CHAPTER VI

Related issues and approaches


The international community has recognized that disarmament and non-proliferation issues are interconnected with many other global concerns. In response, the multilateral disarmament machinery and other multilateral bodies of the United Nations system have taken steps to address the relationship between the dangers posed by conventional and non-conventional weapons and a number of issues addressed in this chapter: namely, terrorism and disarmament; the prevention of an arms race in outer space; human rights, human security and disarmament; information security and the role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament; the relationship between disarmament and development; gender and disarmament; multilateralism and disarmament; and arms limitation and disarmament agreements, including verification of compliance.

Terrorism and Disarmament
"Transnational networks of terrorist groups have global reach and make common cause to pose a universal threat. Such groups profess a desire to acquire nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and to inflict mass casualties. Even one such attack and the chain of events it might set off could change our world forever."1
Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General

The report of the Secretary-General "In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all" released in March 2005 addressed the issue of the prevention of catastrophic terrorism and called on Member States to commit to a comprehensive anti-terrorism strategy based on five pillars: dissuading people from resorting to terrorism or supporting it; denying terrorists access to funds and materials; deterring States from sponsoring terrorism; developing State capacity to defeat terrorism; and defending human rights. The report called on States to conclude a comprehensive convention on terrorism and the completion of the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

The 2005 World Summit Outcome Document condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and acknowledged the important role played by the United Nations in combating it.2 It also stressed the vital contribution of regional and bilateral cooperation, particularly at the practical levels of law enforcement cooperation and technical exchange. The document went on to urge the Organization to assist States in building their national and regional capacities to combat terrorism and invited the Secretary-General to submit proposals to the General Assembly and the Security Council to enhance the coordination of UN activities in this regard.

In early December, the Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) submitted his second report3 to the Security Council on activities undertaken and results achieved during the year. The primary function of the Committee during the year was to examine national reports which Member States were required to submit to it by 28 October 2004. With the support of its governmental experts, the Committee examined the 124 national reports and the report of one organization which it had received by 16 December. It also reviewed the responses of forty-two States following the Chairman's requests for additional information.

The Committee agreed that some States would require technical assistance from international organizations with expertise in the areas covered by resolution 1540, in particular, from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). On 13 April, at the invitation of the Committee's Chairman, the Director-General of the OPCW and representatives of the IAEA informed the Committee of the activities of their respective organizations as they related to resolution 1540. In its examination of the national reports which had been submitted, the Committee also identified both the types of assistance offered by a number of States as well as specific requests for assistance in the implementation of that resolution. The Committee continued to act as the repository for up-to-date information on available technical assistance to facilitate the implementation of the resolution.

Throughout 2005, representatives of the Committee participated in seminars, workshops and conferences to promote the implementation of resolution 1540, explain its requirements, and provide information on the Committee's work.4 It participated in joint briefings with the Chairmen of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) and the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida, the Taliban, and associated individuals and entities (Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee).

In January, the CTC convened the fourth special meeting with international, regional and subregional organizations in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In a joint statement, participating representatives agreed that anti-terrorism action plans should include programmes for encouraging States to become parties to the twelve international conventions and protocols on the prevention and suppression of terrorism. They also agreed that anti-terrorism action plans should include the conduct of full assessments of those Member States for which those action plans were designed. Such assessments would be undertaken in close coordination with the CTC. The Committee also reviewed its cooperation with international, regional, and subregional organizations with a view to developing closer working relationships.

On 14 September, during the World Summit, the Security Council adopted resolution 1624 (2005) on the issue of incitement to commit acts of terrorism, which expanded the Committee's mandate to include monitoring the implementation of this additional resolution. The CTC declared the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) operational on 15 December in accordance with resolution 1535 (2004), thereby establishing the support structure required to carry out its mandated responsibilities of monitoring the implementation of resolutions 1373 and 1624 and assisting States in improving their capacity to implement the former. In the area of capacity building, the Committee focused on States that had requested assistance and worked with them to identify priority needs.

The report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters stressed the urgent need to make progress on measures regarding disarmament and related questions, including those concerning non-State actors, in order to prevent a weakening of the present system of legal norms on disarmament and non-proliferation.5 The Board decided to include the item "Measures to prevent the proliferation of weapon systems to non-State Actors" on the agenda of its forty-sixth session in February 2006.

During the debate in the First Committee, many delegations reiterated their concerns regarding the growing risk that terrorists might acquire and use weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In accordance with General Assembly resolution 59/80, the Secretary-General submitted a report containing the views of Member States and information received from international organizations on "Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction".6 These concerns once again led to the adoption of resolution 60/78 on the same subject by the General Assembly on 8 December. (For details of the resolution, see the following section entitled General Assembly, 2005.)

On 1 April, the Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly resolution 51/210, adopted, by consensus, the text of the draft Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. It was subsequently opened for signature in New York on 14 September 2005.7

In the meantime, the IAEA continued to work on its Action Plan to combat nuclear terrorism in order to improve the capacity of Member States to effectively respond to the use of nuclear and other radioactive materials in acts of terrorism. (See chapter II on the IAEA).

General Assembly, 2005

60/73

Preventing the risk of radiological terrorism. The draft resolution was introduced by France, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 9 for the sponsors), on 18 October.] The draft resolution as orally revised was adopted by the First Committee on 28 October as follows: (162-0-0) and by the General Assembly on 8 December without a vote. For the text of the resolution and the voting pattern, see pages 54 and 19.

