British, French ratify CTBT

France and Great Britain became the first nuclear weapon states to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, depositing their instruments of ratification in New York Monday.

President Clinton, in a statement said:

“I applaud this milestone in the global effort to reduce the nuclear threat and build a safer world. In particular, I want to thank Prime Minister Blair and President Chirac and the parliaments of Great Britain and France for their leadership in paving the way towards early entry into force of this historic Treaty.
“The CTBT has now been signed by 149 states, including all five nuclear weapon states. In my State of the Union address, I asked the Senate to give its advice and consent to the CTBT this year. The CTBT is in the best interests of the United States because its provisions will significantly further our nuclear nonproliferation and arms control objectives and strengthen international security.”

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright joined the President in continuing to urge the Senate to act on the Treaty this year. In an address to the American Association of Newspaper Editors last
week, Secretary Albright said:
“Another historic choice for the Senate this year will be whether to approve the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty....
“The Administration strongly supports this agreement, which would ban nuclear test explosions of any size, for any purpose, for all time.
“In the past, trillions of dollars have been spent developing ever more powerful nuclear weapons. The CTBT will reduce the likelihood and the ability of nations to begin a new and ever more dangerous nuclear arms race in the future.
“And without testing, rogue states will find it harder to develop the kinds of weapons that worry us the most -- compact and efficient weapons that could be delivered not only by missile, but by a small plane entering our airspace or a speedboat entering one of our ports.
“Over the years, the United States has conducted hundreds more nuclear tests than any other country. We are at the high end -- the flattened far slope -- of the nuclear weapons learning curve. By cutting power to the main escalator up this curve, we will make ourselves and the entire world more secure.





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“Some Senators may seek to delay the Treaty’s ratification, arguing that because of a handful of holdout nations, it will not enter into force anytime soon. But it is precisely because some nations are resisting the Treaty that our leadership in approving it is so important. We don’t want to give the naysayers another excuse not to act; we want to turn up the heat.
“And the way to do that is for the United States to lead the way in ratifying the CTBT, just as we did last year in approving the Chemical Weapons Convention -- which lead, in turn, to ratification of that agreement by Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan.
“There could be no greater gift to the
future, and no better start to a new century, than a world in which the Comprehensive Test Ban is law around the equator and from pole to pole.”

Ambassador Bill Richardson, outside the United Nations Security Council, said:
“I applaud the efforts of Great Britain and France who deposited their instruments of ratification for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. This is a milestone in a global effort to reduce the nuclear threat. We have asked the Senate to give its advice and consent to the CTBT this year. It will significantly further our nuclear nonproliferation and arms control objectives and strengthen international security.”


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