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International Negotiations



Four-Party Talks. On 17 April 1996, South Korea and the USA proposed Four-Party Talks with North Korea and China to replace the Korean War armistice agreement with a permanent peace treaty. On 30 December 1996, North Korea agreed to a three-party (USA, DPRK, and ROK) "joint briefing" to discuss Four-Party Talks {30.12}. Preparatory meetings for Four-Party Talks were held in 1997 without any substantial breakthroughs. Disagreement over food aid to North Korea and a working agenda for an August 1997 preparatory meeting {15.9} left the talks stalled for a while. In November 1997, North Korea finally agreed to US demands on the working agenda; and the two countries issued a joint statement saying the talks would focus on the "establishment of a peace regime on the Korean peninsula and [on] issues concerning tension reduction there" {21.11}. The talks commenced in December 1997 in Geneva {8.12}. Several rounds of the talks were held in 1997, 1998, and 1999, but achieved no result. The talks did not resume thereafter.

Six-Party Talks. On 10 June 2003, the USA invited North Korea to five-way talks that would include the USA, DPRK, ROK, Japan and China. On 31 July 2003, North Korea agreed to the multilateral talks if Russia was included. The US State Department agreed to this condition. The first session of talks commenced in August 2003, and was followed by a US-DPRK bilateral meeting {27.8}. The DPRK demanded that the US present a roadmap for giving up its hostile policy toward P'yongyang, starting with a nonaggression treaty. Washington ruled out signing a non-aggression treaty. No consensus or formal solution was reached, but the six nations agreed to continue efforts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula maintaining dialogue. Both the US and the DPRK have not compromised their basic positions. After months of delay and stalemate, North Korea agreed to continue with the six-party talks during a meeting between Chinese premier Wu Bangguo and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il on 30 October 2003. North Korea announced, however, that it would participate only if the USA accepted their package deal. (See the section on the DPRK proliferation crisis above for the US-DPRK basic positions, and the b-section chronology for details on North Korea's package deal).
The second round of talks, held in 25-28 February 2004, also failed to establish a framework for ending North Korea's nuclear program because the United States and North Korea both refused to make any concessions. In the third round of talks, 23-26 June 2004, the participants demonstrated more flexibility and willingness to compromise. The parties managed to reach consensus on the first phase of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. They also approved working document that delegates operational authority over denuclearization processes to a working group. The fourth round of talks, scheduled for September 2004, was postponed due to South Korea's revelation of past secret nuclear experiments.


The Forum for Security Cooperation, an arm of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), has been defining confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs) since 1992. The OSCE Istanbul summit adopted a Charter for European Security and a "Vienna Document 1999." The latter integrated new CSBMs with those established in the Vienna Document 1994 (see below). The Charter for European Security affirmed the important role of arms control and CSBMs in European security.

OSCE and FSC History:
Helsinki Agreement (1975). In 1975, the states of Europe (except Albania) along with Canada and the United States signed the Helsinki Final Act. Among the security provisions ("Basket I") was the "Document on Confidence-Building Measures and Certain Aspects of Security and Disarmament," which required notification of military maneuvers exceeding 25,000 troops (see 1986 status).

Stockholm Conference (1986). Efforts to strengthen the Helsinki CSBMs made no headway at the Belgrade CSCE Follow-Up Meeting in 1978. In 1983, after three years of talks, the Madrid CSCE Follow-Up Meeting initiated negotiations on CSBMs, which took place in Stockholm from 17 January 1984 to 22 September 1986. The mandate from Madrid envisaged the Stockholm negotiations as a first stage of security talks and anticipated that a second stage of discussions would move from CSBMs to actual disarmament.

In Stockholm, the 35 CSCE states, meeting as the Conference on Confidence and Security building Measures and Disarmament in Europe (the CDE), adopted the Stockholm Document. It contained certain CSBMs that improved upon those in the Helsinki Final Act. For example, the threshold for notification of exercises was lowered to 13,000 troops and inspections to verify compliance were included. (See ACR 402dEUR86 for Stockholm Document.)