In introductory remarks, France explained that the new draft resolution would focus on radioactive materials and sources currently in use, and on action to be taken by States on their own territory. By its terms, the resolution called upon Member States to support international efforts to prevent the acquisition and use by terrorists of radioactive materials and sources by: urging them to take and strengthen national prevention measures; inviting those that had not yet done so to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism; and encouraging cooperation among and between them and through relevant international and, where appropriate, regional organizations for strengthening national capacities in that regard. It also invited Member States to support and endorse IAEA efforts to enhance the safety and security of radioactive sources, urged all States to work towards following the guidance contained in the IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources, including the guidance on the import and export of those sources, and encouraged them to notify the Agency's Director General of their intention to do so.

First Committee

Two States which supported the draft resolution spoke before the vote. India said that it fully shared the objective of the draft resolution and supported international efforts to deny terrorists the opportunity to acquire and use radiological materials and sources. Kazakhstan expressed its appreciation to the sponsors for elaborating a draft resolution that addressed this timely issue in the field of international security.

After the vote, Cuba, which supported the draft resolution, expressed the view that international efforts under way in this field should be in full keeping with international law and the principles of the UN Charter. To that end, it reaffirmed its support for efforts carried out within the United Nations, in other relevant international organizations, and the IAEA's central role in promoting and strengthening the technological and physical security of radioactive sources and materials.

60/78

Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. The draft resolution was introduced by India, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 11 for the sponsors), on 12 October. It was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 26 October and by the General Assembly on 8 December. For the text of the resolution, see pages 63.

The resolution underlined the urgent need to address the threat of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists at the national, regional and global levels. A new operative paragraph 2 invited all Member States to consider signing and ratifying the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism in order to bring about its early entry into force.

First Committee

While Pakistan supported the draft resolution, it felt that the language could have been improved to reflect a more objective reflection of reality. It stressed that the best guarantee against the threat of the possible use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons lay in their total elimination. It also suggested that a compliance mechanism in the Biological Weapons Convention would address the concerns expressed in this draft resolution.

Outer Space

Conference on Disarmament, 2005

As the Conference on Disarmament (the Conference) did not reach an agreement on a programme of work in 2005, no subsidiary body was established to deal with the issue of the prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS). China and the Russian Federation remained the primary advocates of the elaboration of a legal instrument on this issue.8 Along with China and the Russian Federation, many speakers underscored the importance of PAROS and reiterated their support for the establishment of an ad hoc Committee on PAROS in the Conference.9

Italy recognized the growing convergence of views on the elaboration of measures to strengthen transparency, confidence and security in the peaceful uses of outer space.

Canada, Cuba, France and Germany expressed their opposition to the deployment of any kind of weapon in outer space. South Africa stated that outer space could not be allowed to become the next battleground. Sri Lanka posited that the world could not afford an expensive competition in outer space when there remained so many challenges before us such as poverty, hunger, disease and deprivation.

The representatives of Brazil, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, and the United Kingdom welcomed all suggestions and initiatives by Member States, highlighting the Russian-Chinese working papers as examples, including CD/1679, on aspects relevant to a possible future international agreement.10

A number of speakers also expressed their belief that the Conference was the adequate forum to pursue the issue of PAROS. Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Russian Federation, South Africa, and the Syrian Arab Republic were in favour of starting discussion and negotiations on an international legally-binding instrument on the matter. In this regard, Ethiopia (on behalf of the G-21) reiterated that the A-5 proposal11 was a viable basis for the programme of work.

The Republic of Korea maintained that it was ready to participate in the discussions within the Conference to consider whether the existing space treaties were sufficient and to explore further measures to be employed. Even before a programme of work was agreed, it wished to focus on developing confidence-building measures in outer space or any viable interim measures.

Malaysia and Pakistan expressed the view that the existing measures and instruments were inadequate to prevent an arms race in outer space because they did not prevent the testing, deployment and use of weapons other than those of mass destruction in outer space and they did not deal with the threat or use of force from the earth against outer space objects.

Sweden proposed that in the absence of an early commencement of substantive discussions on PAROS in the Conference, other possible venues and formats for such deliberations should be considered, including potential venues that could be established by the General Assembly.

General Assembly, 2005

60/54

Prevention of an arms race in outer space. The draft resolution was introduced by Sri Lanka, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 4 for the sponsors), on 12 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 25 October as follows: (160-1-1) and by the General Assembly on 8 December as follows: (180-2-0). For the text of the resolution and the voting pattern, see pages 17 and 6.

The resolution invited the Conference on Disarmament to complete the examination and updating of the mandate contained in its decision of 13 February 199212 and to establish an ad hoc committee as early as possible during its 2006 session; it also urged States conducting activities in outer space, as well as States interested in conducting such activities, to keep the Conference informed of the progress of any bilateral and multilateral negotiations on the matter, so as to facilitate its work.

First Committee

The United States, which voted against the draft resolution, stated that it saw no reason to address a non-existent arms race in outer space. It stressed that its commitment to the peaceful exploration and use of outer space in accordance with international law, including the Outer Space Treaty and the UN Charter, was in the interest of maintaining international peace and security and promoting international cooperation and understanding.

