United Nations Special Session on Disarmament:

A Forum for International Participation

ID-79-27: Published: Jul 3, 1979. Publicly Released: Jul 3, 1979.

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The United Nations Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD) was convened to review and appraise the present international situation in light of the pressing need to achieve substantial progress in this area; review the roles of the U.N. and other international institutions in disarmament negotiations; and adopt recommendations, a declaration, and a program of action for disarmament. U.N. members and affiliates, nongovernmental organizations and research institutes were given the opportunity to address the SSOD. Their comments dealt with various concerns on disarmament and nuclear proliferation. The SSOD adopted by consensus a final document which recognized the continuing arms race and the need for disarmament and arms limitation to foster international peace, security, and economic and social development. The final document set forth the ultimate objective of general and complete disarmament, in addition to the more immediate goal of eliminating the danger of a nuclear war. It also contained fundamental principles to guide disarmament negotiations and specific measures to enable disarmament to become a reality, and it assigned priorities in the process of attaining this. The document created new machinery to accomplish the work of the U.N. on disarmament which included the Committee on Disarmament and the Disarmament Commission. It also stated that a second special session should be held, and requested that an advisory board be established and that the proposals and suggestions be transmitted to appropriate bodies for more thorough study.

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