Press Releases

    22 September 2004

    2003 United Nations Disarmament Yearbook Released Today

    NEW YORK, 21 September (Department for Disarmament Affairs) -- The 2003 United Nations Disarmament Yearbook was released today. As discussed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his message to the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima, Japan on 6 August 2003, contained in chapter 1 of the Yearbook:

    “It has been an ardent aspiration of humankind to see nuclear weapons completely abolished from the Earth.  Reflecting this grave concern, the United Nations, since its inception, has been tackling the issue of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation as a matter of great priority.”

    The Yearbook is published by the Department for Disarmament Affairs and dedicated this year to the personnel who died in the August 2003 attack on the United Nations offices in Baghdad. The book surveys developments in the field of disarmament within the United Nations, as well as bilateral, plurilateral and regional developments. It includes: 

    -- Continued efforts by Member States and the United Nations to address the threat of possible acquisition and use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorist groups. 

    -- The proceedings, deliberations and approaches adopted by States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on issues such as nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy at the second session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2005 NPT Review Conference (New York, 2 to 27 May 2005).

    -- The commencement of a new multilateral process on the Biological Weapons Convention aimed at strengthening the effectiveness of the Convention after multilateral negotiations came to a halt in 2001. 

    -- Ongoing efforts by States parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention to destroy all chemical weapons. 

    -- The continuation of inspection activities by the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Iraq until the withdrawal of all United Nations staff from Iraq on 18 March due to the imminent outbreak of hostilities. 

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

    -- The successful conclusion of negotiations of a new Protocol V on explosive remnants of war to the Inhumane Weapons Convention -- another step taken by the world community to reduce the humanitarian impact of weapons.

    -- 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, including the holding of the First Biennial Meeting of States to review actions taken by the international community.

    -- The outcome and recommendations of the United Nations governmental expert study on identifying and tracing illicit small arms and light weapons.

    -- The adoption by the General Assembly of adjustments to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, the first since the instrument’s inception in 1991, lowering the reporting threshold for large-calibre artillery systems and including Man-Portable Air-Defence Systems (MANPADS) in the category under missiles and missile-launchers.

    -- Progress made in eradicating and reducing anti-personnel landmines in the framework of the Mine-Ban Convention and Amended Protocol II of the Inhumane Weapons Convention; and preparations for the First Review Conference of the Mine-Ban Convention in late 2004.

    -- Studies undertaken 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.

    -- Launching of the Department’s Gender Mainstreaming Action Plan, the first of its kind within the United Nations Secretariat.


    Now in its twenty-eighth 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 Committee (Disarmament and International Security), 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 online at

    For further information, contact:  Xiaoyu Wang, Coordinator, Department for Disarmament Affairs, Tel.:  (212) 963-9440, Fax:  (212) 963-1121, e-mail:

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