chapter  8
7 Pages

The Eighteen Nation Disarmament Committee (ENDC) and its Co-chairmanship offi ce

In 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union, leading the Western and the Eastern group respectively, took disarmament and arms control negotiations outside the UN purview, in a newly established negotiating body, the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Committee (ENDC). The ENDC comprised fi ve states from the Eastern group (Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Romania), fi ve from the Western group (United States, Britain, Canada, France and Italy) 1 and eight from the group of the non-aligned states (Brazil, Burma, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Nigeria and Sweden). 2 Thus, the structure of the Committee refl ected the then tripartite division of the UN membership into three main blocs. The establishment of ENDC came about with the active encouragement of UNGA, which unanimously endorsed it with Resolution 1722(XVI) of 20 December 1961. UNGA welcomed the new negotiating body on the assumption that the Assembly would remain the principal negotiation agenda setter, through resolutions mirroring the will of the whole UN membership. In that respect, and despite the ENDC’s formal autonomy from the UN, UNGA members considered the ENDC more as a dependent agent set in place to facilitate negotiations rather than an autonomous institutional body/structure. The provision for a UN Secretary-General representative to attend all ENDC meetings and the availability to ENDC of UN Secretariat facilities and services further enhanced the ties between this multilateral negotiating body and the UN structures.