Disarmament is the act of reducing, limiting, or abolishing weapons. Disarmament generally refers to a country's military or specific type of weaponry. Disarmament is often taken to mean total elimination of weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear arms. General and Complete Disarmament was defined by the United Nations General Assembly as the elimination of all WMD, coupled with the “balanced reduction of armed forces and conventional armaments, based on the principle of undiminished security of the parties with a view to promoting or enhancing stability at a lower military level, taking into account the need of all States to protect their security.”
Before World War I at the Hague Peace Conferences in 1899 and 1907 government delegations debated about disarmament and the creation of an international court with binding powers. The court was considered necessary because it was understood that nation-states could not disarm into a vacuum. After the war revulsion at the futility and tremendous cost of the war was widespread. A commonly held belief was that the cause of the war had been the escalating buildup of armaments in the previous half century among the great powers (see Anglo-German naval arms race). Although the Treaty of Versailles effectively disarmed Germany, a clause was inserted that called on all the great powers to likewise progressively disarm over a period of time. The newly formed League of Nations made this an explicit goal in the covenant of the league, which committed its signatories to reduce armaments ‘to the lowest point consistent with national safety and the enforcement by common action of international obligations’.
One of the earliest successful achievements in disarmament was obtained with the Washington Naval Treaty. Signed by the governments of the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, France, and Italy, it prevented the continued construction of capital ships and limited ships of other classification to under 10,000 tons displacement. The size of the three country's navies (the Royal Navy, United States Navy and Imperial Japanese Navy) was set at the ratio 5-5-3.
In 1921 the Temporary Mixed Commission on Armaments was set up by the League of Nations to explore possibilities for disarmament. Proposals ranged from abolishing chemical warfare and strategic bombing to the limitation of more conventional weapons, such as tanks. A draft treaty was assembled in 1923 that made aggressive war illegal and bound the member states to defend victims of aggression by force. Since the onus of responsibility would, in practice, be on the great powers of the League, it was vetoed by the British, who feared that this pledge would strain its own commitment to police the empire.
A further commission in 1926, set up to explore the possibilities for the reduction of army size, met similar difficulties, prompting the French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand and US Secretary of State Frank Kellogg to draft a treaty known as the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which denounced war of aggression. Although there were 65 signatories to the pact, it achieved nothing, as it set out no guidelines for action in the event of a war.
A final attempt was made at the Geneva Disarmament Conference from 1932–37, chaired by former British Foreign Secretary Arthur Henderson. Germany demanded the revision of the Versailles Treaty and the granting of military parity with the other powers, while France was determined to keep Germany demilitarised for its own security. Meanwhile, the British and Americans were not willing to offer France security commitments in exchange for conciliation with Germany. The talks broke down in 1933, when Adolf Hitler withdrew Germany from the conference.
Nuclear disarmament refers to both the act of reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons and to the end state of a nuclear-free world, in which nuclear weapons are completely eliminated.
In the United Kingdom, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament held an inaugural public meeting at Central Hall, Westminster, on 17 February 1958, attended by five thousand people. After the meeting a few hundred left to demonstrate at Downing Street.
CND's declared policies were the unconditional renunciation of the use, production of or dependence upon nuclear weapons by Britain and the bringing about of a general disarmament convention. The first Aldermaston March was organised by the CND and took place at Easter 1958, when several thousand people marched for four days from Trafalgar Square, London, to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment close to Aldermaston in Berkshire, England, to demonstrate their opposition to nuclear weapons. The Aldermaston marches continued into the late 1960s when tens of thousands of people took part in the four-day marches.
