President Clinton’s Letter to Congressional Leaders on Chemical and Biological Weapons Proliferation-12/03/1993

Letter to Congressional Leaders on Chemical and Biological Weapons Proliferation

November 12, 1993

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

On November 16, 1990, in light of the dangers of the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons, President Bush issued Executive Order No. 12735 and declared a national emergency under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.). Under section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), the national emergency terminates on the anniversary date of its declaration unless the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice of its continuation. The proliferation of chemical and biological weapons continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. Therefore, I am hereby advising the
Congress that the national emergency declared on November 16, 1990, must continue in effect beyond November 16, 1993. Accordingly, I have extended the national emergency declared in Executive Order No. 12735 and have sent a notice of extension to the Federal Register for publication.

Section 204 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and section 401(c) of the National Emergencies Act contain periodic reporting requirements regarding activities taken and money spent pursuant to an emergency declaration. The following report is made pursuant to these provisions. Additional information on chemical and biological weapons proliferation is contained in the report to the Congress provided pursuant to the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.

The three export control regulations issued under the Enhanced Proliferation Control Initiative are fully in force and have been used to control the export of items with potential use in chemical or biological weapons or unmanned delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction.

During the last 6 months, the United States has continued to address actively in its international diplomatic efforts the problem of the proliferation and use of chemical and biological weapons.

More than 150 nations have signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and a number already have ratified it. In my speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, I called upon all countries, including my own, to ratify the Convention quickly so that it may enter into force on January 13, 1995. The United States is also playing a leading role in the work of the CWC Preparatory Commission, which is meeting in The Hague to work out the procedural and administrative details for implementing the Convention.

The United States participated in the Ad Hoc Group of Government Experts convened by the Third Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) Review Conference to identify and examine potential verification measures. The consensus final report of the Group is expected to provide the basis for further consideration of this issue at a special conference of BWC states parties. As part of my new nonproliferation policy, I have decided that the United States will promote new measures that provide increased transparency of activities that could have biological weapons applications to help deter violations of the Convention.

The membership of the Australia Group (AG) of countries cooperating against chemical and biological weapons (CBW) proliferation stands at 25. At the June 1993 meeting, members agreed to honor each other’s export license denials for AG-proscribed items (the “no-undercut” policy), thus enhancing the effectiveness of the Group’s common export controls. At the same meeting, the AG finalized its package of comprehensive export controls on biological agents and related production equipment and agreed to promote broad contacts with nonmembers following all future Australia Group meetings. Members also resolved to expand their dialogue about CBW issues with non-member countries with a view to encouraging the introduction and implementation of effective CBW nonproliferation measures worldwide. Pursuant to section 401(c) of the National Emergencies Act, there were no additional expenses directly attributable to the exercise of authorities conferred by the declaration of the national emergency.

William J. Clinton

Note: Identical letters were sent to Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Albert Gore, Jr., President of the Senate.

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