Source: Voice of America
DATE=2/27/97
TYPE=CLOSEUP
NUMBER=4-09624
TITLE=CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION
BYLINE=DEBORAH COOPER
TELEPHONE=619-1874
DATELINE=WASHINGTON
EDITOR=NANCY SMART

CONTENT=INSERTS ON S-O-D

INTRO: IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS, THE U.S. SENATE WILL VOTE ON WHETHER THE UNITED STATES SHOULD RATIFY THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION, OR C-W-C. THE INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT BANS CHEMICAL WEAPONS AND CALLS FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF ALL EXISTING STOCKPILES. THE TREATY WILL GO INTO EFFECT APRIL 29TH WHETHER THE U.S. RATIFIES IT OR NOT. THE BATTLE IN THE U.S. SENATE OVER RATIFICATION IS ALREADY UNDERWAY AND COULD PROVE TO BE ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT FOREIGN POLICY CHALLENGES OF THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION'S SECOND TERM. VOA'S DEBORAH COOPER REPORTS THAT SUPPORTERS OF THE TREATY ARGUE THAT THE U.S. IS ALREADY DESTROYING ITS CHEMICAL WEAPONS STOCKPILES, BUT ITS OPPONENTS SAY COMPLIANCE WITH THE C-W-C IS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO VERIFY.

TEXT: THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION WAS NEGOTIATED BY THE REAGAN AND BUSH ADMINISTRATIONS AND ENJOYS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT IN THE SENATE. IN A RECENT OPINION POLL, AMERICANS SAID BY AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY THAT THEY TOO SUPPORT A BAN ON CHEMICAL WEAPONS AND WOULD BE MORE INCLINED TO SUPPORT THOSE U.S. SENATORS WHO VOTE TO RATIFY THE TREATY. BUT ITS OPPONENTS ARE FORMIDABLE, INCLUDING NORTH CAROLINA SENATOR JESSE HELMS WHO IS CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE. HE SAYS THE TREATY IS TERRIBLY FLAWED BECAUSE IT MAKES VERIFICATION DIFFICULT.

SIXTY-FIVE NATIONS HAVE ALREADY RATIFIED THE C-W-C. IF THE SENATE DOESN'T RATIFY THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION BY THE APRIL 29TH DEADLINE, THE U.S. WILL BE EXCLUDED FROM THE BOARD DEVELOPING RULES AND INSPECTION TEAMS FOR VERIFICATION. IN ADDITION, THE UNITED STATES WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN CONDUCTING THE INSPECTIONS OF COUNTRIES THAT MIGHT HAVE SECRET PROGRAMS. AS ARMS CONTROL EXPERT JOHN PARACHINI OF THE HENRY L. STIMSON CENTER POINTS OUT, AMERICAN CHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS COULD BE SUBJECTED TO TRADE RESTRICTIONS.

TAPE: CUT ONE - PARACHINI

"AND THERE ARE A NUMBER OF MAJOR COUNTRIES, AND INDEED, FRANCE, BRITAIN, GERMANY, CANADA ARE AMONG THEM, WHO WILL CARRY THE TREATY FORWARD AND THERE WILL BE COSTS TO OUR BUSINESS, BECAUSE IN THE PROVISIONS OF THE TREATY AND AT OUR URGING THERE ARE REQUIREMENTS THAT OVER TIME ONLY COUNTRIES WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE TREATY CAN ENGAGE IN TRADE IN CHEMICALS WITH ONE ANOTHER. IF YOU'RE A COUNTRY THAT'S OUTSIDE THE TREATY, COUNTRIES THAT ARE MEMBERS OF THE TREATY WILL NOT TRADE CHEMICALS WITH YOU. NOW, THE CHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION HAS ESTIMATED THAT THIS MAY COST THE UNITED STATES 600 MILLION DOLLARS IN LOST EXPORT REVENUE DUE TO THE FACT THAT WE'RE NOT ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE INTERNATIONAL TRADE OF CHEMICALS."

TEXT: BUT THESE CONCERNS DO NOT MOVE J. MICHAEL WALLER, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY COUNCIL, AN ORGANIZATION WHICH ADVISES U.S. DECISION MAKERS ON FOREIGN POLICY MATTERS.

TAPE: CUT TWO - WALLER

"IT WILL HOLD COUNTRIES LIKE THE UNITED STATES AND ITS ALLIES INTO ABIDING BY IT WHILE OTHER SIGNATORIES TO THE TREATY WILL VIOLATE ITS PROVISIONS IN FACT OR IN SPIRIT."

TEXT: MR. WALLER ADDS THERE ARE NO PROVISIONS IN THE TREATY FOR INDEPENDENT VERIFICATION IN CLOSED SOCIETIES.

TAPE: CUT THREE - WALLER

"THERE ARE ALSO SUCH LARGE LOOPHOLES IN IT THAT IT MAKES IT VERY EASY FOR CERTAIN COUNTRIES TO CAMOUFLAGE THEIR PROGRAMS. AND INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES HAVE REPEATEDLY GIVEN THAT ASSESSMENT THAT IT IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO VERIFY COMPLIANCE WITH SOME OF THE MODERN CHEMICAL WEAPONS."

