The United Nations continued to pursue disarmament and non-proliferation efforts through its primary organs, the General Assembly and the Security Council, and to engage civil society organizations concerned with these issues. The Organization's disarmament machinery2 is comprised of the General Assembly, its subsidiary bodies - the First Committee and the Disarmament Commission - and the Conference on Disarmament. Disarmament issues are also addressed within international frameworks established by multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements.
The Department of Disarmament Affairs (DDA or the Department) provides substantive and technical assistance to the disarmament machinery, and its five branches and three regional centres carry out this responsibility.3 The five branches include: Conference on Disarmament Secretariat and Conference Support (in Geneva); Weapons of Mass Destruction; Conventional Arms (including practical disarmament measures); Monitoring, Database, and Information; and Regional Disarmament (in New York). The Regional Disarmament Branch comprises three regional centres: 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.
As a review and follow up to the decisions contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration of 2000, the General Assembly agreed to convene a High-level Plenary Meeting with the participation of Heads of State and Government to be held during the 60th session of the General Assembly in 2005 (2005 World Summit). The Summit was to continue the consideration of ways to enable the United Nations to adapt to the changing international environment, including the responses of the international community to disarmament and non-proliferation concerns.
In preparation for the 2005 World Summit (the Summit), the Secretary-General presented a report entitled "In larger freedom: towards security, development and human rights for all," to the General Assembly on 21 March.4 This report provided recommendations and proposals to address a wide range of challenges facing the United Nations and the international community for consideration during the negotiations of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. The report was divided into four broad issue areas. The section entitled "freedom from fear" dealt with, inter alia, the need for progress in the disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their means of delivery, and the dangers posed by the accumulation and proliferation of small arms, light weapons, and landmines.
In accordance with General Assembly's resolutions 58/291, 59/145, and 59/291, the Summit was convened at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 14 to 16 September with the participation of more than 170 Heads of State and Government, constituting the largest gathering of world leaders in history. Negotiations on the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document began months prior to the Summit, and the first Draft Summit Outcome Document was released by the President of the General Assembly on 3 June and welcomed by the Secretary-General.5 This draft, and subsequent revisions, contained several provisions regarding disarmament and non-proliferation, including: strengthening disarmament and non-proliferation measures for nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and preventing their proliferation to non-State actors; enhancing efforts to counter the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons (SALW); ensuring the effective monitoring and enforcement of United Nations arms embargoes; and urging the implementation of agreements banning and regulating the use of anti-personnel landmines. During the Summit, Norway, with the support of Australia, Chile, Indonesia, Romania, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, tabled a Ministerial Declaration regarding disarmament and non-proliferation issues, and, on 26 July, proposed a text of the Draft Summit Outcome Document addressing those issues to the President of the General Assembly. Negotiations on the text continued until the opening of the General Assembly's sixtieth session. However, owing to lack of agreement among Member States, the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document6 did not include a section on or reference to disarmament and non-proliferation - a key concern of Member States.