In 1961, US President John F. Kennedy gave a speech before the UN General Assembly where he announced the US "intention to challenge the Soviet Union, not to an arms race, but to a peace race - to advance together step by step, stage by stage, until general and complete disarmament has been achieved." He went on to call for a global general and complete disarmament, offering a rough outline for how this could be accomplished:
The program to be presented to this assembly - for general and complete disarmament under effective international control - moves to bridge the gap between those who insist on a gradual approach and those who talk only of the final and total achievement. It would create machinery to keep the peace as it destroys the machinery of war. It would proceed through balanced and safeguarded stages designed to give no state a military advantage over another. It would place the final responsibility for verification and control where it belongs, not with the big powers alone, not with one's adversary or one's self, but in an international organization within the framework of the United Nations. It would assure that indispensable condition of disarmament - true inspection - and apply it in stages proportionate to the stage of disarmament. It would cover delivery systems as well as weapons. It would ultimately halt their production as well as their testing, their transfer as well as their possession. It would achieve under the eyes of an international disarmament organization, a steady reduction in force, both nuclear and conventional, until it has abolished all armies and all weapons except those needed for internal order and a new United Nations Peace Force. And it starts that process now, today, even as the talks begin. In short, general and complete disarmament must no longer be a slogan, used to resist the first steps. It is no longer to be a goal without means of achieving it, without means of verifying its progress, without means of keeping the peace. It is now a realistic plan, and a test - a test of those only willing to talk and a test of those willing to act.
Major nuclear disarmament groups include Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Greenpeace and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. There have been many large anti-nuclear demonstrations and protests. On June 12, 1982, one million people demonstrated in New York City's Central Park against nuclear weapons and for an end to the cold war arms race. It was the largest anti-nuclear protest and the largest political demonstration in American history.
In his definition of "disarmament", David Carlton writes in the Oxford University Press Political dictionary, "But confidence in such measures of arms control, especially when unaccompanied by extensive means of verification, has not been strengthened by the revelation that the Soviet Union in its last years successfully concealed consistent and systematic cheating on its obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention." He also notes, "Now a freeze or a mutually agreed increase is not strictly speaking disarmament at all. And such measures may not even be intended to be a first step towards any kind of reduction or abolition. For the aim may simply be to promote stability in force structures. Hence a new term to cover such cases has become fashionable since the 1960s, namely, arms control."
Anti-nuclear organizations may oppose uranium mining, nuclear power, and/or nuclear weapons. Anti-nuclear groups have undertaken public protests and acts of civil disobedience which have included occupations of nuclear plant sites. Some of the most influential groups in the anti-nuclear movement have had members who were elite scientists, including several Nobel Laureates and many nuclear physicists.Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
The U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) was an independent agency of the United States government that existed from 1961 to 1999. Its mission was to strengthen United States national security by "formulating, advocating, negotiating, implementing and verifying effective arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament policies, strategies, and agreements."
In so doing, ACDA ensured that arms control was fully integrated into the development and conduct of United States national security policy. ACDA also conducted, supported, and coordinated research for arms control and disarmament policy formulation, prepared for and managed U.S. participation in international arms control and disarmament negotiations, and prepared, operated, and directed U.S. participation in international arms control and disarmament systems.Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is an organisation that advocates unilateral nuclear disarmament by the United Kingdom, international nuclear disarmament and tighter international arms regulation through agreements such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It opposes military action that may result in the use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and the building of nuclear power stations in the UK.
CND began in November 1957 when a committee was formed, including Canon John Collins as chairman, Bertrand Russell as president and Peggy Duff as organising secretary. The committee organised CND's first public meeting at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster on 17 February 1958. Since then, CND has periodically been at the forefront of the peace movement in the UK. It claims to be Europe's largest single-issue peace campaign. Between 1959 and 1965 it organised the Aldermaston March, which was held over the Easter weekend from the Atomic Weapons Establishment near Aldermaston to Trafalgar Square, London.Conference on Disarmament
The Conference on Disarmament (CD) is a multilateral disarmament forum established by the international community to negotiate arms control and disarmament agreements based at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The Conference meets annually in three separate sessions in Geneva.Disarmament in Somalia
After two decades of violence and civil war (which began in 1986) and after the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia captured Mogadishu and Kismayo, the TFG attempted to disarm the militias of the country in late 2006. According to the UN/World Bank's Joint Needs Assessment (JNA) coordination secretariat, "the total estimated number of militias [militia members] to be demobilized is 53,000." In 2005, they estimated that "there are 11-15,000 militia people controlling Mogadishu (out of national estimates ranging from 50,000 to 200,000)."Iraq disarmament crisis
The Iraq disarmament crisis was claimed as one of primary issues that led to the multinational invasion of Iraq on 20 March 2003. Since the 1980s, Iraq was widely assumed to have been producing and extensively running the programs of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. During the heights of Iran–Iraq War, Iraq had used its offensive chemical program against Iran and Kurdish civilians, also in the 1980s. With the French and Soviet assistance given to Iraqi nuclear program, its primary facility was secretly destroyed by Israel in 1981.
