The Conference on Disarmament began its 1985 meetings on 5 February in Geneva "at a time of hopeful developments" regarding arms control and disarmament, said Conference President for February, Donald Lowitz (United States).
Resumption of bilateral negotiations on nuclear and space arms by the Soviet Union and United States had been noted with satisfaction by all, who also hoped for their success, he said. That optimism extended to prospects for the work facing the Conference.
Milijan Komatina, new Secretary-General of the 40-member Conference, read a message from Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, in which he stressed the futility of the nuclear arms race.
"All of us live under the nuclear threat", he said, "as none of us could escape from the catastrophic consequences of a nuclear war on this delicately balanced planet. If we fail to recognize this terrifying fact, we may threaten to sever our cultural heritage, and deny a future to generations to come. Such mutual suicide is a far cry from the values of human worth and understanding implanted in the United Nations Charter."
He also welcomed the resumption of bilateral talks, stating that the Conference in 1985 would "provide yet another opportunity for renewed and determined efforts towards the goal of disarmament."
"You have here the possibility of breaking the long impasse in disarmament negotiations just as the two major Powers have in their forthcoming negotiations. Here, a contribution can be made to the process of rebuilding mutual trust and confidence and thus respond to the public's persistent longing--and, indeed, its entitlement--for peace and security", he said.
The 1985 Conference agenda covers: nuclear test ban; cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament; prevention of nuclear war, including all related matters; …