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2020 Orientation Course: Table of Weapons and Technologies

The order followed by this table corresponds to that of modules 2 to 5 of the 2020 Orientation Course and is not intended to be exhaustive of all weapons and technologies.

This table should be read in conjunction with the separate Reading List. Acronyms used in this table are listed at the end.

Module 2: Weapons of Mass Destruction

 

Weapon or potential weaponization

 

Existing or potential treaty regime(s)

 

Administering body & other relevant forums & agencies

 

Main Meetings of States Parties (MSPs), and Reviews

 

Treaty reference sites

& other key references

 

Nuclear

 

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), 1968

 

The NPT has no formal secretariat. It relies on ODA, New York for support

 

Reviewed 5-yearly in New York. Meets in Vienna, Geneva and New York in each of the 3 years prior to the Review Conference.

 

 

http://disarmament.un.org/treaties/t/npt

See also: https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/nuclear/repository/

 

 

 

Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), 1963

 

 

 

http://disarmament.un.org/treaties/t/test_ban

 

 

 

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), 1996 (not in force)

 

CTBTO, Vienna (monitors nuclear tests)

 

 

http://disarmament.un.org/treaties/t/ctbt

See also:

https://www.ctbto.org/

 

 

 

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), 2017 (not in force)

 

 

http://disarmament.un.org/treaties/t/tpnw

 

 

 

Nuclear weapon free (regional) zones

 

 

 

https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/nuclear/nwfz/

 

 

 

Safeguards: Comprehensive (NPT art III) & Additional Protocol

 

IAEA, Vienna

 

 

https://www.iaea.org/topics/safeguards-legal-framework

 

 

Biological

 

Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC or BTWC), 1972

 

BWC ISU, Geneva

 

Reviewed 5-yearly in Geneva

 

http://disarmament.un.org/treaties/t/bwc  

See also: http://disarmament.un.org/treaties/t/1925  

 

 

Chemical

 

Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), 1992

 

 

OPCW, The Hague

 

Reviewed 5-yearly in The Hague

 

 

http://disarmament.un.org/treaties/t/cwc

See also: https://www.opcw.org/      

 

 

WMD

 

Security Council Resolution 1540

 

UN Secretariat, New York

 

 

https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/sc1540/  

See also: https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/secretary-general-mechanism/  

 

 

 

Export Controls

   

https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/export-controls/   

 

 

 

Terrorism

   

https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/sgreport-terrorism/   

Module 3: Conventional Weapons

Weapon or potential weaponization

Existing or potential treaty regime(s)

Administering body …

Main MSPs and Reviews

 

Treaty reference sites & other key references

Inhumane Weapons (other than WMD)

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), 1980

CCW ISU, Geneva

Annual conferences

https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXVI-2&chapter=26&lang=en

See also:https://www.icrc.org/en/document/1980-convention-certain-conventional-weapons

 

Protocols on Non-detectable Fragments (P I), Mines, Booby-traps etc (AP II), Incendiary (P III) Blinding Lasers (P IV), Explosive Remnants of War (P V)

CCW Protocols I to V (1980, 1995, 1996 and 2003) including Amended Protocol II (APII) (1996)

CCW ISU, Geneva

Annual conferences for AP II & P V only

https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXVI-2-b&chapter=26&clang=_en

https://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXVI-2-a&chapter=26

https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXVI-2-d&chapter=26&clang=_en

 

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)

See CCW AP II

 

See also dedicated General Assembly process

 

https://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/ieds/

 

Explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA) (includes IEDs)

Mode of addressing the EWIPA issue, e.g. via a Political Declaration, is under discussion

Discussions in CCW and General Assembly

N/A

https://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/explosive-weapons/

 

Anti-personnel landmines

Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, 1997

ISU, Geneva

5-yearly Review Conferences; annual MSPs

https://www.apminebanconvention.org/overview-and-convention-text/

 

Cluster munitions

Cluster Munitions Convention (CCM), 2008

ISU, Geneva

5-yearly Review Conferences; annual MSPs

https://www.clusterconvention.org/the-convention/convention-text/

 

An aspect affecting all weapons issues and armed conflict in general = International Humanitarian Law (IHL)

Geneva Conventions 1949 & Additional Protocols I & II, 1977

ICRC, Geneva

4-yearly Review

https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/vwTreaties1949.xsp

 

