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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 37, May 1999

Editor's Introduction

May saw the final meeting of Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) of the States Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) preparing the Treaty's Review Conference next year. In her NPT Report, Rebecca Johnson describes the meeting as both a success and failure, managing to finalise "the main arrangements for the Review Conference without necessitating a further meeting, as was threatened at one stage" while proving unable to "address substance in the meaningful ways intended by the majority of those who crafted and agreed the decisions on strengthening the review process" when the NPT was indefinitely extended in 1995. Rebecca Johnson also reports on developments at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva, noting that with "fewer than 12 session-weeks before the end of the 1999 session," the CD "is still mired in political wrangles over its programme of work."

May's issue features an Opinion & Analysis paper from Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers, who explores the issues surrounding the Article XIV Conference to be held in Vienna in October to review progress towards the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). As Kimball argues, with 26 of the 44 States whose ratification is required to permit entry into force yet to accede - including China, Russia, the United States, India and Pakistan - the approach of the Conference represents an opportunity to bolster the accord which must not be missed.

Documents and Sources features diplomatic developments surrounding the conflicts in Kosovo and Kashmir, statements by India and Pakistan on the anniversary of their May 1998 nuclear tests, the Maputo Declaration issued by the States Parties to the Ottawa Landmines Convention, material from the Hague Appeal for Peace Conference, a summary of developments at the United Nations Disarmament Commission, and extracts from the report of the Cox Committee on alleged nuclear espionage by China in US weapons laboratories.

News Review includes further coverage of the China spying issue, nuclear doctrine discussions in Russia, the continued improvement in US-North Korean relations and the seemingly profound deadlock in UN-Iraq relations as American and British airstrikes continue.

© 1999 The Acronym Institute.

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