U.S. Ratification Timeline

- May 13, 1991President Bush commits the U.S. to ban chemical weapons and to begin destruction of its national stockpile.

- Jan 13, 1993The Chemical Weapons Convention is signed by President George Bush during his last days in office.

- November 23, 1993 – Convention on Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction is submitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

- March 22, 1994 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing 103-869 on the Chemical Weapons Convention (Treaty Doc. 103-21).

- April 13, 1994 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing 103-869 on the Chemical Weapons Convention (Treaty Doc. 103-21).

- May 13, 1994 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing 103-869 on the Chemical Weapons Convention (Treaty Doc. 103-21).

- May 17, 1994 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing 103-869 on the Chemical Weapons Convention (Treaty Doc. 103-21).

- June 9, 1994 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing 103-869 on the Chemical Weapons Convention (Treaty Doc. 103-21).

- June 23, 1994 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing 103-869 on the Chemical Weapons Convention (Treaty Doc. 103-21).

- August 11, 1994 – Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing 103-835 on the Military Implications of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

- August 18, 1994 – Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing 103-835 on the Military Implications of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

- September 30, 1994 – Senate Select Committee on Intelligence releases Senate Report 103-390 “U.S. Capability to Monitor Compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention.”

- 1995-6 – Republican Control of Senate and Jesse Helms (R-North Carolina) becomes chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

- 1995 – Clinton Administration gives foreign policy and arms control priority to ratification of START II nuclear arms pact.

- Fall 1995Senator Helms wants to reorganize US foreign policy system, including the State Department. His proposals are not getting anywhere so he closes the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for business, thereby ceasing any action on treaties.

- December 1995 – Administration agrees to cut foreign policy spending and Helms agreed to reopen business and act on the CWC by April 30, 1996.

- March 13, 1996 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing 104-668 on the Chemical Weapons Convention (Treaty Doc. 103-21).

- March 21, 1996 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing 104-668 on the Chemical Weapons Convention (Treaty Doc. 103-21).

- March 28, 1996 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing 104-668 on the Chemical Weapons Convention (Treaty Doc. 103-21).

- June 11, 1996 – Bob Dole (R-Kansas) leaves the Senate to run for President and Senator Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) becomes Majority leader.

- September 11, 1996Senate Foreign Relations Committee Publishes Executive Report 104-33, “Chemical Weapons Convention.”

- September 12, 1996 – Amid the presidential campaign, the Clinton Administration decides not to have the CWC come to the Senate floor for a vote. Both Trent Lott, the new Senate Majority Leader and Bob Dole, the Republican Presidential nominee are opposed so it and the administration knows it will be tough to get 2/3 support needed to pass the vote.

- Jan 29, 1997Senator Helms sends Senator Lott a letter saying that he wants to focus on restructuring foreign policy in US, UN reform and legislation to employ national missile defense before considering the CWC.

- February 1997 – Numerous U.S. current and former officials pledge their support for, or opposition to, CWC ratification.

- February 28, 1997 – Results of an opinion poll show that 84% of the American public support ratification of the CWC.

- March 20, 1997 – Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), an opponent of CWC ratification, introduces The Chemical and Biological Weapons Threat Reduction Act of 1997 (S.495). The bill is cosigned by fellow opponents, Senators Don Nickles (R-Oklahoma), Paul Coverdell (R-Georgia), Jesse Helms, Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas).

- March 21, 1997President Clinton and President Yeltsin issue a joint U.S.-Russian Statement on Chemical Weapons, each leader promises to push for CWC ratification is his own country prior to its entry into force April 29.

- April 4, 1997President Clinton hosts a rally on the South Lawn of the White House in support of the CWC. Numerous senior U.S. officials, former officials and senators attended and also spoke.

- April 8, 1997 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing. Testimony by:

Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense

James R. Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense

Caspar Weinberger, former Secretary of Defense

Madeleine Korbel Albright, Secretary of State

- April 9, 1997 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing. Testimony by:

Douglas J. Feith, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiation Policy

Fred C. Ikle, former Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick, former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Richard N. Perle, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy

Edward L. Rowny, International Negotiation Consultant

Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Policy Advisor

Admiral E.R. Zumwalt, Member, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board

- April 15, 1997 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing. Testimony by:

Kathleen C. Bailey, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Malcolm S. Forbes, Jr., President and CEO, Forbes, Inc.

Ralph V. Johnson, Dixie Chemical Company

Kevin L. Kearns, United States Business and Industrial Council

Bruce Merrifield, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce

William A. Reinsch, Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration

Wayne Spears, Spears Manufacturing, Inc.

Frederick Webber, Chemical Manufacturers Association

- April 17, 1997 – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing. Testimony by:

Porter J. Goss, U.S. Representative in Congress from Florida

Ronald F. Lehman, former Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

General William Odom, former Director, National Security Agency

Edward J. O’Malley, former Assistant Director (Counterintelligence), Federal Bureau of Investigation

- April 17, 1997 – Majority Leader Trent Lott and Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) reach a joint agreement to bring the CWC to the Senate floor for a vote April 24, before its entry into force.

- April 23, 1997Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, who had a hand in the CWC not coming to the Senate for a vote in September 1996, announces his support for the CWC.

- April 24, 1997Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott announces that he will support the CWC when the Senate votes on it later in the day.

- April 24, 1997The U.S. Senate passes legislation to ratify the CWC by a vote of 74-26.

- April 29, 1997 – The Chemical Weapons Convention enters into force with 87 Original members an additional 78 states having signed but not ratified it.

- April 29, 1997 – Simultaneous with the CWC entry into force, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is established to implement and administer the convention.

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