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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 52, November 2000

Editor's Introduction

November saw elections in the United States of potentially momentous significance for the arms control world. The impact of the new Republican Administration on non-proliferation efforts in South Asia is assessed by Robert Hathaway, Director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. Predicting that the "arms control community will not find much satisfaction in the election of George W. Bush", Hathaway argues that US policy will help determine "whether South Asia goes down the road of ever-escalating expenditures on ever more fearsome weapons". He concludes: "Whether it wishes this responsibility or not, the...Bush Administration can escape neither the imperative of acting, nor the consequences of its choices."

Chandré Gould, of the Centre for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town, looks at the trial of Dr Wouter Basson and considers some of the consequences and questions concerning South Africa' apartheid-era chemical and biological warfare programme.

On November 1, the UN First Committee concluded its examination of a wide range of issues and resolutions. In their First Committee Report, Jenni Rissanen and Rebecca Johnson assess the low-key but generally constructive deliberations and provide a detailed resolution-by-resolution summary, incorporating voting figures from both the First Committee and the General Assembly' adoption of the Committee' 50 texts.

Documents and Sources includes two statements from President Putin, on nuclear reductions and the CFE Treaty, announcements on missile exports and non-proliferation sanctions by China and the US, a speech by the UN Secretary-General sketching out possible routes to a "post-nuclear age", President Clinton' final annual summary of the ' emergency' facing the United States, and the adoption by the OSCE of a set of aims and objectives on small arms and light weapons. News Review summarises coverage of seemingly conflicting arms control signals from Moscow, controversy in Congress over US policy on Russian arms sales to Iran, intense discussions on missile production and exports between the US and North Korea, fresh signs of a weakening of sanctions against Iraq, mixed news for Russia in its search for help in destroying its chemical weapons stockpile, and an historic UN Security Council debate on women and peace and security.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.