UN Chronicle

The UN Chronicle is a must-read for every concerned world citizen. Produced by the United Nations Department of Public Information, this quarterly journal is your connection to the major political and social issues happening around the world today. In each issue, you'll read about international developments on a wide-range of topics including: human rights, economic, social and political issues, peacekeeping operations, international conferences and upcoming events. Every issue contains in-depth reviews and articles written by leading world figures, which provide an insightful look into the world today. The UN Chronicle also includes a review of current United Nations Security Council and General Assembly sessions.

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The United Nations and Disarmament Treaties

Established upon the ashes of the Second World War to represent “We the Peoples”, it is not surprising that both peace and security were fundamental objectives for the United Nations. While many also wanted disarmament, countervailing lessons were drawn by some political leaders, which made it difficult to get multilateral agreements on disarmament for several decades. Debates around nuclear weapons epitomized and sharpened the challenges. Academics in the United States of America led in developing theories of deterrence to provide legitimacy for these weapons of mass destruction, which soon became embedded in the military doctrines and political rhetoric of further Governments, from NATO allies to the Eastern bloc and beyond. Deterrence theory sought to invert the normative relationship between peace and disarmament by arguing that nuclear weapons were actually peacekeepers amassed to deter aggressors rather than to fight them. From there it became a short step for some countries—including permanent Members of the Security Council of the United Nations—to promote ideologies that equated security and peace with high “defence” budgets and military-industrial dependence on arms manufacture and trade. This is the backdrop for understanding how the United Nations System and disarmament approaches have intersected since 1945, and the way in which reframing disarmament as a universal humanitarian imperative has opened more productive opportunities for future multilateral disarmament treaties.

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