President urges Senate to approve
CTBT now; more states ratify

President Clinton highlighted the need for urgent action by the United States Senate on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty in his January 19 State of the Union address. He said,

“It’s been two years since I signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. If we don’t do the right thing, other nations won’t either. I ask the Senate to take this vital step, approve the Treaty now to make it harder for other nations to develop nuclear arms, and to make sure we can end nuclear testing forever.”

The CTBT is a key priority of the Administration for stemming the further spread and development of nuclear weapons capabilities. As the President noted in his January 22 remarks to the National Academy of Sciences, ratifying the CTBT and strengthening other agreements that hinder states’ acquisition of weapons of mass destruction also helps keep these weapons away from terrorists.

The ratification process is gaining momentum around the world. Six signatory states have ratified the CTBT in the last two months -- Argentina, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Monaco, and Sweden -- bringing to 27 the number of states that have ratified. Singapore recently signed the Treaty, bringing to 152 the number of signatories.

Article XIV of the CTBT specifies that 44 states, listed in an annex of the Treaty, must have deposited their instruments of ratification for the Treaty to enter into force. Fourteen of them have now ratified: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Peru, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Of the remaining thirty, all have signed except North Korea, India and Pakistan.

Article XIV also specifies that if the CTBT has not entered into force three years after the opening for signature (i.e. after September 24, 1999), a majority of the states that have ratified the Treaty can hold


a conference to consider ways to accelerate the ratification process. In addresses to the U.N. General Assembly in September 1998, the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan acknowledged the importance of the three-year mark by indicating their willingness to adhere to the Treaty by September 1999. On January 12, 1999, Sha Zukang, the top disarmament official in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also alluded to the value of full participation in such a conference when he told the Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference that “China is accelerating its preparatory work and will submit the Treaty to the People’s Congress for ratification in the first part of this year, with the hope that the ratification procedures can be completed before September.” To participate in an Article XIV conference with full powers of decision-making, the U.S. also needs to ratify the CTBT no later than September 1999.

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