THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
CWC Agreed Conditions
In late January, President Clinton and Senate Majority Leader Lott agreed to establish a process to address concerns raised by members of the Republican Caucus regarding the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). During the last two and a half months, over 60 hours of negotiations have taken place on various issues related to the CWC. These negotiations began in a series of meetings conducted between the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Samuel R. Berger, and a nine-member Senate Task Force established by the Majority Leader. Following additional meetings at the senior staff level between the Administration and Senator Lott's Task Force, a second phase of negotiations was conducted between the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Jesse Helms, and its Ranking Minority Member, Senator Joe Biden.
The discussions have focused on a package of "conditions" to be included in the Senate resolution of ratification on the CWC. These conditions are binding between the Senate and the President, but do not constitute amendments to the treaty itself. Yesterday, Senator Biden released a package of 23 conditions agreed to by himself and Senator Helms as a result of the process initiated by Senator Lott and the President in January. The agreed conditions underscore the extraordinary progress achieved since January in addressing virtually all of the issues raised in the debate over this treaty.
Among the 23 are conditions that would: require the Secretary of Defense to maintain robust chemical and biological defenses for U.S. troops; ensure that instances of noncompliance will be subject to tough U.S. enforcement action; require the U.S., under Article X, to limit any assistance to countries of concern, such as Cuba and Iran, to medical antidotes and treatment; obligate the President to obtain assurances from our Australia Group allies that Article XI is fully consistent with maintaining strict export controls on dangerous chemicals; and ensure that nothing in the CWC requires any action by the U.S. prohibited by the Constitution.
The Administration is continuing discussions with Senator Lott on a few issues of particular importance, including search warrants and use of riot control agents in certain wartime situations. In those areas where agreement cannot be reached, the Administration has proposed conditions that it believes address the underlying concern with regard to the operation and effectiveness of the treaty. The Administration looks forward to the Senate joining these issues with debate and votes prior to April 29, the deadline for U.S. joining the CWC as an original State Party.
SUMMARY OF THE 23 AGREED CONDITIONS ON THE CWC
(1) EFFECT ON ARTICLE XX -- Asserts the Senate's right under the Constitution to add reservations to the Convention.
(2) FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS -- Assures Congressional oversight of any funds provided under the CWC.
(3) ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTERNAL OVERSIGHT OFFICE -- Requires that the CWC Organization have an Inspector General.
(4) COST-SHARING ARRANGEMENTS -- Holds down U.S. costs by requiring cost-sharing arrangements.
(5) INTELLIGENCE SHARING -- Establishes strict standards for sharing U.S. intelligence information with the CWC organization.
(6) AMENDMENTS TO THE CONVENTION -- Requires the executive branch to submit all amendments to the CWC to the Senate for its advice and consent.
(7) CONTINUING VITALITY OF THE AUSTRALIA GROUP AND NATIONAL EXPORT CONTROLS -- Requires the President to obtain assurances from our Australia Group allies that Article XI is fully consistent with the maintenance of strict export controls on dangerous chemicals.
(8) NEGATIVE SECURITY ASSURANCES --Requires a classified report on the assurances we offer to other countries that forswear the use of nuclear weapons.
(9) PROTECTION OF ADVANCED BIOTECHNOLOGY -- Protects the legitimate commercial activities of U.S. chemical, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical firms.
(10) MONITORING AND VERIFICATION -- Requires detailed annual country-by-country reports on chemical weapons activities, compliance problems, and monitoring policy of the Intelligence Community.
(11) ENHANCEMENTS TO ROBUST CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL DEFENSE
(12) NONCOMPLIANCE -- Requires the President to ensure that that instances of noncompliance will be subject to tough U.S. enforcement action.
(13) PRIMACY OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION -- Ensures that nothing in the Convention requires any action by the United States prohibited by the Constitution.
(14) FINANCING RUSSIAN IMPLEMENTATION -- Requires the United States to reject any effort by Russia to make Russia's CWC ratification contingent upon U.S. financial guarantees to cover Russian destruction costs.
(15) ASSISTANCE UNDER ARTICLE X -- Requires the United States to limit its assistance to certain countries of particular concern to medical antidotes and treatments.
(16) CONSTITUTIONAL PREROGATIVES -- Sense of the Senate that U.S. negotiators should not agree to future treaties that bar reservations.
(17) ADDITIONS TO THE ANNEX ON CHEMICALS -- Further protects U.S. industry by requiring the President to notify and consult with Congress when a chemical is proposed for addition to the CWC Schedules.
(18) EFFECT ON TERRORISM -- Senate finding that CW terrorism remains a threat.
(19) CONSTITUTIONAL SEPARATION OF POWERS -- Senate declaration that the United States should not be denied its vote in the CWC Organization.
(20) THE ON-SITE INSPECTIONS AGENCY -- Sense of the Senate that OSIA should be authorized to provide assistance to US facilities subject to routine inspections under the CWC.
(21) FURTHER ARMS REDUCTIONS OBLIGATIONS -- Sets forth the Senate position reaffirming its role regarding agreements that limit or reduce U.S. forces or armaments.
(22) TREATY INTERPRETATION -- Reaffirms Senate role in treaty making.
(23) CHEMICAL WEAPONS DESTRUCTION -- Confirms that the President will explore possible alternative technologies for the destruction of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile.
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