The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
Update 10/13/99 - Senate Rejects
Test Ban Treaty
By a 48-51-1 vote taken late this afternoon, the U.S. Senate rejected ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. This marks the first defeat of an arms control treaty in the history of the United States Senate.
This article simply explains the basic objective and ratification process of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty now being debated in the United States Senate.
The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), written in 1996 fills many pages explaining how the participant countries will monitor and enforce the following two simple rules:
1. Each State Party (country) undertakes not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion, and to prohibit and prevent any such nuclear explosion at any place under its jurisdiction or control.
2. Each State Party undertakes, furthermore, to refrain from causing, encouraging, or in any way participating in the carrying out of any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion.
Basically, no more nuclear weapon explosions of any kind, for any reason.
Since President Clinton became the first world leader to sign it on September 24, 1996, leaders of 151 other nations have signed the CTBT, and 41 nations have officially ratified the treaty. For the CTBT to be completely approved and set into effect, it must be ratified by the US and 43 other countries. So far, 41 other countries have ratified the CTBT and the United States Senate is currently debating ratification.
Ratification requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate, which appears doubtful at this time. The treaty has been held in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the last two years before being released for a final vote by the full Senate.
Nuclear Test Ban Nations
Complete list of nations required to sign and ratify the CTBT showing those who have ratified, signed only, and neither signed nor ratified.