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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 47, June 2000

Editor's Introduction

June's issue features the speech made by Jayantha Dhanapala, UN Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, to the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Security and Non-Proliferation, in which he assesses the prospects for a nuclear-weapon-free world in the wake of the renewed, unprecedentedly clear commitment to that goal made at the April-May Review Conference of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The speech appeals to legislatures and civil society organizations around the world to help sustain the momentum generated by the NPT Conference to "the point where we can take disarmament beyond its boost phase." Dhanapala also expresses the hope that the Conference on Disarmament (CD) will be reinvigorated by the NPT's resurgence. However, as Jenni Rissanen outlines in her latest Geneva Update, there is depressingly scant evidence of such an effect.

The issue also highlights global efforts to achieve a landmines-free world, the goal of the 1997 Ottawa Convention. The Convention's merits and achievements are described by Stephen Goose of Human Rights Watch and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). By contrast, US researcher Dale Copper derides the Convention as unrealistic and flawed, and argues instead for the establishment of a 'humanitarian landmine regime' through the development of a 1996 protocol to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.

In our regular features, Documents and Sources includes material from visits to Moscow by US President Clinton and Defense Secretary Cohen, NATO Ministerials in which US National Missile Defence (NMD) plans featured prominently and tensely, statements marking the 75th anniversary of the Geneva Protocol banning the use of poison gas, a detailed summary of the Republican Party's opposition to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) from Senator Jon Kyl, the setting out of ten arms control principles by senior US official John Holum, and a UK 'food for thought' paper submitted at the NPT Conference. News Review reflects on the intensifying controversies over NMD, the ongoing sagas of US nuclear security lapses and the Department of Energy's faltering National Ignition Facility (NIF) designed to simulate nuclear weapon explosions. Also covered are the latest developments with regard to the South Asia nuclear crisis, US-North Korea nuclear and missile deliberations, and the UN-Iraq deadlock.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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