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Disarmament Diplomacy No. 79, Cover design by Paul Aston and Calvert's Press

Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 79, April/May 2005

2004 UN First Committee:
Better Organised, with Deep Divisions

Rebecca Johnson

The 59th First Committee (Disarmament and International Security), chaired by Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba of Mexico, adopted 52 resolutions and 3 decisions during its five-week meeting from October 4 to November 5, but this tally does not adequately reflect the constructive changes and considerable additional work carried out under the leadership of the most dynamic and determined Chair seen for many years. The First Committee also benefited from having a new Secretary, Cheryl Stoute, who transferred from the Department of Disarmament Affairs to become Chief of the UN Disarmament and Decolonisation Affairs Branch, including responsibilities for the First Committee.

US oppositionalism

Taking place in the shadow of the US elections, in which George W. Bush was elected president for a further four years, the 59th First Committee was at times in virtual limbo. Some resolutions, most notably on the fissile materials treaty, were delayed till after November 2, in hope that the election results would make compromise possible. The votes tell the underlying political story. Of 22 resolutions adopted by recorded vote, the United States voted against 16. In the Generally Assembly the tiny Pacific Island of Palau was dragged along, and like the proverbial figleaf, Palau's powerless vote only served to accentuate the US's nakedness. This role is particularly bitter for the people of Palau who lost a long battle with US power during the 1980s in valiant efforts to preserve their independence, peaceful status and environmental integrity.

On the occasions when it did not vote against, the US was generally among the abstainers. In addition to forcing cover from Palau and sometimes Micronesia and the Marshall Islands (two other Pacific territories completely under US control, with large military bases and legacies of contamination from nuclear testing), US voting patterns were frequently echoed by Israel. Though sometimes contained by collective EU votes, the United Kingdom also switched from some of its past positions to vote more closely with the United States, most shockingly in its abstention on Canada's resolution supporting negotiations on a verifiable cut-off treaty, where consensus was broken for the first time since 1993.

Four votes - the United States, Israel, Palau and Haiti - stood between the resolution seeking negotiations to prevent an arms race in outer space (PAROS) and consensus.

By contrast, almost all the resolutions dealing with biological and chemical arms and conventional weapons such as landmines, small arms and light weapons (SALW), were adopted without a vote, including a new resolution on Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS), introduced by Australia. Moreover, as various resolutions sponsored by African, Asian and Latin American states indicated, there is a growing sense of collective responsibility, especially in some regions, for tackling these less apocalyptic, but no less deadly weapons.

Useful practical reforms adopted

For several years the First Committee has spent time talking about doing something to reform its own workings, which had become ritualistic, routine, and cumbersome. In his opening address, Ambassador de Alba observed that the multilateral system for disarmament and international security was in a state of paralysis, mentioning specifically the Conference on Disarmament and the UN Disarmament Commission. He therefore emphasised that it was the duty of the First Committee to reaffirm the urgent need for progress and to identify practical measures on substantive issues. To this end, the universal political and normative environment needed to be made more conducive to dialogue than at present, based on shared interests and enabling collective action.

Though he was up against some very entrenched national positions, the Chair managed to pilot through several important improvements. Traditionally, the First Committee begins with a General Debate in which many ambassadors provide longer versions of the disarmament-related aspects of the presentations their heads of state have already made to the General Assembly in September. In the past, the doors were then closed for 'informal' meetings, which were defined as closed to NGOs because there were no verbatim records. Yet delegations did little more than make further speeches, this time geared towards various themed 'clusters'. They also introduced their resolutions.

In 2004, following the General Debate, there were thematic sessions on key issues such as prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS), nuclear disarmament and conventional disarmament (small arms and light weapons). Not only were these made open to civil society this year, through the sensible device of designating them 'informal' - i.e. without verbatim records - and 'open'; de Alba also instituted two other long overdue innovations by inviting experts and officials and encouraging 'interactivity'.

Some, such as the Directors of the three UN Regional Centres for peace and disarmament and the heads of certain agencies had formal roles within the system, but did not usually speak; the new process made it possible for them to highlight priority issues and respond to questions from the delegations. As part of the Chair's innovations, Dr Patricia Lewis, Director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), was invited to kick off the discussions on reform, to stimulate thinking in a session that was genuinely intended to be interactive, with questions and responses. Inevitably, the first attempts were rather stilted, but many thought it was a good start and expected it to work better once delegations got more used to discussing controversial issues instead of just pontificating about them.

As can be seen from the resolutions listed below, a number carry instructions for a study or a Group of Governmental Experts to be established. The United States initially argued for such studies to be limited to one a year. Despite sympathy with the US desire to ensure closer monitoring of the financial and resource outlay put into such studies, there was scant support for arbitrarily limiting the numbers. However, there was considerable endorsement for the Chair's proposal to utilise the results of the studies more fully and effectively. Arguing for reports to have a more substantive role in Committee deliberations, de Alba suggested developing a template to facilitate more structured responses from governments, and inviting representatives from Groups of Experts to give interim progress reports and introduce the main findings in a relevant interactive, thematic session. Arguing also for a more "conceptual and analytic" approach, the Chair stressed the importance of making such reports available electronically to widen their audience and impact.

Following steps undertaken in 2002 and 2003 to rationalise the work of the First Committee, both the United States and the Group of Non-Aligned States had submitted draft resolutions on "Improving the effectiveness of the methods of work of the First Committee". Though not mutually exclusive, the drafts took rival approaches. To avoid divisive votes on the two resolutions, the Chair encouraged the proposers to hold intensive negotiations to seek a compromise text, also involving other interested parties. The compromise, which was put to the First Committee on its final day, November 5, incorporated ideas from the Chair, the NAM, the US, the EU and others.

Because many agenda items have changed little over the years and are regarded as routine, there is already acceptance for bringing some resolutions up for consideration every two or three years instead of annually. Although the US had wanted this to be automatic, it did not obtain agreement for reasons of politics and the difficulties some perceived in ensuring the right criteria. Instead, the First Committee agreed that biennialisation or triennialisation of resolutions should be encouraged on a voluntary basis wherever appropriate.

They also agreed to strive for more concise and action-oriented resolutions, and endorsed the holding of more focussed, interactive debates. Sponsors of resolutions are encouraged to consult with a view to finding commonalities and merging texts on similar issues. Accepting much of the Chair's non-paper, the resolution endorses the suggestions of including presentations and focussing discussions on the work of expert groups, regional centres, UNIDIR and other relevant specialists. At the behest of the United States, the resolution also requires that the Committee be informed of estimated costs for resolutions and decisions that have been recommended.

The 2004 First Committee resolutions, as in past years, were grouped in accordance with ten issue-based clusters. Some of these clusters, such as PAROS and something called "related matters of disarmament and international security", contained only one resolution each, while there was abiding confusion about the distinctions being made when some resolutions were allocated to 'international security' and some to 'other disarmament matters'. Ambassador de Alba succeeded in getting agreement to reduce the ten clusters to seven, more logically distributed. These are: nuclear weapons; other weapons of mass destruction; outer space; conventional weapons; regional disarmament and security; other disarmament measures and international security; and disarmament machinery.

In the listing and analysis of the 2004 resolutions and decision provided below, the Acronym Institute suggests an even more fundamental rationalisation, turning the ten clusters into five: (i) nuclear, chemical, biological weapons, missiles and outer space; (ii) regional security and nuclear weapon free zones; (iii) conventional weapons; (iv) international security, disarmament principles and measures; and finally (v) disarmament machinery and education.

Clusters iii-v are rather similar to the Chair's clusters iv-vii, though not identical. Clusters i and ii, however, illustrate differing logics. Neither is right or wrong; inevitably the allocation of certain topics or resolutions may appear logical to some, but arbitrary or politically sensitive to others. While there may be understandable political reasons for keeping nuclear separate from delivery means and other WMD, there are also advantages in putting all WMD, delivery means and space arms resolutions together. Particularly if thematic cluster debates are envisaged, these are issues that have impact on each other and can be more coherently addressed if the linkages are recognised. PAROS is included here because space launch technology and missile defence relate closely to missiles, and both missile proliferation and the weaponisation of space are likely to result in the kind of destabilisation of international security and mass destructive consequences associated with WMD. Similarly, there are important ways in which WMD, missiles, and the Hague Code of Conduct are linked.

While it is obvious that nuclear weapons and nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZ) are linked, putting NWFZs in a cluster together with regional security underlines that NWFZs are actually about the renunciation of nuclear weapons. Not only do they prohibit nuclear weapon-related activities within their zones of compliance, but they also act as a regional mechanism for confidence-building, and can thus contribute to regional disarmament, stability and what some resolutions call "good neighbourliness". By contrast, when NWFZs are lumped in with the more controversial nuclear resolutions, their relevance in helping to build the conditions for potential proliferators to pull back from the brink may be obscured by the debates about nuclear dangers, the rationalisation of nuclear forces at lower levels, and the continuing failure of the nuclear powers to accomplish nuclear disarmament.

The 59th First Committee was more interesting and substantive than most. Ambassador de Alba made very creditable inroads into past entrenched rituals and has helped breathe new air into the First Committee's lungs. Whether the air will represent renewed life and vigour remains to seen. As we head towards the 60th General Assembly, it will be important for de Alba's successors to carry on with the principles of openness, interactivity, and more effective sharing of information, ideas and responsibility seen in 2004.

Summary and Analysis of Resolutions

Below is a comprehensive summary and analysis of the 52 resolutions and 3 decisions adopted by the 59th First Committee and General Assembly. Unlike in past years, I have included comments from the general debate as well as statements in explanation of vote. Our aim is to highlight interventions of political significance and give greater space to controversial resolutions than to routine, procedural or symbolic ones.

Voting is given as for: against: abstention. The votes in the First Committee took place between October 27 and November 5, 2004. The General Assembly adopted all the resolutions and draft decisions featured here on December 3, 2004.

'Consensus' denotes that a resolution was adopted without a vote. Some countries state that they have not participated in the consensus, while others prefer to be counted absent by not voting. A draft decision may be requested instead of a resolution, either when there is too much controversy to enable a resolution to go forward or to ensure the issue is on the UNGA agenda for a future year.

The First Committee votes are shown first, followed by the votes in the UN General Assembly on December 3, 2004. The resolutions have been grouped according to subject, but not corresponding to the clusters used by the Committee in 2004. 'Rev' denotes an agreed revision incorporated before action was taken. Where possible we identify the introducer, which has normally taken the lead in negotiating with others on the text, but for a list of all co-sponsors, check the UN documents.

Some resolutions were taken in parts. In this case, PP refers to preambular paragraph and OP refers to operative paragraph. The preambular paragraphs normally provide background and context, while the operative paragraphs underline obligations that have not yet been met or contain requests or instructions.

Numbers given here are from the official records. With regard to General Assembly votes, states that are in serious arrears with their payments to the UN are recorded as absent, whether or not they voted, which explains why even the co-sponsors of some resolutions are not recorded in the votes. There may also be discrepancies in voting figures due to requests by delegations for their votes to be recorded after missing or making mistakes during the electronic voting procedure. For full details of UNGA action on the texts, see the UN/DDA website http://www.un.org/ga/59/first.

This report on the 2004 First Committee and General Assembly votes relating to International Security and Disarmament was written and compiled by Rebecca Johnson, who attended the First Committee from October 18 to November 5, 2004.

I apologise for its delay, due to illness, and would particularly like to thank and credit Merav Datan and Jim Wurst, who provided me with reports on the General Debate. These have been incorporated where possible into the discussions on key resolutions on a number of substantive issues.

This report has also benefited from the greater openness instituted by the Chair, Ambassador de Alba, in enabling NGOs to hear the thematic debates. This was greatly welcomed, as was the continued right of civil society to be present during the voting. I would also like to thank Ms Cheryl Stoute and her team on the Secretariat for their unfailing courtesy towards NGOs and their help in obtaining resolutions and the information necessary to ensure that this report is as accurate as it can be. Any mistakes are my own.

Summary and Explanations


Nuclear, Chemical, Biological Weapons, Missiles and Outer Space

Title GA Votes

UNGA 59/109 (L.25) Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)


UNGA 59/81 (L.34) Fissile Materials Ban (fissban)


UNGA 59/75 (L.22) A New Agenda: Accelerating the Implementation of Nuclear Disarmament Commitments


UNGA 59/76 (L.23) A Path to the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons


UNGA 59/83 (L.39) Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons


UNGA 59/94 (L.56) Bilateral strategic nuclear arms reductions and the new strategic framework

w/o vote

UNGA 59/91 (L.50) Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation


UNGA 59/67 (L.6/rev.1) Missiles


UNGA 59/79 (L.30) Reducing Nuclear Danger


UNGA 59/64 (L.44) Conclusion of Effective International Arrangements to Assure Non-Nuclear-Weapon States Against the Use or Threat of Use of Nuclear Weapons [NSA]


UNGA 59/102 (L.29) Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons 125-48-12
UNGA 59/514 (L.15) United Nations Conference to Identify Ways of Eliminating Nuclear Dangers in the Context of Nuclear Disarmament 138-5-38
UNGA 59/65 (L.36) Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) 178-0-4
UNGA 59/110 (L.17/rev.1) Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction [BWC] w/o vote
UNGA 59/72 (L.16) Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction [CWC] w/o vote
UNGA 59/70 (L.12*) Measures to uphold the authority of the 1925 Geneva Protocol 179-0-5

Regional Security and Nuclear Weapon Free Zones

Title GA Votes
UNGA 59/513 (L.7) Establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia w/o vote
UNGA 59/63 (L.8) Establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Region of the Middle East w/o vote
UNGA 59/106 (L.37) The Risk of Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East 170-5-9
UNGA 59/85 (L.41) Nuclear-Weapon-Free Southern Hemisphere and Adjacent Areas 171-4-8
UNGA 59/73 (L.19/rev.1) Mongolia's international security and nuclear-weapon-free status w/o vote
UNGA 59/108 (L.35) Strengthening of Security and Cooperation in the Mediterranean region w/o vote
UNGA 59/59 (L.55/rev.2) Maintenance of international security, good neighbourliness, stability and development in South-Eastern Europe w/o vote
UNGA 59/89 (L.47) Regional Disarmament w/o vote
UNGA 59/88 (L.46) Conventional Arms Control at the Regional and Subregional Levels 178-1-1
UNGA 59/87 (L.45/rev.2) Confidence-building measures in the Regional and Subregional Context w/o vote
UNGA 59/96 (L.3) Regional Confidence-building Measures: Activities of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa w/o vote

Conventional Weapons

Title GA Votes
UNGA 59/90 (L.49/rev.2) Prevention of the Illicit Transfer and Unauthorised Access to and Use of Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADs) w/o vote
UNGA 59/86 (L.43/rev.1) The Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in All its Aspects w/o vote
UNGA 59/84 (L.40/Rev.1) Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction [Mine Ban Treaty] 157-0-22
UNGA 59/107 (L.54) 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 [CCW] w/o vote
UNGA 59/74 (L.21) Assistance to States for Curbing the Illicit Traffic in Small Arms and Collecting Them w/o vote
UNGA 59/92 (L.52) Information on Confidence-Building Measures in the field of Conventional Arms w/o vote
UNGA 59/515 (L.48) Problems arising from the Accumulation of Conventional Ammunition Stockpiles in Surplus w/o vote