Follow-Up Conference in Vienna (1990). On 4 November 1986, the third CSCE review conference began in Vienna. In addition to discussing human rights and economic cooperation, the CSCE worked through a second stage of security negotiations. The desire of neutral states, the Soviet bloc, and some NATO members to begin disarmament discussions among the 35 states in the CDE had met strong opposition from the United States, which wanted to limit CDE talks to CSBMs and hold discussions on conventional disarmament exclusively among the 23 members of NATO and the Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO).

As a compromise, two sets of talks were initiated by the 15 January 1989 Concluding Document of the Vienna CSCE Review: CSBM talks and talks on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) (covered in section 407), which involved the "23" but remained "within the framework of the CSCE process." On 19 November 1990 the CFE and the CSBM talks concluded with agreements. The Vienna Document 1990 contained 16 new CSBMs {ACR box 21.11} and subsumed the measures from the 1986 Stockholm Document.

Vienna Document 1992. CSBM negotiators resumed discussions in Vienna on 26 November 1990, working toward a more comprehensive document that was completed on 4 March 1992. The Vienna Document 1992, which encompassed the measures of the previous documents, entered into force on 1 May 1992. It expanded the CSCE's membership to include the republics of the former Soviet Union and required more detailed information exchanges, advance notice of military exercises with 9,000 or more troops, and limits on the number of exercises with more than 13,000 troops {4.3}.

Helsinki Document 1992. The Helsinki Document 1992, adopted at the 1992 Helsinki CSCE meeting, provided the mandate for the Forum for Security Cooperation, consisting of the then 52 CSCE members. FSC talks focus on improving and adjusting CSBMs rather than on disarmament {ACR 402dEUR92}. The FSC had its first meeting on 22 September 1992 and met weekly thereafter in Vienna {23.11}, discussing proposals on harmonization {7.10}, data exchanges {21.10}, and non-proliferation {9.11}. The FSC finalized four agreements in 1993 {25.11}, covering military cooperation and contacts, defense planning information exchange, principles guiding transfers of conventional weapons, and stabilizing measures for crisis situations. {25.11.93}

Vienna Document 1994. In 1994, the FSC reached four additional agreements {5 6.12}, which were adopted at the Budapest Summit following a CSCE Review Conference. The agreements provided for the following CSBMs:

• An annual exchange of information on the defense planning and worldwide armed forces and armaments of FSC members (Global Exchange of Military Information or GEMI) and an institutionalized dialogue on the relevant data;

• Increased contacts between military personnel of all OSCE states;

• Notification 42 days in advance of military activities involving 9000 troops, 250 battle tanks, 500 armored combat vehicles, or 250 artillery pieces (or more);

• Annual reports on all military activities subject to notification;

• Monitoring of compliance with short-notice inspections; and

• Operation of a communication network for rapid transmission of information. During NATO's 1999 military attacks on Yugoslavia, Russia complained that it was denied inspection rights provided by the Vienna Document. {24.3, 25.12}

Budapest Review Conference 1994. The CSCE Review Conference met in Budapest on 10 October 2 December 1994. It formally changed the CSCE to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, recognizing the CSCE's transformation from a cooperative process into an organization. In addition member states agreed to begin discussion on a "comprehensive security model for Europe for the 21st century," which was adopted at the Lisbon summit in December 1996 (see ACR 402dEUR96).

Lisbon summit 1996. The OSCE summit in Lisbon on 2 3 December 1996 endorsed two FSC documents: A Framework for Arms Control and Development of the Agenda of the Forum for Security and Cooperation (see 402dEUR96 for texts). The Framework aimed at the development of the OSCE area "as an indivisible common security space" with "a web of interlocking and mutually reinforcing arms control obligations and commitments." The new framework aimed to link existing arms control agreements such as the Adapted CFE Agreement (see 407), the Treaty on Open Skies, and the Sub-Regional Arms Control Agreement in the former Yugoslavia with future agreements in a comprehensive structure and develop new ways of dealing with the security concerns of all states in the OSCE area.

