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the U.S. position on apartheid. He recalled that South African Prime Minister Vorster had called a sentence of his October 23 speech referring to the detention of opponents of apartheid (see above, p. 33 ) "a downright lie" and had called for the name of just one individual in South Africa who was arrested and detained only because of his outspoken opposition to apartheid. Mr. Mitchell responded by presenting a detailed examination of the South African laws and methods used to enforce the repressive apartheid system. He then described several cases of individuals who were arbitrarily detained and suppressed because of their opposition to apartheid. He concluded by challenging the South African Government to allow the Human Rights Commission or any commission of internationally known and respected jurists to conduct a full examination of the apartheid system and of the deprivation of human rights of the majority of the people of South Africa.
DISARMAMENT AND ARMS CONTROL
CONFERENCE OF THE COMMITTEE ON DISARMAMENT
The CCD, which meets annually at Geneva, Switzerland, is the principal international forum for the negotiation of arms control and disarmament agreements. Although the CCD is not an organ of the United Nations, it reports each year to the UN General Assembly and conducts much of its work in response to General Assembly resolutions. The U.S. and Soviet Representatives serve as cochairmen of the CCD.
In 1975 the Conference met from March 4 to April 10 and from June 24 to August 28. The U.S. delegation was led by Ambassador Joseph Martin, Jr. The session proved to be among the most active in the 13-year history of the CCD. The agenda included several new issues that had been referred to it by the 29th UN General Assembly--the question of nuclear-weapon-free zones, arms control implications of nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes, and environmental warfare--in addition to topics that have been on the agenda for several years, including restrains on chemical weapons and a comprehensive nuclear test ban.
On August 21, 1975, the U.S. and Soviet Representatives submitted, as a basis for negotiation, identical texts of a draft Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques. They noted that the draft was submitted in accordance with a U.S.-U.S.S.R. summit commitment of July 3, 1974, to seek "the most effective measures possible to overcome the dangers of the use of environmental modification techniques for military purposes."
7/The 31 members of the CCD are Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, German Democratic Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Romania, Sweden, U.S.S.R., United Kingdom, United States, Yugoslavia, and Zaire. France has never participated in the work of the Conference.
The draft convention would prohibit "military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects as the means of destruction, damage or injury to another State Party." The prohibition of environmental modification techniques would accordingly depend on the extent, duration, or severity of their effects. For example, modification of weather patterns so as to cause floods or droughts would be prohibited. The convention would ban completely certain techniques that are invariably deemed to have widespread, long-lasting, or severe effects, such as the generation of earthquakes or tsunamis (quake-produced tidal waves), or climate modification. The convention would not, however, affect use of environmental modification techniques for peaceful purposes, such as altering weather and climate patterns to reduce the destructive effects of hurricanes, floods, or droughts. Nor would it restrict research and development, in view of the difficulty of distinguishing research and development intended for hostile uses from that for peaceful purposes.
In tabling the draft convention, Ambassador Martin pointed out that experts at the CCD had underlined the need to develop effective measures to control the hostile use of environmental modification techniques having major adverse effects before such techniques could be developed. He said that the draft convention covered two types of activity:
'. . . First, it covers the hostile use of environmental modification techniques in armed conflict or to initiate such conflict. Second, it covers the use of such techniques for the specific purpose of causing destruction, damage, or injury, even when no other weapons are used or there is no other military operation taking place. We believe this draft provides a basis for distinguishing between the use of environmental modification techniques as weapons, which is covered by the prohibition, and the environmental impact of other weapons, which is not covered."
Nuclear Explosions for Peaceful Purposes
Acting on a request from the General Assembly at its 29th session, the CCD convened informal meetings of experts in July 1975 to study the arms control implications of nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes (PNE'S). A basic question considered by the experts was whether it would be possible for a state to develop
a nuclear explosive capability that did not have military application. The United States on July 10 submitted a working paper which pointed out that:
"The most fundamental characteristic common to such /nuclear explosive devices is that they release extremely large amounts of energy from a relatively small and light package in a time period measured in millionths of a second. Because of this inherent feature, nuclear explosive devices, whether in their crudest or most highly sophisticated forms, take on military significance.
"Because of these basic characteristics, it has not been possible--and we see no basis for believing it could be possible--to develop a 'strictly peaceful' nuclear explosive device, one not capable of military application."
Another basic question considered by the experts concerned the treatment of PNE's under a comprehensive test ban. The U.S. working paper noted that:
If PNE'S were to be accommodated under such an agreement, a verification system would have to be devised that would provide adequate assurance not only that clandestine weapons tests were not going undetected and unidentified, but also that weapon-related benefits were not being acquired from nuclear explosions carried out openly and ostensibly for peaceful purposes. To achieve the latter objective, a control system, at a minimum, would have to prevent the testing of a new weapon concept, the substitution of a stockpiled weapon for the 'PNE' explosive to verify its performance, and the carrying out of nuclear weapons effects studies."
During 1975 several delegations at the CCD referred to current negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union to achieve an agreement that would ensure that any peaceful nuclear explosions carried out by either party were consistent with the bilateral treaty on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests (Threshold Test Ban), concluded by the two states in 1974. In this regard, Ambassador Martin assured the CCD on March 4 that the U.S. Government was fully ·
aware of the importance attached internationally to a comprehensive test ban as a means of curbing the nuclear arms race. The United
States remains firmly committed to seeking an adequately verified comprehensive test ban. The Threshold Test Ban Treaty
is not only a step toward that objective but will be in itself a significant constraint on the nuclear arms competition between the United States and the U.S.S.R."
Chemical and Biological Weapons
Early in the 1975 session the delegations of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.S.R. announced that they had ratified the 1972 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction. The three delegations also announced that, in compliance with Article II of the convention, they did not possess any biological agents or toxins. The U.S. delegation further announced that the United States had ratified the 1925 Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous, or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare 3
The U.S. and Soviet delegations reported to the CCD on steps they had taken with regard to the joint commitment made at the summit meeting in July 1974 to consider a joint initiative at the CCD on chemical weapons. On August 28, 1975, Ambassador Martin noted that there was increasing acceptance of the idea that a phased approach to chemical weapons limitations might be most realistic--an approach that had been advocated by Japan and supported with some modification by Canada. Ambassador Martin noted further that proposals had been made to deal initially with only the most lethal, i.e., supertoxic, agents, while other proposals envisioned coverage of all lethal agents. The United States, he said, believed that an initial prohibition should deal with all lethal agents:
Restricting coverage to supertoxic agents would not equally constrain all countries having CW stocks if, in addition to supertoxic agents, some of these countries possessed lethal
8 President Ford signed the instruments of ratification on Jan. 22. The convention entered into force Mar. 26, the date that the U.S., U.K., and U.S.S.R. instruments of ratification were deposited; the U.S. instrument of ratification of the Geneva Protocol was deposited Apr. 10.