International Security, Disarmament Principles and Measures

Title GA Votes
UNGA 59/60 (L.33) Verification in all its Aspects, including the Role of the United Nations in the Field of Verification w/o vote
UNGA 59/80 (L.31) Measures to Prevent Terrorists from Acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction w/o vote
UNGA 59/69 (L.11) Promotion of Multilateralism in the Area of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation 125-9-49
UNGA 59/61 (L.2/Rev.1) Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security w/o vote
UNGA 59/62 (L.32) Role of Science and Technology in the Context of International Security and Disarmament 106-48-21
UNGA 59/66 (L.5) National Legislation on transfer of arms, military equipment and dual-use goods and technology w/o vote
UNGA 59/68 (L.10) Observance of Environmental Norms in the Drafting and Implementation of Agreements on Disarmament and Arms Control 175-2-3
UNGA 59/78 (L.28) Relationship between Disarmament and Development 180-2-2
UNGA 59/82 (L.38*) Consolidation of Peace Through Practical Disarmament Measures w/o vote

Disarmament Machinery and Education

Title GA Votes
UNGA 59/95 (L.60, following negotiations to combine and withdraw rival resolutions L.1 and L.13), Improving the effectiveness of the methods of work of the First Committee w/o vote
UNGA 59/104 (L.27/rev.1) Report of the Conference on Disarmament w/o vote
UNGA 59/105 (L.42*) Report of the Disarmament Commission w/o vote
UNGA 59/71 (L.14) Convening of the Fourth Special Session of the General Assembly Devoted to Disarmament [UNSSOD IV] w/o vote
UNGA 59/93 (L.53/rev.1) United Nations Study on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education w/o vote
UNGA 59/97 (L.4/Rev.1) United Nations Disarmament Fellowship, Training and Advisory Services w/o vote
UNGA 59/98 (L.9) United Nations Regional Centres for Peace and Disarmament w/o vote
UNGA 59/99 (L.18) United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin American and the Caribbean w/o vote
UNGA 59/100 (L.20) United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific w/o vote
UNGA 59/101 (L.24) United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa w/o vote
UNGA 59/103 (L.51) United Nations Disarmament Information Programme w/o vote

Nuclear, Chemical, Biological Weapons, Missiles and Outer Space

UNGA 59/109 (L.25/Rev.1)
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Introduced by New Zealand, in accordance with tradition on behalf also of Mexico and Australia, with overwhelming, cross-group co-sponsorship and endorsement.

Updating the resolutions of 2000, 2002 and 2003, this CTBT resolution welcomes the Joint Ministerial statement reaffirming support for the CTBT signed in New York on September 23, 2004 and underlines the continuing urgency of the treaty and its entry into force. It notes that 173 states have signed, including 41 of the 44 needed for entry into force, and that 119 states have ratified, including 33 of the 44. Remaining states, especially the necessary 11, are urged to accelerate their ratification process to enable the treaty to enter into force. The resolution urges all states to maintain their existing moratoria and to refrain from doing anything that would defeat the CTBT's object and purpose in the meanwhile (such as conducting a nuclear explosion). Also, in light of apparent reluctance from Brazil and some other developing states, the resolution "underlines the need to maintain momentum towards completion of the verification regime".

First Committee: 147-1-4

UNGA: 177-2-4

The fact that the CTBT resolution was co-sponsored by over 100 states and overwhelmingly adopted came as no surprise. Throughout the GA and General Debate there had been frequent calls for entry into force of the CTBT and specifically for the eleven states whose ratification is needed to "adhere to the treaty without further delay". Kazakhstan, which has "firsthand knowledge of horrendous effects of nuclear testing," reaffirmed "its principled position regarding a total ban of all nuclear testing." Tanzania announced that it had recently ratified the CTBT, adding that though it has no nuclear capability, "we believe our signature to the Treaty confirms that the CTBT is one of the most important instruments for advancing global nuclear non-proliferation." Brazil, speaking for the Rio Group, said that the group "reiterates its position for the total elimination of all nuclear testing and stresses the significance of achieving universal adherence to the [CTBT] including by all Nuclear Weapon States." The Rio Group also "highlight[s] the importance of maintaining a moratorium on nuclear-weapon-test-explosion or any other explosions pending the entry into force of that Treaty." China termed the CTBT "of milestone significance for promoting nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament" and expressed its commitment to the moratorium on nuclear testing pending the treaty's entry into force. As it has claimed for several years now, China said it was "actively promoting consideration and ratification of the treaty by the National People's Congress in accordance with due legal procedures." So far, the legal procedures have not seemed to be functioning sufficiently well for China to ratify, however, leading most observers to assume that it is still waiting for the United States.

Russia, which ratified in 2000, views the CTBT "as a key instrument in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation [whose] significant is evidenced by the foreign ministers' new joint statement in support of the CTBT adopted by the General Assembly on 23 September 2004" calling on all states to sign and ratify the treaty if they have not yet done so. Several states echoed this call and welcomed the foreign ministers' statement.

The CTBT resolution was adopted in the FC by 147 votes to one against (the United States, as it has done for the past 4 years). As in 2003 and 2002, there were 4 abstentions (Colombia, India, Mauritius and Syria). It is understood that despite their reservations, these states would have allowed the resolution to be adopted without a vote if the Bush administration had not been so adamant that its opposition to the CTBT required it to vote against this anodyne but symbolically important resolution. In the GA, the US shamefully forced Palau, a small Pacific protectorate that during the 1980s held out for years against US pressure to relinquish its nuclear free status, to add a second opposition vote. This only served to underline Washington's extreme isolation on this issue, as the CTBT was endorsed overwhelmingly with 177 GA votes in favour.

As it had done in 2003, the US in the FC baldly explained that it had voted against the CTBT resolution "as we have repeatedly made clear, the US does not support that treaty and will not become a party to that treaty". The US pledged instead to maintain its moratorium.

In addition to the large number of states that had emphasised their support for the CTBT during the FC debates, the Netherlands on behalf of the EU and associated states reinforced this message before the vote, saying that the EU "attaches utmost importance to the early entry into force of the treaty and will continue to call on those states that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the CTBT, without delay and without conditions." Noting that both the legally binding prohibition on nuclear testing and a credible verification regime "are vital", the EU also pledged strong support for the Special Representative of the ratifying states [Jaap Ramaker, former NL ambassador and head of the final year of CTB negotiations in the CD, appointed by the 2003 Article XIV conference] who would be visiting a number of states "to promote universal adherence to the CTBT".

Israel, which has signed but not ratified, explained that it voted in favour because it was committed to the CTBT's objectives and was playing an active role with regard to practical procedures for verification (especially the OSI operational manuals). Israel, however, had reservations about the wording of OP1, which urged signature and ratification "without delay and without conditions" and said that the completion of the verification regime was a "prerequisite" for entry into force; that verification should be "effective but immune to abuse" , and that remaining "salient political issues" should be resolved. Since entry into force did not look imminent, Israel emphasised the importance of adhering to the commitment not to conduct nuclear tests (abiding by moratoria) and the necessity to continue to provide sufficient funds for the CTBTO, saying that the international monitoring system (IMS) and international data centre (IDC) needed to be operated and tested and that the seismic operations should be expanded. Pakistan, which is not yet a signatory, explained that it voted in favour of the resolution because it supports the CTBT's objectives, but considered that "as regards the call in the resolution for promoting signatures and ratifications leading to CTBT's entry into force, this goal will of course be facilitated when major erstwhile supporters of the CTBT decide to restore their support." Pakistan also remarked that "acceptance of the CTBT obligations on a regional basis in South Asia will also facilitate its entry into force."

In terms familiar from last year's explanation of its abstention, Colombia referred to a "constitutional difficulty" with regard to ratifying the CTBT and hoped further discussions with the CTBTO and others would remove this impediment. It is understood that Colombia's national laws preclude its payment for a treaty until it ratifies; since September 1996, in accordance with the UN resolution adopting the CTBT, states have been paying towards the establishment of the CTBTO. Colombia is concerned that when it deposits its ratification it will be hit with a large bill for backdated contributions which, according to its domestic law, it is not permitted to pay.

Syria said it abstained because the CTBT did not enshrine security assurances against the use or threat of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear weapon states, that it did not refer to the development of new types of nuclear weaponry but "confines itself to banning only explosions". Syria complained about the inclusion of Israel as part of the Middle East and South Asia (MESA) regional group in the treaty. Although sanctions were explicitly ruled out during the entry into force negotiations in August 1996, Syria claimed concern that signatories could take measures against non-signatories that would fall under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

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UNGA 59/81 (L.34)
The Conference on Disarmament decision (CD/1547) of 11 August 1998 to establish, under item 1 of its Agenda Entitled "Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and Nuclear Disarmament", an ad hoc committee to negotiate, on the basis of the report of the Special Coordinator (CD/1299) and the mandate contained therein, a non-discriminatory, multilateral and international and effectively verifiable treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices [Fissban]

Introduced by Canada with co-sponsorship of a wide cross-group of states

Identical to the resolution adopted by consensus in 2003, the Fissban resolution failed to get consensus, chiefly because of US opposition to the reference to verification in its title and the CD mandate. The US, which in 2004 conducted an internal review which concluded that effective verification of the cut-off treaty was "not achievable", insisted on a vote and voted against. To the astonishment of many Fissban supporters, especially in the rest of the EU, Britain abstained, together with Israel, which has long been reluctant about negotiating a fissban that could open its facilities to observation and monitoring. Like last year, the resolution emphasises the value of a treaty banning the production of fissile material in contributing to nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, recalls the decision of the CD to establish an ad hoc committee to negotiate such a treaty and urges it to establish a programme of work to enable fissban negotiations to commence.

First Committee: 147-1-2
UNGA: 179-2-2

One of the most controversial resolutions this year, both the EU and the NAC divided on whether it would be better for Canada to withdraw the resolution or have the US openly vote against. Having announced its internal decision about fissban verification in the CD in July-August 2004, the US repeated its opposition several times during the First Committee and gave the UN notice that if the resolution was put, it would vote against. As a consequence, supporters of a fissban were divided between those who wanted Canada to withdraw the resolution rather than have a confrontation and lose the consensus of previous years, and those who argued that the international community should stick to its principles and not just collapse in silence when the Bush administration demands something different from what was agreed by previous administrations.

In the General Debate, the United States astonished many by characterising its insistence on a non-verified cutoff treaty as the initiation of negotiations for the "rapid conclusion of a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty [FMCT] as an effort to "break the logjam" at the Conference on Disarmament. Following on from the US statement of July 29, 2004 at the CD announcing the results of its internal, inter-agency deliberations the US reiterated its position that "effective international verification of an FMCT is not realistically achievable" and called on the CD to "begin such negotiations as soon as possible" adding that an "important advantage" is that "it will be possible to conclude such a negotiation far faster than would be the case with an FMCT that sought to achieve effective verifiability." Though China said that it is "now studying in a serious manner the proposal of negotiating a FMCT without verification", others, including Australia, Norway and the New Agenda states continued to hold that a fissban should include verification measures.

The FC vote was 147 in favour, rising to 179 in the GA, with only the US opposed (the poor tiny Pacific island of Palau was again forced to make up the opposition numbers to 2 in the GA). Israel, which has been unconvinced about joining in a fissban from the beginning, abstained, which came as no surprise, since it had been the US that persuaded Israel to allow the CD to convene negotiations in 1998. These unfortunately lasted only a few weeks and the CD has since been deadlocked over its work programme. The UK abstention shocked many: in explanation, UK Ambassador John Freeman criticised the co-sponsors and said that "as currently worded, the resolution divides the international community". The UK disappointed its allies by reinforcing rather than reversing this position with an abstention in the GA, while saying it remained "fully committed" to the FMCT and to "appropriate verification" in light of changed circumstances.

By contrast, France voted in favour, while also expressing concern that the resolution had not taken into account developments during the past year. Ambassador François Rivasseau was unhappy with Canada's handling of the resolution and complained that its own attempts to avoid divisions had not sufficiently been taken into account. Unlike the UK, however, France voted to "demonstrate its support for a cut-off treaty in the CD". In the corridors, while many were divided about the political wisdom of pushing the resolution when it was clear the US intended to break consensus, many were also very critical of the UK for abstaining, arguing that it would have been wiser to have voted in favour and explained its objections, as France had done.

US Ambassador Jackie Sanders reiterated Washington's position that the US supported negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty that would "establish a legally binding barrier [and] contribute to arms control and nonproliferation goals" but "the US has concluded that the treaty would not be effectively verifiable". Since both the title and the text of the resolution refer to a "quote 'internationally and effectively verifiable treaty' unquote" the US has had to vote against. Israel said it viewed the FMCT "in both regional and global contexts" and that "issues related to nuclear disarmament can be dealt with only after achieving lasting relations of peace and reconciliation...[and] overall regional security and stability. Noting recent developments with regard to "the misuse and un-checked dissemination of nuclear fuel cycle capabilities", Israel argued that "an overall priority in nonproliferation should be assigned to developing a new effective nonproliferation arrangement pertaining to the nuclear fuel cycle."

Among other explanations of vote, Russia considered that there should have been no need for a vote and confirmed Moscow's willingness "to commence negotiations on the basis of a broad mandate". Russia's careful phrasing left open whether its criticism was directed towards the United States for breaking consensus or the resolution's sponsors for bringing the division into the open. Egypt argued that the mandate allowed for extending the scope to deal with nuclear materials, reiterating its position that it should also address stockpiles. Indonesia considered it unfortunate" that consensus was not reachable on L.34 since "verifying such a treaty is technically feasible and politically possible, and it is in everyone's core interests to make the treaty more than symbolic gesture". Indonesia considered that "the dangers posed by today's nuclear weapons necessitate prompt and vigorous action to dismantle arsenals and block the transfer, stockpiling and production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium as the fissile material needed to build nuclear weapons."

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UNGA 59/75 (L.22)
A New Agenda: Accelerating the Implementation of Nuclear Disarmament Commitments

Introduced by Sweden on behalf of the New Agenda Coalition

Changing tack from the omnibus resolutions of recent years (last year's, for example, contained 30 operative paragraphs), the New Agenda resolution in 2004 is short and innocuously worded with the purpose of garnering maximum support in the run-up to the 2005 NPT Review Conference. It recalls the unequivocal undertaking given by the NWS to eliminate nuclear weapons at the 2000 Review Conference, while also noting that the ultimate objective of the disarmament process is general and complete disarmament under strict and effective control. In only 8 operative paragraphs, the resolution calls on all states to "fully comply with commitments made regarding nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation and not to act in any way that may be detrimental to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation or that may lead to a new nuclear arms race". States were also called on to "accelerate the implementation" of the practical steps for nuclear disarmament agreed in 2000 and to resume fissban negotiations in the CD on the basis of the 1995 (Shannon) Mandate. The principles of irreversibility and transparency, as well as verification, were underlined as "imperative", and the resolution called for the CD to establish a subsidiary body to deal with nuclear disarmament. Although the NAC did not sponsor a separate resolution this year on non-strategic nuclear weapons, they called on the NWS "to take further steps to reduce their non-strategic nuclear arsenals and not to develop new types of nuclear weapons, in accordance with their commitment to diminish the role of nuclear weapons in their security policies." A separate vote was requested on OP2, which called on states to "spare no efforts" to achieve universal adherence to the NPT and early entry into force of the CTBT.

