determined political leadership so that the norm against nuclear testing can “be properly inscribed in the international rulebook.”

The CTBT is close to universality with 182 States already having signed the Treaty and 151 having ratified it. Yet nine ratifications are still outstanding for the Treaty to enter into force.

[Top>>]

See also: Secretary-General's Statement | Indonesian Statement | CTBTO Statement | CTBTO Website

2

United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa adopts Convention on Small Arms Control 


The thirtieth Ministerial Meeting of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC) (Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, from 26 to 30 April) reviewed the provisions of a draft legal instrument on small arms control in Central Africa. This draft legal instrument was elaborated by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC), pursuant to the “Sao Tome Initiative”, adopted by Central African States at the twenty-fifth Ministerial Meeting of the Advisory Committee in May 2007.

In his message to the Ministerial Meeting, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that the adoption of this Convention would constitute a significant milestone and would help reduce violence and bring peace and security dividends to the States of the region. After four days of intense negotiations on the basis of the draft legal instrument drafted by UNREC, the Member States of the Committee adopted the Convention.

The “Central Africa Convention for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition, Parts and Components that can be used for their Manufacture, Repair and Assembly”, known as the “Kinshasa Convention,” fills a void represented by the fact that Central Africa was one of the few African sub-regions not to have its own a legal instrument for the control of small arms.

The Convention, which addresses the security, legal, institutional and cultural specificities of the Central African subregion, is a testimony to the eleven UNSAC countries’ willingness to establish a coherent subregional strategy to act collectively against illicit arms and ammunition. The Convention’s scope is broad and takes into account the most recent developments in global and regional initiatives aimed at combating illicit small arms and light weapons. The Convention also draws upon the best practices and experience of the African and other regions.

The Kinshasa Convention will be signed during the thirty-first meeting of the Committee in November 2010. The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, including UNREC, and the United Nations Office for Legal Affairs will support States in Preceding the UNSAC Ministerial Meeting, the Committee’s Member States met for two days also in Kinshasa for a Central African regional meeting on the UN Programme of Action on small arms. UNSAC Member States examined the sub-regional implementation of the PoA and prepared for the Fourth Biennial Meeting of States on the PoA (14-18 June 2010, New York). the signature and ratification processes.

Preceding the UNSAC Ministerial Meeting, the Committee’s Member States met for two days also in Kinshasa for a Central African regional meeting on the UN Programme of Action on small arms. UNSAC Member States examined the sub-regional implementation of the PoA and prepared for the Fourth Biennial Meeting of States on the PoA (14-18 June 2010, New York).

The Standing Advisory Committee, whose objective is to promote peace and security in Central Africa through confidence-building measures, notably in the fields of disarmament and arms control, was established by the Secretary-General on 28 May 1992, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 46/37 B of 6 December 1991. The Committee is composed of the following eleven Member States: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, and Sao Tome and Principe.

[ Top>>]

See also: Secretary-General's message | UNREC Webpage | Kinshasa Regional Meeting on the PoA Outcome Document

2

West African nations work to harmonize national legislations on SALW

Experts meeting in Lomé

Experts meeting in Lomé on a draft Guide for the harmonization of national legislation on small arms and light weapons in West Africa.

Twelve independent legal experts and disarmament practitioners met in Lomé, Togo, on 25 and 26 May 2010 at the initiative of the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC). The objective of the meeting was to consider the draft “Guide for the harmonisation of national legislations on small arms and light weapons in West Africa”, which is being developed by UNREC in support of the ECOWAS Commission.

This meeting is part of the Project “Implementing Practical Disarmament Measures in West Africa: Technical Support to the ECOWAS Small Arms Unit and ECOSAP,” funded by the Government of Austria. It also represents an UNREC contribution towards the implementation of the ECOWAS Convention on SALW, Their Ammunition and Other Related Materials, adopted by ECOWAS Member States in June 2006. The Convention, which entered into force on 29 September 2009, requires States Parties to review their national legislation on SALW and incorporate therein the provisions of the Convention as common “minimum standards.” As provided for by Article 21, paragraph 3, of the Convention, the Guide being developed will serve as an aid for Member States to incorporate the spirit and the letter of the Convention into their national legal framework.

