Conference on Disarmament

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Members countries of the Conference on Disarmament.
A meeting of the Conference on Disarmament in the Council Chamber of the Palace of Nations.

The Conference on Disarmament (CD) is a forum established by the international community to negotiate multilateral arms control and disarmament agreements. Established in 1979, as the Committee on Disarmament, it was renamed to Conference on Disarmament in 1984.[1] It was the forum used by its member states, currently numbering 65, to negotiate the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention.

While the conference is not formally a United Nations (UN) organization, it is linked to the UN through a personal representative of the United Nations Secretary-General; this representative (currently Michael Møller) serves as the secretary general of the conference. Resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly often request the conference to consider specific disarmament matters. In turn, the conference annually reports its activities to the Assembly.


The Conference succeeded the Ten-Nation Committee on Disarmament (1960), the Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament (1962–68) and the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (1969–78).

In the 1990s, the Conference held intensive efforts over three years to draft the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty text and its two annexes, but it did not succeed in reaching consensus on the adoption of the text. Australia then sent the text to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, where it was submitted as a draft resolution.[2] On 10 September 1996, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was adopted by a large majority, exceeding two-thirds of the General Assembly's Membership.[3]

Currently under discussion are a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), a pact to prevent an arms race in outer space (PAROS), nuclear disarmament, and negative security assurances (NSA). Due to the general dysfunction of the Conference and its limited membership, negotiations for the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons took place in a separate setting, with a mandate from the UN General Assembly.

On June 28, 2011, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) was appointed to serve a term as president of the Conference.[4] Despite the fact that the chairmanship rotates alphabetically,[4] the move was criticized in the media and by Canada's foreign minister because of the country's track record on nuclear proliferation.[5]

From May 27 to June 23, 2013, the Islamic Republic of Iran was acting chair and president of the Conference on Disarmament. The United States said it refused to send any ambassador to a UN forum on nuclear disarmament when being chaired by a country “in flagrant violation” of UN Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency obligations stemming from its suspect nuclear program.[6]


The conference's 65 members represent all areas of the world, including all known nuclear-weapon states.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Conference on Disarmament, The Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy, 2004
  2. ^!396802~!33&ri=1&aspect=power&menu=search&source=~!horizon#focus
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Bayefsky, Anne (2011-06-30). "UN's bad joke: North Korea runs talks about disarmament". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  5. ^ Cohen, Tobi (2011-06-30). "Canada denounces North Korea UN appointment, but is it enough?". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  6. ^ TOI US Boycott
  7. ^ "Disarmament: Member States". United Nations Office at Geneva. Retrieved 2007-05-04. 

External links[edit]