USIS Washington File

06 March 2000

Text: Clinton Statement on NPT, CTBT and Nuclear Weapons Reductions March 6

(March 5 was 30th anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty)

President Clinton, in a written statement March 6, called attention to
the fact that 30 years ago on March 5 when the "Treaty on the
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) entered into force" there
were "43 countries committed to the vision of the NPT.

"Today," he said, "there are 187 parties" to that treaty.

"Over the past 30 years, the NPT has served as an increasingly
important barrier to the spread of nuclear weapons," Clinton said.

Speaking of more recent developments over the past year, the President
said, "We will continue the U.S. moratorium on nuclear testing and
work to establish a universal ban" on such testing "through the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty."

Clinton said that the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva "should take
the next essential step for global nuclear disarmament by negotaiating
a fissile material cutoff treaty now, without conditions."

Following is the White House text:

(begin text)

Office of the Press Secretary

March 6, 2000


Thirty years ago -- March 5, 1970 -- the Treaty on the
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) entered into force. The
countries that negotiated the NPT had clear and important goals. They
wanted a safer, more secure world in which states not possessing
nuclear weapons would foreswear their acquisition, and in which states
with nuclear weapons would work toward eliminating them. They wanted
an effective verification system to confirm these commitments. And
they wanted to ensure that countries could use the atom peacefully to
improve the lives of their people without spurring nuclear weapons

On that day in 1970, 43 countries committed themselves to the vision
of the NPT. Today, there are 187 parties. Over the past 30 years, the
NPT has served as an increasingly important barrier to the spread of
nuclear weapons. The United States remains committed to achieving
universal adherence to the NPT and will continue working to bring all
remaining countries into the Treaty.

The strength and effectiveness of the NPT today are a legacy of
countless individuals who crafted and promoted this irreplaceable
Treaty. I am proud that during my Administration the parties to the
NPT made a major contribution to lasting peace and security by
agreeing in 1995 to make the Treaty permanent.

Adherence to the NPT, together with inspections called for in the
Treaty by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), provide
assurance to countries that their neighbors' nuclear programs are
peaceful. The United States strongly supports the IAEA and calls on
other NPT parties to work with us in strengthening the IAEA's ability
to ensure compliance with the Treaty.

Such compliance allows countries with nuclear technology to share the
many peaceful benefits of the atom, reducing the risk that this
cooperation will not result in weapons activities. Improved human
health, increased food production, and adequate supplies of clean
water are only a few of the many ways in which nuclear techniques
contribute to a better world.

The NPT also calls for Parties to "pursue negotiations in good faith
on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race
at an early date and to nuclear disarmament." Remarkable progress in
nuclear disarmament has occurred since the end of the Cold War. Under
the START process, the United States and Russia have committed to
reduce deployed strategic nuclear warheads by approximately two-thirds
from Cold War levels. We have agreed to a START III framework that
would cut these arsenals by 80 percent from those peaks, and we will
intensify our efforts to work with Russia to bring this agreement into
effect. Already, the United States has eliminated some 59 percent of
our overall nuclear weapons, and many U.S. facilities once dedicated
to the production of nuclear weapons have been shut down, deactivated,
or converted to other uses. Our nuclear weapons are no longer targeted
against any country; our Army, Marine Corps, and surface and air Navy
no longer deploy nuclear weapons; and our bomber force no longer
stands on alert.

NATO has reduced the number of nuclear warheads dedicated to its
sub-strategic forces in Europe by 85 percent, and NATO's dual capable
aircraft, the Alliance's only nuclear forces, are no longer maintained
on alert status, and their readiness levels have been reduced from
minutes to weeks.

The United States and Russia are cooperating to ensure no further
production of weapons-usable material, the safe storage of existing
quantities of such material, and internationally supervised
elimination of surplus stocks of nuclear materials.

We will continue the U.S. moratorium on nuclear testing and work to
establish a universal ban through the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban
Treaty. The Conference on Disarmament should take the next essential
step for global nuclear disarmament by negotiating a fissile material
cutoff treaty now, without conditions.

The United States is committed to the ultimate elimination of all
nuclear weapons. Achieving this goal will be neither easy nor rapid.
Accordingly, the United States rededicates itself to work tirelessly
and expeditiously to create conditions that will make possible even
deeper reductions in nuclear weapons, and ultimately their

(end text)

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