Recommendations by the High-level Panel on issues related to disarmament and non-proliferation1
On 2 December 2004, the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenge and Change presented its report "A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility" to the Secretary General.2
The report generated new ideas about the kinds of policies and institutions required to make the United Nations effective in the 21st century.
According to the report, the world was faced with new and evolving threats that could not have been anticipated when the United Nations was founded in 1945 - like nuclear terrorism and State collapse from the "witch's brew" of poverty, disease and civil war. In tDDAy's world, a threat to one was a threat to all. Globalization meant that a major terrorist attack anywhere in the industrial world would have devastating consequences for the well-being of millions in the developing world. Any one of 700 million international airline passengers every year could be an unwitting carrier of a deadly infectious disease. The erosion of State capacity anywhere in the world weakened the protection of every State against transnational threats such as terrorism and organized crime. Every State required international cooperation to make it secure.
The Secretary-General gave strong support to the report and wholly endorsed its core arguments for a broader, more comprehensive system of collective security. He planned to submit his own report in March 2005, factoring in the panel's recommendations which would help set the agenda for the 2005 summit on implementing the United Nations Millennium Declaration.
Among the Panel's 101 recommendations, 18 were directly related to disarmament and non-proliferation and are listed below:
- Member States should expedite and conclude negotiations on legally- binding agreements on the marking and tracing, as well as the brokering and transfer, of small arms and light weapons. (Recommendation 15)
- All Member States should report completely and accurately on all elements of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, and the Secretary-General should be asked to report annually to the General Assembly and the Security Council on any inadequacies in the reporting. (Recommendation 16)
- The nuclear-weapon States must take several steps to restart disarmament:
They must honour their commitments under Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968) (NPT) to move towards disarmament and be ready to undertake specific measures in fulfillment of those commitments;
They should reaffirm their previous commitments not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States. (Recommendation 21)
- The United States and the Russian Federation, other nuclear-weapon States and States not party to the NPT should commit to practical measures to reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war, including, where appropriate, a progressive schedule for de-alerting their strategic nuclear weapons. (Recommendation 22)
- The Security Council should explicitly pledge to take collective action in response to a nuclear attack or the threat of such attack on a non-nuclear weapon State. (Recommendation 23)
- Negotiations to resolve regional conflicts should include confidence-building measures and steps towards disarmament. (Recommendation 24)
- States not party to the NPT should pledge a commitment to non-proliferation and disarmament, demonstrating their commitment by ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and supporting negotiations for a fissile material cut-off treaty, both of which are open to nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon States alike. Peace efforts in the Middle East and South Asia should launch nuclear disarmament talks that could lead to the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones in those regions similar to those established for Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, the South Pacific and South-East Asia. (Recommendation 25)
- All chemical-weapon States should expedite the scheduled destruction of all existing chemical weapons stockpiles by the agreed target date of 2012. (Recommendation 26)
- States parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (1972) (Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention) should without delay return to negotiations for a credible verification protocol, inviting the active participation of the biotechnology industry. (Recommendation 27)
- The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should recognize the Model Additional Protocol as tDDAy's standard for IAEA safeguards, and the Security Council should be prepared to act in cases of serious concern over non-compliance with non-proliferation and safeguards standards. (Recommendation 28)
- Negotiations should be engaged without delay and carried forward to an early conclusion on an arrangement, based on the existing provisions of Articles III and IX of the IAEA statute, which would enable the Agency to act as a guarantor for the supply of fissile material to civilian nuclear users. (Recommendation 29)
- While that arrangement is being negotiated, States should, without surrendering the right under the NPT to construct uranium enrichment and reprocessing facilities, voluntarily institute a time-limited moratorium on the construction of any further such facilities, with a commitment to the moratorium matched by a guarantee of the supply of fissile materials by the current suppliers at market rates. (Recommendation 30)
- All States should be encouraged to join the voluntary Proliferation Security Initiative. (Recommendation 31)
- A State's notice of withdrawal from the NPT should prompt immediate verification of its compliance with the Treaty, if necessary, mandated by the Security Council. The IAEA Board of Governors should resolve that, in the event of violations, all assistance provided by IAEA should be withdrawn. (Recommendation 32)
- The proposed timeline for the Global Threat Reduction Initiative to convert highly enriched uranium (HEU) reactors and reduce HEU stockpiles should be halved from ten to five years. (Recommendation 33)
- States parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention should negotiate a new bio-security protocol to classify dangerous biological agents and establish binding international standards for the export of such agents. (Recommendation 34)
- The Conference on Disarmament should move without further delay to negotiate a verifiable fissile material cut-off treaty that, on a designated schedule, ends the production of HEU for non-weapon as well as weapons purposes. (Recommendation 35)
- The Directors General of IAEA and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons should be invited by the Security Council to report to it twice-yearly on the status of safeguards and verification processes, as well as on any serious concerns they have which might fall short of an actual breach of the NPT and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (1992) (Chemical Weapons Convention). (Recommendation 36)
Recommendations by the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters as its contribution to the work of the High-level Panel
In response to a request by the Secretary-General to contribute to the work of the High-level Panel, the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, under the chairmanship of Harald Müller, undertook intensive deliberations in 2004 on issues relating to weapons of mass destruction, small arms and light weapons, landmines, export controls, and ways and means to strengthen the United Nations role in disarmament and non-proliferation.
The discussions resulted in a comprehensive document containing an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of current disarmament and non-proliferation regimes, an insightful evaluation of old and new challenges, and practical recommendations on how to meet those challenges, with a particular emphasis on the dangerous combination of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism.3
The Board's recommendations were presented to the High-level Panel and to the Secretary-General directly. (The recommendations by the Advisory Board are reproduced in Annex I of this chapter.)
The High-level Panel was established by the Secretary-General in September 2003 to examine the current challenges to peace and security and to recommend collective action to address those challenges and ways and means to strengthen the United Nations.
The full text is available from http://www.un.org/secureworld.
The outcome was published in DDA Occasional Paper, No. 8
, October 2004, available from http://disarmament.un.org/DDApublications/op8.htm.