On 19 November 2008, the Security Council held an open thematic debate on strengthening collective security through general regulation and reduction of armaments. Opening the meeting, chairman President Oscar Arias Sánchez of Costa Rica said that his country had convened the debate in order to examine Article 26 of the United Nations Carter, which gave the Council the duty to promote peace and security with the least diversion of resources for armaments.
In a message to the meeting (delivered in his absence by Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs) the Secretary-General noted that achieving a sense of collective security was a vital step towards preventing conflict. That was why conflict prevention was very high on his agenda, and why the international community must strengthen its ability to minimize the potential for conflict.
In addition to all Council members, the representatives of Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, Ecuador, Australia, Switzerland, Argentina, Guatemala, Spain, Pakistan, Colombia, Austria, Morocco, Canada, Armenia, United Republic of Tanzania, Qatar, Benin, Algeria and Japan also made statements, as did the Permanent Observer of the Holy See.
At the end of the meeting the President of the Council issued a Presidential Statement on behalf of all Council members which noted that the Security Council considered that the regulation and reduction of armaments and armed forces, as appropriate, constituted one of the most important measures to promote international peace and security with the least diversion of the world’s human and economic resources.