TEXT: OPPONENTS OF THE C-W-C IN THE U.S. SENATE SAY IT WILL LULL THE UNITED STATES INTO A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY. THEY WORRY THAT HAVING SIGNED A TREATY BANNING CHEMICAL WEAPONS, THE UNITED STATES WILL BECOME COMPLACENT ABOUT THE THREAT OF THOSE COUNTRIES WHO DO NOT PLAY BY THE RULES AND CONTINUE TO DEVELOP WEAPONS. ANOTHER MAJOR DEFICIENCY IN THE TREATY, SAYS J. MICHAEL WALLER, IS ENFORCEMENT.

TAPE: CUT FOUR - WALLER

"THERE IS NO REAL WAY FOR A COUNTRY TO IMPOSE SANCTIONS OR USE OTHER BILATERAL MEANS AGAINST ANOTHER COUNTRY THAT'S VIOLATING THE TREATY. FOR EXAMPLE, IF IRAN OR CHINA WERE TO BREAK THE RULES OF THE TREATY, THE UNITED STATES WOULD HAVE A VERY DIFFICULT TIME IMPOSING ITS OWN SANCTIONS ON THOSE COUNTRIES. AND WHAT THE TREATY ACTUALLY DOES IS IT LIFTS MANY OF THE BANS ON TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER TO SOME OF THESE ROGUE STATES BECAUSE THE UNDERSTANDING IS THEY WON'T HAVE A CHEMICAL WEAPONS PROGRAM."

TEXT: ALSO COMPLICATING CLINTON ADMINISTRATION EFFORTS TO WIN RATIFICATION IN THE SENATE IS A NEW PENTAGON REPORT THAT SAYS RUSSIA COULD PRODUCE LARGE AMOUNTS OF A NEW GENERATION OF CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS WITHIN WEEKS BY METHODS THAT WOULD POSE CHALLENGES TO THE NEW TREATY. BUT SUPPORTERS OF THE C-W-C SAY THE TREATY DOES PROVIDE THE VERIFICATION PROCEDURES NEEDED TO KEEP PROGRAMS LIKE THE RUSSIAN PROJECT OPEN FOR INSPECTION. AGAIN, JOHN PARACHINI.

TAPE: CUT FIVE - PARACHINI

"LOOK THE RUSSIANS MAY BE CONDUCTING SOME SECRET PROGRAMS AND INDEED THERE HAVE BEEN SOME RUSSIANS WHO HAVE SAID THAT. BUT ALL THOSE RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS THAT THE CRITICS CITE SAY THAT THE ONLY WAY TO REALLY GET IN AND LOOK AT THESE SECRET RUSSIAN PROGRAMS OR TO MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR THE RUSSIANS TO CONDUCT THEM IS TO HAVE THE VERIFICATION PROVISIONS THAT ARE IN THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION. THE CRITICS REALLY DON'T HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE. NO ARMS CONTROL PROGRAM IS PERFECT. WE NEED TO HAVE CHEMICAL DEFENSES. WE NEED TO HAVE ENHANCED INTELLIGENCE CAPABILITIES. WE NEED TO BE AGGRESSIVE ABOUT COUNTER-TERRORISM. BUT THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION ADDS ANOTHER TOOL. "

TEXT: MR. PARACHINI ADDS THAT THE C-W-C CONTAINS PROVISION THAT WILL HELP LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES FIGHT DOMESTIC TERRORISM. HE POINTS TO THE WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING IN NEW YORK CITY FOUR YEARS AGO WHEN SEVERAL PEOPLE WERE KILLED AND HUNDREDS MORE INJURED. MR. PARACHINI SAYS THE JUDGE WHO SENTENCED THE MEN FOUND GUILTY OF THE ATTACK NOTED THAT THEY MAY HAVE HAD A MUCH WORSE CRIME IN MIND.

TAPE: CUT SIX - PARACHINI

"THEY MAY HAVE REALLY WANTED TO CONDUCT A CHEMICAL EXPOSURE, TO IGNITE SOME GAS THAT WOULD HAVE GONE UP THROUGH THE VENTILATION SYSTEM OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER THAT WOULD HAVE KILLED THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE. THAT WAS SORT OF A WAKEUP CALL THAT WE GOT. AND WE HAVE NOT RESPONDED. AND IF WE DO NOT GET THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION IN PLACE, WHICH GIVES OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT PEOPLE MORE CAPABILITY TO ADDRESS THE TERRORIST PROBLEM, WE MAY AT ONE POINT BE FACED WITH THE DAY AFTER A CHEMICAL ATTACK. AND THAT'S TOO LATE."

TEXT: JOHN PARACHINI, SENIOR ASSOCIATE AT THE HENRY L. STIMSON CENTER. THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION IS EXPECTED TO BE ACTED ON BY THE SENATE IN LATE APRIL. IT MUST RECEIVE THE APPROVAL OF TWO-THIRDS OF THE BODY IN ORDER TO WIN RATIFICATION. (SIGNED)

NEB/DC/NES

27-Feb-97 3:27 PM EST (2027 UTC)