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United Nations Passes Arms Control Resolutions

The United Nations General Assembly adopted 48 resolutions and one decision November 20 on what the UN termed "a broad range of disarmament measures." The resolutions, all recommended by the assembly's First Committee, which is tasked with disarmament and international security issues, dealt with the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, nuclear disarmament, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and a number of related non-proliferation and arms control objectives.

The assembly adopted a resolution calling for continued compliance with the ABM Treaty, as well as for efforts to strengthen the agreement, "so that it remains a cornerstone in maintaining global strategic stability." Eighty-eight nations voted in favor of the resolution, while five (Albania, Micronesia, Honduras, Israel, and the United States) opposed it, and 66 abstained. The resolution was strongly supported by Russia and is nearly identical to a resolution the General Assembly adopted in December 1999.

Other adopted resolutions included calls for early signature and ratification of the CTBT, a redoubling of non-proliferation efforts, unilateral reductions of non-strategic nuclear weapons, and the engagement of all nuclear-weapon states in a process leading to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. In almost all cases, vote tallies were overwhelmingly in favor of the pro-arms control resolutions, although many nations chose to abstain on what were presumably more controversial votes, such as the ABM Treaty resolution.