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Arms and the environment (Decision 11/6)

65. At the 8th meeting of the session, on 23 May, the Council considered a draft decision on this subject submitted by the African and Asian Groups with the exception of Japan (UNEP/GC.Il/L.13). The draft decision was adopted by consensus.

66. The representative of the Federal Republic of Germany, speaking on behalf of the countries of the European Communities which were members of the Council, said that questions relating to peace and security should be dealt with in more appropriate forums, and that UNEP should devote its

scarce resources to environmental issues. For reasons explained at the time, the delegations of the European Community countries had abstained in the vote on General Assembly resolutions 35/8 and 36/7. If the draft decision had been put to the vote, those delegations would have abstained.

67. The representative of the United States of America reiterated his concern at the introduction of the question of arms and the environment in the Governing Council. The question was an important one, but was not within the competence of UNEP and was better dealt with in other bodies, thus avoiding the divers ion of energies from important technical work.

68. The representatives of Canada, Iceland, Switzerland and Japan associated themselves with the remarks made by the representatives of the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America.

69. The representative of Czechoslovakia, supported by the representative of the Byelorussian SSR, disagreed that the issue should be neglected in UNEP and left to other agencies. It was an important issue, and it was appropriate that the Council should consider it.

70. The representative of China said that his Government had consistently supported real disarmament and opposed sham disarmament.

The Governing Council should reinforce its appeal in paragraph I of the decision by emphasizing that the super-Powers should be first to stop the arms race and disarm.