UNODA Occasional Papers No.28: Rethinking General and Complete Disarmament in the Twenty-First Century, October 2016
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UNODA Occasional Papers No.28: Rethinking General and Complete Disarmament in the Twenty-First Century, October 2016

The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) Occasional Papers is a series of ad hoc publications presenting, in edited form, papers or statements made at meetings, symposiums, seminars, workshops or lectures that deal with topical issues in the field of arms limitation, disarmament and international security. They are intended primarily for those concerned with these matters in Government, civil society and in the academic community. This publication's authors, who include some of the world’s leading scholars, diplomats and activists on the topic, examine historic, strategic, humanitarian and economic aspects of general and complete disarmament to elaborate and elevate the case for prohibiting conventional weapons systems as well as nuclear weapons. The featured articles were originally presented at the seminar held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 21 October 2015 entitled “Comprehensive Approaches for Disarmament in the Twenty-first Century: Rethinking General and Complete Disarmament”. It was organized by the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica.
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Creating disarmament synergies: The general and complete disarmament multiplier You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
Randy Rydell

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There are few concepts as badly misunderstood in the disarmament and arms control literature as “general and complete disarmament under effective international control” or GCD. To some ill-informed observers, GCD is prima facie unacceptable because of its utopian connotations: it implies the elimination of literally every weapon, of all types, everywhere. Working from this false premise, such critics typically conclude that GCD is “unrealistic”—or at best a concept to be viewed as an “ultimate goal”, to be achieved only when all other challenges are resolved first. Even the United Nations treats GCD as an “ultimate goal”.