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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 44, March 2000

Editor's Introduction

The March issue focusses on controversial US national missile defence (NMD) plans and the threat they pose to the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. In Opinion & Analysis, Charles Ferguson and John Pike of the Federation of American Scientists explain why NMD deployment could be an international disaster.

Alexander Pikayev of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace writes from Moscow on the serious challenge posed to Russian security by US plans to revise the ABM Treaty and deploy NMD systems. Thérèse Delpech gives an insider's view of French responses to current US ballistic missile defence projects, and concludes that they may represent an unrealistic level of protection for the United States while at the same time they could ultimately create damaging waves in other parts of the globe. This is followed by consideration of the current problems facing nuclear arms control by Professor Jozef Goldblat, who offers some proposals for reversing the negative trends.

We have reports from the Acronym Institute's Geneva analyst, Jenni Rissanen, on the continued deadlock at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and our intern, Daniel Sumner, currently based at the PIR-Center in Moscow, who considers public perceptions of nuclear weapons in Russia in light of a recent, comprehensive opinion poll conducted by PIR and the Monterey Institute for International Studies.

In addition, staff members report on this month's high profile meeting of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Security and Non-Proliferation, organised by the Acronym Institute and addressed by the renowned actor/producer Michael Douglas, in his capacity as UN Messenger for Peace, together with senior spokespeople from the British Government and the main opposition parties.

Documents and Sources includes recent key statements on US NMD plans, Madeleine Albright, Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton and Robin Cook on the NPT, the latest US CTBT Task Force Briefing, and Bill Clinton and John Shalikashvili's remarks to the recent Carnegie Conference on non-proliferation. This section also references relevant website addresses.

News Review includes reflections on recent newswire coverage of reaction to US NMD plans, Bill Clinton's South Asia visit, UNMOVIC, the latest US-Russia 'Nuclear Cities' agreement and a New Zealand move to promote disarmament.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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