First Committee: OP2 153-4-5
Whole resolution: 135-5-25
UNGA: OP2 170-4-3
Whole resolution: 151-6-24

OP2, which called on states to achieve universal adherence to the NPT and early entry into force of the CTBT, was taken separately and overwhelmingly adopted. The FC votes against were India, Israel, the United States and - to the surprise of many - France, although it is a party to the NPT and has ratified and fully supports the CTBT. (France undid this anomaly by voting in favour of OP2 in the GA). The abstainers on OP2 in the GA were Mauritius, Bhutan, and Pakistan, as Monaco and Uzbekistan shifted to votes in favour.

There were few explanations of vote, but the FC votes against the whole resolution were United Kingdom, US, France, Israel and Latvia, joined by Palau in the GA. Abstainers included Russia, Spain, Portugal, Australia, India, Italy, Iceland, Denmark, Poland, Slovenia and Hungary and a number of other former Eastern-bloc new NATO members or applicants. China and Pakistan both voted in favour, as did most of the NAM, although some were concerned that the resolution had been diluted or weakened too far. Of particular importance, eight NATO states braved US displeasure - which had been forcefully conveyed at meetings in New York and demarchés in capitals - to vote in favour. These were: Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Turkey. It was also noted that Japan this year voted in favour of the NAC resolution, as did South Korea. Pakistan said that it voted in favour of the whole resolution after abstaining on OP2. Ignoring the fact that the NAC resolution was pared down to the bare minimum, Russia complained that the NAC resolution was "silent on progress". In general, the vote suggested that the NAC's gamble of presenting a short, relatively innocuous resolution had not paid off, despite the eight NATO votes in favour.

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UNGA 59/76 (L.23)
A Path to the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Introduced by Japan, together with Australia, and a number of others

Japan's traditional omnibus resolution, which highlights the NPT and underlines the importance of fulfilling obligations already undertaken, was stronger and therefore more controversial than in previous year, causing great consternation among some of Japan's allies, especially those such as the United States, that are reneging on past agreements. The resolution emphasises the agreements of 2000, which are substantially listed (paraphrased and updated at times, which provoked censure from the New Agenda, who abstained en bloc). The resolution also calls for the CD to establish a programme of work in 2004, and for a fissban to be concluded within five years. It stresses the need for, and importance of, a successful outcome of the 2005 NPT Review Conference and calls upon all states to maintain standards of physical protection of nuclear materials and technology.

First Committee: 151-2-16
UNGA: 165-3-16

Despite being longer and more controversial than in past years, Japan's resolution was resoundingly adopted by 151 votes in the FC, rising to 165 in the GA. India and the United States opposed, joined by browbeaten Palau in the GA. The 16 abstentions included the New Agenda countries, China, India, Israel, Pakistan, Iran, Bhutan, Malta, Cuba, Myanmar(Burma) and DPRK. Once again, the principal reason for the US opposition to its ally's moderate, NPT-reinforcing resolution was Japan's call for early entry into force of the CTBT and for a verifiable fissile material ban. Sweden said that the New Agenda states abstained because they believed the 2000 commitments should be upheld in their entirety. Papering over divisions among the New Agenda, several of whom had wanted to vote for Japan's resolution, Sweden also thanked the co-sponsors for their engagement in discussions on these issues, and said the NAC looked forward to working together with Japan in the future. Japan's strategy of keeping a strong focus and not backing down in the face of US displeasure clearly paid off in the overwhelming support it garnered from the vast majority of states.

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UNGA 59/83 (L.39)
Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons

Introduced by Malaysia with co-sponsorship from over 50 NAM states

First tabled after the ICJ advisory opinion of July 1996 on the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, this resolution underlines the ICJ's major unanimous conclusion that "there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control" (OP1) and links it with a call for immediate negotiations on a nuclear weapon convention (OP2). It recalls many international obligations, including the principles and objectives adopted at the 1995 NPT Review Conference, the 2000 Review Conference thirteen steps, the various nuclear-weapons-free zones, and traditional NAM positions, such as a timebound framework for nuclear disarmament. In this regard, it stresses that the CD should "commence negotiations on a phased programme for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons with a specified framework of time" (PP12).

First Committee: OP1: 156-3-5
Whole resolution: 118-28-21

UNGA: OP1: 170-5-4
Whole resolution: 132-29-24

In the General Debate, Myanmar (Burma) on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), highlighted the 1996 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons and reaffirmed its unanimous conclusion that "there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to conclusion [sic] negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control." Bangladesh emphasised in this context "the necessity to start negotiations on a phased programme for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons with a specified framework of time, including a Nuclear Weapons Convention." The fact that the ICJ opinion figured in so few statements indicates that this is now a traditional but not very significant resolution, except for the overwhelming vote given to OP1, which "underlines once again the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control".

OP1 received overwhelming support from 156 states, rising to 170 in the GA. 3 against and 5 abstentions. Israel, Russia and the United States (joined in the GA by Palau and the UK) voted against. In the FC, Belarus, Britain, France, Latvia and Uzbekistan abstained, but Britain switched sides to voted against OP1 in the GA. As in previous years, the main arguments employed by countries supporting OP1 but not the resolution as a whole centred on complaints that the ICJ opinion should not have been quoted "selectively" or that it was premature to call on states to negotiate a nuclear weapon convention.

The vote falls off substantially for the whole resolution. China, most NAM states and the New Agenda Coalition supported, while NATO and Western-aligned states either opposed or abstained. As in past years, a separate vote was called on The criticism of selectivity appears disingenuous, since instead of getting bogged down in the equivocal or indeterminate parts of the opinion, the resolution's purpose is to draw attention to the most relevant, unanimous conclusion: the judges, whatever their provenance, found themselves united on the obligation to negotiate nuclear disarmament. In the absence of any specific legal prohibition against the possession or use of nuclear weapons at the time, the ICJ considered that use would generally be contrary to the principles and rules of humanitarian law. However, looking at the body of law as a whole, they were divided over whether there might possibly be circumstances under which nuclear weapon use would not be unlawful, and if so, what these extreme circumstances might be.

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UNGA 59/77 (L.26/Rev.1)
Nuclear disarmament

Introduced by Myanmar (Burma) with co-sponsorship from a declining number of NAM states, but notably not New Agenda states or Chile, nor India or Pakistan.

With 22 OPs, as last year, this traditional omnibus resolution on nuclear disarmament evokes past NAM declarations and recommendations, UN Special Sessions on Disarmament and the Millennium Declaration, and the NPT agreements especially from 2000. The vote on this traditional nuclear disarmament resolution splits unchallengingly along group lines; it is backed by most of the NAM, and opposed by NATO and its aligned states. China and some NAC countries voted in favour; Russia and other NAC countries (Sweden and Ireland) abstained. India said it abstained because of the references to the NPT. Japan abstained, saying it shared the resolution's goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, it rejected the approach based on a timebound framework and considered that "realistic and progressive" incremental steps were preferable.

First Committee: 93-42-18
UNGA: 117-43-21

The vote on this ritual nuclear disarmament resolution continues to split unchallengingly along group lines; it is backed by most of the NAM, and opposed by NATO and its aligned states. China and some NAC countries voted in favour; Russia and other NAC countries (Sweden and Ireland) abstained. India said it abstained because of the references to the NPT. Japan abstained because although it shared the resolution's goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, it rejected the approach based on a timebound framework and considered that "realistic and progressive" incremental steps were preferable.

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UNGA 59/94 (L.56)
Bilateral Strategic Nuclear Arms Reductions and the New Strategic Framework

Introduced by the Russian Federation and co-sponsored by the United States

In its second appearance, this resolution welcomes the Moscow Treaty, which it characterises as "as important result of the new bilateral strategic relationship". With an eye on the 2005 NPT Review Conference, the resolution in OP4 "acknowledges the contribution that the United States of America and the Russian Federation have made to nuclear disarmament by reducing their deployed strategic warheads by about half since the end of the cold war" and then lists in details various reductions made by each of these states. The resolution underlines the NPT link by also "welcoming the determination of the two countries to work together... to meet their respective obligations under article VI [of the NPT]", and then in OP8 by characterising the Presidential Initiatives of 1991-2 (which have not been verifiably implemented) as "a major step forward in the meeting by the Russian Federation and the United States of America of their obligations under article VI [of the NPT]". Noting "with approval" measures to halt the production of fissile material, the resolution also welcomes initiatives to dispose of excess fissile materials, and invites both the United States and the Russian Federation to keep others informed of their respective strategic offensive reductions.

First Committee consensus
UNGA: consensus

The US and Russia hoped to get this resolution through quickly on the first day, but it was delayed until the final day as a number of New Agenda and NAM states raised concerns about some of its assertions. In particular, they questioned the validity of OP4 and OP8. Providing an explanation of an "interpretive character" for going along with the consensus, Sweden stated on behalf of the NAC that since they could not verify the information given by the sponsors, they understood the resolution to be, in effect, the provision of "valuable information" given to the GA. Furthermore, "the sponsors ask the UNGA to acknowledge the contribution to nuclear disarmament made by the reduction of their deployed strategic warheads. Naturally we acknowledge that reduced deployment is a positive development. At the same time we hold the view that reductions in deployment and operational status cannot replace irreversible cuts in and actual destruction of nuclear weapons." In language clearly repudiating the resolution's purpose of equating the bilateral reductions with fulfilment of article VI, Sweden said that the NAC looked "forward to continued developments leading to their total elimination in line with obligations of the NPT."

Explicitly mentioning OP4, Indonesia expressed serious reservations about the resolution, notwithstanding the fact that it had ended up joining consensus. Reaffirming its commitment to both nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, Indonesia said: "We deem it necessary to reiterate that reduction in deployments and in operational status cannot substitute for irreversible cuts in, and the total elimination of nuclear weapons. The United States and Russia have missed the opportunity to verifiably dismantle their still massive cold war era nuclear arsenals and reduce the role of nuclear weapons in their military strategies. Moreover, new nuclear weapons and possibly renewed nuclear testing are on the horizon." Indonesia concluded, "While these reductions are to be welcomed, in our view they do not fulfil the unequivocal undertaking under Article VI of the NPT to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament."

Cuba also objected, deploring that one of the sponsors had refused to negotiate on those aspects of the text that so many found disturbing. Cuba called on the nuclear weapon states to abide by the commitments they have undertaken in the context of the NPT.

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UNGA 59/91 (L.50)
Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation

Introduced by Chile on behalf of 114 of the HCoC's 117 members

This new resolution welcomes the adoption of the HCoC on November 25, 2002 and its already high membership, describing the code of conduct as a "practical step against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery". The resolution then invites all remaining states to subscribe to the Code, while also encouraging "further ways and means" to deal with ballistic missiles. In its preamble, it expresses concern about the increasing regional and global security challenges, relating them to "the ongoing proliferation of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction", and references both the UN and regional and international efforts. The resolution attracted more controversy than the proposers expected, as Iran and Egypt tabled three amendments. Though the purpose of the amendments was to emphasise the importance of the UN's role and the need for comprehensive approaches addressing not only ballistic but other kinds of missiles, and not only proliferation but missile development, they were treated by the co-sponsors as "killer amendments" and heavily defeated.

First Committee 137-2-16
UNGA: 161-2-15

After the three amendments, to PP7, OP1 and OP4 were respectively rejected by 21-103-8, 17-104-10, and 23-103-6, the unamended HCoC resolution was overwhelmingly adopted by the FC.

In introducing the resolution, Chile observed that the HCoC "is a political undertaking intended to contribute positively to international security and to strengthen all Disarmament and Arms Control Treaties and Mechanisms.... [W]e strive for global security through politically binding measures such as the restraint in the development, testing and deployment of such Missiles. Also, by means of Transparency and Confidence Building Measures, including Annual Reports and Pre-launch Notifications."

Iran and Egypt voted against, arguing that the HCoC is deficient in the areas of peaceful uses, cooperation and assistance, it ignores cruise missiles "which are the most common type of missiles in terms of use and proliferation", and addresses only ballistic missiles without addressing them as a means of delivery for nuclear weapons. Most particularly, Egypt said it was concerned that in dismissing the amendments, the HCoC co-sponsors had voted "against a positive role for the United Nations...[and] against further steps towards the further development of the HCoC..." Iran accused the co-sponsors of the HCoC resolution of having a "leave it or take it" approach. They opposed again in the GA. Abstainers included Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Pakistan, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

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UNGA 59/67 (L.6/Rev.1)

Introduced by Iran, together with Egypt and Indonesia

In its sixth year, following two panels of government experts, this resolution requests a report to be prepared with the support of UNIDIR, taking into account the views of Member States regarding "the issue of missiles, in all its aspects". It also requests a further panel of governmental experts to be established in 2007 "on the basis on equitable geographical distribution, to explore the issues further.

First Committee: 98-2-60
UNGA: 119-4-60

There have been two previous panels on missiles. The first, which reported back in 2002, provided a useful overview, but irreconcilable differences of approach among the panellists and the states they represented meant that the panel could not agree on recommendations. [See "The Issue of Missiles in all its Aspects", DDA Report of the Secretary General, A/57/229 (2003).] The second was able to go no further than the first. In the General Debate, several states raised this question of the failure of the second panel of governmental experts on missiles to reach consensus on its report. According to Iran, which has sponsored the resolutions on missiles establishing the successive panels of governmental experts, this situation "prompts us all to work more seriously and dedicatedly... we should acknowledge that our endeavour in this regard is at the initial stage of a longer process" in which "it is imperative to redouble our efforts."

