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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 45, April 2000

Editor's Introduction

April's issue documents and explores a tumultuous month in nuclear arms control, with the Russian Duma's long-awaited approval of the START II Treaty, followed by its endorsement of the CTBT, in the lead-up to the opening of the Sixth Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Rebecca Johnson and Jenni Rissanen report from New York on the first nine days of the NPT Conference, while Documents and Sources and News Review provide substantial coverage of the developments in Russia and their reception internationally.

Documents and Sources also includes comment on nuclear weapons and missile defence issues from Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and Jesse Helms, Chair of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as extracts from the UN Secretary-General's Millennium Report and statements and comment marking the 25th anniversary of the entry-into-force of the BWC. In her latest BWC Update, Jenni Rissanen reports from Geneva on the latest moves in the search to provide the Convention with a verification protocol.

In addition to covering the dramatic developments in Moscow, News Review includes coverage of US plans to renovate large numbers of nuclear warheads, the US Energy Department's rejection, on non-proliferation grounds, of plans to recycle spent nuclear fuel, further acrimony and heartsearching in the Security Council over UN policy toward Iraq and the continuing impact of sanctions, and Russia's ongoing struggle to fulfil its obligations under the CWC.

The issue also features two Opinion & Analysis papers. Motoko Mekata, Research Fellow at the Tokyo Foundation, looks at the potential for strengthening and revamping Japan's long-standing commitment to nuclear disarmament. Harald Müller, Director of the Frankfurt Peace Research Institute, examines the prospects for the elaboration by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe of principles and norms for combatting the scourge of illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons.

This issue was co-edited by Michael Szabo and Sean Howard. Michael is currently on parental leave, and all at the Acronym Institute send our congratulations and best wishes to him and Stephanie on the birth of their daughter.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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