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UN Secretary-General will strengthen the strategic role of his Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters


NEW YORK, JULY 12, 2018. PIR PRESS — “The Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, through its mandate to recommend studies, could be more closely integrated into deliberative processes and negotiations,” — Agenda for Disarmament of Secretary-General “Securing Our Common Future”.

Dr. Vladimir Orlov, Head of the Center for Global Trendsand International Organizations of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry and PIR Center Founder took part in the meeting with the UN Secretary-GeneralAntonio Guterres. The meeting was held as part of the 70th session of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. Other members of the Board from China, Croatia, Egypt, France, India, Japan, Mongolia, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Sierra Leone, United Kingdom, United States, as well as the Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Affairs (UNIDIR) also took part in the meeting. 

The 70th session of the Board took place on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the NPT and was dedicated to the UN Secretary-General Disarmament agenda “Securing Our Common Future” launched on May 24 in Geneva. The Agenda sets forward three basic goals: to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, to refrain from use of conventional weapons and to avoid destructive use of emerging weapon technologies.

During the Board with the SG issues of WMD disarmament and nonproliferation as well as consolidation of efforts to establish a WMD-free zone (WMDFZ) in the Middle East were discussed, among other issues.

At this meeting, Antonio Guterres announced his decision to strengthen the strategic role of his Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. The decision is based on a provision of Secretary-General’s Disarmament agenda: “the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, through its mandate to recommend studies, could be more closely integrated into deliberative processes and negotiations.”

Celebrating at the UN Headquarters in NewYork the 50thanniversary of the NPT, whose Article VI obliges topursue negotiations on general and complete disarmament, Secretary-General stressed the importance of the Treaty: “The NPT is an essential pillar of international peace and security, and the heart of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. Its unique status is based on its near universal membership, legally-binding obligations on disarmament, verifiable non-proliferation safeguards regime, and commitment to the peaceful use of nuclear energy." 

To avoid risks of the collapse of the nonproliferation regime, which has been shaped based on the NPT, the UN Secretary-General particularly calls for supporting the Treaty in the run-up to the 2020 Review Conference as he considers the NPT a key factor of the international security architecture. It is noted in the Agenda that “the Secretary-General will increase his efforts to facilitate critical dialogue among Member States. This includes a possible creation of new informal platforms or the use of existing forums to generate new ideas, as well as through his own quiet good offices, to explore new approaches and build mutual confidence.”

Along with nuclear disarmament, the issue of establishing of the WMDFZ in the Middle East is another vulnerable point of the NPT review process. In 1995, ahead of the indefinite extension of the NPT, the Arab states agreed on this measure provided that the work on such a zone was initiated. However, there is still no result. Dr. Orlov asked the UN Secretary General what could be the particular steps by the SG toward establishing of the WMDFZ so that this issue would not ignored, and these steps could be real and effective. Antonio Guterres, in reply to Dr. Orlov, confirmed the primary importance of this issue to him, but clarified that he is not a miracle maker and a WMDFZ will hardly appear like a rabbit out of his hat. There is still so much groundwork, and mostly nonpublic, to be done. The objectives can be achieved only if Track 1 and Track 1.5 platforms as well as an environment of trust and confidence among the regional countries are created, which would resemble, in a certain sense, the Helsinki process in Europe. 

Following the session, the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters will prepare a report and present it to the Secretary-General by the end of July 2018.

For questions to PIR Center Founder & Special Advisor Dr. Vladimir Orlov you can contact by +7 (499) 940 09 83 or via e-mail to [email protected].