Recommendations by the Group of Governmental Experts on the relationship between disarmament and development (Part V. Secretary-General's Report: A/59/119)
77. The Group recognizes the importance of multilateral approaches to questions of disarmament and development as well as the central role of the United Nations in the disarmament-development relationship. In order to fulfil this role, the necessary political will, adequate resources, and continued and effective coordination and close cooperation between the relevant United Nations departments, agencies and sub-agencies are of the essence.
78. In this regard, the Group recommends that the Secretary-General consider further strengthening the high-level Steering Group on Disarmament and Development in order to encourage relevant departments and agencies, including at the operational level, to share best practices, seek shared understanding and increase cooperation, coordination and joint programming.
Meeting disarmament and development commitments
79. The Group calls for the universalization and implementation of, as well as compliance with, internationally negotiated multilateral arms control agreements with the objectives of increasing security, freeing resources currently dedicated to military expenditure for other activities, and building confidence.
80. The Group also calls for adherence to and the implementation of internationally agreed development commitments. In this regard, the Group urges each Member State to assess its progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and undertake the action necessary to meet them by 2015.
Assessing security needs of Member States
81. Member States should implement with transparency their 1987 commitments to assess their political and security requirements and levels of military spending, taking into account the need to keep their expenditure at the lowest possible level, as well as to carry out regular analyses of the economic and social consequences of their military spending and to inform their public and the United Nations about them. In addition to their participation in the United Nations System for the Standardized Reporting of Military Expenditures and the Register of Conventional Arms, Member States should periodically publish defence white papers and defence policy reviews.
82. Upon request, the relevant departments and agencies of the United Nations should continue to develop capacity-building programmes to assist States in undertaking the assessment of their security needs and to promote more complete and regular national reporting on military spending or other relevant areas. In this regard, other relevant international institutions and bilateral donors should also support capacity-building.
83. Taking into account the climate of insecurity that terrorism creates and its devastating effects on disarmament and sustainable development, the Group calls for increased multilateral cooperation and international assistance to combat terrorism and address its root causes. In this regard, the use or threat of use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists is a particularly worrying possibility. While Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), on weapons of mass destruction and non-State actors, is an important effort to address this threat, the Group encourages the international community to continue to tackle this issue in other multilateral forums.
Mainstreaming the disarmament and development relationship
84. United Nations organizations and other international organizations should make greater efforts to integrate disarmament, humanitarian and development activities. In this connection, the United Nations Development Assistance Framework should, for example, incorporate disarmament and security measures where appropriate.
85. Developing countries are encouraged to take into account disarmament and security concerns when preparing their poverty reduction strategy papers with the donor community. UNDP could assist with this at the country level.
86. When reviewing its progress towards the Millennium Development Goals in 2005, the international community should consider making reference to the contribution that disarmament could make in meeting them, as well as the importance of the disarmament-development relationship itself.
87. The donor community is invited to examine the feasibility of new concepts for providing specific assistance in relation to weapon destruction, conversion, and mine action and unexploded ordnance activities, including the idea of debt-for-disarmament swaps, with a view to increasing development opportunities.
88. Regional organizations and institutions could undertake greater coordination of activities relating to disarmament and development, which could have the dual benefits of raising confidence within regions and improving the effectiveness of these activities in this field. Greater support and assistance would facilitate these activities.
89. Non-governmental organizations are encouraged to continue to be engaged on the disarmament-development relationship. The Group also encourages support for non-governmental organizations working in this field.
Increasing awareness of the relationship between disarmament and development
90. The Group encourages the international financial and development institutions to build upon the work of disarmament to further the objective of sustainable development, peace and security. Similarly, conflict prevention, peace-building, security-building and disarmament activities should take into account development perspectives.
91. The Group concludes that more needs to be done to engage bilateral and multilateral donors to work closely with countries on the interrelationship between development, disarmament, security sector reform and military expenditure, without adding conditionalities to development assistance.
92. The United Nations should place increased emphasis on promoting public awareness of the relationship between disarmament and development through its outreach activities, while also taking into consideration the importance of disarmament and non-proliferation education. The international focus on the Millennium Development Goals offers a clear opportunity to promote understanding of the disarmament-development relationship.