At the opening of the 2005 World Summit, the Secretary-General welcomed the steps taken to adopt a Summit Outcome Document as a good start, but expressed regret over the lack of agreement on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, stating that posturing was allowed to get in the way of results.7 This sentiment was echoed throughout the Summit, as well as at the following plenary session of the General Assembly, by a number of Heads of State and Government and Foreign Ministers who expressed disappointment that disarmament and non-proliferation were not addressed in the Document.8
While the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document did not include a separate section on disarmament and non-proliferation as had originally been included in drafts of the document, it did retain language on disarmament and non-proliferation regarding conventional arms, which were added to the section on peacekeeping. Specifically, the Summit Outcome Document supported the implementation of the 2001 Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA), urged parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention and Protocol II of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) to fulfill their obligations, and called upon States to provide greater assistance to mine-affected States.9
During its sixtieth session, the First Committee adopted fifty-four resolutions and six decisions. Despite the incremental progress achieved in both procedural and organizational aspects of its work, there remained considerable divisions on various substantive issues, particularly those related to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. A majority of Member States voiced their concerns regarding the absence of references to the World Summit Document, particularly in light of the lack of agreement by States parties during the 2005 NPT Review Conference.10
Regarding the negotiations in the General Assembly pertaining to the rationalization of its work, during informal sessions, the First Committee continued to consider revitalization of its work methods. Delegations generally agreed on the utility of the efforts by the Committee's previous chair, Luis de Alba (Mexico), to streamline its work, thus no new decisions were taken on this matter. However, delegations discussed further measures concerning First Committee reform during the consideration of the programme of work for the following year. One key issue was the length of the general debate. While there was disagreement regarding the utility of the general debate and the use of the rolling list of speakers, it was agreed that the general debate would once again be confined to seven meetings. Member States continued to support the use of seven thematic clusters to organize the agenda. However, there was no agreement on either the proposal made by the Chair, Young-Jin Choi (Republic of Korea), to link the formal agenda items and the informal clusters, or the proposal from Argentina to ascribe the seven clusters into the agenda of the General Assembly. Members States also continued to discuss the merging of similar resolutions as well as consideration of the further biennialization or triennialization of repetitive resolutions. The discussion of First Committee reform also included the consideration of civil society participation. On 21 October, representatives from two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) spoke on the topic of disarmament and non-proliferation education. This was the first time since its establishment that the Committee heard presentations from representatives of civil society.
The Conference on Disarmament (the Conference) convened from 24 January to 1 April, 30 May to 15 July and 8 August to 23 September, and concluded by adopting its report11 to the General Assembly. The Presidency of the Conference was successively assumed by the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan and Peru. Sixty-five (of sixty-six) members12 participated in the session. In addition, thirty-four other States,13 at their request, were invited to take part. The Conference adopted the same agenda as its 2004 session.14
The adoption of the agenda was preceded by discussions on supplementing it with a new item proposed by France, namely, "New and additional issues".15 Although many delegations agreed that the traditional agenda of the Conference did not fully reflect the current threats and challenges to non-proliferation and disarmament, others felt that the meaning of the new item was not clear or that it could imply the outdated character of other agenda items. Finally, an understanding was reached that allowed the Conference to deal with any new issue within the existing agenda, including terrorism and weapons of mass destruction as well as strengthening compliance with arms control and disarmament agreements, provided that consensus existed.
Consultations undertaken by the first two Presidents of the session (Netherlands and New Zealand), and their subsequent proposals aimed at breaking the impasse did not bring the expected results. Discussions on ways to proceed towards the substantive work of the Conference revealed that the previously pronounced positions of States remained mostly unchanged. In particular, members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) opposed any marginalization of the issue of negative security assurances, and renewed their support for the A-5 proposal16 on the programme of work. The A-5 proposal was endorsed by a number of other States, including China and the Russian Federation. On the other hand, the Western countries were more inclined to break the existing linkages and establish subsidiary bodies on the basis of their own merits.
In light of the impasse in the early establishment of subsidiary bodies, South Africa suggested that the Conference suspend its activities if it again failed to adopt a programme of work, until the General Assembly mandated that it resume negotiations. Norway, stressing that implementation of that proposal was not realistic due to the very likely lack of consensus in the Conference, recalled a conclusion of the 2003 Oslo workshop, which proposed convening plenary meetings of the Conference only when needed. Pakistan challenged these proposals, expressing the view that the Conference should continue to explore ways and means for its revitalization.
Members of the New Agenda Coalition (Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden) expressed deep concern that the Conference was unable to meet the expectations of the 2000 NPT Review Conference and that it failed to establish appropriate bodies to deal with nuclear disarmament or begin negotiations on banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.
The Conference benefited from the high-level segment of the session during which nine Foreign Ministers (Canada, Finland, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and Ukraine) and one Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs (Japan) addressed the Conference. The speakers expressed concerns over the continued impasse and also provided ideas on how to rebuild the political role of the Conference in arms control and disarmament. In particular, emphasis was placed on the need to develop new political consensus that would allow going beyond national security interests. At the same time, views were expressed that the responsibility for the impasse should not be attributed to any single State or a group of States.
