Disarmament: A Basic Guide

First Edition

image of Disarmament: A Basic Guide

International peace and security - and therefore disarmament - stand at the core of the UN mandate. This publication is designed to inform, educate and generate public understanding of the importance of multilateral action, and to rally support for it, in the field of arms limitation and disarmament. Intended primarily for the general reader, this basic guide may also be useful for the disarmament educator or trainer. It is published by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs in collaboration with the NGO (non-governmental organizations) Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security pursuant to the purposes of the United Nations Disarmament Information Programme.



Getting involved…

Arms production and trade constitute a big and profitable industry, with strong links to the world’s political structures. The priorities they set affect all government spending decisions. If the industry and its allied politicians are not to keep the world in a perpetual state of insecurity and danger, they must be countered by ordinary people who understand what is happening and why. As this realization has grown in the period after the Cold War, ordinary people have begun to involve themselves with international security issues in unprecedented numbers. The impact has been considerable. For the first time in history, a major international treaty — the one banning land mines — was negotiated and agreed to primarily because of a non-governmental campaign. Currently, a number of non-governmental organizations are campaigning for the abolition of all nuclear weapons. Many are also engaged in the growing campaign against the proliferation and illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons.


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