Istanbul summit 1999. The 1999 Review Conference took place from 20 September to 1 October in Vienna and on 8-10 November in Istanbul. The summit adopted the Vienna Document 1999 and the Charter for European Security. The Vienna Document 1999 integrates new and updated CSBMs, including revisions to the annual exchange of military information, visits to military installations, and observations of exercises. The Charter for European Security underpins the "OSCE role as the only pan-European security organization entrusted with ensuring the peace and stability in its area." The Charter created the Rapid Expert Assistance and Cooperation Teams (REACT), which enhance the OSCE capability to offer assistance in civilian field operations.

Porto, Portugal, summit 2002. The latest triennial summit focused on conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and peacekeeping. Since 1999, OSCE missions have played a growing role as mediators in internal and transnational conflicts, especially in Southeastern Europe-Kosovo-Serbia, Russia-Chechnya, Moldova-Transdniestria-Russia, Georgia-Abkhazia, Armenia-Azerbaijan, Georgia-South Ossetia-and in Russia-Georgia relations affected by the conflicts in Chechnya and in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Decisions were taken to establish an annual security review conference and commission OSCE studies, to be discussed at a December 2003 ministerial meeting, on trafficking in human beings, combating terrorism, defining an OSCE strategic role in security, OSCE peacekeeping capabilities, and the OSCE role in economic and environmental affairs.

Linked OSCE-NATO-CFE Issues. The conflicts between Russia and Georgia and Russia and Moldova stem in part from pockets of independence-minded Russian-speaking citizens in those two states, who have delayed the withdrawal of Russian bases and military equipment, as promised by Russia at the 1999 Istanbul summit. Though Russian withdrawal is not legally required under the terms of any existing treaty, most CFE countries have made it a pre-condition for their ratification the CFE Adaptation Agreement. The delay in ratification, in turn, poses a problem for Russia in connection with NATO expansion: In November 2002, NATO invited the Baltic countries bordering Russia to join NATO (see below) and in April 2004 they finally joined the Alliance. These countries are expected to accede to the CFE Treaty, which would prohibit a large build-up of foreign NATO armed forces on their territory; but since the original CFE Treaty is not open for accession, their joining the CFE awaits ratification of the Adapted Agreement, which does have provisions for accession.

Russian withdrawal of equipment from Moldova was expected to be completed by the end of 2003 (an extended deadline adopted at the Porto summit), but is still not finished. Russia and Georgia are conducting negotiations on the timeline for Russia to shut down two Russian bases (out of four) still operational in Georgia. The legal accession of the Baltic countries (and other new members) to NATO was completed by April 2004. Once Russian military withdrawal is complete, months will be required for ratification of the Adapted CFE Treaty by some 25 states that have not yet ratified the agreement's entry into force, and then accession by the Baltics. Therefore the Baltic states have become NATO members before they have acceded to the CFE Treaty. Russia has strenuously objected this development, and has threatened to withdraw from the CFE Treaty if the Baltic states have not joined it by the time they are members of NATO.

Location and Sessions. The FSC began meeting on 22 September 1992. It meets in Vienna weekly, with month-long breaks in the summer and around the turn of the year.

Agenda and Working Groups. The FSC discusses confidence- and security-building measures designed to reduce the risk of surprise attack and to build mutual trust. Like all other OSCE bodies, it makes decisions by consensus.

Council of Europe and European Assembly Founded in 1948, the Council of Europe is a pan-European organization for consultation, harmonization, and enforcement of laws on human rights and international and internal conflict. Like the OSCE, the Council of Europe comprises (in principle) all 48 European states. Unlike the OSCE and some other European security organizations, it excludes non-European members, that is, the United States, Canada, and Central Asian states. The Council of Europe also differs from the OSCE's Forum on Security Cooperation, NATO, and the CFE process in that it does not does not negotiate or implement disarmament or military confidence-building measures. The Council's activities and mandate overlap with those of the OSCE, however, in setting standards for human rights and democratic institutions among member countries. In this respect, the Council's work complements that of the OSCE, as noted in the Council's 1998 Recommendation 1381:

The OSCE [is dominant] in ... preventive diplomacy and crisis management due to its ability to respond rapidly, as well as the means put at its disposal, which ensure a long-term presence. The Council of Europe has a unique expertise in the field of human rights, democratic institutions and the rule of law, which contributes to the structural prevention of conflict and to long-term ... post-conflict rehabilitation.... The OSCE relies increasingly on the Council of Europe's instruments and expertise [in these areas].

