1995 Review and Extension Conference
of the Parties to the Treaty on the
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

NPT/CONF. 1995/4
22 March 1995
New York, 17 April-12 May 1995


Background paper prepared by the United Nations Secretariat



I. INTRODUCTION ......................................... 1

II. BACKGROUND ........................................... 2 - 11

FOURTH REVIEW CONFERENCE ............................. 12 - 65

A. Measures and initiatives relating to cessation of
the nuclear arms race and to nuclear disarmament . 14 - 33

1. Multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts
within the United Nations framework .......... 14 - 25

2. Other unilateral, bilateral and multilateral
measures on nuclear disarmament .............. 26 - 33

B. Measures and initiatives relating to general and
complete disarmament ............................. 34 - 65

1. General and complete disarmament ............. 34

2. Bacteriological (biological) weapons ......... 35

3. Chemical weapons ............................. 36 - 39

4. Other weapons of mass destruction ............ 40 - 42

5. Limitation and reduction of conventional
weapons and arms transfers on a world-wide and
regional basis ............................... 43 - 50

6. Prevention of an arms race in outer space .... 51

7. Arms limitation and disarmament measures
relating to the environment and to the sea ... 52 - 53

8. Science and technology ....................... 54 - 55

9. Confidence-building measures/transparency in
armaments .................................... 56 - 62

10. Economic aspects of disarmament .............. 63 - 65


1. At its second session (17-21 January 1994), the Preparatory Committee for the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, invited the Secretary-General to prepare for the Committee's third session (12-16 September) a background paper on the overall implementation of article VI of the Treaty. 1/ The paper "should cover developments regarding cessation of the nuclear arms race, nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament". At its third session, the Committee requested the Secretariat to amend the paper in the light of comments made in the course of the session, to update it by taking into account current events, and to submit it to the Conference. The present paper is submitted in response to that request. As separate papers have been prepared on the issues of a comprehensive nuclear-test ban (NPT/CONF.1995/2), nuclear-weapon-free zones (NPT/CONF.1995/5) and security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon States (NPT/CONF.1995/6), those questions are not dealt with in the present paper.


2. The Charter of the United Nations envisages arms regulation and disarmament as elements in the progressive establishment of an international security system. The impact of the discovery of nuclear energy, however, gave significant additional emphasis to disarmament, and in particular to nuclear disarmament. Since its foundation, the United Nations has dealt with the increasingly complex issues of arms limitation and disarmament as one of the priority issues in international relations. The need for and the basic objectives of disarmament have remained constant throughout the years, but the approaches to the subject and the scope of deliberations have changed as a reflection of varying political realities and international conditions.

3. At the very outset, the approach pursued was quite broad. Throughout the 1950s the objective was the regulation, limitation and balanced reduction of all armed forces and armaments in a coordinated, comprehensive programme. In 1959, the concept of general and complete disarmament was first introduced and included in the agenda of the General Assembly as a separate item. In the early 1960s, specific plans to achieve general and complete disarmament were submitted by the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. However, with little progress towards agreement on such a programme, starting in the late 1950s impetus was being given to a "partial approach". It was felt that the achievement of some first, limited steps would increase confidence and create a more favourable atmosphere for comprehensive agreements. Devoting parallel and, at times, even primary attention to "collateral" measures, it was hoped, would facilitate the complex task of achieving general and complete disarmament. By the mid-1960s, it became widely accepted, however, that general and complete disarmament was not attainable in any short or specific period. Since then, it has been tacitly accepted that general and complete disarmament should be regarded as the ultimate goal, with an increasing concentration on partial objectives.

4. A new comprehensive disarmament strategy was developed in the late 1970s. At the initiative of the non-aligned countries, which sought to give new impetus to multilateral disarmament efforts, the General Assembly in 1978 held its first special session devoted to disarmament. The Final Document of the session, General Assembly resolution S-10/2, adopted by consensus, set out a new strategy comprising agreed goals, principles and priorities in arms limitation and disarmament, as well as a programme of action leading towards the realization of the ultimate objective of general and complete disarmament. It also specified measures intended to strengthen the multilateral machinery that deals with disarmament issues within the United Nations system. Again in 1982 and 1988, the Assembly met in special sessions devoted to disarmament. At both sessions, however, the Assembly was unable to reach agreement on the implementation of the programme of action. Therefore, efforts have continued to find ways of advancing the comprehensive programme of disarmament and of achieving specific measures of arms limitation, disarmament and confidence-building.

5. In the past several decades, a wide variety of ideas and initiatives were put forward in the field of disarmament, particularly nuclear disarmament, both within and outside the framework of the United Nations. By and large they reflected the perceptions of their proponents of what constituted the main challenges to international peace and security and were designed to cope with them accordingly, either as integral parts of the comprehensive approach or as "partial" measures on their own. These perceptions as a rule reflected the military-strategic thinking and doctrines of the major alliances and political groups, including some individual States not belonging to these groups. For instance, the non-aligned countries were largely concerned with the perceived dangers stemming from the existence of nuclear weapons and the nuclear arms race. Members of the Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO) underlined the issue of nuclear disarmament and called for a range of measures in that field. Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), on the other hand, in advocating various disarmament measures, stressed the need to maintain the overall military balance and stability in international relations through credible deterrence.

6. Reflecting this wide spectrum of positions, the disarmament agenda of the international community contained a broad range of diverse measures, not all of which were agreed upon. Most of them dealt with various aspects of nuclear weapons. They included general proposals such as those for the prohibition of nuclear weapons; the cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament; the cessation of the qualitative improvement and development of nuclear weapons and of their production; a comprehensive programme for the phased reduction of nuclear weapons leading to their complete elimination; a "nuclear freeze"; and the concept of "nuclear suffocation". Other proposals ranged from calls for a general prohibition of the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons to a prohibition of their first use and of certain specific types of nuclear weapons. Over the years, much prominence was given to the prohibition of all tests of nuclear weapons. The question of giving security assurances to non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons was the subject of continuing discussion.

7. Apart from the question of reducing the threat posed by nuclear weapons, the international community also made great efforts to deal with other weapons of mass destruction. In the first place, there were various proposals related to banning the use of chemical weapons and calls for their global and comprehensive prohibition. Further areas of concern related to biological weapons, new types of weapons of mass destruction, radiological weapons, limitation and reduction of conventional weapons and international arms transfers, the prevention of an arms race in outer space, curbing the naval arms race, naval armaments and disarmament, and reduction of military budgets.

8. Although few proposals led to the initiation of actual negotiations and to concrete agreements, such agreements as were concluded commit the Governments involved to a number of highly significant arms limitation and disarmament measures.

