Conference On Disarmament: Groping Its Way Around

Manpreet Sethi, Research Officer, IDSA


The final negotiating session of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) for this year concluded on September 9, 1999. From January to September, the delegates spent several hundreds of working hours in three separate sessions1 trying to iron out the issues that continue to hold up progress on substantive matters. Nonetheless, differences persist and have made themselves most particularly evident on three issues; fissile material ban, prevention of arms race in outer space (PAROS) and nuclear disarmament. Also, doubts have begun to surface on the efficacy of the CD's rules of procedure and its very structure.

Given the current situation in which the CD finds itself, it seems pertinent to take a fresh look at the reasons why it was instituted in the first place, how far it has been able to fulfill its intended objectives and which are the issues on which it has stalled. The article explores the stalemate that slammed brakes on the CD's work for most part of this year. What are the issues in the fray? What are the chances of a breakthrough? And, most importantly, what do the persistent differences and the concomitant divisions among countries foretell for this multilateral negotiating body that was once the repository of immense hope and expectations?

The Origin and Purpose of the CD

The CD was set up as a negotiating body of the United Nations for facilitating the conclusion of treaties related to conventional and nuclear disarmament. It originated from the consultations among the members of its predecessor, the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (CCD). The CCD itself was constituted during the First Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD-1) in 1978. The precursor of the CCD was the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Committee (ENDC) that had been constituted in March 1962. It became the CCD in 1969 when its membership rose from 18 to 30 countries. For some time in the early 1980s, the CD was called the Committee on Disarmament but since 1983, it has come to be known as the Conference on Disarmament.

As originally constituted, the CD had 38 members. On June 17, 1996, the conference admitted 23 more states as its members. These included: Austria; Bangladesh; Belarus; Cameroon; Chile; Colombia; Democratic People's Republic of Korea; Finland; Iraq; Israel; New Zealand; Norway; Republic of Korea; Senegal; Slovakia; South Africa; Spain; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Turkey; Ukraine; Vietnam and Zimbabwe.2 At present, the CD also has 13 non-member participants or observer states who have the privilege of attending meetings, speaking at them, circulating papers and making contributions. Of course, they do not have the right to vote or hold up consensus.

The CD enjoys a special relationship with the United Nations. Though not an organ of the UN, it nevertheless is required to consider any recommendations made by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) as also submit its reports to this international organisation. Yet, it has the prerogative of adopting its own Rules of Procedure and deciding its own agenda, after taking into account the recommendations of the General Assembly and the proposals of its members. It is required to report to the General Assembly annually, or more frequently, as may be necessary. Its budget is accounted for in that of the United Nations. Also, the staff of the Centre for Disarmament Affairs, Geneva branch, caters to the secretarial work of the meetings of the CD, which are held at the UN premises, Palais des Nations. Decision making in the CD is based on the principle of consensus.

The CD functions towards the goals embodied in its permanent agenda and as derived from the relevant provisions of the Final Document of SSOD-1. These include:

1. Nuclear weapons in all aspects

2. Chemical weapons

3. Other weapons of mass destruction (WMD)

4. Conventional weapons

5. Reduction of military budgets

6. Reduction of armed forces

7. Disarmament and development

8. Disarmament and international security

9. Collateral measures such as confidence building measures, etc.

10. Comprehensive programmes of disarmament leading to general and complete disarmament.

From within this permanent agenda or the "decalogue", the CD has been choosing its working agenda for every year by prioritising the objectives. Amongst its most important recent achievements is cited the conclusion of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996. The negotiating mandate for the test ban had been finalised in 1994 with the creation of an ad hoc committee. In fact, at the same time, ad hoc committees had also been instituted for dealing with the prevention of arms race in outer space (PAROS), negative security assurances (NSA), and transparency in armaments (TIA). However, over the next two years only the committee dealing with test ban met and concluded a CTBT. This treaty too, though, was unable to muster a consensus within the CD, owing to Indian objections.3 In an unprecedented move then, approval for the treaty was sought to be obtained by having it passed through the UNGA. This the UNGA did on September 10, 1996 with 158 votes in favour, 3 against and 5 abstentions. Thereafter, it was opened for signatures. However, its entry into force is still dependent on its mandatory ratification by 44 countries of the CD. The most prominent among these such as the US, Russia, China and India are yet to take any firm decision on fulfilling this condition. Therefore, currently the fate of the treaty, so laboriously negotiated and cleverly passed, appears to be uncertain.

