The CD was formed in 1979 as the single multilateral disarmament negotiation forum of the international community, after agreement was reached among Member States during the first special session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) devoted to disarmament (1978). The CD is the successor to the Ten-Nation Committee on Disarmament (TNDC), Geneva, 1960; the Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament (ENDC), Geneva, 1962-68; and the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (CCD), Geneva, 1969-78.
The CD has a special relationship with the United Nations. It adopts its own rules of procedure and its own agenda, taking into account the recommendations made by the UNGA and the proposals presented by its members, although its secretary is appointed by the UN Secretary-General. It reports to the General Assembly annually or more frequently, as appropriate. The budget of the CD is included in that of the United Nations, the CD meets on UN premises and is serviced by UN personnel. The Conference conducts its work by consensus. The CD has a permanent agenda agreed upon in 1978 at the first special session of the UNGA devoted to disarmament.
The CD and its predecessors have negotiated multilateral arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Environmental Modification and Seabed treaties, the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention (BTWC), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) andtheComprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).