Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments [Updated July 9, 2008]   [open pdf - 269KB]

"The U.N. General Assembly adopted the CTBT in 1996. As of July 9, 2008, 178 states had signed it; 144, including Russia, had ratified; and of the 44 that must ratify the treaty for it to enter into force, 41 had signed and 35 had ratified. Five conferences have been held to facilitate entry into force, most recently in 2007. In 1997, President Clinton sent the CTBT to the Senate. In October 1999, the Senate rejected it, 48 for, 51 against, 1 present. It is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's calendar. It would require a two-thirds Senate vote to send the treaty back to the President for disposal or to give advice and consent for ratification. The Bush Administration opposes the CTBT, adheres to the test moratorium, has not ruled out resumed testing, and has no plans to test. It has reduced the time needed to conduct a nuclear test. Critics raised concerns about the implications of these policies for testing and new weapons. At present, Congress addresses nuclear weapon issues in the annual National Defense Authorization Act and the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act. Congress considers the Stockpile Stewardship Program (listed as Weapons Activities), which seeks to maintain nuclear weapons without testing. The FY2008 appropriation for it is $6.356 billion; the FY2009 request is $6.618 billion. Congress also considers a U.S. contribution to a global system to monitor events that might violate the CTBT. The FY2008 appropriation was $23.8 million; the FY2009 request is $9.9 million. U.S. voting rights in the CTBT Organization Preparatory Commission were suspended on January 1, 2008 for not paying enough dues. The United States paid $23.8 million on February 25, restoring its voting rights."

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