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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 48, July 2000

UN Disarmament Commission Concludes Substantive Session

The United Nations Disarmament Commission concluded its two-week substantive session for the year on July 7, adopting a draft report on its work and draft reports by two working groups, on nuclear disarmament and conventional confidence-building measures. The session was summarised as follows by a UN Press Release:

"Introducing the main report, Samuel Amehou (Benin), the Rapporteur, said that since this was the first year that the Commission did not have parallel meetings, members had been able to tackle two main disarmament issues of the modern era. Even with their differing national interests, they had found it possible to reach consensus. …

Issues dominating the Commission's general debate…included the growing need for progress towards total disarmament. Many delegations, while praising the Russian Federation's ratification of the [START II Treaty and protocols to the] Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, called for similar measures by the United States and other nuclear powers. Serious concern was expressed over…[the 1998] nuclear tests in South Asia. Another major issue…was the alarming proliferation of small arms and light weapons. … Delegations welcomed the convening in 2001 of the United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons.

Yaw Odei Osei (Ghana), Chairman of Working Group I, introduced that Group's report on ways and means to achieve nuclear disarmament. He said the group had held five meetings. The report was his own initiative and did not reflect the negotiations. Delegations should not, therefore, feel they had to concede their positions.

Gabriela Martinic (Argentina), Chairperson of Working Group II, introduced that Group's report on practical confidence-building measures in the field of conventional arms. She said there had been an interesting and useful exchange of views during the group's meetings. …"

Report: Disarmament Commission concludes 2000 substantive session - adopts draft report, UN Press Release DC/2718, July 7.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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