United Nations Disarmament Yearbook 2017: Part II

image of United Nations Disarmament Yearbook 2017: Part II

The United Nations Disarmament Yearbook, volume 42 (Part II): 2017, with a foreword by the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, summarizes developments and trends in 2017 on key issues of multilateral consideration at the international and regional levels; reviews the activity of the General Assembly, the Conference on Disarmament and the Disarmament Commission; and contains a handy timeline of highlights of multilateral disarmament in 2017.

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Disarmament machinery

Several principal organs of the United Nations disarmament machinery produced agreed outcomes in 2017, breaking years of stalemate. On 7 July, Member States voted to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,2 an instrument they had negotiated under the General Assembly– mandated United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. Meanwhile, the United Nations Disarmament Commission adopted its first substantive outcome since 1999, completing its three-year cycle with agreement on recommendations for practical confidence-building measures in the field of conventional weapons. Although the Commission could not decide on agenda items for its next three-year cycle, there was widespread support for taking up a new item on transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities with the goal of preventing an arms race in outer space. At the Conference on Disarmament, Member States introduced several potential programmes of work during the first part of its annual session. None was ultimately adopted, however, and the Conference was again unable to commence negotiations during the year.

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