60/66

Transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities. The draft resolution was introduced by the Russian Federation, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 7 for the sponsors), on 26 October. The revised draft resolution was adopted by the First Committee on 28 October as follows: (158-1-1) and by the General Assembly on 8 December as follows: (178-1-1). For the text of the resolution and the voting pattern, see pages 39 and 15.

The draft resolution invited all Member States to inform the Secretary-General before the Assembly's sixty-first session of their views on the advisability of further developing international outer space transparency and confidence-building measures in the interest of maintaining international peace and security and promoting international cooperation and the prevention of an arms race in outer space, operative paragraph 1].

First Committee

The United States, which cast a negative vote, reiterated that there was no reason to address a non-existent arms race in outer space (See also explanation of vote on resolution 60/54 above.)

While explaining its positive vote, China expressed the belief that the best way to prevent the weaponization of, and an arms race in, outer space was to negotiate and conclude the relevant legal instruments.

Human rights, human security and disarmament

"Experience with this Convention shows that progress is possible, that a legal instrument can evolve to respond appropriately to a new security situation and that multilateral disarmament and arms control processes can have a positive impact on human security."13
KOFI ANNAN, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL

Efforts to address the issue of protecting civilians and their human rights during times of international conflict can be traced to the mid-nineteenth century. However, only after the Second World War were significant international legal instruments concluded on the subject.14 In 1981, the use of certain inhumane weapons was prohibited or restricted through the adoption of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW).15 During the 1990's, due to the dramatic increase in the number of civilian casualties caused by landmines, the international community made systematic efforts to address the humanitarian problems associated with landmines, anti-personnel landmines in particular.16

In the early 1990s, in response to an increase in the number of armed conflicts around the world, especially the rise in intra-State conflicts, the United Nations and other international organizations also began to address questions related to small arms and light weapons (SALW), the weapons of choice in such conflicts.17 These efforts underlined the importance the international community attached to addressing the issue of protecting victims of such weapons, especially children and women during and after armed conflicts. In recent years, growing attention has been given to the link between human rights and weapons of mass destruction, other weapons which have indiscriminate effects and can cause superfluous injuries and suffering, as well as conventional weapons.18

Fifty-seventh session of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

In 2001, the Geneva-based Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (the Sub-Commission)19 began to consider the threats posed to human rights by the accumulation and proliferation of WMD and SALW.20 The Sub-Commission continued its discussion regarding this relationship in subsequent sessions, and in 2003, by its decision 2003/105, the Sub-Commission requested the Secretary-General to transmit a questionnaire to Governments, national human rights institutions, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to solicit information required for the study by its Special Rapporteur, Barbara Frey, on the issue of preventing human rights violations committed with SALW.21 An analysis of the responses to the questionnaire was to be included in the final report of the Special Rapporteur, to be considered by the Sub-Commission during its fifty-eighth session in 2006.

During its fifty-seventh session (in 2005), the Sub-Commission considered a set of revised draft principles on the prevention of human rights violations committed with small arms along with explanatory commentary prepared by Ms. Frey.22 The original draft set of principles was attached as an addendum to the Special Rapporteur's progress report discussed by the Sub-Commission in 2004.23 The principles were comprised of two types of State obligations: regulations over the use of SALW by Governments and State officials, and measures to prevent human rights abuses by private actors using SALW.

The first set of principles detailed a number of measures to be taken by States to prevent the violation of human rights by Government and State agencies using small arms. The basis for these measures was established by the first principle, which affirmed the obligation of State officials to uphold the right to life, liberty, and the security of person, as guaranteed by the International Bill of Human Rights.24 The recommended measures included the adoption of rules and regulations on the use of force and small arms by State officials, the punishment of the arbitrary or abusive use of small arms by or on behalf of a State agency as a criminal offense, the establishment and maintenance of detailed procedures for the proper storage and management of small arms and ammunition, the establishment of proper screening procedures and training for law enforcement personnel, the use of alternative means of settlement by Governments and State agencies, including the development of non-lethal incapacitating weapons and self-defense equipment, prohibition of the use of small arms against persons by State officials except in self-defense or the defense of others, and the establishment of effective investigative procedures to review the use of small arms by State officials resulting in death, ill-treatment or injury.

The second set described a number of recommended measures for States to regulate the acquisition and use of small arms by private actors. These regulations included the establishment of licensing requirements to authorize the use of small arms for specific purposes; the establishment of marking requirements during the manufacture of small arms; the investigation and prosecution of persons illegally manufacturing, possessing, stockpiling or transferring small arms; the development of effective disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes in post-conflict situations; and the prohibition of international small arms transfers in violation of international law.

At the request of Ms. Frey, the fifty-seventh session of the Sub-Commission decided to postpone the consideration of the final report of the Special Rapporteur until its fifty-eighth session from 7 to 25 August 2006.25

Disarmament and Human security

In the post cold war era, the concept of human security emerged as a re-conceptualization of security from the traditional focus on the state to include the threats facing individual well-being. In light of this new people-centered security concept, disarmament is seen as a humanitarian action which mitigates some of the most dangerous threats to human security. During the 1990's, therefore, the disarmament, humanitarian and development communities cooperated to address the destructive and indiscriminate effects of landmines, resulting in the Amended Protocol II to the CCW in 1996 and the Mine Ban Convention in 1997. Since then, international efforts to improve human security through disarmament have focused on mitigating the devastating consequences of the proliferation and misuse of SALW. The need to address the multifaceted impact of the rampant spread of such weapons has brought together actors from the disarmament, human rights, humanitarian, and health and development communities.