During the second part of the session, the President of the Conference (Norway) succeeded in organizing a series of plenary meetings on the four core topics on the agenda: namely, nuclear disarmament, the prohibition of the production of fissile material for weapon purposes, the prevention of an arms race in outer space and negative security assurances and, as customary, on other issues relevant to the international security environment. Discussions at these meetings also led to the exchange of views on issues such as the functioning of the disarmament machinery as well as the way ahead in the field of multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation following the failure of the 2005 NPT Review Conference. Although the initiative was applauded by a number of delegations, these meetings came to a halt with the end of the Norwegian Presidency, since other delegations expressed doubts about the utility of their continuation, and particularly about the anticipated next step, that is, interactive debates. Instead, they advocated focusing attention on the adoption of the programme of work. While the next President (Pakistan) concentrated on the programme of work, no progress was made in acquiring consensus.
The last President of the 2005 session (Peru) submitted a new proposal on the programme of work17 which merged and streamlined earlier ideas and proposals in this respect. While a number of delegations appreciated this effort, it was not possible to thoroughly consider the proposal or to take any decision on it.
In its report to the General Assembly, the Conference requested the current and the incoming Presidents to conduct consultations during the intercessional period and, if possible, to make recommendations, taking into account all relevant proposals, including those submitted as the documents of the Conference, views presented and discussions held, and to endeavor to keep the membership of the Conference informed of their consultations.
The 2005 substantive session of the Disarmament Commission (the Commission) was once again unable to agree on a substantive agenda to address its two preliminary agenda items pertaining to nuclear and conventional weapons. The Commission therefore, did not hold any substantive meetings during this session.
The organizational meeting of the 2005 session of the Commission was held on 22 December 2004 and resumed from 18 to 26 July. A number of informal consultations were also held prior to and during the resumed session. Several proposals for the two substantive agenda items were tabled, including those by the chair, Sylvester Ekundayo Rowe (Sierra Leone), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the United States. Apart from the two proposed agenda items, the United States suggested that time should also be allocated for discussions on improving the Commission's work methods. Although the Commission came close to reaching a compromise, it was ultimately unable to achieve a consensus regarding the formulation of the two substantive agenda items, thus there was no agreement for a substantive agenda for the 2005 session.
Consequently, on 26 July, the Commission decided to close its 2005 organizational session and meet again at its organizational session for 2006 from November-December 2005, and adopted its report18 to the sixtieth session. The Chairman continued informal consultations on the sidelines of the First Committee in October, which ultimately led to an agreement. As a result, at its organizational meeting for 2006 held on 12 December, the Commission adopted the following two agenda items for its 2006 substantive session as follows: i) "Recommendations for achieving the objective of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons", and ii) "Practical confidence-building measures in the field of conventional weapons". The Commission also agreed that the issue of measures for improving the effectiveness of its methods of work be considered in plenary meetings at its 2006 substantive session, with equitable time allocated to it.
The Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters held its forty-fourth and forty-fifth sessions from 23 to 25 February in New York, and from 29 June to 1 July in Geneva, under the chairmanship of Vicente Berasategui (Argentina) (see Annex I on page 20 for the membership of the Board). The Secretary-General submitted a report on the work of the Advisory Board to the General Assembly on 22 August.19
In the course of its deliberations, the Board expressed deep concern over the lack of results on a number of critical issues related to disarmament and non-proliferation and reaffirmed the need to strengthen the commitment by all States to the basic principles of multilateralism. The Board also stressed the urgent need to prevent a weakening of existing disarmament and non-proliferation obligations by making progress on disarmament and related questions, including addressing the threats posed by non-State actors.
The Board undertook deliberations on four issues: (a) the nuclear fuel cycle and fissile material control; (b) regional security and global norms in regard to small arms and light weapons; (c) challenges and opportunities at the regional level in the areas of weapons of mass destruction and conventional arms; and (d) a review of the disarmament machinery.
