Economic and social consequences of the armaments race and its extremely harmful effects on world peace and security

2667. Economic and social consequences of the armaments race and its extremely harmful effects on world peace and security

The General Assembly, Conscious of the threat to mankind posed by the ever spiralling arms race, especially in view of the existing large stockpiles of, and impending new qualitative advances in, nuclear armaments, Aware that world military expenditures have been continuously increasing, in spite of the achievements in the field of arms limitation and disarmament during the 1960s, Convinced that unless vigorous measures are taken without delay to stop the arms race and to make concrete progress towards disarmament, giving the highest priority to nuclear disarmament, military expenditure is likely to increase at an even greater rate during the 1970s, Deeply concerned that the arms race, nuclear and conventional, constitutes one of the heaviest burdens which peoples everywhere have to bear and that it absorbs immense material wealth, human energy and intellectual resources, Deeply convinced that the elimination of the enormous waste of wealth and talent on the arms race, which is detrimental to the economic and social life of all States, would have a positive impact, especially on the developing countries, where the need for skilled personnel and the lack of material and financial resources are most keenly felt, Convinced that a halt in the arms race, a reduction of military expenditures and concrete progress towards disarmament would greatly facilitate the achievement by nations of their economic and social goals and would contribute effectively to the improvement of international relations and the maintenance of world peace and security, Conscious that it is the fundamental task of the United Nations to promote, in accordance with the Charter, the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world's human and economic resources, Determined to take appropriate steps to bring the arms race to a halt and to make progress towards general and complete disarmament, which is the most important question facing the world today, Wishing to promote the elaboration and implementation of a comprehensive programme for disarmament, which would also facilitate the United Nations development programmes during the 1970s, Believing that thorough consideration of the main aspects of the arms race would facilitate a better understanding and evaluation of its negative consequences and of the great dangers with which it is fraught,

1. Calls upon all States to take effective steps for the cessation and reversal of the arms race and for the achievement of steady progress in the field of disarmament;

2. Requests the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament to continue to pay urgent attention to all questions meant to put an end to the arms race, particularly in the nuclear field;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to prepare, with the assistance of qualified consultant experts appointed by him,[1] a report on the economic and social consequences of the arms race and of military expenditures;

4. Calls upon all Governments to extend their full co-operation to the Secretary-General to ensure that the study is carried out in the most effective way;

5. Calls upon non-governmental organizations and international institutions and organizations to co-operate with the Secretary-General in the preparation of the report;

6. Requests that the report be transmitted to the General Assembly in time to permit its consideration at the twenty-sixth session.

1919th plenary meeting,
7 December 1970.

[1] The Group of Consultant Experts on the Economic and Social Consequences of the Arms Race and Military Expenditures is composed of the following persons: Mr. Gheorghe Dolgu, Mr. William F. Duisenberg, Mr. Vasily S. Emelyanov, Mr. Plàcido García Reynoso, Mr. Vojin Guzina, Mr. Douglas Le Pan, Mr. Ladislav Matejka, Mr. Akira Matsui, Mr. Jacques Mayer, Mr. Maciej Perczynski, Mr. Mullath A. Vellodi, Mr. Henry Wallich, Mr. Kifle Wodajo and Sir Solly Zuckerman.

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