On 4 October 2001, as delegates of the First Committee assembled for their second meeting of the session, they knew that their agenda, though formally similar to last year's, had changed. Negotiations on conventional and nuclear disarmament now had to move faster and take into account non-State terrorist actors. The Committee Chairman, Ambassador Andre Erdos of Hungary, later told the UN Chronicle that the Committee had "started to speak of non-State actors in earnest after 11 September, when we realized that these extremist, fanatic people would certainly have no scruples to get hold of weapons of mass destruction".
A month before the Committee sat, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in his annual report on the work of the Organization, noted a "disappointingly low" level of cooperation in multilateral disarmament diplomacy.
However, that October morning, as the Committee was observing a minute of silence for the 11 September victims, the question most on delegates' minds was the challenge posed by terrorism.
"It was this unconventional threat posed to mankind that we talked of first addressing", said Ambassador Sun Suon of Cambodia to the Chronicle. "I think all Member States concurred in unity with this programme."
Angelica Arce de jeannet who has been a member of the delegation of Mexico on the First Committee for the last five years, speaking for herself, said: "We were aware that we had to loin efforts in order to tackle activities carried out by terrorist groups, in particular for the possible use of weapons of mass destruction".
In his remarks to the Committee delegates, Ambassador Erdos underlined the fact that the scale of destruction on 11 September was achieved without the use of the weapons figuring on the Committee's agenda. And this was expected to influence the Committee's …