When he addressed the topic in Geneva on 5 October 2009, Former President Mikhail Gorbachev reminded us that over twenty years ago, he and President Reagan launched an appeal for the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons. He also noted that while we enjoy today’s “Dividends of Peace,” we must remember that the disarmament treaties that make our world safer were signed over twenty years ago; their effects can only be seen now. And no new substantial agreements have materialized since.
In the last decade, disarmament talks have almost dissapeared from the media and political agendas. We may therefore ask if any progress can be expected in the near future. Has the fall of the Berlin Wall also meant an end to disarmament negociations? Has the Cold War turned into a frozen standoff, unable to dismantle the arsenals of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD)? In twenty years, will we remember President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, or the Cairo Speech and the popular revolutions in North Africa?
Geneva and Switzerland have long been recognized as a global center for international relations and conflict resolution. Home of the Geneva Conventions and the International Committee of the Red Cross (1864), the city has been a landmark for Good offices, international conferences, treaties and organizations. Several articles in this publication highlight the role of Geneva within the interwar years’ prevention mechanisms of the League of Nations.
Presently, the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) hosts the Conference on Disarmament (CD), established in 1979 as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community, following the first Special Session on Dissarmament (SSOD I) of the UN General Assembly held in 1978. The 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.
More recently, Geneva also hosted several activities and organizations related to the Anti-Personnel Landmine Convention (APLC), the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) or Inhumane Weapons Convention. It also hosts sessions of the Preparatory Committee of the Review Conferences of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Alexandre Vautravers and Erika Josephson
Disarmament and Strategic Arms Limitation
Strategic Disarmament, 1960-2010
Alexandre Vautravers
Détente and Demilitarization: Any Progress?
John King
Nuclear Proliferation Today: An Alternative Perspective
Lieutenant General (Ret.) Carlo Bellinzona
The Status of Nuclear Weapons, 1945-2010 and Beyond: From Central to Irrelevant?
Bernard Boëne
Challenges to Nonproliferation in a New Age of Nuclear Uncertainty
Sara Besserman
Zero or No? The Prospect of Nuclear Abolition
Jonathan Powell
Russia: A Re-Emerging Superpower or the Unlikely Contender? A Look into Russian Security Strategies
Matthew Worster
Building the United States-Russia Relationship: Challenges and Opportunities
Craig Elliot
Reduction and Conventional Arms Limitation
Armaments Limitation Through International Conferences, 1899-1961
Oreste Foppiani
Conventional Arms Limitation 1980-2010
Anna Kondratyuk
Disarmament of Indiscriminate Conventional Arms: From Geneva to Ottawa and Oslo
Nikolaus Rottenberger
The Swiss “Disarmament“ of 1994-2011
Major General (Ret.) Dominique Juilland
The Taiwan Question
Will McAlister
Non-Proliferation and Disarmament in the Middle East
Security and Development in the Middle East: An Unprecedented Opportunity?
Ibrahim Souss and Alexandre Vautravers
Nuclearization and Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East
Mohammad Taghi Hosseini
Securization, Militarization and Arms Proliferation in the Middle East: Causes and Consequences
Jubin Goodarzi
Limiting the Effects of War
Limited Wars in the Age of the Global War on Terror
Raymond Sayegh
Conflict Resolution and Nation-Building in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Laying Troubles for the Future
Matthew Parish
Culture Under Attack
Kate Fanning

Alexandre VAUTRAVERS, Erika JOSEPHSON (eds.), Disarmament and Arms Limitation, Geneva, Webster University Geneva, 2011