The U.S, delegate to the United Nations disarmament committee meeting in Geneva, Eugene V.Rostow, has affirmed his country's support for a convention banning chemical weapons--less than 24 hours after U.S. President Ronald Reagan called for an expansion on the American stockpile of chemical weapons.
SV United Kingdom, U.S. and Soviet delegates stand at table; U.S, and Soviet delegates shake hands
CU U.S. delegate, Eugene V. Rostow
SV Soviet delegate takes his seat as Mr. Rostow stands beside him
SV Iranian chairman opens debate by saying "I now give the floor to the representative of the United States of America"
CU Mr.Rostow speaks in English (2 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: ROSTOW (SEQ 5): "President Reagan has reaffirmed United States support for efforts to achieve a complete and verifiable ban on chemical weapons and had directed United States representatives to participate actively in this important quest. The United States believes that the committee on disarmament is the appropriate forum for work toward a chemical weapons convention. Therefore, it is the United States' intention to concentrate its efforts toward elaboration of a convention banning chemical weapons in this committee. It is no secret that views diverge widely on the subject of verifying compliance with arms control agreements. The United States believes that the chemical weapons working group should devote particular attention to verification and compliance issues, from both a political and a technical standpoint. I urge the members of the working group to apply their expertise and imagination to finding ways to overcome the many complex problems which face us in this area."
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Background: The U.S, delegate to the United Nations disarmament committee meeting in Geneva, Eugene V.Rostow, has affirmed his country's support for a convention banning chemical weapons--less than 24 hours after U.S. President Ronald Reagan called for an expansion on the American stockpile of chemical weapons. Mr. Rostow took his place at the conference table next to the Soviet and United Kingdom delegates, in the session chaired by an Iranian representative. The 1925 Geneva Convention prohibits the use of chemical weapons, and a special group within the U.N. disarmament committee has, in recent years, narrowed the areas of contention on the issue, between the superpowers. Mr. Rostow, the director of the American Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, also told the committee that a comprehensive test-ban treaty would not help to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons or maintain the stability of the nuclear balance. His remarks were taken by many delegates as confirmation that the U.S. will not continue to tripartite talks with Britain and the Soviet Union, on a comprehensive treaty.