UN General Assembly

Introduction. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee deals with disarmament and international security matters. Any UNGA member may introduce an item for consideration. The General Committee decides whether to consider the proposal and through which committee. Through this process, by the time the autumn session opens, the General Committee has usually assigned the First Committee some 20 to 40 items. After debating the items, the First Committee then makes recommendations to the UNGA.

Agenda. In the general First Committee debate, delegations principally address issues related to nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction, and conventional arms.

Location and Sessions. The Committee meets at the UN Headquarters in New York. The General Assembly session begins on the third Tuesday of September. First Committee sessions usually begin in October. In recent years, the First Committee has completed voting by the middle of November and the General Assembly has voted on First Committee draft resolutions in the first part of December. At the fifty-eighth session in 2003, the UN General Assembly voted on forty-eight resolutions and six decisions. In 2004, the fifty-ninth General Assembly took on forty-eight resolutions and three decisions.

Participants. The UN has a membership of 191 states. (The Cook Islands, Niue, and the Holy See are not UN member states.) All are members of the First Committee. In 2002 the First Committee was chaired by Matia Mulumba Semakula Kiwanuka (Uganda), and the Secretary was Mohammad Kasem. In 2003, the First Committee was chaired by Ambassador Jarmo Serava (Finland), and the Secretary was Mr Mohammad Kasem Sarrar. In 2004, Alfonso de Alba (Mexico) co-chaired the First Committee with Dziunik Aghajanian (Armenia); Alon Bar (Israel) and Sylvester Ekundayo Rowe (Sierra Leone) as Vice-Chairmen; and Mohamed Ali Saleh Alnajar (Yemen) as Rapporteur.

2005 session. The 2005 General Assembly started in September. {}

Procedure. The First Committee takes decisions by a simple majority. The General Assembly decides important questions, such as recommendations on peace and security, by a two-thirds majority; other questions are decided by a simple majority. A majority determines whether a question is important.

Issues. In recent years, First Committee discussion has been dominated by concern over the stalemate in efforts for nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. The possible negative impact of modifying or abandoning the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and of further missile proliferation were widely underscored in delegates comments in 2001 and 2002. The importance of multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation efforts in the struggle against terrorism was also stressed. Resolutions on regional approaches to disarmament and transparency in armaments and military spending were repeated.

Agenda items sent to the First Committee in 2004

G. Disarmament

1. Reduction of military budgets [item 57].

2. Maintenance of international security - good-neighborliness', stability and development in South-Eastern Europe [item 58].

3. Verification in all its aspects, including the role of the United Nations in the field of verification [item 59].

4. Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security [item 60].

5. Role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament [item 61].

6. Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East [item 62].

7. Conclusion of effective international arrangements to assure non- Nuclearweapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons [item 63].

8. Prevention of an arms race in outer space [item 64].

9. General and complete disarmament [item 65]:

[The General Assembly decided that the relevant paragraphs of the annual report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (A/59/295), which is to be considered directly in plenary meeting under item 14, be drawn to the attention of the First Committee in connection with its consideration of item 65.]

(a) Notification of nuclear tests;

(b) Further measures in the field of disarmament for the prevention of an arms race on the seabed and the ocean floor and in the subsoil thereof;

(c) Disarmament and non-proliferation education;

(d) Measures to uphold the authority of the 1925 Geneva Protocol;

(e) Relationship between disarmament and development;

(f) Mongolia's international security and nuclear-weapon-free status;

(g) Missiles;

(h) Compliance with arms limitation and disarmament and non-proliferation agreements;

(i) Regional disarmament;

(j) Conventional arms control at the regional and subregional levels;

(k) Improving the effectiveness of the methods of work of the First Committee; (

l) National legislation on transfer of arms, military equipment and dual-use goods and technology;

(m) Confidence-building measures in the regional and subregional context;

