Two nuclear weapon states get
CTBT legislative approval

British, French parliaments approve Test Ban Treaty

The British and French parliaments have approved the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Once the ratification resolutions are signed into law in the coming days, both countries will deposit their instruments of ratification in New York.
France and the United Kingdom are the first nuclear weapon states to complete the legislative process. For the Treaty to enter into force the five nuclear nuclear weapon states -- China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the United States -- must ratify the Treaty, along with 39 other nations who are also members of the Conference on Disarmament and who have nuclear power or nuclear research reactors on their territories. To date, 149 nations have signed the Treaty, and 10 have deposited their instruments of ratification.
If the CTBT has not entered into force by September 1999, three years after it was opened for signature, the Treaty provides for an annual conference of countries that have ratified to consider
how to facilitate early entry into force. This conference of states must consider and decide by consensus what measures consistent with international law may by undertaken to accelerate the ratification process. The conference would be able to exert considerable political influence on a state that had not signed the Treaty or had signed but not yet deposited its instrument of ratification.
The United States should be there. But, to participate, the United States must ratify. It is essential that the United States continue to demonstrate leadership with regard to the crucial treaties and regimes that strengthen our global nonproliferation effort, as it did during the CTBT negotiations.
U.S. ratification will encourage further ratifications, just as U.S. ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention facilitated ratification by Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran. U.S. delays in ratification would compromise our efforts to encourage others, and could delay bringing into force a treaty that ends nuclear testing for all time, erecting a further barrier to the development of nuclear weapons by states hostile to our interests.





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Moreover, U.S. delays in ratification would compromise our leadership of the global nuclear nonproliferation effort. President Clinton, in his State of the Union address, called for the Senate to approve the Treaty this year.



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