Conference on Disarmament
The Conference on Disarmament (CD) in its current format was established in 1978 under the provisions of the Final Document of the first Special Session on Disarmament of the United Nations General Assembly.
The CD is accountable in its activities to the UN General Assembly. Its budget is included in that of the United Nations.
The CD’s main objective is to negotiate on multilateral basis on disarmament and arms control issues. It is the only permanent negotiating body of the international community in this area.
The Conference conducts its work by consensus; that creates favorable conditions for the national interests of the CD’s Member States to be taken into account while achieving progress in the field of disarmament and nonproliferation.
The CD numbers 65 members. Last time the membership was granted in August 1999 to Ecuador, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Malaysia and Tunisia. Since then no country gained membership in this Body. Ukraine joined CD in June 1996. The CD invites other UN Member States that have expressed a desire to participate in the CD's substantive discussions, to take part in its work as observers.
The CD resides in Geneva (Switzerland).
The CD adopts its own Rules of Procedure and its own agenda, taking into account the recommendations of the General Assembly and the proposals of its Members.
The Presidency of the CD is on a rotation basis between the Member States; term presidency covers 4 weeks of the session.
Currently the CD primarily focuses its attention on the following issues:
1. Cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament;
2. Prevention of nuclear war, including all related matters;
3. Prevention of arms race in outer space;
4. Effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against them;
5. New types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons, including radiological weapons;
6. Comprehensive program of disarmament.
7. Transparency in armaments.
8. Consideration and adoption of annual report to the UN General Assembly.
The CD’s main function is to negotiate important international legal instruments in the field of disarmament with a view to facilitate the process of general and complete disarmament under effective international control.
Thus, under the sole multilateral body on disarmament and nonproliferation, which is the CD, a number of important international agreements were negotiated and signed:
- Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968);
- Treaty on the Prohibition of placing on the seabed and ocean floor and subsoil thereof of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction (1972);
- Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (1972);
- Convention on the Prohibition of Military or any Other Hostile Use of environmental impact (1977);
- Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (1992);
- Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (1996).
Ukraine’s main priority in the CD is to develop a multilateral legally-binding instrument on security assurances to non-nuclear states from the threat or use of nuclear weapons against them.
Security assurances to be provided by Nuclear Powers in the form of universal tool will create a better environment for sustainable peace and security of all countries. Indeed, countries that do not possess nuclear weapons have legitimate rights to receive such security assurances, at least, till the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
The need to enhance security assurances is called forth by the fact that once Ukraine has voluntarily got rid of the world's third largest nuclear arsenal, making concrete contribution to disarmament and nonproliferation. However, an expanding range of new challenges and threats to international security requires new approaches regarding the provision of enhanced security assurances to Ukraine by countries, which possess nuclear weapons, in the development of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.