(n) Promotion of multilateralism in the area of disarmament and nonproliferation;

(o) Observance of environmental norms in the drafting and implementation of agreements on disarmament and arms control;

(p) Follow-up to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons;

(q) Reducing nuclear danger;

(r) Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction;

(s) Nuclear-weapon-free southern hemisphere and adjacent areas;

(t) Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: a new agenda;

(u) Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction;

(v) Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction;

(w) Transparency in armaments;

(x) Nuclear disarmament;

(y) Assistance to States for curbing the illicit traffic in small arms and collecting them;

(z) The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects;

(aa) United Nations conference to identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers in the context of nuclear disarmament;

(bb) Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia;

(cc) Consolidation of peace through practical disarmament measures;

(dd) Convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament.

10. Review and implementation of the Concluding Document of the Twelfth Special Session of the General Assembly [item 66]:

(a) United Nations Disarmament Information Programme;

(b) United Nations disarmament fellowship, training and advisory services;

(c) United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean;

(d) United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa;

(e) United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific;

(f) United Nations regional centres for peace and disarmament;

(g) Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons;

(h) Regional confidence-building measures: activities of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa.

11. Review of the implementation of the recommendations and decisions adopted by the General Assembly at its tenth special session [item 67]:

(a) Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters;

(b) United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research;

(c) Report of the Conference on Disarmament;

(d) Report of the Disarmament Commission.

12. The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East [item 68].

13. 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 [item 69].

14. Strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region [item 70].

15. Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty [item 71].

16. Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction [item 72].

I. Organizational, administrative and other matters

17. Programme planning (programme 3 of the proposed strategic framework for the period 2006-2007) [item 109].

18. Election of the officers of the Main Committees [item 5].


UN Disarmament Commission: DC

Framework. The United Nations Disarmament Commission is a subsidiary organ of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and comprises all UNGA members. Created in 1952 by the UNGA, the DC met only occasionally after 1959. In June 1978, the UNGA's first Special Session on Disarmament established a successor Disarmament Commission (UNDC) as a subsidiary organ of the Assembly. It was created as a deliberative body, assigned to consider and make recommendations on various problems in the field of disarmament and to follow up on the relevant decisions and recommendations of the special session. It reports annually to the General Assembly. {} In December 1989, the UNDC agreed that, beginning in 1991, no item should remain on the agenda for more than three consecutive years and that for each annual session, the agenda should contain no more than four substantive items. In 1998, by its decision 52/492, the General Assembly decided that the UNDC's agenda, as of 2000, would normally comprise two substantive items. That year the UNDC considered the same three items that were on the agenda in 1997. None of the working groups reached consensus on any substantive measures {6-28.4.98}. The UNGA passed a resolution calling on the UNDC to decide the date and agenda for the fourth Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD IV) {ACR 840-306 4.12.98}.

Location and Sessions. The UNDC meets at the UN headquarters in New York. In 1979, the final document of SSOD I directed the UNDC to meet for not more than four weeks. This regimen has been followed in the succeeding years, with one exception (in 1988). In addition, members hold a brief meeting in December at the conclusion of the UNGA to plan their work for the following year.

Participants. All members of the United Nations.

Agenda items over the period 1990-1999
• South African nuclear capability. 1990
• Role of the UN in the field of disarmament. 1990
• Naval arms race and disarmament. 1990
• Conventional disarmament. 1990
• Third Disarmament Decade. 1990
• Arms race and nuclear disarmament. 1991
• Objective information on military matters. 1992
• Regional approach to disarmament within the context of global security. 1993
• Role of science and technology in the context of international security, disarmament, and other related fields. 1991-1994
• Process of nuclear disarmament in the framework of international peace and security. 1991-1995. {15-30.5.95}
• Review of the Declaration of the 1990s as the Third Disarmament Decade. 1995
• International arms transfers, with particular reference to resolution 46/36H of 6 December 1991. 1996
• Establishment of nuclear-weapons-free zones on the basis of arrangements arrived at among the States of the regions concerned. 1997-1999
• The Fourth Special Session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament. 1996-1999. {21.4-13.5.97; 6-28.4.98; 840-306 4.12.98; 806bDC99 12-30.4}
• Guidelines on conventional arms control/limitation and disarmament, with particular emphasis on the consolidation of peace. 1997-1999. {21.4-13.5.97; 6-28.4.98; ACR 806bDC99 12-30.4}
• Establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of arrangements arrived at among the states of the regions concerned. {ACR 806bDC99 12-30.4}