Others, however, were far from convinced, and many considered this resolution should have been held back this year. Nevertheless, the United States and Israel were the only states prepared to vote against (joined by Micronesia and Palau in the GA). Importantly, the voting shows that while the sponsors accused each other of making no or inadequate reference to the approach favoured by their own resolution, a significant number of NAM states - including Chile, the lead sponsor for the HCoC resolution - voted for both. Speaking on behalf of the bloc of EU and associated states that abstained, the Netherlands underlined that "our abstention must not be regarded as a lack of commitment... on the contrary the EU is convinced the proliferation of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction puts at risk the security of all states and peoples... as well as cruise missiles and UAV are a growing cause of concern within the EU...[but] the EU remains of the opinion that another panel of experts would only be meaningful if based on an agreed specific mandate which ensured that added value could be offered..." This was clearly intended to put into perspective the votes of those who had rejected the Iranian-Egyptian amendments to L.50. Some 60 HCoC members abstained (including the EU and NATO). Giving an explanation similar to the previous year, Japan said it had participated in the first of the two panels on missiles, but objected to L.6/Rev.1 because it contained no acknowledgement of the ongoing process towards universalisation of the HCoC and no explicit reference to the proliferation of missiles as delivery vehicles for WMD. The Republic of Korea had participated in the second panel, which had been unable to adopt a final report, and they were sceptical of the proposal to convene another panel "due to the fundamental differences in perceptions and views... among states" which were unlikely soon to be dissipated. Others specifically rejected the interpretation that opponents of Iran's amendments were against further development of the HCoC or a role for the United Nations. In further explanations of votes, China said that though it had not joined HCoC, it would continue in its consultations. China voted in favour of both resolutions, and emphasised that the UN should also be fully utilised. Russia also voted in favour of both, arguing that the most appropriate forum for dealing with missiles was the UN, as Russia had proposed in its Global Control System (GCS), but on the other hand, the HCoC was the "first real step towards countering ballistic missiles".

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UNGA 59/79 (L.30)
Reducing Nuclear Danger

Introduced by India with co-sponsorship from several NAM states

Now in its seventh year, this dealerting resolution has become a ritual. It focuses on the adoption of measures to prevent accidents arising from computer or other technical malfunctions, as well as nuclear postures based on "hair-trigger alert". In addition to general exhortations for all member states to work to prevent nuclear proliferation and promote nuclear disarmament, it calls for a review of nuclear doctrines (OP1), specifically by the five NWS (OP2), and calls for implementation of the seven recommendations in the report of the Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters and the Millennium Declaration related to reducing nuclear dangers and the risks of nuclear war.

First Committee 106-46-16
UNGA: 116-46-18

First tabled by India in 1998, the same year as it conducted nuclear tests and knocked on the door to be admitted to the nuclear 'club' as a NWS, this is an odd, hybrid resolution. Though many agree that more must be done to reduce nuclear danger, the vote splits along NAM-Western lines, with China, Japan, South Korea and a few Eastern European/Central Asian states abstaining. The high number of negative votes from NATO-EU aligned states reflects their deep scepticism about India's underlying motive for this resolution. The references to preventing nuclear accidents are taken by some to relate to the controversial question of whether India and Pakistan should receive assistance or technologies, such as permissive action links (PALs), developed by some of the NWS in this regard. Furthermore, de-alerting, which was promoted as an interim step by the Canberra Commission and others during the 1990s, is less popular with disarmament advocates since the Moscow Treaty effectively presented the withdrawal of weapons from deployment as a substitute for irreversible, transparent and verifiable nuclear disarmament.

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UNGA 59/64 (L.44)
Conclusion of Effective International Arrangements to Assure Non-Nuclear-Weapon States Against the Use or Threat of Use of Nuclear Weapons [NSA]

Introduced by Pakistan with co-sponsorship from a handful of NAM states

Pakistan's traditional resolution on security assurances, tabled since 1990, is carried forward with few changes over the years, despite Pakistan's own nuclear tests and assertion of nuclear weapon possession and status. It evokes numerous past UN and NAM meetings and declarations, asserts the need to safeguard the "independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty" of non-nuclear weapon states against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, and argues that, until nuclear disarmament has been achieved universally, a common approach on security assurances needs to be negotiated. Among the six OPs, three refer to the CD, which is called on to "actively continue intensive negotiations" on effective international arrangements.

First Committee 109-0-61
UNGA: 118-0-63

During the General Debate, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Cuba, Ecuador, Iran, Laos, Mongolia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Viet Nam were among those who noted the importance of negative security assurances. Several states specifically called for a legally binding instrument on assurances to non-nuclear weapon states in the context of the NPT rather than the wider purview encompassed by this resolution. India and Pakistan both referred to the importance of security assurances to non-nuclear weapon states, though it appears that they want to be acknowledged as in a position to give such assurances rather than to receive them, as was the case when Pakistan first sponsored this resolution.

The voting pattern on Pakistan's resolution changed little over the years, with most of the NAM voted in favour, and NATO and European states abstained en bloc. Though none oppose outright, because the concept of security assurances is one that even its opponents feel the need to pay lip service to, the lack of enthusiasm reflects the tired language and view that this resolution is widely regarded as having outlived its usefulness, at least in this form. Although some may be dissatisfied with the security assurances contained in UNSC 984 (1995), many view this issue as more appropriately dealt with in the context of the NPT, rather than the CD. The United States reiterated its opposition to "any proposal for a negative security assurances treaty or global, legally binding security assurances regime".

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UNGA 59/102 (L.29)
Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons

Introduced by India with the co-sponsorship of thirty NAM states

This rival resolution (dating back many years), for which India, despite its own nuclear testing and weapons capabilities, continues to take the lead in sponsoring, evokes the July 1996 ICJ opinion and various past UN resolutions, and argues that a multilateral, universal and binding agreement prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons would contribute to the total elimination of nuclear threats. Despite regretting the CD's inability to agree any kind of a work plan, the two OPs continue to request the CD to commence negotiations on an international convention "prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances" and to report the results to the General Assembly.

First Committee 111-46-12
UNGA: 125-48-12

This is a further example of an important issue being given short shrift because of the resolution's provenance and ritualistic appearance year after year. The vote divided along traditional lines, with most NAM states and China voting in favour, and the EU/NATO aligned bloc, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan voting against. Russia was among the handful that abstained.

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UNGA 59/514 (L.15) draft decision
United Nations Conference to Identify Ways of Eliminating Nuclear Dangers in the Context of Nuclear Disarmament

Introduced by Mexico

This decision puts the item entitled "United Nations conference to identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers in the context of nuclear disarmament" onto the agenda of the 60th session of the General Assembly.

First Committee 119-6-4
UNGA: 138-5-38

Mexico continues to do its utmost to get this conference off the ground. The US, UK, France voted against, together with Poland, Israel and Monaco in the FC. In the GA, Israel switched to an abstention, Palau joined the opposition, and Monaco disappeared. The New Agenda states voted in favour, as did most of the NAM. Most European countries abstained.

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UNGA 59/65 (L.36)
Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS)

Introduced by Egypt with traditional co-sponsorship by Sri Lanka, as well as support from China and the Russian Federation and a host of non-aligned states.

Noting "the importance and urgency" of the issue and that "the prevention of an arms race in outer space would avert a grave danger for international peace and security", this resolution reaffirms that the exploration and use of outer space should be for peaceful purposes only and should be carried out "for the benefit and in the interest of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development". The resolution underlines the importance of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and other international instruments but recognises that the current "legal regime applicable to outer space does not in and of itself guarantee the prevention of an arms race in outer space" and that "there is a need to consolidate and reinforce that regime and enhance its effectiveness and that it is important to comply strictly with existing agreements, both bilateral and multilateral". It emphasises the need for "further measures with appropriate and effective provisions for verification to prevent an arms race in outer space", recognises "the growing convergence of views on the elaboration of measures designed to strengthen transparency, confidence and security in the peaceful uses of outer space", and calls on the Conference on Disarmament to complete examining and updating its mandate from 1992 and establish an ad hoc committee on PAROS in its 2005 session.

First Committee 167-0-2
UNGA: 178-0-4

An even larger vote in the First Committee, but exactly the same in the GA as last year. As before, no-one voted against. In abstaining, the United States and Israel managed to get Haiti and Palau to swell their numbers in the GA. Neither they nor the EU states this time gave an explanation of vote.

During the FC, a special session was devoted to 'prevention of an arms race in outer space' on Tuesday October 19. Of most importance, Russia used the occasion to announce a new policy of no first deployment of weapons in outer space and called on all other space-faring and space-using nations to join in this pledge. Russia also joined China in emphasising their joint initiative in the Conference on Disarmament, where they have submitted a draft treaty containing the basic elements of a potential instrument that would prohibit the placement of weapons in space. Canada and Sweden both called for a more coordinated approach to promote security in space, involving other bodies such as COPUOS and OOSA and a range of military and civilian stakeholders, as well as governments. Others spoke to support the Egyptian-Sri Lankan resolution and/or to support or qualify support for the CD to address PAROS. As traditional co-sponsor for the PAROS resolution, Sri Lanka made the strong point that the "annual presentation of the PAROS resolution in the First Committee and the almost universal endorsement of its principles... has had the salutary effect of according to these objectives, the status of customary law."

In its general statement, Russia's Ambassador Leonid Skotnikov said: "In his address to the current UN General Assembly the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia drew once again attention to the task of keeping outer space weapons-free. As is known, in the interests of achieving this aim, Russia and China in co-authorship with a number of other states submitted to the Conference on Disarmament a draft of basic elements of a comprehensive agreement on non-placement of weapons in outer space. The draft sets forth the following fundamental obligations: not to place in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying any kinds of weapons, not to install such weapons on celestial bodies and not to station such weapons in outer space in any other manner; not to resort to the threat or use of force against outer space objects. The conceptual discussion of this issue has advanced over the last year. We hope that the work of the CD will be unblocked and an ad hoc Committee on Outer Space will be reestablished to start multilateral substantive discussion of a draft agreement.

"Russia is pursuing a steady course of preventing the arms race in outer space. Let us recall that as far back as 1983, the Soviet Union assumed an obligation not to be the first in placing any kind of anti-satellite weapons in outer space. We remain committed to this obligation up to the present day. Moreover, we shall not be the first to place any weapons in outer space. We call on all nations with an outer space potential to follow our suit, which will make it possible to maintain a peaceful status of outer space. We are confident that this will benefit all the nations with no exception." [verbatim text from statement]

In the PAROS debate, Russia elaborated further on these developments in its position, noting that the deployment of weapons in outer space and therefore PAROS are one of the most important and urgent tasks facing the international community. From notes of the oral translation, "Russia traditionally co-sponsors the Egyptian-Sri Lankan PAROS resolution and will do so again this year. The world depends more and more on outer space, and there would be tragic consequences for daily life if satellites were disrupted, as outer space is an important arena for solving many problems of humanity, including development, agriculture, meteorology and communications. The appearance of weapons in outer space would be fraught with international security considerations, which must and can be avoided. Outer space must become a sphere for cooperation and not confrontation. There is a real opportunity still to prevent the development of outer space as a sphere of aggression. Today and in the future, the Russian Federation has no plans for development or deployment of weapons and weapons components in outer space. We have consistently complied with our ASAT testing moratorium. In CD/1675, Russia and China elaborated on a treaty to prevent the use of force or threat of use of force with respect to space objects. We have been gratified by the support and constructive discussion of this proposal in Geneva. We are not insisting on the specific aspects contained in this draft but tabled it to be a stimulus to thinking and debate. The CD has experience and is the appropriate international forum to do this work. Russia and China's proposal is that an Ad Hoc Committee in the CD would first have a research and not a negotiating mandate. But we cannot remain as passive bystanders until such a treaty has been concluded. Therefore Russia has put forward other proposals.

Three years ago, at the 56th UN General Assembly, Russia made a proposal for a moratorium on development and deployment of weapons in space, and promised to undertake this ourselves. Russia also took the initiative in providing detailed launch notification and information with regard to space vehicles and launches. Russia is now making a new, important and far-reaching initiative: Russia will not be the first to deploy weapons of any type in outer space. This is a serious step showing our sense of responsibility, and we call on all states to follow our example. We believe this can be an important confidence-building measure and create an indispensable safety net while negotiations are conducted to get an international legal instrument to prevent and prohibit the deployment of weapons in outer space. We hope that this initiative will be discussed in capitals around the world, and find support, as we also support the work being done by France, Canada and others on PAROS. There are many challenges and risks in the world, but this carries urgency and immediacy while offering practical steps, and we hope all will also support the PAROS resolution."

Ambassador Hu Xiaodi of China said that the peaceful uses of outer space are important for the whole world, and would benefit all countries, but that there were threats because it was regarded as a 'high frontier', to which military value was increasingly attached. China warned against pursuing space weapons research and development, and argued that "if we sit on our hands, outer space will be made into the fourth medium of warfare after land, sea and air". China argued that an arms race in space would break strategic stability, damage relations and international peace and security, and that the testing of weapons in low earth orbit (LEO) would "aggravate the already acute problem of space debris". China considered that the existing international regime has shown its limitations and falls short of preventing or prohibiting the use of force with respect to outer space objects, and so China issued two non-papers in the CD this year in order to stimulate substantive discussions on PAROS and verification and hopes that next year it will be possible to take these initiatives further.

Canada asserted that it remained "profoundly opposed to the weaponisation of space. We want space to be considered as a universal good". In the GA, Canadian PM Paul Martin had emphasised this issue: "Space is our final frontier. It has always captured our imagination. What a tragedy it would be if space became one big weapons arsenal and the scene of a new arms race. In 1967, the United Nations agreed that weapons of mass destruction must not be based in space. The time has come to extend this ban to all weapons." Canada was committed to a CD ad hoc Committee "to discuss PAROS in all its aspects and to seeing the Conference eventually undertake the negotiation of a space weapons ban..." In view of the CD impasse, Canada suggested that one way to help start the process "might be for the Conference to establish an experts group to explore some of the more technical aspects of space security issues." Canada also wanted more communication between the space-related work of the First and Fourth Committees, COPUOS, OOSA etc... Referring to its workshop in Geneva on space security issues, "a clear message... was that there is a need for a more comprehensive and coordinated approach to ensuring space security." Canada welcomed Russia's no-first deployment pledge and encourages "creative thinking and action" for CBMs and measures to enhance space security. Arguing that "this international good is simply too precious to leave unprotected by multilateral action, Canada suggested that the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty should be used as an opportunity to encourage more ratifications and bring about the treaty's universality. Canada also supported the HCoC against ballistic missiles, on which there is a resolution for the first time, and hoped to see expansion of multilateral cooperation on this issue.

On behalf of the EU and a host of associated nations, Chris Sanders of the Netherlands gave a three-point lowest common denominator statement: 1) The EU is conscious of the growing involvement of the international community in outer space activities for development and progress, and is actively cooperating in various space initiatives [which] should be developed in a peaceful environment... 2) it is within the CD that any decision should taken regarding work on PAROS...3) EU supports establishment of a subsidiary body of the CD to deal with this matter on the basis of a mandate agreed by all. But at least this ensured that the EU did not down-grade PAROS in explaining its vote in favour of the resolution, as happened last year.

Sweden supported the EU statement but added some further emphasis: space activities are often dual use and involve cross-cutting issues between civil and military activities and so space "is a powerful tool not only for welfare but potentially also for warfare"; the current legal regime provides fundamental rules on international responsibility and liability for national space activities, and to this should now be added the HCoC. Supporting the establishment of a CD subsidiary body, Sweden suggested "as a first step", informal technical meetings in the CD involving a wider range of actors and stakeholders in the space field, "such as international organisations, space agencies, space law academia and the private sector." Mentioned the importance of linking with COPUOS.

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UNGA 59/110 (L.17/rev.1)
Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction [BWC]

Introduced by Hungary with the support of BWC states parties.

