|July 18, 1994|
I understand that the Senate will be voting on the Chemical Weapons Convention soon, and I wanted to ensure that you and your colleagues were aware of my strong support for the earliest possible ratification and entry into force of this landmark agreement.
As you know, my own involvement in efforts to ban chemical weapons began in 1984, when I presented the initial U.S. draft treaty next to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. Convinced of the threat posed by chemical weapons proliferation and of the importance of banning these weapons from the face of the earth, I made completion of the Chemical Weapons Convention one of the top foreign policy priorities of my Administration. It was, therefore, particularly gratifying to be able to send Secretary of State Eagleburger to Paris in January 1993 to sign the Convention on behalf of the United States.
My longstanding commitment to banning chemical weapons has been shared by many others, on both sides of the aisle. Indeed, your own efforts and those of your Senate colleagues were instrumental both in completing the negotiations successfully and in ensuring that the Convention itself was the very best that could be achieved.
The United States worked hard to ensure that the Convention could be effectively verified. At the same time, we sought the means to protect both United States security interests and commercial capabilities. I am convinced that the Convention we signed served both objectives, effectively banning chemical weapons without creating an unnecessary burden on legitimate activities.
This Convention clearly serves the best interests of the United States in a world in which the proliferation and use of chemical weapons is a real and growing threat. United States leadership played a critical role in the successful conclusion of the Chemical Weapons Convention. United States leadership is required once again to bring this historic agreement into force. I urge the Senate to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to abolishing chemical weapons by promptly giving its advice and consent to ratification.