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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 40, September - October 1999

CTBT IN CRISIS

Introduction When the United States Senate threw out the ratification bill for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) on October 13 by a largely partisan vote of 51 to 48, the Republicans not only inflicted an embarrassing defeat on President Clinton; they signalled a 'new isolationist' hostility to multilateral arms control and efforts to build collective security arrangements. The Senate rejection came just a week after the representatives of 92 states which have signed the CTBT gathered in Vienna to discuss ways to accelerate the Treaty's entry into force, as required in Article XIV. Below, Rebecca Johnson reports on the CTBT Article XIV Conference held in Vienna. Daryl Kimball, the Director of the Washington-based Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers, a driving force among US non-governmental organisations pushing for the Treaty, analyses what went wrong in the United States. Patricia M Lewis of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) offers an initial view of the international repercussions of the US rejection of the Treaty. Oliver Meier of the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC), London, responds to Republican allegations that the CTBT is not effectively verifiable.

© 1999 The Acronym Institute.

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