Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 20, November 1997
UNGA Endorses Reform Programme, New Disarmament DepartmentOn 12 November, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing implementation of a package of reform measures originally published in a July 1997 report - Renewing the United Nations: a Programme for Reform (A/51/590) - by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, submitted to the Assembly (A/52/1) on 22 September. One of the proposals was for the establishment of a Department of Disarmament and Arms Regulation (DDAR) - see issue no.17 (July/August 1997) for a Guest Analysis on the issue by Jim Wurst.
By 12 November, the title of the Department had been modified to the Department of Disarmament Affairs (DDA). The name change was recommended during open-ended, informal discussions aimed at drawing up a consensus resolution. On 4 November, the change was accepted by Annan in an address to the Assembly summarising his perception of the reaction to his reform package.
Under the terms of the 12 November resolution, the Assembly "decide[s] to continue with the consideration of the Secretary-General's report...; ...request[s] the Secretary-General to present a report on the implementation of the actions described in his report to the fifty-third session...;...call[s] upon him, while implementing the actions described in his report, to take account of the views and comments expressed by Member States and groups of Member States...;...[and] stress[es] that the actions will be implemented with full respect for the relevant mandates, decisions and resolution of the General Assembly."
Reports: Transformation of UN into institution to face challenges of twenty-first century is shared responsibility of Secretary-General and member States, United Nations Press Release SG/2041, 4 November; General Assembly endorses Secretary-General's reform actions, United Nations Press Release GA/9354/Rev.1, 12 November.
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