Conference on Disarmament resumes 1987 session on 9 June in Geneva
The Conference on Disarmament opened the second part of its 1987 session in Geneva on 9 June, hearing a proposal of the USSR and the group of socialist countries on a treaty to ban nuclear-weapon tests. Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Petrovsky put forward the joint proposal entitled "Basic provisions of a treaty on the complete and general prohibition of nuclear-weapon tests'. He said the cosponsors wanted to stimulate an immediate start of substantive, full-scale negotiations of the Conference on the subject. The prohibiton of nuclear-weapon tests was an important, independent measure in the area of curbing and halting the arms race.
Max Friedersdorf of the United States told the Conference on 30 June that the ultimate goal of ceasing nuclear testing could only be reached through a series of steps in conjunction with a parallel programme to reduce and ultimately eliminate nuclear weapons.
The Conference on 11 June heard a statement by Raul Alfonsin, President of Argentina. It was the first time that a Head of State had addressed the 40-member body, the world's only multilateral negotiating forum on arms limitation and disarmament.
President Alfonsin stated that peoples and Governments should actively work to ensure the survival of mankind. "If mankind wishes to have a future, it will have to change', he said. While there seemed to be general agreement on that idea, disagreements began with the consideration of what should be changed.
Spring session: The first part of the Conference session was held from 3 February to 30 April. Significant progress was noted in the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on Chemical Weapons.
Reviewing Conference work, Milos Vejvoda, President for April, said that the Committee could move forward towards final drafting of a convention on the prohibition and destruction of chemical weapons. If good will prevailed, that process need not necessarily be too long. Many delegations had expressed the wish that the chemical weapons convention be concluded this year, he noted.
Rolf Ekeus (Sweden), Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Chemical Weapons, circulated a document entitled "Current stage of negotiations on a chemical weapons convention' at the end of the first part of...