Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content

Support PSR!

Make a difference in the challenge to confront global warming and prevent nuclear war and the development and use of nuclear weapons.

Donate Now »

Take Action

Let's tell the candidates that we’re worried about climate change, and we want to know what they are going to do about it.

Who changed the U.S.’s Disarmament Resolution?

Posted by Jill Marie Parillo on September 24, 2009


A few days ago the U.S.’s draft UN Security Council Resolution on nonproliferation and disarmament was changed. This resolution was negotiated with all 15 Security Council members, and maybe a few others, to have assurance it would pass today.  Just slight changes were made, since the September 18th draft, along with one rather significant addition. The addition likely indicates future key topics for negotiation at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in 2010.  


A few words were changed from British to American English spellings (fulfill, programs and endeavor were all spelled with the British spellings). The phrases that these changes were made in were likely not written by the U.S. team. Most states at the Conference on Disarmament and at the United Nations use British spellings, so it could have been any Security Council member other than the United States. However, not only was British English used to write these sentences, but they call on the Nuclear Weapon States (NWSs), the five permanent Security Council members - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States- to take action in some way, so they were likely written by non-nuclear weapon states (NNWSs). The spelling changes were made to these words in red within these phrases:

·         “Reaffirming…the need for all Member States to fulfill their obligations in relation to arms control and disarmament”


·         “Welcoming the decisions of those non-nuclear-weapon States that have dismantled their nuclear weapons programs or renounced the possession of nuclear weapons”


·         “Calls upon the Parties to the NPT, pursuant to Article VI of the Treaty, to undertake to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to nuclear arms reduction and disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control, and calls on all other States to join in this endeavor  

The new addition since the September 18th draft is this phrase, “recalling in this regard the outcomes of past NPT Review Conferences, including the 1995 and 2000 final documents.”  Sounds like non-aligned language if you ask me.  In other words: recalling that NWSs agreed to the Middle East Resolution (to work towards bringing Israel into a nuclear weapon free zone) and the 13 steps to nuclear disarmament (steps towards implementation of Article VI). Whoever added this did not know that there was no final document to the 1995 Review Conference.  Rather a package of 4 decisions was adopted, one of which is the extension of the NPT and another, the Middle East Resolution.

The Bush Administration refused to move on the Middle East Resolution and said they no longer supported the 13 steps towards nuclear disarmament. The Obama Administration (surely after tough negotiations) agreed to do something on these two items this week by including them in this resolution. Not yet clear how far they will go towards implementation in 2010.  

Update- The US delegation also presented a fact sheet on disarmament to the Security Council today that starts, "we harbor no illusions about the difficulty of bringing about a world without nuclear weapons." US Nuc Disarm Fact Sheet UNSC


Leave your comment

Enter this word: Change

Action Alerts

More action alerts»


  • Video: Can We Prevent Nuclear War?

    The danger of nuclear war is real. PSR's Dr. Ira Helfand spoke at TEDx Vail on the threat to human survival posed by nuclear war and what we can do about it: we can all take action to end nuclear weapons in all forms. Read more »

  • Dr. Ira Helfand Speaks at the UN

    Dr. Ira Helfand spoke before the Untied Nations General Assembly on September 10, 2015 as part of a panel addressing the pursuit of a nuclear weapons free world. Read more »

  • Video: We Have an Iran Deal! Now What?

    Watch PSR Security Program's latest webinar to understand the details of the Iran Deal and what you can do to keep the deal safe from Congress. Featuring speaker Kelsey Davenport, Arms Control Association. Read more »

In the Spotlight