The Conference on Disarmament (CD
Enlarge image (© UNOG)
The Conference on Disarmament (CD) is the single global negotiating forum on matters related to disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation. Formally an independent body, it is in fact closely tied in with the United Nations. Together with the General Assembly’s First Committee on Disarmament and International Security) and the Disarmament Commission (UNDC) it constitutes the machinery of the global dialogue on disarmament and arms control. The current membership of the CD comprises 65 States.
The plenary of the CD takes its decisions on membership, its agenda, its programme of work and matters of procedure on the basis of consensus. There are four core issues of work of the CD:
- comprehensive and systematic nuclear disarmament
- a Treaty banning the production of fissile material for weapons purposes (Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, FMCT)
- the prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS),
- Negative Security Assurances (NSAs) for non-nuclear-weapons States by nuclear weapons States.
Due to opposition from different States, the CD was unable to agree on the initiation of negotiations on international agreements since 1996. Against this backdrop, substantive deliberations in its principal areas of work, such as an FMCT, have been possible in the form of informal discussions only.