9. In the nuclear field, among the most important multilateral agreements achieved were the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and under Water (Partial Test-Ban Treaty) of 1963 and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Non-Proliferation Treaty) of 1968. On the regional level, the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco) of 1967 and the South Pacific Nuclear-Free-Zone Treaty (Treaty of Rarotonga) of 1985 kept large areas of the globe free of nuclear weapons. In addition, a number of bilateral treaties were concluded between the United States of America and the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. These comprise the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems (ABM Treaty) and the Interim Agreement on Certain Measures with respect to the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (SALT I) of 1972; the Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War of 1973; the Treaty on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear-Weapon Tests (Threshold Test-Ban Treaty) of 1974; the Treaty on Underground Explosions for Peaceful Purposes (PNE Treaty) of 1976; the Treaty on the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (SALT II) of 1979; the Agreement on the Establishment of Nuclear Risk Reduction Centres of 1987; the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty) of 1987; and the Agreement on Notification of Launches of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and Submarine-launched Ballistic Missiles of 1988.

10. Several agreements were concluded with respect to weapons of mass destruction in general, the demilitarization/denuclearization of some areas and specific activities affecting the environment. Among multilateral measures agreed upon were the Treaty Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (Outer Space Treaty) of 1967; the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Seabed and the Ocean Floor and the Subsoil Thereof (Seabed Treaty) of 1971; the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (Biological Weapons Convention) of 1972; the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD Convention) of 1977; and the Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (Agreement on Celestial Bodies) of 1979.

11. In the area of conventional weapons the only agreement achieved at the global level was 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 (Inhumane Weapons Convention) of 1981. On the regional level, progress was achieved, specifically in Europe, with the adoption of the Helsinki confidence-building measures in 1975, the Stockholm Document in 1986, the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty) in 1990 and the Vienna Document on confidence-building measures in 1990. By adopting the Declaration of Ayacucho in 1974, several States from the region of Latin America committed themselves to creating conditions conducive to effective arms limitation and to stopping the acquisition of arms for aggressive ends. The principles were confirmed in 1978.


12. During the period under review, arms limitation and disarmament efforts were pursued in a greatly altered international environment marked by distinctively contradictory trends. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and profound political changes in Eastern Europe, more than four decades of adverse ideological and military competition between East and West came to an end, creating unprecedented opportunities for substantive progress in the field of disarmament. The end of the cold war, however, has by no means removed the risk of armed conflict in a world newly characterized by potential regional arms races and the accumulation of ever more destructive weaponry by a growing number of countries. Regional instabilities, the emergence of ethnic and religious tensions and the continuing and heightened risk of proliferation of both weapons of mass destruction and conventional weapons have now created a serious challenge to international stability. This has rendered disarmament a more urgent and necessary element of the system of international peace and security than ever.

13. While substantial progress towards disarmament has been made on various long-standing issues since the end of the cold-war era, particularly with regard to the reductions of nuclear weapons and the prohibition and destruction of chemical weapons, new disarmament issues have been gaining prominence at the same time. Among them are the need to exchange objective information on military matters; transparency of military expenditures and the limitations on arms transfers; and conversion and the safe and cost-effective destruction of weapons. The question of verification of compliance with the wide range of agreements has taken on many new aspects.

A. Measures and initiatives relating to cessation of
nuclear arms race and to nuclear disarmament

1. Multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts
within the United Nations framework

Non-use of nuclear weapons and the prevention of nuclear war

14. The recent changes in international relations, particularly between the two major nuclear-weapon States, have considerably diminished the likelihood of a global nuclear war. Nevertheless, the issue of non-use of nuclear weapons and the prevention of nuclear war continued to be debated within various forums, both within and outside the United Nations framework. The difference in positions between various political groups and individual States remained evident, however. In the General Assembly, for instance, this was reflected from the forty-fifth to the forty-ninth sessions in the voting pattern on a resolution entitled "Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons", which was initiated annually by India. 2/ Divergent views were also evident on a resolution adopted by the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session, in which, inter alia, the International Court of Justice was urgently requested to render its advisory opinion on the question of whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons in any circumstance is permitted under international law. 3/ The issue of non-use of nuclear weapons has also been debated for some years by the Disarmament Commission. Owing to lack of agreement, the Commission discontinued the consideration of the subject as of 1991.

15. The Conference on Disarmament also discussed the issue under the item entitled "Prevention of nuclear war, including all related matters" in formal and informal meetings. Proposals were made, inter alia, for an action programme for the prevention of accidental nuclear war; the adoption of a code of peaceful conduct of nations in international affairs; the establishment of nuclear alert and crisis reduction centres and of early warning stations; international machinery for preventing accidental use of nuclear weapons; and an international agreement banning the first use of nuclear weapons. Each year consultations were held to consider an appropriate organizational arrangement to deal with the item, including proposals for the establishment of a subsidiary body, but no agreement could be reached.

Nuclear disarmament

16. The General Assembly has adopted annually resolutions on various aspects of nuclear arms limitation and disarmament. On many of them, the divergence of views, as before, continued to stand in the way of any progress. Some of the traditional initiatives, most notably the proposal for a nuclear freeze, have been overtaken by the dynamics of the nuclear disarmament process and were not pursued further. On the other hand, consensus has begun to emerge on some other issues, most notably the nuclear-test ban and the cut-off of the production of fissile material for weapons purposes. While many resolutions have continued to underline the special responsibility of the two major Powers for nuclear disarmament, they have also urged the Conference on Disarmament to begin multilateral negotiations on a number of specific measures in this field.

17. The question of nuclear disarmament received renewed attention in the course of the forty-ninth session of the General Assembly, in 1994. The divergence of views remained however. Thus, a number of non-aligned countries, while acknowledging the significance of various specific bilateral agreements or unilateral measures undertaken by nuclear-weapon States, most notably the United States and the Russian Federation, felt nevertheless that on the whole the process of nuclear disarmament fell short of their expectations. In this connection, the non-aligned countries voiced two particular concerns. First, in their opinion, the nuclear-weapon States did not take full advantage of the post-cold-war improvements in their mutual relationships and of the relaxation in international relations in general. This was particularly true, they felt, with regard to the quantitative reductions in the nuclear warheads, which could and should have been much deeper considering that the nuclear threat had considerably diminished. Secondly, they felt that the process of genuine nuclear disarmament was being increasingly replaced by various nuclear confidence-building measures, which, important as they may be, did not advance the ultimate objective of the "elimination of all nuclear weapons for all times".