After the Gulf War in 1990, the United Nations located and destroyed large quantities of Iraqi chemical weapons and related equipment and materials with varying degrees of Iraqi cooperation and obstruction, but the Iraqi cooperation later diminished in 1998. The disarmament issue remained tense throughout the 1990s with U.S. at the UN, repeatedly demanding Iraq to allow inspections teams to its facilities. Finally, this disarmament crises reached to its climax in 2002-2003, when U.S. President George W. Bush demanded a complete end to what he alleged was Iraqi production of weapons of mass destruction, and reasoned with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to comply with UN Resolutions requiring UN weapons inspectors unfettered access to areas those inspectors thought might have weapons production facilities.
Since the Gulf War in 1991, Iraq had been restricted by the United Nations (UN) from developing or possessing such weapons. It was also required to permit inspections to confirm Iraqi compliance. Bush repeatedly backed demands for unfettered inspection and disarmament with threats of invasion. On 20 March 2003, a multinational alliance containing the armed forces of the United States and United Kingdom launched an invasion of Iraq in 2003. After the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011, a number of failed Iraqi peace initiatives were revealed.Labour CND
Labour CND (Lab CND) is a 'Specialist Section' of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, specifically relating to CND-supporting members the Labour Party.League of Nations
The League of Nations, abbreviated as LN or LoN, (French: Société des Nations, [sɔsjete de nasjɔ̃] abbreviated as "SDN" or "SdN" and meaning "Society of Nations") was an intergovernmental organisation founded on 10 January 1920 as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first worldwide intergovernmental organisation whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. Its primary goals, as stated in its Covenant, included preventing wars through collective security and disarmament and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration. Other issues in this and related treaties included labour conditions, just treatment of native inhabitants,
human and drug trafficking, the arms trade, global health, prisoners of war, and protection of minorities in Europe. At its greatest extent from 28 September 1934 to 23 February 1935, it had 58 members.
The diplomatic philosophy behind the League represented a fundamental shift from the preceding hundred years. The League lacked its own armed force and depended on the victorious Great Powers of World War I (France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan were the permanent members of the executive Council) to enforce its resolutions, keep to its economic sanctions, or provide an army when needed. The Great Powers were often reluctant to do so. Sanctions could hurt League members, so they were reluctant to comply with them. During the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, when the League accused Italian soldiers of targeting Red Cross medical tents, Benito Mussolini responded that "the League is very well when sparrows shout, but no good at all when eagles fall out."After some notable successes and some early failures in the 1920s, the League ultimately proved incapable of preventing aggression by the Axis powers in the 1930s. The credibility of the organization was weakened by the fact that the United States never officially joined the League and the Soviet Union joined late and only briefly. Germany withdrew from the League, as did Japan, Italy, Spain and others. The onset of the Second World War showed that the League had failed its primary purpose, which was to prevent any future world war. The League lasted for 26 years; the United Nations (UN) replaced it after the end of the Second World War and inherited several agencies and organisations founded by the League.List of Permanent Representatives of the United Kingdom to the Conference on Disarmament
The Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament is the United Kingdom's foremost diplomatic representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. Permanent Representatives normally hold the personal rank of Ambassador.
The Conference on Disarmament was formally established in 1979; this list includes chief diplomats to the preceding Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament (1962–68) and Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (1969–78). In the early years of the Eighteen-Nation Committee the UK delegation was led by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Joseph Godber (later Lord Godber of Willington) with a diplomat, Sir Paul Mason, as resident alternate.Nuclear Disarmament Party
The Nuclear Disarmament Party (NDP) was an Australian political party formed in June 1984. It was founded by medical researcher Michael Denborough as the political arm of the Australian anti-nuclear movement, which had been active since the early 1970s.
