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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 10, November 1996

Editor's Introduction

November's Opinion Piece is by Ian Black, Diplomatic Editor of The Guardian. Black laments the lack of coverage and discussion of arms control issues in the media, and the related lack of widespread public debate. He argues that, given both the risks of nuclear calamity and the opportunities for nuclear disarmament that now exist, "it is time to move discussion out of the think tanks and into the streets - or at least into the columns of our newspapers."

Rebecca Johnson provides two reports: on the 1996 session of the United Nations First Committee on Disarmament and International Security - a quiet but not insignificant session, she concludes; and on the inaugural, if inauspicious, meeting of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

Documents and Sources includes two statements from former senior military officers advocating immediate significant reductions in nuclear arsenals and eventual complete nuclear-weapons abolition; statements from the 4th Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention; and reaction to the removal of nuclear weapons from Belarus.

News Review includes coverage of US Defense Secretary Perry's visit to Russia, and reaction to his impassioned plea to the Duma for START II ratification; the shock set-back in the search for a US-Russian understanding on the future of the ABM Treaty; fresh reports of insecure nuclear weapons and fissile materials in Russia; the latest crises facing the US-North Korea Framework Agreement and the Iraq-UNSCOM confrontation; and the commencing of the countdown to entry-into-force of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

© 1999 The Acronym Institute.

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