Today the President renewed his call to the Senate to provide its
advice and consent to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT),
and praised the bipartisan group of Senators who are speaking out in
support of this important goal.
The CTBT marks an historic milestone in America's efforts to reduce
the nuclear threat and build a safer world.
The CTBT will prohibit any nuclear explosion, whether for weapons
or other purposes.
Halting all nuclear explosions will constrain the development of
more sophisticated and destructive nuclear weapons.
The CTBT will thus help to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons,
promote nuclear disarmament, and enhance U.S. national security and that
of our friends and allies.
The CTBT was negotiated in the Geneva Conference on Disarmament
(CD) between January 1994 and August 1996. The United Nations General
Assembly voted on September 10, 1996, to adopt the Treaty by a vote of
158 in favor, 3 opposed, and 5 abstentions. President Clinton was the
first world leader to sign the CTBT on September 24, 1996. 151 other
nations have now signed, and 41 have ratified. The Treaty will enter
into force following ratification by the United States and 43 other CD
member states with nuclear power and/or research reactors. Twenty-one
of these 44 states - almost half - have now ratified. Failure by the
Senate to provide its advice and consent would prevent the entry into
force of this important arms control agreement.
CTBT's Central Features
The CTBT will allow America to maintain a safe and reliable nuclear
deterrent. It will constrain the development of more advanced nuclear
weapons by the declared nuclear powers, as well as the proliferation of
nuclear weapons in other states. The Treaty includes a robust set of
monitoring and inspection provisions that will aid America's ability to
detect and deter nuclear explosive testing. The United States conducted
its last nuclear test almost 7 years ago, and has instituted a rigorous
and technically sophisticated program of stockpile stewardship -
supported by the Secretaries of Defense and Energy, the Directors of the
National Weapons Laboratories, the Commander in Chief, United States
Strategic Command, and the Nuclear Weapons Council - to maintain a safe
and reliable nuclear stockpile without nuclear testing.
Basic obligations. The CTBT will ban any nuclear weapon test
explosion or any other nuclear explosion, consistent with President
Clinton's August 11, 1995, decision to negotiate a true zero yield CTBT.
Organization. The Treaty establishes an organization to ensure the
implementation of its provisions, including those for international
verification measures. The organization includes a Conference of States
Parties, an Executive Council and a Technical Secretariat, which shall
include the International Data Center.
Structure. The Treaty includes a Protocol in three parts: Part I
details the International Monitoring System (IMS); Part II on On-Site
Inspections (OSI); and Part III on Confidence Building Measures. There
are two Annexes: Annex 1 details the location of treaty monitoring
assets associated with the IMS; and Annex 2 details the parameters for
Verification and Inspections. The Treaty's verification regime
includes an international monitoring system composed of seismological,
radionuclide, hydroacoustic and infrasound monitoring; consultation and
clarification; on-site inspections; and confidence building measures.
The use of national technical means, vital for the Treaty's verification
regime, is explicitly provided for. Requests for on-site inspections
must be approved by at least 30 affirmative votes of members of the
Treaty's 51-member Executive Council. The Executive Council must act
within 96 hours of receiving a request for an inspection.
Treaty compliance and sanctions. The Treaty provides for measures
to redress a situation and to ensure compliance, including sanctions,
and for settlement of disputes. If the Conference or Executive Council
determines that a case is of particular gravity, it can bring the issue
to the attention of the United Nations.
Amendments. Any state party to the Treaty may propose an amendment
to the Treaty, the Protocol, or the Annexes to the Protocol. Amendments
will be considered by an Amendment Conference and will be adopted by a
positive vote of a majority of the States parties with no State party
casting a negative vote.
Entry into force. The Treaty will enter into force 180 days after
the date of deposit of the instruments of ratification by all States
listed in Annex 2 of the Treaty, but in no case earlier than two years
after its opening for signature (i.e., September 24, 1998). Annex 2
includes 44 States members of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) with
nuclear power and/or research reactors. If the Treaty has not entered
into force three years after the date of the anniversary of its opening
for signature (i.e., September 24, 1999), a conference of the States
that have already deposited their instruments of ratification may
convene annually to consider and decide by consensus what measures
consistent with international law may be undertaken to accelerate the
ratification process in order to facilitate the early entry into force
of this Treaty.
Review. Ten years after entry into force, a Conference of the
States Parties will be held to review the operation and effectiveness of
Duration. The Treaty is of unlimited duration. Each State Party
has the right to withdraw from the CTBT if it decides that extraordinary
events related to its subject matter have jeopardized its supreme
Depository. The Secretary General of the United Nations will be
the Depository of the Treaty and will receive signatures, instruments of
ratification and instruments of accession.