U.N. official says global insecurity may be overcome by confidence-building exercises.

United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane opened the annual three-week session of the U.N. Disarmament Commission on Monday by urging member states to build confidence and trust with each other.

Kane said this trust would come by establishing strong global norms on the disarmament of nuclear and conventional arms, including the negotiation of a global arms trade treaty. The United Nations General Assembly approved a treaty regulating global trade of conventional weapons on Tuesday, one day after Kane spoke.

"Throughout the history of the U.N., efforts in disarmament, efforts to eliminate weapons of mass destruction have been pursued in parallel with efforts to regulate and reduce conventional arms," Kane said. "This is because they are mutually reinforcing goals."

The priority of the UNDC is the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Kane said an agreement during the three-week session would help create a new consensus on nuclear disarmament.

Kane said the world today faces a "lack of confidence" that feeds instability in the Middle East, South Asia and Northeast Asia, where there are expanding military budgets and deeply divided votes on disarmament in the General Assembly.

The UNDC was mandated to make recommendations in the field of disarmament and to review decisions made at its first session in 1978. It was created through Resolution 502 in 1952 in response to "anxiety as the general lack of confidence plaguing the world and leading to the burden on increasing armaments and the fear of war."