Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke at an event sponsored by
the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington today, marking the 35th anniversary of
President Kennedy’s call for an end to nuclear testing. President Kennedy’s speech
led to a partial ban on nuclear testing, which was quickly negotiated and ratified.
Secretary Albright today called that effort, “a downpayment on the comprehensive
treaty whose approval we now seek.”
Excerpts from Secretary Albright’s speech include:
“Efforts to halt the spread of nuclear weapons do not come with a guarantee.
But to abandon them because they have been dealt a setback would be a felony
against the future. And there are steps we can take to regain the momentum we have lost.
“Step one is to gain Senate approval of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. For despite
the South Asia tests, the CTBT remains essential to our strategy to reduce the nuclear
“This Treaty has been a goal of U.S. Presidents since Dwight Eisenhower
and John Kennedy. If approved and enforced, it will arrest both the development and
the spread of new and more dangerous weapons. It has been widely endorsed by our military
and scientific leaders. And it has consistently commanded the support of no less than
70 percent of the American people.
“Now more than ever, the CTBT is relevant to American security and world peace.
“Now more than ever, we need to get the Treaty’s monitoring and detection system up
“Now more than ever, we need to declare that testing is not smart, not
safe, not right and not legal.
“Now more than ever, we need to demonstrate that the world has entered a new era, in
which the greatness of nations is measured not by how much they can destroy, but by how
much they can build.