Facilitating research and dialogue on issues relating to the relationship between disarmament, development and security
93. The United Nations, its agencies and specialized research institutes should facilitate dialogue and continuing research on issues such as:
The potential contribution of disarmament to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals;
The impact of armaments on the natural environment and thus on development;
Ways to facilitate and promote conversion;
Methodologies for calculating the costs of armaments, incorporating not only development, procurement, training and maintenance costs but also the costs of destruction and disposal as part of the life cycle of weapons, as well as mDDAlities for meeting the costs of destruction and disposal;
International responses to halt the illicit funding of conflicts;
Lessons learned from regional security arrangements;
Developing common understandings of evolving concepts such as human security;
94. As specialized research bodies of the Organization, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and the United Nations University could play a valuable role in this regard. The Group also encourages relevant research institutes, regional and subregional organizations and research-oriented non-governmental organizations to undertake objective studies. The Group calls upon foundations and other donors to consider providing support for such studies.
Promoting security through openness, transparency and confidence
95. The Group affirms the importance of continued progress towards achieving universal participation in the United Nations System for the Standardized Reporting of Military Expenditures and recognizes the value of providing it with more comprehensive data.
96. The Group also urges universal participation in the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms and supports efforts for the further enhancement of its relevance, thereby increasing its significance as a global confidence-building measure.
97. Member States should enhance and support arms control verification regimes through the relevant treaty bodies, as well as develop appropriate capacities at the national level, in order to strengthen mutual confidence.
Conversion and surplus weapon destruction
98. The Group supports the concept of conversion in its various forms and encourages relevant States to take the corresponding decisions and steps, as appropriate. It also encourages the international community to assist those States in that endeavour. Regarding the destruction of armaments, their components and munitions, similar assistance should be considered, where necessary. Member States should consider making their experiences with conversion available to other countries.
99. The donor community and United Nations specialized agencies (whenever appropriate) should support and contribute to initiatives and approaches for the reorientation of scientists, researchers and engineers with specialized knowledge of weapons of mass destruction. This issue should be considered as part of a country's larger socio-economic development programme.
100. The Group encourages the destruction or appropriate disposal of surplus weapons, their components and munition stocks. These activities should be completed in accordance with legal and environmental norms and should be verifiable.
Preventing conflict and promoting peace
101. The Group also expresses concern on the lack of progress in efforts by the international community to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, which continue to pose a very real threat to peace and security in the world.
102. Given the enormous scale of destruction often associated with armed conflicts and the political, social, economic and financial difficulties of postconflict peace-building, the Group emphasizes the importance of conflict prevention and, in this context, calls for the strengthening of the rule of law within States as well as further reliance on international law in arbitration and adjudication, particularly through the International Court of Justice.
Additionally, the Group calls attention to the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary-General on the prevention of armed conflict.
103. The Group encourages further action by the international community and the United Nations to halt the illicit funding of conflicts through activities such as illegal fund-raising and traffic in illicit drugs. Mechanisms similar to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme on conflict diamonds could serve as an example for more action to halt the illicit funding of conflicts
104. The United Nations should continue its efforts to create effective disarmament, demobilization and reintegration policies and processes in postconflict situations, taking into account the importance of local ownership, public information, coordination, financial and logistical support, the needs of dependants and support workers in addition to those of former combatants, and the inclusion of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration provisions in peace agreements. Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration should also be considered as part of a country's broader development programme. In particular, a review of the issues and processes, resulting in the updating of guidelines by the United Nations, would be timely.
105. The Group encourages Member States to follow the recommendations contained in the 2002 report of the Secretary-General on small arms to support efforts aimed at developing an international instrument to enable States to identify and trace illicit small arms and light weapons; to assist the United Nations Secretariat in establishing the small arms advisory service; and to establish the necessary legislative or other measures, including the possible use of authenticated end-user certificates, to ensure effective control over the export, import, brokering and transit of small arms and light weapons, as well as corresponding ammunition.
106. The Group recognizes the potential for arms transfers to have an adverse impact on conflict prevention and peace-building and to add to military expenditures, and recommends, in connection with small arms and light weapons, that this issue be considered further at the United Nations review conference in 2006 with a view to discussing arrangements for arms transfers.
107. The Group encourages Member States to lend their support to the Secretary-General in responding to requests from States wishing to collect and destroy small arms and light weapons in post-conflict situations. In this regard, the Group recognizes the importance of the work accomplished in this field by the Group of Interested States in Practical Disarmament Measures and calls for the strengthening of the Trust Fund for the Consolidation of Peace through Practical Disarmament Measures.
108. Taking into consideration the often devastating consequences of the use of landmines for the development efforts of affected countries, the Group encourages all Member States to adhere to and/or fully implement the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, as well as the 1980 Inhumane Weapons Convention, in this context in particular its Protocol V, on explosive remnants of war. Non-State actors should comply with the spirit of these instruments."