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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 25, 1997


I am gratified that the United States Senate has given its advice and consent to the ratification of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (the "Convention").

During the past several months, the Senate and the Administration, working together, have prepared a resolution of advice and consent to ratification of unusual breadth and scope. The resolution that has now been approved by the Senate by a strong, bipartisan vote of 74-26 contains 28 different Conditions covering virtually every issue of interest and concern. I will implement these provisions. I will, of course, do so without prejudice to my Constitutional authorities, including for the conduct of diplomatic exchanges and the implementation of treaties. A Condition in a resolution of ratification cannot alter the allocation of authority and responsibility under the Constitution.

I note that Condition (2) on Financial Contributions states that no funds may be drawn from the Treasury for payments or assistance under the Convention without statutory authorization and appropriation. I will interpret this Condition in light of the past practice of the Congress as not precluding the utilization of such alternatives as appropriations provisions that serve as a statutory authorization.

I am grateful to Majority Leader Lott, Minority Leader Daschle, and Senators Helms, Biden, Lugar, Levin, McCain and the many others who have devoted so much time and effort to this important ratification effort. It is clear that the practical result of our work together on the Convention will well serve the common interest of advancing the national security of the United States. In this spirit, I look forward to the entry into force of the treaty and express my hope that it will lead to even more important advances in United States, allied, and international security.



April 25, 1997.

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