18. It was against this background that non-aligned countries, led by Mexico, submitted to the General Assembly a draft resolution entitled "Step-by-step reduction of the nuclear threat". The draft resolution identified three general areas for a step-by-step process of nuclear disarmament. The first area contains steps to counter, inter alia, the acquisition and processing of fissionable material for weapons purposes; the manufacture and testing of nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles; and the assembly and deployment of nuclear-weapons systems. The second area contains steps to actuate, inter alia, the withdrawal from deployment and disassembly of nuclear-weapons systems; the secure storage and dismantlement of nuclear warheads and their delivery vehicles; and the elimination of special fissionable materials for nuclear-weapons purposes. The third area contains steps to prepare, under international auspices, an inventory of the nuclear arsenals and the reorientation, closure or conversion to peaceful purposes of military facilities concerned. The draft resolution, furthermore, recommended that the Conference on Disarmament develop from those areas a set of measures for negotiation during the next five- to ten-year periods, and to determine a year-by-year sequence of specific negotiations. The draft resolution was adopted by a vote of 111 votes to 24, with 33 abstentions, as resolution 49/75 E.

19. On the other hand, a number of States felt that important progress conducive to the ultimate objective of the elimination of nuclear weapons had been made. In this connection, Japan submitted a draft resolution entitled "Nuclear disarmament with a view to the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons". The draft, inter alia, welcomed the efforts of the Russian Federation and the United States for nuclear disarmament, including the START I and II Treaties, as well as the efforts of other nuclear-weapon States in the field of nuclear disarmament. It furthermore urged States not parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to accede to the Treaty and called upon the nuclear-weapon States to pursue their efforts for nuclear disarmament, with the ultimate objective of the elimination of nuclear weapons in the framework of general and complete disarmament. The draft resolution was adopted by a vote of 163 to none, with 8 abstentions, as resolution 49/75 H.

20. Two more draft resolutions, both dealing with the bilateral negotiations on nuclear arms reductions between the Russian Federation and the United States, were adopted by the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session. The draft resolutions welcomed the actions taken towards the ratification of START I and the signing of START II, urged both countries to take the necessary steps to bring both Treaties into force at the earliest possible date and expressed support for the efforts of the Russian Federation and the United States to reduce their nuclear armaments and to continue to give those efforts the highest priority in order to contribute to the objective of the elimination of nuclear weapons. The draft resolutions though in large part identical, differed in one respect - the draft sponsored by the Western and Eastern European States 4/ made a reference to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, while the draft sponsored by non-aligned States did not, 5/ largely owing to the fact that some of these countries are not parties to the Treaty.

21. Since 1992, the Disarmament Commission has been engaged in the discussion of the process of nuclear disarmament in the framework of international peace and security, with the objective of the elimination of nuclear weapons. The discussions have focused on a general outline for guidelines and recommendations for nuclear disarmament proposed by the Chairman. During the deliberations, the vital importance and urgency of disarmament in general and of nuclear disarmament in particular, with a view to achieving the ultimate goal of the elimination of nuclear weapons, were reaffirmed by many delegations as equally relevant in the new political and security environment. Although the Commission was to conclude its deliberation on this item in 1994, it was not able to finish its work and recommended that consideration of the item be continued with a view to finalizing it in 1995.

22. Several items on the agenda of the Conference on Disarmament deal with nuclear weapons-related issues as well. A wide range of topics has been discussed under the agenda item entitled "Cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament". These topics have included the questions of: the cessation of production of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems; the cut-off of further production of fissionable material for weapons purposes and the transfer of stocks of such material to peaceful uses; the restriction or prohibition of the deployment of nuclear weapons on the territory of other States; the freezing of nuclear-weapons arsenals; the non-use or no-first-use of nuclear weapons; nuclear-weapon-free zones; and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Two more items dealing with nuclear weapons - a comprehensive nuclear-test ban and security assurances for non-nuclear-weapon States - are discussed in separate papers, as noted in paragraph 1 above.

23. Prospects for agreement on the cessation of the further production of fissionable material for weapons purposes, on which proposals have been made at various times and in various forums, in particular by Canada, 6/ have lately increased considerably. In July 1992, the United States announced that it would not produce any more plutonium or highly enriched uranium. In 1993, the United States declared its readiness to seek a ban on the production of fissile material for weapons purposes. Following the cessation of the production of enriched uranium by the former Soviet Union in 1989, the Russian Federation continues to carry out the programme for halting the production of weapon-grade plutonium and has declared that it will shut down industrial reactors for the production of weapon-grade plutonium by the year 2000.

24. As a result of these developments, in 1993, for the first time, the General Assembly resolution on the cut-off proposal was adopted by consensus. 7/ In that resolution, the Assembly recommended the negotiation in the most appropriate international forum of a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. At the forty-ninth session of the Assembly, the Government of China expressed its support for a cut-off convention to be concluded through negotiations, as a step towards the comprehensive prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. On 4 October 1994, the Governments of China and of the United States issued a joint statement whereby the two Governments agreed to work together to promote the earliest possible achievement of a multilateral, non-discriminatory and effectively verifiable convention banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

25. In 1994, the Conference on Disarmament appointed a special coordinator to conduct consultations on the question of negotiating a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosive devices. There was consensus that the Conference was the appropriate forum to negotiate such a treaty. While there was no agreement on a mandate for an ad hoc committee, there was agreement in principle that an ad hoc committee should be established as soon as a mandate had been agreed. Since the beginning of its 1995 session, consultations on a mandate for an ad hoc committee have continued in the Conference.

2. Other unilateral, bilateral and multilateral
measures on nuclear disarmament

26. Through bilateral negotiations on nuclear arms limitation, disarmament and related matters, the former Soviet Union/Russian Federation and the United States have over the years reached a number of agreements (see para. 9). On 31 July 1991, the Treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START I) was signed in Moscow. The START Treaty provides for significant reductions and imposes limits on all elements of the strategic nuclear forces. The United States, by May 1994, had removed over 3,500 nuclear warheads from over 780 intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles and within the following month intended to take all warheads off its ballistic missiles whose launchers would be eliminated under the Treaty. 8/

27. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in late 1991, its nuclear arsenals remained stationed on the territories of its successor States. At the time, in December 1991, the Soviet Union had a nuclear arsenal of approximately 27,000 nuclear warheads and 1,850 strategic delivery systems. Strategic nuclear weapons were deployed in the present Russian Federation and in three former Soviet Republics - Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus. In May 1992, these four States and the United States signed, at Lisbon, a Protocol to the START I Treaty by which Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, as successor States of the former Soviet Union, assumed the obligations of the former Soviet Union under the Treaty. All four States have now ratified the START I Treaty. Furthermore, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine have committed themselves to adhere to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as non-nuclear weapon States in the shortest possible time. Belarus acceded to the Treaty in February 1993, Kazakhstan in February 1994 and Ukraine in December 1994. 9/ In addition, the member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - also acceded to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. In January 1994, the United States, the Russian Federation and Ukraine agreed that all the strategic weapons stationed in Ukraine would be turned over to the Russian Federation for dismantling, in exchange for security assurances and compensation in the form of nuclear fuel for its nuclear power industry. By May 1994, 180 nuclear warheads had been transferred from Ukraine to the Russian Federation for dismantlement.

