Argument: General arguments in favor of a nuclear test ban

Issue Report: Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty


President Eisenhower said in a February 3, 1960 President’s News Conference: “I am of the belief, if you could have a ban on all [nuclear] testing that everybody could have confidence in, it would be a very, very fine thing to stop this. . .”[1]

Jacques Chirac, President of France, in a Millennium January 2000 letter to Jane’s Defence Weekly: “Finally, a safer world presupposes the revival of the virtuous circle of non-proliferation of weapons and disarmament. To implement the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); maintain the strategic balance; open negotiations on the banning of the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons; fight biological and ballistic proliferation; and prohibit anti-personnel landmines are all objectives reflecting our people’s expectations. On all these issues, the EU and the USA, driven by their common values of humanism, must combine their efforts to point the way to a peaceful world.”[2]

Jacques Chirac, President of France, during his joint press conference with M. Jiang Zemin, President of the People’s Republic of China in Paris: “We talked about the strategic problems and in particular emphasized the dangers of a possible undermining of the strategic balance and of a revival of the arms race. We agreed that the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) had to be ratified as soon as possible. We also noted that any undermining of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty would be dangerous and destabilizing and therefore carried risks.” (25 October 1999)[3]

Lloyd Axworthy, Canadian Foreign Minister: “The US Senate’s rejection [of the CTBT] is a significant step backwards – a repudiation of 50 years of US leadership…and a devastating blow to global nuclear arms control efforts. [….] We believe it is crucial for NATO to have an arms control and disarmament policy that reflects the next decade – not the last. NATO should also review its policies relating to weapons of mass destruction to ensure that they are consistent with the arms control and disarmament aims we wish to advance.” (22 October 1999)[4]

Javier Solana, EU Common Foreign Security Policy Representative: [The CTBT decision is] “a very sad development – for the future, for peace and for the cause of stopping the spread of nuclear weapons.” (15 October 1999)[5]

Rudolf Scharping, Germany’s Defence Minister, was “deeply disappointed” about the CTBT decision and said, “It is a wrong signal that we deeply regret.” (15 October 1999)[6]

Lord Robertson, NATO Secretary-General, described the CTBT vote as “very worrying” and said, “I hope that maybe when we’ve got over the election fever in the United States, the Congress will look again and see that arms control is something that is in everyone’s interest and that we really have to press ahead with it.” (15 October 1999)[7]

Yohei Kono, Japanese Foreign Minister, said of the CTBT vote: “The adverse effects are inestimable, and it is of extreme concern. We had been hoping for US leadership in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, so the result is very regrettable.” (15 October 1999)[8]

Vladimir Rakhmanin, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman: “This
decision [CTBT] is a serious blow to the entire system of agreements in
the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation […] Apart from the failure to ratify the CTBT, there is the adoption of a law on a national anti-missile defence system a new threat of sanctions in the area of export controls and a number of other steps which are destabilising the foundations of international relations.” (14 October 1999)[9]