Recent Items

July 13, 2013

Bob Bissell has provided some amusing memories of George, too long to post on the front page.

Memories of George

June 29, 2013

George’s excellent book, Arms Control by Committee, has long been out of print.  Stanford University Press has now made it available as an e-book, though it’s expensive ($50):

The book provides a detailed account of several of the most important nuclear arms control negotiations (including the Limited Test Ban and the Nonproliferation Treaty, in which George was directly involved), and examines how Presidents tried to come up with proposals that would sell with the countries they were negotiating with, and with the Senate.

May 9, 2013

I came across an interesting document in which George was involved.  The NPT, of course, commits the nuclear powers to “negotiate in good faith” toward nuclear disarmament.  Ever since, there has been debate over what that means.  After the NPT was completed, George became the U.S. ambassador to the 18-Nation Disarmament Committee (now the Conference on Disarmament).  The United States and the Soviet Union were the co-chairs of the committee in those Cold War days.  George and his Soviet counterpart worked out an agenda for the next things to be negotiated in the committee — which represents, arguably, the first U.S.-Soviet agreed statement on what it was they had agreed to negotiate toward.  Under the heading of “further effective measures relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament,” (the NPT language) they listed “the cessation of testing, the non-use of nuclear weapons, the cessation of production of fissile materials for weapons use, the cessation of manufacture of weapons and reduction and subsequent elimination of nuclear stockpiles, nuclear-free zones, etc.”  He had the page paper-clipped in his copy of Documents on Disarmament for 1968.

Recommendations by the Co-Chairmen

May 9, 2013

The Arms Control Association sent out a nice item on George in its “Inside ACA” members newsletter:

George Bunn: 1925-2013
George Bunn, one of the world’s most important and influential advocates for a world without nuclear weapons passed away on Sunday April 21 at the age of 87.

Ambassador Bunn was one of the chief architects of the global nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament system. Beginning in the early days of nuclear arms control in the 1960s, he helped draft the legislation that created the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and became the agency’s first general counsel. Bunn helped to negotiate the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and was a staunch advocate and innovator for strengthening the treaty and state implementation of their disarmament and nonproliferation obligations.

He later became the U.S. ambassador to the Geneva Disarmament Conference, and taught at the U.S. Naval War College, the University of Wisconsin Law School, and was a professor at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Arms Control. He served on the Board of Directors of the Arms Control Association in its early days and was a life-long friend and mentor for many members of the staff and Board of Directors of the organization.

A tribute to George Bunn will appear in the June issue of Arms Control Today. A memorial service will be held this summer in Palo Alto, California.

Bunn is survived by his daughter Jessie, his sons Matthew and Peter, and his grandchildren Claire and Nina. The family is asking that memorial contributions be made to the Arms Control Association. Contributions in his honor can be made online here.