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Resolution adopted by consensus* by the 111th Assembly
(Geneva, 1 October 2004)

The 111th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Recognising the risks to international peace, stability and security posed by the uncontrolled build-up and proliferation of armaments, and especially weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery,

Deeply moved by the suffering and destruction inflicted upon humankind by the fatal impact of arms, wars and terrorist activities,

Profoundly apprehensive of the effects of the ongoing stockpiling of arms on the world economy, on the global environment, and on sustainable development in the world,

Calling on all States to strengthen regional efforts in the field of confidence-building measures for the purpose of promoting a climate of security and stability, peaceful relations and good-neighbourliness,

Mindful of the United Nations Charter, and especially Articles 2 and 26 thereof,

Conscious of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all other covenants, treaties and instruments related to human rights and respect for human dignity,

Recognising the primary and essential role of the United Nations General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council in promoting the advancement of women and gender equality, and also recalling United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security,

Reiterating the importance of resolutions adopted by the IPU since 1994 on peace, security and disarmament, in particular at the 91st, 93rd, 94th, 96th, 98th, 101st, 102nd, and 108th Conferences, at the 109th Assembly and at the Special Session of the IPU Council, held in 1995,

Concerned that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remains a real threat, particularly when such weapons fall into the hands of States that act in contravention of international law and their treaty obligations, unaccountable non-state actors and terrorists, and in this connection welcoming United Nations Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts and Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,

Mindful of the importance of preventing the fight against terrorism from jeopardising the positive results achieved in the fields of disarmament obligations and confidence-building measures,

Alarmed at the widespread availability of vast quantities of weapons, from small arms of all types to mortars and landmines, all of which represent a threat to human security, as well as man-portable air-defence systems (MANPADS), which pose a growing threat to civil aviation, confirming the importance of properly controlling small arms, and pointing out the need to crack down on illegal transactions in small arms by international organised crime groups and terrorist organisations, and on the criminal activities that fund such groups and organisations,

Underscoring the importance of the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms in enhancing openness and transparency in the field of armaments, and supporting the further strengthening of its operation and scope,

Expressing appreciation of the benefits of the arms control agreements already concluded, such as the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions (SORT) and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty), the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BTWC), and hoping that they may be the precursors of further mutual arms reduction and disarmament agreements,

Recalling the importance of, and the need to respect, international law in times of armed conflict,

Recognising the progress made under the NPT and the resulting safeguards agreements, and inviting the nuclear powers and the other States Parties to the Treaty to give effect to the commitments they took during the NPT review and extension conferences held by the United Nations in 1995 and 2000, as well as to the recommendations thereof,

Recognising in particular the key role of multilateral non-discriminatory disarmament treaties such as the CWC and the BTWC, and emphasising the ongoing need to support and strengthen the NPT, while expressing concern that one State has decided to withdraw from this Treaty,

Convinced that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) plays a central role in international nuclear disarmament and the maintenance of the non-proliferation framework based on the NPT, and that the enforcement of the CTBT is an effective and concrete way of achieving the elimination of nuclear weapons,

Anticipating the early conclusion of the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) to freeze the nuclear weapon production capabilities of nuclear-weapon States and those States that are not party to the NPT,

Mindful of the mutual confidence engendered by regional nuclear-weapon-free zones such as those in the South Pacific, Africa, South-East Asia and Latin America,

Valuing the agreements concluded for the demilitarisation of Antarctica and the seabed as a way of protecting sensitive areas of the planet’s ecosystem,

Determined to play a positive role in preventing access to weaponry by terrorist organisations, terrorists, international criminals and governments with offensive ambitions,

Conscious that the achievements in the field of non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament should not be taken for granted,

Concerned that the full implementation of certain arms reduction, disarmament and non-proliferation agreements is subject to delay and disputed interpretations, which diminish their effectiveness,

Convinced that a multilateral approach to disarmament and non-proliferation is the best way forward, as it secures lasting confidence and greater regional and international stability,

Believing that multilaterally negotiated, non-discriminatory, verifiable regimes to limit the transfer of key technologies in the field of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and missile-related fields contribute to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery,

Committed to the responsible control of trade in goods, equipment and technology, including dual-use materials, that could be used for the production of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and recognising the rights and responsibilities of States in their use of nuclear energy, chemical and biological agents and toxins for peaceful purposes,

Pledging to bring about fuller parliamentary involvement in the disarmament process, particularly in respect of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, by bringing pressure to bear on governments and by ensuring detailed scrutiny of military budgets and procurement programmes,

Eager to help international parliamentary bodies, in particular the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), to work actively for the promotion of the arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation process,

Insistent that governments share all relevant information more fully with parliamentarians on a basis of mutual trust,

  1. Calls on all parliaments to provide strong and effective support to all resolutions and recommendations on peace, disarmament and security previously adopted at IPU Conferences and Assemblies;

  2. Urges national parliaments to press their governments to sign, accede to and ratify, as appropriate, all conventions, treaties and other international instruments aimed at ensuring non-proliferation, arms control, disarmament and greater international security, and to implement them fully;

  3. Calls on governments, national parliaments and the international community to address the root causes which create an environment that might lead people to resort to violence at the individual, national and international levels;

  4. Calls for the convocation, under the auspices of the United Nations, of an international conference on combating terrorism, with a view inter alia to establishing a clear-cut definition of this serious problem;

  5. Invites all countries to build on the existing achievements in disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation, so as to ensure that they are sustained processes in the future;

  6. Calls on the United Nations to work more closely with the IPU in reducing tensions, resolving conflicts and fighting terrorism;

