United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research
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|United Nations General Assembly |
United Nations Economic and Social Council
The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) was established in 1980 by the United Nations General Assembly to inform States and the global community on questions of international security, and to assist with disarmament efforts so as to facilitate progress toward greater security and economic and social development for all.
Recognising the need for objective, empirical and comprehensive research on disarmament and security, the General Assembly specified that UNIDIR would be an autonomous entity within the United Nations structure, so that its work could be conducted in scientific independence.
Through its research projects, publications, small meetings and expert networks, UNIDIR promotes creative thinking and dialogue on the disarmament and security challenges of today and of tomorrow.
UNIDIR explores both current and future security issues, examining topics as varied as tactical nuclear weapons, refugee security, computer warfare, regional confidence-building measures, and small arms.
Working with researchers, diplomats, government officials, non-governmental organisations and other institutions, UNIDIR acts as a bridge between the research community and United Nations Member States. UNIDIR's work is funded by contributions from governments and donor foundations.
UNIDIR is based in Geneva, the primary centre for security and disarmament negotiations, home of the Conference on Disarmament, and global focal point for humanitarian concerns such as human rights, refugees, migration, health and labour issues.
In 2018, the Board of Trustees endorsed the organisation's following research agenda for 2018-2020:
- Weapons of Mass Destruction and Other Strategic Weapons — Reducing the risk of use of nuclear weapons; compliance and enforcement approaches and lessons; promoting habits of cooperation in WMD regimes; and space security and sustainability.
- Conventional Arms — Urbanisation of violence: adopting arms control to new environments; weapons and ammunition management: supporting country approaches; and arms control in prevention and peacemaking.
- New Weapon Technologies — Preventing, deterring, and responding to malicious cyber attacks, including the role of the private sector; and understanding the implications of increasing autonomy.
- Gender and Disarmament — Promoting dialogue and knowledge sharing to advance gender-responsive disarmament; and developing tools to apply gender perspectives in disarmament frameworks.
- Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone — Filling an important research gap related to how the issue of the ME WMDFZ has evolved over time, including lessons for current and future prospects.
UNIDIR works on the basis of the provisions of the Final Document of the First Special Session of the UN General Assembly Devoted to Disarmament and also takes into account relevant General Assembly recommendations. The work programme is reviewed annually and is subject to approval by the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, which also functions as UNIDIR's Board of Trustees. The Director reports yearly to the General Assembly on the activities of the institute.
UNIDIR's mandate is as follows:
The work of the Institute shall aim at:
(a) Providing the international community with more diversified and complete data on problems relating to international security, the armaments race and disarmament in all fields, particularly in the nuclear field, so as to facilitate progress, through negotiations, towards greater security for all States and towards the economic and social development of all peoples;
(b) Promoting informed participation by all States in disarmament efforts;
(c) Assisting ongoing negotiations on disarmament and continuing efforts to ensure greater international security at a progressively lower level of armaments, particularly nuclear armaments, by means of objective and factual studies and analyses;
(d) Carrying out more in-depth, forward-looking and long-term research on disarmament, so as to provide a general insight to the problems involved and stimulating new initiatives for new negotiations.
The Mandate is from Article II, Paragraph 2 of the institute's Statute, which may be found here.
All inner workings and research done by UNIDIR is supervised by a Board of Trustees and the Director. The Board also serves as the Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. Each member must be knowledgeable in security, arms control and disarmament. Each member is elected by the Secretary General to serve a two-year term.
The Director of UNIDIR, as of 2019[update], is Renata Dwan, former Chief of Policy and Best Practises in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support for the United Nations, succeeding Jarmo Sareva.
- H.E. Mr. Stefan Kongstad (Norway) — Chair of the Board of Trustees; Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Norway to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Vienna
- Ms. Setsuko Aoki (Japan) — Professor of Law, Keio University, Tokyo
- H.E. Ms. Semla Ashipala-Musavyi (Namibia) — Ambassador, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation of Manimibia, Windhoek
- Mr. Corentin Brustlein (France) — Research Fellow, Security Studies Center, Institut Francais Relations Internationales, Paris
- Ms. Lucia Dammert (Peru) — Associate Professor, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago
- Mr. Lewis A Dunn (United States) — Former US Ambassador to the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Virginia, United States of America
- H.E. Mr. Fu Cong (China) — Ambassador, Director-General, Department of Arms Control, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Beijing
- Ms. Arminka Helic (United Kingdom) — Member, House of Lords of the United Kingdom, London
- Mr. Anton Khlopkov (Russian Federation) — Director, Center for Energy and Security Studies, Moscow
- H.E. Mr. Amandeep Gill (India) — on sabbatical from the Advisory Board
- Ms. Merel Noorman (Netherlands) — Assistant Professor, Tilburg University, Tilburg, Netherlands
- H.E. Ms. Enkhtsetseg Ochir (Mongolia) — Ambassador of Mongolia to Sweden, Stockholm
- Mr. Abiodun Williams (Sierra Leone) — Director, Institute for Global Leadership, Professor of the Practice of International Politics, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, United States of America
- H.E. Mr. Motaz Zahran (Egypt) — Ambassador, Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Cairo
- Ms. Renata Dwan (Ireland) — Ex officio member
Weapons of Mass Destruction and Other Strategic Weapons
- Alternative Approaches and Indicators for the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (5/2020), Benjamin Silverstein, Daniel Porras, & John Borrie
- Nuclear Risk Reduction: Closing Pathways to Use (4/2020), edited by Wilfred Wan; contributions by John Borrie, Hassan Elbahtimy, Ulrich Kühn, Tanya Ogilvie-White, Ankit Panda, & Manpreet Sethi
- Exploring the Future of WMD Compliance and Enforcement: Workshop Report (4/2020), James Revill, Alexander Ghionis & Laetitia Zarkan
Security and Technology
- The Black Box, Unlocked (9/2020), Arthur Holland Michel
- Advances in Science and Technology in the Life Sciences (8/2020), Kelly Lane Warmbrod, James Revill & Nancy Connell
- Modernizing Arms Control (8/2020), Giacomo Persi Paoli, Kerstin Vignard, David Danks, & Paul Meyer
- An Innovative Approach to United Nations Arms Embargoes (9/2020), Jonah Leff & Einas Mohammed
- The Arms Trade Treaty: Obligations to Prevent the Diversion of Conventional Arms (6/2020), Brian Wood
- Counter-IED Capability Maturity Model and Self-Assessment Tool (6/2020), Bob Seddon & Alfredo Malaret
Gender and Disarmament
- Gender Perspectives in Arms Control and Disarmament: Views from Africa (5/2020), Christine Butegwa
- Gender & Disarmament Resource Pack (1/2020), International Gender Champions Disarmament Impact Group
- Missing Links: Understanding Sex- and Gender-Related Impacts of Chemical and Biological Weapons (2019), Renata Hessmann Dalaqua, James Revill, Alastair Hay, & Nancy Connell
- Disarmament as Humanitarian Action
- International Atomic Energy Agency
- Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
- United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs
- UN System
- Insecurity Insight