Diversity brings to us innovative and creative approaches that are so needed to tackle some of our most difficult disarmament and security challenges of the twenty-first century. Inclusive multilateralism, based on strong partnership with diverse actors, is a smart and indeed necessary element for today's disarmament discussions.

Developments and trends, 2022

In 2022, the General Assembly renewed two key resolutions mandating United Nations information and outreach activities in the area of disarmament: “United Nations Disarmament Information Programme” (77/87); and “United Nations study on disarmament and non-proliferation education” (77/52). Those resolutions enable the Office for Disarmament Affairs and other United Nations entities to provide Member States, the diplomatic community, non-governmental organizations and the public at large with unbiased, up-to-date and relevant information on multilateral disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control.

For the forty-sixth consecutive year since 1976, the Office published the United Nations Disarmament Yearbook, providing a comprehensive account of developments and issues in the field of disarmament. The 2021 Yearbook featured a collection of explanatory graphics and charts, as well as an entire chapter on gender issues in disarmament.

Seeking to strengthen the sustainability and impact of its disarmament education efforts, the Office launched its first formal Disarmament Education Strategy in December. In addition to outlining important areas of disarmament education where it would strive to advance in the coming years, the Office emphasized the central role of partnerships and, moving forward, its ongoing commitment to generate and connect relevant networks in the disarmament education field.

Figure 8.1
Disarmament Education Dashboard

(As at 31 December 2022)

Infographic showing statistics on the Disarmament Education Dashboard

The Disarmament Education Dashboard of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) is a global online learning platform providing free training at various proficiency levels to diverse audiences. It offers interactive, self-paced, instructor-led and blended courses, webinars and workshops accessible from various devices. It was launched and is managed by the UNODA Vienna Office, which regularly updates and upgrades it to reflect innovations in e-learning. By the end of 2022, it had almost 13,000 registered users from diverse backgrounds and age groups. Almost 60 per cent of them were women. With over 270 thematic modules, the Dashboard hosts courses in all key areas of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control, as well as cross-cutting issues.

The Office also produced a new edition of its Civil Society and Disarmament collection, entitled B Flat, B Sharp, Be Inspired: Voices of Youth. In the volume, published in December, young contributors highlighted their diverse efforts to pursue peace through disarmament in the twenty-first century.

In a new edition of its series Programmes Financed from Voluntary Contributions, covering the period 2021–2022, the Office showcased the instrumental role of effective partnerships with donors in achieving ambitious goals in the field of disarmament.

Over the course of the year, the Office produced three publications on the Biological Weapons Convention. In a new edition of The Biological Weapons Convention: An Introduction, released in March, the Office presented a comprehensive overview of the Convention, the history of the negotiations and the current state of implementation. In April, it issued Operationalising Article VII of the Biological Weapons Convention, containing reflections on implementing the Convention’s article VII. In December, the Office published the Guide to Implementing the Biological Weapons Convention, describing the national implementation process and obligations stemming from the Convention.

The Department of Peace Operations and the Office for Disarmament Affairs released Weapons and Ammunition Dynamics in the Lake Chad Basin, presenting key findings and recommendations to support the design and implementation of evidence-based, efficient and gender-sensitive initiatives for weapons and ammunition management and for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.

The main website of the Office for Disarmament Affairs ( recorded over 852,000 unique visits in 2022. During the year, the Office upgraded its main website to help improve its security, performance and reliability. Meanwhile, the Office launched a project to integrate its various databases into a portal that would serve as a repository for all disarmament-related data.

Regarding media outreach, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs participated in press briefings and more than 30 interviews with international television, radio and print reporters. She also joined the top officials of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the International Committee of the Red Cross in urging States to support a newly agreed declaration on strengthening the protection of civilians from the humanitarian consequences arising from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.