With regard to the nuclear fuel cycle and fissile material control, the Board agreed that nearer-term opportunities for multilateral nuclear approaches based on voluntary participation should be considered, recognizing that the development of a universal norm in which States renounce their national fuel cycle facilities would change the content of article IV of the NPT and require a re-balancing of rights under the Treaty. It also recommended that the proposed voluntary moratorium on building additional fuel cycle facilities matched by a guaranteed supply of fissile material be further elaborated by the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. Furthermore, the Board recommended the full utilization and strengthening of existing mechanisms for fissile material security and the active participation of all States with advanced nuclear programmes to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.20
The Board's recommendations pertaining to SALW in the context of regional security and global norms included the further development of global norms on SALW with a view to enhancing regional security and reconciliation processes in post-conflict situations. The Board also recommended that the High-level Plenary Meeting of the 60th session of the General Assembly give high priority to the challenge posed by SALW as well as increasing coordination and cooperation at the international level to address the issue of SALW in all its aspects in a comprehensive and integrated approach.21
On the issue of regional considerations regarding WMD and conventional arms, the Board recommended that regions and subregions tailor their approaches to their specific situations, and that regional arrangements should increase regional security and stability at the lowest possible level of armaments and armed forces and on the basis of undiminished security for all participating States. The Board's recommendations in this area also included carrying out interregional dialogue to share information, experiences and lessons learned and cooperation between regional organizations and mechanisms to promote disarmament and non-proliferation.22
Concerning the Board's review of the UN disarmament machinery, its recommendations included the preservation and strengthening of the Conference on Disarmament without prejudice to adjustments in its procedural arrangements, and improving the functioning of the First Committee to effectively address both traditional and current security challenges, in particular those facing disarmament and non-proliferation.23
The Department of Disarmament Affairs continued to provide training on arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament for young diplomats, especially those from developing countries, through the United Nations fellowship, training and advisory services programme.24
In 2005, fellowships were awarded to young diplomats from thirty Member States.25 The Programme consisted of three segments: a study session in Geneva; study visits to intergovernmental organizations working in the field of disarmament and to Member States, at their invitation; and a study session at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The Programme commenced on 29 August in Geneva and concluded on 2 November in New York. Its curriculum encompassed lectures and presentations by heads of delegations to the Conference on Disarmament and to the First Committee of the UN General Assembly; presidents of various arms control and disarmament conferences and meetings; UN officials, including senior DDA officials; and by the representatives of the Geneva International Peace Research Institute and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces. The fellows also attended meetings of the Conference on Disarmament and the First Committee. At UN Headquarters, the fellows participated in a two-day seminar on non-proliferation and disarmament issues organized by the Center for Nonproliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute for International Studies, and in panel discussions sponsored by DDA. During the programme, fellows conducted research projects and prepared papers on disarmament-related topics of their own choice as well as on disarmament issues on the agenda of the General Assembly.
Study visits included those to the OPCW in The Hague, the IAEA and the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO in Vienna. The Government of Germany hosted the fellows in Berlin, where they were briefed by, and held a round-table discussion with, senior officials and experts of the Department of Disarmament and Arms Control of the Federal Foreign Office, Head of the Parliamentary Sub-Committee for Arms Control and Disarmament. The fellows also visited the Nammo Buck GmbH conversion plant where they were briefed on the destruction of conventional weapons in an environmentally-safe manner. At the invitation of the Government of Japan, the fellows visited Tokyo, Nagasaki and Hiroshima. In Tokyo, the fellows were briefed by senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Japan's arms control and disarmament policies and, at the end of the study visit, they participated in a wrap-up session with the staff members of the Ministry. In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the fellows visited memorial museums at the atomic bomb hypocentres, met with survivors and heard lectures on social and medical legacies of atomic bombing.
At the conclusion of the Programme, the fellows were awarded certificates at a ceremony held at UN Headquarters presided over by the Chairman of the First Committee and the Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs.