Noting with satisfaction the increase in BWC membership to 152 states parties, the resolution underlines the BWC's effective prohibition of the use of bacteriological (biological) and toxin weapons and their development, production and stockpiling under all circumstances. It furthermore records the decisions of the Fifth Review Conference to discuss and promote common understanding and effective action: explicitly, in 2003, the "adoption of necessary national measures to implement" the Convention, "including the enactment of penal legislation, and national mechanisms to establish and maintain the security and oversight of pathogenic micro-organisms and toxins; in 2004 "enhancing international capabilities for responding to, investigating and mitigating the effects of cases of alleged use of biological or toxin weapons or suspicious outbreaks of disease, and strengthening and broadening national and international institutional efforts and existing mechanisms for the surveillance, detection, diagnosis and combating of infectious diseases affecting humans, animals and plants"; and in 2005 "on the topic of the content, promulgation and adoption of codes of conduct for scientists", finally calling on all BWC parties to participate in its implementation. The resolution calls for further signatures and ratification, increased information exchange and resources to implement the BWC states parties' decisions.

First Committee consensus
UNGA: consensus

There was relief that the BWC resolution went through on consensus. During the General Debate, a large number of states called for strengthening the norms against biological and chemical weapons through the BWC and CWC - particularly in light of the threat of terrorism - and for greater adherence to these regimes. Many specifically stressed the importance of strengthening the BWC. Russia, for example, expressed support for "efforts aimed at making the [CWC] universal and at setting up national mechanisms of its implementation: as well as strengthening the BWC regime "by creating its metrification mechanism." Brazil, on behalf of the Rio Group, expressed the group's hope that "in the near future we obtain the universalisation" of the CWC and BWC, including "a verification mechanism" for the BWC. India noted that new security challenges involving terrorism and WMD "can be effectively dealt with only through truly universal and non-discriminatory regimes" such as these two conventions.

Myanmar (Burma), on behalf of ASEAN, noted the decision of the Fifth Review Conference of the BWC that states parties should meet annually in the lead-up to the Sixth Review Conference in 2006 and that the Meeting of Experts should take place in advance of each annual meeting. ASEAN also welcomed the August 2003 and July 2004 Meetings of Experts and the first annual meeting of states parties to the BWC in November 2003, expressing the hope that the second annual meeting, to be held in December 2004 "will strengthen and broaden national and international efforts and the optimum utilization of the existing mechanisms for the surveillance, detection, diagnosis and combating of infectious diseases affecting humans animals and plants."

China observed that it is "quite necessary to continue multilateral discussions aiming at formulating measures to strengthen the effectiveness of the [BWC]," a process in which China will continue its "active participation." Several others expressed their hope for better implementation of the BWC with some, such as Indonesia, voicing disappointment over lack of success to date with regard to efforts to formulate measures for preventing and controlling deliberate biological or toxin attacks.

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UNGA 59/72 (L.16)
Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction [CWC]

Introduced by Poland on behalf of CWC states parties

This now-traditional resolution noted with satisfaction that nine more states have brought the parties to the CWC up to 167. The purpose of the resolution is to underline the importance of the CWC and work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). It calls for the CWC's "full, universal and effective implementation" so as to exclude completely the possibility of any further use of chemical weapons, and underscores some of the key points in the First Special Session's Political Declaration, including urging universalisation, effective application of the verification system, fulfilment of financial obligations, and the fostering of peaceful international cooperation.

First Committee consensus
UNGA: consensus

During the debates, there were many general expressions of support for the CWC and the work of the OPCW, with calls for universalisation and full implementation of the treaty. In pledging its support for the CWC, China mentioned its recent co-sponsorship with the OPCW of the Second Regional Meeting of National Authorities in Asia. China also urged Japan to make further efforts at destroying the chemical weapons it had abandoned in China.

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UNGA 59/70 (L.12*)

Measures to uphold the authority of the 1925 Geneva Protocol

Introduced by Malaysia on behalf of the NAM

Last seen in 2002, this resolution welcomes that three more states parties have withdrawn their reservations to the 1925 Protocol, calls on states that continue to maintain reservations to the Protocol to withdraw them, and renews its call on all states "to observe strictly the principles and objectives" of the Protocol, relating this also to "achieving effective progress towards general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control".

First Committee 165-0-3
UNGA: 179-0-5

The United States insisted on a vote and abstained, together with Israel and the Marshall Islands (joined in the GA by Palau and Micronesia).

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Regional Security and Nuclear Weapon Free Zones

UNGA 59/513 (L.7, Decision)
Establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia

Introduced by Uzbekistan, on behalf of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan

With negotiations still delicate, the Central Asian states proposed a draft decision to keep the issue on the UN agenda.

First Committee consensus
UNGA: consensus

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UNGA 59/63 (L.8)
Establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Region of the Middle East

Introduced by Egypt on behalf of the League of Arab States

This traditional resolution, which goes back to 1974, cites the need for the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East, while at the same time reaffirming the right of states to develop and acquire nuclear energy for so-called peaceful purposes. It invites all countries of the region to declare their support for establishing such a zone.

First Committee consensus
UNGA: consensus

The language of this resolution is deliberately kept moderate to enable it to be adopted without a vote. Israel explained that it had joined consensus "notwithstanding substantive and important reservations regarding certain elements in the resolution". Repeating the mantra that a NWFZ must be based on "arrangements freely arrived at among all the states in the region concerned", Israel argued that the nuclear issue, and all regional security issues, should be dealt with in the context of the peace process. In particular, Israel favoured a step by step approach, beginning with "modest CBMs, followed by the establishment of peaceful relations and reaching reconciliation..." Characterising a NWFZ in the Middle East as a "more ambitious goal", Israel said it could not be established "in situations where some of the states maintain they are in a state of war with each other, refuse in principle to maintain peaceful relations with Israel or even recognise its right to exist".

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UNGA 59/106 (L.37)
The Risk of Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East

Introduced by Egypt on behalf of the League of Arab States

This annual resolution is the less consensual sibling of the previous, and names Israel, while stressing the need for universality of the NPT. PP6, on which there was a separate vote, emphasises the conclusions on the Middle East adopted by NPT parties in 2000. Noting that Israel is now the only state in the region that remains outside the NPT it calls upon that state "to accede... without further delay and not to develop, produce, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons, and to renounce possession of nuclear weapons, and to place all its unsafeguarded nuclear facilities under fullscope" IAEA safeguards. In addressing nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, the resolution does not mention the IAEA additional protocol or raise concerns about the activities of any states other than Israel.

First Committee whole resolution 157-4-8
PP6: 154-3-4
UNGA whole resolution 170-5-9
PP6: 169-6-4

First there was a split vote on one of the preambular paragraphs (PP6), which made reference to the final document of the NPT 2000 Review Conference and called for universal adherence to the Treaty, as well as strict compliance by all parties with their obligations: PP6 was adopted by 154:3:4. Israel, India and the United States opposed, while Pakistan, Mauritius, Bhutan and Papua New Guinea abstained. The whole resolution was then adopted. The FC no-voters were Israel, Micronesia, Marshall Islands and the United States, joined in the GA by Palau.

In a statement very similar to the one made last year, Israel called L.37 "biased" and "an abuse of reality and misuse of the UN" and said that "singling out Israel is counter productive to confidence building and peace in the region and does not lend this body any credibility". Referring obliquely to revelations about the nuclear programmes of Iran and Libya, Israel condemned the resolution for its "neglect of the fact that the real risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East emanates from countries that, despite being parties to international treaties do not comply with their relevant international obligations".

While the EU voted en bloc in favour of the resolution, Australia, Canada and Ethiopia joined India, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago, Cameroon and Nauru in abstaining. Australia explained that while it supported a NWFZ in the Middle East and had consistently called on Israel to accede to the NPT, it had a number of problems with L.37 and was concerned that there was no reference to Iran's proliferation activities.

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UNGA 59/85 (L.41)
Nuclear-Weapon-Free Southern Hemisphere and Adjacent Areas

Introduced by Brazil, together with New Zealand, with the co-sponsorship of a wide cross-group of states in the southern hemisphere

As in past years, this resolution, which has been led by Brazil and New Zealand since 1996, caused anxiety for Britain, France and the United States, which regularly transport nuclear weapons or materials through the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere, and offended India and Pakistan, because it refers to a NWFZ in South Asia. The resolution places its calls for the ratification of all nuclear-weapon-free-zone treaties and their protocols, as relevant, in the context of the determined pursuit of "the total elimination of nuclear weapons" and "the important role of NWFZ in strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime." It also recalls "the applicable principles and rules of international law relating to the freedom of the high seas and the rights of passage through maritime space", including UNCLOS, but as the votes reflect, this paragraph has failed to bring the sceptical NWS on board. Using the traditional language associated with NWFZs, OP5 "welcomes the steps taken to conclude further nuclear-weapon-free-zone treaties on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the states of the region concerned, and calls upon all states to consider all relevant proposals, including those reflected in its resolutions on the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free-zones in the Middle East and South Asia". A new preambular paragraph (PP8) welcomes Mexico's decision to host a conference of states parties signatories to all the NWFZs in 2005.

First Committee, October 27: India insisted on separate votes on OP5, and the last three words of OP5 (..."and South Asia.")

OP5 (last three words of): 139-2-9
OP5: 144-1-8
Resolution as a whole: 149-3-6
UNGA OP5 (last three words of): 159-4-7
UNGA OP5: 166-3-7
UNGA Resolution as a whole: 171-4-8

There was familiar controversy on this resolution calling for a nuclear weapon free Southern Hemisphere (L.41), which places its calls for the ratification of all nuclear-weapon-free-zone treaties and their protocols, as relevant, in the context of the determined pursuit of "the total elimination of nuclear weapons" and "the important role of NWFZ in strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime". Despite assurances from Brazil and New Zealand, also indicated in the preamble, that the draft did not conflict with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS) or other norms and international laws relating to navigation, Britain, France and the United States, who regularly transport nuclear weapons or materials through the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere, made their familiar objections and voted against (joined by hapless Palau in the GA). They reiterated that they had no objection to NWFZs in principle, but feared that "the real goal of this resolution is the establishment of a nuclear weapon free zone that covers the high seas". Spain, which is unhappy that the Canary Islands, which it regards as part of Spanish territory, is included in the zone of the African NWFZ, objected to PP8 and gave a lengthy but unclear explanation of its abstention.

India insisted on a vote to remove specific mention of the need for a NWFZ in South Asia (the words "and South Asia") from OP5, and when that failed (139:2:9), insisted on voting against OP5 altogether (144:1:8); failing to achieve any modification of the resolution, as in past years, India and Pakistan abstained. India, practically duplicating its statement of previous years, declared that this aspect of the resolution ran counter to the established understanding that NWFZ must be freely arrived at by the states concerned, and queried why South Asia was singled out, when it was "no more relevant" than a NWFZ in Western Europe or East or North Asia.

Although this is not the year for resolutions on the specific NWFZs already in existence, it should be noted that several positive endorsements were given during the debates. Myanmar on behalf of ASEAN states welcomed progress in the implementation of the South East Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty and, specifically, China's announcement in November 2002 that it is ready to accede to the Protocol. The ASEAN states reiterated their call to other nuclear weapon states to accede to the Protocol.

Mexico, with the support of states parties to the Treaty of Tlatelolco and "as a contribution to the 2005 Conference", announced that it would host a conference of states parties to nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties "with the aim of fostering a better coordination among those zones and to ensure scrupulous respect for legal regimes created by those zones, as well as to support the establishment of other nuclear-weapon-free zones in other areas of the world."

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UNGA 59/73 (L.19/Rev.1)
Mongolia's International Security and Nuclear-Weapon-Free Status

Introduced by Mongolia with co-sponsorship from the United States and Papua New Guinea

Mongolia's resolution regarding its proposed status as a nuclear-weapon-free zone was last introduced in 2002. With 9 OPs, it expresses appreciation for efforts to implement resolution 57/67 and two studies on the non-nuclear aspects of Mongolia's international security. It invites states to cooperate with Mongolia on this and appeals to the member states of the Asia and Pacific region to support Mongolia's efforts to join the relevant regional security and economic arrangements.

First Committee consensus
UNGA: consensus

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UNGA 59/108 (L.35)
Strengthening of Security and Cooperation in the Mediterranean region

Introduced by Algeria and co-sponsored by a wide cross-group of states in the Mediterranean region and in Europe

As in previous years,, the resolution takes note of the "indivisible nature" of security in the Mediterranean and that the enhancement of cooperation among Mediterranean states created benefits in the form of economic and social development. It also asserts that the prospects for Euro-Mediterranean cooperation would be enhanced by positive developments in Europe, the Maghreb and in the Middle East. It continues to make note of the need for such states to cooperate in combating terrorism, crime, illicit arms transfers and drug trafficking and requests the Secretary-General to submit a report on the means to strengthen security and cooperation in the region.

First Committee consensus
UNGA: consensus

Though accepting consensus, certain key riparian states, including Israel, Syria and Libya, were conspicuous by their absence from the list of co-sponsors.

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UNGA 59/59 (L.55/Rev.2)
Maintenance of International Security - Good Neighbourliness, Stability and Development in South-Eastern Europe

Introduced by the Former Yugoslav Republic Macedonia with co-sponsorship of states in the region, as well as Russia and the United States

Last up in 2002 and arising out of the Balkan wars, this long resolution calls on states, international organisations and the UN to respect the principles of territorial integrity and sovereignty and the inviolability of international borders, and urges the investment of further efforts in consolidating South-Eastern Europe as a region of peace, security, stability, democracy, the rule of law, cooperation and economic development. It rejects the use of violence in pursuit of political aims, urges good neighbourliness, and regional development cooperation. It makes particular mention of the seriousness of the problem of anti-personnel landmines in the region and the need to take action against the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons.

First Committee consensus
UNGA: consensus

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UNGA 59/89 (L.47)
Regional Disarmament

Introduced by Pakistan with co-sponsorship from Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Nepal, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Turkey

This routine resolution takes note of recent proposals for disarmament at both the regional and subregional levels and maintains the need for efforts to promote regional disarmament to incorporate the specific characteristics and requirements of each region. Asserts that efforts towards disarmament must be taken both regionally and globally and welcomes initiatives already taken. Purports to support and encourage efforts aimed at promoting confidence-building measures at various levels as well as easing regional tensions.

First Committee consensus
UNGA: consensus

One of several for which Pakistan acts as principal sponsor, this resolution is routinely adopted without a vote, but far from this being a reflection of its importance, consensus is a reward for the text remaining inoffensively general and bland. Nevertheless, it is also viewed with scepticism as part of Pakistan's ongoing rivalry with India, in which regional approaches are advocated as a way to undermine the international context and approach that India favours.

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UNGA 59/88 (L.46)
Conventional Arms Control at the Regional and Subregional Levels

Introduced by Pakistan with co-sponsorship from Bangladesh, Germany, Liberia, Nepal, Ukraine, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Another customary resolution from Pakistan, this stresses the special responsibility of "militarily significant" states "with larger military capabilities" in promoting conventional arms control and regional peace and security. The resolution requests the CD to consider developing principles to serve as a framework for regional agreements, and requests the Secretary-General to seek the views of member states on the subject.

