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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 3, 1995


The President today announced the selection of H. Martin Lancaster as Special Advisor to the President and Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) Director on the Chemical Weapons Convention.

"During his years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives," the President said, "Martin distinguished himself as one of the leading Congressional authorities on this vital treaty. I am delighted that he has agreed to lead our efforts to secure the Senate's advice and consent to ratification of the Convention and enactment of the necessary implementing legislation. This is a top priority of my Administration."

The Convention was negotiated and signed by President Bush and submitted to the Senate by President Clinton. It is the most comprehensive treaty in the history of arms control, banning not only the use of chemical weapons, but also the acquisition, development, production, stockpiling, retention and transfer of such weapons. The President has declared the Convention to be a central element of U.S. nonproliferation policy which will significantly enhance our security and that of our friends and allies.

To date, the Convention has been signed by 159 countries and ratified by 27. The President urges the Senate to complete its deliberations on the Convention and to provide its consent to ratification this spring. This will give greater impetus to efforts to secure the 65 ratifications required for entry into force of the Convention.

As a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987- 1995, Mr. Lancaster served on the Arms Control Observer Group and chaired the Chemical Weapons Working Group. He was also a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. He received his B.A. from the University of North Carolina (UNC) and his J.D. from the UNC School of Law.

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