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United Nations and Disarmament 1970-1975

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The United Nations and Disarmament 1970-1975 compiles the disarmament resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly, the voting patterns in the General Assembly and the First Committee report and dates of their adoption.

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Economic and social consequences of the arms race

Disarmament discussions at the United Nations have reflected a growing concern over the economic and social aspects of the arms race. In an address, “The Politics of Disarmament: Proposals for the 1970s” , delivered on 22 May 1970, the late Secretary-General of the United Nations, U Thant, proposed a study of the economic ancf social consequences of the arms race, “to create a fuller understanding of the needs and the possibilities for reordering our priorities in the decade of the 1970s” .1 In the same address, the Secretary-General pointed out that between 1948 and 1968, at a time when the United Nations had been deeply engaged in disarmament discussions, world military expenditures had increased threefold at constant prices. He also asserted that, in addition to the heavy economic and social burdens it caused on developing as well as on developed countries, the armaments race also posed a threat to the very survival of mankind as a whole. He warned that, unless the arms race was reversed, the future outlook for mankind would be very bleak.

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