  7. Urges parliaments also to focus on particular areas of international tension;

  8. Further urges the bold identification of the most dangerous threats to international order and stability, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the situation in the Darfur region and the Great Lakes region of Africa, and other trouble spots that could pose a serious threat and that require urgent political action to prevent conflict;

  9. Calls for more actively sustained efforts for post-war reconstruction to be undertaken by the United Nations, so as to prevent new outbreaks of armed conflict, terrorism and lawlessness, with a continuous focus on the establishment of good governance and the rule of law;

  10. Calls on all governments and multilateral organisations to support efforts to achieve the immediate cessation of all forms of occupation, as well as to recognise formally the responsibility of all occupying forces to remedy all ills caused by occupation and to act according to international law;

  11. Encourages the Secretariats of the IPU and the United Nations to enhance the exchange of information, cooperation and coordination between the two institutions and among their Members;

  12. Calls on all countries to refrain from the unilateral use of force in the absence of a relevant United Nations Security Council resolution;

  13. Calls on parliaments to monitor closely the national implementation of all arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament treaties and United Nations resolutions, to engage in an exchange of information on best practices for such monitoring and to report back to the IPU Assembly on progress made;

  14. Further calls for broader participation by States in the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms;

  15. Recommends that parliaments closely monitor the compatibility of the decisions of their respective executive branches on strategic doctrines, the build-up of armed forces and weapons research and development or production, with the United Nations Charter, generally accepted norms and principles of international law and valid international agreements;

  16. Encourages parliaments to adopt appropriate national legislation to control the export of armaments of all types, more particularly focusing on items relating to weapons of mass destruction, such as components and precursors;

  17. Urges the parliaments and governments of States which have not signed or ratified the CTBT to take all necessary measures to achieve its speedy entry into force;

  18. Insists on the need to strengthen further the BTWC, in particular to establish a legally binding mechanism for its verification;

  19. Calls on European parliaments and Governments to ratify without delay the Adaptation Agreement relating to the CFE Treaty, taking into account its paramount importance for maintaining a high level of security and stability in Europe;

  20. Urges the further development of nuclear-weapon-free zones, and particularly the full implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution 687 (1991), through which the Middle East should be declared a zone free of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery;

  21. Calls for accession by all States to the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and their Destruction, as well as to amended Protocol II to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects;

  22. Calls on States Parties to the Ottawa Convention to participate at a high level in the First Review Conference, to be held in November-December 2004 in Nairobi, and to prepare and present at that Conference national plans for mine-clearance and victim assistance activities for the coming years;

  23. Calls also for accession by States to the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, with a view to enabling its entry into force;

  24. Calls on governments to increase support for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and to negotiate and bring into force required comprehensive safeguard agreements, as well as additional protocols and enhanced nuclear safety arrangements;

  25. Encourages the United Nations Security Council and the IAEA to establish thorough monitoring regimes in all States suspected of having clandestine programmes aimed at acquiring weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons;

  26. Further calls on all countries to intensify efforts for the implementation of Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) and of United Nations General Assembly resolution 58/48, to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and to consolidate policies aimed at preventing the transfer, especially to terrorists, of equipment, materials and technology which may be used for the proliferation of such weapons;

  27. Urges parliaments to enact legislation holding governments responsible when they allow arms to be leaked to terrorists and organised crime groups, and prohibiting such leaks;

  28. Urges all countries that have signed the Open Skies Treaty to ensure that it is fully applied so as to safeguard against surprise attacks and build mutual confidence;

  29. Calls on parliaments to ensure the full implementation at all times of the Antarctic Treaty, the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Seabed and the Ocean Floor and in the Subsoil Thereof (the Seabed Treaty) and the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies;

  30. Calls on governments to pursue multilateral negotiations to conclude a convention complementing the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, by prohibiting the deployment of weapons in space;

  31. Requests the United Nations, in its efforts to implement its Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects, to cooperate closely with the IPU, in particular in view of the July 2005 Biennial Meeting to review implementation of the Programme of Action;

  32. Encourages all regional bodies to campaign actively for the reduction and control of trade in small arms;

  33. Asserts the vital role of women and women’s organisations in achieving the peaceful resolution of conflicts and in establishing peaceful, harmonious, non-aggressive societies and families, based on humanitarian values;

  34. Encourages alternative perspectives of conflict prevention at the grass-roots and community levels, and calls for States to build on them throughout society, making funding available for women’s organisations and non-governmental organisations, and establishing an international humanitarian fund;

  35. Recommends that the United Nations, especially the Department for Disarmament Affairs, further strengthen cooperation with the IPU, in particular in implementing its Gender Mainstreaming Action Plan, which is aimed at strengthening, consolidating, informing and guiding future disarmament work;

  36. Also recommends that the IPU, through the members of its affiliated parliaments, actively support the implementation of all relevant United Nations General Assembly and Economic and Social Council resolutions on the promotion of the advancement of women and gender equality, as well as Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security, taking into account the recommendations pertaining to women and war that are contained in the Beijing Platform for Action of 1995;

  37. Calls on parliaments to ensure that, whenever applicable, legislation is compatible with the Statute of the International Criminal Court, in particular that it includes provisions sanctioning crimes committed against women;

  38. Urges greater access of women to media and communications facilities, so that their message against conflict can be widely disseminated;

  39. Recommends the development of multicultural and transnational – global and regional – initiatives to allow women to play a full part in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, with the active participation of the IPU in this crucial role.

* The delegation of Israel said that it did not wish to oppose the adoption of the resolution, but wished to put on record its serious reservations in respect of several sections and paragraphs of the text. The delegation of India emphasised that its support for the resolution did not prejudice its position in respect of conventions, treaties or regimes to which it was not a party.

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