During the meeting, the panel of independent experts considered all comments and recommendations related to the six chapters of the Guide and their respective analytical categories and made suggestions to make them more relevant to Member States.

This independent experts meeting is the first in a series that will lead to the validation of the draft “Guide for the harmonisation of national legislations on small arms and light weapons in West Africa”. The Guide will ultimately be handed over to the ECOWAS Commission for its own validation before the end of 2010.

Meeting participants represented international, regional, national and civil-society institutions such as the International Small Arms Control Standards project of the United Nations Coordinating Action on Small Arms (ISACS/CASA), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the ECOWAS Commission, the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA)-Nairobi (Kenya), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the West Africa Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA), the Pan African Strategic and Policy Research Group (PANAFSTRAG), the Faculty of Law at the University of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), the Faculty of Law at the University of Lomé, and the National Commission on Human Rights of Togo.

[Top>>]

See also: UNREC Webpage | Meeting Report

2

Caribbean Security Officials Attend Workshop on Stockpile Management

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jamaican Ministry of National Security, in collaboration with the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-LiREC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), hosted the first Awareness Raising Workshop for the UN-LiREC Firearms Destruction and Stockpile Management Assistance Package in the Caribbean. The workshop was held from 28 to 29 April 2010 at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston, Jamaica.

The workshop brought together security officials from a number of Caribbean governments, the Organization of American States, the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security, as well as renowned experts in the field. Participants had the opportunity to increase their knowledge and exchange views on international standards and best practices in firearms destruction and stockpile management.

The Director of UN-LiREC, Mélanie Régimbal, said she was encouraged by the outcomes of the seminar. “We’ve had an opportunity to have a very frank and open discussion. I have rarely seen these types of forum, where we have been able to have such a frank discussion on issues which are usually determined to be state sensitive,” she said.

“This is a global problem that we need to confront together, and I think that it begins with national solutions, but I think (also) through regional co-operation,” she added.

The workshop was a first step in developing national strategies for stockpile management and periodic weapons destruction in the region. Following the workshop, UN-LiREC technical advisers will support the Government of Jamaica and seven other Caribbean governments in carrying out national baseline assessments to determine needs and priorities for national action plans to strengthen firearms stockpile security and put in place systems for efficient firearms disposal.

This initiative complements UN-LiREC’s assistance for training law enforcement officials in techniques to combat illicit arms trafficking as well as broader UNDP efforts to improve public security and prevent violence. It is funded by a grant from the US Department of State’s Office for Weapons Removal and Abatement. UN-LiREC is part of the Regional Disarmament Branch of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and is responsible for responding to the requests of member States from all thirty-three Latin American and Caribbean countries in the area of disarmament and arms control.  

[Top>>]

See also: UNLiREC

2

OP 19

UNODA Occasional Paper No. 19

New Print and Online UNODA Publications

Released on 30 June 2010 in print and electronic formats:

UNODA Occasional Paper No. 19: Cyberwarfare and its Impact on International Security

• 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 Andrew Lewis, Senior Fellow and Program Director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, provided the Board members with a presentation on the issue of cyberwarfare and international security.

Order copies | Download

Sales No. E.10.IX.4 | ISBN 978-92-1-142275-7

* * *

Released on 29 March 2010 in print and electronic formats:

Yearbook 2009 (Part 1)

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

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.

Order copies | Download | View database

Sales No. E.10.IX.1 | ISBN 978-92-1-142273-3

 

 

[Top>>]

2

Previous issues | Home | Contact Us | All Disarmament Issues


Copyright © 2010 UN Office for Disarmament Affairs.