28. As a result of negotiations between the Russian Federation and the United States on further reductions of strategic weapons, the Treaty on Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START II) was signed at Washington in January 1993. The Treaty envisages two phases of reductions. In the first phase, which should be completed within seven years of the Treaty's entry into force, each side will reduce and limit its strategic forces to between 3,800 and 4,250 warheads. In the second phase, to be completed by the year 2003, or earlier subject to financial resources needed by the Russian Federation for the destruction of those warheads which it has to dismantle, each side will reduce its overall totals to between 3,000 and 3,500 warheads. All long-range, land-based missiles with multiple nuclear warheads will be banned. The overall reductions would represent approximately 70 per cent of the combined strategic arsenals of both countries over the next decade. 10/ The entry into force of START I in December 1994 has made it possible for the ratification process of START II to begin.

29. In accordance with the 1987 INF Treaty, the Soviet and United States intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles, i.e., ballistic missiles and ground-launched cruise missiles of "intermediate range" (1,000 to 5,500 kilometres) and of "shorter range" (500 to 1,000 kilometres), have been eliminated. The elimination of 859 United States and 1,752 Soviet missiles involved about 4 per cent of the arsenals of the two nuclear Powers. With the completion of the process in May 1991, an entire class of nuclear weapons was eliminated from the arsenals of the two major Powers. In this sense, the INF Treaty represented the first real nuclear disarmament agreement.

30. Over the years, the United States and the former Soviet Union/Russian Federation have concluded several agreements aimed at improving direct communications links and at reducing the risk of accidental or unintended nuclear war. Both sides established nuclear risk reduction centres in their respective capitals. In addition, a number of unilateral measures were undertaken by both States as part of a "cooperative denuclearization process". By October 1991, the United States had reportedly withdrawn its sea-launched tactical nuclear weapons and forward-deployed tactical nuclear weapons from Asia, and by July 1992 from Europe. At summit meetings in Alma Ata and Minsk in December 1991, the CIS member States agreed on the withdrawal of all tactical nuclear weapons to the Russian Federation by July 1992 for dismantlement under joint control. That process commenced in January 1992, and by mid-May of that year all tactical nuclear munitions from Eastern Europe, as well as some 6,500 tactical nuclear weapons, were reported to have been pulled out from the CIS States and moved to the territory of the Russian Federation. The Russian Federation and the United States also removed their strategic bombers from alert posture, and in January 1994 agreed on the detargeting of strategic missiles, so that as of 30 May, their strategic missiles would not be targeted at each other's territories. A similar agreement was reached between the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom. In a joint statement in September 1994, Russia and China agreed to detarget their strategic nuclear weapons and reaffirmed the commitment to mutual non-use of force, especially mutual non-first-use of nuclear weapons.

31. At the same time, the United Kingdom and France have announced measures to reduce their nuclear force levels and to scale down their respective nuclear weapons programmes. Thus, since 1991 the United Kingdom has reduced its number of free-fall nuclear bombs by more than half and announced that it no longer intends to replace the remaining weapons, which will be withdrawn from service by early next century. In addition, the United Kingdom announced in 1991 that it would no longer retain a maritime tactical nuclear weapon capability. The weapons previously marked for this role are being destroyed. The United Kingdom has also abandoned its NATO nuclear artillery and Lance missiles roles. In October 1993, it announced that each Trident submarine would enter service carrying no more than 96 warheads and possibly significantly fewer. Once Trident is fully in service, the explosive power of the United Kingdom's operational nuclear inventory, comprising both strategic and sub-strategic systems, will be more than 25 per cent below the 1990 figure.

32. France, for its part, announced its decision to limit the production of Hades missiles to 30 units in spite of the 120 previously planned and to give up their deployment. It withdrew from service and dismantled its ground-to-ground Pluton missiles and AN 52 airborne weapons, reducing significantly the number of its deployed nuclear weapons. It also decided to limit to four, instead of six as initially planned, the number of a new generation of missile-launching submarines and spaced out its production. Similarly, funds allocated to nuclear weapons were cut by approximately 25 per cent from 1992 to 1995. Their share of the national defense budget has gone down from one third at the end of the cold war to one fifth today. France has furthermore reduced the alert level of its nuclear forces.

33. China reiterated its commitment not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States. Furthermore, China proposed a convention on the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons and a treaty among the five nuclear-weapon States on non-first-use of nuclear weapons against each other. 11/

B. Measures and initiatives relating to general
and complete disarmament

1. General and complete disarmament

34. In the early 1990s, serious consideration was given to the best way to pursue further the goal of general and complete disarmament under the changed international situation in the post-cold-war era. The Conference on Disarmament continued to consider the question in plenary under the item entitled "Comprehensive programme of disarmament", without, however, being able to reach any specific agreement on how to proceed. General and complete disarmament, however, remains the ultimate goal of the United Nations disarmament endeavours.

2. Bacteriological (biological) weapons

35. Efforts by the international community in this field largely focused on the further strengthening of the 1972 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction. The Third Review Conference of the parties to the Convention, held in 1991, decided to begin its work with a view to strengthening the provisions of the Convention. An Ad Hoc Group of Governmental Experts of States Parties to the Convention was established to identify and examine potential verification measures from a scientific and technical standpoint. The Group, in September 1993, adopted a report, in which 21 potential measures were identified that would contribute to strengthening the effectiveness and improving the implementation of the Convention. A Special Conference to consider these proposals was held at Geneva from 19 to 30 September 1994. The Conference set up a new ad hoc group with the mandate to consider appropriate verification measures and to draft proposals to strengthen the Convention, to be included in a legally binding instrument. The first meeting of the ad hoc group took place from 4 to 6 January 1995.

3. Chemical weapons

36. After more than 20 years of negotiations, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction was concluded in the Conference on Disarmament in September 1992. The same year, the General Assembly adopted without a vote resolution 47/39 of 30 November 1992, in which it commended the Convention and requested the Secretary-General, in his capacity as depositary, to open it for signature. One hundred thirty States signed the Convention during the signing ceremony held in Paris from 13 to 15 January 1993. By 10 March 1995, 159 States had signed and 27 had ratified the Convention, which will come into force 180 days after at least 65 States have ratified it.

37. The Chemical Weapons Convention is the first global, comprehensive and verifiable multilateral disarmament agreement which provides for the elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. After the entry into force of the Convention, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will be established to ensure its effective implementation. In order to develop appropriate procedures both to provide a basis for the future organization and to assist States in their own preparations, the Preparatory Commission for the Organization was established on 8 February 1993 at The Hague.