In 2005, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) continued to work on the relationship between disarmament and human security as one of its three main issue areas. UNIDIR's activities in this area correspond primarily to work on SALW, explosive remnants of war (ERW), and landmines. These weapons are still in wide use tDDAy and have a particularly crippling effect on human activities, thus hampering peace, development and the reconstruction of post-conflict societies.

The Institute made efforts to identify ways/measures to control such weapons and to find adequate solutions to the security concerns of local populations with the aim of achieving disarmament. In this regard, UNIDIR has also been carrying out various projects in cooperation with DDA, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and NGOs such as the Small Arms Survey.

Developments in the field of information technology and security

In 2003, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to consider existing and potential threats in the sphere of information security and possible cooperative measures to address them with the assistance of a group of governmental experts, and to report on the outcome of this study to the General Assembly at its sixtieth session.26 The fifteen-member Group of Governmental Experts (the Group) was established in 2004 and chaired by Andrey Krutskikh (Russian Federation). The Group held three sessions, from 12 to 16 July 2004 in New York, from 28 March to 1 April 2005 in Geneva, and from 11 to 22 July 2005 in New York.

Despite the Group's failure to reach agreement, throughout its sessions, it held extensive discussions and developed a draft text of the report. The Group focused on the issues of information security in the context of international security, citing important principles such as the free flow of information, access by developing and transitional States to security technologies and skills and the responsibilities of States for their own national security.

The Group recognized that the global nature of information and communication technologies (ICTs), infrastructures and information security threats, risks and vulnerabilities made international cooperation essential in improving information security. It took stock of ongoing initiatives to promote further coordination among them and to identify where additional action may be required in the UN system. In this regard, the Group acknowledged the importance of current work in other UN fora aimed at developing multilateral measures against criminal and terrorist activity in cyberspace, including Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) and the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC),27 General Assembly resolutions from the Second Committee entitled "Creation of a global culture of cybersecurity and the protection of critical information infrastructures",28 and from the Third Committee entitled "Combating the criminal misuse of information technologies",29 and the work undertaken during the first phase of the World Summit on Information Society30 summarized in the Declaration of Principles and Action Plan adopted on 12 December 2003.31

Considerable disagreement among the experts emerged primarily over two substantive policy issues. The first issue was the question of the impact of developments in ICTs on national security and military affairs. While there was general agreement regarding the importance of such developments, consensus could not be found on the amount of emphasis to be placed on this concern, and whether or not to include language that stressed the new threats posed by State exploitation of ICTs for military and national security purposes. The second issue was the question of whether the discussion should address issues of information content or should focus only on information infrastructures. There was particular disagreement regarding the principle that transborder information content should be controlled as a matter of national security. Other areas of disagreement arose on proposals for capacity-building and technology transfer to developing countries.

Although generally convinced that the General Assembly might make a specific contribution aimed at strengthening the security of global information and telecommunications systems, the experts could not agree on recommendations for further action by the Assembly to address issues of information security in the context of international security. On 22 July, the Group concluded its work without agreement on a substantive report. Information on procedural matters of the Group's work is available in the report of the Secretary-General to the sixtieth session.32

General Assembly, 2005

60/45

Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security. The draft resolution was introduced by the Russian Federation, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 2 for the sponsors), on 17 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 28 October as follows: (163-1-0) and by the General Assembly on 8 December as follows: (177-1-0). For the text of the resolution and the voting pattern, see pages 3 and 1.

Among other things, the resolution invited all Member States to continue to inform the Secretary-General of their views and assessments on efforts to strengthen information security and promote international cooperation in this field at the national level, and on possible measures that could be taken by the international community at the global level. It also requested the Secretary-General, with the assistance of a group of governmental experts to be established in 2009 on the basis of equitable geographical distribution, to continue to study existing and potential threats in the sphere of information security and possible cooperative measures to address them, as well as the relevant international concepts aimed at strengthening the security of global information and telecommunications systems, and to submit a report on the study's results to the Assembly's sixty-fifth session [A/C.1/60/L.29, operative paragraphs 3 and 5].

First Committee

The United States voted against the draft resolution, noting that the text covered the same ground that led to the stalemate within the Group of Governmental Experts regarding the attempt to itemize and limit existing and potential information security. It also could not support the draft resolution's call for a global instrument and yet another Group of Governmental Experts in the future.

60/51

Role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament. The draft resolution was introduced by India, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 3 for the sponsors), on 18 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 24 October as follows: (88-49-13) and by the General Assembly on 8 December as follows: (110-53-17). For the text of the resolution and the voting pattern, see pages 10 and 4.

The resolution urged Member States to undertake multilateral negotiations with the participation of all interested States in order to establish universally acceptable, non-discriminatory guidelines for international transfers of dual-use goods and technologies and high technology with military applications; and encouraged the UN bodies to contribute, within existing mandates, to promoting the application of science and technology for peaceful purposes.

Relationship between disarmament and development

The question of the relationship between disarmament and development remained a controversial one. While the majority of Member States, mostly non-aligned, continued to call for the implementation of the action programme of the 1987 International Conference on the Relationship between Disarmament and Development,33 a number of other States, especially Member States of the European Union and the United States, stressed that there was no automatic link between the two concepts.

Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 59/78, the Secretary-General submitted a report containing observations made by the high-level Steering Group on disarmament and development regarding the report of the Group of Governmental Experts on the relationship between disarmament and development.34 The report also summarized activities conducted over the past two years by the partner departments and agency of the Steering Group with regard to disarmament and development.

Regarding the recommendations contained in the report of the Group of Governmental Experts, the Steering Group particularly noted those recommendations addressed to itself, as well as those addressed to the UN system in general. Acknowledging the importance of the recommendation that the United Nations and other intergovernmental organizations should make greater efforts to integrate their disarmament, humanitarian and development activities, the Steering Group indicated that it had designated focal points at the working level and was in the process of examining how to improve such integration. According to the report, many activities related to disarmament and development continued to be carried out by various components of the UN system as part of their respective policies and programmes, in many cases addressing the threats posed to stability and development by illicit SALW. The report also noted that the activities carried out with respect to disarmament and development were limited by the financial constraints of the Organization, and that access to extra-budgetary support would continue to be a major factor.

General Assembly, 2005

60/61

Relationship between disarmament and development. The draft resolution was introduced by Indonesia, on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Non-Aligned Movement, on 18 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 28 October as follows: (164-1-2) and by the General Assembly on 8 December as follows: (177-1-2). For the text of the resolution and the voting pattern, see pages 30 and 12.

The resolution welcomed the report of the Group of Governmental Experts on the subject;35 requested the Secretary-General to continue to take action to implement the action programme of the 1987 International Conference; urged the international community to devote part of its resources from the implementation of disarmament and arms limitation agreements to economic and social development, and encouraged them to make reference to the contribution that disarmament could provide in meeting the Millennium Goals at their review in 2006, as well as to make greater efforts to integrate disarmament, humanitarian and development activities; and encouraged the relevant regional and subregional organizations and institutions, non-governmental organizations and research institutes to incorporate disarmament and development issues into their agendas and to take account of the report of the Group of Governmental Experts..

First Committee

Before voting, the United Kingdom said that it would support the draft resolution, despite reservations that the report of the Group of Governmental Experts did not give sufficient credit to unilateral, bilateral and multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation actions. However, its commitment to development goals and to combating the scourge of small arms and their impact enabled the UK to support the draft resolution.

After the vote, the United States reiterated its stance that disarmament and development were two distinct issues not to be linked, and that it was not bound by the declaration in the Final Document of the 1987 Conference.

Gender and disarmament

"Adolescent girls, the most likely to be abducted by militia and rebel groups and forced to become `wives' and fighters, are subjected to sexual violence, vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and often stigmatized as child mothers. The process of reintegration and rehabilitation, at individual and community levels, is long and complex. We must ensure that women and girls are provided with a safe, supportive environment in which they can heal and become empowered as active agents for peace and reconstruction."36
RIMA SALAH, UNICEF

Gender issues have become increasingly important in the disarmament debate.37 In 1996, the General Assembly endorsed the "Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action" produced by the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women.38 In 2000, the Security Council adopted a resolution on women and peace and security.39 These actions provided an important framework for taking account of gender concerns in the UN's work, including disarmament.

An important analytical tool for bringing gender concerns into the disarmament process is that of "gender mainstreaming",40 which can help generate understanding of how differently men and women view weapons-related issues and power-relationships.

Since DDA publicly released its Gender Mainstreaming Action Plan (the Action Plan) in 2003 to facilitate the practical application of gender mainstreaming,41 the Department, together with its partners, has made efforts to apply gender mainstreaming to its disarmament-related activities, including bringing views and concerns of women into the disarmament debate. DDA has encouraged more women to participate in the disarmament debate at various disarmament fora and it has made efforts to bring more women to the disarmament bodies, such as the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters and various groups of governmental experts.

During 2005, the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) contributed to several disarmament-related activities to provide its expertise on women, gender and disarmament, in particular those related to the process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR). These activities ranged from establishing expert panels to providing regional technical support.

On 9 March, UNIFEM brought together a panel of experts42 to discuss the topic, "Women Building Peace through Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration" on the occasion of the Beijing + 10 Review Conference. This expert panel presented an opportunity for participants of the 49th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and other members of the international community to hear the voices of women working in the DDR process from four different sectors, namely, the perspective of civil society (Liberia), former combatants (Rwanda), national institutions (Sudan) and the international framework (UNIDIR).

From 31 October to 2 November, the Multi-Country Demobilization and Reintegration Program (MDRP) Secretariat and UNIFEM co-organized a consultation workshop in Kigali, Rwanda for approximately forty-five participants. The workshop was convened as part of the capacity-building activities of the MDRP Technical Coordination Group (TCG). It aimed at strengthening the MDRP-supported activities in the region and supporting joint learning within the MDRP partnership.43

On 14 July, on the occasion of the Second Biennial Meeting of States, UNIFEM and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD) co-organized a panel event entitled "Men, Women and Gun Violence: Options for Action". Presentations were given under two thematic headings: `gender analysis as a tool for understanding impacts and solutions for gun violence' and `policy change for action'.

