President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urged
the Senate to act quickly on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test- Ban Treaty. The President
and the Secretary spoke in the Rose Garden Wednesday prior to the Secretary’s
departure to Geneva, where she met with the foreign ministers of the other four
permanent members of the UN Security Council on the situation in South Asia.
President Clinton said, “The nuclear tests by India and Pakistan stand in stark
contrast to the progress the world has made over the past several years in reducing
stockpiles and containing the spread of nuclear weapons.”
The President detailed steps taken to reduce nuclear arsenals in the United States
and the former Soviet Union, including the removal of nuclear weapons from Belarus,
Kazakhstan and Ukraine. He also noted that Brazil, Argentina and South Africa had
voluntarily renounced their nuclear programs. He continued:
“And to date, 149 nations have signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty which
bans all nuclear explosions, making it more difficult for nuclear powers to produce
more advanced weapons and for non-nuclear states to develop them.
“Two years ago, I was the first to sign this treaty at the United Nations on behalf
of the United States. The present situation in South Asia makes it all the more important
that the Senate debate and vote on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty without delay.
The CTBT will strengthen our ability to detect and to deter testing. If we are calling
on other nations to act responsibly, America must set the example.”
Secretary Albright said, “We will ... be urging India and Pakistan to sign the CTBT
now and without conditions, to stop producing fissile material, and to agree on a
process for regional arms control. The NPT will not be amended to accommodate either
country. We will, however, consider measures to help them maintain peace,