Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita of Japan Wednesday announced an international conference to help establish a global system to verify nuclear weapons tests.
In his speech to the General Assembly's special session on disarmament, Takeshita said Japan, the only nation that has had atomic weapons used against it, would co-sponsor the conference with the United Nations. The meeting in Tokyo would aim to exchange seismological information used to detect nuclear tests, he said."Japan experienced unspeakable horrors as a result of the atomic bombs that were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki," he told delegates. "The Japanese people solemnly pray that nuclear weapons will ultimately be eliminated so that a nuclear holocaust can never be repeated."
Takeshita did not disclose the date of the planned conference in Tokyo.
On Tuesday, Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar said the United Nations can help the world disarm by monitoring and verifying arms control agreements between the superpowers and other countries.
The U.N. leader said that the international body could make a "significant contribution" to disarmament pacts "in ways agreeable to the parties concerned."
Speaking at the opening of the special session, Perez de Cuellar said U.N. military observers and peacekeepers could help monitor and verify arms agreements.
He said world military spending totals about $1 trillion a year, while the annual U.N. budget is only about $721 million - and about $700 million is outstanding in unpaid contributions by member states.
The United States owes more than $200 million - withheld because of U.S. fiscal constraints and disagreements with United Nations policies.
The four-week disarmament session moved into high gear Wednesday. Takeshita was among about 25 heads of state and government slated to address the 159-member body during the session.
Many members, such as Iran and Iraq, Israel and its Arab neighbors, Greece and Turkey, India and Pakistan are feuding or engaged in regional arms races.
Speakers will include Takeshita and President Raul Alfonsin of Argentina today and, in the course of debate, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India, President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq of Pakistan, Afghan leader Najib and others.
The current assembly is the third special session on disarmament in 10 years and diplomats say numerous issues separate the United States and its allies from the Soviet Union, socialist countries and developing nations.
No breakthroughs are expected and many diplomats are seeking to avoid confrontation and unproductive criticism of the United States.