THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE

February 5, 1997


Dear Senator Lott:

On behalf of the American Jewish Committee, we urge you to support ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention. We believe the convention is of such importance in preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction that its ratification by the Senate should not be linked to any other issues now before the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Chemical weapons have, in recent memory, threatened American and allied troops in the Gulf War, as well as the people of Israel. Their use during the Iran-Iraq War and Saddam Hussein's employment of them against his own Kurdish population should serve as ample warning of the dangers posed by chemical weapons, and of the urgency of establishing the CWC regime.

American national security will be enhanced by ratification of the CWC. It will reduce the chance that U.S. troops will face chemical weapons in the battlefield, which is why our military emphatically wish to see the Convention ratified. The Convention requires all members to destroy their chemical weapons stockpiles and forswear ever developing, producing or acquiring chemical weapons. The Convention also strengthens the ability of law enforcement agencies by giving them new and vital tools to investigate illicit chemical weapons activities against our citizens here in the United States. The CWC reduces the danger of this growing security threat.

Tough new trade controls will prevent anyone from selling to nonmembers--the so-called rogue states--ingredients for chemical weapons, making it more difficult for them to build such weapons. States outside the CWC thus become international pariahs when the Convention enters into force, and adhering to the CWC is one price they must pay to rejoin the community of nations.

Support for the CWC has been offered by a broad spectrum of political leaders from both parties, arms control experts, and those people who would know best the danger weapons pose: our military leaders. As JCS Chairman General John Shalikashvili has testified: "From a military perspective, the Chemical Weapons Convention is clearly in our national interest."

The United Stated has already pledged to destroy its own chemical weapons stockpiles. Failure by the Senate to ratify the CWC would seriously reduce the Convention's effectiveness. Therefore, the United States should set an example that will encourage other nations to do as we are committed to doing. Were we to fail to ratify the treaty, we would undermine America's ability to influence the ongoing international process of crafting the CWC compliance regime.

We hope you will take our views into consideration as the Senate addresses the matter of CWC ratification in the coming weeks.

With best wishes,
Sincerely,


Robert S. Rifkind
President
David A. Harris
Executive Director





AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS

STATEMENT ON U.S. SENATE RATIFICATION OF
CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION TREATY

January 15, 1997



The American Jewish Congress strongly supports U.S. Senate ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention, a treaty to ban chemical weapons. In the interest of civilized people everywhere, these abhorrent weapons should be eliminated entirely. The Treaty will enter into force in April 1997. But its effectiveness will be severely limited if the United States is not a party to it.

In any case, the U.S. has pledged to destroy its own chemical weapons stockpiles. By becoming a party to the treaty, we will be encouraging other countries to do the same. An effective Chemical Weapons Convention will lessen the chance that these weapons of mass destruction will be used in the future.

Phil Baun
Executive Director







ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE

February 10, 1997



Dear Senator Helms:

The Anti-Defamation League has long advocated a tough United States response to the threat of terrorism, including from weapons of mass destruction. We have already witnessed attacks by disaffected cults, militias, and other ideologically driven terrorist groups, as in the bombing of the World Trade Center and a nerve gas attack on a Japanese subway.

Ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention will provide an additional tool to protect American civilians and troops from chemical attacks by enemies or rogue terrorist groups.

The United States must continue to assert its global leadership in the fight against chemical, and all forms of terrorism. We, therefore, urge you to approve ratification of the treaty before April 29 to ensure a U.S. role in the enforcement monitoring process.

Sincerely,

Jess N. Hordes
Washington Representative








B'NAI B'RITH

February 6, 1997


Dear Senator Lott:

We strongly urge you to vote in favor of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

We in B'nai B'rith have no illusions about the kind of dangerous world in which we live or the nature and threat of our adversaries--rogue states as well as terrorist groups.

However, we believe that U.S. ratification of this Convention will significantly strengthen America's hand in effectively countering the threat of chemical weapons in the future--multilaterally if possible, unilaterally if necessary.

Indeed, if the U.S. Senate acts quickly and the U.S. becomes one of the original sponsors, it will strengthen our nation's hand even more, and thus our legal and moral authority to act.

We respectfully urge your support.

Sincerely,

Tommy D. Baer









COMMISSION ON SOCIAL ACTION OF REFORM JUDAISM

February 12, 1997


The Union of American Hebrew Congregations, representing a million and a half members throughout the nation, emphatically supports American ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention and urges the U.S. Senate to conclude its ratification in timely manner. We deem it unthinkable that the United States of America, which has signed the treaty, will now fail to ratify it. The fact that this treaty, as any treaty, cannot provide absolute guarantees that all nations will abide by its terms does not mean that it is not an important step forward for all of humankind. That is why during the Bush administration a majority from both political parties, 75 senators in all, petitioned for a ban on poison gas; that is why President Bush signed the Chemical Weapons treaty and President Clinton enthusiastically supports its ratification. All Americans who value our nation's good name must make their voices heard in support of ratification; all Americans who are committed to effective control of non-conventional weapons must insist that the Senate act before April 29.




