This topic was first included on the disarmament agenda in 1995. Colombia, acting on behalf Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (NAM), introduced a draft resolution entitled “Observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control” at the First Committee of the General Assembly on 8 November 1995.
The resolution, 50/70 M (page 18), was adopted by the General Assembly on 12 December 1995 by a recorded vote of 157 in favour, 4 against and with 2 abstentions. The resolution invited the Conference on Disarmament to take every necessary measure to include in negotiating treaties and agreements on disarmament and arms limitation the corresponding environmental norms, with a view to ensuring that the process of implementation of such treaties and agreements is environmentally sound, in particular the destruction of weapons covered by them. The resolution also put particular emphasis on the need to ensure that the environment is protected in the process of implementing Chemical Weapons Convention destruction activities. Subsequent resolutions placed emphasis on radiological weapons and radiological waste and called for environmentally sound measures to be adopted in association with any activities in Antarctica, the seabed and outer space.
In 1997, the General Assembly adopted resolution 52/38 E (page 7) on the same subject but this resolution also included a call to Member States to communicate to the Secretary-General information on the measures they have adopted to promote the objectives envisaged in the resolution, and requested the Secretary-General to submit a report to the General Assembly at its 53rd session (1998). Three countries responded (Cuba, Mexico and Viet Nam). The Secretary-General has issued an annual report on this issue since 1998.