International tensions set the stage for First Committee debates

The statue outside of The International Disarmament Institute, on Pace University’s NY Campus. The statue outside of The International Disarmament Institute, on Pace University’s NY Campus. National Today / Accessed from

4 October 2022

The UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security began it’s 77th session of the month-long conference on October 3rd.

Opening remarks to the UN General Assembly First Committee were delivered on October 3rd by Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, drawing attention towards key issues that we will surely see in debates and discussions throughout the month. To no surprise, the address delivered a strong statement about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Ms. Nakamitsu emphasized how Russian invasion has brought concern about nuclear weapons to an unprecedented level. Russia’s actions were overtly condemned: 


“Let me take this opportunity to reiterate the position of the Secretary-General–any annexation of a State’s territory by another State resulting from the threat or use of force is a violation of the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.”


This opening statement sets the stage for the remainder of the conference, as states were encouraged to recognize the threat being posed and work together to end this “devastating and senseless war.” Ms. Nakamitsu delivered a plea for all states possessing nuclear weapons to vow against utilizing such. She describes this commitment as “an immediate measure to help save humanity from potential extinction.”


Other topics such as chemical warfare in the Middle East, aerial weaponry strikes, and explosive weapons in populated areas were also brought to attention- with an emphasis on the harm that these tactics spawn on civilians. To guide the General Assembly as they move forward with the conference, she stressed the need for tangible solutions, as we are facing threats to peace and security on an urgent, global level. 

by Nicole Piusienski

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