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Chairman's Statement

Douglas Hurd, British foreign secretary (as prepared)
London, 16 July 1991

1. We have had a successful first day of the Summit under John Major's chairmanship. We have issued two declarations.

2. The political declaration emphasises the theme of our common commitment to strengthening the international order and to reinforcing the multilateral approach. We have launched some ideas on making the UN more efficient and effective, for example in the field of emergency disaster relief. We deal with the Middle East in particular, following the Gulf War. (In this context we welcomed the recent reply by President Assad of Syria to President Bush, which we hope will open the way for progress toward a conference leading to direct negotiations. We wish every success to Jim Baker as he returns to the region). We also address the democratic recovery of Central and Eastern Europe as well as the current constitutional upheaval in Yugoslavia. We flag the prospect of a transformed Soviet Union wholeheartedly rejoining the international community, about which we shall hear President Gorbachev's views tomorrow. We underline the political need to restore economic growth to postapartheid South Africa if reform there is to endure and succeed. We highlight the need for progress on hostages, and for perseverance in the fight against terrorism.

3. The second declaration addresses conventional arms transfers and proliferation of chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons. It brings together the various aspects of these important subjects, and charts a way forward, without claiming an exclusive role for any group or institution. The urgency of addressing our responsibilities has been brought home for us all by the Gulf War. For conventional arms we propose that the international community apply the three principles of transparency, consultation and action. The G7 strongly support our proposal for a UN arms register.

4. We have also discussed other foreign policy issues.

5. We hope that the new spirit of international cooperation will be as fully reflected in Asia as in Europe. The full normalisation of Japan/Soviet relations, including resolution of the Northern Territories issue, would greatly contribute to this. We recognise that existing multilateral frameworks in the region such as ASEANPMC and APEC play an important part in ensuring stability through dialogue and cooperation.

6. We welcome China's cooperation with the international coalition in opposing Iraqi aggression and over other regional issues. We hope to see further economic and political reform in that country, though we still have serious concerns about human rights there. Contacts with the Chinese have been rebuilt over the past year, and this process should continue. Unconditional extension of Most Favoured Nation status to China by the US would contribute to there goals.

7. We look forward to North and South Korea's admission to the United Nations and the resumption shortly of highlevel dialogue between the two countries. North Korea's continuing failure to sign and implement a nuclear safeguards agreement remains an issue of major concern.

8. We would welcome a comprehensive settlement in Cambodia allowing peace, independence, democracy and full respect for human rights. We hope for a similar outcome in Afghanistan. We should also like to see a return to full democracy in Burma. We welcome Mongolia's continuing progress towards political and economic reform, which deserves further support.

9. I have mentioned South Africa in the context of our political declaration. Elsewhere in Africa we are naturally immensely concerned with the threat of famine in several countries and you will find the economic communiqué tomorrow will reflect this. We will support the movement towards democracy, the rule of law and full respect for human rights. The peace agreement in Angola is welcome. We will encourage the efforts towards reconciliation in Ethiopia, as well as in Mozambique and Somalia.

10. The consolidation of democracy in Central and South America is welcome as is the further progress towards sound economic policies. We hope the negotiations towards peaceful settlements in El Salvador and Guatemala will succeed. We also hope that Cuba will no longer remain conspicuously outside the political and economic mainstream.

11. On Cyprus we support the SecretaryGeneral's continuing efforts to draw up an outline agreement. If the participants can seize the present opportunity and set out realistic proposals, there could be real hope of progress towards a lasting bicommunal, bizonal settlement as envisaged in UNSCR [UN Security Council resolution] 649.

12. From all this, you will see we have covered wide horizons, and there is a large measure of agreement between us. And, as our political declaration says, we share with the wider international community the sense both of challenge and of hope that some at least of these problems will respond to renewed efforts from us all in the months ahead.

Source: Released by the London Economic Summit, 16 July 1991.

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