Rocky Mountain News|
September 23, 1997
A test ban plea 'for all time'
BYLINE: Ron Fournier
Clinton, in U.N. speech, announces he has sent nuclear treaty to Senate
President Clinton called on world leaders Monday to ''end all nuclear tests
for all time'' and sent the long-delayed global test-ban treaty to the Senate,
where he hopes to overcome Republican objections.
Announcing his action in an address to the United Nations' 52nd General
Assembly, Clinton called the treaty ''our commitment to end all nuclear tests
for all time, the longest-sought, hardest-fought prize in the history of arms
He signed the accord a year ago but did not submit it to the Senate while
White House lobbyists tried to build support.
In a 19-minute speech to U.N. delegates, the president also called for a
permanent international court to punish human rights violators.
And he pledged that the United States would pay nearly $ 1 billion in past-
due U.N. fees to ''put the question of debts and dues behind us once and for
Returning to the theme of his U.N. address last year, Clinton said the
nations of the world must unite against ''21st century predators.'' He warned,
''We're all vulnerable to the reckless acts of rogue states and to an unholy
axis of terrorists, drug traffickers and international criminals.''
The president met privately with foreign leaders, including Russian Foreign
Minister Yevgeny Primakov, before heading to the Metropolitan Opera's season-
opening performance of Carmen.
His submission of the test-ban treaty is expected to stir opposition from GOP
senators who don't trust arms control agreements or who insist that testing is
needed to maintain a nuclear stockpile.
Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., said his Governmental Affairs subcommittee will
conduct a hearing next week on whether the U.S. can count on its nuclear weapons
to work without testing.
Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., a supporter of the treaty, said the pact ''is a
major part of what needs to be done in order to move into that post-nuclear
The United States has not conducted a nuclear test since 1992.
The treaty would take effect next September. A Senate vote is expected in the
spring. Under the treaty, all 44 nuclear-capable countries must ratify it for it
to take effect.
Congress is expected to authorize about $ 900 million for the United Nations,
provided the organization does not expand beyond current levels and agrees to
put in a separate fund an additional $ 400 million that the United Nations
claims it is owed but the United States has contested. The U.N. wants U.S.
payments with no strings attached.