News

USIS Washington 
File

19 May 1998

UNITED NATIONS REPORT, TUESDAY, MAY 19, 1998


"A WORLD OF NEWS FROM THE WORLD ORGANIZATION"
Daily Highlights
Monday, 18 May, 1998

This daily news round-up is prepared by the Central News Section of
the Office of Communications and of Public Information at the United
Nations.

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-- UN Under-Secretary-General on Disarmament outlines UN response in
wake of India's nuclear tests.


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UN UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL ON DISARMAMENT OUTLINES UN RESPONSE IN WAKE
OF INDIA'S NUCLEAR TESTS.


In the wake of India's underground nuclear tests last week,
Secretary-General Kofi Annan has urged both India and Pakistan to
adhere to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), according to the
Under- Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, Jayantha Dhanapala.


Mr. Dhanapala was speaking to correspondents at UN Headquarters on
Monday about the United Nations reaction to the tests carried out 11
and 13 May. He said the Secretary-General had met separately on 14 May
with India and Pakistan's Permanent Representatives to the UN and had
also written to the Prime Ministers of both countries.


The Secretary-General's task was to try to establish a position that
went beyond the national security interests of individual States and
looked at global peace and security, Mr Dhanapala said. It was clear
from India's statements that it was considering accession to the CTBT.
Therefore, the Secretary-General had urged the Indian Government to
continue with that process and he hoped that the international
community would make it possible for India and Pakistan to adhere to
the Treaty.


In his letter to the Indian Prime Minister, the Secretary-General
underlined the urgency and importance of achieving nuclear
disarmament, leading to the complete elimination of all nuclear
weapons. He also welcomed India's promise to consider the negotiations
in the Conference on Disarmament for a fissile material cut-off
treaty.


The Secretary-General, in his letter to the Pakistani Prime Minister,
expressed concern that India's tests ran counter to the norms widely
respected by the international community and urged restraint by all
States so there would be no escalation of an arms race in south Asia.
Tensions were best solved by dialogue, he wrote, and urged Pakistan to
subscribe to the CTBT. Pakistan and India's adherence to the CTBT, he
said, would add significantly to stability in the region, the
Secretary- General believed.


Mr. Dhanapala told correspondents that the UN looked forward to the
early negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty during the
Conference on Disarmament, which is currently meeting in Geneva. He
pointed out that it was also important, he said, to urge the five
recognized nuclear weapons States to honour their commitments with
regard to nuclear disarmament.


An ad hoc committee on negative security assurances established by the
Conference on Disarmament meant the prospect of a treaty being
negotiated to assure non-nuclear weapons States that they would not be
threatened or attacked with nuclear weapons held by nuclear weapons
States, he said.


The Under Secretary-General for Disarmament said there was also a
great need to establish in the Conference an ad hoc committee on
nuclear disarmament. If that was not immediately possible, the five
permanent members of the Security Council -- China, France, Russian
Federation, United Kingdom and the United States -- who were all
nuclear states should hold negotiations among themselves to advance
the cause of nuclear disarmament, he added.


All nuclear weapons States and nuclear weapons capable States should
negotiate a "no first use" treaty, which would greatly enhance global
security and allay the fears of non-nuclear weapons States about the
use of nuclear weapons, he said.


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