Vice President calls on Congress to act now, ratify Test Ban Treaty

Vice President Gore toured Chornobyl, Ukraine, July 23, the site of the world’s worst nuclear power disaster. He emphasized how nuclear proliferation threatens not only the people of the nations involved in the spread of nuclear weapons, but of all nations.
The Vice President pointed, in particular, to the recent round of nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan. He urged both nations to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, and for the United States Congress to ratify it.
Excerpts from Vice President Gore’s remarks at the Chornobyl Museum follow.
“The world recently learned that a series of nuclear tests were conducted by India. Pakistan responded with tests of its own. The United States joined most countries of the world including Ukraine -- in condemning the tests. The Indian and Pakistani tests jeopardize international efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. And the back-to-back tests might well provoke another round of military competition between India and Pakistan perhaps eventually triggering another war, this one with nuclear weapons. ...
“If the nuclear test conducted by Pakistan on May 28 had not been a test underground, but an attack overhead on India, every country in the region would have come within the circle of the suffering. We are all connected.
“If the nuclear test conducted by India on May 11, had not been a test underground, but an attack overhead on Pakistan the prevailing winds that sweep over the subcontinent would have pulled that radioactive plume back into India. The forces of nature prove what our wisest teachers have long known about the force of spirit: we reap what we sow.”
The Vice President urged nations not to threaten one another with nuclear war, but instead to safeguard their future.
“We appeal to the wisdom of the Indian and Pakistani peoples and their leaders to do what they rightly urged us to do during our dangerous, nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union: come to the table. Sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Accept meaningful constraints on the deployment of ballistic missiles. Help work toward a treaty to cut off production of fissile material, and adopt


guidelines to limit exports of dangerous technology. Sit down together; negotiate; make peace. In the name of your children.
“Join the peacemakers. The ranks are growing every day. There are fewer nuclear weapons deployed in the world today than there were ten years ago. The United States has reduced its own nuclear arsenal. ... And we will reduce further under START III once the Russian Duma ratifies START II. ...
At the same time, the United States Congress should act now to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty....
“As I reflect on what I have seen today of the tragedy of Chornobyl ... I call us to join hands and forces to turn the best wisdom of the world into new laws and new treaties, heralding a new era of cooperation -- so that we may not fall apart, but come together; so that we may not perish, but flourish.”

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