In any case, once the CTBT had been put before the UNGA in 1996, the CD considered itself to have accomplished its mandate on the issue. Thereafter, it did experience a momentary period of a lack of sense of direction. Before 1996, all its attention and energies had been mainly concentrated on the conclusion of the test ban treaty, to the relative exclusion of all other matters. This task finished, it was required to reconsider its priorities and it was then decided to devote attention to negotiating a ban on the further production and stockpiling of fissile material. For this purpose, an ad hoc committee first constituted in 1995 was sought to be convened.4

However, not much progress has since been possible owing to the differences in perceptions among member states over the very scope of the treaty—should it be applicable to the future production of fissile material? Or, should it also include the already existing stockpiles within the countries? Opinions on this are sharply divided. India, among others, including the P-5, is in favour of restricting the mandate to only future production. Pakistan, on the other hand, accompanied by Egypt, Iran and Algeria, has been pressing for the inclusion of past stockpiles also under the purview of the treaty to be negotiated. Owing to these differences of opinion, besides certain other procedural limitations, the ad hoc committee on fissban could not reconvene in 1999.

In fact, in this year, the CD had great difficulty and ultimately failed in agreeing on a programme of work. At its first session for this year, in January 1999, the CD did adopt an agenda. But, a continuing stalemate bogged down any finalisation of a specific programme of action. Among the issues that stalled progress, three can be easily identified and these are discussed in the following paragraphs.

Fissile Material Ban

In August 1998, the CD had taken a widely welcomed decision to begin negotiations on a ban on the production of fissile materials for weapons. However, despite this, all through this year no progress could be made on the issue because the CD was unable to reconvene the ad hoc committee charged with negotiating the treaty. This may largely be attributed to the fact that some members sought to link the convening of the fissban committee with the simultaneous constitution of ad hoc committees to discuss the issues of nuclear disarmament and the prevention of arms race in outer space. This linkage is, however, not acceptable to the Western nuclear powers that remain opposed to granting too much time and space for discussions on both these matters. Consequently, the fissban issue remained stalemated through all the three sessions held this year.

In order to better understand the political undercurrent on this issue, it would be pertinent to recount a little of what has transpired till now on the matter. Early in this decade, the conclusion of the fissban treaty was singled out by the US and some of its nuclear and non-nuclear allies as a priority objective. In fact, it was in September 1993 that, after a review of the US non-proliferation policy, the Clinton Administrative decided to focus on the cut off of fissile material production. Identifying this as another important step towards checking the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the US announced its intention to "propose a multilateral convention prohibiting the production of highly enriched uranium or plutonium for nuclear explosive purposes or outside of international safeguards."5

Russia had already been arguing in favour of such a ban since the 1980s once the Soviets had overtaken the Americans in terms of their strategic nuclear forces and it was no longer considered necessary for them to continue fissile material production. Just then, however, the US did not find it prudent to extend its support to the Soviet appeal. In fact, even until December 1992, when the UNGA had overwhelmingly requested the CD to pursue its "consideration of the question of the cessation and prohibition of such production", the issue could not meet with a favourble US response. The turnaround in the US posture came about only after a few years of the end of the Cold War, and after it had sunk into the American psyche that a nuclear war was unwinnable and, therefore, must never be fought. Thereafter, stockpiling more and more fissile material seemed redundant. Also, and it was not a matter of coincidence, by then, all the five Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) had amassed enough stocks not to feel threatened by a ban on further production. In fact, nearly all the NWS have anyway already unilaterally put an end to fissile material production in their countries.

Given this reality, it does seem a bit strange as to why the NWS should be so keen to negotiate a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) at all, since those countries that have nuclear weapons and hence a requirement of fissile material have already put a halt to its production? However, the FMCT is being designed to meet two objectives: first, it provides the NWS with an opportunity to showcase their good intentions to eventually, and at some undefined moment in the future, move towards nuclear disarmament. In any case, they have already stockpiled more than they would need in the foreseeable future, and, therefore, see little harm in now formalising the ban on any further production. They have nothing to lose and lots to gain by way of goodwill.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it provides the NWS with yet another means to rope in India, Pakistan and Israel that have consistently refused to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and thereby challenge their nuclear monopoly. Considering that India and Pakistan are still new nuclear nations that have not yet completed the tasks of determining and building their requisite nuclear deterrent, both have been loath to making any hasty commitments towards banning fissile material production. Realising the American desire to conclude a treaty to this effect at the earliest, India has found in it an effective tool with which to draw some concrete commitment towards disarmament from the NWS while agreeing to negotiating an FMCT. However, the US and its allies have resisted any linkage of the FMCT with the larger issue of nuclear disarmament and it is this tussle that the CD witnessed all through this year.

