Catalytic Diplomacy

Note to Political Exchange

At FAS in 1992, I had been instrumental in starting a project called Zero Ballistic Missiles. I had tried to restart such an approach in September 1998 with a newsletter summarizing the subject that I took to China and Australia in November 1998 urging each country to offer a suitable UN resolution. Two months later, on January 12, 1999, China’s Ambassador Sha Zukang, to whom I had spoken in China, followed up in Washington in a large Carnegie Conference urging the “international community to take a collective look” at this problem of missile controls.

On December 1, 1999, the UN General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to seek the views of all member states on the issue of missiles in all its aspects. The Iranian reply of July 25, 2000, had suggested that the Secretary-General “study the question of missiles with the assistance of a panel of governmental experts.” Delighted with the Iranian response, I had told the Iranian ambassador in March that I would be speaking at a UN-NGO conference on missiles and had urged that an Iranian representative be on the panel—which was done.

This is, presumably, why in October 2001 the Iranian counselor on disarmament affairs, Hamid Baeidi-Nejad asked if the mission could nominate me to be chief of staff to the panel. In a letter dated November 2, I suggested Jonathan Dean, former U.S. representative to the NATO-Warsaw Pact force-reduction negotiations (MBFR talks).

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