Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
Chronology During Clinton Administration
March 3, 1993: Assistant to the President for National Security
Affairs (APNSA) Lake orders completion of an interagency
Presidential Review of U.S. Policy on Nuclear Testing and a
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
April 4, 1993: Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin agree at the
Vancouver summit that negotiations on a multilateral nuclear
test ban should commence at an early date and that the two
governments would consult with each other accordingly.
April 23, 1993: President Clinton releases a White House
statement on advancing U.S. relations with Russia and the other
New Independent States stating his intention to begin
consultations with Russia, our allies and other states on the
specific issues related to a CTBT negotiation within the next
July 3, 1993: President Clinton announces in his Saturday radio
address to the nation the conclusion of the Presidential review
on nuclear testing and a CTBT and states his intention to
extend the U.S. testing moratorium and seek to negotiate a
August 10, 1993: The Geneva Conference on Disarmament (CD)
decides to give its Ad Hoc Committee on a Nuclear Test Ban a
mandate to begin negotiations on a CTBT in January, 1994. The
Chairman of the AHC is authorized to proceed with
intersessional consultations on the specifics of the CTBT
mandate and other issues.
October 5, 1993: China conducts first nuclear test since
President Clinton's appeal for a global moratorium. White
House issues statement regretting China's decision to resume
December 16, 1993: United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passes
resolution 48/70 by consensus supporting the multilateral
negotiation of a CTBT. This is the first time that a consensus
resolution in support of a CTBT has been adopted by the UNGA.
January 25, 1994: The CD reconvenes in Geneva and directs the Ad
Hoc Committee to negotiate intensively on a universal and
multilaterally and effectively verifiable comprehensive nuclear
test ban treaty, which would contribute effectively to the
prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons in all its
aspects, to the process of nuclear disarmament and therefore to
the enhancement of international peace and security.
Negotiations begin in the Ad Hoc Committee.
December 15, 1994: UNGA passes resolution 49/70 by consensus
reaffirming its support for multilateral negotiations on a
January 30, 1995: APNSA Lake announces that the President has
decided to extend the moratorium on U.S. nuclear testing until
a CTBT enters into force (assuming signature before September
30, 1996). Lake also announces that the U.S. will withdraw its
proposal for a special "right to withdraw" from the CTBT ten
years after it enters into force, noting that the President
considers the maintenance of a safe and reliable nuclear
stockpile to be a supreme national interest of the United
May 11, 1995: The NPT Review and Extension Conference agrees to
extend the NPT indefinitely and without condition. The
Conference adopts "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear
Non-Proliferation and Disarmament" calling for the conclusion
of negotiations on a CTBT in 1996.
June 13, 1995: President Chirac announces he will resume nuclear
testing in September, conduct eight tests, to be completed by
May, and be ready to sign a CTBT in the fall of 1996. White
House issues statement regretting France's decision to resume
August 11, 1995: President Clinton announces that the United
States will support a true zero yield CTBT banning any nuclear
weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion.
September 5, 1995: France resumes nuclear testing in the South
Pacific. White House issues a statement regretting this
September 14, 1995: The United Kingdom announces its support for
a zero yield CTBT.
October 20, 1995: The United States, France and the United
Kingdom release a joint statement at the United Nations and in
capitals stating their intent to sign the Protocols to the
South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (SPNFZ) Treaty "during the
first half of 1996."
October 23, 1995: Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin agree at Hyde
Park to work together to succeed in getting a zero yield CTBT
December 12, 1995: United Nations General Assembly passes
resolution 50/65 by consensus calling on the CD to conclude the
CTBT so as to enable its signature by the outset of the 51st
session of the General Assembly.
January 29, 1996: President Chirac announces the end of French
nuclear testing in the South Pacific.
February 29, 1996: Australia submits a 102-page draft CTBT text
to the CD and calls on negotiators to reach an agreement by
March 19, 1996: UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali
appeals to the CD to complete a global treaty banning all
nuclear explosions by June 30.
March 25, 1996: U.S., France and the UK sign three Protocols to
the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty in Suva, Fiji.
April 11, 1996: U.S. signs Protocols I and II to the African
Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty in Cairo, Egypt.
April 20, 1996: Moscow Nuclear Summit issues statement on CTBT
calling for concluding and signing the CTBT by September, 1996.
May 28, 1996: Nuclear Test Ban Ad Hoc Committee Chairman Jaap
Ramaker of the Netherlands tables a draft "Chairman's text"
stating he had concluded that the best way to meet the
internationally agreed deadline was to "present a complete
draft to show the way forward."
June 28, 1996: Chairman Ramaker tables compromise draft text at
the conclusion of the second part of the 1996 CD session.
White House releases statement by the President from Lyon,
France, applauding the compromise draft and calling on members
of the CD to return to Geneva in late July prepared to agree
to forward a CTBT to the United Nations, so that the Treaty can
be approved and opened for signature in the United States in
July 29, 1996: China conducts nuclear test and declares it will
start a moratorium on nuclear testing effective from July 30,
August 9, 1996: After consultations in the Ad Hoc Committee,
Chairman Ramaker announces that he has confirmed that
continuing negotiations on the draft Treaty as a whole would
not likely yield further results. Announces one modification
in the draft Treaty relating to the number of states required
to approve an on-site inspection.
August 16, 1996: Nuclear Test Ban Ad Hoc Committee meets and
agrees to a report to the CD stating that "no consensus" could
be reached either on adopting the text of the CTBT or on
formally passing it to the CD, due to Indian objections.
August 23, 1996: Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer
announces Australia will sponsor a resolution seeking the
endorsement from the United Nations General Assembly of the
CTBT and its opening for signature at the earliest possible
September 10, 1996: UNGA reconvenes and votes to adopt the CTBT
and open it for signature at the earliest possible date by a
vote of 158 in favor, 3 opposed (India, Bhutan, Libya), and 5
abstentions (Cuba, Lebanon, Syria, Mauritius, Tanzania).
September 24, 1996: President Clinton is the first world leader
to sign the CTBT.
November 19, 1996: Meeting of CTBT signatory states adopted by
acclamation the Text on the Establishment of a Preparatory
Commission for the CTBT Organization, developed at the CD.
November 20, 1996: Preparatory Commission convenes its first
meeting to begin the process of developing Rules of Procedure,
Financial Regulations, and other necessary measures for the
future operation of the Organization in implementing the
September 22, 1997: President Clinton transmits the CTBT to the
Senate for advice and consent.