The NDP primarily attracted left-wing Labor Party voters who were disillusioned with Bob Hawke's pro-nuclear stance. At the 1984 federal election, the NDP polled 7.23 percent of the total Senate vote, electing Jo Vallentine as a senator for Western Australia. However, Vallentine resigned from the party before taking her seat, due to allegations of a takeover by Trotskyists affiliated with the Socialist Workers Party. The NDP's vote collapsed to 1.1 percent at the 1987 election – a double dissolution. Robert Wood was elected as a senator for New South Wales, but after less than a year in office was disqualified by the Court of Disputed Returns and replaced by Irina Dunn. However, Dunn was expelled from the party after less than a month in office, and like Vallentine served out the rest of her term as an independent.
The NDP had no electoral success after 1987, and the 1990 election was the last at which the party ran a serious campaign. After several years of inactivity, the party was revived for the 1998 election. It attracted little support in its second manifestation, and was eventually formally disbanded in December 2009, when it voluntarily relinquished its registration with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). In the mean time, many of its initial members had either returned to the Labor Party or become involved with the Australian Greens.Nuclear disarmament
Nuclear disarmament is the act of reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons. It can also be the end state of a nuclear-weapons-free world, in which nuclear weapons are completely eliminated. The term denuclearization is also used to describe the process leading to complete nuclear disarmament.Nuclear disarmament groups include the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Peace Action, Greenpeace, Soka Gakkai International, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Mayors for Peace, Global Zero, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. There have been many large anti-nuclear demonstrations and protests. On June 12, 1982, one million people demonstrated in New York City's Central Park against nuclear weapons and for an end to the cold war arms race. It was the largest anti-nuclear protest and the largest political demonstration in American history.In recent years, some U.S. elder statesmen have also advocated nuclear disarmament. Sam Nunn, William Perry, Henry Kissinger, and George Shultz have called upon governments to embrace the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, and in various op-ed columns have proposed an ambitious program of urgent steps to that end. The four have created the Nuclear Security Project to advance this agenda. Organisations such as Global Zero, an international non-partisan group of 300 world leaders dedicated to achieving nuclear disarmament, have also been established.
Proponents of nuclear disarmament say that it would lessen the probability of nuclear war occurring, especially accidentally. Critics of nuclear disarmament say that it would undermine deterrence.Nuclear weapons debate
The nuclear weapons debate refers to the controversies surrounding the threat, use and stockpiling of nuclear weapons. Even before the first nuclear weapons had been developed, scientists involved with the Manhattan Project were divided over the use of the weapon. The only time nuclear weapons have been used in warfare was during the final stages of World War II when United States Army Air Forces B-29 Superfortress bombers dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August 1945. The role of the bombings in Japan's surrender and the U.S.'s ethical justification for them have been the subject of scholarly and popular debate for decades.
Nuclear disarmament refers both to the act of reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons and to the end state of a nuclear-free world. Proponents of disarmament typically condemn a priori the threat or use of nuclear weapons as immoral and argue that only total disarmament can eliminate the possibility of nuclear war. Critics of nuclear disarmament say that it would undermine deterrence and make conventional wars more likely, more destructive, or both. The debate becomes considerably complex when considering various scenarios for example, total vs partial or unilateral vs multilateral disarmament.Peace symbols
A number of peace symbols have been used many ways in various cultures and contexts. The dove and olive branch was used symbolically by early Christians and then eventually became a secular peace symbol, popularized by Pablo Picasso after World War II.
In the 1950s the "peace sign", as it is known today, was designed by Gerald Holtom as the logo for the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), a group at the forefront of the peace movement in the UK, and adopted by anti-war and counterculture activists in the US and elsewhere. The V hand signal and the peace flag also became international peace symbols.
The peace symbol is encoded by Unicode as part of the Miscellaneous Symbols block, at U+262E ☮ PEACE SYMBOL.Second London Naval Treaty
The Second London Naval Treaty was an international treaty signed as a result of the Second London Naval Disarmament Conference held in London, the United Kingdom. The conference started on 9 December 1935 and treaty was signed by the participating nations on 25 March 1936.Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT, is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. Between 1965 and 1968, the treaty was negotiated by the Eighteen Nation Committee on Disarmament, a United Nations-sponsored organization based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Opened for signature in 1968, the treaty entered into force in 1970. As required by the text, after twenty-five years, NPT Parties met in May 1995 and agreed to extend the treaty indefinitely. More countries have adhered to the NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement, a testament to the treaty's significance. As of August 2016, 191 states have adhered to the treaty, though North Korea, which acceded in 1985 but never came into compliance, announced its withdrawal from the NPT in 2003, following detonation of nuclear devices in violation of core obligations. Four UN member states have never accepted the NPT, three of which possess nuclear weapons: India, Israel, and Pakistan. In addition, South Sudan, founded in 2011, has not joined.
