Transparency and military confidence-building in the United Nations


Germany provides wide-ranging support to the United Nations’ endeavours in the fields of disarmament and arms control.

UN Database on Confidence-building Measures

UN General Assembly Resolution 69/64 of 2004 emphasises the significance of confidence building measures (CBMs) in the field of disarmament and conventional arms control and recognises their contribution to peace and security. In many cases, CBMs have created the necessary trust and transparency for important disarmament and arms control initiatives.
In order to provide information on relevant measures, the Secretary-General of the United Nations has set up an electronic database, including the current German contribution, which can be found at the following link:

United Nation Office for Disarmament Affairs – confidence-building measures

UN Register of Conventional Arms

Since 1992, the UN Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA), which was established under Resolution 46/36 L of 6 December 1991, has listed information on imports and exports of conventional major weapons systems. This information is provided by UN member states by 31 May each year for the previous calendar year. The purpose of the Register is to increase confidence-building through greater transparency in the field of conventional arms, thus preventing the excessive and destabilising accumulation of weapons.
Imports and exports of the following weapons categories must be reported:
•    battle tanks 
•    armoured combat vehicles 
•    large-calibre artillery systems 
•    combat aircraft 
•    attack helicopters 
•    warships 
•    rockets and rocket launchers 
In their 2013 report, government experts proposed that unmanned armed drones be included as a sub category in Categories IV and V. The member states are also called upon to voluntarily provide data on national weapons stockpiles and on procurement from national production in these seven categories, as well as to give information on their policy guidelines, legislation and administrative procedures for arms imports and exports. Since 2003, countries can also report on imports and exports of small arms and light weapons (SALW). The aim of the German Government is to create a separate Category VIII, analogous to the provisions in the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).
The German reports can be accessed here:

UN Register of Conventional Arms

The UN Standardized Instrument for Reporting Military Expenditures (MilEx)

Resolution 35/142 B of 12 December 1980 provides the basis for the UN Standardized Instrument for Reporting Military Expenditures (MilEx). The member states are called on to submit, by 30 April each year, a standardised reporting form on the previous year’s actual military expenditure. MilEx is designed to increase confidence-building and thus promote the reduction of military spending.
At the initiative of Germany and Romania, a UN Group of Governmental Experts was established in November 2010 to review MilEx, which has remained almost unchanged since its introduction, and to draw up proposals for improving it. The aim is to strengthen this instrument’s effectiveness as a CBM in view of the global rise in military spending and to reverse the decline in participation in MilEx. The Group’s findings and recommendations were submitted in a final report to the 66th session of the UN General Assembly in October 2011 and adopted by the General Assembly on 2 December 2011 in Resolution 66/20, which was co sponsored by Germany and Romania. In November 2017, the two countries co-sponsored a resolution calling for countries’ active participation in the UN reporting system on military expenditures.
The German MilEx reports can be accessed here:

UN Register of Conventional Arms

Final report of the commission of governmental experts

UN‑Resolution 70/21 (“Objective information on military matters, including transparency of military expenditures”) of 11 December 2015

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