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Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on Nuclear Nonproliferation

January 19, 1993

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

I have reviewed the activities of the United States Government departments and agencies during calendar year 1992 relating to preventing nuclear proliferation, and I am pleased to submit my annual report pursuant to section 601(a) of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978 (Public Law 95 - 242, 22 U.S.C. 3281(a)).

The accomplishments of the past year provide a fitting capstone to this Administration's efforts to stem the spread of nuclear weapons. These efforts were provided additional focus on July 13, when I issued a statement setting forth a number of initiatives as well as a clear framework of guiding principles for our nonproliferation policy.

Global norms and institutions have strengthened this year. Membership in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty has grown to 155, including the last declared two nuclear weapon states: France and China. The three Baltic states as well as two of the newly-independent states have also joined the Treaty, while three others -- Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan -- committed to do so "in the shortest possible time." The United States increased its support for the International Atomic Energy Agency, which sought to strengthen its safeguards system in response to its experience in Iraq.

In addressing regional dangers, the United States also joined with the international community to continue to support efforts to destroy Iraq's nuclear weapons program under U.N. Security Council resolutions and to press North Korea to honor its nonproliferation commitments. Focusing on the Middle East, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council agreed to interim guidelines to restrain destabilizing transfers of arms and technologies related to weapons of mass destruction, while the arms control and regional security talks provided an unprecedented forum for countries in that troubled region to address these issues face to face. The United States held talks separately with India and Pakistan in the hope of stemming a nuclear arms race in South Asia. Meanwhile, the United States has been gratified by steps taken by countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and South Africa to join international nonproliferation regimes.

We have worked hard to address the proliferation concerns arising from the break-up of the Soviet Union and its domination of Eastern Europe. With the firm support of the Congress, we are developing assistance to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan to support the safety and security of the dismantlement of nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union. The U.S. has also provided assistance to Russia and Ukraine in developing systems for physical protection and material accounting and control for materials removed from nuclear warheads. In August, U.S. negotiators initialed an agreement to seek recovery of highly-enriched uranium from the former Soviet nuclear arsenal and dilute it to commercial reactor fuel with no military implications. In collaboration with our allies, we fostered the creation of science and technology centers in Moscow and Kiev to prevent the outflow of nuclear weapons expertise from the former Soviet Union, and provided export control and reactor safety assistance to the states of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

These accomplishments constitute a solid contribution to continuing international efforts to stem nuclear proliferation and to promote the peace and security of all nations. Nevertheless, proliferation remains a significant and growing concern that will require even more attention, energy, and resources in the years ahead.


George Bush

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

George Bush, Letter to Congressional Leaders Reporting on Nuclear Nonproliferation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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