Skip to main content


Whereas the American Association for the Advancement of Science has long been active in support of efforts to reduce the profound risk to human life and society that would result from the use of nuclear weapons, and

Whereas the end of the Cold War has brought unparalleled opportunities for reduction of the global threat of nuclear destruction and for strengthening constraints on nuclear proliferation, and

Whereas the goal of achieving international agreement on a total ban on all nuclear testing for all time was pursued through global negotiations over a period of nearly forty years, and

Whereas these negotiations have produced the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which was overwhelmingly approved by the UN General Assembly in September, 1996, and has now been signed by a majority of the world's nations, including the U.S., and

Whereas a commitment to conclude the CTBT was an essential element in bringing nations to agree in 1995 to an indefinite and unconditional extension of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and

Whereas the CTBT establishes a far-reaching verification regime which, when combined with our nation's own capacity to monitor nuclear explosions, provides the United States with the means to ensure that this Treaty is effectively verifiable and in no way undermines the nation's nuclear deterrence capability, and

Whereas the CTBT contains a "supreme national interest" clause that would enable the U.S. to withdraw from the Treaty regime with six months notification should it be determined that additional nuclear testing is essential to ensure the safety or reliability of a nuclear weapon type critical to the Nation's nuclear deterrent, and

Whereas the CTBT was submitted to the United States Senate on September 22, 1997, for its advice and consent to ratification,

Be it therefore resolved that the Board of Directors and the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science urges the United States Senate to give early and favorable consideration to the Treaty and its advice and consent to ratification as soon as possible.

[Adopted by the AAAS Board and AAAS Council, 15 February 1998.]