Documents and verbatim records of CD sessions prior to 2004 could be found in the United Nations Digital Library.
The public meetings of the Conference on Disarmament will be broadcasted on the Listen Live platform provided by the United Nations Office at Geneva. Please select the corresponding room in the platform as indicated in the Listen Live column of the above table to follow the meeting you are interested in.
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Rules of procedure of the Conference
CD Secretariat Tel: 022 917 22 81
Last update: 15 Dec 2020
An Introduction to the Conference
The Conference on Disarmament (CD), was recognized by the first Special Session on Disarmament of the United Nations General Assembly (SSOD-I) (1978) as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community.
It succeeded other Geneva-based negotiating fora, which include the Ten-Nation Committee on Disarmament (1960), the Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament (1962-68), and the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (1969-78).
The current Director-General of UNOG is the Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament as well as the Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the CD.
The terms of reference of the CD include practically all multilateral arms control and disarmament problems. Currently the CD primarily focuses its attention on the following issues: cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament; prevention of nuclear war, including all related matters; prevention of an arms race in outer space; effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons; new types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons including radiological weapons; comprehensive programme of disarmament and transparency in armaments.
The CD meets in an annual session, which is divided in three parts of 10, 7 and 7 weeks, respectively. The first week shall begin in the penultimate week of the month of January. The CD is presided by its members on a rotating basis. Each President shall preside for a period of four weeks.
In order to ensure a coherent approach among the six Presidents of the session to the work of the Conference, as of 2006, an informal coordination mechanism - the P6 - was established that provides for the six presidents of the session to informally meet, usually on a weekly basis. Also on a weekly basis, the President meets informally with the Regional Group Coordinators and China together with the P6 (Presidential Consultations).
As originally constituted, the CD had 40 members. Subsequently, its membership was gradually expanded (and reduced) to 65 countries. The CD has invited other UN Member States that have expressed a desire to participate in the CD's substantive discussions, to take part in its work as non-member States.
The CD adopts its own Rules of Procedure and its own agenda, taking into account the recommendations of the General Assembly and the proposals of its Members.
It reports to the General Assembly annually, or more frequently, as appropriate. Its budget is included in that of the United Nations. Staff members of the Geneva Branch of the Office for Disarmament Affairs service the meetings of the CD, which are held at the Palais des Nations.
The Conference conducts its work by consensus.
The CD and its predecessors have negotiated such major multilateral arms limitation and disarmament agreements as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Sea-Bed and the Ocean Floor and in the Subsoil thereof, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction and Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
As originally constituted, the CD had 40 members. It was subsequently expanded several times and now counts 65 Members.
As per the Rules of Procedure, the CD invites on an annual basis other UN Member States that are not presently members of the Conference to take part in its work.
The current membership is as follows:
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Iran, Islamic Republic of
Republic of Korea
Syrian Arab Republic
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
United States of America
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
Viet Nam Zimbabwe
Since 1982, requests for membership of the Conference have been received from the below 28 non-member States:
Requests for Membership
Czech Republic (1993)
North Macedonia (1995)
Republic of Moldova (2015)
Saudi Arabia (2021)
The Member States of the Conference on Disarmament are organized into a number of informal regional groups to facilitate their preparation for, and representation in the plenary meetings of the Conference.
Eastern European Group (EEG)
- Russian Federation
Group of 21 (G-21)
- Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Iran (Islamic Republic of)
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- Syrian Arab Republic
- Viet Nam
Group of One
Western European and Other Group (WEOG)
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- United States of America