Over the past year, gender units have supported the implementation of gender-sensitive DDR programmes in peacekeeping missions. In particular, such units were incorporated into the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), and the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB) with varying degrees of success. The Office of Gender Affairs (OGA) worked with these operations in order to take into account the direct and indirect roles women play in combat and find ways to address them in the DDR process.

Multilateralism and disarmament

The United Nations continued to underline, in various disarmament fora, the urgency and importance of reaffirming and strengthening the multilateral disarmament framework in order to address the challenges in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation, including the prevention of the acquisition of WMD by terrorists. The Secretary-General's report "In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all",44 underlined that multilateral instruments to promote disarmament and prevent proliferation among States had played a central role in the maintenance of international peace and security since their adoption. At the same time, the Secretary-General warned that these instruments were in danger of erosion, and highlighted the need for more consistent monitoring and effective implementation, as well as firmer enforcement when necessary, in order to build confidence in multilateral mechanisms and help avoid conflict.

During the general debate of the First Committee, many Member States underlined the importance of multilateralism and multilaterally-agreed solutions to address disarmament and non-proliferation concerns. Some States expressed the view that multilateralism provided the only sustainable means of dealing with disarmament and non-proliferation challenges.

General Assembly, 2005

60/59

Promotion of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation. The draft resolution was introduced by Indonesia, on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Non-Aligned Movement, on 18 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 26 October as follows: (116-6-48); and by the General Assembly on 8 December as follows: (122-8-50). For the text of the resolution and the voting pattern, see pages 27 and 10.

The resolution reaffirmed multilateralism as the core principle in disarmament and non-proliferation negotiations and once again called upon all Member States to renew and fulfill their individual and collective commitments to multilateral cooperation as an important means of pursuing and achieving their common disarmament and non-proliferation objectives. It also requested the Secretary-General to seek the views of Member States on the issue and to submit a report to the Assembly's sixty-first session .

First Committee

Speaking on behalf of itself, Australia and New Zealand, Canada attributed their abstention to the draft resolution's emphasis on multilateralism as the sole core principle in non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament, while relegating other measures (plurilateral, regional, subregional, bilateral and unilateral measures) to a lower tier of importance. Canada added that the sponsors should find a more inclusive and comprehensive vision of multilateralism which would appeal to a wider range of parties.

Arms limitation and disarmament agreements, including verification of compliance

The subject of verification has been a growing concern in global arms control and disarmament negotiations since the Second World War. Since the General Assembly established general and complete disarmament under effective international supervision as the aim of global disarmament efforts in 1959, verification mechanisms have been integrated into many multilateral and bilateral arms control agreements. In 1988, the UNDC adopted the sixteen principles of verification, among them that adequate and effective verification arrangements must be capable of providing, in a timely fashion, clear and convincing evidence of compliance or non-compliance. Continued confirmation of compliance was seen as an essential ingredient to building and maintaining confidence among the parties. In addition, requests for inspections or information in accordance with the provisions of arms limitation and disarmament agreements should be considered as a normal component of the verification process. In 2004, the General Assembly requested that the Secretary-General establish a panel of governmental experts on verification and transmit a report to the General Assembly during its sixty-first session.

In anticipation of the convening of this expert panel, DDA, in cooperation with the Government of Canada, hosted a panel discussion entitled "Verifying Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Agreements TDDAy" on 20 October.45 In his opening speech, the Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs identified a shift from previous confidence in the effectiveness of the inspection mechanisms of multilateral agreements towards marked skepticism and greater reliance on national means by certain States. He also expressed the view that verification, particularly in regard to WMD, was too important to be left to the preserve of technical experts, and stressed the importance of finding ways for future verification requirements to effectively secure compliance.

General Assembly, 2005

60/55

Compliance with non-proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements The draft resolution was introduced by the United States, on behalf of the sponsors, (see page 4 for the sponsors), on 17 October. The revised draft resolution, as orally amended, was adopted by the First Committee on 31 October as follows: (137-0-11) and by the General Assembly on 8 December as follows (163-0-10). For the text of the resolution and the voting pattern, see pages 20 and 7.

The resolution urged all States to implement and to fully comply with their non-proliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements, and other agreed obligations, and for those States not currently in compliance to make the strategic decision to come back into compliance with those obligations. It also called upon all Member States to take concerted action in a manner consistent with relevant international law to encourage compliance by all States with those aforementioned agreements and to hold those not in compliance accountable in a manner consistent with the UN Charter.

First Committee

Before voting, the Russian Federation gave several reasons for its abstention, stating that the draft resolution had lost its objectivity and purpose of ensuring the integrity of non-proliferation and disarmament agreements. The Russian Federation also expressed disappointment that the text lacked an operative provision on the need to guarantee compliance verification measures for disarmament agreements.

