A new round of disarmament talks began in Geneva on Wednesday (24 January) with France taking part for the first time in seventeen years.
A new round of disarmament talks began in Geneva on Wednesday (24 January) with France taking part for the first time in seventeen years. China attended only as an observer, although its status as a nuclear power entitles it to take part.
SYNOPSIS: The conference chairman was Algeria's Foreign Minister, Monsieur Abdelaziz Bouteflika. He and the United Nations General Secretary, Dr Kurt Waldheim, urged China to take a full part. This conference is being held under the United Nations flag. China and France had both boycotted the previous Geneva talks, claiming that co-chairmanship by the United States and the Soviet Union had turned them into a superpower monopoly.
Under new rules the UN agreed to last year, chairmanship will now rotate among the thirty-nine nations represented, which are the nuclear powers -- except China -- and thirty-five others. The conference is seeking bans on all nuclear tests and use of chemical weapons. It wants to strengthen security guarantees to countries without nuclear weapons.
Monsieur Bouteflika addressing the conference. Soviet delegate, Viktor Issraelyan later condemned China's attitude to disarmament as negative, urging China to take a full place here. But the Chinese continued their roles as mere 'spectators' saying they might join later.