8 September 2003



NEW YORK, 5 September (Department for Disarmament Affairs) -- The 2002 United Nations Disarmament Yearbook, published by the Department for Disarmament Affairs, was released today.  As described by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the first chapter:

“Innocent people throughout the world are still threatened by weapons of mass destruction.  They face additional threats from major conventional weapons, as well as from the destabilizing accumulation and illicit sale of small arms and light weapons, and the continued production and use of landmines.  Of all these challenges, however, the total elimination of nuclear weapons must remain the top priority.”

Focusing on the actions and reactions of the world community to a wide range of disarmament issues, the book surveys developments within the United Nations, as well as bilateral, plurilateral and regional developments.  It includes: 

-- Steps taken by Member States and the United Nations to address the threat of the possible use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorist groups against the backdrop of the 11 September terrorist attacks in 2001;

-- The resumption of inspection activities by the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Iraq following the adoption of Security Council resolution 1441 (2002);

-- Efforts made to strengthen multilateral disarmament legal norms with regard to weapons of mass destruction -- nuclear, biological and chemical weapons;

-- The proceedings, deliberations and approaches adopted by States parties on issues such as nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy at the first session of the Preparatory Committee of the 2005 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference;

-- The different approaches to the issues of nuclear disarmament and prevention of an arms race in outer space that prevented substantive progress being made in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva;

-- Progress made by Member States and the United Nations in implementing the Programme of Action adopted at the 2001 United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects and other actions taken by the international community to combat the proliferation of small arms and light weapons;

-- Efforts by the United Nations and its Member States to promote transparency in military matters, in particular, on arms transfers and military expenditures, including an update on the status of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms.

-- Progress made in eradicating and reducing anti-personnel landmines in the framework of the Mine-Ban Convention and the Amended Protocol II of the Inhumane Weapons Convention;


-- Agreement by the States parties of the Inhumane Weapons Convention to negotiate a legal instrument on the explosive remnants of war and expand their deliberations to cover types of mines beyond anti-personnel mines;

-- Action taken by the Subcommittee of the Commission on Human Rights on the impact of weapons of mass destruction, other types of weapons with indiscriminate effects and small arms and light weapons on human rights and human security;

-- The outcome and recommendations of two United Nations governmental expert studies on disarmament and non-proliferation education and on the issue of missiles in all its aspects. 

Now in its twenty-seventh edition, the United Nations Disarmament Yearbook is designed as a handy reference tool for diplomats, researchers, educators and the interested public.  It comprises succinct accounts of the year’s developments, explanations of the voting in the First (Disarmament and International Security) Committee, an index and extensive appendices.

The appendices provide data on:  the status of multilateral and regional disarmament agreements; the final products of disarmament conferences relating to multilateral disarmament instruments; and the full texts of all United Nations General Assembly resolutions and decisions on disarmament, the list of sponsors and the voting patterns of all the Member States.

To order copies, contact the United Nations bookstores or the Sales Section in New York or Geneva, or order on line at http://www.un.org/Pubs/sales.htm.

For further information, contact:  Xiaoyu Wang, Coordinator, Department for Disarmament Affairs; tel.:  (212) 963-9440; fax:  (212) 963-1121; e-mail:  wangxy@un.org.

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