Agenda Items for 2000 2001. As of 2000, the agenda was to comprise two substantive items per session, with each session lasting three weeks, and with agenda items remaining current for three years. The two items on the agenda for 2000 and 2001, and planned to remain on the agenda for 2002, were:
• Ways and means to achieve nuclear disarmament; and
• Practical confidence-building measures in the field of conventional arms.

2002-2004 sessions. In 2002, the DC decided not to hold its substantive session and to carry over its two agenda items to 2003. {ACR 806bDC02 17.4} The 2003 DC session was held from 31 March to 17 April 2003 under the chairmanship of Amb. Mario Maiolini of Italy. The DC did not reach consensus on its agenda but the chairman said that progress was made. {ACR 806bDC03 17.4} The DC was unable to hold its substantive session in 2004 due to the inability of members to agree on a working program. Members also failed to set a date for a 2005 session {ACR 806bDC04 7.4}.

• Formal documents
• Informal documents
• Verbatim transcripts of sessions
• Press releases summarizing the daily sessions
• UN Disarmament Yearbook

UN Conference on Disarmament: CD

Introduction. The Conference on Disarmament (CD) was set up as the UN body for negotiating disarmament treaties. The CD resulted from consultations among the members of its predecessor, the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament, held during the 1978 First Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD I).

The CD sets its own agenda, taking into account recommendations from the UN General Assembly (UNGA); and it submits reports annually or more often to the UNGA. Of the three standing multilateral disarmament fora - the CD, the UN Disarmament Commission, and the UN General Assembly's First Committee - only the CD actually negotiates treaties.

Current Status. In 1998, the CD appointed ad hoc committees on negative security assurances and a fissile material cut-off treaty {27.3.98; 27.7-9.9.98}. It appointed special coordinators to deal with Prevention of An Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS), a comprehensive program of disarmament, and transparency in armaments. In addition, the CD appointed three reform coordinators to review the agenda, consider membership expansion, and improve the CD's functioning {27.3.98}. The CD discussed admitting five new members (Ecuador, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and Tunisia), but failed to reach a consensus. Work on the two other reform areas did not make much progress. {27.7-9.9.98}

In 1999, 2000, 2002, the CD failed to agree on a program of work, thus preventing substantive negotiations on the issues before it: fissile material cut-off, PAROS, and nuclear disarmament. As a consequence, it did not reconvene the ad hoc committees on fissile material cut-off or negative security assurances, or any other committees or working groups. It did approve the 1998 proposal for membership expansion. {27.7-7.9.99}

Throughout 1999-2002, the United States opposed any negotiating mandate on PAROS or nuclear disarmament. During the same period China opposed negotiating a fissile material cut-off treaty in the absence of negotiations on PAROS (ACR 615bNUC01 7.8-21.9). In 2000, CD President Celso Amorin proposed setting up three ad hoc committees: one would negotiate a fissile material cut-off treaty, while the other two would only "deal with" PAROS and nuclear disarmament. Despite a Russian effort to improve on the Amorin proposal, the stalemate continued in 2001. The CD appointed three special coordinators to examine its agenda, improve its functioning, and consider membership. Failing to find consensus on these issues, the three coordinators recommended that the CD re-appoint special coordinators for these issues in 2002. {ACR 805bCD01 27.3; 17.5-28.6; 2.8-13.9}

The 2002 CD saw the "Five Ambassadors' Initiative" to resolve the deadlock, undertaken by the representatives of Algeria, Belgium, Chile, Columbia, and Sweden. This also proved fruitless {805bCD02 31.7-12.9}. The three special coordinators appointed in 2002 reported that they found no consensus among the members on the issues they examined. {ACR 805bCD02 31.7-12.9} In 2003, although the "Five Ambassador Proposals" was updated and received more support, the CD closed without agreeing on a program of work. {ACR 805aCD03 7.8; 14.8; 21.8; ACR 805bCD03 9.9}

