1211 GENEVA 19


Resolution adopted without a vote by the 89th Inter-Parliamentary Conference
(New Delhi, 17 April 1993)

The 89th Inter-Parliamentary Conference,


(a) That the keynote of the evolving new world order must be understanding and détente;

(b) That the use of violence is contrary to universal moral standards and incompatible with the maintenance of peace throughout the world;

(c) That the establishment of a control mechanism for arms purchases requires broad political will;

(d) That the growing interdependence between States can only be strengthened in a climate of fraternity and conciliation;

Realizing that excessive arms build-ups are one of the causes of destabilization and thus pose a threat to regional and international peace and security,

Aware of the deleterious effects of illicit arms dealing, particularly on countries' internal stability and on respect for human rights,

Recognizing that it is essential to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and, without discriminating, the transfer of advanced military-oriented technologies that could enable countries to manufacture such weapons,

Bearing in mind the damaging effects of excessive arms build-ups on world social and economic development, and the beneficial consequences that reduced arms acquisition could have for the economic betterment and social development of all peoples,

Pointing out that by strengthening mutual trust, greater openness and transparency could help to invalidate the conviction that more and newer arms are continually necessary,

Believing that greater mutual trust among nations would result in decreased tension and create a world climate more conducive to peace at the regional and international levels,

Noting with satisfaction the current progress in developing an atmosphere in which just and lasting solutions to problems of a military nature can be found, and noting further that maximum advantage should be taken of this opportunity, without delay,

Aware in this connection of the key role that parliamentarians can play in their countries' decision-making processes, of their influence on their fellow citizens and of their desire to work towards the creation of an international order in which every country's military aims would be more open and transparent, with a view to facilitating the advent of peace and security at the regional and international levels,

Recognizing the inalienable right of all countries to defend themselves individually or collectively in the event of armed attack, in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, and the right of nations to seek aid and assistance from other countries to ensure respect for that principle,

Deeply concerned at illicit arms trafficking which adversely affects stability and is directly and indirectly linked to acts of terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime and the activities of mercenaries in various parts of the world,


(a) The provisions of the UN Convention on prohibitions or restrictions on the use of certain conventional weapons of 10 April 1981;

(b) The conclusions and recommendations of the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Disarmament (Bonn, May 1990), which aimed, inter alia, to establish within the United Nations' framework a register of international arms transfers (paragraph 22 of the conclusions and recommendations of the Conference);

(c) The conclusions of the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Security and Co­operation in the Mediterranean (Malaga, June 1992), which affirm that transparency and openness in military activities can contribute to establishing trust and strengthening security and stability;

(d) United Nations General Assembly resolution 46/36 L of 9 December 1991 ("Transparency in Armaments"), the annex to which provides for the establishment, with effect from 1 January 1992, of a Register of Conventional Arms;

Realizing that greater transparency in international arms transfers, through extension of the Register's scope, contributes substantially to establishing security and confidence between States and to attenuating mistrust and misunderstanding, thereby averting the consequences thereof,

Convinced that transparency in international arms transfers should be pursued on the basis of undiminished security for all States,

Recalling United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/52 L of 15 December 1992 endorsing the recommendations of the report by a UN panel of experts on the functioning and possible further development of the Register,

Recognizing the need for and the duty of every State to report its arms transfers to this Register,

1. Calls on all States to exercise effective control over their arms and military equipment as well as their exports and imports of arms so as to prevent their transfer to parties that engage in illicit arms trafficking;

2. Urges Governments to establish, if they consider it useful, their own panels to study their domestic military industries, consider methods and means of controlling their arms exports more effectively and formulate measures to make their arms transfers more open and transparent;

3. Asks all Parliaments and Governments to support conversion efforts and to develop special programmes for industrial conversion from arms production to the production of civilian goods;

4. Invites all Parliaments and Governments to exchange information on their respective policies, laws and administrative measures concerning the export and import of arms, and to ensure co-ordination with the competent United Nations bodies;

5. Calls on Governments to co-operate fully in the establishment of the Register of arms transfers and supply the Secretary-General of the United Nations with annual reports on their imports and exports of arms, and to make available information on their military holdings, procurement through national production and relevant policies;

6. Encourages parliamentarians to bring pressure to bear on their respective Governments to participate actively in the maintenance of the Register, and to promote acceptance for the concept of openness and transparency in the field of military activities;

7. Stresses that the active participation of all States is a prerequisite for the Register to operate as effectively as possible and provide maximum transparency in arms transfers;

8. Considers that reporting to the Register should be compulsory, and that, accordingly, the possibility should be examined of UN inspection and some form of sanction being imposed in the event of failure to report or in case of false information;

9. Emphasizes the significance of the current consideration of the item on transparency in armaments and, more specifically, issues relating to the active participation of States in the Register and its effective operation, by the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva;

10. Recommends that Parliaments and Governments lend whatever assistance they deem appropriate to the UN Secretary-General with respect to the work being done by the panel of technical experts on formulating the technical procedures necessary for the effective operation of the Register;

11. Calls on parliamentarians the world over to follow these issues actively with a view to encouraging, provided that the principle of universality and non­discrimination on which the Register must be based is observed, more in­depth discussion of the Register and of the possibilities of extending its scope by including further categories of arms and equipment, as well as military holdings and procurement through national production;

12. Recommends that all parties involved in ensuring the proper operation of the Register should take account of the need to:

(a) Reach agreement on a global and universally recognized concept of the arms transfers to be included in the Register;

(b) Ensure that the inclusion in the Register of aspects concerning technology and know-how will not impose restrictions on the freedom of developing countries to acquire high technology;

(c) Establish universal, global and non-discriminatory criteria that ensure standardized data and information;

(d) Examine the possibility of including in the Register, in addition to exports and imports, the production of arms, including nuclear and radioactive materials and their transfer;

(e) Include in the Register all data and information on arms seized by governments from terrorist groups, drug traffickers, organized crime gangs, mercenaries, etc., in order to contribute to combating illicit arms trafficking;

(f) Establish measures for the verification of the data and information provided by States for the Register;

13. Requests the Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union to obtain information from the Secretary-General of the United Nations concerning developments in the field of transparency in arms transfers and to report thereon to National Groups, and calls on the governing bodies of the Union to examine, in the light of this first experience, whether it is worthwhile to pursue this endeavour.

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