The Department of Disarmament Affairs continued to advise and assist the Secretary-General in the discharge of his responsibilities under the UN Charter and the mandates given to him by the General Assembly and the Security Council as they pertained to disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation. The Department's activities were conducted in the following areas:
In the first instance, DDA provided substantive and/or technical assistance to various disarmament bodies: the First Committee, the Conference on Disarmament, the Disarmament Commission, the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa, and the Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. It also served both UN conferences and meetings, as well as meetings of States parties to treaties and treaty bodies, including the 2005 NPT Review Conference; the Fourth Conference on Facilitating the Entry Into Force of the CTBT; the First Review Conference on the Mine-Ban Convention, Meetings of the States Parties to the CCW; the Seventh Annual Conference of States Parties to the Amended Protocol II to the CCW; the Second Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the PoA; the Open-ended Working Group on an International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace Ilicit SALW; and the Third Annual Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and its meeting of experts. DDA also followed developments concerning the four existing treaties on nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZs) and continued to provide substantive assistance in finalizing the text of a treaty for a Central Asian NWFZ.
Secondly, DDA provided both substantive and technical assistance to several groups of governmental experts established to address the following issues: the relationship between disarmament and development; developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security; and the explosive remnants of war and mines other than anti-personnel mines. In addition, DDA gave substantive support to the work of the Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1540, including the maintenance of the Committee's web site, and supporting its work and the work of its experts in facilitating the provision of technical assistance to Member States, where required, for the effective implementation of the resolution. (For details of the groups of governmental experts mentioned above and the 1540 Committee, see chapters II, IV, VI and VIII).
Thirdly, on the basis of the General Assembly mandates and decisions of treaty bodies, DDA issued reports containing official information received from governments on arms transfers in seven major categories of conventional arms (the UN Register of Conventional Arms) and military expenditures (the UN standardized instrument for international reporting of military expenditures). The Department also continued to maintain a number of databases on its web site, including a record of signatures, ratifications and accessions by States to multilateral arms regulations and disarmament agreements, reports submitted under article VII of the Mine-Ban Convention, reports submitted on the national implementation of Security Council resolution 1540 and the PoA, national points of contact regarding the PoA, and national legislation on SALW provided by States on a voluntary basis.
The fourth area pertained to the coordination of, or participation in activities among a number of United Nations and UN-related bodies. DDA continued to serve as the focal point for the Coordinating Action on Small Arms Mechanism (CASA) and for the Group of Interested States on Practical Disarmament Measures. Within the framework of activity of these two bodies, DDA cooperated closely with other UN departments, programmes, agencies as well as States in efforts to address, in a coordinated and comprehensive manner, the multifaceted challenge posed by the proliferation of SALW and to build sustained peace through the de-weaponization of societies in post-conflict situations. The Department also worked closely with the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), which serves as the focal point for mine action within the United Nations, on landmine-related matters, such as consolidating the existing legal norms, mine clearance and victim assistance. DDA continued its cooperation with the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women of the Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) on issues related to gender and disarmament and with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict on disarmament and children and their protection in conflict situations. The Department also continued to implement its Gender Action Plan, which promotes the integration of gender perspectives into disarmament activities.
The fifth area of activities involved information dissemination, raising public awareness of disarmament and maintaining close liaison with UNIDIR, other research and educational institutions outside the United Nations and with NGOs. The Department implemented the United Nations disarmament fellowship, training and advisory services programme (see section on disarmament fellowships above), and organized symposia, seminars and round-table discussions in New York and in a number of Member States on a wide range of disarmament and non-proliferation issues. To heighten public awareness of disarmament, and as part of its information activities, DDA disseminated to Member States and the international community objective information on disarmament, non-proliferation and security matters through its web site, publications and other activities.26 In carrying out a recommendation from the 2002 UN Study on disarmament non-proliferation education, the Department concluded the two-year small arms education project in January. The project was carried out with the pedagogical assistance of the Global Campaign for Peace Education of the Hague Appeal for Peace (HAP) in Albania, Cambodia, Niger and Peru. In April, DDA and the HAP published the results in a book entitled Peace and Disarmament Education: Changing Mindsets in Albania, Cambodia, Niger and Peru which also contained an organizer's manual for replication of the project in other countries. The Department has continued to build and maintain a web site27 that serves as an educational resource for disarmament and non-proliferation issues and furthers the goals put forth in the study. The Department has advanced its work on updating the UN Cyberschoolbus with disarmament material.
