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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 22, January 1998

Editor's Introduction

Issues of conventional arms control and disarmament feature prominently in January's issue. In a far-reaching Opinion Piece, former US arms control ambassador Jonathan Dean presents a bold and detailed case for "global action to stop 'small' wars". Dean is concerned to rectify "a serious ommission": "[N]o comprehensive program on coping with organized armed conflict now exists anywhere. The topic is not being discussed by individual governments, by the General Assembly, by the Conference on Disarmament, or by NGOs."

In Guest Analysis, Onno Kervers, Deputy Head of the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands to the Conference on Disarmamernt (CD) in Geneva, reflects on his experience as a member of the 1997 Group of Experts which examined options for strengthening the effectiveness and appeal of the UN Register of Conventional Arms. Although regretting the Group's failure to recommend specific measures, Kervers refuses to be downcast, noting that "there remains considerable time before the next review, in the year 2000, to make sure...that the UN Register...can come to full fruition." In Geneva Update, Rebecca Johnson reports on the first weeks of this year's CD Session - an opening which proved more eventful and perhaps encouraging than many expected. However, as Johnson remarks, despite "a positive start to 1998 there is still entrenched opposition to the major proposals for substantive work."

Documents and Sources features material from the CD, two interviews on nuclear matters with senior US officials, recent statements by President Clintion, and a letter to President Clinton from the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jesse Helms, warning of Congressional opposition to ratifying speedily, or continuing to support at all, a number of key arms control agreements.

News Review, dominated by the grave developments in Iraq, also includes coverage of discussions and initiatives regarding Russian, European and Chinese policy towards Iran and a major new Congressional survey of proliferation threats.

Disarmament Diplomacy is edited by Dr Sean Howard with the assistance of Jeannie Grussendorf. Rebecca Johnson is Managing Editor. Special thanks for helping in the preparation of this issue are due to Tom Angelakis and Lee-Anne Broadhead.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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