There is general acceptance by the international community not only that verification of arms control and disarmament agreements can work technically, but that it can work politically. Good verification and compliance arrangements can significantly increase the confidence of parties to an agreement that giving up a type of weapon or other military capability will enhance rather than damage their security. The involvement of parties in monitoring activities and in the management of verification organizations also gives them a stake in the future of their treaty and embeds them further in the international community. While not without its costs, verification and compliance instruments are a security bargain compared to the costs of weaponry and armed forces and the damage they can wreak in armed conflict.

Jointly produced by UNIDIR and the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC), Coming to Terms with Security: A Handbook on Verification and Compliance provides a guide to the basics of verification and compliance in the field of arms control and disarmament. Specifically, the volume addresses a number of fundamental questions including what are verification and compliance, who performs verification and compliance, and how are verification and compliance carried out. Towards this end, it reviews the legal instruments, institutional arrangements, operational procedures and technologies currently in place to monitor the activities of parties to arms control and disarmament agreements that are subject to constraints, to determine whether or not parties are abiding by their agreement obligations, and to resolve disputes between parties over compliance with those obligations.

Intended as a companion to Coming to Terms with Security: A Lexicon for Arms Control, Disarmament and Confidence-Building published by UNIDIR in 2001, the volume is addressed to officials involved in arms control and disarmament activities, as well as students, researchers and journalists.