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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 43, January - February 2000

Speech by UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs

"The Prospects for Global Nuclear Disarmament", Speech by Jayantha Dhanapala, UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, at the Centre for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University, January 12, 2000.


Fifty-nine years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt sketched out before Congress his vision of four essential human freedoms. The fourth of these was the freedom from fear, which - in his words - 'means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbour - anywhere in the world.' UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan echoed a similar theme in his report last year to the General Assembly on the Work of the UN. Interpreted in light of the ICJ's Advisory Opinion on nuclear disarmament, these are ideas which resonate in a public that is tired of living under the nuclear shadow, tired of subsidizing the nuclear genie, and tired of the insecurities that attend the selective possession and consequently inevitable proliferation of nuclear weapons.

I hope that the year 2000 - with all of its special meetings at the UN, including the Millennium Assembly, the Millennium Forum for civil society, a Review Conference of the NPT, as well as a meeting of the heads of national legislatures organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union - will help to rekindle some of the political will to pursue common disarmament goals in earnest. I am enthusiastic about the progress there is to be made and encourage you all to contribute all you can to converting the disarmament vision into a reality."

Source: The full text of this speech is available from the UN Department for Disarmament Affairs (DDA) website, http://www.un.org/Depts/dda/speech/12Jan2000.htm

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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