August 4, 1994

STATEMENT BY THE HONORABLE JOHN D. HOLUM
DIRECTOR, U.S. ARMS CONTROL AND DISARMAMENT AGENCY
TO THE CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

I am pleased to have this opportunity to address the Conference on Disarmament againduring its session this year. First, Mr. President, may I congratulate you on the skillful way in which you have conducted the business of the CD during your presidency; I know that the U.S. Delegation has provided you with its fullest cooperation. I would also like to extend once again my greefings to Mr. Petrovsky, the CD Secretary General, and to his Deputy, Mr. Bensmail. We appreciate the efforts you are making on behalf of all of us in facilitating our negotiations.

The Conference on Disarmament has accomplished a great deal in recent years -- and much since the opening of the January session.

In one sense our progress in the CD is more than any of us had a right to expect -- a testament to the abilities of this body.

But in another sense our recent efforts are not enough. The United States is more committed than ever to concluding a comprehensive test ban treaty at the earliest possible time. None of us can rest -- none can be satisfied by our noteworthy progress to date -- until the world's nations have agreed once and for all to stop testing nuclear weapons.

So I am here neither to criticize the CD nor praise it unconditionally -- but rather to exhort it.

Last January I was privileged to report to you President Clinton's commitment to achievement of a comprehensive test ban "at the earliest possible time." Six months later, he has asked me to return here to tell you that those instructions remain fully in effect -- and that "earliest possible time" means just what it says. It most assuredly is not diplomatic code for "a relaxed pace." It does not mean take all the time allowed by U.S. law. It means take only the time necessary, negotiating diligently and in good faith, to write a sound treaty.

President Clinton's commitment to the test ban is authenticated by another decision -- our continued moratorium on nuclear testing. Despite China's tests, President Clinton has extended our moratorium for a third year, through September of 1995.

I ask you to consider carefully what this means. The President's decision to extend the testing moratorium balanced the potential value of additional tests against (1) restraint by others, (2) the impact on our nonproliferafion goals, and (3) progress in the test ban negotiations here.

In practical effect, this means that where the United States is concerned, the central and profound policy decision that many seek has already been made. If things here and elsewhere go as we hope, the testing moratorium the United States adopted in 1992 will last forever.

This practical reality is underscored by the President's definitive declaration to the UNGA last September, when he said, "In the face of disturbing signs, I renew my call on the nuclear states to abide by that moratorium as we negotiate to stop nuclear testing for all time."

Simply put, we are prepared for the conclusion that the United States has already conducted its last nuclear test -- that we will never test again.

As we contemplate that reality, these negotiations -- and other developments, including preparations for the NPT Conference next year -- should be given even greater energy and purpose.

The United States seeks a CTBT that will bring an end to all nuclear explosions -- period. No thresholds. No exceptions. And by that I mean not just all explosions, but all states. Success demands in particular the full support and participation of all five nuclear weapon states. And we seek universal adherence.

Of course the United States and the other nuclear weapon states bear a special responsibility in this negotiation, and of course we also have special experience and knowledge that can aid it considerably. So we will continue to work closely with the other nuclear weapon states to propel this effort toward fruition.

I wish to commend Ambassador Marin Bosch, Chairman of the NTB Ad Hoc Committee, as he accelerates the Committee's work. The United States supports his efforts to develop a complete text from contributions developed in the Working Groups on Verification and on Institutional Issues under the leadership, respectively, of Ambassadors Hoffman and Dembinski. Nevertheless, much time has passed and much work remains to be done. We need a document that will both focus and energize our work. And we look to the Committee Chairman for his leadership to bring this about.

Now when I last spoke to you I said the United States would be out front pulling in these negotiations, rather than in the back dragging our heels. We plan to persist -- and indeed, to intensify -- our efforts to fulfill our President's instructions.

So I urge the Conference to make use of all time possibly available to it, even outside the normal term of the CD, to move these negotiations forward. The U.S. delegation is prepared to work continuously in the NTB committee in the period after the September 7 end of session and the opening of the 1995 session so as to make all possible progress this year and prior to the start of the NPT Extension Conference in April 1995.

A kind of linkage has grown in the minds of some between the NPT Extension Conference and progress in other areas. All parts of the intemational arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament architecture are, of course, interrelated. But it is a disservice to major regimes or initiatives to posit any kind of rigid "quid-pro-quo" relationship between them.

The NPT should be extended because of its own intense merits to world peace. A Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is an opportunity whose time has arrived. We should seize it not because it goes well with NPT extension, but because it deserves to be done.

Another major initiative being undertaken here deserves the CD's independent attention: the fissile material cutoff. Such a global convention would prohibit the production of fissile materials for nuclear explosives or outside international safeguards. It could bring the unsafeguarded nuclear programs of non-NPT states under some measure of restraint for the first time. And it would like wise halt the production of plutonium and highly-enriched uranium for weapons in the five declared nuclear-weapon states.