On 7 June, the Office for Disarmament Affairs published the French, Korean and Spanish versions of the #Intro2Disarmament videos, entitled “What is disarmament?”, “Disarmament in the 21st Century — An overview of the Pillars of the Disarmament Agenda”, “How does disarmament and arms control work?”, “Disarmament and the Sustainable Development Goals” and “How to engage”.

The Office for Disarmament Affairs continued efforts to facilitate the diverse and inclusive engagement of young people in the disarmament and non-proliferation field through its outreach initiative #Youth4Disarmament. In a highlight from the year, one of the United Nations Youth Champions for Disarmament[1] addressed the high-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. The Office also launched the #Leaders4Tomorrow Workshop Series, which brought together 25 competitively selected young leaders. Participants attended five sessions to explore how disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control are linked with other topics related to maintaining international peace and security. As part of the programme, the participants developed their own projects to advance disarmament education as a solution for peace within their local communities and youth networks.

Figure 8.2
Youth in the General Assembly

Percentage of resolutions mentioning youth or young people, 2000–2022
bar graph showing the percentage of disarmament-related GA resolutions mentioning youth

After the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2250 (2015) on youth, peace and security, the General Assembly increased its number of official references to “youth” or “young people” in resolutions.

The Assembly also expanded the scope of its language in resolutions on youth, moving beyond their participation in educational activities in order to recognize their active role and contributions as advocates for disarmament. In 2019, the Assembly reaffirmed the important and positive contribution of young people in sustaining peace and security through its first-ever resolution on “Youth, disarmament and non-proliferation” (74/64), which also encouraged Member States, the United Nations, relevant specialized agencies and regional and subregional organizations to promote the meaningful and inclusive participation of young people in discussions in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation. In its 2021 resolution on “Youth, disarmament and non-proliferation” (76/45), the General Assembly requested specific measures to promote the meaningful and inclusive participation and empowerment of youth on disarmament and non-proliferation issues, including through the effective utilization of the dedicated digital platform Youth4Disarmament and token grants and awards supported by voluntary contributions.


This podcast episode, which is also part of the Vienna Conversation Series, aims to engage youth and amplify fresh thinking as it raises awareness about disarmament's centrality in addressing global challenges. In a dynamic exchange of views with High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu, youth representatives Kasha Sequoia Slavner and Louis Reitmann share their thoughts on ways to educate, engage and empower young people in the disarmament field. Both speakers were participants in the 2022 #Leaders4Tomorrow workshops.


#Leaders4Tomorrow present 23 projects to advance disarmament education at an event on the margins of the General Assembly First Committee on 19 October.

The United Nations Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament largely returned to its traditional, in-person format for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, training diplomats and other officials from 24 States.[2] Additionally, the inaugural United Nations-Singapore Cyber Fellowship was held in August to equip national authorities working on cyber strategy, policy, technology and operations with practical knowledge and skills drawing upon the United Nations-developed normative framework.

Rebecca Jovin engages with visitors

Rebecca Jovin, Chief of the Vienna Office of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, engages with visitors as the Office showcases its work during the “Long Night of Research” event at the Vienna International Centre on 20 May.

The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), an autonomous research institute within the United Nations, undertook research activities under five multi-year programmes, on conventional arms and ammunition, weapons of mass destruction, gender and disarmament, security and technology, and space security. A pair of its special research projects dealt with “managing exits from armed conflicts” and the proposed Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction. In addition to producing 98 publications in 2022, UNIDIR supported dialogue between disarmament stakeholders through over 130 conferences, workshops and events that attracted more than 9,500 participants.

[1] Under the United Nations Youth Champions for Disarmament programme, which was launched in 2020, the Office trained 10 competitively selected Youth Champions on general principles of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control through both online courses, live webinars and in-person activities. At the same time, the Youth Champions developed and implemented projects to engage with their communities on disarmament-related issues.

[2] Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Cambodia, Egypt, France, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Libya, Montenegro, Pakistan, Palau, Poland, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Togo, United States, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, and Yemen.