Several States that spoke after the vote noted that the draft resolution omitted some important consensus elements of its predecessor, resolution 57/86 (2002). China, which held this view, did not vote on the draft resolution. Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Cuba, Indonesia, and Venezuela explained their abstentions. Pakistan held that compliance obligations applied only to States that had assumed those obligations; preferred a more specific reference to States parties in the operative paragraphs; asserted that verification, compliance and enforcement were relevant and central to treaties and agreements, and did not exist independently; and suggested that the draft resolution was at variance with the spirit of the UN Charter. Iran maintained that the draft resolution's subjective and unilateral assessments of non-compliance and attempts to use such assessments for political and foreign policy leverage only undermined the international and multilateral efforts to strengthen an effective global disarmament and non-proliferation regime. Egypt stated that the draft resolution lacked a clear call for those in a state of non-adherence to take the strategic decision to adhere to disarmament and non-proliferation treaties with a view to achieving their universality and goals. Cuba stressed the need to preserve and strengthen multilateralism and to guarantee strict observance of all arms limitation, disarmament and non-proliferation agreements. In Indonesia's view, the draft resolution did not address compliance in a balanced manner and the relationship between verification and the treaty regimes was unclear. Venezuela pointed out that selective approaches for non-proliferation obligations should not be applied by those States neglectful of their own nuclear disarmament obligations.

India and Bangladesh voted in favor of the draft resolution. India, which attached importance to States' full compliance with their disarmament, non-proliferation and arms limitation obligations, observed that the phrase "other agreed obligations" in the text should be applied only to those obligations undertaken with the sovereign consent of States. Bangladesh made the point that nuclear disarmament had priority over nuclear non-proliferation, even though the two were complementary, and that the best guarantee against nuclear non-proliferation was the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

60/60

Observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control The draft resolution was introduced by Indonesia, on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Non-Aligned Movement, on 18 October. It was adopted by the First Committee on 26 October as follows: (167-1-3); and by the General Assembly on 8 December as follows: (176-1-4). For the text of the resolution and the voting pattern, see pages 29 and 11.

The resolution called upon States to adopt unilateral, bilateral, regional and multilateral measures so as to contribute to ensuring the application of scientific and technological progress within the framework of international security, disarmament and other related spheres, without detriment to the environment or to its effective contribution to attaining sustainable development. It also invited Member States to communicate to the Secretary-General information on the measures they had adopted, and requested the Secretary-General to submit a report containing this information to the Assembly's sixty-first session.

First Committee

After the vote, the United States stated that it voted against the draft resolution because it saw no direct connection between general environmental standards and multilateral arms control agreements and it was not convinced that the issue was relevant to the First Committee's work.

60/514

Verification in all its aspects, including the role of the United Nations in the field of verification. At its 61st plenary meeting, on 8 December, the General Assembly took not of the report of the First Committee.46

60/520

Review of the implementation of the Declaration on the Strengthening of International Security. The draft decision was introduced by Indonesia, on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Non-Aligned Movement, on 18 October . It was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 26 October and by the General Assembly on 8 December. For the text of the resolution, see pages 102.

By the terms of the decision, the General Assembly decided to include the item entitled "Review of the implementation of the Declaration on the Strengthening of International Security" in the provisional agenda of its sixty-second session.

Conclusion

In his report entitled "In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all",47 the Secretary-General outlined a vision of collective security which took into account the security concerns of all States and addressed the interconnected threats which faced the international community. Noting the divergent threat perceptions among States, the report contained recommendations for a response to a wide array of security concerns, including transnational terrorism, WMD, SALW, and the use of force. The danger of the acquisition of WMD by terrorists, in particular, was underlined with the recognition that one such attack and the chain of events it would precipitate, could change the world forever. The Secretary-General therefore outlined five pillars for a comprehensive strategy against terrorism: dissuading people from resorting to and supporting it; denying terrorist access to funds and materials; deterring States from sponsoring terrorism; developing State capacity to defeat terrorism; and defending human rights.

Although Member States were unable to agree on multilateral responses to disarmament and non-proliferation concerns in the field of WMD during the 2005 World Summit, the role of multilateralism as a core principle of disarmament and non-proliferation was reaffirmed. Despite growing concerns about a possible arms race in outer space, the persisting divergence of views again prevented the Conference from commencing substantive work on PAROS.

The international community continued to explore ways to address the impact which the proliferation and stockpiling of arms had in other areas, including human rights, human security, gender issues and development. The Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, Disarmament and Human Security continued to build an awareness and understanding of the relationship between disarmament, especially in the area of SALW, and human rights in its consideration of the work of its Special Rapporteur. Work continued, especially in conceptual research aspects on establishing and emphasizing the importance of the disarmament-human security linkage, with SALW, landmines and ERW figuring prominently in this area. The relationship between disarmament and development was examined by the UN Group of Governmental Experts on the issue, resulting in a comprehensive set of new recommendations for Member States, the United Nations system and civil society. Work advanced on mainstreaming a gender perspective within the security and disarmament debate, with endeavors by UNIFEM and DPKO at the policy level and in practical actions in the field.

Finally, the Group of Governmental Experts created to address the rapid development of information and telecommunication technology and growing concern over its potential impact on international and national security was unable to agree on ways to strengthen global information and telecommunications systems. Therefore, the Group could not come up with a substantive report.


