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Letter to Congressional Leaders on Continuation of the National Emergency Regarding Chemical and Biological Weapons Proliferation

November 11, 1992

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

On November 16, 1990, in light of the dangers of the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons, I 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 I publish in the Federal Register and transmit 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, 1992. 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 make pursuant to these provisions.

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.

Over 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.

In August 1992, the 39 members of the Conference on Disarmament completed work on the Chemical Weapons Convention. In addition to banning chemical weapons among parties, the Convention will also require parties to restrict, and ultimately cut off, trade in certain chemical weapons-related chemicals with non-parties. The Convention will be opened for signature in January 1993, and we expect it to enter into force in January 1995.

The membership of the Australia Group of countries cooperating against chemical and biological weapons proliferation stands at 22. It is anticipated that the group's membership will expand somewhat over the next 6 months.

At the June 1992 Australia Group meeting, all member countries agreed to expand the list of identified chemical weapons precursors subject to Australia Group controls from 50 to 54, and to impose controls on a common list of dual-use chemical equipment that was tentatively agreed at the December 1991 meeting. At the same meeting, the Australia Group agreed, ad referendum, to a list of biological organisms, toxins, and equipment to subject to export controls. We expect these lists to be formally adopted at the December 1992 meeting.

Encouraging progress can also be reported in the steps taken by countries outside the Australia Group, including several Eastern European countries and Argentina, to establish effective chemical and biological export controls comparable to those observed by Australia Group members. In December 1992, Hungary will host a seminar on Australia Group practices for non-Australia Group members from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Finally, the March 31, 1992, report regarding expenditures under the declaration of a national emergency to deal with the lapse of the Export Administration Act in Executive Order No. 12730 also includes measures related to the Enhanced Proliferation Control Initiative. 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.


George Bush

Note: Identical letters were sent to Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Dan Quayle, President of the Senate. This letter was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on November 12.

George Bush, Letter to Congressional Leaders on Continuation of the National Emergency Regarding Chemical and Biological Weapons Proliferation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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