Sunday, 9 May 2021


Disarmament and Arms Control

The Permanent Mission of Greece through its accreditation to the United Nations Office in Geneva, participates, either as member or as observer, in all deliberative bodies and conferences, pertaining to disarmament, whose meetings are taking place in Geneva.

In the field of disarmament and arms control, the United Nations Office in Geneva is the venue of the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community, the Conference on Disarmament (CD), as well as of a number of disarmament related conferences, such us, the Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the Anti-Personnel Landmine Convention.

Conference on Disarmament (CD)

The Conference on Disarmament is the successor to various Geneva-based arms control bodies dating back to 1960. It was established in 1979 as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community, as a result of the First Special Session on Disarmament of the United Nations General Assembly (UNSSOD I) held in 1978.

The CD inherited a list of priorities from the (UNSSOD I), which is still regarded as the basis of its work, although its agenda currently focuses on the following issues: cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament; the prevention of nuclear war; prevention of an arms race in outer space; negative security assurances; new types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons; comprehensive programme of disarmament and transparency in armaments.

Since concluding its negotiations on the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 1992 and negotiating the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty from 1994-96, the CD has experienced a situation of continuous deadlock due to its inability to adopt a Programme of Work.

Following several decisions to enlarge its membership, the CD now has 65 member states.

Greece participates as observer in the CD work and is the first in the list of candidate countries for full membership, having applied for membership in 1982. In this regard, Greece is an active member of the Informal Group of Observer States (IGOS) and has called for the need for the CD to review its membership, in accordance with Rule 2 of its Rules of Procedure (CD/8/Rev. 9). Moreover, Greece has actively supported the idea to appoint a Special Rapporteur on the issue of Enlargement.

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)

The Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, comprises the framework convention and five protocols, which ban or restrict the use of various types of weapons that are considered to cause excessive suffering to combatants or indiscriminate harm to civilian populations.

The weapons covered include weapons leaving undetectable fragments in the human body (Protocol I), mines, booby-traps and other devices (Protocol II), incendiary weapons (Protocol III), blinding laser weapons (Protocol IV) and explosive remnants of war (Protocol V).

The Convention embodying the fundamental principles of the law of armed conflict constitutes one of the principal instruments of international humanitarian law, complementing the Geneva Conventions of 1949 for the protection of war victims and their Additional Protocols of 1977.

The Convention was adopted in 1980 and entered into force in 1983 currently has a total of 125 States Parties and four Signatories.

Greece became party to the Convention in 1981, expressed its consent to be bound by Protocols I, II and III in 1992, by Protocol IV in 1997, by Amended Protocol II in 1999 and ratified the amendment to article 1 of the Convention in 2004 and Protocol V in 2014.

Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)

The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxic Weapons and on their Destruction, was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning an entire category of weapons.

It is widely considered as a central element in the efforts of the international community against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The Convention was adopted in 1972 and entered into force in 1975. Currently, it has 179 States Parties and 6 Signatories. There are 11 States which have neither signed nor ratified the Convention. 

Greece signed the Convention in 1972 and deposited its instrument of ratification on 10/12/1975, actively participating since in the process of its implementation.

Anti-Personnel Landmine Convention (APLC)

The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction is commonly referred to as the Ottawa Convention or the Mine Ban Treaty.

The Convention was opened for signature at Ottawa in 1997 and entered into force in 1999. Currently, 164 States are party.

Under the Convention, States-Parties must destroy all stocks of anti-personnel mines in four years and clear all minefields in their territory in 10 years.

Greece signed the Convention in 1997 and deposited its instrument of ratification, simultaneously with neighboring Turkey, on 25/09/2003. Since entry into force on March 2004, Greece is in the process of fulfilling its Treaty obligations and has regularly submitted its article 7 report on measures taken to implement the Convention. At the Cartagena Summit in 2009 Greece announced the completion of the clearing of all its mined areas (Article 5 of the Convention), four years ahead of schedule. Greece is in the process of fulfilling its article 4 obligation and provides regularly updated information on its ongoing efforts in compliance with actions 5 to 7 of the Maputo Action Plan.

Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

Greece supported the negotiation process on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which was aimed at establishing a legally binding global treaty that will oversee the legal trade in the major categories of conventional weapons. The principal goal of the Arms Trade Treaty is the regulation of legal trade for the purpose of limiting illegal trafficking in conventional weapons.

The ATT went into effect on 24 December 2014, 90 days after the deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification. Greece signed the Treaty in June 2013 and ratified it in 2016 following the signature of the co-competent Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Civil Protection, Justice, and Finance.

Last Updated Friday, 12 January 2018