Progress to DateIn an age of great technological change and enormous nuclear power, we face even larger challenges. This administration is dedicated to the limitation and reduction of arms. We are proud of our accomplishments.
Preventing the Spread of Nuclear WeaponsThe worldwide reach of scientific knowledge enables virtually any nation in time to acquire nuclear weapons. Last year the United States ratified the treaty to halt further proliferation of nuciear weapons. More than one hundred nations have either signed or ratified this treaty, and negotiations to implement its verification procedures are in progress. If all nations act on its principles and abide by its obligations, the incentive for any additional nation to acquire nuclear arms will recede.
Preserving Peace in New FrontiersModern technology has opened up the vistas of outer space and the ocean depths for mankind's benefit. But it has created as well the temptation to exploit these new environments for miiitary gain. We and other nations have acted to prohibit nuclear weapons in outer space. This administration took the initiative to negotiate a treaty banning weapons of mass destruction from the seabeds. The United Nations overwhelmingly approved the treaty this fall, and I will soon submit it to the Senate.
Curbing Biologicai and Chemical ThreatsModern science has spawned the most deadly means of biological and chemical warfare. This administration has moved on several fronts to reduce this threat:
The United States renounced all use of biological and toxin weapons and first use of lethal and incapacitating chemical weapons. Our biological and toxin research will be confined to small programs solely for defensive purposes. I have approved a plan to destroy stockpiles of these agents and associated munitions. We announced the conversion of one major biological facility to the investigation of the health effects of certain chemicals.
On August 19, 1970, I submitted to the Senate the 1925 Geneva Protocol banning the use in warfare of chemical and biological weapons. If ratified, the United States would join ninety five other nations, including all the major powers, in supporting this treaty.
In the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament in Geneva, we will urge further international control over the biological and chemical means of war.