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October 9, 1992

Ewan Buchanan to Warwick Morris (UK Embassy Seoul), 'U.S.-ROK Security Consultative Meeting'

A telegram from Ewen Buchanan, an arms control specialist with the FCO, to Warrick Morris, the UK Ambassador to Seoul.

December 5, 1961

Report from Seán Ronan to Con Cremin (Dublin), ‘Irish Resolution on Preventing the Spread of Nuclear Weapons’ (Confidential), New York [Excerpt]

Aiken drafted in additional personnel to the Irish Mission to the UN in the run-in to the XVIth UN Session. Seán Ronan, the head of the political and information divisions at headquarters in Dublin, was sent as a delegate to the First Committee of the UN, involving him intensely in Aiken’s non-dissemination efforts. His insider account reveals some of the dynamics and calculations at play in the building, as Ireland managed a balancing act of engineering consensus between East and West. In large part, the Irish Mission crafted the resolution’s language to skirt the issue of alliance nuclear sharing in a bid to manufacture unanimity. The Irish had pondered co-sponsoring a Swedish draft resolution but anticipated that it would face resistance from NATO comparable to earlier iterations of the Irish resolution. Similarly, Ireland neglected to mention a proposed new disarmament committee in the draft resolution – there was no guarantee that it would form and report expeditiously. Finally, by drawing on the instrument of acclamation, the Irish sidestepped French objections and gained universal approval for Resolution 1665 (1961), wrapping the resolution in universal legitimacy. 

July 25, 1968

Letter, Minister Willy Brandt to Franz J. Strauß, with Attachment 'Comments on a French Note sent by the Federal Minister of Finances to the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs by Letter of July 2, 1968'

Brandt answered Strauß by forwarding a memorandum from the Federal Government Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control, Ambassador Swidbert Schnippenkötter, who clarified that the ambiguity in wording reflected “a quite conscious dissent” between the United States and the Soviet Union. Concerns about this point of legal ambiguity remained central to the lines of argument taken by NPT opponents and many NPT skeptics in Bonn through late 1969 and, to a lesser extent, though 1973 and 1974 when NPT ratification was debated.

March 14, 1961

Memorandum to All Missions by the Department of External Affairs, ‘Arms Control’ (Confidential) (408/264B), Dublin

The arrival of the new U.S. president, John F. Kennedy, in office in 1961 encouraged Aiken to redouble his efforts. He searched for signs of change in the Kennedy administration. He was nevertheless guarded,  appreciating that the arms control ambitions of the United States did not necessarily or completely align with Ireland’s disarmament aspirations. He understood that progress required educating public opinion to recognize that general and complete disarmament could, given the vested interests, take generations. A step-by-step, gradualist approach therefore had to be adopted. He reiterated his philosophy of expanding areas of law, adopting a regionalist approach, and assuming a preventive orientation in a commentary on the Kennedy’s article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in November 1960, which was itself based on Kennedy's campaign speech earlier that year.

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.

April 29, 1993

State Minister Schmidbauer's Meeting with the Chairman of Iran's Foreign Parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee and Secretary of Iran's National Security Council, Mister Hassan Rouhani, on 29 April 1993 in Bonn

Schmidbauer and Rouhani review the state of bilateral relations. They discuss Iran's arms control policy and its interest in the aquisitation of nuclear technology for peaceful uses, as Rouhani argues. Rouhani reiterates Iran's readiness for whatever kind of international nuclear inspections. Iran's interest was still the finalization of the Bushehr nuclear power plant.

March 19, 1993

The Chancellor's [Helmut Kohl's] Telephone Conversation with French President Mitterrand on Thursday, 18 March 1993

Mitterrand gives a report on his recent meeting with Yeltsin emphasizing his support for the idea to have a multilateral Western summit meeting on financial aid for Russia prior to the 1993 Tokyo World Economic Summit as a way to show more support for Yeltsin. Kohl and Mitterrand discuss British and Japanese objections to this idea.

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.

January 16, 1963

Memorandum of Conversation between Aminitore Fanfani, Prime Minister of the Italian Republic, and the President [John F. Kenndy], 'Modernization of Nuclear Missiles in Italy and the Miditerranean'

Prime Minister Amintore Fanfani’s visit to the U.S. was an opportunity for he and President Kennedy to reach “a meeting of the minds” on the Jupiter-Polaris problem. The two had several conversations during the next two days on East-West relations, NATO nuclear issues, and the developing world, among other topics.  During this conversation, with only the U.S. translator present, Kennedy explained to Fanfani that Polaris/Sergeant missiles as a replacement for Jupiter/Corporals, along with Italian participation in an eventual MLF, should be announced as “whole package” rather than to have “the different points of decision simply leak out, without coherence and possibly at the wrong moment.” He believed that the main elements of the agreement would find “general approval” among most political groupings in Italy. When Fanfani brought up the possibility of announcing the U.S. request on Jupiters and Polaris and then taking it to his government, Kennedy emphasized the need for quick action, adding that it would “not be desirable to allow for prolonged discussion” of the package.

At Fanfani’s request, Kennedy explained the arrangements for Polaris missions in the Mediterranean, which operated out of a base in the Iberian Peninsula (Rota, Spain), and the various options for an MLF, either surface or submarine ships. Such an approach, Kennedy believed, was a way to improve the “position of the West.” Accepting Kennedy’s assertions about the dangers of the Jupiter missiles, Fanfani nevertheless saw a “psychological” problem involving the “prestige and strength” of Italy’s armed forces. Kennedy “indicated lively interest” in Fanfani’s question as to whether the Jupiter bases could be used for “cooperative peaceful space efforts.”

At the meeting’s conclusion, Kennedy “stressed that by the following morning they should be able to combine four or five points into a proposal that would strengthen the Italian and American position within the framework of the Alliance, thus making this meeting a gain in its cohesiveness and hence political strength.”

Pagination