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News Release

March 17, 1998
World's experts to discuss the future of arms control at International Arms Control Conference

Ambassador Ekeus to speak on Saddam Hussein, inspecting Iraq, and more

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Some 180 internationally known experts representing the United Nations, NATO, and about 40 countries will gather here April 3-5 to discuss how to deal with the spread of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and the technologies required to monitor them.

The focus of the International Arms Control Conference is "New Horizons and New Strategies in Arms Control." The conference will feature keynote addresses by international luminaries in arms control. Panels made up of distinguished government officials and foreign affairs experts from around the world will explore the following five topics:

  • emerging approaches in arms control and nonproliferation policy
  • the future of nuclear weapons
  • achieving multilateral arms control
  • domestic and international terrorism
  • ensuring and enforcing compliance with international arms control agreements
The conference is hosted by the Cooperative Monitoring Center (CMC) at Sandia National Laboratories, a Department of Energy multiprogram science and engineering laboratory based in Albuquerque. The CMC assists political and technical experts from around the world in evaluating and acquiring technology that can help ease tensions among combatants in regional conflicts and keep weapons and weapons materials secure. Technological approaches include satellite monitoring systems, unattended ground sensors, and on-site inspection support systems. (The CMC's Web site is at http://www.cmc.sandia.gov.)

The three-day conference begins with a Friday evening (April 3) reception address by John Holum, Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, who will discuss the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

The Saturday morning opening session features addresses by Sandia Director Paul Robinson; Brig. Gen. John Reppert, Director of the U.S. On-Site Inspection Agency; Ambassador Vigleik Eide, Norway's Ambassador to Syria; and Rolf Ekeus, Sweden's Ambassador to the United States.

Eide will discuss implementation of Title 4 of the Dayton Accord, which called for the mass destruction of conventional weapons among the parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of that conflict's peace process. Ekeus, who headed the United Nations effort to inspect suspected Iraqi weapons sites from 1991 to 1997, will discuss Saddam Hussein and the challenge of implementing international arms control policies in the Middle East.

On Saturday afternoon, Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, will make a special presentation.

As in past years, reporters are asked not to quote panel speakers directly during the plenary sessions, to allow for a free exchange of ideas. Please ask speakers later for interviews and attribution.

"This conference brings together key leaders and policymakers in the arms control community to discuss issues that will be of concern to nations around the world into the coming century," said conference chair James Brown of the CMC. "Previous conferences have succeeded in creating valuable relationships, both formal and informal, among some of the world's top arms control experts." Conference participants represent government, private industry, the armed forces, and academia.

All sessions will be held at the Sheraton Uptown Hotel, 2600 Louisiana Blvd. in Albuquerque. Formal conference proceedings begin with dinner Friday evening at the hotel.

This is the eighth annual International Arms Control Conference.

For information about attending the conference, contact conference coordinator Martha Lucero at (505) 284-5047.

Media contact:
John German, jdgerma@sandia.gov, (505) 844-5199

Conference organizer:
James Brown, jambrow@sandia.gov, (505) 284-5107

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