38. The multilateral negotiations on the Convention were greatly influenced by the progress in the bilateral negotiations between the former Soviet Union and the United States. In 1990, those States signed an Agreement on the Destruction and Non-Production of Chemical Weapons to Facilitate the Multilateral Convention on Banning Chemical Weapons. In June 1992, the United States and the Russian Federation entered into a weapons destruction and non-proliferation agreement which, inter alia, provides for assistance to the Russian Federation in achieving the destruction of nuclear, chemical and other weapons; the safe and secure transportation and storage of such weapons in connection with their destruction; and the establishment of additional verification measures against the proliferation of such weapons that pose a risk of proliferation. 12/ To accomplish those objectives with regard to chemical weapons, the United States and the Russian Federation in July 1992 concluded the Agreement concerning the Safe, Secure and Ecologically Sound Destruction of Chemical Weapons. 13/ At their summit meeting in January 1994, both States reaffirmed their desire to facilitate the safe, secure, timely and ecologically sound destruction of their chemical weapons. 14/

39. Efforts of the members of the so-called Australia Group, which first met in 1985, have continued with a view to helping to prevent the spread of chemical and biological weapons through controls of chemical precursors, biological organisms and toxins and equipment which might have uses for chemical, biological and toxin weapons. In connection with the conclusion of the negotiations on the Chemical Weapons Convention in August 1992, the members of the Australia Group issued a statement underlining their readiness "to review, in the light of the implementation of the Convention, the measures that they take to prevent the spread of chemical substances and equipment for purposes contrary to the objectives of the Convention, with the aim of removing such measures for the benefit of States parties to the Convention acting in full compliance with their obligations under the Convention". 15/ The non-aligned countries, at their Eleventh Ministerial Meeting, held at Cairo in May/June 1994, expressed their objection to ad hoc export control groups which, in their view, "on the pretext of non-proliferation of armaments" could impede the economic and social development of developing countries. They reiterated the need for multilaterally negotiated, universal, comprehensive and non-discriminatory disarmament agreements to address proliferation problems. 16/

4. Other weapons of mass destruction

40. The issue of new weapons of mass destruction has long been under consideration within the framework of the United Nations. Attention was given to the prevention of the emergence of new types of weapons of mass destruction based on new scientific principles and achievements besides the existing atomic, biological and chemical weapons. It has not been possible so far, however, to find generally acceptable criteria for the identification of such weapons. As a result, both the General Assembly and the Conference on Disarmament have tended to focus on prohibitions of specific categories of weapons, in particular radiological weapons. 17/ In the regional context, an initiative was launched by Egypt on the establishment of a zone free from weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East (see NPT/CONF.1995/5).

41. The Conference on Disarmament has continued to consider the question of a convention prohibiting the development, production, stockpiling and use of radiological weapons. Until 1992, the negotiations took place in an Ad Hoc Committee set up for that purpose. Consideration focused on two aspects: (a) the prohibition of radiological weapons in the traditional sense, and (b) the prohibition of attacks against nuclear facilities. It has not been possible so far to find ways of dealing with both aspects in a single instrument, and little progress was made with regard to either of these elements. The Ad Hoc Committee was not re-established in 1993 and 1994 and the issue has been dealt with in plenary meetings only. The General Assembly requested the Conference on Disarmament to keep the question under review, with expert assistance, as appropriate.

42. In recent years, the Security Council has also taken action on the subject of weapons of mass destruction. Following the Gulf war, the Security Council in April 1991 adopted resolution 687 (1991), by which it imposed upon Iraq various unconditional obligations concerning the destruction, removal or rendering harmless of all chemical and biological weapons, and, in addition, an unconditional obligation not to acquire or to develop nuclear weapons or nuclear-weapon-usable material or any subsystem or component or any research, development, support or manufacturing facilities related thereto. In accordance with the same resolution, the Security Council set up the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) which, since then, has cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a monitoring and verification programme to verify compliance by Iraq with those obligations (for details, see NPT/CONF.1995/7). Furthermore, in a statement adopted at a summit meeting on 31 January 1992, 18/ the Security Council, inter alia, affirmed that "the proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction constitutes a threat to international peace and security". The members of the Council committed themselves to working to prevent the spread of technology related to the research for or production of such weapons and to take appropriate action to that end.

5. Limitation and reduction of conventional weapons and
arms transfers on a world-wide and regional basis

Conventional disarmament

43. Traditionally, in the deliberations on disarmament within the framework of the United Nations, more consideration tended to be given to issues relating to weapons of mass destruction than to the question of conventional armaments. Most recently, since the beginning of the reduction in nuclear weapons and with a growing number of armed conflicts involving conventional weapons, there has been an increased awareness of the need to address conventional disarmament as well. In 1990, the Disarmament Commission adopted by consensus a text in which it identified a number of issues and possible measures in the field of conventional arms reductions and disarmament. As a result of the crisis and war in the Gulf in 1991, the trend towards increased emphasis on conventional armaments and, consequently, conventional disarmament was further strengthened. The General Assembly has adopted many resolutions and decisions on various aspects of the conventional arms race and conventional disarmament. Discussion at the United Nations focused on issues such as limitations on conventional weapons; transparency in international arms transfers and arms production; curbing the illicit traffic in conventional arms; transparency in military expenditures; inhumane weapons and the Convention restricting their use; and, recently, regulation of the transfer of technology with military applications.

Register of Conventional Arms

44. It has long been recognized that transfers of conventional weapons have immediate implications for any efforts to reduce such weapons. Attempts to limit that trade may not receive universal support, however. Developing States that do not have indigenous production of conventional weapons have always emphasized the need to import arms to meet their perceived security needs. The Persian Gulf conflict in 1990-1991 is widely seen as having contributed to the view that the accumulation of advanced conventional weaponry can play a major role in causing or aggravating regional armed conflicts and as such may constitute an important threat to international stability. Accordingly, there have been numerous proposals recently for the development of a multilateral mechanism to regulate the transfer of conventional weapons.