The Department assisted its Regional Centres in various weapons collection and disposal programmes.28 It also provided training during the year for interns in various aspects of its work, including following the debate in the General Assembly and the First Committee and reporting thereon, assisting in preparations of other disarmament-related meetings and research tasks, drafting portions of publications and contributing to various databases.
DDA continued to oversee and coordinate the activities of its three regional centres. Since the activities carried out by the centres are funded by voluntary contributions, the General Assembly continued to appeal to all States as well as international governmental and non-governmental organizations and foundations to provide such contributions in order to strengthen, facilitate and implement their activities.29
Pursuant to the consideration by the General Assembly of the Secretary-General's proposals for strengthening the security and safety of UN operations, staff and premises, funds were allocated from the regular budget to ensure that the two regional centres operating in their respective regions - the Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-LiREC), and the Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) - were in full compliance with minimum operating standards.30
The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) continued to face financial and staffing constraints which were aggravated by the security challenge it faced in the host country. Consequently, the possibility of consolidating the activities of the Centre with existing UN regional operations was being considered as a means of providing a solution to the existing challenge.
In December 2005, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 60/86 which, inter alia, requested the Secretary-General to "establish, on the basis of existing resources, a consultative mechanism of interested States, in particular, African States, for the reorganization of the Centre."31
Consultations on the relocation of the Centre continued with the host country. The final version of a draft host country agreement and a draft memorandum of understanding on the operational costs to be provided by the host country were forwarded to the Government of Nepal for consideration in December 2001 and April 2002, respectively. The Department of Disarmament Affairs also provided the Nepalese authorities with updated information on the issues of immunities and privileges in a letter dated October 2005.
Given the continued financial and logistical difficulties faced by the Centre, the Secretary-General was considering the possibility of co-locating the Centre with the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok as a way of ensuring its operational sustainability. In this connection, DDA held consultations with Member States and donor countries, paying particular attention to solutions that addressed the demands and needs of the Asia and Pacific region and enhanced the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the Centre's operations.32
During the year, UN-LiREC focused on the development of strategic relationships with other UN agencies, including the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in order to promote UN inter-agency initiatives in fulfillment of the Centre's mandate and to assist States in the implementation of the UN Millennium Declaration. Another area of attention was the reinforcement of its human resource capacity in an effort to meet the growing demand of requests for assistance. This entailed the strengthening of UN-LiREC's core staff and the appointment of new staff members, including a new Deputy-Director of the Centre, Special Assistant to the Director's Office, and a Disarmament and Development Associate Expert. The Centre has likewise manifested its interest in receiving recommendations from donor countries regarding the appointment of Associate Experts.
The on-line Field Operations Management Application (FOMA) became fully operational at the Centre in 2005. This password-protected intranet-based system was created with the aim of organizing and harmonizing responses to requests received by Member States, to improve the fluid operation of the Centre as well as to facilitate institutional information-sharing and monitoring of the Centre's activities by DDA. In addition, 2005 was the last year for many of UN-LiREC's programmed activities and attention was focused on securing core and programme funding for continued assistance to States in the region.
At plenary meetings of the General Assembly, held between 17 and 23 September,33 a number of Member States, many represented at the level of Head of State or Government, addressed a wide range of disarmament and security issues.
The First Committee, meeting under the chairmanship of Young-jin Choi of the Republic of Korea, held a general debate on all its agenda items, listed in Annex II to this chapter, between 3 to 7 October, and a structured discussion (thematic discussion and introduction of draft resolutions) from 10 to 21 October, and took action on draft resolutions from 24 October to 1 November.34
The General Assembly took action on seven draft resolutions and one draft decision related to issues in this chapter.
Report of the Conference on Disarmament. The draft resolution was introduced by Peru, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 15 for the sponsors), on 18 October. It was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 24 October and by the General Assembly on 8 December. For the text of the resolution, see pages 86.