First Committee: 165-1-1
UNGA: 178-1-1

Too specific for India to go along with consensus, so India voted against and Bhutan abstained.

Although not the target audience for Pakistan's resolution, this issue has wider implications that should not become obscured by the resolution's provenance. For example, conventional arms control in Europe has its own challenges, though the extraordinarily complex the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, which was concluded by NATO and the Warsaw Pact in 1990 has continued to be useful, despite the fact that it now limits the number of forces and deployments for several countries that no longer exist. For example, Russia informed the FC that in July 2004, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine signed a new agreement on weapons levels that tie in with the CFE. The 2004 agreement, which Russia said would "provide a considerable input to European Security... envisages a considerable adjustment of the limitations... [and] also opens up a possibility for a wider membership to the treaty." Belarus completed its "belt of good-neighbourliness" along its borders, which is a series of confidence and security-building measures designed to make "a real contribution to the consolidation of the regional and European security systems."

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UNGA 59/87 (L.45/Rev.2)
Confidence-building Measures in the Regional and Subregional context

Introduced by Pakistan with co-sponsorship from Liberia

A second outing for this relatively new resolution from Pakistan, first tabled in 2003. It links CBMs with regional concerns, builds on UN resolution 57/337 (July 3, 2003), entitled "Prevention of armed conflict", which calls for states to settle their disputes by peaceful means, but the language is modified sufficiently from last year to enable the resolution to be adopted without a vote. It relates disarmament to development, commenting that resources released by disarmament could be devoted to economic and social development and the protection of the environment, and welcomes the peace processes "already initiated in regions to resolve their disputes through peaceful means bilaterally or through mediation, inter alia, by third parties, regional organisations or the UN", noting also that continuing regional disputes may endanger international peace and security and contribute to an arms race. In 9 OPs, the resolution calls for states to refrain from the use or threat of use of force in the settlement of disputes; it calls for dialogue, compliance with bilateral, regional and international arms control and disarmament agreements, and the promotion of bilateral and regional CBMs to avoid conflict and prevent the unintended and accidental outbreak of hostilities.

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

India explained that joining the consensus reflected the importance India attached to confidence building measures, which could "play a significant role in establishing an atmosphere of trust, cooperation and confidence, which in turn are conducive to the resolution of outstanding issues through peaceful means". In acknowledging that this year's text is an improvement on 2003, India spelled out that consensus here did not imply acceptance of the previous resolution, referred to in PP2.

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UNGA 59/96 (L.3)
Regional Confidence-building Measures: Activities of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa

Introduced by the Central African Republic on behalf of the Central African states

This resolution supports the work of the Standing Advisory Committee and promotes CBMs at regional and subregional levels to ease tensions and conflicts and further peace, stability and sustainable development in Central Africa. It supports the establishment of a network of parliamentarians and the creation of a subregional parliament in Central Africa, and requests voluntary funding from governmental and nongovernmental organisations to provide assistance and implementation of the programme of work.

First Committee, November 4: consensus
UNGA: consensus

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Conventional Weapons

UNGA 59/90 (L.49/rev.2)
Prevention of the Illicit Transfer and Unauthorised Access to and Use of Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS)

Introduced by Australia, with Argentina, Turkey and a significant group of co-sponsors

This first-time resolution recognises an authorised government-government trade in MANPADS, the threat posed to civil aviation and peacekeeping, and the problem of MANPADS in the context of "the intensified international fight against global terrorism", because they are "easily carried, concealed, fired and, in certain circumstances, obtained". The resolution then urges full implementation of the SALW Programme of Action, and support for international, regional and national efforts to prevent illicit transfers. It stresses the importance of "effective and comprehensive national controls on the production, stockpiling, transfer and brokering" of MANPADS, and encourages states to enact or improve legislation, regulations and practices etc, as well as encouraging "initiatives to exchange information and to mobilise resources and technical expertise" to assist states in combating unauthorised use and transfer of MANPADS.

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

The UN Register on Conventional Arms, covering imports and exports of seven categories of major weapons, is now in its 12th year, and was expanded for the first time to cover two new categories of weapons, including MANPADS. After the rows last year there is no Transparency in Armaments (TIA) resolution as such this year, and little was said in the debate. Traditional allies (such as the EU) called on all countries to submit data to the register, while the states that dislike it, which include a number in the Arab League, simply ignored it. Nevertheless, the underlying issues of transparency and accountability in conventional arms have been covered in other ways by other resolutions. Most notably, the current register (covering 2003) is the first to expand the scope of the register since it was established. In addition to including MANPADS, the register lowered the threshold for reporting "large calibre artillery systems" from 100 mm to 75 mm (thus bringing in some of the more mobile weapons).

This new resolution was sponsored by Australia, Argentina and Turkey, who highlighted the terrorist potential of MANPADS, which can potentially shoot down civilian as well as military aircraft, while remaining portable and easily acquired. Israel is a strong supporter of the resolution, and noted that the threat of terrorists acquiring WMD "combined with the broadening trend of suicide terrorism, provides a potentially apocalyptic vehicle for all who would totally obstruct the changes for a climate of security and stability." Given the sensitivity of the issue, it was to the credit of its framers and sponsors that it achieved consensus this first time around.

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UNGA 59/86 (L.43/Rev.1)
The Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects [SALW]

Introduced by Colombia with a wide cross-group co-sponsorship

This substantive and practical resolution expresses its support for the implementation of the 2001 Programme of Action (PoA) and the work of various meetings and working groups to this end, particularly an open-ended working group to negotiate an international instrument to enable states "to identify and trace, in a timely and reliable manner, illicit small arms and light weapons", the first meeting of which convened June 14-25, 2004. Expressing support for initiatives to mobilise resources and expertise to further implementation of the Programme of Action, it decides to convene a two-week UN Conference to review progress from June 26 to July 7, 2006, in New York (OP1), as well as a two-week PrepCom January 9-20, 2006 and subsequent sessions if necessary (OP2). It also decides to convene a second biennial meeting of states in accordance with the Programme of Action July 11-15, 2005 (OP3). The Secretary General is further requested to "continue to collate and circulate data and information"

First Committee consensus
UNGA: consensus

The conventional arms debate was dominated by calls for greater controls over SALW, with strong support for the open-ended working group negotiating an instrument to mark and trace SALW, as recommended in the PoA. The goal is to make it easier to trace all legally-produced arms so that if a weapon turns up in a war zone or in a country under UN sanctions it will be easier to trace that weapon back and find out how it was diverted from the legal to illegal trade. The working group is negotiating an "instrument" rather than a "treaty," since there are divisions in the working group over whether the final agreement should be legally - or "only politically" - binding. Europe, Africa and Latin America are pushing for the strongest commitment, while the US and some Arab states are lobbying for a voluntary agreement. Inevitably it was those arguing for strong constraints that prioritised this issue. For example, Nigeria told the FC, "The magnitude of the problem posed by the proliferation of small arms demands that the instrument envisaged should be legally binding for effective implementation." Jamaica called for an "early conclusion of an international convention" on marking and tracing SALW because of the "destabilising effects" these weapons have "on our economies and societies." On a positive note, the consensus was underpinned by what Nepal called "the almost unanimous commitment of the global community implement" the PoA.

In Latin America, only Colombia is faced with a violent insurgency, however the drug trade and violent crime are aided by the easy availability of SALW. Peru referred to two initiatives of the Andean Community (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela) which it said "has fulfilled one of the most advance regional commitments regarding limitation, control and transparency on conventional armament, including measures of confidence and verification." First, there is "The Commitment of Lima ... establishes a plan for prevention, combat and eradication of illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons" - which Peru called "the first subregional instrument" enacted to fulfil the PoA. The "Andean Zone of Peace" is an example of achievement "on limitation, control and transparency of armament, confidence-building measures and verification," Peru said.

The Caribbean nations that make up CARICOM have been especially vocal in their desire to control SALW - it was a CARICOM initiative that led to the 2001 Conference - because of the across-the-board effects the weapons have on their small nations. "CARICOM states do not produce [SALW], nor are we large-scale importers of this category of weapons," the group told the First Committee, "Yet, despite our best efforts, we continue to face the uncontrolled spread of illicit weapons throughout our territories, most times through the illegal diversion of weapons from the licit trade. As a result, [SALW] now pose one of the biggest threats to the national security, and economic and social development of many or our small countries." These weapons are being used "by those that would seek to destabilise our region through criminal networks involved in the trafficking of drugs, weapons and human beings. These activities pose a dangerous challenge to our security infrastructure and are helping to undermine the economic and social fabric of our nations."

It is also worth noting that several states, notably Norway, Malaysia, South Africa and the CARICOM countries, promoted the idea of a similar instrument governing arms brokers, but there is resistance to this from countries with highly lucrative arms industries. Norway argued that it was "essential that... we get serious about the problem of illicit small arms brokering," while CARICOM called for "a real commitment to regulate brokering." The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) called on the First Committee to establish an expert panel "to develop proposals for an international system of controls on arms brokers." Though there was no resolution on arms brokering this year, the groundwork is clearly beginning to be laid.

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UNGA 59/84 (L.40/Rev.1)
Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction [Mine Ban Treaty]

Introduced by Thailand with the co-sponsorship of a wide cross-group of over 100 states

Now in its sixth year, this resolution welcomes the entry intro force of the Mine Ban Treaty. The product of independent negotiations and government/civil-society partnership, the so-called 'Ottawa Process', this treaty now has 143 states parties. The resolution calls on all other states to accede without delay and undertake the full and effective implementation of the treaty. It renews its call for states and other relevant parties to work together to remove and destroy anti-personnel mines throughout the world, help mine victims in all necessary ways, and undertake mine risk education programmes. It invites and encourages "all interested states, the United Nations, other relevant international organisation or institutions, regional organisations the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and relevant non-governmental organizations" to participate in the programme of intersessional work established at the first meeting and developed at subsequent meetings.

First Committee: 140-1-18
UNGA: 157-0-22

Many statements praised the wide adherence to the treaty - now with 143 states parties, described their national and regional initiatives to eliminate landmines, and looked forward to a productive first Review Conference in Nairobi at the end of November.

Africa countries, including South Africa, pointed to the Common African Position on Anti-Personnel Landmines adopted in September. The position "sends a powerful message on Africa's implementation priorities in this field," said South Africa, noting as "critical to these challenges... the need for us to intensify our efforts to mobilise resources to clear mined areas and assist those who have become victims of this lethal weapon." Forty-eight African states are parties to the agreement. Brazil on behalf of the Rio Group also emphasised the importance of this treaty: "Until their deactivation and destruction, [anti-personnel land mines] constitute a threat to civilian population and impede the use of fertile land for agriculture, prevent regional development and limit employment possibilities."

Many also pointed out that it has been almost one year since the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) added the new Protocol V on the explosive remnants of war (ERW), another step to reduce the indiscriminate maiming of civilians by weapons left over from long-finished conflicts. The protocol, according to the ICRC, "provides a prescription for both preventing and remedying the problems caused" by cluster munitions and other unexploded ordnance. The ICRC also urged all countries to ratify the protocol, which Norway had described as "the logical next step is to develop an instrument on preventive measures with a view to further reducing the humanitarian risks caused by the use of certain munitions."

The vote on the Mine Ban Treaty has consolidated in recent years, with the same states repeating their abstentions year by year. After voting against in the FC, the DPRK announced that it had intended to abstain, but was in fact recorded absent in the GA. Abstainers were: Azerbaijan, China, Cuba, Egypt, Federated States of Micronesia, India, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Marshall Islands, Myanmar (Burma), Pakistan, Palau, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Syria, United States, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam. In explaining their abstentions, several states argued that while they shared the resolution's concerns regarding APL, their "legitimate security needs" and long land borders prevented them from acceding to the Treaty. They then sought to push the issue off into other fora, such as the CD or the CCW. Libya said the Mine Ban Treaty did not hold states responsible for the problems caused by their mines laid in the territory of other states. South Korea said it gave money to African states to help with demining. Singapore said it had indefinitely extended its moratorium on exporting anti-personnel landmines. Both Cuba and China argued for a balance between humanitarian concerns and "legitimate self defence". China said it had sponsored with Australia a workshop sponsored by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) on mine clearance in Asia. Reviving a debate from the 1990s, India said it would support negotiations in the CD to ban illicit transfers of landmines on the basis of a mandate that reflected the interests of all parties.

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UNGA 59/107 (L.54)
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 [CCW]

Introduced by Sweden with wide cross-group sponsorship

This routine resolution supports the CCW and its Protocols, covering non-detectable fragments (protocol I), restrictions on the use of mines, booby traps and other devices (protocol II), prohibitions or restrictions on the use of incendiary weapons (protocol III), blinding laser weapons (protocol IV) etc, as well as the decision by the Second Review Conference in December 2001 to extend the scope of the CCW to include "armed conflicts of a non-international character", i.e. civil wars and intra-state uses. The resolution calls upon all states who remain outside the CCW to becomes parties as soon as possible and also to be bound by the Protocols of the Convention. It supports continued work by the working group on explosive remnants of war (ERW), with a mandate to negotiate an instrument on post-conflict remedial measures, and additional work on "mines other than anti-personnel mines". Also requests the Secretary-General to render any necessary assistance as may be required for the meeting of CCW states parties on November 27-28, 2003, and for follow-up work, as decided by the Second Review Conference.

First Committee consensus
UNGA: consensus

The most important development mentioned by many states has been the inclusion of explosive remnants of war (ERW - encompassing cluster bombs and other unexploded munitions and submunitions, as well as landmines and abandoned ordnance) and the development of a mandate to negotiate post-conflict remedial measures.

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UNGA 59/74 (L.21)
Assistance to States for Curbing the Illicit Traffic in Small Arms and Collecting Them

Introduced by Mali on behalf of ECOWAS, co-sponsored by African states and others

This now regular resolution emphasises the problems caused by small arms and light weapons (SALW) for security and development in Africa, most particularly in the Sahelo-Saharan subregion. It supports the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) moratorium on the importation, exportation and manufacture of SALW, encouraging the international community to support its implementation. It welcomes the progress made so far, including the 2000 Bamako Declaration on an African Position on the Illicit Proliferation, Circulation and Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons, the 2001 UN Programme of Action on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons, the conclusion of the African Conference on the implementation of the Programme of Action in March 2002. The resolution invites the Secretary-General and states and organisations to provide assistance in curbing the proliferation and trafficking in SALW and collecting them.

