The very first resolution of the United Nations, unanimously adopted by the General Assembly in January 1946--less than six months after the bombs on Japan--pledged "the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction". 1 During the four decades since then, nuclear disarmament has been the recurrent theme in many UN fora, expressing the strongly held feelings of people in many countries. The huge nuclear arsenals accumulated during that period--in pursuit of greater security--have actually increased the probability of a nuclear war. At the same time, the growing knowledge of the awesome consequences of such a war, even if it could be limited in the number of weapons and type of target, made the avoidance of nuclear war the most vital issue.