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September 19, 1958

Address by Mr. Frank Aiken to the United Nations General Assembly Official, 23th Session, 751st Plenary Meeting

Aiken’s landmark address to the plenary of the UN General Assembly on 19 September 1958 launched his non-proliferation campaign. It is the first time he publicly identified stopping the spread of nuclear weapons as a concrete step in the collective interest to unblock the disarmament impasse, preventing as runaway arms race among the powers of the Earth. It was clearly framed as part of his wider campaign for global governance based on the rule of law rather than the threat of force. For Aiken, the challenge was stabilizing the arms race and generating trust to construct a world order based on justice and law – “to preserve a Pax Atomica while we build a Pax Mundi.” This speech was a critical departure. The widespread positive reception encouraged Aiken, persuading him to draft a formal resolution.

September 14, 1992

The Chancellor's [Helmut Kohl's] Meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Rabin on Monday, 14 September 1992

Kohl and Rabin discuss the situation in the Near and Middle East and the changed in Syria's position toward Israel after the demise of the Soviet Union. Rabin expresses concern about the continued arms race in the region and Syria's purchases of Scud missiles from Russia and Slovakia. He also reiterates Iraq's continued capability to go nuclear within 5 to 6 years despite international arms control inspections. Last but not least, Kohl and Rabin discuss the situation in Iran and Kohl's contacts with President Rafsandjani.

January 26, 1968

"Defence And Oversea Policy Committee: Non-Proliferation: Memorandum By The Minister Of State For Foreign Affairs "

Subsequent to De Gaulle's November 1967 veto of Wilson's EEC application, senior British ministers still saw the European question as having considerable importance. Shortly before his departure from the role of Foreign Secretary, George Brown reported to the Defence and Oversea Policy Committee that the ructions over Article 3 of the NPT would be "particularly awkward for us as potential members of EURATOM and the E.E.C." De Gaulle's second "Non!" only served to postpone Britain's membership of the EEC, as Edward Heath's Conservative government successfully campaigned for accession, which took place in 1973.

October 29, 1965

Speech by the President of the Mexican Delegation, Ambassador Alfonso García Robles, Undersecretary of Foreign Relations, in the General Debate of the First Committee on the Topic 'The Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons'

The president of the Mexican delegation to the United Nations (UN), Ambassador Alfonso Garcia Robles, explained why the Latin American nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) would represent the most ambitious regional project to address nuclear perils. He explained the security implications of the agreement, especially in terms of nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear disarmament, and negative security assurances. He also clarified that the Latin American project would benefit signatories economically. He argued that Latin American governments would not have to waste the resources necessary to engage in nuclear arms races if the region were denuclearized. Moreover, he explained that Mexico’s final aim was to achieve general and complete disarmament; thus, Mexican authorities saw the NPT as a means and not a goal on its own.

October 1967

Alva Myrdal, 'New Roads to Disarmament'

The author of “New Roads to Disarmament," Alva Myrdal was head of Swedish disarmament policy from 1962 to 1973. In her 1967 paper presented at the Institute of International Affairs in Warsaw, Belgrade, and Zagreb in 1967, Myrdalpositions nuclear disarmament in its broader context and elaborates on her visions of a new world order. She would publicize many of these same thoughts and observations in her 1976 book, The Game of Disarmament. How the United States and Russia Run the Arms Race. In 1982, she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on disarmament.

November 2, 2020

Interview with Ariel Levite

Dr. Ariel Levite is a former Israeli senior official. He served as a member of the Israeli delegation to ACRS and the inter-ministerial committee on arms control. 

November 2, 2020

Interview with Shimon Stein

Shimon Stein is a former Israeli diplomat. He served as a member of the Israeli delegation to ACRS. 

November 11, 2020

Interview with David Cooper

David Cooper is a former US Defense Department career civilian official. He served as a member of the US delegation to ACRS. All views presented in this interview are his own. Nothing represents official views of the Naval War College or the U.S. government.

November 20, 2020

Interview with Nabeela al-Milla

Nabeela al-Mulla is a former Kuwaiti diplomat. She served as a member of the Kuwait delegation to ACRS.

November 13, 1974

United Nations General Assembly Official Records, 29th Session : 2282nd Plenary Meeting, Agenda Item 108, 'Question of Palestine (continued)'

As other documents in this collection on Moroccan nationalists in 1947 and 1950 have exemplified, the United Nations was an important arena in decolonization struggles for Arabs, as it was for Asians and Africans as e.g. Alanna O’Malley’s The Diplomacy of Decolonisation: America, Britain, and the United Nations during the Congo crisis, 1960-1964 (2018) has shown. In this regard, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which was founded in 1964 and taken over by the Fatah movement in 1969, was no exception.

To be sure, Palestinian organizations including Fatah and the PLO decried key UN actions. One was the UN Palestine partition plan of 1947; another was UN Security Council resolution 242 of November 1967. Calling upon Israel to withdraw “from territories occupied” during the Six-Day War in June and calling for the “acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace,” it did not mention Palestine or the Palestinians. Even so, the PLO sought to get access to the UN and UN recognition. A crucial landmark on this road was the address to the UN in New York in November 1974 by Yassir Arafat (1929-2004), a Fatah co-founder in 1959 and from 1969 PLO chairman.

Arafat did not speak at the Security Council, which was and is dominated by its five veto-carrying permanent members Britain, China, France, the United States, and the USSR/Russia. Rather, he addressed the UN General Assembly (UNGA), where from the 1960s Third World states were in the majority; his speech was the first time that the UNGA allowed a non-state representative to attend its plenary session. The UNGA invited the PLO after having decided, in September, to begin separate hearings on Palestine (rather than making Palestine part of general Middle Eastern hearings), and after the PLO was internationally recognized as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, a landmark accomplishment for the organization. The UNGA president who introduced Arafat, Abdelaziz Bouteflika (1937-2021), was the Foreign Minister of Algeria, which since its independence in 1962 had supported the Palestinian cause organizationally, militarily, and politically. Arafat spoke in Arabic; the below text is the official UN English translation. Arafat did not write the text all by himself; several PLO officials and Palestinians close to the PLO, including Edward Said, assisted, as Timothy Brennan has noted in Places of Mind: A Life of Edward Said (2021). Later in November 1974, the UNGA inter alia decided to give the PLO observer status and affirmed Palestinians’ right to self-determination.

Pagination