Developments and trends, 2004
The issue of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation continued to be a major concern of the international community. The Conference on Disarmament was again unable to commence substantive work despite continuous efforts on the part of its Member States. The CTBT continued to lack the ratifications required for its entry into force.
At the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2005 NPT Review Conference concern was expressed by a number of States parties over the slow progress in nuclear disarmament as well as the possible development of a new generation of nuclear weapons, while the issue of compliance with non-proliferation obligations was regarded as the priority by other States parties. The importance of universality of the Treaty was also emphasized. The announcement in 2003 by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to withdraw from the NPT remained a concern of the international community, with views diverging on its status in relation to the Treaty.
The issue of the nuclear programme of the Islamic Republic of Iran also continued to be a concern of the international community. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held extensive discussions with Iran on safeguards issues and carried out a range of verification activities in the context of its NPT safeguards agreement. As a result, by late 2004 the Agency had gained a broad understanding of Iran's past undeclared activities, but was not yet in a position to conclude that there were no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran.
Following the announcement by the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in December 2003 of its decision to eliminate materials, equipment and programmes that might be used to produce internationally banned weapons, and its intention to fulfil all obligations under weapons of mass destruction (WMD) non-proliferation regimes, Libya ratified the CTBT in January and signed the IAEA Additional Protocol in March 2004. Throughout the year, the IAEA carried out verification activities which confirmed that Libya had pursued a clandestine programme of uranium conversion and enrichment. Further investigations were ongoing at the end of 2004 in order to verify the completeness and correctness of Libya's declarations.
The Security Council adopted Resolution 1546 (2004) which reaffirmed its intention to revisit the IAEA mandate in Iraq. The Agency maintained a core team with the necessary competence to fulfil this mandate.
In February, Abdul Qadeer Khan, the former head of Pakistan's nuclear programme, admitted to having shared nuclear technology and information through a clandestine international network. The discovery of the Khan network highlighted growing international concerns about the risks of WMD proliferation and their means of delivery, including the risks of terrorist access to those weapons. In response to such concerns, in April the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1540 (2004) calling on all States to adopt and implement effective measures, including export controls, to prevent non-State access to WMD, related materials, and their means of delivery. The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), aimed at interdicting transfers of WMD, their delivery systems, and related materials and launched by the United States with eleven participating States in 2003, had more than 60 participating States at its first anniversary. PSI training exercises were conducted throughout 2004. In February, the United States proposed seven new steps to help combat the development and spread of WMD. The Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters deliberated on the issue of terrorism, WMD and their delivery systems, and made several recommendations in its report to the Secretary-General.1
The Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, appointed by him in 2003, presented its report entitled A more secure world: Our shared responsibility
, on 2 December.2
The report stressed the interrelated nature of threats and proposed over 100 recommendations to help the world face the new and evolving threats identified and to strengthen the United Nations. Several of those recommendations were related to disarmament and non-proliferation.
See chapter VI, section on the Advisory Board.
A/59/565, available from http://www.un.org/secureworld.