Non-Aligned Movement has always adopted a principle position on the issue of disarmament. The Movement believes that the convening of the Fourth Special Session of the General Assembly (GA) devoted to Disarmament would offer an opportunity to review, from a perspective more in tune with the current international situation, the most critical aspects of the disarmament process, and to mobilize the international community and public opinion in favour of the elimination of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and of the control and reduction of conventional weapon.
Before discussing this aspect further, it may be mentioned that the three special sessions of the GA on disarmament (SSOD) have been held in 1978, 1982 and 1988. The first session reaffirmed the fundamental importance of disarmament to international peace and security and stated that “disarmament and arms limitation agreements should provide for adequate measures of verification satisfactory to all parties.”
It contained specific measures intended to strengthen the machinery dealing with disarmament within the UN system. It must be mentioned here that this document as the Tenth Session of GA was convened at the initiative of the Non-Aligned countries, and according to the NAM Havana Declaration of 1979, represented a solid basis for setting in motion the process of real disarmament, relieving mankind from the horrors of war and eliminating the increasing threats to human survival. The second session Assembly also stressed again the need for strengthening the central role of the UN in the field of disarmament, for implementing the security system provided for in the Charter of the UN, and for enhancing the effectiveness of the multilateral negotiating body, the Committee on Disarmament.
The third session made some progress on the issue of nuclear disarmament, but issues still remained. In December 1995, the General Assembly decided to convene a Fourth Special Session devoted to disarmament in 1997, but it has been pushed back further since. The Non-Aligned Movement reaffirms the guiding principles and priorities agreed at SSOD-1 and has called the GA to produce a consensus outcome document with a view to providing guidance for the international community’s disarmament efforts and to create an internationally agreed framework conducive to progress towards disarmament. NAM has also outlined its following four point agenda for the fourth special session.
According to NAM, this should include: Review and appraisal of the present situation in the field of disarmament and international security, especially in light of the objectives and priorities set forth in the SSOD-I’s Final Document; Assessment of the implementation of the Final Document of the Tenth Special Session of the General Assembly and the status of negotiations with respect to all issues in the field of disarmament, including nuclear disarmament, as well as developments since 1978, with a view to elaborating a comprehensive programme of action on disarmament in order to achieve substantial progress in disarmament, taking into account the principles, objectives and priorities established in the Final Document of the SSOD-I; Review of the role of the United Nations in the field of disarmament, including the performance of the disarmament machinery, with a view to strengthening it and improving its effectiveness and efficiency, and adoption of the final document of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament.
The Movement advocates the implementation of the Programme of Action adopted at SSOD-I with a view to identifying ways and means to achieve further progress, including additional disarmament measures for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, based on the principles, objectives and priorities established in the Final Document of the SSOD-I and calls for a strengthening of disarmament machinery established by the General Assembly at its tenth special session and improving its effectiveness. NAM strives to promote multilateralism in the field of disarmament and to enhance cooperation at all levels.