45. In order to create the conditions of greater confidence among States in international relations, an increased emphasis has begun to be placed on the need to ensure greater transparency with regard to arms transfers as the first minimal step that could be taken in that respect. In this connection, in 1991 the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms was established as a voluntary confidence-building measure. It was put into operation on 1 January 1992. In April 1993, Member States for the first time began voluntarily to submit data on arms transfers in seven categories of conventional arms, as well as available background information regarding military holdings, procurement through national production and relevant policies for the calendar year 1992. The Register is intended to be global in nature, compiling information voluntarily submitted by Member States. It is aimed at promoting a readiness to exercise restraint in the process of accumulating arms and is regarded as having the potential to be an effective instrument of preventive diplomacy. For the calendar year 1992, the Governments of 90 countries submitted replies, and for 1993, replies were submitted by 88 countries. In 1994, a Group of Governmental Experts was established to review the continuing operation of the Register and its further development. The report of the Group was submitted to the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session, in 1994. 19/ At the same session, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to set up another group of governmental experts in 1997 to review the continuing operation of the Register and its further development. 20/

Prohibition or restrictions of use of certain conventional weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects

46. The Inhumane Weapons Convention of 1981, to which are annexed three Protocols on specific types of weapons, bans or curbs the use of certain categories of weapons. In the last few years, there have been many cases in which weapons prohibited by the Convention were used against civilians in conflicts around the world. Thus, for instance, although Protocol II to the Convention prohibits or restricts the use of mines, booby traps and other devices, there are millions of mines scattered throughout the world in present or former conflict areas. Several States have called for an investigation of the alleged violations as well as for the convening of a review conference or an amendment conference, as provided for in the Convention. Specifically, States have called for a strengthening of the Convention in regard to land-mines, to provide for a verification mechanism and to ensure that land-mines are manufactured in such a manner as to be detectable and that they are endowed with a self-destructive capacity once hostilities cease. Upon the request of France, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, as the depositary of the Convention, has established a Group of Governmental Experts to prepare a review conference, which will be held at Vienna from 25 September to 13 October 1995. The Group has held four sessions in the period from February 1994 to January 1995.

47. The increasing concern over the use of anti-personnel land-mines led to the adoption by consensus by the General Assembly in 1993 and 1994, of resolutions on a moratorium on the export of such weapons. 21/ The Assembly also adopted resolutions on assistance in mine clearance, in which it welcomed the establishment, within the Secretariat, of a Mine Clearance and Policy Unit as a focal point for coordinating mine clearance, and the establishment of a voluntary trust fund to finance information and training programmes and to facilitate the launching of mine-clearance operations. The Assembly also requested the Secretary-General to report on the problems involved, including the financial aspects, and to consider the convening of an international meeting on mine clearance. 22/

Regional limitation and reduction of armed forces and of conventional weapons

48. During the period under review, the States of Central America continued their efforts to establish a firm and lasting peace in the subregion. Building upon the basis laid down by the Esquipulas I and II agreements, 23/ the Presidents of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua in December 1990 declared Central America to be a region of peace, freedom, democracy and development. 24/ Negotiations were undertaken within a Security Commission, which also reached agreement on a new security model based on coordination, communication and prevention, confidence-building between the States of the region and control and limitation of arms and military personnel.

49. The General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1992 adopted a resolution by which it accepted, as a guiding principle of regional disarmament, arms control and limitation policies, the requirement to enhance security and stability at the lowest possible level of forces consistent with defence requirements and international commitments. 25/ In 1993, the General Assembly of OAS agreed to undertake a work programme that would include, inter alia, global and regional disarmament and arms control; the relationship between development, environment and disarmament; the promotion of openness and transparency in the transfer of conventional weapons, including the provision of information to registers on conventional weapons and exchanges of information on national policies; and the consideration of measures to promote confidence and transparency.

50. Negotiations on conventional armed forces in Europe started in 1989 in Vienna between NATO and the then Warsaw Treaty Organization. They were successfully concluded in November 1990 with the signing of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty) by the 22 States participating in the talks. For the two groups of States (NATO member States and WTO member States), as defined by the Treaty, the Treaty establishes equal total ceilings for certain items of land-based military equipment. Collectively, the countries of each of the two groups of States, which are parties to the Treaty, may hold in Europe up to 20,000 battle tanks, 30,000 armoured combat vehicles, 20,000 pieces of artillery, 6,800 combat aircraft and 2,000 combat helicopters. The Treaty aims at establishing a secure and stable balance of conventional armed forces in Europe at lower levels, eliminating the disparities threatening stability and security and also eliminating, as a matter of high priority, the capability for launching surprise attacks and for initiating large-scale offensive action in Europe. Negotiations were subsequently held on a follow-on agreement on the personnel strength of conventional armed forces in Europe. An agreement setting out limits on personnel levels decided upon by each party (NATO and former WTO members or their successor States) and providing for exchanges of information on such forces was concluded in July 1992. Both Treaties entered into force in July 1992. The reductions agreed upon are being carried out in phases, and, by 1995, national levels must be below the declared limits.

6. Prevention of an arms race in outer space

51. As in previous years, the prevention of an arms race in outer space received attention in the multilateral forums. The General Assembly has each year adopted resolutions on the subject, and the Conference on Disarmament has considered the subject in an Ad Hoc Committee. So far, basically two approaches have been discussed: amending the existing agreements, such as the Outer Space Treaty, which only covers weapons of mass destruction, or drafting new agreements. Most developing States support negotiations on a universal, comprehensive, legally binding, multilateral and effectively verifiable treaty banning an arms race in outer space. Some delegations of the Group of Western States consider that the Charter of the United Nations, the existing multilateral treaties relating to outer space and the outer space-related arms control provisions of other multilateral and bilateral treaties, together with customary international law, as well as the domestic law of individual nations, interact and complement each other in such a way that together they provide an equitable, practical, balanced and extensive legal system for ensuring the use of outer space for peaceful purposes. Studies on the application of confidence-building measures in outer space 26/ and on international cooperation in space activities for enhancing security in the post-cold-war era 27/ were submitted by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly in 1993. In the Conference on Disarmament, growing interest was evinced in negotiating confidence-building measures as an intermediate step towards the goal of achieving a safe and stable regime in outer space. The discussions moved closer to a convergence of views on the desirability of elaborating measures designed to strengthen transparency, confidence and security in outer space affairs. There were suggestions that specific confidence-building measures, such as the exchange of information on planned and actual space activities, the establishment of an international notification centre and the development of a code of conduct, could form an integral part of the overall goal of preventing an arms race in outer space. In 1994, the Ad Hoc Committee carried out substantive work on legal and terminological issues and on confidence-building measures.

7. Arms limitation and disarmament measures relating
to the environment and to the sea

52. The Second Review Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques was held in 1992. In the Final Declaration, adopted by consensus, the Conference reaffirmed the strong common interest of the States parties in preventing the use of environmental modification techniques for military or any other hostile purposes and confirmed that the obligations assumed under the ENMOD Convention had been faithfully observed. An understanding was reached that military or any other hostile use of herbicides as an environmental modification technique was a method of warfare prohibited by the Convention if such use of herbicides upset the ecological balance of the region, thus causing widespread, long-lasting or severe effects as a means of destruction, damage or injury to any State party. The Conference also stressed that due attention should be given to all relevant research, developments and new techniques in the fields of science and technology.

