§ Mr. Strang
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what preparations Her Majesty's Government are making to participate in the United Nations conference on disarmament and development to be held in New York from 24 August to 11 September; and whether documents detailing Her Majesty's Government's proposals to the conference will be made available to the public.
§ Mr. Mellor
The United Kingdom has played an active and constructive role throughout the preparations for this conference in particular during the four meetings of its preparatory committee.
Texts of United Kingdom statements at the conference will be made available to the public and subsequently reproduced in the "Quarterly Review" published by the FCO's arms control and disarmament research unit.
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what considerations have been given to the Soviet Union's proposals on the verification of a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty as tabled at the United Nations disarmament conference in Geneva in June; and when he expects to respond formally to this initiative.
§ Mr. Mellor
The Soviet text gives welcome recognition to the importance of verification, and suggests a willingness on the part of the Soviet Union to take matters forward on a co-operative basis. However, there is still no agreement at the Geneva conference on disarmament on the terms for a mandate for an ad hoc committee on nuclear testing issues. Such a committee would be one method of taking forward discussion of the Soviet proposal, to which no formal response is required.