Institutional aspects

"The reforms we propose will not by themselves make the United Nations more effective. In the absence of Member States reaching agreement on the security consensus contained in the present report, the United Nations will underachieve. Its institutions will still only be as strong as the energy, resources and attention devoted to them by Member States and their leaders."1
secretary-general's high-level panel on threats, challenges and change


The United Nations continued to undertake its activities in the fields of disarmament and non-proliferation through its main organs, namely, the General Assembly and the Security Council, as well as engaging with civil society organizations interested in disarmament. The United Nations disarmament machinery consists of the General Assembly, its two subsidiary bodies - the First Committee and the Disarmament Commission - and the Conference on Disarmament.2 In addition, disarmament issues are also dealt with within other international frameworks established on the basis of multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements.
The Department of Disarmament Affairs (DDA or the Department) carries out its activities through its five branches and three regional centres.3 Its branches include: in Geneva - Conference on Disarmament Secretariat and Conference Support, in New York - Weapons of Mass Destruction, Conventional Arms (including practical disarmament measures), the Monitoring, Database and Information, and Regional Disarmament which comprises the Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa, the Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, and the Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

1Note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, (A/59/565, p. 14).
2See Final Document of the First Special Session of the General Assembly on Disarmament, part IV, (A/RES/S-10/2). To date, the General Assembly has held three special sessions devoted to disarmament: SSOD I was the tenth special session (1978), SSOD II was the twelfth (1982), and SSOD III was the fifteenth (1988).
3See Secretary-General's Bulletin, Organization of the Department of Disarmament Affairs (ST/SGB/2004/12).