The British American Security Information Council welcomes the renewed US commitment to press for the long-overdue Senate ratification of a treaty banning all nuclear explosions.
Paul Ingram, executive director of BASIC, said: "America's standing with the rest of the world hinges on the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It is urgent to make the case for its ratification as part of moves to curb the spread of nuclear weapons."
Vice President Joe Biden renewed the administration's commitment to ratification in a speech in Washington. He recalled that the treaty was designed to keep emerging nuclear states from perfecting their arsenal, "and preventing our rivals from pursuing ever-more-advanced weapons."
Paul Ingram said that ratification by the Senate, which voted against the treaty in 1999, would provide a strong impetus to other states which have signed the pact, including China, to follow suit. Encouraging the Senate to ratify the treaty is a key plank of the Obama administration's disarmament agenda.
Vice President Biden said the administration was confident that "all reasonable concerns" raised about the treaty in 1999, concerning verification measures and the reliability of the US nuclear arsenal, have now been addressed. The treaty was signed by the United States in 1996. To date, 182 nations have signed the CTBT and 151 have ratified it. But it can only come into force following ratification by nine remaining states.
Contact: Paul Ingram, Executive Director:
+44 (0)7908 708175
pingram at basicint.org