The Regional Disarmament Branch (RDB) fosters ODA’s cooperation with regional inter-governmental partners, under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, and line with increasing UN partnerships with regional organizations.
The mandate for such cooperation stems from both the Security Council and the General Assembly. Security Council Resolution 1631 (2005), in particular, “stresses the potential role of regional and sub-regional organisations in addressing the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and the need to take into account in the peacekeeping operations’ mandates, where appropriate, the regional instruments enabling states to identify and trace illegal small arms and light weapons.”
High-Level meetings between the UN and Regional and other Intergovernmental Organizations
Since 1994 there have been six high-level meetings between the UN and regional organisations and other intergovernmental organisations convened by the Secretary-General. In 2004 six working groups were formed to support the high-level meetings. The ODA-chaired Working Group on disarmament and non-proliferation is serviced by RDB. This Working Group has adopted several concrete recommendations on ways to further enhance coordination and cooperation among the organisations on disarmament matters.
Partnerships and Joint Projects
In practice, the UN has been steadily increasing its cooperation in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation, particularly on issues related to small arms and light weapons (SALW). In Latin America and the Caribbean, UN-LiREC regularly cooperates with the OAS on firearms-related initiatives. In Africa, UNREC is working with both ECOWAS on small arms issues, and with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on a variety of security-related issues, in particular within the framework of the UN Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa.
Recently, increased cooperation and financial support from the European Union has allowed for the implementation of joint “regional-global” projects, aimed at promoting disarmament instruments such as Security Council Resolution 1540(2004), the International Tracing Instrument, and the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW).
In recognition of the increasing potential for partnerships between the UN and regional organizations on SALW issues, NATO and the OSCE co-sponsored, with the support of the UN, a “Synergy Conference for Regional Organizations on the Implementation of the UN Programme of Action” at NATO Headquarters in Brussels from 28 to 30 May 2008. ODA and its three Regional Centres actively participated.