President Clinton committed the United States to negotiation of such a cutoff when he appeared before the UNGA last September. The General Assembly subsequently passed, by consensus, a resolution recommending negotiation of such a ban "in the most appropriate intemational forum."

In January of this year, the CD responded by appointing Canadian Ambassador Gerald Shannon as Special Coordinator to consult with CD states on the ways and means to negotiate a cutoff convention. He has ably pursued this task and established that a consensus exists in the CD to negotiate the treaty in this forum.

I urge the CD to adopt a simple negotiating mandate based on the consensus agreement recorded in the General Assembly's resolution. Such a mandate would establish an Ad Hoc Committee and direct it to negotiate a non-discriminatory, multilateral, and verifiable fissile cutoff treaty. The CD needs to move forward decisively in this matter -- not only to reduce the threat posed by the continued production of fissile material, but to silence the voices that whisper it cannot handle two major responsibilities at the same time.

I know all this takes resources, attention, and commitment. We will continue to provide Ambassador Ledogar with everything he needs to help accomplish the ambitious goals I have come here to address.

Security assurances are another matter holding significant promise. For many years, the CD has conducted valuable work on negative assurances. The United States supports a "two-track" approach to NSAS: discussions in the Ad Hoc Committee, and discussions among the nuclear weapon states. We will continue to work vigorously in both fora, and I congratulate Ambassador Guillaume for his leadership this year in the former.

And while we are hard at work with the other nuclear weapons states, the U.S. presidential commitment stands. Our unilateral commitment stresses that assurances will be provided to non-nuclear states that are parties to the NPT or any comparable internationally binding commitment not to acquire nuclear explosive devices, such as the Tlatelolco Treaty, unless the U.S. is attacked by that non-nuclear weapon state in alliance with a nuclear weapon state.

I would not want to speak at the Conference on Disarmament without addressing an issue which is on the minds of many -- expansion of CD membership. The U.S. continues to favor strongly expansion of the Conference. We regret that it has not been possible to achieve such expansion due to the impediment which we have identified; namely, the inappropriate inclusion of any state under comprehensive UN Security Council sanctions, according to Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The U.S. remains willing to consider any reasonable initiative designed to resolve this situation, and we believe the CD is the proper forum to find an appropriate solution.

President John Kennedy was fond of saying that from those to whom much has been given, much is expected.

The CD's remarkable success with the CWC and its notable progress on the CTBT prove it is a body of great ability. And so the world expects much of it -- of you.

One of the encouraging trends of these times has been an ability of the international community to clear away much of the divisive ideological and political underbrush that occupied so much time, to so little effect, during the era of maximum East-West and North-South confrontation. Of course those habits have not entirely disappeared.

My appeal to you is that to the extent such inclinations persist, this is the last place they should be exercised. For the CD is not a place for scoring political points, but for doing serious work -- and producing tangible results.

Indeed, in a world where even bilateral arms control has become multilateral, this institution, the able statesmen and experts who labor here, and the extraordinary and intricate methods of diplomacy you have mastered here, have become the wave of the future -- and the embodiment of our hopes for a safer world.

With the end of the Cold War, nuclear proliferation pressures may be more substantial than ever. Such pressures, as you know, can be vertical as well as horizontal. So this is at once the best time to buttress international security -- and the most essential.

Now especially -- with the largest nuclear weapons powers finally able to deemphasize nuclear weapons in their defense planning - this is no time to revert to old habits.

We have now had five decades of nuclear testing -- and are in the fifth decade of calls to stop it. By any fair description, the world's pursuit of a CTBT has been a long-distance race.

But such races are not won by limping across the finish line, or even by being satisfied with moderate progress. They are won with concluding surges of energy and commitment.

We are in the final stages of our race. The finish line is within our view. We must pick up the pace. We must agree to cease nuclear explosive testing without exceptions, without artificial linkages, without delay -- to conclude a CTBT before the chance of our lifetimes has passed.

It is an intriguing historical coincidence that the fiftieth anniversary of the first nuclear explosion and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the entry into force of the NPT fall in the same year -- 1995. I hope our efforts can make this coincidence into an important signpost of progress.

From the very first atomic blast at Alamagordo, mankind has been struggling to free itself from the ferocious beast unleashed there. Since then, thousands of women and men of good will and intellect have pursued -- passionately, painstakingly -- the compelling mission of our age. Working together, let us rededicate ourselves to that mission: to shepherd this beast back into its cage -- to bring what was unleashed in a blinding blast of heat in the New Mexico desert to a fitting end in the cool atmosphere of reason in Geneva -- to ensure that our first half-century of nuclear explosions is our last.