Statement on the Conference on Confidence and Security Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe

September 9, 1985

On September 10th the Conference on Disarmament in Europe will reconvene in Stockholm for its seventh session. The Stockholm Conference can contribute importantly to creating a more stable and secure Europe and to improving the East-West relationship. The coming months will determine whether the Conference will be successful in fulfilling its great potential as an instrument for enhancing peace in Europe. The issues before the Stockholm Conference are important and complex. They directly affect the vital security interests of the participants -- the United States, Canada, plus 33 European nations. If these issues are to be resolved and a meaningful agreement achieved in time for the review meeting next year of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), serious and detailed negotiations on concrete confidence-building measures must begin very soon.

Towards this end, the members of the Atlantic alliance worked together in Stockholm to put forward six specific proposals which meet the mandate of the Conference to enact practical, concrete, militarily significant measures to reduce the risk of military confrontation and surprise attack in Europe. These Western proposals go well beyond the modest confidence-building measures enacted in Helsinki 10 years ago. They are aimed at increasing openness in relations among all the participating states, reducing the suspicion and mistrust which divide East from West, and lowering the risk of conflict arising from miscalculation, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.

In preparing for this new round, the United States delegation has consulted closely with our allies to explore how best to advance the work of the Conference. The alliance remains flexible and open to constructive ideas from others. We are in close contact with the other participating states and look forward to continuing this substantive dialog in the upcoming round. The U.S. delegation to the Stockholm Conference continues to have the full support of my administration in its efforts to achieve an agreement which will promote the security of all.