ACTIVATING A UN SPECIAL SESSION ON DISARMAMENT
The Strategic Concept for the Removal of Arms and Proliferation (SCRAP Weapons) suggests support for the United Nations General Assembly’s mechanism of Special Sessions Devoted to Disarmament (SSOD), to advance an agenda of comprehensive disarmament for the full and effective implementation of a programme of Peace and Prevention, as detailed in the recommendations of the High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism in the Report for the New Agenda for Peace.
An effective programme of peace and prevention needs to take into account the complex relationship existing between global development and disarmament, the reduction of investments into the military-industrial complex, the prioritisation of humanitarian needs, and the inclusion of voices of women and girls as well as all marginalised communities. An SSOD-IV would contribute to re-energising the debate around disarmament and place it as a key part of the UN peace and security architecture. The effectiveness of such measures even in the current environment can be highlighted by awareness of the reduction of missiles and other weapons available to Russia for its war in Ukraine, as a result of the INF and OSCE Treaties in eliminating and governing weapons.
SSOD-IV would also be a critical forum to consider reforms of the wider disarmament machinery which has not been upgraded to incorporate contemporary concerns, such as cyber/AI and space, the long-term and immediate effects of nuclear as well as conventional arms, particularly small arms and light weapons, on women and girls and more vulnerable communities, especially those located in the Global South, including indigenous groups.
With global humanitarian crises ranging from a recent pandemic, increasing poverty, and climate change, an equivalent of the COP process must be developed for disarmament, so that financial and human resources can be redirected to peacebuilding efforts and to ensure we live in a safer world. A SSOD-IV would be particularly instrumental in advancing all the six objectives of the New Agenda for Peace as outlined in Our Common Future agenda, in synergy with PK, PKO and Counterterrorism.
Disarmament has been part of the UN’s identity throughout its existence from the Atlantic Charter and UN Declaration of 1942 onwards, and must remain so.
SCRAP Weapons has drafted a policy brief with ideas to include a IV UN Special Session on Disarmament into the New Agenda for Peace, following discussions in Brussels, Geneva, Hiroshima, London, New York, Vienna and Washington DC.
On 6th September 2022 SCRAP Weapons, in partnership with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), hosted a hybrid conference at SOAS University of London to first call for the activation of a Fourth Special Session on Disarmament.
SCRAP Weapons hosted a second conference in February 2023 to reiterate our call for SSOD-IV, in light of the G20’s call to end this era of war, following the 2022 summit in Bali, Indonesia.
Supporting Brazil's Call for a Fourth Special Session on Disarmament
On 27 October 2022, at the First Committee meeting of the 77th Session of the General Assembly, Brazil called on states to initiate a process of informal consultations on the convening of the Preparatory Committee of the IV Special Session on Disarmament by the 78th Session of the General Assembly.
SCRAP Weapons strongly supports Brazil’s call and would like to ask your help in contacting the Ambassador at the United Nations or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Your country, requesting to co-sponsor and/or actively support the convening of a Preparatory Committee.