Disarmament and non-proliferation remain indispensable tools for the creation of a secure environment favourable to human development, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. UN Geneva is a center venue for international diplomacy in this field. Each year, various member states and other partners come together at the Palais des Nations to participate in disarmament-related conferences.
United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs Geneva Branch
Geneva-based Conventions and Treaties
Disarmament and non-proliferation remain indispensable tools to create a security environment favourable to ensuring human development, as enshrined in the UN Charter. UN Geneva is a center venue for international diplomacy in this field. It is home to the Conference on Disarmament and supports, through the Geneva Branch of the Office for Disarmament Affairs, a range of multilateral disarmament agreements and disarmament-related conferences.
The Conference on Disarmament (CD) was established in 1979 as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community. The current Director-General of UN Geneva is the Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament as well as the Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the CD.
The Anti-Personnel Landmine Convention (APLC) is the treaty which prohibits for humanitarian reasons the use, development, production, stockpiling, retaining or transfer of anti-personnel mines. It thus aims at putting an end to the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines, that kill or maim every year thousands of innocent civilians, obstruct economic development and reconstruction, and inhibit the repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons.
The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the production and use of an entire category of weapons, was the result of prolonged efforts by the international community. All BWC meetings are held in Geneva and are serviced by the BWC Implementation Support Unit in the Geneva Branch of the Office for Disarmament Affairs.
The Convention on Cluster Munitions was concluded by the Dublin Diplomatic Conference in 2008. The tasks performed by the UN Secretary General are mandated in the Convention and relevant General Assembly resolutions. These include the collection and dissemination of national transparency reports, the facilitation of clarification of compliance; and the convening of the Meetings of States Parties and Review Conferences.
The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) is a key instrument of international humanitarian law and, with its five protocols, seeks to ban or restrict the use of specific types of weapons that have indiscriminate effects on civilians or cause unnecessary suffering for combatants. Since 2016, a Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) of the CCW is examining possible challenges posed by emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS). CCW meetings are held in Geneva and are serviced by the CCW Implementation Support Unit in the Geneva Branch of the Office for Disarmament Affairs.
In the field of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the Geneva Branch ensures both the liaison with the Office for Disarmament Affairs in New York as well as with the Geneva-based Non-Governmental and International Organizations, and represents the Office in related meetings held in Geneva.
UN Geneva also hosts other meetings related to disarmament instruments such as sessions of the Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, the Preparatory Committee of the Review Conferences of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), expert panels and seminars.