Current as of March 21, 1997
THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION STATEMENTS BY PRESIDENT CLINTON
The Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits all development, production,
acquisition, stockpiling, transfer, and use of chemical weapons. The
Convention will enter into force on April 29, 1997. Following are excerpts
from statements in which the President has spoken out on the need for the
"... we're both committed to securing ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention
before it goes into force next month so that we can finally begin to banish poison
gas from the Earth."
"Now we must rise to a new test of leadership -- ratifying the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Make no mistake about it, it will make our troops safer from chemical attack. It will
help us to fight terrorism. We have no more important obligations, especially in the
wake of what we now know about the Gulf War.
|Joint News Conference with Russian President
March 21, 1997
"This treaty has been bipartisan from the beginning, supported by Republican and
Democratic administrations, and Republican and Democratic members of Congress, and
already approved by 68 nations. But if we do not act by April the 29th, when this
Convention goes into force -- with or without us -- we will lose the chance to have
Americans leading and enforcing this effort. Together we must make the Chemical
Weapons Convention law so that at last we can begin to outlaw poisoned gas from the
"Early CWC ratification by the United States is extraordinarily important.
The security of our soldiers and citizens is at stake, as is the economic
well-being of our chemical industry. I urge the Senate to act promptly to
ensure that the United States remains at the forefront of international
efforts to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction and the U.S.
chemical industry maintains its international competitiveness. I look
forward to working with the Senate leadership to get the job done."
|State of the Union Address
February 4, 1997
"As we continue to investigate Gulf War illnesses, let me again take this
opportunity to urge the Congress to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention which
would make it harder for rogue states to acquire chemical weapons in the future,
and protect the soldiers of the United States and our allies in the future."
|Statement on the Fourth Anniversary of the signing of
January 13, 1997
"The United States has six priority goals to further lift the threat
of...weapons of mass destruction, and to limit their dangerous spread.
First, we must protect our people from chemical attack and make it harder
for rogue states and terrorists to brandish poison gas by bringing the
Chemical Weapons Convention into force as soon as possible...I thank the
nations here that have ratified the CWC. I deeply regret that the United
States Senate has not yet voted on the Convention, but I want to assure you,
and the people throughout the world, that I will not let this treaty die and
we will join the ranks of nations determined to prevent the spread of chemical
|Remarks on receiving the Report on Gulf War Illnesses|
January 7, 1997
"Now we must pursue together our remaining arms control agenda...a chemical
weapons convention so that our troops never face poison gas in the battlefield
and our people never fall victim to it in a terrorist attack."
|Address to the 51st General Assembly of the United Nations|
"Thatís why we have worked patiently and pragmatically to reduce the threat of weapons
of mass destruction, to take on the challenge of terrorism...There is, to be sure, more
hard work ahead of us. We must secure the ratification in the United States Senate of
the Chemical Weapons Convention, to make it more difficult for rogue states and terrorists
to acquire poison gas."
|Remarks to the
Parliament, Canberra, Australia |
November 20, 1996
"...we see new threats that we have lived with painfully -- in the World Trade Center bombing or the
destruction of the Federal Building and all of the loss of life in Oklahoma City...They
saw it in Japan in the Sarin gas attack -- chemical weapons in the Tokyo subway that
took the lives of innocent people."
|Remarks to the People of Detroit |
October 22, 1996
"Our military supports it, leaders of our nationís foreign policy, both
Democrats and Republicans, including President Bush, General Colin Powell and Senator Dick
Lugar support it. We all agree that we should be sending a strong message as a united
country that America will do its part to banish poison gas from the earth. And meanwhile
we must do everything we can to protect our soldiers and to keep such weapons out of the
hands of terrorists. The Chemical Weapons Convention will clearly help us to do that."
|Democratic National Convention Reception |
"...the fight against terrorism must be both a national priority -- and a national security
priority...[P]art of our strategy is to give American law enforcement the most powerful
tools available to fight terrorism -- without undermining our civil liberties...I urge
the Senate to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention so we can eliminate chemical weapons
stockpiles and give our law enforcement new powers to investigate and prosecute people
planning attacks. We've seen the terrible destructive power of Sarin gas in the Tokyo
subway. Within a month of that attack, Japan's Diet ratified the CWC. If the CWC were
in force today, it would be much more difficult for terrorists to acquire chemical weapons.
Terrorists don't wait and we shouldn't either."
|Remarks on the Radio Address to the Nation|
September 14, 1996
"...we still need the disciplined support of our allies and a real system for dealing with the threats of the proliferation of dangerous weapons, chemical weapons...I want to help and I want to leave this country with a system, a regime, a disciplined way...to end CW production...and to move swiftly and aggressively across national lines against terrorism...Those are the threats of the future, and we have to have them there."
|George Washington University|
August 5, 1996
"And when people become more open to new ideas and new information it means that there
are also more opportunities for the organized forces of destruction to take advantage
of the openness. That's why terrorists can put poison gas on a subway in Tokyo...The
more open we are...the more we'll have to be vigilant in dealing with these problems.
It's why we have to be more vigilant in dealing with the problems of the proliferation
of...chemical weapons. All of these things are the new security threats."
|Remarks to the Northern California DNC Gala, San Francisco|
July 23, 1996
"There is more to be done for America...to pass on an even safer and more prosperous
world to our children...First, we must continue to seize the extraordinary opportunity
to reduce the threat of weapons of mass destruction. We have set the most far-reaching
arms control and nonproliferation agenda in history, and I am determined to pursue it
and complete it...We have to ban chemical weapons by ratifying the chemical weapons
|Remarks at a Ceremony for Boys and Girls Nation, The East Room|
July 18, 1996
"...No great nation can hide from terrorism. We saw it at the World Trade Center...We saw it in
Oklahoma City...In the world we're living in...one of our biggest challenges is seeing...the people
who smuggle weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological weapons, coming
together and working together. I am determined that will not happen, and I intend to keep us
involved with every freedom loving country in the world that will stand up to the terrorists and
the thugs that would rob innocent people of their future."
|Remarks at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Commencement
May 22, 1996
"As the Cold War gives way to the global village, too many people remain vulnerable...No one is immune -- not the people of Japan, where terrorists unleashed nerve gas in the subway and poisoned thousands...We must press other countries and our own Congress to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention."
|Remarks at DNC Dinner in Columbus, Ohio|
March 23, 1996
"I know we have more to do in trying to stem the proliferation of biological and chemical weapons, and to defeat the forces of terrorism around the world. No free country is immune from them...but we can do this -- and we must."
|United Nations General Assembly|
Oct. 22, 1995
|Memorial Day Address at Arlington National Cemetery|
May 29, 1995