53. The Third Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Seabed and the Ocean Floor and in the Subsoil Thereof, held in 1989, requested the Secretary-General to report at three-year intervals on developments relevant to the Seabed Treaty and on verification of compliance with its provisions. Pursuant to that request, the Secretary-General in 1992 submitted a report to the General Assembly transmitting replies from Governments regarding technological developments relevant to the Treaty. 28/ A Fourth Review Conference is due to be held not earlier than 1996.

8. Science and technology

New scientific and technological developments; advanced technologies

54. Considerable attention continues to be given to the question of modern military technology and its impact on international security. However, the differences in approach to the subject remain much the same as before. Whereas the industrialized countries tend to emphasize the positive effects of science and technology, many developing countries express concern about the possible negative impact of its military application. Both approaches are reflected in resolutions adopted annually by the General Assembly, and efforts to merge the two drafts have so far been unsuccessful. 29/ The Secretary-General has submitted several reports on the subject to the General Assembly, 30/ and since 1991, the Disarmament Commission has considered the item entitled "The role of science and technology in the context of international security, disarmament and other related fields". Consideration of the item was scheduled for completion in 1994. Although considerable progress had been made, the Commission was not able to reach consensus on a set of guidelines and recommendations during its 1994 session.

Missile Technology Control Regime

55. In recent years, not only sophisticated and high-technology weapons, but also the military technology and operational know-how involved have been the subject of international transfers. In reaction to that trend, the idea has emerged to complement the existing restraints on supplies of nuclear material and equipment by restraints on supplies of dual-capable systems, i.e., systems capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear weapons. However, this idea has not been generally accepted. Many developing countries take the view that such restrictions are discriminatory and fear that they may adversely affect their economic development. Most industrialized countries, on the other hand, maintain that there is a need to strengthen the existing control regimes involving the transfer of science and technology which could be used for military purposes. The guidelines for sensitive missile-relevant transfers, adopted in April 1987 by the Missile Technology Control Regime, a group of supplier States, 31/ had the declared objective of limiting the risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by controlling transfers that could make a contribution to delivery systems. The rules limit the export of ballistic missiles with a range of at least 300 kilometres and a payload of at least 500 kilograms. 32/ The Regime, originally meant to control only transfers of equipment and technology which could make a contribution to missile systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons, was amended in July 1992 to cover also missiles capable of delivering biological and chemical weapons.

9. Confidence-building measures/transparency in armaments

56. The concept of confidence-building has been developed within the United Nations framework encompassing a variety of measures conducive to achieving structures of security based on cooperation and openness. After having endorsed guidelines for appropriate types of confidence-building measures which were elaborated by the Disarmament Commission in 1988, the General Assembly has, in recent years, adopted various resolutions on the subject. 33/ In these resolutions, the Assembly, inter alia, stressed the need for the development and implementation of confidence-building measures as a concrete means to facilitate the disarmament and arms limitation process and to improve the prospects for the peaceful settlement of disputes, thus contributing to maintaining and enhancing regional and international peace and security. In 1994, the Secretary-General submitted a report on regional confidence-building measures dealing specifically with the region of Central Africa. 34/

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

57. The issue of confidence- and security-building measures was first discussed by the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). Having adopted the Helsinki Final Act in 1975, the original 35 participating States held major follow-up meetings at Belgrade, Madrid, Vienna, Helsinki and Budapest. In November 1990, a new set of 16 mutually complementary confidence- and security-building measures designed to reduce the risk of military confrontation in Europe was signed at Vienna. A comprehensive document was adopted in 1992 which introduced more detailed measures relating to exchanging information, providing advance notice of military exercises and limiting those exercises. At the Helsinki summit meeting in July 1992, the 52 participating States of CSCE, including the successor States of the former Soviet Union, adopted the "Helsinki Document 1992 - The Challenge of Change". They decided to strengthen the CSCE institutions and structures and to begin new negotiations on arms control, disarmament and confidence- and security-building. A new CSCE Forum for Security Cooperation was established at Vienna, with a strengthened Conflict Prevention Centre, as an integral part of CSCE.

58. At its meeting in January 1993, the Forum focused on European armed conflicts, including those in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and the former Yugoslavia. The Forum also considered a number of other questions, i.e., harmonization of arms control obligations, a code of conduct in military matters, global exchange of military information, non-proliferation of weapons, conventional arms transfers and information exchange on defence planning and military contacts. Significant discussions were also held with regard to the implementation of confidence- and security-building measures. A summit meeting took place at Budapest in December 1994. The participating States changed the name of CSCE to "Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe" (OSCE) and, inter alia, adopted a declaration entitled "Towards a genuine partnership in a new era", a code of conduct on politico-military aspects of security; decisions for strengthening the Organization; documents on the further development of the conflict prevention and crisis management capabilities, and on further tasks of the Forum for Security Cooperation; principles governing non-proliferation; and a common and comprehensive security model for Europe for the twenty-first century. 35/

Regional Forum of the Association of South-East Asian Nations

59. In the South-East Asian region, the First Meeting of the Regional Forum of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) was held at Bangkok on 25 July 1994. At that meeting, it was agreed, inter alia, that the constructive dialogue and consultation on political and security issues of common interest and concern would make significant contributions to confidence-building and preventive diplomacy in the region (see NPT/CONF.1995/5).

Objective information on military matters and transparency in armaments

60. Convinced that objective information and greater openness with respect to military activities would contribute to a greater degree of confidence among States, the various disarmament bodies in the framework of the United Nations have, in recent years, paid increasing attention to that issue. The General Assembly has recommended a variety of ways to promote transparency in armaments as part of the general process of confidence-building. The Disarmament Commission in 1992 adopted by consensus a set of guidelines and recommendations for objective information on military matters, 36/ which were endorsed unanimously by the Assembly in its resolution 47/54 B of 9 December 1992. The guidelines stated that openness and transparency help to build confidence, relax tensions and promote agreements on other measures of disarmament. In 1994, the Secretary-General submitted a report to the Assembly on the implementation of the guidelines and recommendations based on national reports of accumulated experience in the field. 37/

61. In 1992, the Conference on Disarmament had begun to address the issue of transparency in armaments. An Ad Hoc Committee was established in 1993 and continued its work in 1994. The Committee examined various proposals for improving transparency and openness in military matters and for augmenting the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (see paras. 44 and 45 above). It also discussed ways to increase openness and transparency with respect to excessive and destabilizing accumulations of arms, to military holdings and procurement through national production and to transfers of high technology with military applications and of weapons of mass destruction. The Committee, furthermore, continued the examination of interrelated aspects and elaboration of universal and non-discriminatory practical means to increase openness and transparency in the field of armaments.

