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Disarmament, Security And Confidence Building Conferences

Volume 128: debated on Wednesday 2 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will report on recent progress at current disarmament, security and confidence building conferences.

Progress in negotiations on a final document at the CSCE Vienna meeting remains slow. But we remain determined to secure a substantial and balanced outcome on all issues, including confidence and security building measures.Reasonable progress is being made in the conventional stability discussions in Vienna. We hope that early agreement on a mandate can be reached and that substantive negotiations can begin later this year.Negotiations on chemical weapons at the conference on disarmament at Geneva have made progress. But many complex issues remain. The bilateral talks between the United States and Soviet Union at the Geneva nuclear and space talks are continuing. United States and Russian negotiators are also meeting to discuss nuclear testing; steady progress has been made during the first phase of negotiations aimed at ratifying the threshold test ban and peaceful nuclear explosions treaties.