With a view to circumventing this problem, the US, supported by France and Britain, proposed earlier this year that once a fissban committee had been constituted, based on a consensus decision, it should be allowed to be reconvened every year thereafter, until a treaty was concluded. This suggested an automatic reconvening of the committee without its having to seek an authorisation of the CD members every year, the procedure that exists presently. In a way, the US was guaranteeing at least an ongoing discussion of the subject, without the committee becoming hostage to the veto power of any one or a group of nations. Going along with the US logic, Russia too opined, "We are convinced that an effective and logical step to be taken in the field of multilateral nuclear disarmament after the nuclear test ban is a FMCT [Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty]. We think it would be wrong to waste time searching [for] any alternative issues in the field of nuclear disarmament topics..."6

But this proposal met with opposition from a host of other CD members. Pakistan objected to it on the grounds that creating permanent committees was contrary to the CD rules of procedure. At the same time, the Pakistani representative at the CD warned that if the FMCT consensus was reopened, Pakistan would seek the inclusion of concerns reflected in the amendments his country had proposed to the Canadian resolution and which essentially related to reducing and controlling existing stocks.

India too protested against "this artificial separation of the elements of work and attempts to give them automatic annual extensions. Automatic renewal of subsidiary bodies is unacceptable as it divorces the work of the CD from the overall reality in which that work is undertaken."7 In addition to a difference of posture over the fundamental question of stockpiles, India has, as it had also done in the case of the CTBT, pressed for the FMCT negotiations to be more clearly linked to simultaneous movement towards nuclear disarmament. In the Programme of Action put forward in August on behalf of 28 of the non-aligned CD members, India insisted on reference to immediate and concurrent commencement of negotiations on a no-use convention and a convention eliminating nuclear weapons. In the end, however, 1999 saw no progress on either of the two issues.

Prevention of Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS)

While the possibility of an arms race in outer space has always been a source of concern and has found expression at several CD sessions earlier also, this year, the tenor and urgency of the matter was different. This may be attributed to the announcement made by US Secretary of Defence William Cohen on January 20, 1999, on the funding of a national missile defence (NMD) system by his country.

US NMD plans drew heavy fire within the conference beginning on May 11, the first plenary meeting of the second of the three negotiating sessions scheduled for 1999. Moscow warned Washington that deployment of an NMD system could trigger a new strategic arms race, including in outer space, and undermine the existing non-proliferation regime. The Russian representative expressed concern on the matter, stressing that "outer space is a property common to all mankind." He argued in favour of negotiating a legal regime prohibiting deployment of offensive weapons in outer space so that in the future, the international community does not end up spending huge amounts of resources to disarm a weaponised outer space.

China too was provoked by the US action. It proposed the establishment of an ad hoc negotiating committee to prevent the "weaponisation" of space. Echoing Moscow's fears about a new arms race, China charged on May 27, 1999, that one country has "ambitious programmes" to extend weapon systems into outer space. It cannot be denied that these fears were further fuelled by the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade only 20 days earlier. Though the US Administration described it as a mistake, Beijing hardened its position for an outer space ad hoc committee. Decrying America's exclusive focus on the FMCT, China's Ambassador to the CD, Li Changhe argued that the conference's work programme needed to be treated as a whole and that "singling out any one of the items while excluding the others is unjustified and unhelpful."

Pakistan went a step ahead and expressed concern on the "militarisation" of space, thereby seeking to bring in even military satellites within the purview of the proposed committee. Pakistan further claimed that NATO's (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's) new strategic concept would "set back" disarmament and non-proliferation. Ambassador Munir Akram cautioned at the June 1999 session, "We believe that efforts towards militarisation of outer space, or deployment of other weapon systems relying on a space dimension, will create new and dangerous instabilities. They would deal a serious blow to efforts for nuclear disarmament and possibly lead to a new race for more lethal and dangerous weapon systems, including nuclear weapons."8

It is a different matter, however, that such a committee could not be constituted. All that the US, Britain and France would agree to on this matter was to have special coordinators to discuss the subject. China countered this P-3 proposal by calling for necessary working mechanisms by which it meant either ad hoc committees or working groups with appropriate mandates to address the issue.

