"Senate Rejection of Test Ban Treaty Is Serious Setback to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Efforts: CTBT Proponents Vow to Continue Campaign" COALITION TO REDUCE NUCLEAR DANGERS -- NEWS RELEASE For Release: October 13, 1999 Contact: Daryl Kimball, 202-546-0795 x136; cell 202-487-4386 (WASHINGTON, DC) Today, the Senate failed to give its approval to ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in a largely party-line vote only 12 days after deciding to consider the matter. "The failure of the Senate to ratify the CTBT is a severe blow to the national security of the United States that will be felt for years to come. The Senate's historic blunder sends a dangerous signal to those states who seek to acquire and further develop nuclear weapons," said Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers, an alliance of 17 leading nuclear non-proliferation and arms control organizations that has been working to secure approval of the treaty. "Treaty advocates will not relent in our fight to prevent the resumption of nuclear testing by the U.S. or other nations and to press for the implementation of this vital measure," added Kimball. "Led by a small cadre of extremists, the Senate has rushed to judgment on the Test Ban Treaty and played petty political games on a matter that affects the survival of the planet. The rejection of the Treaty contradicts the will of the American people, our nation's leading military and scientific officials, and the views of our closest allies. Rejection of the Test Ban Treaty will undermine U.S. and international security by giving a green light to other nations to conduct nuclear tests," said Kimball. "The overthrow of the Pakistani government this week underscores the importance of establishing effective nuclear restraint measures, including the Test Ban Treaty, in South Asia and elsewhere," noted Kimball. "Rejection of the Test Ban Treaty by the Senate could unravel the fabric of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and it leaves the door open to other states like India, Pakistan, Russia and China to resume nuclear testing," said Thomas Graham, Jr., President of the Lawyers Alliance for World Security and former U.S. Ambassador responsible for securing the indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1995. The extension of the NPT was secured on the basis of a commitment to conclude the CTBT. Despite the setback, Treaty proponents note that the CTBT can be brought back again for approval when the Senate is not so poisoned by partisan strife. "The United States does not need to conduct nuclear tests to maintain the arsenal or to make new warhead types. In fact, the Joint Chiefs of Staff foresee no need for the production of new types of nuclear warheads and the nuclear laboratory directors have said the arsenal can be maintained without nuclear explosive tests," noted Tom Collina, Director of Arms Control and International Security Programs for the Union of Concerned Scientists. The CTBT was concluded in September of 1996. Since then 154 nations have signed the pact, which would ban all nuclear weapon test explosions, set up a far-ranging international monitoring system, and allow for short-notice, on-site inspections to ensure compliance. Two more nations India and Pakistan have made conditional pledges to sign, but are very unlikely to do so given the Senate rejection of the CTBT. # # # The Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers is an alliance of 17 nuclear non-proliferation and arms control organizations committed to a practical, step-by-step program of action to reduce nuclear dangers. For more information on the CTBT, see the Coalition's CTBT Web Site