1A/59/2005, para.87, available at http://www.un.org/largerfreedom /chap3.htm.
2A/RES/60/1, 16 September 2005.
3S/2005/799.
4Ibid., Appendix IV.
5A/60/285.
6A/60/185 and Add. I.
7See http://untreaty.un.org/English/Terrorism/English_18_15.pdf.
8CD/PV.970 and CD/PV.984. These and subsequent meetings of the Conference are available at http://disarmament.un.org/cd/cd-meeting.html.
9CD/988. The delegations that expressed support for the establishment of an ad hoc Committee on PAROS during the thematic discussion in the Conference were Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Pakistan, Peru, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, and the Syrian Arab Republic.
10Related thematic papers can be found on the web site of the delegation of the Russian Federation in Geneva at www.geneva.mid.ru.
11"Initiative of the Ambassadors Dembri, Lint, Reyes, Salander and Vega", CD/1693/Rev.1, http://disarmament.un.org/cd/cd-docs2003.html. This and all subsequent documents of the Conference on Disarmament are available at http://disarmament.un.org/cd/cd-docs.
12CD/1125.
13The Secretary-General's message to the annual meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, 24-25 November 2005, para. 80; available at http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2005/sgsm10230.doc.htm.
141949 Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field; 1949 Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Conditions of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of the Armed Forces at Sea; 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners in Time of War; 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War; 1997 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I); 1977 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II).
15See the Convention on the Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (CCW), and its Additional Protocols (I-IV); see also Chapter IV of this volume and http://disarmament.un.org/ccw /index.html.
16See Mine-Ban Convention of 1997, Amended Protocol II of the CCW; also Chapter IV of this volume and http://disarmament.un.org/rdb/apm-mbc.html.
17See Report of the United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, (A/CONF.192/15), Chapter IV of this volume, and http://disarmament.un.org/cab/smallarms/index.html.
18See the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at www.unhchr.cn/html.
19In 1947, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights established the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (the Sub- Commission's predecessor). The Sub-Commission meets annually and is composed of 26 experts who serve in their personal capacities. See http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/2/sc.htm.
20See The United Nations Disarmament Yearbook, vol. 26, 2001, pp. 172-176 (United Nations publication Sales No. E.02.IX.1).
21See The United Nations Disarmament Yearbook, vol. 28, 2003, pp. 233 (United Nations publication Sales No. E.IX.04.1).
22"Prevention of human rights violations committed with small arms and light weapons" (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2005/35).
23"Progress report of Barbara Frey, Special Rapporteur on the prevention of human rights violations committed with small arms and light weapons" (E/CN.4/Sub.2/2004/37 and Add.1).
24The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols. See http://www.ohchr.org/english/about /publications/docs/fs2.htm.
25E/CN.4/Sub.2/2005/35.
26A/RES/58/32.
27S/RES/1373 (2001); see http://www.un.org/sc/ctc/.
28A/RES/58/199.
29A/RES/56/121.
30See http://www.itu.int/wsis.
31WSIS-03/GENEVA/DOC/0004 "Geneva Declaration of Principles"; WSIS-03/GENEVA/DOC/0005 "Geneva Plan of Action"; see http://www.itu.int /wsis/documents/index1.html.
32A/60/202.
33See http://disarmament.un.org/cab/docs/aconf13039.pdf for "Report of the International Conference on the Relationship between Disarmament and Development".
34See the following documents on the "Relationship between disarmament and development": A/RES/59/78; Report of the Secretary-General (A/60/94); and "Report of the Group of Governmental Experts" (A/59/119); as well as other reports and resolutions on the subject which are available at http://disarmament.un.org/cab/d&d.html.
35Ibid.
36From the Foreword to The Impact of Conflict on Women and Girls in West and Central Africa and the UNICEF Response. Ms. Salah, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, discussed the purpose of this UNICEF study. See http://www.unicef.org/emerg/files/Impact_conflict_women .pdf.
37The Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women (OSAGI/UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs) defines "gender" as follows: "Gender: refers to the social attributes and opportunities associated with being male and female and the relationships between women and men and girls and boys, as well as the relations between women and those between men. These attributes, opportunities and relationships are socially constructed and are learned through socialization processes. They are context/ time-specific and changeable. Gender determines what is expected, allowed and valued in a women or a man in a given context. In most societies there are differences and inequalities between women and men in responsibilities assigned, activities undertaken, access to and control over resources, as well as decision-making opportunities. Gender is part of the broader socio-cultural context. Other important criteria for socio-cultural analysis include class, race, poverty level, ethnic group and age." See (http://www.un.org/womenwatch /osagi/conceptsandefinitions.htm).
38"Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action", adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 4-15 September 1995 contained in "Report of the 4th World Conference on Women" (A/CONF.177/20), 17 October 1995. See also (A/CONF.177/20/Add.1, and Rev.1), and A/RES/50/42.
39S/RES/1325 (2000).
40In 1997, ECOSOC defined "mainstreaming a gender perspective" as" the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes in all areas and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women's as well as men's concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality."
41"Making Disarmament More Effective: Men and Women Working Together", DDA Panel Discussion, 15 April 2003.
42The participants included Jamal Benomar (BCPR), Leymah Gbowee (WIPNET, Liberia), Rose Kabuye (Ndabaga, Rwanda), Achol Cyier Rehan (Sudan SPLM), Lubna Abdel Aziz (Sudan GoS), Dr. Vanessa Farr (UNIDIR).
43Participants included delegations from the national programmes of the seven active MDRP countries, namely, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. NGO representatives from Angola, Burundi, and Rwanda joined national delegations as did representatives from MONUC, ONUB, UNDP, UNICEF, UNIFEM and the MDRP Secretariat.
44See footnote 1.
45See"Verifying Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Agreements TDDAy", DDA Occasional Paper, No.10, March 2006 at http://disarmament .un.org/DDApublications.
46A/60458.
47See footnote 1.