The United Nations Secretary-General, U Thant, arrived in Geneva today (Wednesday, 18th February) to address the twenty-five nation disarmament conference and to have discussions with his Middle East envoy, Dr.
Arrival and conference.
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Background: The United Nations Secretary-General, U Thant, arrived in Geneva today (Wednesday, 18th February) to address the twenty-five nation disarmament conference and to have discussions with his Middle East envoy, Dr. Gunnar Jarring, of Sweden.
At the conference he made an appeal to all nations to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and to co-operate in pursuing disarmament.
The Secretary-General told the conference that a moratorium between the Soviet Union and the United States on new strategic weapons systems would be the most important first step to halting the nuclear arms race. He said that if such an agreement could be reached in the bilateral Strategic Arms Limitation Talks-known as the SALT talks - it would be a breakthrough in disarmament negotiations, and would have a vast beneficial effect on all aspects of disarmament and world peace.
In appealing for nations to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, U Thant said there were encouraging prospects that the treaty would come into force soon. There were good reasons to believe that the momentum achieved by the disarmament movement in the last 10 years could be increased in the 1970s.
A U.N. spokesman said that the Secretary-General would have talks in Geneva with Dr. Jarring, the Swedish ambassador to the Soviet Union, who is U Thant's peace envoy to the Middle East. The spokesman added that no statement was expected after the talks.
Dr. Jarring has been away from the Middle East since October and when asked whether he would now send him back there, U Thant replied ... "We will see what ideas he has on the reactivation of his mission". He added that he had some ideas to discuss with Dr. Jarring.
The Secretary-General will leave Geneva tomorrow (Thursday, 19th February) for Burma.