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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 50, September 2000

Editor's Introduction

September's issue reflects on a flurry of arms control activity. The month opened with President Clinton's deferral to his successor of a decision on US deployment of national missile defences. In a cautiously upbeat assessment, Joseph Cirincione, Director of the Non-Proliferation Project of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, applauds the development while warning that "one thing is certain: missile defence proponents will stay in the game." The evolving debate inside the Kremlin over the role and status of Russian nuclear forces, indicating a move to lower the high profile given to nuclear weapons in recent years, is again reviewed for us by Nikolai Sokov from the Center for Non-Proliferation Studies in Monterey. Any hopes that the recent NPT decisions would give a boost to the Conference on Disarmament remain unfulfilled. Jenni Rissanen, the Acronym Institute's Geneva Analyst, provides us with an in-depth and thoroughly unconsoling account of a dispirited end to the CD's annual session.

Documents and Sources reproduces material from the UN Millennium Summit, the IAEA General Conference, the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Ottawa Convention, and the International Conference on War-Affected Children. The section also includes the draft resolution from the New Agenda Coalition to the UN First Committee, the Indian Prime Minister's visit to Washington, the Uppsala Declaration on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones, and a survey of the views of US Presidential candidates on nuclear issues. News Review includes coverage of President Clinton's deferral decision, the release of former Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee, another US subcritical nuclear test, more problems for the US National Ignition Facility, and fears of further military action against Iraq as cracks widen in support for the sanctions regime.

Notes

We urge readers to share their ideas on ways to approach implementing the plan of action agreed at the 2000 NPT Review Conference (see Disarmament Diplomacy No. 48). In addition to periodic comment in the journal, our website will soon feature an NPT Comment Board.

Finally, the Acronym Institute commemorates former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, a champion of nuclear disarmament in some of the darkest days of the Cold War, who died on September 28.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.