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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 20, November 1997

Editor's Introduction

In November's Opinion Piece, Professor Francesco Calogero, Chair of the Pugwash Council, presents the case for the establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ) in Central and Eastern Europe. The issue also features two Guest Analysis papers on the complex and chilling subject of the safety and security of nuclear weapons. From the Monterey Institute in the United States, R. Adam Moody identifies a potentially dangerous lacuna in the existing safeguards regime: "If the regime has made such strides in attempting to deter and detect the proliferation of nuclear material and technology, why has there been virtually no development of a multilateral counterpart to safeguard...expertise and sensitive information?" From Russia's Center for Policy Studies, Dr. Vladimir Orlov provides a richly documented account of the distance left to travel if the threat of nuclear terrorism in Russia is to be averted.

Rebecca Johnson provides a First Committee Report, looking in detail at the 43 resolutions and 2 decisions on disarmament and international security proposed by the First Committee and subsequently adopted by the General Assembly. She concludes that "the overall mood" in the Committee did not bode well, being "one of limbo, laced with pessimism regarding the opportunities for progress on the major issues."

Documents and Sources features material from the US-China Summit in late October; Russia's long-awaited ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC); an innovative convention to thwart illicit arms trafficking, drawn up by the Organization of American States (OAS); a major US demining initiative; and candid remarks on nuclear and other issues by Russia's Defence Minister, Atomic Energy Minister and former national security secretary.

News Review includes coverage of the near-disastrous collapse of Iraq-UN relations; ongoing allegations and refutations concerning Iran; announcements related to nuclear-weapons security; controversy over Russia's purchase and use of US Supercomputers; and the build-up to the signing of the Ottawa Landmines Convention, to be featured in the December issue.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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