UN Disarmament Commission

 

The UN Disarmament Commission's 1999 session ended without agreement on the convening of a fourth special session on disarmament. In previous years, the United States blocked the necessary consensus for holding an SSOD IV. This time it was India.

While the US said it could live with the paper prepared by the Chair of the working group, India objected to language that appeared to downgrade the Final Document of SSOD I (and thus its statement that nuclear  disarmament is the priority issue). India, and other developing nations, wanted language along the lines of "reaffirming the principles and priorities of SSOD I"; but the paper says "bearing in mind" the principles and priorities of the Final Document. India also objected to NATO's reaffirmation of nuclear deterrence, as spelled out in the Alliance's Strategic Concept issued a few days before, saying nuclear disarmament was impossible as long as deterrence was an accepted strategy.

Like last year's working paper, the Chair's paper listed objectives and possible agenda items, but not a proposed date. This failure does not mean the end of SSOD IV. It will probably be on the agenda of the First Committee this autumn where another attempt at a consensus decision will be made.

 

 

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