- Title: SWITZERLAND: UNITED STATES APPEALS FOR AGREEMENT FOR TREATY BANNING NUCLEAR TESTS
- Date: 1st August 1996
- Summary: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (AUGUST 1, 1996) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. LV VARIOUS ARRIVAL DELEGATES AT UNITED NATIONS 0.08 CONFERENCE 2. MV INDIAN AMBASSADOR ARUNDHATI GHOSE ARRIVING 0.14 3. LV INTERIOR, DELEGATES TAKING SEATS 0.18 4. MV UNITED KINGDOM DELEGATION SEATED 0.21 5. MV CHINESE AMBASSADOR SHA ZUKANG 0.26 6. LV DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES ARMS CONTROL AND DISARMAMENT AGENCY JOHN HOLUM ENTERING PRESS CONFERENCE 0.40 7. LV JOURNALISTS 0.44 8. MV HOLUM SPEAKING AT CONFERENCE (ENGLISH) 1.49 9. LV MEDIA LEAVING CONFERENCE. 1.54 TRANSCRIPT SEQ. 8. HOLUM "THE UNITED STATES IS CERTAINLY READY TO ACHIEVE THIS TREATY, TO DO SO NOW AND MOVE FORWARD. THE QUESTION IS WHETHER THE CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT, AS A MULTILATERAL BODY OPERATED BY CONSENSUS, CAN IN FACT, WHEN THE PURPOSE IS OBVIOUSLY DESIRED AROUND THE WORLD, BRING ITSELF TO ACHIEVE IT. WE WANTED INSPECTIONS TO GO AHEAD UNLESS THEY WERE STOPPED BY TWO THIRDS, CHINA WANTED THEM TO BE APPROVED BY TWO THIRDS, THE CHAIRMAN HAS SETTLED AT FIFTY PERCENT. THAT DOES NOT FAVOUR OUR SIDE BUT IT DOES NOT FAVOUR THEIRS EITHER AND IT IS MANIFESTLY A FAIR COMPROMISE. NOW CHINA WANTS TO SAY THEY WILL ACCEPT THE TERMS BUT NOW LET'S NEGOTIATE AGAIN BETWEEN THE CHAIRMAN'S TEXT AND OUR POSITION. IT SEEMS TO ME WE HAVE ALREADY RESOLVED THAT ISSUE." Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 16th August 1996 13:00
- Location: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Switzerland
- Reuters ID: LVA8UTQ5NMMDWZKQZXKO6JA5GHUS
- Story Text: - INTRO: The United States has said more negotiations on a global treaty banning nuclear tests could doom any chance of agreement and appealed to nations to put aside their differences and approve the landmark deal now.
----------------------------------------------------------------- The chief of the United States (U.S.) Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, John Holum, warned on Thursday (August 1) that her talks and stalling on the global treaty banning nuclear tests could kill the treaty altogether.
Speaking at the United Nations (U.N.)-sponsored talks in Geneva which have brought together 61 nations to complete a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), he said more negotiations after over two years of talks and compromise on all sides would be fruitless.
India and China have led objections to the current treaty and China remained firm in its opposition to parts of the treaty at a plenary session of the talks on Thursday.
"We could spend more days, more months, more years, searching for the perfect treaty," Holum said.
"But we will never do better...The most probable result of further negotiation is to doom this treaty -- and once more turn back a 40-year effort to ban nuclear explosions." Speaking at a press conference after the talks Holum, said "the U.S. is certainly ready to achieve this treaty and to do so now and move forward, the question is whether the conference on disarmament as a multi-national body, operated by consensus, can bring itself to achieve it and I don't know the answer to that. We will find out in the next few days." China's Ambassador Sha Zukang said his country was making a concession on a technical aspect of the treaty's verification procedures but made it clear China will continue to object to plans for triggering international inspections on sensitive nuclear sites.
"We wanted inspections to go ahead unless they were stopped by two-thirds. China wanted them to be approved by two-thirds, the chairman has settled at 50 percent," Holum said.
"That certainly does not favour our side but it does not favour theirs either and it is manifestly a a fair compromise if painful for us. Now China wants to say well we will accept that, but now let us negotiate again between the chairman's text and our position. It seems to me we have already resolved that issue." India did not address the meeting but its regional rival, Pakistan, said it also had serious concerns and attacked India for building what it called a nuclear threat. Iran said the major powers could not afford to ignore these concerns.
"The Indians are concerned about the entry into force provision," Holum said, "we don't like that provision either. But it does not imply that India is going to be required by the international community to adhere to this treaty. Every country will have the right to make that decision." But Mr Holum said more negotiations after over two years of talks and compromise on all sides would be fruitless.
"If it fails I think it will fail for a long time to come and I think it is a 50/50 proposition at this point. The momentum is here now, the opportunity is here now, the treaty is not going to get any better.
Except for China, all the declared nuclear powers -- the United States, Russia, France and Britain -- want the treaty to be approved as it stands and sent to U.N. headquarters in New York so that it can be signed by world nations next month.
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