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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 46, May 2000

Editor's Introduction

To a background of tension and low expectation, May saw a successful and united outcome to the sixth NPT Review Conference in New York. Rebecca Johnson summarises and assesses a turbulent four weeks of negotiation and debate, stressing the importance of translating words into action henceforth. Ambassador Thomas Graham, Jr., President Clinton's former Special Representative for Arms Control, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, enthusiastically endorses the Final Document adopted by States Parties as a strong platform for progress on both non-proliferation and disarmament initiatives.

Progress at the Conference cannot of itself dispel the dark clouds gathering in the US-Russia arms control relationship in the build-up to a US decision over whether, and on what scale, to deploy a national missile defence system. Retired General Yevgeny Maslin and analyst Ivan Safranchuck provide a Russian view on options for breaking the 'nuclear deadlock,' while US analyst Deborah Ozga identifies deep confusion and contradictions in the American arms control debate. Away from the nuclear spotlight, Alexander Kelle reports from the Hague on an important meeting of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Both Documents and Sources and News Review feature a wide range of comment from North America, Europe and Asia on the missile defence issue, including speeches from US Presidential candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush. Other developments featured include an innovative report from France on its nuclear policy, a statement from New Delhi on the NPT coinciding with the second anniversary of nuclear tests in South Asia, and the latest attempts to mend UN-Iraq relations.

Note of Condolence

The staff and Board of the Acronym Institute would like to express their deep sympathy with the family and friends of Frank Blackaby, who died on May 19. Frank, a former Director of the Stockholm Peace Research Institute, was a tireless, influential and popular campaigner for a world free of nuclear weapons and the scourge of war. He was the first guest contributor to Disarmament Diplomacy and a strong supporter of the journal through difficult as well as successful times.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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