December 14, 2001

Secretary-General Regrets United States Decision to Withdraw from ABM Treaty

Following is the text of a statement issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General has noted with regret the decision of the United States to withdraw unilaterally from the 1972 Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems.  The ABM Treaty has served for many years as a cornerstone for maintaining global peace and security and strategic stability.

He is concerned that the annulation of this treaty may provoke an arms race, especially in the missile area, and further undermine disarmament and non-proliferation regimes.  He calls upon all States to explore new binding and irreversible initiatives to avert such unwelcome effects.