United Nations study on disarmament and non-proliferation education

The General Assembly resolution 55/33 E, entitled “United Nation study on disarmament and non-proliferation education”, was first introduced by Mexico on 18 October 2000. It was the outcome of a proposal adopted unanimously by the members of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. The presidency of that body was held by the Mexican expert and the Mexican Government agreed to introduce this proposal in the First Committee without making any amendments to its content.

The resolution requested the Secretary-General, with the assistance of a group of governmental experts, to prepare a study on disarmament and non-proliferation with the objectives of defining contemporary forms of disarmament and non-proliferation education and training and assessing the current situation of such education and training at various instructional levels. It would also recommend ways to promote education and training in disarmament and non-proliferation, examine ways to use new pedagogical methods, recommend ways for the organizations of the United Nations system to coordinate their efforts in disarmament and non-proliferation education and devise ways to introduce this type of education and training in post-conflict situations.

After two years of preparation, the United Nations Study on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education (A/57/124) was submitted to the First Committee of the General Assembly at its 57th session on 9 October 2002. The Study builds upon and seeks to revitalize past efforts at disarmament education, which it considers an integral part of peace education. It tackles new elements such as the growth in the significance of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and small arms, as well as gender perspectives on security issues. Its main contribution was the 34 recommendations for action to be undertaken by governments, regional organizations, the UN and other international organizations, municipal and religious leaders. It also seeks to establish close collaboration between the experts and civil society, including educators and academic institutions mainly at the secondary and tertiary levels of education.

Biennial reports of the Secretary-General on disarmament and non-proliferation education are available at UNODA’s disarmament education website.