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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 48, July 2000

New Arms Control Post for State Department

On June 28, the US Senate approved the appointment of Owen Sheaks to a new post of Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance. At a confirmation hearing before the Foreign Relations Committee on June 20, Sheaks, Senior Advisor for Verification and Compliance to the State Department's Under-Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, spoke of the significance of the new position: "This Bureau, created by bipartisan legislation sponsored by the Foreign Relations Committee, signals the importance that the Congress places on verification and compliance of arms control agreements. As was so aptly stated in the Report language accompanying this legislation: 'It is essential that the verification and compliance aspects of arms control and non-proliferation agreements are given a voice at the most senior policy-making levels.'" Sheaks added: "In my view, there are three components to implementing a strong verification and compliance policy: (1) we must maintain and build on the foundations on which our verification and compliance legacy is based; (2) we must advocate national security policies and initiatives that are verifiable and provide information to support compliance assessment; and (3) we must establish and energize the partnership among Executive Branch agencies and between the Executive Branch and the Congress to carry out the verification and compliance mission."

Reports: Text - Sheaks statement at confirmation hearing for arms control post, US State Department (Washington File), June 20; Senate Committee endorses Sheaks for verification post, Congressional Report, June 29.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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