Arms Control Association Welcomes
Blix-Led WMD Commission Report
For Immediate Release: June 1, 2006 Press
Contact: Daryl G. Kimball, (202) 463-8270 x107
(Washington, D.C.) Today, former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix
presented UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan with a report recommending
60 steps for reducing global dangers posed by biological, chemical,
and nuclear weapons. The nongovernmental Arms Control Association
(ACA) welcomed the report as a crucial and compelling call to action
for addressing the world’s most deadly weapons.
“Blix and the WMD Commission provide a much-need wake up
call and a practical and balanced menu of options for effectively
getting back to the business of eliminating biological, chemical,
and nuclear weapons,” said ACA Executive Director Daryl G.
Kimball. “We urge the Bush administration not only to act
on commission recommendations aimed at curbing the spread of WMD,
but also to show greater leadership by significantly reducing U.S.
nuclear forces and missions,” he said.
The Swedish government established the independent Weapons of Mass
Destruction (WMD) Commission in December 2003. Chaired by Blix,
who formerly led the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection
Commission, the WMD Commission includes 13 international weapons
and security experts, including former U.S. Secretary of Defense
William Perry and former UN Undersecretary-General Jayantha Dhanapala.
After two years of work, the commission concluded that “there
has been a serious, and dangerous, loss of momentum and direction
in disarmament and nonproliferation efforts.” Blix largely
attributes this trend to the failure of China, France, Russia, the
United Kingdom, and the United States to “seriously”
abide by their commitments to nuclear disarmament enshrined in the
1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
To reverse this downturn, the commission recommends a raft of measures
ranging from nuclear-armed states forswearing the first use of nuclear
weapons to all countries agreeing on limiting the spread of facilities
and technologies that can be used to produce nuclear arms. It further
urges governments to bolster the regimes outlawing chemical and
biological weapons and to ban the future deployment of weapons in
Blix singles out two actions as potentially providing the greatest
boost to reenergizing the worldwide disarmament and nonproliferation
agenda: bringing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty into force and
concluding a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, which would ban the
production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium for bombs. He
warns that if the United States does not exercise its “decisive
leverage” to lead on these two issues then “there could
be more nuclear tests and new nuclear arms races.”
Underlying all of the commission’s recommendations is the
general notion that all countries must work together and that appropriate
approaches be impartial and universal. The commission notes that
it “views all WMD as inherently dangerous, in anybody’s
hands” and “so long as any state has such weapons—especially
nuclear weapons—others will want them.”
On June 7, Blix will join ACA in Washington, D.C. to discuss the
commission’s report. For more information on attending this
event, please visit <http://www.armscontrol.org/events/20060607_Blix.asp>.
The Arms Control Association (ACA) is a nonprofit membership
organization dedicated to promoting effective arms control policies.
ACA publishes the monthly journal Arms Control Today. ACA Senior
Fellow Randy Rydell has served as Senior Counsellor and Report Director
for the WMD Commission.