OPINION

September 18, 1959

KHRUSHCHEV AT THE UN: United Nations – In the presence of 79 of the 82 member state delegations to the United Nations, including 52 foreign ministers and two prime ministers (of Morocco and Lebanon) and a packed public gallery, the 14th session of the UN General Assembly listened in silence to a dramatic speech by Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev calling for general and complete disarmament by all states. Khrushchev’s plan is the culmination of four years’ preparation and provides for the abolition of armed forces and military organizations in all states, which would retain only police forces to maintain domestic law and order. Atomic weapons, atomic and hydrogen bombs and military missiles would be destroyed and an international monitoring body comprising all states would supervise the implementation of the agreements. In the event that this plan were not accepted, the Soviet Union would be willing to agree to a partial disarmament with a control system in Europe in the form of a demilitarized zone, a nonaggression pact between NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries and a special agreement on sudden attacks. The only new element was his acceptance of control, although he avoided specifics.