By June, however, in deference to a general trend in favour of it, the P-3 accepted, in principle, the establishment of an ad hoc working group on outer space. However, its constitution was made conditional to obtaining a consensus on a mandate for the group, a tricky demand in itself. But this fell far short of what China had been demanding which was an ad hoc committee to "negotiate and conclude an international legal instrument banning the test[ing], deployment and use of any weapons, weapon systems and their components in outer space, with a view to preventing the weaponisation of outer space."9 However, a working group was all that the US was ready to accept just then and China, for the moment, has agreed to the compromise.

Nuclear Disarmament

Long standing disagreements over nuclear disarmament continued to be the major hurdle to letting the CD decide a work programme. The P-4, excluding China, remained adamantly opposed to formal negotiations on the subject, even as the pitch of the other countries, mostly from the G-21, but also of some Western states such as Canada and Germany, became louder on the subject.

In fact, at the very first session of this year, a handful of proposals on this matter were put forth. South Africa updated its earlier proposal to suggest the establishment of an ad hoc committee to "deliberate upon practical steps for systematic and progressive efforts "10 Egypt also proposed an ad hoc committee to "commence negotiations on a phased programme "11 Belgium, on behalf of Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Norway proposed an ad hoc working group "to study ways and means of establishing an exchange of information and views within the Conference on endeavours towards nuclear disarmament."12 Canada renewed its earlier proposal that the "CD establish an ad hoc committee for the substantive discussion of nuclear disarmament issues with a view to identifying if and when one or more such issues might be negotiated multilaterally." In a working paper placed before the CD, it opined that the CD could contribute to the attainment of nuclear disarmament by facilitating a substantive discussion on the matter. In its opinion, the CD presented itself as a forum through which the international community could be better informed on a continuing basis, and in which the international community had a forum for expression of views and identification of issues that could be subject to multilateral negotiations.13 Finally, Cuba, on behalf of the G-21 group of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) sought an ad hoc committee to "start negotiations on a phased programme", including the drafting of a nuclear weapons convention.14

The Russian delegate, meanwhile, took it upon himself to remind the CD members that "nuclear disarmament is a time-consuming and costly process, which requires solutions to a whole range of financial, technical and environmental problems."15 Michael Krepon, president of the Stimson Centre in the US, too has argued that a negotiation on phased nuclear disarmament "is likely to do more harm than good to the CD, and to the near term prospects for nuclear disarmament." These and similar viewpoints, however, found stiff opposition from those of the non-aligned members of the CD who insist upon a more serious commitment to nuclear disarmament from the nuclear weapon states.

Faced with a similar impasse in 1998, the P-3 as a compromise solution had proposed "troika consultations", i.e. consultations among the current president, the outgoing and the incoming presidents in an attempt to intensify efforts in this direction. It was also suggested that open-ended consultations be held at least once during the tenure of every president and interim reports be presented at the end of each presidency. This proposal, however, could not muster a consensus this year since several nations felt that this mechanism had outlived its utility. In the end, while not committing itself to any major resolutions, the CD agreed to establish an ad hoc working group on the subject, once again subject to getting consensus on mandates.

Procedural Problems

Apart from these issues that held up progress of the CD, the effectiveness of certain procedural matters too has come under scrutiny. The inability of the CD to transact any serious business despite meeting over three negotiating sessions does point to some more serious underlying problems. In fact, at the sessions, too many delegates had begun to question the CD's rules and structure. These rules were blamed for bringing about the situation whereby important decisions having been reached near the end of the last session in 1998, such as the convening of the fissban committee, the CD was still having to go through months of renegotiation for reconvening the committee. Belarus described the situation more picturesquely as the CD going through a "mid-life crisis".16 In any case, most of the CD members are beginning to realise the flaws in the procedural rules and are rooting for remedial action.

The urgency further heightened towards the end of the second session as the members recognised that under the present rules of procedures, even if the programme of work was agreed to in the last session of the CD, it would amount to being a wasted effort since the whole exercise would need to be repeated in the new year. Therefore, it came to be wondered whether there was any point in agreeing to a work programme for that year at all, unless it was accompanied with a guarantee that the same committees, groups and co-ordinators would have the authority to continue in 2000.

India and Pakistan have been opposed to this idea of allowing the CD to work next year on the basis of a work programme agreed to this year. While one cannot deny the sound logic behind arriving at a work programme capable of running beyond a mere 12 months, and hence preventing a whole lot of wastage of time in 2000, one cannot discount the possible rationale behind the original rules of procedure. It would be worth considering the advantages and disadvantages of every CD being made to begin its first session in January from scratch every time. Or, should a running programme of work be agreed upon?

