CONVENING A UNGA SPECIAL SESSION ON DISARMAMENT

The threat of global war looms, yet there is no practical strategy for weapons control. It is unrealistic to believe that the world can spend $2,000,000,000,000 each year on the military without weapons controls and not end in a world at war. The UN has agreed to hold a Special Session of the General Assembly devoted to Disarmament, but it has not been held yet. Now is the time to do so. The United Nations’ 2022 meetings should consider convening this Session in the near future.  

SCRAP Weapons invites collaborations to support these processes by signing our call for action, and is organising a hybrid conference on 6 September 2022 to consider how best to move forward.

Debates on general disarmament are stalled in global fora, including in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review process. This is despite the NPT Article VI commitment to negotiate ‘a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control’, as well as the disarmament pledges in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons preamble and the UN’s founding documents.

General and complete disarmament has long been a goal of the Non-Aligned Movement, recognised as contributing to its wider aim of  preventing humanitarian disasters. Article VIII of the Atlantic Charter, a foundational document of both NATO and the UN, also promulgates the realist case for weapons controls and the end of the use of military force in international affairs.

UN Special Sessions devoted to Disarmament were held in 1978, 1982, and 1988, but a fourth never transpired, even though this was expected and prepared for through the work of an Open-Ended Working Group. UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu welcomed the reaching of consensus by the Working Group in 2017, noting that ‘Special Sessions on Disarmament present the unique opportunity to advance our shared goal of general and complete disarmament under effective international control’ (UNODA, 2017). SCRAP Weapons wishes to build a global constituency to support the Working Group in convening the next Special Session on Disarmament and take its agenda to the UN General Assembly. 

In the light of recent geo-political developments, we consider the convening of the long-planned UN Special Session to be overdue. This is an urgent and necessary step to give the world a realistic chance for peace. The UN Special Session on Disarmament must become a more effective weapons equivalent of the UN Framework on Climate Change process to address climate chaos.

SCRAP Weapons’ conference in September 2022 will seek to build a constituency working towards the implementation of a Special Session at the United Nations General Assembly. The primary aim is to realise the legal commitment to nuclear and general disarmament in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. SCRAP Weapons will contribute with the presentation of a draft treaty on world disarmament and prototypes of a global weapons tracking system.

SUPPORT THIS INITIATIVE BY:

Calling on your government and representatives to introduce motions in support of the Special Session on Disarmament;

Supporting our online campaign by sharing our content on your social media platforms and using #SSOD and #Disarmament;

Signing our Call for a Special Session on Disarmament at the United Nations General Assembly, and inviting your partner organisations to do so.

 
“In adopting this Final Document, the States Members of the United Nations solemnly reaffirm their determination to work for general and complete disarmament and to make further collective efforts aimed at strengthening peace and international security; eliminating the threat of war, particularly nuclear war; implementing practical measures aimed at halting and reversing the arms race; strengthening the procedures for the peaceful settlement of disputes; and reducing military expenditures and utilising the resources thus released in a manner which will help to promote the well-being of all peoples and to improve the economic conditions of the developing countries.”