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The United Nations and the Conference on Disarmament

The Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy focuses principally on the UN First Committee, and any significant developments in the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament (CD). Where appropriate, and within the limits of our resources, we also include some coverage of disarmament questions and developments relating to weapons of mass destruction that come before the UN General Assembly.

United Nations First Committee

The United Nations First Committee is a subcommittee of the UN General Assembly that deals with disarmament and international security. First Committee meets each autumn comprising all UN member states.

UN First Committee and General Assembly, 63rd Sessions, September - December 2008

Acronym Institute director Rebecca Johnson attended the UN First Committee in New York. For week-by-week reporting and analysis on the First Committee, see the First Committee Monitor, produced by Reaching Critical Will and supported by Acronym Institute and other NGOs:

See also Acronym coverage of the 2007 First Committee:

The UN's official website on the General Assembly is at: http://www.un.org/ga/ and the site for the First Committee is at: http://www.un.org/ga/first/index.shtml. In addition UN press releases covering the First Committee can be viewed at http://disarmament.un.org.

An index of all references made to issues of disarmament, peace and security during the General Assembly debates is available from Reaching Critical Will at:


Details of speeches from the First Committee are available from Reaching Critical Will at: http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org.

See also: Acronym Institute coverage of previous sessions of the UN First Committee.

Conference on Disarmament (CD)

The Conference on Disarmament is the successor to various Geneva-based arms control bodies dating back to 1960. The CD is regarded as an autonomous body, although it has a close relationship with the United Nations. In March 1995, the CD adopted a mandate to negotiate a ban on the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons, however, negotiations did not start as CD members struggled to adopt a work programme.

Programme of Work, but no Implementation Framework, September 2009

On 29 May 2009, the CD finally agreed a programme of work, but regrettably was unable to adopt a framework to implement its programme before the end of the 2009 session, primarily due to reservations by Pakistan. For a full report on the CD in 2009, see The Conference on Disarmament in 2009: Could do Better
by Ray Acheson.

Reporting in Disarmament Diplomacy

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