France and Great Britain became the first nuclear weapon states
to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, depositing their instruments of ratification
in New York Monday.
President Clinton, in a statement said:
“I applaud this milestone in the global effort to reduce the nuclear threat and
build a safer world. In particular, I want to thank Prime Minister Blair and
President Chirac and the parliaments of Great Britain and France for their leadership
in paving the way towards early entry into force of this historic Treaty.
“The CTBT has now been signed by 149 states, including all five nuclear weapon
states. In my State of the Union address, I asked the Senate to give its advice
and consent to the CTBT this year. The CTBT is in the best interests of the United
States because its provisions will significantly further our nuclear nonproliferation
and arms control objectives and strengthen international security.”
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright joined the President in continuing to urge the
Senate to act on the Treaty this year. In an address to the American Association of
Newspaper Editors last
week, Secretary Albright said:
“Another historic choice for the Senate this year will be whether to approve the
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty....
“The Administration strongly supports this
agreement, which would ban nuclear test explosions of any size, for any purpose, for
“In the past, trillions of dollars have been spent developing ever more
powerful nuclear weapons. The CTBT will reduce the likelihood and the ability of nations
to begin a new and ever more dangerous nuclear arms race in the future.
“And without testing, rogue states will find it harder to develop the kinds of weapons
that worry us the most -- compact and efficient weapons that could be delivered not only
by missile, but by a small plane entering our airspace or a speedboat entering one of our
“Over the years, the United States has conducted hundreds more nuclear tests
than any other country. We are at the high end -- the flattened far slope -- of the
nuclear weapons learning curve. By cutting power to the main escalator up this curve,
we will make ourselves and the entire world more secure.