On the positive side, it would save precious time and allow the CD to get on with more substantive issues. Months of bargaining and pressure politics would disappear and at least negotiations on some subjects would get started. However, the possible danger from a such a decision would be: who would decide which substantive issues are to take priority over which others? Right now, under the present rules of procedure, at least all countries have an equal chance of deciding priorities on a year to year basis and this has served as a good system of checks and balances. Therefore, it could be argued that a running work programme could deprive countries of leverage over the issues that some others might find unpalatable. For instance, the Western nuclear powers are being nudged to give in to the demand for starting a simultaneous process towards nuclear disarmament by the other states by withholding their approval to the reconvening of the fissban committee. Especially for the non-nuclear weapon states, this system has worked well as a means to compel the Western powers to concede to, or at least consider, some of their demands.


The CD held its first meeting in 1979. Since then, over the last two decades, it has succeeded in negotiating a number of international treaties, thereby trying to live up to its original mandate of facilitating the attainment of general and complete disarmament under effective international control. Having evolved from a series of similar bodies with smaller membership, the CD in its various forms has served as the focal point for negotiating and concluding several treaties. These include the 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty (banning nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water); the 1970 NPT (halting the spread of nuclear weapons to countries that do not already possess them and preventing the diversion of nuclear material from peaceful purposes); the 1972 Seabed Arms Control Treaty (prohibiting the emplacement of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction on the seabed); the 1972 Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention (banning the development, production and stockpiling of bacteriological and toxic weapons); the 1978 Environmental Modification Convention (banning all significant hostile use of environmental modification techniques); the 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention (banning the acquisition, use, stockpiling, and transfer of chemical weapons); and the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (putting a halt to further nuclear tests).

This year, however, the CD activities fell far short of expectations. In fact, it was being perceived a few years ago that after the end of the Cold War, the CD would be able to play a more constructive role by facilitating quicker movement towards nuclear disarmament. However, the CD has found itself rather impotent on this issue, having become a victim of inter-state politics. Most importantly, it needs to be realised that the proceedings of the CD cannot remain impervious to the existing international political and strategic environment. Given the fact that major international players were preoccupied by several new developments, it does not seem all that surprising that the CD too encountered difficulties in arriving at an agreement on its work programme.

First, the US insistence on going ahead with NMD plans ruffled the feathers of several nations. Next, in April, NATO members met to celebrate the Alliance's 50th anniversary. Amid the congratulatory speeches though, a new strategic concept for the body was also approved. It made it explicit that "nuclear weapons make a unique contribution in rending the risks of aggression against the Alliance incalculable and unacceptable. Thus, they remain essential to preserve peace."17 Such a stance once again raised the salience of nuclear weapons and could hardly have been expected to act as a disincentive to other countries, with or without nuclear weapons. Also, the Alliance strategy made it clear that the US would continue to maintain its nuclear weapons in the territory of six non-nuclear weapon states and keep up the training of their military personnel. The concept of nuclear sharing has come in for severe criticism, especially at the NPT Preparatory Committee meetings. However, echoes of the same criticism were also heard at the CD. Pakistan, though not a party to the NPT, expressed the viewpoint that "the operational 'sharing' of nuclear weapons between nuclear and non-nuclear members of this alliance, as reaffirmed by the Strategic Concept, constitutes a violation of the NPT's most basic obligations, set out in Articles 1 and 11 of the Treaty."

Apart from this, NATO enlargement is also being viewed as a threat by Russia. While NATO itself sees this as important for safeguarding European security against potential threats, its decision to take in nine new members is not seen as a benign move by Russia. Russia also expressed concern about the new role that NATO appeared to be taking upon itself. The Russian delegate referred to it as "transparency without geographical limits". He took it as implying further eastward advancement of the Alliance, up to the very borders of the Russian Federation. The danger from such a move was brought into clearer focus when NATO decided to intervene in Kosovo, bypassing the UN Security Council. US-Russian relations became evidently strained over this issue and China too spoke out against the US-NATO action in Kosovo.

