Efforts to ratify historic treaty begin

Hearings under way this week; Secretary Peña slated to testify

Senate hearings have begun on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which President Clinton submitted to the Senate September 22, stating, "our common goal should be to enter the CTBT into force as soon as possible."
Secretary of Energy Federico Peña and senior Department of Defense officials will testify Wednesday before the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, chaired by Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM).
The Administration witnesses are expected to discuss measures being taken to ensure the safety and reliability of the nuclear stockpile without testing. The Administration considers a science-based Stockpile Stewardship program essential to a CTBT to guarantee a high level of confidence in the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons in the active stockpile, including a broad range of effective and continuing experimental programs.
Ratifying the CTBT would bring a four decade bipartisan quest to a close -- and open a new era of security for the American people. Beginning with President Eisenhower, who hoped that a test ban would be his final and most lasting gift to his country, and echoed in the words and actions of President Kennedy and President Clinton, American presidents of both parties have believed a comprehensive test ban is profoundly in Americas interests.
President Eisenhower called the failure to achieve a ban on nuclear testing, "the greatest disappointment of any administration -- of any decade -- of any time and of any party...."
President Kennedy, in calling for a test ban, said, "Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.... The logical place to begin is a treaty assuring the end of nuclear tests of all kinds...."
President Clinton, at the United Nations this September said, "...I was honored to be


the first of 146 leaders to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, our commitment to end all nuclear tests for all time -- the longest-sought, hardest-fought prize in the history of arms control. It will help to prevent the nuclear powers from developing more advanced and more dangerous weapons. It will limit the possibilities for other states to acquire such devices.... Our common goal should be to enter the CTBT into force as soon as possible, and I ask for all of you to support that goal."

Produced by the White House Working Group on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
For more information on the CTBT: Phone: 202-647-8677 Fax: 202-647-6928