 

Arms Trade

 

 

 

 

 

Small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships

Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

Secretariat, Geneva

Conferences of the States Parties meet as required

https://thearmstradetreaty.org/

See also: https://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/arms-trade-treaty-2/

 

 

UN Register of Conventional Arms

 

 

 

https://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/register/

 

Small arms and light weapons

Programme of Action on small arms & light weapons(PoA), 2001

ODA, New York

Biennial reviews & 5-yearly Review Conferences

https://undocs.org/en/A/CONF.192/15(SUPP)

 

 

International Tracing Instrument (ITI)

ODA, New York

Biennial reviews & 5-yearly Review Conferences

https://unoda-web.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/ITI_English.pdf

 

Firearms, their parts, components and ammunition

Firearms Protocol, 2005

UNODC, Vienna

Biennial Conferences of States Parties

https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XVIII-12-c&chapter=18&clang=_en

See also: 
http://www.poa-iss.org/BPD/Upload/UNODC%20Legislative%20guide%20for%20Firearms%20Protocol.pdf

Ammunition

Accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus

ODA, New York

GGE 2020

https://undocs.org/GGE/PACAS/2020/5

 

 

 

Module 4: Space and Missiles

Weapon or potential weaponization

Existing or potential treaty regime(s)

Administering body 

Main MSPs and Reviews

Treaty reference sites & other key references

Space weapons and Earth-based weapons capable of targeting space assets

Outer Space Treaty (OST), 1967

(forbids placement of WMD in outer space)

Office for Outer Space Affairs, Vienna

 

COPUOS meets annually

https://treaties.un.org/Pages/showDetails.aspx?objid=0800000280128cbd

See also: https://www.un.org/disarmament/topics/outerspace/

and https://www.unoosa.org/

 

Missile-related goods and technologies

Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), 1987

No Secretariat. France is the ‘Point of Contact’.

Members meet annually

https://mtcr.info/guidelines-for-sensitive-missile-relevant-transfers/

Annex: https://mtcr.info/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/MTCR-TEM-Technical_Annex_2019-10-11-1.pdf

 

 

 

Module 5: ICT, AI and Cyber

 

This module deals not with traditional weapons as such but with developments in the field of information and telecommunications (ICT) in the context of international security, including the potential for military and other uses of artificial intelligence (AI), and cyber technology for malicious purposes.

https://www.un.org/disarmament/ict-security/

See also: https://unoda-web.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Information-Security-Fact-Sheet-July-2019.pdf

and https://www.unidir.org/files/publications/pdfs/icts-in-the-context-of-international-peace-and-security-current-conditions-and-future-approaches-en-696.pdf

 

Lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) and Unmanned Aerial vehicles (UAVs) (i.e., robots and drones)

https://www.unog.ch/80256EE600585943/(httpPages)/8FA3C2562A60FF81C1257CE600393DF6?OpenDocument

 

 

AI                     artificial intelligence

AP                    Amended Protocol

ATT                  Arms Trade Treaty

BWC                Biological (and Toxins) Weapons Convention (also BTWC)

CCM                Cluster Munitions Convention

CCW                Convention on Conventional Weapons

CWC                Convention on Chemical Weapons

CD                   Conference on Disarmament

COPUOS          Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

CTBT                Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty 

CTBTO             Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation

GGE                 Group of Government Experts

IAEA                International Atomic Energy Agency

ICRC                 International Committee of the Red Cross

ICT                   Information and communications technologies

IEDs                 improvised explosive devices

IHL                   International Humanitarian Law

ISU                   Implementation Support Unit (i.e., secretariat)

ITI                    International Tracing Instrument

LAWS               Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems

ML                   MACHINE LEARNING

MSPs               Meetings of States Parties

MTCR              Missile Technology Control Regime

NPT                 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

NWFZs             (regional) nuclear-weapon-free zones

ODA                 United Nations Office for Disarmament

OEWG             Open-ended Working Group

OOSA               Office for Outer Space Affairs

OPCW              Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

OST                  Outer Space Treaty

PoA                 Programme of Action on small arms and light weapons

PTBT                Partial Test Ban Treaty

TPNW              Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons

UAVs               Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones)

UNODC            United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 

UNOG              United Nations Office Geneva

VCDNP            Vienna Centre for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

WMD               weapons of mass destruction