SENATOR BIDEN LETTER AND SUMMARY OF 23 CWC CONDITIONS
(begin text of letter)
April 15, 1997
I enclose for your review a package of 23 conditions relating to the
Chemical Weapons Convention. These conditions are the product of
nearly 60 hours of intense negotiations over the past two-and-one-half
The negotiations that led to this package were conducted in two
phases. First, the White House held 30 hours of discussion in eight
separate meetings with a task force established by the Majority
Leader. The second phase consisted of approximately 28 hours of
discussion over ten separate meetings coordinated by myself and
I am confident that after reviewing this package, you will agree that
we were able to make significant progress in addressing many of the
key areas of concern over the CWC. We have augmented existing
protections for industry. We have agreed to conditions to hold down
U.S. costs under the convention and to establish an inspector general.
We have added requirements to ensure that instances of noncompliance
will be subject to tough U.S. enforcement action. We have mandated
detailed reporting requirements on U.S. monitoring of chemical weapons
activities. We require the Secretary of Defense to maintain robust
chemical and biological defenses for U.S. troops. We have established
strict standards for the sharing of U.S. intelligence information. We
have obligated the President to obtain assurances from our Australia
Group allies that Article XI of the CWC is fully consistent with
maintenance of strict export controls on dangerous chemicals. We have
rejected any attempt by Russia to link its own ratification of the CWC
to the receipt of U.S. assistance for chemical weapons destruction.
The administration is continuing to discuss additional items with the
Majority Leader, which may result in further agreed conditions.
I believe that the time has now come to bring this impressive package
to the floor and allow Senators the opportunity to vote on a
resolution of ratification containing these conditions. The handful of
items in disagreement should be brought to the floor as well so that
the Senate may have the opportunity to decide them on their merits.
Time is running short. In just two weeks the CWC will enter into force
with or without the United States. Having addressed the key concerns
many had over the convention, the time has come to act.
Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
Ranking Minority Member
(begin summary of conditions to CWC)
SUMMARY OF THE 23 AGREED CONDITIONS ON THE CWC
(1) EFFECT ON ARTICLE XX -- Asserts the Senate's right under the
Constitution to add reservations to the convention.
(2) FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS -- Assures congressional oversight of any
funds provided under the CWC.
(3) ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTERNAL OVERSIGHT OFFICE -- Requires that the
CWC organization have an Inspector General.
(4) COST-SHARING ARRANGEMENTS -- Holds down U.S. costs by requiring
(5) INTELLIGENCE SHARING -- Establishes strict standards for sharing
U.S. intelligence information with the CWC organization.
(6) AMENDMENTS TO THE CONVENTION -- Requires the executive branch to
submit all amendments to the CWC to the Senate for its advice and
(7) CONTINUING VITALITY OF THE AUSTRALIA GROUP AND NATIONAL EXPORT
CONTROLS -- Requires the President to obtain assurances from our
Australia Group allies that Article XI is fully consistent with the
maintenance of strict export controls on dangerous chemicals.
(8) NEGATIVE SECURITY ASSURANCES -- Requires a classified report on
the assurances we offer to other countries that forswear the use of
(9) PROTECTION OF ADVANCED BIOTECHNOLOGY -- Protects the legitimate
commercial activitics of U.S. chemical, biotechnology and
(10) MONITORING AND VERIFICATION -- Requires detailed annual
country-by-country reports on chemical weapons activities, compliance
problems and monitoring policy of the Intelligence Community.
(11) ENHANCEMENTS TO ROBUST CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL DEFENSE --
Requires the Secretary of Defense to ensure that U.S. Armed Forces are
effectively equipped, organized, trained and exercised to conduct
military missions in CW and BW environments.
(12) NONCOMPLIANCE -- Requires the President to ensure that that
instances of noncompliance will be subject to tough U.S. enforcement
(13) PRIMACY OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION -- Ensures that nothing
in the Convention requires any action by the U.S. prohibited by the
(14) FINANCING RUSSIAN IMPLEMENTATION -- Requires the United States to
reject any effort by Russia to make Russia's CWC ratification
contingent upon U.S. financial guarantees to cover Russian destruction
(15) ASSISTANCE UNDER ARTICLE X -- Requires the United States to limit
its assistance to certain countries of particular concern to medical
antidotes and treatments.
(16) CONSTITUTIONAL PREROGATIVES -- Sense of the Senate that U.S.
negotiators should not agree to future treaties that bar reservations.
(17) ADDITIONS TO THE ANNEX ON CHEMICALS -- Further protects U.S.
industry by requiring the President to notify and consult with
Congress when a chemical is proposed for addition to the CWC
(18) EFFECT ON TERRORISM -- Senate finding that CW terrorism remains a
(19) CONSTITUTIONAL SEPARATION OF POWERS -- Senate declaration that
the United States should not be denied its vote in the CWC
(20) THE ON-SITE INSPECTIONS AGENCY -- Sense of the Senate that OSIA
should be authorized to provide assistance to U.S. facilities subject
to routine inspections under the CWC.
(21) FURTHER ARMS REDUCTIONS OBLIGATIONS -- Sets forth the Senate
position reaffirming its role regarding agreements that limit or
reduce U.S. forces or armaments.
(22) TREATY INTERPRETATION -- Reaffirms Senate role in treaty making.
(23) CHEMICAL WEAPONS DESTRUCTION -- Confirms that the President will
explore possible alternative technologies for the destruction of the
U.S. chemical weapons stockpile.