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Disarmament, Development & Participatory Global Governance



We, the participants and participating organizations of the Conference on a United Nations and United Peoples Partnership for Peace, held in New York on 6-9 October 1995, are greatly encouraged by the establishment of the UN General Assembly's open-ended, high-level Working Group, to undertake a thorough review of studies and reports on subjects relating to the revitalization, strengthening and reform of the United Nations system (A/49/L.68).

We applaud the decision to include in this review the relevant studies and reports of independent commissions, non-governmental organizations, institutions, scholars and other experts.

We request the Working Group to accept for review this Concluding Statement and subsequently the Report of this Conference.

This United Nations and United Peoples Partnership for Peace Conference also adopts the following Declaration, which is the San Francisco Non-governmental Statement of June 1995.* (This Declaration was then adopted by more than 20 other leaders of non-governmental organizations.)


"We, organizations of civil society, hereby seek a partnership with and/or within the United Nations for realizing the aspirations of the Preamble of the United Nations Charter:
  • `to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war;
  • to ensure respect for fundamental human rights;
  • to abide by international obligations and law;
  • to promote social justice and economic progress;'

and to these ends:

We call for the world-wide networking of civil society organizations to build a United Nations and United Peoples Partnership during the World Organization's second half century."

* Formulated at the World Citizens Aseembly,17-21 June 1995.


UN policies, decisions and actions should be based on an ethic reflecting the best interests of people and the Earth's life systems. In this spirit, we make the recommendations which follow:

1. UN popular representation

We request the General Assembly Working Group to include in its review the question of UN popular representation (which the Report of the Independent Working Group on the Future of the United Nations states must be taken much more seriously in the UN of the future).

We urge the General Assembly Working Group to facilitate its study of this subject by means of appropriate discourse with interested NGOs.

2. Disarmament

(a) We urge the establishment of an NGO Forum parallel to the annual UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva because the concern of civil society with this subject is as vital as that of the subjects which have been considered at and since the Rio Summit.

(b) On nuclear weapons, we urge a zero-yield Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the closure of nuclear-weapons research laboratories, and the elimination of all nuclear weapons, at the latest, by the year 2010.

(c) On conventional weapons, we urge, as priorities, bans on landmines and on new radiation weapons which are excessively injurious to the environment and life; and universal and compulsory use of the Arms Register. We also suggest that a Code of Conduct should be instituted on the production and sale of conventional weapons.

3. Collective human rights

We urge the General Assembly to formulate an expanded Declaration of 1984 on the Right of Peoples to Peace, to include the right of peoples to self-determination by peaceful and democratic processes, taking into account the fundamental rights of others.

To this end, we also urge:

(a) building s Peoples' Assembly in the UN on the firm foundation of equitably sharing and protecting the earth and the rights of people;

(b) evaluating the contributions a Peoples' Assembly in the ITN could make to deve1oping alternative ways of dispute resolution and conflict prevention, early warning and timely intervention mechanisms, and the monitoring and achieving of peace and security;

(c) initiating a study on the collective rights and responsibilities of peoples, and the rights and responsibilities of corporations.

4. Radioactive contamination and alternative energy sources

We urge the promotion and dissemination through the UN system and NGOs of information on the effects of radioactive contamination, and on the development of alternative energy sources.

This information should be channeled through all available pathways, for example, educational establishments and all media.

5. People-centred governance for sustainable human development

We urge the UN to encourage the use of broad-based public participation in decision-making, from local to global; and to utilize advances in electronic communication systems for the enhancement of NGO-LTN activities.

These principles should be optimally applied in support of Habitat II. We also urge affirmation of the special role of local authorities in Habitat II and the establishment of an official mechanism to integrate input from major groups".

We urge relevant UN agencies to study alternative methods of taxation including land value taxation which would shift taxation policies off labour and productive capital and onto the common heritage of land and natural resources, so as to promote a more equitable distribution of wealth around the Earth.


We believe that implementation of the above recommendations would make an important contribution to building a peaceful, just and secure world for all humankind. We urge the General Assembly and its Working Group on Strengthening the United Nations to give this Statement their serious consideration.

On behalf of the Conference


Harry H. Lerner

Jeffrey J. Segall

9 October 1995

For the Conference Program or for further information, please contact the Campaign for a More Democratic U.N. (CAMDUN) at 301East 45th St., New York, NY 10017 (USA).

Last modified: 20 July 1996