The treaty defines nuclear-weapon states as those that have built and tested a nuclear explosive device before 1 January 1967; these are the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China. Four other states are known or believed to possess nuclear weapons: India, Pakistan, and North Korea have openly tested and declared that they possess nuclear weapons, while Israel is deliberately ambiguous regarding its nuclear weapons status.
The NPT is often seen to be based on a central bargain:
the NPT non-nuclear-weapon states agree never to acquire nuclear weapons and the NPT nuclear-weapon states in exchange agree to share the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology and to pursue nuclear disarmament aimed at the ultimate elimination of their nuclear arsenals.
The treaty is reviewed every five years in meetings called Review Conferences of the Parties to the Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Even though the treaty was originally conceived with a limited duration of 25 years, the signing parties decided, by consensus, to unconditionally extend the treaty indefinitely during the Review Conference in New York City on 11 May 1995, in the culmination of U.S. government efforts led by Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr.
At the time the NPT was proposed, there were predictions of 25–30 nuclear weapon states within 20 years. Instead, over forty years later, five states are not parties to the NPT, and they include the only four additional states believed to possess nuclear weapons. Several additional measures have been adopted to strengthen the NPT and the broader nuclear nonproliferation regime and make it difficult for states to acquire the capability to produce nuclear weapons, including the export controls of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the enhanced verification measures of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol.
Critics argue that the NPT cannot stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons or the motivation to acquire them. They express disappointment with the limited progress on nuclear disarmament, where the five authorized nuclear weapons states still have 22,000 warheads in their combined stockpile and have shown a reluctance to disarm further. Several high-ranking officials within the United Nations have said that they can do little to stop states using nuclear reactors to produce nuclear weapons.United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research
The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) was established in 1980 by the United Nations General Assembly to inform States and the global community on questions of international security, and to assist with disarmament efforts so as to facilitate progress toward greater security and economic and social development for all.
Recognising the need for objective, empirical and comprehensive research on disarmament and security, the General Assembly specified that UNIDIR would be an autonomous entity within the United Nations structure, so that its work could be conducted in scientific independence.United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs
The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) (French: Le Bureau des affaires du désarmement) is an Office of the United Nations Secretariat established in January 1998 as the Department for Disarmament Affairs, part of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's plan to reform the UN as presented in his report to the General Assembly in July 1997.Its goal is to promote nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and the strengthening of the disarmament regimes in respect to other weapons of mass destruction, chemical and biological weapons. It also promotes disarmament efforts in the area of conventional weapons, especially landmines and small arms, which are often the weapons of choice in contemporary conflicts.
It is led by an Under-Secretary-General (USG) and High Representative (HR), Izumi Nakamitsu of Japan, who took office on 1 May 2017.Washington Naval Conference
The Washington Naval Conference, also named the Washington Arms Conference or the Washington Disarmament Conference, was a military conference called by U.S. President Warren G. Harding and held in Washington, D.C., from 12 November 1921 to 6 February 1922. Conducted outside the auspice of the League of Nations, it was attended by nine nations—the United States, Japan, China, France, Britain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, and Portugal—regarding interests in the Pacific Ocean and East Asia. Soviet Russia was not invited to the conference. It was the first arms control conference in history, and as Kaufman, 1990 shows, it is studied by political scientists as a model for a successful disarmament movement.
Held at Memorial Continental Hall in downtown Washington DC, it resulted in three major treaties: Four-Power Treaty, Five-Power Treaty (more commonly known as the Washington Naval Treaty), the Nine-Power Treaty, and a number of smaller agreements. These treaties preserved peace during the 1920s but were not renewed in the increasingly hostile world of the Great Depression.World Disarmament Conference
The Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments of 1932–1934 (sometimes World Disarmament Conference or Geneva Disarmament Conference) was a failed effort by member states of the League of Nations, together with the United States, to actualize the ideology of disarmament. It took place in the Swiss city of Geneva, 1932 to 1934.