Basics of Weapons of Mass Destruction

WMD fall under one of three categories: nuclear weapons; biological/toxins, and chemical weapons; plus ballistic missiles as the most frequently used form of delivery of these weapons.

The importance of containing the spread of WMDs – with, among other mechanisms, UN sanctions regimes – is best explained in the vision for the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), originally created in 1992 as the Centre for Disarmament Affairs.

UNODA’s purpose in regards to WMDs is based on the realization that they can, unlike any other type of weapons, substantially impact the development, quality of life, and ultimately the survival of the planet.

Weapons of mass destruction, along with excess stocks and illicit transfers of conventional arms, jeopardize international peace and security and other goals of the Charter of the United Nations.

The potential effects from the use of weapons of mass destruction and the very possession of such weapons, especially nuclear weapons, entailing risks of use, demand their elimination.