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UN Documentation: Disarmament

First Committee

Photos of First committee at work meetings.

The First Committee, one of the six Main Committees of the General Assembly, is allocated agenda items related to disarmament and international security.

  • Document series symbol for working documents
  • Verbatim records, starting with the 22nd session, with the exception of the 48th session
  • Press release series symbol

The First Committee submits a separate report to the plenary on every agenda item allocated to it. Each report:

  • indicates the meetings at which the item was considered
  • summarizes the committee's consideration of the item
  • identifies the sponsors of draft resolutions
  • reports the vote, if any, of Member States on draft texts
  • transmits the final version of draft resolutions and/or decisions recommended to the plenary for adoption
  • symbol pattern

The plenary considers each report and votes on the draft resolutions or decisions it contains.

For example, the General Assembly adopted resolutions 69/68, 69/69, 69/70, 69/71, 69/72, 69/7369/74 and 69/75 based on the report of the First Committee (A/69/441).

Special Sessions of the General Assembly on Disarmament

The General Assembly has held three special sessions on the question of disarmament; a fourth has been called for by multiple General Assembly resolutions, recently in General Assembly resolution 65/66 of 8 December 2010.

First Special Session on Disarmament

  • First special session on disarmament = Tenth special session of the General Assembly
  • Held in New York, 23 May -30 June 1978
  • Final document: General Assembly resolution S-10/2 of 30 June 1978, includes:
    • Declaration
    • Programme of Action
    • A section on international disarmament machinery

2nd Special Session on Disarmament - Poster

Second Special Session on Disarmament

  • Second special session on disarmament = Twelfth special session of the General Assembly
  • Held in New York, 7 June to 10 July 1982
  • Final document: General Assembly decision S-12/24 of 10 July 1982 adopted A/S-12/32 as the session's concluding document

Third Special Session on Disarmament

  • Third special session on disarmament = Fifteenth special session of the General Assembly
  • Held in New York, 31 May to 26 June 1988
  • Final document: General Assembly decision S-15/24 of 25 June 1988 took note of A/S-15/50 as the session's concluding document

Fourth Special Session on Disarmament (proposed)

  • Several resolutions call for a Fourth Special Session on Disarmament, most recently in General Assembly resolution 65/66 of 8 December 2010
  • An Open-Ended Working Group has been established to consider the objectives and agenda for a fourth special session on disarmament. It reports to the General Assembly.

Bodies established pursuant to the First Special Session on Disarmament

General Assembly resolution S-10/2 of 30 June 1978, i.e., the final document of the first special session on disarmament, established several mechanisms to work on disarmament matters.

Conference on Disarmament

  • Conference on Disarmament website
  • Began as the Committee on Disarmament but renamed pursuant to General Assembly resolution 37/99K of 13 December 1982
  • Sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, in accordance with General Assembly resolution S-10/2 of 30 June 1978
  • Meets in Geneva
  • Document series symbol for working documents
  • Verbatim records
  • Sessional reports 
    • Supplement 27 to the General Assembly Official Records (GAOR)
    • A/session/27
    • example: A/71/27
  • Press release series symbol: DCF/-

Disarmament Commission

  • Disarmament Commission website
  • Successor to the Commission originally established by resolution 502 (VI) of 11 January 1952
  • Deliberative body composed of all Member States that considers and makes recommendations in the field of disarmament, in accordance with General Assembly resolution S-10/2 of 30 June 1978
  • Meets annually in New York for three weeks
  • Generally focuses on two agenda items at each session
  • Document series symbol for working documents
  • Verbatim records
  • Sessional reports 
    • Supplement 42 to the General Assembly Official Records (GAOR)
    • A/session/42
    • example: A/71/42
  • Press releases series symbol: DC/-

Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters

  • Advisory Board website
  • Established by General Assembly resolution S-10/2 of 30 June 1978
  • Received its current mandate pursuant to General Assembly decision 54/418 of 1 December 1999
  • Serves as the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)
  • Advises the Secretary-General on arms limitation, disarmament, and the implementation of the UN Disarmament Information Programme
  • Holds two sessions a year, alternating between New York and Geneva
  • The Secretary-General reports on the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters to the General Assembly 

United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)

  • UNIDIR website
  • Established in 1980
  • Statute was approved by General Assembly resolution 39/148H of 17 December 1984
  • Based in Geneva
  • An autonomous institution within the framework of the United Nations that conducts independent research on disarmament and security
  • The Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters functions as UNIDIR's Board of Trustees and approves its work programme
  • The Director reports annually on the activities of the Institute
  • UNIDIR publications