First Committee consensus
UNGA: consensus

Conventional disarmament is usually most effective when countries of a region make common cause in addressing the shared problems caused by the weapons, and Africa's determination to reduce the toll on lives and development caused by SALW was the subject of several interventions during the FC debates. Kenya and Uganda were among the countries highlighting the new Nairobi Protocol for the Prevention, Control and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa, signed by eleven countries in the region in April. The protocol commits the governments to adopt national legislation to prohibit the "unrestricted civilian possession of small arms," to work for harmonised measures covering the manufacturing of SALW and the activities of arms brokers. Kenya said the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa are "especially vulnerable to the threat posed by the easy availability of [SALW] which have escalated the conflicts in the region. Ongoing inter- and intra-state conflicts have resulted in massive numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons. These in turn have place an unprecedented strain on the resources of the region, and indeed to reversals in economic development." Uganda said it hoped the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region next month in Tanzania will "grapple with the problem of the inundation of the region with small arms and light weapons in the hands of non-state actors resulting from the ending of conflicts in the region." Uganda asked all countries for political and financial support for programmes coming out of conference, such as programmes for disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of ex-combatants.

The Economic Council of West African States (ECOWAS) has in place a voluntary moratorium on the importation and manufacturing of SALW. Nigeria noted, "Consideration is currently being given to achieving the ultimate objective of transforming the ECOWAS moratorium on import/export of small arms from its current status of a political instrument to that of a legally binding convention" and asked countries outside the region to assist in achieving this goal.

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UNGA 59/515 (L.48 Decision)
Problems arising from the Accumulation of Conventional Ammunition Stockpiles in Surplus

Introduced by Bulgaria, with France, Germany and the Netherlands

This draft decision simply includes this issue as a new item for the agenda of the 60th General Assembly in 2005.

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

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UNGA 59/92 (L.52)
Information on confidence-building measures in the field of conventional arms

Introduced by Argentina with a large group of co-sponsors.

This new resolution encourages member states to provide information and engage in dialogue on CBMs in conventional arms, and requests the Secretary-General to establish "with the financial support of states in a position to do so, an electronic database containing information" on these issues.

First Committee consensus
UNGA: consensus

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International Security, Disarmament Principles and Measures

UNGA 60 (L.33)
Verification in all its Aspects, including the Role of the United Nations in the Field of Verification

Introduced by Canada.

Although in the end adopted without a vote, Canada's new resolution on verification (which had to be withdrawn last year) was seriously contested, not least by the United States, and provoked many statements of explanation. The resolution reaffirmed the "critical importance" and "vital contribution" of effective verification measures in nonproliferation, arms limitation and disarmament agreements, and proposed that a panel of government experts be established by the UN in 2006 to "explore the question of verification in all its aspects, including the role of the United Nations in the field of verification".

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

While the majority were supportive of Canada's aims, objections came from several angles. Britain, the United States and Japan, for example, said they worried about the scope and parameters of the proposed expert panel, and emphasised that it should not overlap or undermine the existing functions of the IAEA, OPCW and existing instruments. Questioning what the UN study was intended to deal with, the United States referred back to its statement of October 22, in which it argued that verification, compliance and enforcement were three interdependent components of policy, weighed against a state's obligations and commitments.

From a different perspective, India, Pakistan, Egypt and Iran argued that since the UNDC had already debated and elaborated 16 principles of verification that had been endorsed by the General Assembly in 1988, the UNDC should be the body to continue the study, focussing on implementing the principles. Pakistan said that "in a spirit of cooperation" it went along with the draft resolution, but it was "not convinced that another Panel of Experts can make a significant contribution at this stage to the philosophy of verification". Citing the CTBT and the BWC Protocol as examples, Pakistan noted, "Major disarmament initiatives since the verification principles were agreed upon have suffered setbacks... It is not for want of knowledge in the field of verification that these initiatives have been sidelined but on account of political reasons. It seems that the FMCT will suffer a similar fate, since some now want what used to be termed "toothless arms control". Pakistan did not want "a new verification paradigm [that] will negatively impact the existing achievements and consensus" and firmly objected to "any moves to revise or negate the already agreed parameters and principles in the field of verification or to propagate certain fringe experiences, such as UNMOVIC". Pakistan's warning against "creative but misplaced impulses" makes more sense in the context of India's statement that it had previously proposed a single multilateral verification institution under the United Nations. In Iran's words, "both substantively and procedurally the UNDC is still the best UN body to explore verification further, including the role of the UN..." India also considered that verification must be linked with specific obligations, such as timebound nuclear disarmament.

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UNGA 59/80 (L.31)
Measures to Prevent Terrorists from Acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction

Introduced by India and co-sponsored by Afghanistan, several NAM, S Asian states and EU states

Building on a resolution entitled 'Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction', first tabled in 2002, this resolution calls on all states to support international efforts and to undertake and strengthen national measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring WMD, their means of delivery and materials and technologies related to their manufacture. It takes note of UNSC resolution 1540 (April 2004) and the Final Documents of the NAM heads of State and Ministers from 2003 and 2004, as well as the G-8, EU and ASEAN initiatives. In 5 operative paragraphs, it calls on member states to support international efforts, urges members to take and strengthen national measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring WMD capabilities, encourages regional and international cooperation to strengthen national capacities. It requests the Secretary-General to compile a report on measures and seek states' views of further measures for tackling the global threat posed by the acquisition by terrorists of WMD.

First Committee consensus
UNGA: consensus

Though its 2002 origins may have been India's use of the terrorism bandwagon to score points against Pakistan with regard to Kashmir-related terrorism, the resolution has garnered wider support, with co-sponsorship from many EU countries, including France and Britain. Russia also co-sponsored, but China and the United States did not.

During the debates, many states expressed support for SC Resolution 1540 as an important contribution to preventing the acquisition of WMD by non-state actors, though several noted in this context the importance of implementing, respecting and strengthening existing treaties. Singapore, for example, said it sees the issues of disarmament, non-proliferation and terrorism as "inter-related". While supporting Resolution 1540, Singapore also called for "universal adherence to multilateral arms control and non-proliferation treaties such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention." Mexico observed that "the international strategy to combat terrorism tends to emphasize non-proliferation in detriment of disarmament objectives and in particular the obligations of nuclear States in the disarmament field."

Sri Lanka observed that the FC is again meeting "at a time when the international security situation is in crisis" noting specifically the "tragic events of September in Russia" which have "returned the spectre of international terrorism to haunt us." In this context Sri Lanka observed that "[i]t had been assumed for a long time that the security of a nation state could best be assured on a weapon-based system relying on every-greater technological advances. Yet we have in recent times seen that such impressive arsenals could not deter terrorists or non-state actors" and the recurrence of "tragedies, aimed at the mostly militarily powerful of nation states, underlines the need for us to reflect deeply on the issues of security and the urgent need to work together to consolidate the international legal regime using all the branches of the UN system."

Mention of the A.Q. Kahn proliferation network was made by the United States, Israel and the Republic of Korea, among others. Pakistan responded indirectly, emphasising the need to consider the causes that lead to terrorism, and saying that it "has adopted comprehensive measures to prevent WMD proliferation" including "effective steps, in cooperation with the international community, to eliminate an underground proliferation network which had its tentacles in two dozen countries."

Some states also cautioned against allowing the Security Council to adopt measures that circumvent the multilateral treaty negotiating process. A number of states pointed out that the most effective measure for preventing non-state access to weapons of mass destruction is through their elimination via "multilaterally negotiated disarmament agreements" as Mexico noted, adding that "the success of the strategy in combating terrorism, in particular on the dangerous front of weapons of mass destruction, necessarily hinges on the implementation of the disarmament objectives." Explaining its joining of consensus Brazil put on record that it regarded UNSC 1540 as specific to addressing the threat of WMD falling into the hands of terrorists.

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UNGA 59/69 (L.11)
Promotion of Multilateralism in the Area of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

Introduced by Malaysia on behalf of the NAM

Following on from similar resolutions in 2001, 2002 and 2003, this resolution, though refraining from naming names, reflects serious international concerns about the Bush Administration's undermining of multilateral arms control, and emphasises the centrality of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation. While recognising "the complementarity of bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral negotiations on disarmament", it expresses concern at the "continuous erosion of multilateralism" in arms regulation, nonproliferation and disarmament, and characterises multilateralism as "the core principle" in disarmament and non-proliferation concerns, negotiations and norm-building. It underlines the importance of preserving existing agreements, calls on states to renew and fulfil their commitments to multilateral cooperation. In its most controversial paragraph, OP6, it requests the states parties to relevant instruments on WMD "to consult and cooperate among themselves in resolving their concerns with regard to cases of non-compliance as well as on implementation..." and "to refrain from resorting or threatening to resort to unilateral actions or directing unverified noncompliance against one another to resolve their concerns". It also requests the Secretary General to seek states views and report back next year.

First Committee: 109-9-49
UNGA: 125-9-49

The NAM voted in favour, but Western states split between those who opposed the resolution - primarily the 'Coalition of the Willing' that joined the invasion of Iraq - and those who abstained, which included all of the EU except Britain. The Netherlands explained the abstention of the EU and associated states, saying that though they were convinced that "a multilateralist approach to security, including disarmament and non-proliferation, provides the best way to maintain international order and... to... uphold, implement and strengthen the multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation treaties and agreements", the resolution was "unbalanced" and contained elements that the EU could not support. In particular, the EU "believes that unilateral, bilateral and multilateral actions in disarmament and non-proliferation... bring... positive results." Since these were not given sufficient credit in the resolution, the EU abstained. For similar reasons Canada also abstained, arguing that it believes multilateralism is a core principle but not the core principle as stated in the resolution. Canada also objected to the tone of the resolution, viewing it as "restrictive", and emphasised the importance of unilateral and bilateral approaches, complaining that these concerns were not acknowledged.

During the general debate there was also a vigorous debate on multilateralism. China observed that in the face of "ever more rampant" terrorism and the danger of WMD proliferation, no country can stand alone and we are "duty bound to push forward the multilateral arms control and disarmament process." Canada said that "the best way of dealing with contemporary security threats is through multilateral cooperation premised on the rule of law. Legally binding agreements equipped with robust verification provisions that afford a high degree of assurance that any non-compliance will be detected, remain, in our estimation, the preferred means for consolidating advances on the non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament front." Bangladesh "remain[s] convinced that establishment of rule of law and multilateralism is the only option for us in dealing with the issues relating to international peace and security including disarmament." Mexico affirmed that the Rio Group was "convinced that an effective multilateralism is the only path to the maintenance of international peace and security."

The United States recalled its observations of the previous year that the international community "stood at a crossroads that would determine whether multilateral arms control institutions could break away from Cold War-era thinking and address new and emerging threats" citing in this context President Bush's remarks in an address at Whitehall Palace in London that "'the success of multilateralism is not measured by adherence to forms along, the tidiness of the process, but by the results we achieve to keep our nations secure.'" On November 20, 2003, President Bush and UK Prime Minister Blair issued a Joint Statement on Multilateralism which "emphasized that, 'Effective multilateralism, and neither unilateralism nor international paralysis, will guide our approach.'" From the US perspective, however, "progress over the past year toward our goal of effective multilateralism in the area of arms control and disarmament has been mixed" and "[c]andor requires us to admit ... that we are dismayed by the current state of the multilateral arms control machinery" adding that "[s]urely the United States is not alone in this feeling." Although the US "has made clear its support for the principle of 'effective multilateralism' ... [i]t would defy logic ... to expect states to continue to rely on multilateral processes if doing so has the effect of preventing all action."

By contrast, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) took the floor to say that "[u]nilateralism based on the supremacy of power ruthlessly destroys the norms and order of international relations" adding that "[c]ountries are designated as 'axis of evil' and 'targets for preemptive nuclear strikes' and the unilateral military attacks against sovereign States are perpetrated under the pretext of 'suspicion over the possession of weapons of mass destruction' [which is] nothing but an artificial pretext to realize the policy of nuclear threat of a nuclear superpower aimed at controlling the world by maintaining the nuclear supremacy and nuclear threats. The development in Iraq proves it."

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UNGA 59/61 (L.2/rev.1)
Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security

Introduced by the Russian Federation with co-sponsorship from Kyrgyzstan

This resolution was first introduced in 1998 with the intention of highlighting concerns provoked by US plans for missile defence and space control, it succeeded last year in having a group of government experts established under UN auspices, due to report next year. Though adopted without a vote, the resolution is attracts some reservations, but the language is sufficiently general not to attract direct opposition. It notes that scientific and technological developments can have dual-use, civilian and military applications, and expresses concern regarding the abuse of information resources and technologies in ways that may "adversely affect the integrity of the infrastructure of states to the detriment of their security". Calling on member states to consider the range of threats to information security,, the resolution notes with satisfaction the establishment in 2004 of a group of governmental experts to study "relevant international concepts aimed at strengthening the security of global information and telecommunications systems".

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

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UNGA 59/62 (L.32)
Role of Science and Technology in the Context of International Security and Disarmament

Introduced by India with co-sponsorship of some thirty NAM states

This routine resolution highlights both the civilian and military potential of scientific and technological developments and stresses the importance of encouraging civilian applications. Though it acknowledges the role of dual-use items in the development and upgrading of weapons of mass destruction, the resolution mainly reflects the concerns of a number of NAM states regarding export control regimes with emphasis on a perceived threat by a self-selected cartel of developed states to the peaceful development rights of others. Declares that the benefits of advances in the civilian sphere should be available to all and urges member states to undertake multilateral negotiations towards this end, with the encouragement of the relevant UN bodies.

First Committee: 101-49-17
UNGA: 106-48-21

As in previous years, most NAM states voted in favour, while states aligned with the Western caucus opposed, objecting that the resolution side-steps the problems of dual use whereby countries evoke peaceful purposes to gain access to technology. Arguing that this also has serious military or weapons implications, the opponents and abstainers regard the resolution as inadequate and potentially in contradiction with the international system of export controls, in which many of them participate.

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UNGA 59/66 (L.5)
National Legislation on Transfer of Arms, Military Equipment and Dual Use Goods and Technology

Introduced by the Netherlands

This is the second year for this resolution and, in the wake of the adoption of UNSC 1540, was able to obtain consensus. The resolution evokes 1540 in OP1 and invites member states "to enact or improve national legislation, regulations and procedures to exercise effective control over the transfer of arms, military equipment and dual-use good and technology, while ensuring that such legislation, regulations and procedures are consistent with the obligations of states parties under international treaties." In OP2 states are encouraged to provide the UN, on a voluntary basis, with information on their national legislation, regulations and procedures regarding arms transfers etc.

The resolution, which builds on the Netherlands' traditional role in supporting the UN Conventional Arms Register, had a rocky start. It was withdrawn in 2002 and in 2003 a paragraph vote on PP2 caused splits, with some countries abstaining on a preambular paragraph that related export controls to disarmament and nonproliferation treaties, though no state voted against the actual resolution. The resolution asserts the importance of national legislation, regulations and procedures on arms transfers and dual-use equipment and technology as a confidence-building measure, recognising also the importance of disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation in the maintenance of international peace and security. It encourages states to exchange information, and enact or improve their own national legislation in this arena and provide relevant information to the Secretary-General. The language of PP2 has been modified this year, characterising as an "important tool" "effective national control of the transfer of arms, military equipment and dual-use goods and technology, including those transfers that could contribute to proliferation activities". In addition, PP3 asserts the incentive of facilitating "the fullest possible exchange of materials, equipment and technological information for peaceful purposes".

