Continuing CHAPTER VI Institutional aspects


Disarmament Commission, 2004

In 2003, the Commission was unable to agree on concrete proposals to advance either nuclear disarmament or confidence building in the field of conventional arms, departing from its usual practice of completing consideration of two items in three years with the consensus adoption of guidelines and recommendations.
In 2004, the Commission was, unfortunately, unable to start a new cycle of its deliberation by failing to reach consensus on its substantive agenda.
The Commission held its substantive session from 5 to 23 April under the chairmanship of Revaz Adamia (Georgia). Both formal and informal meetings were held to decide on the two substantive agenda items (one on nuclear-related issues, the other in the conventional arms sphere). Several proposals were tabled, including those by the NAM, the European Union (EU) and the United States. The United States also proposed consideration of measures for improving the effectiveness of the United Nations disarmament machinery. However, the ensuing discussions indicated that a wide gap existed in positions among delegations on the agenda items. In order to narrow the gap, the Chairman formulated his own proposal, drawing on various proposals, to serve as a basis for the discussion.1 Despite all efforts, the three-week session ended without an agreement on its substantive agenda. In its 2004 report to the General Assembly, the Commission decided to continue deliberations on the substantive agenda items for the 2005 session, requested the Chairman to continue informal consultations and to present the outcome to an organizational session of the Disarmament Commission in December 2004.

1The Chairman's proposal read as  "Guidelines for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in all its aspects, including, in particular, strategies for dealing with illicit activities that undermine nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation objectives; Elements for verification mechanisms and instruments of conventional arms agreements; and Measures for improving the effectiveness of the United Nations disarmament machinery, without prejudice to efforts within the framework of SSOD IV".