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October 17, 1958

Press Release containing a Speech by Minister of External Affairs Frank Aiken and Draft Resolutions on Nuclear Disarmament

Aiken’s first step was a modest paragraph calling for the formation of a UN commission to recommend measures to the next session. However, global attentions were focused on nuclear tests and their health effects, so Aiken linked his initiative with the American-led seventeen-power resolution requesting all states to suspend testing voluntarily. Aiken proposed an amendment to that motion that included the notion of brokering an understanding between nuclear weapons powers and non-nuclear powers.  He submitted that the former voluntarily desist from supplying nuclear weapons to other countries, while non-nuclear powers reciprocated and volunteered not to develop such weapons during a test suspension. This proposed quid pro quo became a staple in the Irish resolutions subsequently and eventually be inscribed into the NPT.

Aiken’s speech invoked recognizable tropes such as a ‘geometric’ increase in nuclear powers, creating an urgent need to halt the spread. His speech was seminal in identifying themes he and international opinion would rehearse in future years. He conjured up fears about small states and revolutionary groups with a bomb acting as ‘the detonator for world-wide thermonuclear war’. Aiken was perceptive – he expected criticisms about institutionalized equality between states (nuclear “haves” and “have nots”), harms to alliances, the sufficiency of test bans, and the absence of monitoring. He sought to disprove the validity of such critiques, and these issues were worked through gradually, eventually leading to the finalization of the NPT ten years later.  

May 1990

Program for the International Citizens Congress for a Nuclear Test Ban

A participant program for the International Citizens Congress for a Nuclear Test Ban. In addition to a letter welcoming participants to the congress, a detailed schedule of events, list of speakers, draft appeal to the leaders of nuclear weapons testing states, and map of the area around the participants' hotel in Alma-Ata are included.

November 22, 2019

Leonard Weiss, 'My Involvement with the 1979 Vela Satellite (6911) Event'

Statement made by Leonard Weiss about his memories of the 1979 VELA Incident.

November 8, 2019

The VELA Incident: A Statement Written by Dr. Alan Berman

A statement written by Dr. Alan Berman about the 1979 VELA Incident.

November 21, 2019

Richard L. Garwin, 'More from a Ruina-panel Member'

Accounts and memories of the 1979 VELA Incident and the Ruina Panel put together by Richard L. Garwin.

October 7, 1968

Decisions of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU for 3-11 October 1968, '16. On the Issue of the Draft Resolution of the USA on the Responsibility of the International Agency for Atomic Energy to Conduct Peaceful Nuclear Explosions'

The Politburo confirms the instructions previously sent to their delegation at the IAEA General Conference, in regards to the IAEA's responsibilities towards nuclear testing.Decisions of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU for 3-11 October 1968

April 26, 1966

Directive, CPSU CC Politburo to Cde. Roshchin, Soviet Representative in Geneva

Soviets contact the ambassador in Geneva about possible discussions with the Swedes and the Polish about the "detection club".

April 26, 1966

Extract from Decisions of the Politburo of the CPSU CC of 23 April-4 May 1966, 'Point 21. On Steps in connection with the Proposal to Create a "Detection Club" with the Goals of Solving the Problem of Banning Underground Tests of Nuclear Weapons'

USSR sending regards to the Polish ambassador about Poland joining the international "detection club" for underground nuclear tests.

June 12, 2017

Oral History Interview with Abdul Minty

Advisor to South Africa’s Foreign Minister Alfred Nzo and member of the South African delegation to the 1995 review conference.

March 24, 2017

Oral History Interview with Robert Einhorn

Member of the US Delegation to the 1995 NPT RevCon