NATIONAL JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS ADVISORY COUNCIL

February 17, 1997


The National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council strongly urges the U.S. Senate to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention. The Convention, which bans chemical weapons, will enter into force on April 29, 1997. Although, the U.S. is among 161 countries that have signed, without Senate ratification this country will not be a party to the agreement.

Failure to ratify will result in several unhappy consequences: The U.S. will be deprived of participating in the implementation of the treaty; the nation's chemical industry will lose hundreds of millions of dollars because of the Convention's trade restrictions against non-parties; this nation's declared policy of opposition to chemical weapons will be taken less seriously, thus weakening international efforts to do away with them.

In the interest of civilized people everywhere, these repugnant weapons should be prohibited by international law. In furthering this aim, the Chemical Weapons Convention provides for verification of compliance, and punishment of violators. It underscores the international norm that holds contemptible any nation or person that would traffic in such weaponry. Ridding the world of chemical weapons should be deemed a moral responsibility.

The National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council is the national coordinating and planning body for the 13 national and 120 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.





RELIGIOUS LEADERS SUPPORT THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION

Dear Senator:

We urge the Senate to approve the Chemical Weapons Convention when it comes to a vote in September.

The Convention, negotiated and signed by former President George Bush, is one of the most significant treaties in the history of arms control. It will ban an entire class of weapons of mass destruction, including production, possession, transfer or use of chemical weapons. It will require all parties to destroy their chemical weapon stockpiles and production facilities and to open their chemical industries to international inspection.

The Chemical Weapons Convention is a valuable instrument for combating the spread of weapons of terror and mass destruction. The treaty's destruction and verification provisions can build confidence among potential rivals that they can avoid a chemical arms race. It will also help keep these weapons out of the hands of terrorists.

The United States chemical industry strongly supports the Convention. The Pentagon strongly supports the agreement as well. It is most certainly in both the national and international interest to achieve the global elimination of a class of weapons that have proved more dangerous to innocent civilians than to military forces.

By its terms, the Convention enters into force 180 days after the 65th state has deposited its instruments of ratification with the U.N. Secretary General. Sixty-one countries have ratified the Convention at this point. Timely action by the Senate will send a clear signal of strong U.S. support, allowing the United States to exert its full leadership in persuading other countries to ratify.

We urge the Senate to approve as quickly as possible the Chemical Weapons Convention, to oppose crippling reservations or amendments, and at the same time move ahead with elimination of these heinous weapons from our arsenal.



Yours sincerely,

John B. Anderson
President
World Federal Association

Fr. Robert J. Brooks
Director of Governmental Relations
The Episcopal Church

with 50 additional signatures





THE UNITED SYNAGOGUE OF CONSERVATIVE JUDAISM

February 14, 1997


In 1991 The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism adopted a resolution calling for the elimination of chemical and biological weapons. Today, we reaffirm our support for that position and call upon Congress to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention. By ratifying this important proposal -- rather than allowing it to go into effect without our imput -- the American government will take its rightful place among the moral leaders of the world community.

We know all too well the potential devastation that can be wrought by chemical warfare and the threat that chemical and biological weapons present to human survival. We are proud that the United States has committed to destroy its own stockpiles of such weapons. It is important, however, that we go further and set an example for all nations by voicing -- firmly and unequivocally -- our commitment to the worldwide elimination of these destructive forces and by endorsing appropriate inspection measures to ensure the compliance of all nations.

As we stated in our resolution, the pursuit of peace is central to the fulfillment of the Jewish faith and to the preservation of God's creation. We must all be partners in this effort.




GENERAL BOARD OF CHURCH AND SOCIETY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

March 18, 1997


The President
William J. Clinton
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The United Methodist Church has long called for the worldwide elimination of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons because of our belief in the sanctity of life. This position was reiterated by the 1996 General Conference in the resolution on "The United Methodist Church and Peace."

The General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church at its March 6-9, 1997, board meeting has unanimously adopted a call for the immediate ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Historically, arms reduction treaties have received bipartisan support in the United States. Therefore, the General Board of Church and Society calls upon the United States Senate to promptly ratify, on a bipartisan basis, the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Mr. President, we will call upon our 9 million United States constituency to impress members of the Senate with the urgency of this challenge.

Sincerely,

Dr. Thom White Wolf Fassett
General Secretary