Voice of America 03/26/97

ALBRIGHT / CHEMICAL WEAPONS


BYLINE=NICK SIMEONE
DATELINE=WASHINGTON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:

INTRO: SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT HAS MADE A VERY-PUBLIC APPEAL FOR SENATE RATIFICATION OF A TREATY THAT WOULD BAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS, AROUND THE WORLD. THE DOCUMENT IS SET TO TAKE EFFECT NEXT MONTH, BUT RATIFICATION IS BEING HELD UP IN THE U-S SENATE BY FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN JESSE HELMS, WHO QUESTIONS THE TREATY'S EFFECTIVENESS. AS NICK SIMEONE REPORTS, SECRETARY ALBRIGHT WENT TO THE SENATOR'S HOME STATE TUESDAY TO MAKE THE CASE FOR TREATY RATIFICATION.

TEXT: SECRETARY ALBRIGHT TOOK HER CASE FOR RATIFICATION OF THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS TREATY TO WINGATE, NORTH CAROLINA -- DEEP IN SENATOR HELM'S HOME STATE -- WHERE SHE OUTLINED HER ARGUMENTS BEFORE AN AUDIENCE SUPPORTIVE OF THE MAN WHO HAS BEEN BLOCKING THE DOCUMENT'S FINAL SENATE APPROVAL.

SENATOR HELMS BELIEVES THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS TREATY WILL DO NOTHING TO STOP COUNTRIES SUCH AS IRAQ AND LIBYA -- COUNTRIES HE CALLS "ROGUE NATIONS" -- THAT DID NOT SIGN IT, FROM CONTINUING TO THREATEN THE WORLD WITH POISON GAS. STILL, SECRETARY ALBRIGHT SPENT MUCH OF TUESDAY ARGUING THE MERITS OF A TREATY IS SET TO TAKE AFFECT APRIL 29TH -- WITH OR WITHOUT U-S RATIFICATION.

// ALBRIGHT ACTUALITY //

THERE ARE THOUGHTFUL CRITICS OF THE TREATY WHO SAY IT IS FLAWED, BECAUSE WE CAN NOT ASSUME EARLY RATIFICATION AND FULL COMPLIANCE BY THE OUTLAW STATES. THIS ARGUMENT IS SINCERELY MADE BUT, TO ME, IT IS NOT CONVINCING.

// END ACTUALITY //

THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION BELIEVES IT HAS ENOUGH SUPPORT TO RATIFY THE TREATY AND VIEWS SENATOR HELMS AS THE MAIN STICKING POINT TO BRINGING IT TO A VOTE. SENATOR HELMS STILL HAS A NUMBER OFOBJECTIONS TO THE ACCORD, INCLUDING ITS IMPACT ON AMERICAN BUSINESS. (SIGNED)

NEB / NJS / WD / WD

26-Mar-97 12:58 AM EST (0558 UTC)