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

The controversy over this resolution has been largely defused by the adoption of UNSC 1540, so there was less debate than in past years. Whilst joining consensus, Cuba said that national legislation should be viewed as supplementing and implementing multilaterally negotiated instruments and legally binding treaties, underlining that "only the framework of international treaties can provide a guarantee against selective, discriminatory practices".

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UNGA 59/68 (L.10)
Observance of Environmental Norms in the Drafting and Implementation of Agreements on Disarmament and Arms Control

Introduced by Malaysia on behalf of the NAM

In its tenth year, this resolution emphasises the need to observe environmental norms in both the negotiation and implementation of disarmament and arms control agreements. It explicitly refers to "the detrimental environmental effects of the use of nuclear weapons". It calls for unilateral, bilateral, regional or multilateral measures to ensure that environmental and sustainable development considerations are taken into account in relation to scientific and technological progress applied to international security, disarmament and related spheres, and invites states to inform the Secretary-General of measures they have adopted in this regard .

First Committee: 165-1-3
UNGA: 175-2-3

The United States, which until last year abstained on this resolution, voted against for the second time, forcing poor little Palau - whose pristine Pacific environment has been devastated by US military activities since the 1940s - to keep it company in the GA. Noting that the environmental resolution had not changed in four years, the United States argued that there was no direct connection between general environmental standards and arms control and disarmament, and that concern for the environment should not lead to overburdening crucial negotiations. The US claimed that the UN should not set standards for arms control and disarmament agreements - that is for the states concerned to do. Britain, France and Israel abstained.

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UNGA 59/78 (L.28)
Relationship between Disarmament and Development

Introduced by Malaysia on behalf on the NAM

This traditional NAM resolution underlines the importance of the "symbiotic relationship" between disarmament and development, with particular reference to global military expenditure which reduces the amount available for development needs. It welcomes the report of the Group of Governmental Experts (A/59/119), stresses the central role of the UN, and urges an increase in resources to be made available for the implementation of disarmament and arms limitation agreements.

First Committee: 165-1-2
UNGA: 180-2-2

The United States voted against (dragging Palau along in the GA), while Israel and France abstained. The US reiterated its well-known belief that disarmament and development are two distinct issues. Since the US did not participate in the 1987 conference on Disarmament and Development, it did not regard itself as bound by any of its decisions. By contrast, the UK said it had supported the resolution because it agreed with many of the conclusions of the recent expert group on disarmament and development, particularly relating to mainstreaming, demobilisation, small arms and light weapons, anti-personnel landmines and explosive remnants of war. The UK supported the Group's conclusion that the relationship between disarmament and development was complex, but could not accept its conclusion that there had been little progress on nuclear disarmament. Saying that "the UK maintains a minimum deterrent and continues to work towards disarmament", Britain argued, however irrelevantly given the subject matter, that the resolution had not given sufficient credit to unilateral, bilateral and multilateral measures for disarmament and nonproliferation, as recognised in the final document from the NPT's 2000 Review Conference.

During the General Debate, the links between disarmament and development were discussed in several ways, with particular emphasis on SALW. Because they are in such wide use, SALW have a visible and immediate impact on all aspects of life, especially in the poorer countries. Turkey noted that the uncontrolled spread of SALW "pose a significant threat to peace and security as well as to the social and economic developments of many communities and countries." Even India and Pakistan see eye-to-eye on this problem. "Illicit trade in SALW not only poses a threat to the security of states but also endangers their socio-economic and political stability. The impact of illicit trade in small arms is aggravated by its links to organised crime, terrorism and trafficking in narcotics," said India. SALW are "creating major humanitarian emergencies and neutralising economic progress," said Pakistan. "These crises need to be addressed in a comprehensive manner, through conflict resolution, ending external intervention, and halting the illegal exploitation of natural resource which motivate and fuel many of these conflicts."

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UNGA 59/82 (L.38*)
Consolidation of Peace Through Practical Disarmament Measures

Introduced by Germany and others

With stronger emphasis on small arms and light weapons, the resolution asserts the need for a comprehensive and integrated approach towards certain practical disarmament measures. It notes the importance of the Secretary-General's report and its recommendations for the consolidation of peace through practical disarmament measures and welcomes the activities undertaken by the Group of Interested States, inviting the Group to "continue to analyse lessons learned from previous disarmament and peace-building projects. Referring to the "synergies within the multi-stakeholder process", the resolution encourages member states to support requests by others regarding the collection and destruction of small arms and light weapons and welcomes the report of the United Nations study on disarmament and non-proliferation education as well as the Secretary-General's reports on the implementation of this resolution.

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

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Disarmament Machinery and Education

UNGA 59/95 (L.60)
Improving the effectiveness of the methods of work of the First Committee

Introduced by Indonesia, with support from the United States

After last year's consensus adoption of a resolution sponsored by the United States, with which the NAM countries were particularly unhappy, Malaysia (for the NAM) and the US put in two rival resolutions on this issue in 2004. After intensive negotiations between Indonesia, on behalf of the NAM, the US and others, including the EU, the separate resolutions were withdrawn and a compromise resolution was adopted without a vote. Consisting of four preambular paragraphs and 11 operative paragraphs, the compromise resolution uses the NAM language emphasising the three stages of general debate, thematic/structured debate, and consideration and action on resolutions and US language promising to continue efforts to improve the First Committee as a means to enhance the role of the GA in promoting international peace and security.

Operatively it takes up the NAM language for the biennialisation or triennialisation of agenda items to be considered on a voluntary basis (not automatic, as the US draft implied), more concise and action-oriented resolutions, and the holding of interactive debates. In new paragraphs, sponsors are encouraged to consult with a view to finding commonalities and merging texts on similar issues. It also encourages the First Committee to include presentations and focus discussions on the work of expert groups, regional centres, UNIDIR and other relevant specialists. OP8 also reiterates that Committees be informed of the "detailed estimated cost of all resolutions and decisions that have been recommended..."

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

During the general debate, the US cited the "enthusiastic reaction to the resolution that [it] introduced last year on the revitalization of the First Committee" as a "positive" example of progress towards effective multilateralism, also welcoming "the valuable recommendations submitted by governments to the Secretary-General on practical ways to improve the effectiveness of the methods of work of the First Committee." The US claimed that its draft (L.1) had incorporated many of these suggestions. It proposed electing the First Committee a year in advance and also listed a number of specific measures for improving the First Committee's work, including limiting the number of commissioned studies to one per year; setting a limit on the number of draft resolutions and decisions each year; introducing traditional consensus resolutions on a biennial or triennial basis; and having a cutoff "sunset" provision.

The original NAM draft (L.13) argued for election of the Bureau only three months in advance. The NAM wanted to retain the thematic clustering of agenda items and the three stages of general debate, thematic/structure debate and consideration and action on resolutions, with more interactive debates. States were encouraged to submit more "concise and action-oriented" resolutions, with the biennialisation or triennialisation of agenda items considered on a voluntary basis.

Welcoming reform efforts "to ensure greater relevancy for the work of the First Committee and meshing better its results with the objectives of the principal treaties in the disarmament field and the activities pursuant to them, as well as with other work that is taking place", Canada expressed support for confining the general debate to the first week of the FC session, leaving more time for exchange of views on substantive disarmament issues. Canada "would also welcome more interactivity in such sessions and the inclusion of lead-off speakers drawn from the ranks of leading representatives or experts of concerned organisations." Norway said that the ability of the FC "to face the threats posed by international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as to deal with other security threats, clearly needs to be upgraded" and in this context has organised two informal workshops on FC reform and circulated a working paper based on them.

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UNGA 59/104 (L.27/rev.1)
Report of the Conference on Disarmament

Introduced by Myanmar (Burma) as current President of the CD

The annual CD resolution reaffirms the role of the CD as the "single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community" and takes note of "active discussions" and "significant contributions" towards trying to get a programme of work. Since those efforts have been unsuccessful, the rest of the resolution repeated previous years' language supporting the work of the current and incoming CD Presidents to consult and seek a way out of the long deadlock, and strongly urges the CD to commence substantive work in 2005.

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

Though no-one chose to speak when the resolution was adopted, as tradition dictates, without a vote, many CD members and observers have expressed disgust and frustration at the inability of the CD to adopt a work programme since concluding the CTBT in 1996 (with the exception of having a work programme based on agreement to negotiate a fissban for a few weeks in 1998). A number of pointed remarks have also been made about the US retreat from the Shannon Mandate because of its inclusion of international verification. While some blame CD procedures, especially the rigid institutionalisation of the rule of consensus, others argue that the core obstacle is a lack of sufficient political will and collective pressure for negotiations on any of the CD's agenda to go forward. Notwithstanding this deadlock, it is also pointed out that useful discussions on topics ranging from the fissban to outer space, utilising nongovernmental as well as state expertise have been conducted on the margins of the CD and that even if negotiations remain blocked, more creative approaches to using CD time and resources are worth exploring.

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UNGA 59/105 (L.42*)
Report of the Disarmament Commission

Introduced by Kazakhstan

Despite the discussions on reform of disarmament machinery, this routine resolution remained little changed from past years and, as in past years, received consensus, though it was clear that a growing number of states are questioning its role and effectiveness. The resolution, as always, reaffirms the importance of the UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC) and its mandate, dating back more than 20 years. It also reaffirms the importance of "enhancing the dialogue and cooperation" among this body, the First Committee and the CD, and requests the UNDC to meet for not more than three weeks, from July 18 to August 5, 2004.

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

Although this went through on consensus, a lot of reservations were expressed in explanations. The US insisted that the record should show it had not participated in the consensus. Netherlands on behalf of the EU and associated called the UNDC both an "important deliberative body" and "a deep disappointment", which must "adopt a more realistic and practical approach". Canada said it was deeply disappointed with the UNDC failing to do any substantive work yet again, and warned that there was a danger that putting in another "hollow resolution" would result in a greater loss of interest and credibility. Cuba said it was regrettable that the UNDC had been unable to even begin considering substantive issues and complained that the resolution contained an undetermined OP5 because there had been a failure to reach agreement for substantive discussion in 2005. However, Cuba rejected the view of some members who argue that the UNDC cannot become effective without changing its working methods. In Cuba's view, no change of procedures would alter the fact of the core political will is lacking, particular with regard to nuclear disarmament.

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UNGA 59/71 (L.14) Convening of the Fourth Special Session of the General Assembly Devoted to Disarmament [UNSSOD IV]

Introduced by Malaysia on behalf of the NAM

Back again, this resolution, which had to be replaced by a procedural draft decision in 2003, decides to establish another Open-ended Working Group in 2006 to consider the objectives and agenda, including the possible establishment of the preparatory committee, for the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament, taking note of previous working groups, proposals and consultations. It requests states to continue consultations on this and decides to include the issue on next year's agenda.

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

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UNGA 59/93 (L.53/Rev.1)
United Nations Study on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education

Introduced by Mexico with co-sponsorship from the study members and others

This resolution builds on the UN Study on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education, which launched its report on October 9, 2002, after two years of consultations, Containing 34 recommendations for actions to be undertaken by governments, educators, and civil society, the study was warmly welcomed in the resolution, which "conveys" its recommendations for implementation by member states. It "requests the Secretary-General to utilise electronic means to the fullest extent possible in the dissemination, in as many official languages as feasible, of information related to that report" and other related information. It further requests that a report be undertaken to assess the results of that implementation for the sixty-first session of the General Assembly in 2006.

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

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UNGA 59/97 (L.4/Rev.1)
United Nations Disarmament Fellowship Training and Advisory Services

Introduced by Nigeria with co-sponsorship from a wide cross-group of over 50 states

This resolution reaffirms past decisions and notes the contribution made by the Fellowship Programme to developing greater awareness of the importance and benefits of disarmament. It recognises the need for member states to take into account gender equality when nominating candidates. The resolution expresses appreciation to member states and particularly to Germany and Japan, for hosting participants of the programme, and also expresses appreciation to the IAEA, OPCW, the CTBTO Preparatory Commission and the Monterey Institute of International Studies. It requests the Secretary-General to continue to implement the Geneva-based programme within existing resources.

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

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UNGA 59/98 (L.9)
United Nations Regional Centres for Peace and Disarmament

Introduced by Malaysia on behalf of NAM

Recognises the importance of the regional context in progress towards peace and disarmament, in particular the role of education, and the need to revitalise the three Regional Centres in Nepal, Peru and Togo. Calls upon the support of member states as well as NGOs and the UN. Requests the Secretary-General to provide all necessary support - within existing resources - to these three centres.

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

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UNGA 59/99 (L.18)
United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin American and the Caribbean

Introduced by Mexico on behalf of states in the region

This routine resolution once again expresses its support for the Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Lima, Peru and related developments and work, especially in education and promoting confident-building measures, arms control and limitation, disarmament and development at the regional level. The resolution congratulates the Regional Centre for the expansion of its activities, encourages further work in disarmament and development, and appeals for additional voluntary funding as well as UN resources to carry out its future programmes.

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

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UNGA 59/100 (L.20)
United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific

Introduced by Nepal on behalf of states in the region

This routine resolution again welcomes the report of the Secretary-General regarding the continuing validity of the Regional Centre's mandate and welcomes the idea of the possible creation of an educational and training programme for peace and disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, including locating its headquarters in Kathmandu, although that has still not been put into effect. The resolution underlines the importance of the Kathmandu process and, as in other resolutions dealing with Regional Centres, appeals to member states, international governmental and nongovernmental organisations and foundations, to make voluntary contributions to support the work of the Regional Centre. It also urges the Secretary-General to ensure "the physical operation of the Regional Centre from Kathmandu within six months of the date of signature of the host country agreement."

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

Despite the traditional text urging the establishment of the "the physical operation of the Regional Centre from Kathmandu, Nepal's difficulties with regard to accessibility and security make this increasingly unlikely, even if no-one seems able to open debate into an alternative location in the region.

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UNGA 59/101 (L.24)
United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa

Introduced by Nigeria on behalf of the Group of African states

This routine resolution commends the activities of the African Regional Centre, reaffirms strong support for the centre, and appeals to states, international governmental organisations, NGOs and Foundations to make voluntary contributions in order to strengthen its programmes and activities. It specifically calls for cooperation between the Regional Centre and the African Union, and emphasises the importance of its work in promoting the consistent implementation of the 2001 Programme of Action to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in SALW.

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

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UNGA 57/103 (L.51)
United Nations Disarmament Information Programme

Introduced by Mexico and co-sponsored by several South and Central American states as well as New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and FYROMacedonia

This resolution, which has been introduced every other year since 1996, expresses support for the UN Disarmament Information Programme (UNDIP). It takes note of the recommendations in the 2002 study on nonproliferation and disarmament education, and recommends that INDIP should continue to inform and educate, maintain its website and intensify interaction with the public, NGOs and research institutes and focus its efforts on generating public understanding of the importance of multilateral action on disarmament

First Committee: consensus
UNGA: consensus

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© 2005 The Acronym Institute.