In 2004, the CD decided to organize informal plenaries to assist the work of the conference {ACR 805bCD04 5.2}. Myanmar proposed and the CD accepted the establishment of four ad hoc committees: nuclear disarmament, fissban, PAROS and security assurances {805bCD04 19.2}. The CD also determined that civil, commercial and military use of space needed to be protected but that the legal ad hoc existing structure was inadequate {ACR 805bCD04 3.6}. China and Russia proposed the expansion of a legal mechanism and distributed two non-papers on PAROS {ACR 805bCD04 26.8}. In the informal meetings, the majority of the delegates, including Canada, France and Sweden, supported the re-establishment of an ad hoc committee on PAROS {ACR 805bCD04 3.6; 26.8}. The United States reiterated its pledge to negotiate an FMCT in the CD, although it maintained that an effective verification system was not achievable {ACR 805bCD04 29.7}.

Title. The Conference on Disarmament was called the Committee on Disarmament through 1983; the abbreviation "CD" is the commonly used name.

History. In 1960, there was a meeting of the Ten-Nation Disarmament Committee. The Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Committee (ENDC) began meeting on 14 March 1962. In 1969, it became the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (CCD) and expanded to 30 members. Both committees were chaired jointly by the United States and the USSR; France had a seat in both committees but did not participate. The Conference on Disarmament, as currently constituted, began work in 1979. In 1994, priorities were set that still occupy the committee today. Four ad hoc committees were created dealing with a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Outer Space, Negative Security Assurances, and Transparency in Armaments. In 1995 and 1996, only one ad hoc committee, on a Nuclear Test Ban, met. In 1995, the CD agreed to a negotiating mandate on a fissile material cut-off, but it was unable to establish an ad hoc committee. Formation of that committee and others was blocked, largely by linked issues on which various countries would not agree to negotiate {29.5-7.7.95; 3.9.96; see further below}. In 1997, for the first time, no ad hoc committees were convened {28.7-12.9.97}.

Location and sessions. CD meetings are held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Beginning in 1991, the annual session was divided into three (instead of two) parts. When in session the CD holds one or two plenaries each week.

Initial Agenda. Following the recommendations of the first special session of the General Assembly on disarmament, the CD began meeting with an agenda covering various topics relevant to the cessation of the arms race and disarmament. {Agenda adopted 10-11.4.79}

1. Nuclear weapons in all aspects

2. Chemical weapons (removed from the agenda in 1993 after the CD had completed the Chemical Weapons Convention on 3 September 1992)

3. Other weapons of mass destruction

4. Conventional weapons

5. Reduction of military budgets

6. Reduction of armed forces

7. Disarmament and development

8. Disarmament and international security

9. Collateral measures, confidence building measures, and effective verification methods in relation to appropriate disarmament measures, acceptable to all parties

10. Comprehensive program of disarmament leading to general and complete disarmament under effective international control

Ongoing Agenda for 2005

1. Cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament. A mandate for an ad hoc committee to negotiate a fissile material cut-off was adopted in 1995, but the committee never convened. With the conclusion of the CTBT, member states renewed calls for the CD to negotiate a fissile material cut-off in 1997. No progress was made during the 1997 session and no ad hoc committee was convened. In 1998, Israel, India and Pakistan agreed to CD negotiations on a fissile cut-off and an ad hoc committee was appointed on 11 August 1998. Since 1999, the CD's failure to agree on a program of work prevented it from convening the fissile material cut-off ad hoc committee or a committee on nuclear disarmament.

2. Prevention of nuclear war, including all related matters The Western states did not agree to a mandate proposed repeatedly by the Group of 21 from 1987 {28.8.87} through 1996 {31.1-7.4.95}. No progress was made during the 1997-2004 sessions.

3. Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) An ad hoc committee was not convened in 1995, 1996 or 1997. In 1998, a special coordinator was appointed to address this issue, but no progress was achieved {27.3.98}. No progress was made in 1999-2004

4. Effective international arrangements to assure non nuclear weapon states against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons (negative security assurances or NSA) An ad hoc committee was set up in 1983 and renewed every year thereafter through 1994, but not in 1995, 1996, or 1997. The ad hoc committee was re-appointed in 1998 but met without result {27.3.98; 850-204 27.7-9.9.98}. In 1999, the CD's failure to agree on a program of work prevented it from reconvening the ad hoc committee {27.7-7.9.99}. The item did not figure in efforts to establish ad hoc committees in subsequent years. No progress was made in 2004.

5. New types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons; radiological weapons (RW) An ad hoc committee on radiological weapons was set up in the CD in 1979 and renewed every year through 1992. The CD did not re-establish the RW ad hoc committee after 1992 {19.1-25.3.93; 25.1-31.3.94; 31.1-4.7.95}. This item was on the Agenda from 1997 to 1999, but no ad hoc committee was convened {12.9.97; ACR 840-703 26.6.98; 27.7-7.9.99}. In 2002, CD president Volker Heinsberg of Germany proposed that the CD should continue discussing the issue by appointing a special coordinator on it. Germany also introduced a working paper on the topic. {ACR 805bCD02 31.7-12.9}

6. Comprehensive program of disarmament (CPD) A working group in the CD met in 1980-1989 without result; the UNGA recommended that the CD examine the issue again in the beginning of 1991 (ACR 801 15.12.89). The CD decided, however, not to re-open the working group in 1991-1997 {ACR 805bCD91 30.5; 31.1-7.4.95}. In 1998, the CD appointed a special coordinator for this topic, but instructed specifically to deal with landmines {ACR 708bLMC98 27.3; 26.6}. No action was taken in 1999-2004.

7. Transparency in armaments (TIA) (see section 709). The CD added this item in May 1992 {14.5-26.6.92} and created an ad hoc committee in 1993 {19.1-25.3.93} and 1994 {25.1-31.3.94}, but did not renew the committee in 1995 {31.1-7.4.95}. In 1996, the Special Coordinator for Review of the Agenda suggested replacing this item by a broader one, "conventional disarmament" {3.9.96}. No action was reported in 1997. In 1998, the CD appointed a special coordinator on TIA, who held inconclusive discussions with several delegations {27.3.98; 27.7-9.9.98}. No action was taken in 1999-2004.

8. Landmines In 1996, the Special Coordinator for Review of the Agenda recommended opening talks on banning landmines {3.9.96}. No progress was made in 1997 as no ad hoc committee was convened {28.7-12.9.97}. In 1998, the CD appointed a special coordinator for a "comprehensive program of disarmament, "but specifically to deal with the landmine issue. Discussions, however, made no progress {ACR 708bLMC98 27.3; 26.6}. No action was taken in 1999-2002. The item was not on the 2003-2004 agenda.

9. Consideration and adoption of the annual report and any other report, as appropriate, to the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Participants. On 17 June 1996, the CD expanded its membership to 61. Membership was again expanded in 1999 with the addition of five more members, for a total of 66. The 66 members are: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo (DR of), Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea (DPR of), Korea (Rep of), Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

Procedures. The chair of the CD rotates every four working weeks in accordance with the English alphabetical list of states {ACR box 24.8.90}. Decisions are made by consensus. Plenary meetings are generally public. Ad hoc committee meetings are private (see the Agenda below).

Official records. The CD publishes a variety of records.

• Verbatim Transcripts of plenary sessions, designated CD/PV (proc�s verbale)

• Documents, designated CD/.

• Informal pieces, designated CD/INF.

• Working papers, designated CD/(initials of working group)/WP.

• Conference room papers, designated CD/(initials of working group)/CRP.

In addition, developments in the CD are discussed in the UN Disarmament Yearbook and Disarmament Times, a publication of the NGO Committee on Disarmament.


22 January-30 March 2001 24 January-1 April 2005 First (winter) Part

30 May-15 July 2005 Second (spring) Part

8 August-23 September 2005 Third (summer) Part

2005 IDDS, 675 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA 02139, USA