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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 31, October 1998

US Congress Finally Approves CWC Implementation Measures

As reported elsewhere in this Review, on 21 October President Clinton signed into law a $500 billion spending package for Fiscal Year 1999; the package included measures to allow for implementation of US obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which the US ratified in April 1997. However, experts noted that the compliance-measures include provisions allowing the US scope to ban challenge inspections of chemical facilities on the grounds of national security interests, as well as provisions strictly limiting the number of US facilities that might be subject to challenge inspection. Concern has been expressed that these provisions both undermine US credentials as a fully-involved and enthusiastic CWC member State, and could be emulated by other States seeking to minimise intrusion into their chemical industry.

Reports: Budget bill includes weapons treaty, Associated Press, 19 October; Non-Proliferation Congress Update, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Proliferation Brief Vol. 1, No. 15, 27 October.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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