A spate of these developments and the concomitant reactions of CD members found their reflection in the CD proceedings too. Presently, the CD appears to be caught between two contradictory tendencies. On the one hand, the Western nuclear powers continue to press for the conclusion of treaties, such as the FMCT. These are perceived as not impinging upon their national security, while at the same time keeping the CD constructively occupied. On the other hand, a majority of the CD members emphasise the need for involving the international body in more substantive matters such as nuclear disarmament and PAROS. On these issues, however, despite their universal relevance and appeal, the handful of Western nations have reservations and continue to block progress. As the CD will start its new session afresh in the millennium year, it remains to be seen whether country pressures will allow it to play a more constructive role in fulfilling its original mandate. On the other hand, if the present trend of deadlocks and stalemates were to continue, then it would have a most unfortunate impact on the credibility, legitimacy and overall relevance of the CD.

In fact, a prolonged period of deadlocked negotiations could prove to be harmful for the CD's very existence. While the Western powers, never too keen on the CD in the first place, may begin to project it as a failure and close it down, a sense of disillusionment would also grow in the other members. This could mark the end of a multilateral negotiating body which has, until now at least, made itself useful for serving as a forum for airing national viewpoints. Irrespective of the quantum of tangible work that may have been conducted in the CD, the body must be given credit for serving as a forum for negotiations and for allowing nations to put forth their differing viewpoints in a civilised manner. It has helped to focus and sustain international attention on crucial matters and over a period of time intensified pressures have resulted in major breakthroughs.

Therefore, it must be taken as a responsibility by every CD member nation to reverse the present trend. The CD which at present appears to be groping its way around must be given a clear direction so that it can perform a constructive and meaningful role. As far as India is concerned, the CD can serve, as it has done in the past, as a useful medium for expressing its viewpoints on disarmament. Universal nuclear disarmament has long remained India's cherished goal and as per the draft nuclear doctrine put forth in August 1999, it has been stated to be a national objective. Given the fact that India is not a member of the NPT and, hence, not party to the treaty review and preparatory meetings, the CD provides the ideal forum to sustain pressure on the P-5 for movement towards nuclear disarmament. Unlike the UNGA whose immense membership makes it a relatively unwieldy body, the CD with its limited membership is a unique multilateral negotiating forum and India must use it meaningfully to further its national security objectives.



1. Until 1990, the CD's annual session was held over two sessions. But from 1991, it was divided into three, with the first session beginning in the last week of January and continuing for ten weeks, the second session starting in May and running over a period of seven weeks, and the final one starting in July and again going on for seven weeks.

2. The admission of these 23 new states had been proposed in 1993 but the US had then been opposed to it on the grounds that Iraq, against which the UN had imposed sanctions, would also acquire the right under the CD rules to hold up consensus on substantive issues. This problem was resolved in 1996 when all 23 members to be admitted pledged in a letter addressed to the president of the CD that for the next two years, none of them would act alone to block a consensus on any issue. This self-imposed restraint was to continue even after two years for any country subject to UN sanctions.

3. While India was initially among the prime movers of the CTBT, it eventually chose to disassociate itself from the form of the treaty as it developed. India's main objection to it stemmed from the treaty's inability to effectively address the issue of disarmament.

4. In March 1995, the CD had voted unanimously to establish an ad hoc committee for this purpose. However, it was unable to meet in that year because of lack of agreement over the selection of a chairman.

5. Brian G. Chow, Richard H. Speier, Gregory S. Jones, "The Proposed Fissile Material Production Cutoff: Next Steps", Rand Report (Santa Monica: RAND, 1995), p. 111.

6. Rebecca Johnson, "Update on the CD Impasse", Disarmament Diplomacy, issue no. 38, <http//www.acronym.>

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid.

9. Li Changhe, ambassador for disarmament affairs of China, March 11, 1999, CD/PV. 818

10. Peter Goosen, deputy ambassador of South Africa, January 19, 1999, CD/PV. 808.

11. Mounir Zahran, ambassador of Egypt, January 26, 1999 CD/PV. 810.

12. Andre Memier, ambassador of Belgium, February 2, 1999, CD/PV. 812.

13. Canada Working Paper, Nuclear Disarmament: Substantive Discussion in the CD, CD/1574, March 9, 1999.

14. Carlos Amat Fores, ambassador of Cuba, February 18, 1999, CD/PV. 814.

15. Johnson, n. 6.

16. Sergei Martynov, deputy minister of foreign affairs of Belarus, February 11, 1999, CD/PV. 813.

17. "The Alliance's Strategic Concept", NATO Press Release, April 24, 1999. As reproduced in Strategic Digest, vol. XXIX, no. 6, June 1999, p. 938. Emphasis added.