The United Nations conference on disarmament opened in Geneva on Thursday (12 June) with a call for early agreement on banning the production and stocking of chemical weapons.
GV TILT DOWN: To conference with delegates arriving
SV: West German delegates, Indian delegates (2 shots)
SV: Chairman talking to official
SV TILT DOWN: Algerian delegates: Cuban delegate
SV: Chinese delegate seated: Soviet delegate
SV: Polish delegate, US delegate, United Kingdom delegate (3 shots)
GV ZOOM SV: Chairman opens meeting in English
TRANSCRIPT: RUZEK: " I declare open the 83rd of the committee of disarmament, the first and the second part of the 1980 session. First of all, I should like to extend a most cordial welcome to all members of the committee and at the same time, pledge my delegation's co-operation with the membership to promote progress in our work in the remainder of the session.
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Background: The United Nations conference on disarmament opened in Geneva on Thursday (12 June) with a call for early agreement on banning the production and stocking of chemical weapons. The West German delegate said that with continued rumours about the use of chemical weapons in Afghanistan and Indochina, it was imperative that agreement to outlaw production of toxic agents should be reached at an early stage.
SYNOPSIS: Forty nations took part in the opening session of the disarmament meeting - the second session of the committee to be held this year. During the first session, Communist and Western delegates made accusations and counter-accusations about the use of toxic weapons in Afghanistan and in South-East Asia. The use of chemical weapons is already outlawed under the 1925 Geneva convention on warfare. The present committee ifs attempting to extend the ban to their development, manufacture and stockpiling.
Talks between the United States and the Soviet Union about the control of such weapons are already going on at a preliminary level. But it was reported at the Geneva meeting by the Soviet delegate that no further progress had been made since last July, when the two sides had produced an outline of agreement.
During the session, mention was also made of the computer malfunction which placed United State forces on nuclear alert this month. The Soviet delegate said this had placed the world on the brink of war.
Opening the session, Chairman Miloslav Ruzek of Czechoslovakia said: