United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs

The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) [http://disarmament.un.org] promotes the goal of 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 land mines and small arms, which are often the weapons of choice in contemporary conflicts.

The United Nations Department of Disarmament Affairs was established in January 1998 as part of the United Nations Secretary-General’s programme for reform in accordance with his report A/51/950 to the General Assembly. It was originally established in 1982 upon the recommendation of the General Assembly's second special session on disarmament (SSOD II) and functioned as a department until 1992. From 1992 until the end of 1997, it was a Centre under the Department of Political Affairs. In 2007, under the new UN Secretary-General, the Department became the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). On 2 July 2007, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Mr. Sergio de Queiroz Duarte of Brazil as the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs at the Under-Secretary-General level.

UNODA provides substantive and organizational support for norm-setting in the area of disarmament through the work of the UN General Assembly and its First Committee, the Disarmament Commission, the Conference on Disarmament and other bodies. It fosters preventive disarmament measures, such as dialogue, transparency and confidence building on military matters, and encourages regional disarmament efforts; these includes the UN Register of Conventional Arms and regional forums. It also provides information on the United Nations disarmament efforts.

UNODA supports the development and implementation of practical disarmament measures after a conflict, such as disarming and demobilizing former combatants and helping them to reintegrate in civil society.


The United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs is structured in five branches:

Conference on Disarmament Secretariat & Conference Support Branch (Geneva)

The Conference on Disarmament Secretariat and Conference Support Branch, based in Geneva, provides organizational and substantive servicing to the Conference on Disarmament (CD), the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community, and its Ad hoc Committees.

Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch (WMD)

The WMD Branch provides substantive support in the area of the disarmament of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical and biological weapons). It supports and participates in multilateral efforts to strengthen the non-proliferation of WMD and in this connection cooperates with the relevant intergovernmental organizations and specialized agencies of the United Nations system, in particular the IAEA, the OPCW and the CTBTO PrepCom.

Conventional Arms (including Practical Disarmament Measures) Branch (CAB)

The CAB focuses its efforts in the conventional field ( all weapons not considered WMD) of promoting transparency and confidence-building, curbing the flow of small arms in regions of tension, and developing measures of practical disarmament.

Regional Disarmament Branch (RDB)

The Branch provides substantive support, including advisory services, to Member States, regional and subregional organizations on disarmament measures and related security matters.

RDB oversees and coordinates the activities of the three (3) regional centres:

UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa, UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Information and Outreach Branch (IOB )

The IO Branch organizes a wide variety of special events and programmes in the field of disarmament, produces ODA publications (Disarmament Yearbook..) and occasional papers, and maintains the database for specialized areas like Register of Conventional Arms, Status of Treaties and Article 7 - Mine-Ban Convention.

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