Treaty on Open Skies

62. The Treaty on Open Skies was signed at Helsinki on 24 March 1992 by Canada, the United States and 23 European States. The aim of the Treaty, which creates an open skies regime over the territory from Vancouver, Canada to Vladivostok, Russian Federation, is to develop greater openness and transparency by opening the airspace over the signatory States to flights by unarmed surveillance aircraft. The agreement facilitates the monitoring of compliance with existing or future arms control agreements and confidence-building measures. An Open Skies Consultative Commission was established at Vienna with the mandate to oversee the implementation and operation of the Treaty. The agreement is of unlimited duration and will enter into force 60 days after the deposit of 20 instruments of ratification. Three years after entry into force and at five-year intervals thereafter, review conferences will take place.

10. Economic aspects of disarmament

63. The possibility of reducing the huge financial, material and human resources devoted to the military sector and reallocating part of them to the civilian sector of national economies has been the object of deliberations within the framework of the United Nations for over three decades. In the post-cold-war era, however, the possibility of reallocating resources from the military to the civilian sector has received the renewed attention of the international community. Another issue of growing relevance is that of the economic costs of disarmament. Now that some significant arms reductions are actually taking place, many States are facing unforeseen costs relating to the safe physical dismantling and destruction of weapons or their storage, to the prevention of related environmental hazards and to measures of verification of disarmament agreements. The main finding of a report on economic aspects of disarmament prepared by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in 1992 38/ was that disarmament has major economic consequences involving short-term costs as well as long-term benefits.

64. With the prospects of significant reductions in armed forces and armaments in the 1990s, the issue of the "peace dividend" has drawn considerable attention. Since the beginning of the decade the world-wide trend in military spending has been downward. However, the improved political environment has not yet had a major impact on military budgets and, so far, hopes for a massive peace dividend for productive and development-oriented needs have not yet materialized. Recently, efforts were renewed to achieve wider participation in the voluntary system for standardized reporting on military expenditures, in which, in 1980, the General Assembly had recommended that Member States take part. 39/ Since then, the Secretary-General has submitted each year standardized reports to the Assembly containing information provided by Member States with regard to their military expenditure. So far, around 40 States have participated in the reporting system. The Assembly, in its resolution 49/66 of 15 December 1994, which was adopted without a vote, requested the Secretary-General to seek the views of Member States on ways and means to strengthen and broaden participation in the reporting system.

65. In recent years, the issue of conversion has gained new prominence. An expert study on the potential uses of military-related resources for protection of the environment was submitted to the General Assembly in 1991. Conferences on conversion and related subjects were held in Moscow in 1990 and 1992; in Beijing in 1991; in Dortmund, Germany, and in Washington in 1992; and in Hong Kong in 1993. Lately there has been increasing support for governmental action in the area where disarmament and development meet, that is, in conversion. It is widely felt that international cooperation, exchanges and research in support of military-to-civilian conversion should be expanded; that multilateral and private financial institutions should address the funding requirement of conversion; and that information is a crucial resource in the conversion process. The Secretary-General regularly reports on specific activities concerning the relationship between disarmament and development 40/ in accordance with requests made by the International Conference on the Relationship between Disarmament and Development, which was held in 1987. In his report to the Assembly at its forty-ninth session, 41/ the Secretary-General stressed that in the light of the changed international situation and the lessons learned through national attempts at dealing with military and economic adjustments in the post-cold-war era, a critical review would provide new directives and guidelines for further activities on the part of the Secretariat in that important area which would reflect the new realities in international relations. President Yeltsin, in his address to the forty-ninth session of the General Assembly, 42/ proposed that a conference be convened in 1996 under United Nations auspices on international cooperation in the field of conversion.


1/ Article VI of the Treaty reads as follows:

"Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear-arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."

2/ The resolutions were adopted with the following voting results: 45/59 B (125 to 17, with 10 abstentions); 46/37 D (122-16-22); 47/53 C (126-21-21); 48/76 B (120-23-24); and 49/76 E (115-24-31).

3/ Resolution 49/75 K (78-43-38).

4/ Adopted as resolution 49/75 P (171-0-1).

5/ Adopted as resolution 49/75 L (without a vote).

6/ For details, see NPT/CONF.III/5 and NPT/CONF.IV/5.

7/ Resolution 48/75 L.

8/ See CD/1258.

9/ See CD/1285. In connection with the accession by Ukraine to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, a memorandum on security assurances was adopted by the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States and Ukraine (see NPT/CONF.1995/6).

10/ According to published figures, the present levels (post-START I) of the nuclear forces of the nuclear-weapon States are as follows: United States: 9,279; Russian Federation: 7,863; France: 525; China: 435; United Kingdom: 200.

11/ See A/49/PV.8.

12/ CD/1162.

13/ CD/1161.

14/ The United States promised to provide $30 million in assistance to support an analytical chemical laboratory in the Russian Federation to facilitate chemical weapons destruction and agreed to consider appropriate additional measures to support the Russian Federation's chemical weapons destruction programme.

15/ CD/1164.

16/ CD/1261, para. 53.

17/ Radiological weapons are devices containing radioactive substances, which are dispersed by conventional explosives.

18/ S/23500.

19/ A/49/316.

20/ Resolution 49/75 C.

21/ Resolutions 48/75 K and 49/75 D.

22/ Resolutions 48/7 and 49/215.

23/ For details, see NPT/CONF.IV/5, para. 136.

24/ Declaration of Puntarenas (A/45/906-S/22032, annex).

25/ AG/RES.1179 (XXII-0/92).

26/ A/48/305 and Corr.1.

27/ A/48/221.

28/ A/47/362.

29/ See resolutions 49/67 and 49/68.

30/ A/45/568, A/48/360 and 49/502.

31/ The original members were Canada, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Subsequently Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland joined. At the Interlaken meeting, held from 29 November to 2 December 1993, Argentina and Hungary participated, bringing the number of members to 25.

32/ Ballistic missiles include the following: space-launched vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, primary re-entry vehicles, target drones and cruise missiles.

33/ Resolutions 45/58 M, 45/62 F, 46/37 B, 47/53 F, 47/54 D, 48/76 A, 49/76 C and 49/77 D.

34/ A/49/546.

35/ A/49/800-S/1994/1435.

36/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-seventh Session, Suppelement No. 42 (A/47/42), annex I.

37/ A/49/225.

38/ A/47/346.

39/ General Assembly resolution 35/142 B, para. 2.

40/ A/44/449, A/45/592, A/46/527, A/47/452 and A/48/400.

41/ A/49/476.

42/ See A/49/PV.5.