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Arms Control And Disarmament: Verification

Volume 492: debated on Thursday 28 January 1988

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will now ensure that a superpower monopoly of verification information is not, as it is in the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Agreement, built into future arms control and disarmament agreements.

The Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty is a bilateral treaty between the USA and the Soviet Union and questions of verification and compliance are therefore primarily matters for the parties to it. However, under the terms of the Basing Country Agreement, the Government have the right to be represented on the team escorting Soviet inspectors in the United Kingdom and to be briefed after its completion on any inspection carried out in the United Kingdom.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether as one of the depository states of the 1963 Partial Test Ban Agreement they are taking part in the exchanges of experts which are intended to devise satisfactory measures for verifying nuclear test limitation agreements, and if not whether they are satisfied that the interests of the international community in such verification are being fully taken into consideration.

The exchange of experts between the United States and the Soviet Union is aimed at agreeing upon a verification regime which will allow ratification of the 1974 Threshold Test Ban Treaty and the 1976 Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty. These are bilateral treaties, so it would not be appropriate for third country experts to participate. Any agreement on improved verification between the United States and the Soviet Union will of course benefit the interests of the international community.