The resolution requested that all States members of the Conference cooperate with its current and successive Presidents in their efforts to guide it to the early commencement of its substantive work in 2006; that the Secretary-General continue to ensure the provision of adequate administrative, substantive, and conference support services to the Conference; and that the Conference submit a report on its work to the General Assembly's sixty-first session.
Report of the Disarmament Commission. The draft resolution was introduced by Sierra Leone on 31 October. The revised draft resolution was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 1 November and by the General Assembly on 8 December. For the text of the resolution, see pages 87.
The resolution recommended that the Disarmament Commission intensify consultations on efforts made during its resumed organizational session in July 2005 with a view to reaching definitive agreements before the start of its substantive session in 2006.
The United States said that it would not participate in the vote on the draft resolution.
In their statements after the vote, Canada, Cuba, Mexico and Egypt expressed disappointment that the Disarmament Commission was unable to reach any agreement on a programme of work during its 2005 organizational session and to initiate consideration of substantive issues. Canada called on all Member States to intensify consultations, as called for in operative 5 of the draft resolution, to agree on the agenda package that was before the Commission's 2005 session, and to ensure that its next session would address substance rather than process. Cuba stressed its belief that the Commission should be preserved because it was the specialized deliberative body within the multilateral disarmament machinery of the United Nations. Mexico underlined its determination to see the Commission adopt a decision on its substantive programme on the first day of its session, by a vote, if necessary. For its part, Egypt indicated its disappointment that the ad referendum agreement reached during the Commission's 2005 organizational session was not preserved or finalized.
Convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament. 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 OctoberIt 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 decision, see pages 102.
The decision requested that the General Assembly include the item entitled "Convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament" in the provisional agenda of its sixty-first session .
United Nations regional centres for peace and disarmament. The draft resolution was introduced by Indonesia, on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, on 18 October. It was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 31 October and by the General Assembly on 8 December. For the text of the resolution, see pages 72.
The resolution appealed to Member States in each region and those that were able to do so, as well as to international governmental and non-governmental organizations and foundations, to make voluntary contributions to the regional centres in their respective regions to strengthen their activities and initiatives. It also requested the Secretary-General to provide all necessary support, within existing resources, to the regional centres in carrying out their programmes of activities.
United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The draft resolution was introduced by Argentina, on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, on 18 October. It was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 31 October and by the General Assembly on 8 December. For the text of the resolution, see pages 73.
The resolution invited all States of the region to continue to take part in the activities of the Regional Centre, proposing items for inclusion in its programme and making greater and better use of the Centre's potential to meet the current challenges facing the international community with a view to fulfilling the aims of the UN Charter in the fields of peace, disarmament and development.
United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific. The draft resolution was introduced by Nepal, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 14 for the sponsors), on 19 October. The revised draft resolution was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 25 October and by the General Assembly on 8 December. For the text of the resolution, see pages 76.
The resolution urged the Secretary-General to ensure the physical operation of the Regional Centre from Katmandu within six months of the date of signature of the host country agreement and to enable it to function effectively.
United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa. The draft resolution was introduced by Nigeria, on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Group of African States, on 25 October. The draft resolution, as orally revised, was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 31 October and by the General Assembly on 8 December. For the text of the resolution, see pages 78.
The resolution requested the Secretary-General to establish, within existing resources, a consultative mechanism of interested States, in particular African States, for the reorganization of the Regional Centre, and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its sixty-first session. It also requested the Secretary-General to facilitate close cooperation between the Regional Centre and the African Union, in particular in the areas of peace, security and development.
The political impasse faced during the 2005 World Summit regarding the issues of disarmament and non-proliferation, resulting in the absence of a section on these issues in the Summit Outcome Document, underlined the long-standing differences among Member States as to how to pursue these objectives. These differences were already apparent by the continued inability of the Conference on Disarmament to begin its substantive work as well as the failure of the Disarmament Commission to begin its 2005 substantive session. Debate continued as to whether the failure to make progress in these fora was due to a lack of political will on the part of States or a necessity to overhaul the multilateral disarmament machinery.
