Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters
The Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters held its forty-second and forty-third sessions from 4-6 February (New York), and 30 June-2 July (Geneva) under the chairmanship of Harald Müller (Germany). (For the Advisory Board's membership, see Annex I of this chapter.) The Secretary-General submitted a report to the General Assembly on the Advisory Board's work in 2004.1
In response to a request by the Secretary-General to contribute to the work of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (HLP), the Board 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.2
(For the Advisory Board's recommendations to the HLP, see chapter V, Annex I of this volume.)
The Board also undertook deliberations on the following issues: (a) terrorism and weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems; (b) disarmament and reconciliation in conflict prevention; and (c) export controls. The deliberations resulted in a number of recommendations and proposals.
On the issue of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, the Board recommended that the proliferation of WMD be rendered punishable under international law and that perpetrators, whether in State service or private, be made personally accountable. It also recommended that State action to combat terrorism, including preventive action, be embedded in a multilateral legal framework and within the ambit of the United Nations.3
On the issue of disarmament and reconciliation in conflict prevention, the Board made several recommendations. Among them was that in all its future resolutions setting up peacekeeping operations, the Security Council consider widening the relevant mandate to include disarmament and reconciliation aspects of conflict resolution; that paramount consideration be given, when designing disarmament and reconciliation programmes, to improving security, in particular the human security situation; and that a community-based and people-centered approach in post-conflict disarmament and reconciliation, including design and implementation of disarmament programmes, be adopted.4
On the issue of export control, the Board recommended, among other things, that the role of the United Nations be strengthened in fostering cooperation and coordination among its Member States; that the members of export control regimes should consider offers of systematic legal, technical, organizational and financial assistance for the creation of effective export control systems on which those States Members of the United Nations lacking the respective resources could draw; and that efforts should be made to develop broad-based, universal norms and rules for export controls. In the context of export controls, the Board also discussed issues related to the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and made several recommendations in that regard.5
The outcome was published in DDA Occasional Paper, No.8,
October 2004, available from http://disarmament.un.org/DDApublications.
For more details of the Advisory Board's recommendations, see A/59/361.