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Dedicated ‘United Nations Disarmament Yearbook’ website, now live, spotlights core peace, security challenges as global organization turns 75

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NEW YORK, 5 October 2020 (Office for Disarmament Affairs) – The Office for Disarmament Affairs launched a new website today featuring the latest version of the United Nations Disarmament Yearbook.

The Yearbook, in its forty‑fourth edition, has been prepared each year through a standing request of the General Assembly. This authoritative guide provides key historical context and highlights opportunities for further progress in this vital arena of international security.

The key findings of the Yearbook are now available on an easy‑to‑use dedicated website. This new digital platform allows diplomats, technical experts, journalists and other readers to effortlessly navigate through a comprehensive overview of key developments and trends from the past year with respect to multilateral disarmament, non‑proliferation and arms control.

The forty‑fourth edition of the Yearbook and its website include, for the first time, a collection of explanatory graphics and charts as well as a full chapter on gender issues in disarmament.

The previous calendar year saw a dearth of dialogue on arms control issues amid signs of mounting distrust. Meanwhile, global sales of conventional weapons and military services rose to a level nearly 50 per cent higher than in 2002, and legal sales of small arms climbed to their highest level since 2001. Governments also became less transparent about some of their weapons sales.

“With the world in the grip of an unprecedented pandemic, we are reminded of our fragility and of how life as we know it can change overnight,” said Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. “Yet, while the current health crisis underscores that our collective human security should be front and centre, countries are building faster and more accurate nuclear arms, developing new weapons technologies with unpredictable implications and pouring more resources into militaries than at any point in decades.” She added: “All of this is happening at a time when our frameworks to prevent catastrophic confrontation are crumbling. In order to secure our common future, States must apply every tool of disarmament, re‑engage in dialogue and recommit to working together towards peace.”

Though progress was considerably absent, the year did bring some encouraging steps by the United Nations and its Member States to help young people become more involved in disarmament issues. The General Assembly reaffirmed the important and positive contribution that young people can make to peace and security when it passed its first resolution on “Youth, Disarmament and Non‑Proliferation”. Meanwhile, under the newly launched Youth4Disarmament Initiative, the Office for Disarmament Affairs helped young people around the world connect with experts to discuss current international security challenges, the work of the United Nations and how they can be active participants.

For more information, please visit the Disarmament Yearbook website at: https://yearbook.unoda.org/2019.

Contact: Diane Barnes, editor-in-chief. Email: diane.barnes@un.org.

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