Within the overall framework of revitalizing the work of the General Assembly, the First Committee implemented the procedural changes agreed to in 2004 during its 2005 session. Member States welcomed these improvements in the work of the Committee, and continued to explore ways in which the body could function more effectively.
The Department of Disarmament Affairs continued to provide substantive and technical support to various disarmament bodies and expert study groups, coordinate or participate in interdepartmental activities, cooperate with other international organizations dealing with issues related to its mandates, and carry out region-specific activities through its three regional centres.
It continued to collect data and issue reports containing information received from governments on a variety of disarmament and non-proliferation issues and carried out an active disarmament information programme. In order to cope with the new challenges and address such cross-cutting issues as the illicit small arms trade, the Department enhanced its coordination and cooperation with other departments, programmes, funds and agencies of the United Nations. Efforts also intensified in emerging priority areas, such as the link between terrorism and WMD, disarmament and human security, and gender perspectives in disarmament. DDA further assisted States in need through training and capacity-building. DDA is expected to increase its efforts to strengthen the operational capacity of its three regional centres so that they can continue to carry out activities to fulfill their respective mandates as set out by the General Assembly.
1. Reduction of military budgets [item 85]:
(a) Reduction of military budgets;
(b) Objective information on military matters, including transparency of military expenditures.
2. Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security [item 86].
3. Prohibition of the development and manufacture of new types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons: report of the Conference on Disarmament [item 87].
4. Question of Antarctica [item 88].
5. Implementation of the Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace
6. African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty [item 90].
7. Consolidation of the regime established by the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco) [item 91].
8. Verification in all its aspects, including the role of the United Nations in the field of verification [item 92].
9. Role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament [item 93].
10. Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East [item 94].
11. Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons [item 95].
12. Prevention of an arms race in outer space [item 96].
13. General and complete disarmament [item 97]:
[The General Assembly decided that the relevant paragraphs of the annual report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (A/60/204), which is to be considered directly in plenary meeting under item 84, be drawn to the attention of the First Committee in connection with its consideration of item 97]
(a) Notification of nuclear tests;
(b) Prohibition of the dumping of radioactive wastes;
(c) Reduction of non-strategic nuclear weapons;
(d) Transparency in armaments;
(e) National legislation on transfer of arms, military equipment and dual-use goods and technology;
(g) Observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control;
(h) Promotion of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and nonproliferation;
(i) Convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament;
(j) Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction;
(k) Assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and collecting them;
(l) Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: accelerating the implementation of nuclear disarmament commitments;
(m) Nuclear disarmament;
(n) Relationship between disarmament and development;
(o) Reducing nuclear danger;
(p) Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction;
(q) Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons;
(r) Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction;
(s) Nuclear-weapon-free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas;
(t) The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects;
(u) Confidence-building measures in the regional and subregional context;
(v) Conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels;
(w) Regional disarmament;
(x) Prevention of the illicit transfer and unauthorized access to and use of man-portable air defence systems;
(y) The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation;
(z) Information on confidence-building measures in the field of conventional arms;
(aa) Bilateral strategic nuclear arms reductions and the new strategic framework;
(ab) Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia;
(ac) United Nations conference to identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers in the context of nuclear disarmament;
(ad) Problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus.
14. Review and implementation of the Concluding Document of the Twelfth Special Session of the General Assembly [item 98]:
(a) Regional confidence-building measures: activities of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa;
(b) United Nations regional centres for peace and disarmament;
(c) United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean;
(d) United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific;
(e) United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa;
(f) Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons.
15. Review of the implementation of the recommendations and decisions adopted by the General Assembly at its tenth special session [item 99]:
(a) Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters;
(b) United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research;
(c) Report of the Conference on Disarmament;
(d) Report of the Disarmament Commission.
16. The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East [item 100].
17. 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 [item 101].
18. Strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region [item 102].
19. Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty [item 103].
20. Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction [item 104].
21. Review of the implementation of the Declaration on the Strengthening of International Security [item 105].