UNODA Short Course WMD



Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) constitute a class of weaponry with the potential to harm millions of civilians, jeopardize the natural environment, and fundamentally alter the world and the lives of future generations through their catastrophic humanitarian effects.

The past century has witnessed numerous efforts and initiatives aiming at curbing the spread or completely outlawing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. A number of multilateral treaties exist in this regard, including the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).


Today, in a deteriorating international security environment, there is need for a new consciousness of and vigilant oversight by informed audiences that stay attentive of increasing risks related to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The WMD e-learning short course aims to promote awareness and understanding, as well as impart foundational knowledge and skills on key topics related to weapons of mass destruction, and the instruments created to contain them.


The course is open to all interested audiences.

Components and Methodology:

Each module takes approximately 20 minutes and can be completed at the learner’s own pace

The course consists of 4 thematic modules:
  • Introduction to Disarmament: Machinery, Processes and the Role of the United Nations
  • Nuclear Weapons - An Introduction
  • Chemical Weapons - An Introduction
  • Biological Weapons - An Introduction

The course is available in English and is held in the Disarmament Education Dashboard, thus participants need a computer or mobile device, with audio and reliable internet connection. No special software is required.


Upon successful completion of thematic modules, including examination and course evaluation a certificate of completion will automatically be issued to the participant.

Short-course Series

The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs Short Course Series aims at making available quality education material on disarmament, arms control, non-proliferation and issues cross-cutting with security, such as gender and development. The courses are targeted for and available to the general public at UNODA’S globally accessible e-Learning platform

In line with the UN Secretary-General’s Agenda for Disarmament this short-course series aims to contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.