wh

Time for Senate action: Over 20 concerns
addressed in agreed CWC conditions

Marking a significant achievement, agreement was reached on over 20 conditions, to be included in a Senate resolution of ratification on the Chemical Weapons Convention. The negotiations that led to this package began in January, following an agreement between President Clinton and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.
 
The White House team, led by National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, and the Majority Leader and his nine-member task force, held 30 hours of discussion in eight separate meetings. That was followed by 28 hours of discussion over 10 separate meetings coordinated by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms and Ranking Minority Member Joe Biden.
 
These conditions are binding between the Senate and the President, but do not constitute amendments to the treaty itself. The agreed upon conditions underscore the extraordinary progress achieved in addressing virtually all of the issues raised in the debate over this treaty.
 
President Clinton said recently, “During the last three months, we have worked very closely with Senate leaders to go the extra mile to resolve the remaining questions in areas of concern. I want to thank those in the Senate who have worked with us for their leadership and for their good faith efforts ... I urge the Senate to act in the highest traditions of bipartisanship and in the deepest of our national interests.”
 
Key areas in which agreement has been reached include:
 
Enhancing robust chemical defenses. The agreed condition requires the Secretary of Defense to ensure that U.S. troops are effectively equipped, organized and trained to conduct missions in both chemical and biological weapons environments.
CWC conditions include:
  • Requiring the Secretary of Defense to maintain robust chemical and biological defenses for U.S. troops;
  • Ensuring that instances of noncompliance will be subject to tough U.S. enforcement action;
  • Requiring the U.S., under Article X, to limit any assistance to countries of concern, such as Cuba and Iran, to medical antidotes and treatment;
  • Obligating the President to obtain assurances from our Australia Group partners that Article XI is fully consistent with maintaining strict export controls on dangerous chemicals;
  • Ensuring that nothing in the CWC requires any action by the U.S. prohibited by the Constitution.
  • Enhancing verification, monitoring and compliance. This condition ensures that instances of noncompliance will be subject to tough U.S. enforcement action, including making effective use of CWC provisions for challenge inspections, high-level diplomacy, UN sanctions and the imposition of U.S. sanctions.
     
    Another condition requires a detailed annual country-by-country report on chemical weapons activities, including an identification of priorities of the executive branch for the development of new resources relating to detection and monitoring capabilities.
     
    Article X. This condition requires the United States not to contribute to the voluntary fund for chemical weapons defense assistance to other States Parties, and limits U.S. assistance to certain states to medical antidotes and treatments.
    Produced by the White House Working Group on the Chemical Weapons Convention.
    For more information on the Chemical Weapons Convention: Phone: 202-647-8677 Fax: 202-647-6928