In response to the Secretary-General's call for new thinking to tackle the new challenges confronting the international community and the United Nations, in particular, the High-level Panel submitted wide-ranging and far-reaching policies and institutions recommendations required for the UN to be effective in the 21st century. It set out a bold, new vision of collective security for the 21st century. The recommendations included those on disarmament and non-proliferation, with emphasis on preventing the danger of WMD terrorism through disarmament and arms limitation. By resolution 59/80, the General Assembly urged all Member States to take and strengthen national measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring WMD.
Though multilateralism was again confirmed as the core principle of disarmament and non-proliferation by a majority of Member States, the voting pattern continued to reflect the lack of consensus on the issue. Despite the growing concern about a possible arms race in outer space and some initiatives to start discussions in the Conference on Disarmament, divergent views among key Member States again prevented the Conference from commencing substantive work on PAROS.
Member States and the United Nations system continued to examine disarmament's broader social impact by addressing its interaction with human rights, human security, gender issues and development. The Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights Disarmament and Human Security continued to build an awareness and understanding of the disarmament-human rights connection, especially through the continued work of its Special Rapporteur on the issue. Work, especially in conceptual research aspects also continued on establishing and emphasizing the importance of the disarmament-human security linkage, with small arms and light weapons, landmines and explosive remnants of war figuring prominently in this area. The relationship between disarmament and development was examined by the UN Group of Governmental Experts, resulting in a comprehensive set of new recommendations for Member States, the United Nations system and civil society. Lastly, work continued on mainstreaming a gender perspective within the security and disarmament debate, with endeavors by UNIFEM and DDA both at the policy level and in practical actions in the field.
The rapid development of information and telecommunication technology and the growing concern over its potential impact on international and national security led the establishment by the Secretary-General of a UN Group of Governmental Experts in an attempt to carry out a closer examination of the security aspects of the issue.